Thursday, July 22, 2010

THE CHOCOLATE PEARL ~ By Absolutely*Kate (channelling Nelle) ... { #Flash Fiction au Noir }

~ By Absolutely*Kate

as gleaned from Detective Nelle Callahan

Our tale of two trenches counter what they came for (or what they're after) at the battered cream counter of Magrudy's Hill o'Beans. Best cup o'joe a dark rainy night can brew. Sip that one with the link below ... but then run, skip or jump back  into your swivel stool. This is gettin' good. The guy's about to spill the beans what he's all about. Should we believe him?


I watched him closer than it looked like I was watching him. Of course one eye darted over to Newspaper Guy in the back booth every now and then. He was still awfully mesmerized in the story about the dead baseball player. Eddie Waitkus of the Phillies shot in Chicago by a deranged lady fan. He won't round third no more. You could hear this guy's pages rattle. Unless that was his noives. And then there was Uncle Albie shaking his large black fry pan over his back burners so profusely. With no bacon and eggs orders up, this was grilling me a little around the edges too. But I listened. I listened to this guy with the damp fedora who claimed (for now) he was no Tom or Dick but preferred to be monikered as a Harry, and claimed he had a beef about a will. A will he and his dead lawyer couldn't readily get their hands on to handle. Paperwork's a bitch I tell ya. Yeah, I listened. And I watched.

Wonder if anyone ever told him what a tell that left eyebrow quirk is. Brown eyes, the kind that go way back deep. He clenches too. Almost imperceptible around the jaw but I percepted it. It's whenever he mentions . . . her ~

"My mother was not a normal mother as mothers go. We saw her come and we saw her go."

"Dances? Parties? That sort of fling?"

"Heavier on the fling." He pulled a deck of Luckies out of his inside front pocket. I saw what else was in there. This guy thought he was full of surprises or wanted me to think I thought so. Not that easy Bub, not that easy. He offered me one but I still had a good cup o'joe to be loyal to. I declined. Kept interrogation goin' friendly like though. After all, this guy had more than lemon pie to chew.
"So, to your Pop - she  wasn't always true?"
"My father could've been her father. I imagine she wanted more of a life than settling in to what cushes a pampered wife."
"Vibrant is as vibrant does. You talk about it much? You have brothers? Sisters? And what's this got to do with a bumped off family retainer and accepting your inheritance, Har? I can call you Har, right?" 

I was right. Humpty Dumpty had to put his face back together quick when he forgot to respond to what his claim to name was.  And here I was thinkin' this fella had it on the ball. What's his story? Everyone has a story. That's why I'm listening. Even over Albie's smoke screen. Something's up. Something always is. 

I'm Nelle Callahan and I sense trouble before it has a chance to follow me through a darkened doorway. That's how I knew about my former squeeze yet current business partner Jake, that bum. Last month at Hooligans, he chatted up a chirpy with less in the noggin' than a bird brain and let the feathers fly. Something too forward about how she fluttered cleavage up against his chest for an extra half hour gave her jig away. It wasn't too pretty how I responded. Jake came back with my bourbon and rye. I got up, socked him in the eye and sat back down. Life's tough enough then to go wasting the best swigs of a good drink. Besides I had to think. Wasn't easy over Jake's muttering and sputtering. Protestations are seldom quiet things when you're the one holding the keys to all our client files. But enough about that. This supposed Harry is still flapping his jaw. 

"So I said to the guy, What's the grift? There was something hinky in how he spilled his spiel. "

"Wait -- what guy?"

"I'm paying you to pay attention Callahan. The guy who called and said he had my mother's ring. The Chocolate Pearl."

~  ~  ~  ~  ~
 Stay Tuned. 
There'll be more.
There's always more
brewing than a Hill o'Beans 
when trouble's on the scene
~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I'm Detective Nelle Callahan.
I've met some of you before and no doubt I'll run a lookover on some of youse when we meet up some dark rendezvous that spooks or sparks a soul. But for now I gotta case -- and a dead guy and something to find, as well as finding out why I should be finding it. I'll keep you posted ... You take care now. Don't take any wooden nickels, hear?

(c) 2010 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate
graced by Laobing, KAGoldberg and Joel Emberson photos



Happy Hot Birthday
Raymond Chandler!

 ~ Love,
and Nelle



Harry said...

Seems both Nelle and this supposed Harry have problems...none that Nelle can't quell I'm sure. "The Chocolate Pearl" I Like it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Nelle, hon ... save the reminiscin' for the down-time, doll. Your boy Har is tellin' tales and fishin' whales and you spotted somethin' in there. Go dig it out!

Love, love, LOVE the way this ambles and rambles and smells like the diner's old grease and burned coffee, sounds like the rattling newspaper and has NELLE.

:) Another brilliant installment. I love this one ... can't wait for more. :)

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Nelle's a real good queller Har. You just wait and see! And "thanks!". You're the real deal.

~ Absolutely*Kate
(listenin' to Nelle)

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...


Well, well JD the T - You come back 'round again to try to get the number of what jigs up wit'me, huh Buster? Always a thrill for a gumshoe gal to bump gums with a slick cat like you.

It'd be a shame for a good shamus to give any clues away, but you've seen a couple already. Leave some cabbage on the counter will ya?


Matthew S. Magda said...

This piece is the best Kate. Nelle is a strong and appealing character with a distinct voice, within the noir genre. One wishes to have more Nelle as JD the T longingly echoes. What's behind the murder of that baseball player who will never again round third? What's Har's real name and is he playin' a game? How cool to have a mysterious chocolate pearl.

Splendid, Kate, splendid.

Carrie Clevenger said...

Nelle is such a hoot and fits you perfectly dear lady. Fun writing.

Eric J. Krause said...

Looking forward to seeing what the Chocolate Pearl is all about. Nelle is a fun and interesting character to follow!

Crybbe666 said...

See what channeling Chandler will do? A fun piece and look forward to more Nelle!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Channeling Chandler? Hoots and fits? Fun and splendid? And Nelle's distinction is makin' its presence?

Gosh I (we) love you guys! Thanks Paulie, (couldn't resist), Eric of hot BIJOU current icy fame, scary Carrie who knows where the bodies should be buried ... and rat-a-tat-tat Matt who reads a story between the other stories lining up ... Hmmm -- so much to yet tell you.

~ Absolutely*Kate ... responding to spirit/spunk o'Nelle (and coffee too of course)

John Wiswell said...

They've both got problems, and one hopes they'll help each other. I've got a problem, too - "chocolate pearl" made me hungry.

Unknown said...

I just may want to see Margo and Nell team up...

Who's Margo?? ... Jodi has the skinny...


Crybbe666 said...

On behalf of the fabulous Jeanette (who can't sign in to sign off on this grand adventure)...

No matter what I do I can’t comment. Here is my comment.

Nelle needs to be co-hoots with that Har guy. He is going to show her where the dead bodies are. Chocolate Pearl, yum, yum, isn't that like a round cake with tiny little edible beads on it? Maybe something is inside; maybe Nelle will break case after checking it further. Oh, I know, Chocolate Pearl was the name of Tom and Dick's female dancer friend.
Fun read as usual.

Jeanette Cheezum

Pamila Payne said...

Heh: "Heavier on the fling." You got the patois down pat. Keep it coming...