Keeping an eye on Costa Coffee, Egon quickly took out his iPhone5, which he had found in a bar one night and managed to unlock. The light wasn’t great for photography but he didn’t intent to post the crime-scene pictures on Instagram anyway.
Poor dog, what an end to a life filled with adversity and struggle. He made a pledge there and then to find out who killed him, because in his mind there was no question that this had been a dogcide. A suspicion which was confirmed when he saw what looked like a stabbing wound on the dog’s right rib cage, very close to what must have been the heart, he figured.
The stern police-woman’s superior was leaving Costa, heading for them and Egon decided it was high time to disappear in the crowd. Continue reading →
This is the first episode of DALSTON NOIR, a weekly Noir-Hipster-Crime-Serial set in London Fields. To be continued. *
Meet Egon Schmuck, 37, Hobby-Detective and antihero, filled at times with existential angst (due to reading too many Kafka books when he was in a mentally vulnerable state) but mostly calm, currently unemployed. Thank God for the United Kingdom welfare state because with some housing benefit and the odd cash-in-hand jobs he survives and not badly. Looking smart in a street-wise way, his clothes are tailor made at Oxfam and he seldom walks away from the shop without a bargain in a precious green plastic bag which he likes to carry around as symbol of his hipster status. Egon doesn’t like to divulge the fact that he is unemployed and therefore tells everyone who wants to know (not many people do) that he is on a Zero-Hour-Contract. He calls himself a London native (though he was born in a little village in Shropshire), his roaming ground is London Fields, not Hipster Dalston as he likes to point out, a great place to watch the human condition pass by, filling him with existential thoughts as he sips his coffee on Broadway Market.
Episode #1: Trouble on Kingsland Road
Egon had just checked his bank account and wondered whether he could make it till the end of the month when his housing benefit would come in. Lost in anxious thoughts he walked down Balls Pond Road when his attention was drawn to a crowd of people. His anxiety dispersed in seconds as he realised that today was his lucky day as he had just happened upon a crime scene and elbowed his way into the crowd of ogling by-standers. Continue reading →
Hedda Hoffman was an underpaid extra starlet, hanging around the Paramount Studio lot waiting for her big time. There were so many hopefuls just like her but she not only had resources, she was also resourceful and no one would ever be able to claim she’d slept her way to the top.
Her wedding ring was a prop and if that wasn’t enough for the groping talent scouts’ hands, Hedda would whisper gently and conspiratorially in their ear that she was suffering from a not-so-rare sexually transmittable disease. That usually cut short any kind of amorous fervour and bodily exploration, but was also risky because she didn’t want to end up as gossip fodder in Louella’s HollywoodReporter.
So, one step at a time. Yep, it was a men’s business but she wanted to make it on her own terms, not for nothing was her favourite smoking place underneath the big Klieg light, even if the emanating heat liquefied her carefully applied make-up.
7.30 am. There came Mr. Grant, on the dot as usual. She had skillfully re-arranged the cables so that he had to trip.
And who would catch his fall if not Hedda?
This story emerged from a prompt by Hausauspapier using today’s date (21st Feb in my case). If you want to join in, take the book you are reading or the one closest to you. Open it on page 21 (day), copy the second sentence (month) and add your own sentence or write a whole story.
Mine was David Niven’s autobiography Bring On The Empty Horses about the Golden Age in Hollywood and the sentence was ‘Kick her up the ass!’ Sure enough Hedda went into action again.
I’m carrying this clever prompt forward and you are invited to participate with a link in the comments section or by leaving a comment.
Winter carries the whiff of VapoRub, running noses, parkas, Disney-inspired, tinsel-heavy wonderlands (making you wonder a lot), not wanting to leave the house, man leggings, simmering family feuds surfacing over under-cooked Brussels sprouts, recycled Christmas gifts, optimistic diets and even more optimistic New Year plans, frostbite, reindeer jumpers, pretending Christmas is not happening by loudly singing Heatwave over schmaltzy Santa songs and always remembering that most things can be solved with a glass of mulled wine and chocolate coated gingerbread. Continue reading →
14 Stages of Developing the Malaise & How to Combat None of Them
But first of all, how do we attract this most alluring of possible mates?
Work non-stop for an extended period of time.
Make sure you take a combination of underground transport, where the air-shafts and sudden bursts of icy drafts send shivers down your spine.
Take your coat off as soon as you enter the stuffy, crowded, germ-infested carriage.
Work in a place which has air-conditioning so that getting used to an artificially induced cold in late October will make your system work overtime.
Ignore any signs your body sends out to slow down, cause really, it isn’t that bad.
Every time you’ve slept you will feel better until later when you don’t.
Take paracetamol and adopt the placebo-thinking that this will take care of your bodily malfunctions.
Prove to yourself that you are a hero and stronger than you think by going to work anyway. Then watch yourself falter.
What Not To Do Once the Amour Fou Has Overtaken Your Body, Mind and Soul:
Don’t walk into a 24-hour-Tesco without pharmacy with your hat pulled down halfyour face at 11 pm Friday night when the cashier is counting a stash of cash. Because by that time the throat pain is so bad that you croak at him in the hope of receiving pain killers in exchange, or any pill really.
A soft sunny afternoon in Belleville. Between the stalls and the crowd, somewhat forlorn, sits Antoine surrounded by knick-knacks, female clothes and high heels.
My girlfriend dumped me. Was in such a hurry, didn’t even bother to take her stuff. So as not to have anything remind her of the past, I guess. Just took off with another guy… And that’s exactly where I was living these past two years – in our dumped past. The first year I’ve waited, hoping she would change her mind and come back, maybe get bored of that other guy and realise her huge mistake. The second year I was fuming, wanting to burn her clothes and silly knick-knacks. Is it not enough being the one left behind? But being her rubbish man as well? Actually, coming to think of it, rubbish guy is spot on.
Antoine sits on a stool, his elbows resting on his knees, his face in his hands. Sulking, at odds with the world and the role he was handed to play. Not really interested in selling his wares, he stares at the ground when suddenly a pair of shoes appear, crazy over the top 70ies shoes. But what’s most bizarre about them is that the left shoe is on the right foot and the right one on the left.
Antoine gets confused just by looking, when a matter-of-factly female voice floats through the air, “I was born like this.”
Bewilderment mixes with curiosity and Antoine looks up. What he sees behind a long fringe is pleasant. “I was told that when I meet the right guy I will be normal again,” the matter-of-factly voice behind the long fringe says.
Antoine gets flustered because she clearly means him and flirts openly, “’Do you want to help me?” Antoine stutters, “Ehm…maybe…Though really, I wouldn’t know how.” He opens his arms in a gesture which says, totally not my field of expertise.
However, Mystery Girl is of the persevering kind and not easily put out “I don’t care how, just make it happen.” A smile, which could be called encouraging, plays around her lips.
Antoine feels uncomfortable, put on the spot. He looks nervously around, embarrassed to be trapped in this awkward situation and anxious to get out of it. But there is no escape. He has to man his stall.
He takes another look at Mystery Girl. She calmly gazes back at him with all the time in the world. Slowly synapses connect and thoughts start sinking in. After all she’s sweet and unique (not least because of her feet) and to be honest, he would like to help her out.
Taking another glance at his merchandise, the museum of his life spread at his feet, Antoine’s gaze falls onto a picture showing him and his ex. Annoyed he picks it up and throws it swiftly into the nearby rubbish bin, where it makes a clunk noise when landing.
On hearing this, Antoine breaks into a smile for the first time, the cloud of misery dispersed.
He turns to Mystery Girl but she’s gone. Sun rays dance and sparkle.
Does anybody actually have time to read blogs or anything for that matter?
If truth be told, I need several lives. Fortunately, Reincarnation is there for each and everyone of us. At least the Buddhists don’t differentiate between believers/good and non-believers/bad. On a whole, they are far less judgmental and critical than the Catholics with their pre-planned itineraries of: GOOD people this way please and the BAD turn right at the corner and down the escalator which will take you to where we all know where. Continue reading →