Tuesday, February 9, 2010

ZEN NOIR ~ By Daniel Stine of Harbinger*33

Zen Noir
~ by Daniel Stine 

Frankie the Weasel was a small man, an unparticular man. He’d never been made and yet every boss in the borough called Frankie when things needed to get done. Frankie had a way about him. He’d never stood for a fight, never shot a man, never hacked or stuck one neither. But the fight always ended the same way, with Frankie walking away from yet another fulfilled contract. Fulfilled contracts mean fulfilled pockets, and I aimed to get me some of The Weasels pocket.

Following the man was not easy. He seemed to drift between walls. Sometimes I would be looking right at him and he’d disappear. I’d pick him up a minute later, right where I lost him, amid the hawkers and vendors of the street markets. He took a right into one of the most violent alleys in the city, like he was at home there, and when I caught up to the alley he’d entered, I could hear the trouble he was in.

Some hop-head with a blade wanted The Weasel to empty his pockets. I stood amazed as he did just that. He dumped a roll that would’ve fed a third world country for a week! The hop-head near fainted and as he dove for the cash, Frankie simply began to walk away. Money like that’s got a scent and the sharks caught hold of it. Hop-head got himself killed within minutes, and the sharks that done it turned upon themselves. It wasn’t long before the roll went from green to red. The Weasel, he just stepped out of the shadow like he was intimate with it, and scooped the roll. Four bodies and Frankie walked away without a scratch.

I continued my tail. I followed Frankie from the lower east side all the way up to the upper west. Something seemed to come over The Weasel as the neighborhoods got cleaner, brighter. He stood taller, walked with a stronger purpose; his clothes even seem to become less wrinkled. Before I knew it I lost him in a sea of upper-class types all wearing the same face. A little confused and a lot of hungry I turned back the way I came and ran smack into Frankie the Weasel. Except now he weren’t no weasel. Frankie had the same face as the other Wall Street hacks with one small, incongruent difference. The Weasel smiled.

Bobby the Brain used to go on about a famous painting where some chick had a sneaky smile, like she’d hit a boss and got away with it. Frankie, his smile was like that. It both soothed me and scared me pissless at the same time.

“You hungry buddy?” came his unremarkable voice. I had no tongue, I could only nod. The sneaky smile twitched and then we were in heaven. When I say heaven, I mean a steak house, with real steak, Porterhouse Steak Frankie called them. And we drank beer from classy bottles and Frankie told me stories about how he’d been around the world, seen things, learned things. Half the shit he talked about did little more than clean my ear passages but I started to get the drift of it all. Frankie was letting me in his great secret.

That was five years ago. Frank vanished the day he said my training was complete. I hadn’t even known I was being trained, but there it was. The secret. The knowledge of how he does it. My path is a little different than Frank's. My natural skills, ironically enough, turned out to be for the other side. I’m a cop now. The secret cares nothing about human concepts of right or wrong, of law, nor man-made order, it is the great secret. It is enough.
(c) 2010 ~ Author Daniel Stine

SPEAKS THE AUTHOR, TALL AND TRUE: OK, Kateica. I've written a bit for your BIJOU. I wove a thread of Zen with a Noir needle and produced Zen Noir for your reading and if you like, posting pleasure.

RESPONDS THE CHATELAINE OF THE BIJOU: D, the pleasure of your posting was my honour of the mosting. When it comes to zen you've always rallied, smoothly, with valour. Ahhh, but now you shade in your shadowed noir and new facets edge the light of your dark side. Smooth, with valour. Thank*you, dear friend, for letting your words linger, as they will from our big screen to readers' minds . . . smooth, with valour.

Yes, our Dan's an inspired and inspiring teacher man, an American ex-pat living and loving in ZhongShan, GuangDong,  the People's Republic of China. He's tough, he's tender and come every week, Tuesday's his favourite day to contender. (You'll have to ask him about that). Aboard the mighty HARBINGER*33, the zen-man began the beguine of the *grin*-sweeper scene and hustled on board our scribes with their pens, barrels of rum and stories to tell. As for Daniel's stories, they'll always be told . . . smoothly, with valour.

Discover more where Daniel's in China or how he posts words ala posterous which he must just let go:

"Who knows where it comes from, these urges
to write, to post for the world to see. 
It seems there is another force, 
a neural crossfire going on inside me."  

THANKS D,  for crossfire forces, making THE BIJOU yet another of your ever welcome-homes.

~ Absolutely*Kate 
and the fine staff of renown, 


Daniel said...

Kate, Cool image and spot on for the story! Thanks for posting me here at the Bijou and double thanks for pairing me with such class. It's an honor to be a part of such a dynamic blog page. Well done, Captain Kate!

Carrie Clevenger said...

Nice work Daniel. Sounds like the narrator got the best training available. Welcome to the BIJOU!

Michael Solender said...


A fine tale this is. Extra smooth and glossy. Love the payoff.

Anonymous said...

Another fine story for us to get lost in. I could visualize Frankie in all his glory.
Feel his strength and marvel at his ability.

Crybbe666 said...

Dan, I love your stories with unsavoury characters - scumbags, if you will. But there is something about Frankie that makes this story really stand out. One of my favourites of yours for sure.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Oh D, you had me line after sharp-shooting line < "Frankie the Weasel was a small man, an unparticular man." . . . and then like a pistol in the pocket I was so glad to see you kept the trail hot with 'em. So smooth, Slick, so smooth in an endearing tale (there's a prequel and sequel here too, as in mine and Harry's "Sweet Chili Philly") -- I hope you keep these characters alive, safe and eating good Porterhouse.

As for the photo, I spent time on "What would D want?" roaming through my mind's mezzanine. Kept comin' up ~ "Be descriptive Kate, in a non-descriptive way." Yeah. Tall order from a tall man for a short telling tale. But it was for you D. I went down and out into that last dark alley where the single spot's reflection caught your character's direction. Guess you could say, I went the distance. You're worth it, pal.

This single yellow rose meaning *Happiness* in the theatre (and reel to real) world is for you. Lapel it with pride, and indeed, HAPPY BIJOU TO YOU DANIEL ... who once danced in a tux by a grand piano with me in my gown where crystal vases and reminiscent looks were all the glimmer, all around. Now that story may have been stolen in the September Day of Sinister, but the gist and the feeling in sensory perceptions always remain. YOUR stories carry perceptions to yet a new refrain.

Do see Carrie who buttered up the popcorn vendor and left him in the sweep-the-aisles broom closet, so that she could take over his hot machine. Get your crunchy supply find your new fave plush chair and keep comin' on stage for your well-deserved bows. Thank you D; My best to Lady T.

~ Absolutely*Kate, thankin' you as well for all the really nice stuff you said, AT THE BIJOU ~ the staff of renown spiffed up right nice for you ... and is beaming!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

A fine lesson for Paullie too in "There is more to this world than the merits of Scumbags!";-)

EC said...

Great character and love the fishing of the secret, the code of life...or death. Excellent finish, and yet this could easily continue with a future encounter.
The Bijou beams again-

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

(( THE BIJOU just beamed at you, Ms cool Cole! ))

Kevin Michaels said...

Very cool story. A well defined character that you can visualize within the first lines. Nice payoff at the end!

Laurita said...

Very, very cool. A nice smooth read, with lots of shadows.

Pamila Payne said...

Great story told in fine noir form. Well, except for the hopeful ending. I'll give you a pass on that though, I like knowing somebody got out of that dark place okay.

L J Davenport said...

Fine story, Daniel. A real pleasure to read.

Paul D Brazill said...

Splendid work.

Harry said...

Exellent story Daniel! I'd like to see more of Frankie. Maybe he roams the same streets as your Night Walker character?