Quite a Pair
I always wonder when people hang around a dumpster. I’ve seen them used as a drop site one too many times. So I get suspicious when I see anyone carrying a brown paper bag and standing next to a dumpster. These two didn’t give me any reason not to be suspicious. The one carrying the small brown paper lunch bag was wearing suspenders and a belt. Not braces, mind you. Not the...
She wanted my help. What else is new? Well, this time she wanted my help for Johnny Gatling. I wasn’t in any mood to help either of them. Last time I’d seen her, she was with him. Last time I’d seen him, he broke my nose. She went for brutes like that. I’d given Johnny as good as I’d gotten, but it doesn’t mean I was inclined to be charitable. He had taken...
The long-awaited sci-fi web serial The Mercury Men debuted yesterday. It is not a noir by any stretch of the imagination (though I dare you not to admire its Frank Milleresque black-and-white palette), but it has pulpy thrills to spare. Edward Borman, apparently a hapless Pittsburgh civil servant, must team up with dashing engineer Jack Yaeger to defeat the nefarious Mercury Men, “made of...
The brandy was cheap. The man drinking it was cheaper. It isn’t good for a man to be that cheap. Doesn’t taste good, either. The brandy was barely palatable. But it won out over his life, which wasn’t palatable at all. He had to pour in about half of the juice from the jar of maraschino cherries, but he made the brandy go down. Life wasn’t so cooperative. After a...
Anonymous asked: I can't help but read this and imagine how you are with your women. Are you single?
mademoiselle-ecrivaine asked: I have a question. You mention being the Doctor. Are you a fan of the old series or the new?
I’m going to be away from the computer most of the day today. I may or may not post something (but don’t hold your breath). I can take questions, though. Questions about noir, about anything. Suggestions are great, too. Every question will be answered once I’m ensconced behind my computer again, I can promise you. On a side note, I’ve noticed a couple of tumblchums...
Every Victory Hurts
[This piece was preceded by “War Stories”] Only a sucker plays a game he can’t win. But I do it every day. Maybe if I call it a war, it sounds more worthwhile. But joining a war you can’t win seems even more tragic. It was tragic for DeeDee Jackson. For me, it’s just inescapable. So I don’t try to escape it. There’s no silver bullet, no cure. No...
The city wasn’t a war zone. Sam was under no illusions on that point. The whole damn world was a war zone. Miami was just the theater he’d been assigned to. Him and the rest of the world, too, it seemed. There were Cubans, Haitians, Russians—not to mention thugs from damn near any place in South America. Any shithole in the world with too much trouble to go around—including...
Morg sat at his desk as he flipped through the case file. It wasn’t adding up. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to. Wouldn’t surprise him. Morg was up to his ears in slippery characters. What worried him was that his brain wasn’t up to par tonight. And it was all that damned cat’s fault. Morg Malden hated cats. Like the plague. And this one was giving the block the shrillest...
A Way With Words
I was on Delacroix duty again. I was never sure why he needed a bodyguard, or why he hired me. All he seemed to do was go to parties and imbibe great quantities of gin. Perhaps Tanqueray’s competitors might want him rubbed out, but no one else seemed to. So I dawdled away my time making sure Mr. Foster Delacroix never got stabbed by the cake server or clobbered by a candelabrum. I...