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NOIR, Chapter 3

Posted on August 31, 2010 at 8:50 PM


What kind of self-righteous introvert etches LOVE GOD into the wall of a bathroom stall? If you wanna have an impact, than get out of the bathroom and meet some one. Get to know somebody. You know, start a conversation?

Holly, the dame, lived in an elaborate house. It was ridiculously over sized; especially considering that she lives alone. Monsieur de Claire, whom we’ll refer to as Maxim, bought her the joint. He also bought the furniture and all the house accessories. Everything. Holly comes from a wealthy family and is set to inherit quite a fortune. She’ll never work a day in her life. Yet somehow, because of this, Maxim finds it necessary to ensure she never spends a dime of her own. Well, her father’s dimes that is.

She takes me through the foyer, past the ballroom and into the parlor. This is where she continues her proposition.


“I have everything you need to carry out the plot,” she explains, “I’ve thought it all out.”


“What plot?” I ask.


“Why murdering Maxim, of course.”


“A little back story would be nice,” I start, “Why does Maxim want to kill you and why do you find it necessary to one-up him instead of going to the police?”


“Don’t you wanna see my gun?” she asks, bewildered.


I have to admit, I was a little shocked myself.

She pulls a golden box from a nearby drawer. An engraving his made in the box that reads, “JUSTICE.” She opens the box and inside it is a Walther PPk, a silencer and a clip. She removes the gun, loads the clip and screws the silencer on.

The PPk is black and perfectly cleaned to a fine gloss. It looks as if it could be made of glass.


“Wanna handle it,” she asks, “Get a feel for it?”

What man doesn’t?

I grasp the gun with both hands and take aim at the vase.

“The safety isn’t on, Ace,” she starts, “And you are aiming at my mother.”

“Sorry, Kid,” I lower the PPk, “I didn’t realize it was an urn. I thought it was a vase.”

“Everything in this house is worth more than you,” she brags, “And for the record, I collect urns. There isn’t a single vase in this house. Only the ashes of my friends and family. Not all grow, but all die. The meaning of life is death.”

I turn and look about the parlor and I roughly estimate at least 30 urns. Something ain’t right, but schmeck sounds all the more reasonable, if not even justified.

“I’ll give you your back story, Johnny…


“We met at a birthday party; Maxim and I. It was his birthday party. It was hosted by his parents and held in their lavish home. My family and I were invited, as we always were to the de Claires’ charades, though I rarely met them. There was some work connection between my father and Monsieur Jacques de Claire, Maxim’s father. It was distant enough that they barely knew each other by appearance, but they knew they had to be permanent guests to each other’s functions.


“On this occasion, Maxim was turning 30 and edging into a confirmed bachelor state. Everyone was talking and revelling, save me. I was getting loose on champagne, which is quote a task.


“Maxim sat next to me, I didn’t recognize him and so I confided in him what I thought of the party, his family, his mom’s virtues and himself. He then introduced himself and we talked for hours. Rather, he talked and I listened. He spoke of love, relationships, politics, psychology, sociology and even murder… but mostly, he spoke of himself. Naturally, because everything relates to Maxim Jay de Claire. Did you know Maxim isn’t even French?”


I reply, “No… I did not.”


She obviously has forgotten that I know nothing of her dear Maxim.

“Well, he isn’t, though he and his family parade the beret. They’re British immigrants who changed their name to gain some stature.”

“Has it worked,” I ask.

“I suppose it has.”


“Look, Kid, I ain’t much for love stories so please hurry to the part where I’m suppose to care,” she gets a look of irritation and my impatience and then continues.

“We courted for three years, but the love never grew, though our parents bounded,” her irritation tripled at this point, “A marriage of convenience was pressured by both of our parents.”


I can’t help myself and I ask, “Since when does courtship involve buying the honey a new house?”

“My parents prefer the term courtship to dating or relationship for publicity’s sake.”

“This is boring, Kid. And, I still don’t care.”


“Maxim and his family are communists,” she blurts.


“Still don’t care,” I start, “And you’re grasping at straws.”


“I will pay you, did I mention that?”


Alas, she finds my weak spot. Well, that and she was born the right gender.


“How much?” I ask.


“More than you’ve ever earned.”


“You mean more than you’ve ever earned?”


“There will be more than enough up front to cover expenses and even more after Maxim is dead.”


“Alright, Kid, you reeled me in but I still don’t care whether you live or die.”


“If you want your money, you will.”


And with that, she makes a very valid point.

Categories: Book, Crime & Mystery, Nathan Weaver

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Reply jipper
3:40 PM on September 1, 2010 
Excellent story going on here.
The urn line is a bit mushy, since an urn IS a vase with ashes in it, and an urn can be for coffee or tea, albeit w/spout, so... no vases in the house is the foggy area, they're all vases used as urns with pet or human ashes within, however a vase with legs, pedestal, or seperate(labeled) base is more often than not an urn for remains, although some asian cultures do incorperate a spout for the symbolic gesture of pouring one's ashes(spirit) over a field of crops to insure that the field will be tended 24/7, and said crops will be abundant.
I won't go into the urns for theological cantations at this time, but feel free to ask if you so desire.
But I really should add that in the Cajun south delta region, that placement of relatives ashes in an urn is considered taboo or sacreligous, and is often done to one's enemies as notice or warning of revenge to follow.

Did I mention I liked this chapter?
Reply Admin Frank
10:33 AM on September 2, 2010 
I'm glad you like, Jipper, you nutter. Some action takes off in the next chapter, for all you adrenaline junkies.
Reply Robin Masullo
2:54 AM on October 15, 2010 
I think the "urn" line works in this genre, especially with this character, one who calls this particular woman "Kid", that is...vases, vahses...potatoes, potawtoes...it's a good set-up line to make the reader think "what gives with this chick? why does she keep so many dead "friends and relatives" siting on expensive tables and mantles in her expensive home? looking forward to the next chapter...
Reply Jake Cesarone
5:11 PM on October 20, 2010 
Re: urns, if you are expressing the thoughts of a character, you don't need to be correct. The mistakes all go on the character's tab, not the author's. But then you have to live with a flawed character. But I think we already know that about this fella.

This chapter is where the style is really starting to become fluid, and you are integrating the dialog with the running commentary in a nice, easy balance. The first one had no dialog (of necessity), the second had too much unbroken dialog in the second half, but this one, like Goldilocks, is juuuuuuuust right.