DALSTON NOIR #4 Egon Has a Plan

hipster 1
Egon pondering the meanness of life

Read Dalston Noir #1 Trouble On Kingsland Road
Read Dalston Noir #2 It Was a Dog’s Life After All
Read Dalston Noir #3 The Past Isn’t a Different County

Even though it was already the end of March, the nights were cold and Egon wished his bedsit had central heating, but instead he turned on the gas oven as soon as he got up.

Munching on Weetabix he googles dog breeds and there she is – a Golden Retriever. All the dogs look cute but none of them has the effervescent beauty of Gilda. Eager to find out more about the breed, he learns that Golden Retrievers are cheerful, trustworthy, demonstrative and forgiving – characteristics he had always hoped to find in a girlfriend. It also listed mouthiness, heavy shedding and distinctive doggy odour. Still, he reckons, something he would put up with.

Half an hour later Egon enters Costa Coffee on Kingsland Road. Being a hipster to his chore, chains are  an absolute no-no, though he does make an exception for the occasional 3am burger, when he can’t sleep and there’s hardly a soul around.
Taking a deep breath in as he enters Costa, he decides that staying close to the crime scene is momentarily more important than his gastronomic morals. It’s only 9.30am but already busy. A stressed-looking girl with sad eyes under a heavy fringe serves behind the counter and makes coffees at the same time.

Finally it is Egon’s turn. He could just place his order but, but trying to make the most of every moment, he comes up with a more original approach, ‘That’s a nice name.’
The barista girl gives Egon a confused look.
‘Suela I mean.’
She looks down at her name tag then at him, annoyed.

That didn’t go well, but he was just getting back into the habit of flirting and needed some practice.
‘Could I get a flat white to stay?’ making sure to accompany his order with a crooked smile.
What he really wants to say is ‘You are beautiful’ but out comes, ‘You look a bit snowed under, despite it being end of March.’
Suela rolls her eyes.
Small-talk and flirting was an art and he hadn’t mastered neither.

Suela passes him the coffee, fixes Egon with her gaze and must have decided he was worthy, because she says with a warm, guttural voice, ‘I saw you outside the day the dog died.’
Egon is entranced by the sound and accent he can’t place and wonders briefly where she’s from and whether she has a working permit.
‘I tried to get the day off to go to her funeral, but the manager wouldn’t let me.’
Now the meaning of her words hit him, she’s talking about Gilda. Hiding his excitement,  he gently he probes, ‘It sucks when someone close to you dies.’
‘Well, yeah, apparently a dog’s funeral isn’t a good enough reason to get a day off.’
‘How well did you know her?’
Suela shoots him a quizzical look, then adds carefully, ‘She used to come by during my cigarette break. I always had left-overs for her.’

Egon likes her immediately, for the fact that she’s a smoker and for looking after Gilda. She hands him the coffee, ‘I choose animals over people anytime.’
Egon wonders whether she means him specifically but knows that having a narcissistic tendencies means that he thinks everything is always about him.
He pays and lingers, wanting to spend more time with Suela and find out more about Gilda’s last minutes. Lowering his voice, he asks,  ‘Did you see what happened?
The skinny guy behind Egon makes a huffing noise, but Suela ignores him and leans across the counter. ‘I saw how she dragged herself across the street, already limping and weak as if trying to get away from someone. The car managed to avoid her but she dropped dead there and then. I wanted to run out and help her, but my manager was next to me and I couldn’t.’ Her eyes well up.
Can I get some service here?’ The skinny guy shoves Egon aside who almost spills his coffee. Egon’s hands shake when carrying the cup to the table. He’s not sure whether it’s because of Suela or because of what he’d just heard. So he was right, Gilda was already fatally injured, it wasn’t the car that got her.

He sips his coffee extra slowly, hoping Suela would come and talk to him some more but the shop was still busy.

For once Egon had a plan and knew exactly what to do next.

31 thoughts on “DALSTON NOIR #4 Egon Has a Plan

  1. My favourite part, so far… I feel so related to this, (having in mind how much time I spend in “Costa” “Nero” “Pret-a- you-name -it”)….That I feel like part of the fiction…The famous lonely man on the corner…frowning at the weird exchange of words going on between Suela, the barista and that bearded, annoyingly cool hipster.She told me she was Albanian…that´s the only thing I managed to get out of her when I tried to have a chat…(affer months coming here). I wonder what kind of magic trick the hipster pulled out of his magic beard…I mean…hat…to get her attention. Maybe he is something more that a hipster after all…Uhm…(Intrigued)
    Obviously I am loving it!!!!…Congratulations…!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter, that’s slightly uncanny that you guessed she’s Albanian. The only way I can explain this, is that the skills of that magician relative of your’s having been genetically passed down… Or indeed, you know her better than you let on… arrrrrrgh, this case is getting really tricky with these real-life characters joining in 😉


  2. I guessed he hooks up with the stern officer and has a date at Costa- I think I must have had a slight smudge on my crystal ball. All clean and clear now- the barista at Costa! Great story- love the little self absorbed character you are portraying, but I am warming to him for his growing interest in the world around him…I also love the line about him putting up with all the down sides of a golden retriever for all the positives, if they were traits in a woman.

    A question- did you find the pic of the handsome bearded dude before or after writing the first story. So perfect- he looks like he takes himself a little too seriously, just like our hipster protagonist. Is there a murder weapon hiding in all that hair? haha….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for your feedback and thoughts, I like how you put Egon’s character into words. I was desperately looking for a hipster that would fit and there he was! He’s on his road to redemption, and who knows what secrets he’s got stuck in his facial hair 😉
      looking forward to reading more of your writing. have a lovely Easter weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Each episode was great to read, with something extra in the fourth- aa more of Egon is being revealed. Glad I’ve caught up and look forward to finding out what he has planned! Thanks Dagmar, have a lovely weekend there too! Easter for me is all about the break and the discounted lindt bunnies on the Tuesday 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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