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
Victor had too often in his life said No. Or rather No when he actually wanted to say Yes! and Yes when deep inside it was calling No!
In order to simplify his life, he replaced all Yesses with Nos.
It had taken him years of painstaking work to build his fortress to keep everyone out and himself in. Victor started to believe it was because of all the Nos which should have been, might have been, could have been Yesses.
And therefore, starting from today, no, from this very second, he would say YES! to everything.
you’d get away
at night and fog
slipping through the gate
look at the pathetic you
not even clothes to wear
you’d come out of the battle unblemished
wrapped tightly in your armour
striking high from the horse’s back
look at the victorious you
every mirror is a peril
you wouldn’t need to pay
you were even with your trustees
but they mortgaged your life
look at the insolvent you
pleading for reimbursement.
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 Hollywood Reporter.
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.
And if the muse sticks by you – here is the link to a Dangerous Liaisons prompt.
I’m looking forward to your contributions!
Erkan thought to himself, ‘if nobody loves me I just love me’ and gave himself a big hug.
And if this has wet your appetite, here is a Recipe For Happiness…
Lisa del Giocondo was fed up with keeping that phony smile on her lips. These fools didn’t know that the only reason she smiled so awkwardly was to hide the wooden braces which had been fitted to correct her crooked teeth.
Dio mio, she wasn’t amused at all. Not by these gaping visitors, not by being trapped inside a frame or hanging by a thread… the corners of her mouth seemed to be pulled upwards by ever-tightening hooks.
Then this god-damn CCTV and guards everywhere… nowhere was she able to spend some time in peaceful solitude.
The lights in the Louvre went off. Lisa had been meticulously plotting her escape for 502 years, 13 days and 8 hours.
Finally the moment had come.