Friday, August 13, 2010

TURKISH DELIGHT GONE SOUR ~ By Absolutely*Kate of Harbinger*33 {#Flash Fiction Noir}


~ By Absolutely*Kate

As gleaned from the files of
Detective Nelle Callahan

Our tale of two trenches counter the origins of a rare gem at the battered cream counter of Magrudy's Hill o'Beans. Best cup o'joe a dark rainy night can brew. You can sip along with the links below ... but steer clear when the action heats up. You wouldn't want to get in the way. I've warned you.



"The Chocolate Pearl is RARE Nelle! That's why you've never heard of it."

"Sure, sure Harry-today. That's what they all say. One in a million. Ain't none like it nowhere else, hunh?"

"Good deducing, Lady Gumshoe. And what's this Harry-today rubbish?"
"C'mon.You on the up and up with all this? A sultan and a bequest and a heisted carved chest on the swisheroo in the Silk Market? All to get to your missing mother's missing ring. Sounds pretty chic sheik to me Ali Baba Boy. And who knows who you really are. I'm bettin' the pie and coffee tab you pulled Harry outta your hat, Fedora Man."
"Nelle doggone it ~ hear me out and take it in. You'll see. I'm telling you -- you'll see."

"That's what concerns me Big Boy. The way your spiel spills. It's sloppy. You got gaps a Duesenberg could drive circles through."
KAGoldberg photo
Chuckling into a low rumble gaining high steam, one eye peeled towards a potential peal from the little silver bell above the oak framed door, Albert DeFonse Magrudy topped off their white porcelain mugs with more strong joe and more soft thoughtfulness than he usually poured. No saucer splash. No side dribble slosh. "Either of you ever hear of the Spoonmaker's Diamond?"
"Jeepers creepers! Is everyone dishin' exotic sparkle-tales today? Go ahead Albie, spin your fine fable -- and then will you tell me why you're heating up that greasy ol' frying pan so much? You got the jitters or d'you forget what goes into a new recipe you wanta try out for the ritzy swanks? Ain't any ham and egg orders around here. No takers on the stools but us and Newspaper Guy over there, still rattling his attitude back in the booth. He's sippin', he's thinkin', but he ain't chompin' on nuttin' far as I can tell."
"Settle down Nelle will ya? I'm the client here. You're the one whose role is to be eager to hear. Now I'd like to hear what our fine purveyor of excellent percolation has to say. I'll wager HE believes my story."
Albert visibly preened.
Nelle audibly groaned. "Sheeeesh. Boys will be boys will be boys. You'd think testosterone would get tangled the way you menfolk trip over seconding each other's motions. Alright, alright already! Both you wisecracking bums stir me up the Diamond Spoon story and then bring on the Chocolate Pearl chaser and we'll either have dessert or the fundamentals of a trail to finally follow."
 Timely appliance photo ala Jason Kolodny
The battered yellow Philco which gave valour to the kitchen ledge at The Hill of Beans for the last seventeen years kicked in: "Somewhere there's music. How faint the tune. Somewhere there's heaven. How high the moon. There is no moon about when love is far away too." 

Albie kicked in. Harry-today leaned his elbows in on the cream counter tiles, without a concern for the meringue mess that had missed his pie hole earlier.

"His love was far away  . . . She was beautiful, in the eyes of his heart, in the roaming eyes of Istanbul. The young maiden Ozel had been taken away with her merchant family when the silk caravan made its usual route along the Meander River into Pamukkale. He knew she'd be back. Sugar, spice and everything nice was for far more than just a cup of chai. He had to catch her eye, show his worth when she returned."

Nelle realized she was succumbing as well to the web of the weave Uncle Albie's tapestries of facted fiction usually told. Sighing, easing into what a good mesmerization does for mood and moment, she lingered a look beneath Maybellined lashes on this Clyde dubbing himself a Harry. Good gosh, he's eating this up. A tough guy for soft tales. Maybe the mother ring rings true. Chocolate pearl, huh? Mystery, history and missing once again. Guess I really am gonna have to look into this.

Albert knew how to hold an audience without even clenching a weathered palm, the same way he understood the grounds of the secret for concocting the best cup of joe a dark rainy night could brew. And Albert knew when trouble was struttin' its stuff up a dark rainy street too. But for now, there were these two. A guy with a mug vaguely familiar needing his niece with a nose for what was on the up and up and how to shake the shadows to find out. The clock on the wall was ticking, but a story is a story is a story and this one was on the tell ~

"His name, Harry? Coskun. It meant 'enthusiasm', and a poor man with a beautiful woman on the brain certainly has it, doesn't he? He let his spirit manifest his desire. Walking by the rubbish heap of Egrikapi a glimmer caught our canny Coskun's eye. He reached in, dug around and pulled out a large pretty stone. A very pretty stone indeed. One that rendered the deal of the day. Coskun bartered one of the most magnificent diamonds Turkey or the world had ever seen through all of antiquity, to the local spoonmaker for three of his most finely crafted wooden spoons."
"That's it? Three lousy spoons? How's a guy gonna charm a dame he has the hots for with spoons?"
Nelle laughed. "Maybe he'll open a kebab restaurant Har. Serve the sultan something bold beyond the pale and be pulled into cozy cuisine duty at Topkapi Palace. He'll get the girl along the way since this magic carpet rides to delicious success. Imagine that hue of  happily-ever-after with sunrises over the Bosporous. Pretty heady stuff. Next thing you know, they up the ante and go into caravan cahoots to smuggle chocolate pearl rings -- " 
"Put a lid on it Nelle. I want to hear the rest of the story. Mr Magrudy, pay no attention to my tin pan alley detective making up the tangle of her own mazes. Will you kindly continue?"  
He glared.
She winked. Slow. She hoped it drove him a little crazy. He was gettin' to her and she needed to stay sharp. Somethin' didn't seem on the up and up all of a sudden --
The bell didn't ring twice or even once when the Hill of Bean's door splinter-smashed open. It didn't have a chance. The hoodlum with a hand on the handle meant business. And from the huff to his hustle, he meant it quick. Real quick. Danger in the gut quick. The feller in the back booth with the newspaper about the baseball player done in by a deranged female fan? Hell, he headed for the men's room in nothing flat. Albert's Turkish delight tale had lost its tempo and its timing. The hour had gone sour. 
Making his way straight away to the little man behind the big counter, Tough Guy patted his chest and rasped a chuckle the way diabolical sounds when it thinks its holdin' all the cards in a loaded deck, "Got a message to deliver Alb. You stir the street up against payin' protection like everyone is s'posed to 'round here, youse gotta pay anudder price. A higher price. A learn-a-lesson price. So how you want it? Out here in front of the local joe and pie loiterers or do we take our business out back?" 
Harry wasn't a man who liked a story interrupted. Especially a story that he could tell was going to substantiate his story. Well sure, he figured Albert was doling liberties with his delivery, but he fully expected the further story of the Spoonmaker's Diamond to wend its way back to his own Chocolate Pearl's mystery of history.This dope duping the coffee man was in the way. He reached for his pocket bulge.
Tough Guy had absolutely no time for pocket graspers slowing the purpose of his purpose. One sharp retort from an instinctive knack with a flair-handled Python knocked the dripping trench's snub nosed pistol clean and spinning dizzy on the floorboards with powder burns and epithets stinking up the air. He kicked the gun clear and bonked the bent-over bozo on the back of the noggin. Hard.   

Nelle nailed the shooter deftly with her Colt DS, Detective's Special. "Right in the jewels. Story that gem boys," she smirked, as Albert let the sizzling grease of his fry pan plan fly. Welts and wails, wails and welts indicated the cringing mass of hired gun was now a seriously marked man. "This one's not so hard-boiled anymore, is he Albie? We're gonna have to put the skids under him though."

Leaning over the other sprawl on the floor, the one with a dampened fedora, a crushed spirit and an inherited treasure to refind, the one going by the moniker of Harry on a cold rainy night, she hissed into a whisper, softened by her eyes "Don't ever pull out your heater unless you're prepared to use your heater. You got that?"

~  ~  ~  ~  ~
 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 once-over on some of youse when we meet up on some dark rendezvous that spooks or sparks a soul. But for now I gotta case -- and a dead guy and a welted 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




Laurita said...

Keep the intrigue coming. This line made me smile - "Is everyone dishin' exotic sparkle-tales today?"

Harry said...

Something tells me Albie and his daughter have tag-teamed trouble-makers before.

"powder burns and epithets stinking up the air" is a 99 pointer!

Hurry up and get back so we can hear about the three spoons!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this one had me on the edge of my seat! Oh, A*K, you sure know how to turn a tale on a dime and keep the tension taut and thin, don'tcha?

Nelle, my favorite gumshoe, back on her PI ways, puttin' punks down and falshing her baby-blues and Maybelline'd lashes. Be still my heart! I've missed sweet Nelle, and that's AFTER I know she's a ball-breaker (from this epic'sode, o'course). ;)

Somethin' stinks with wet-hat Fedora boy (sounds like a version o' Unix, don't it?), and I ain't too keen on him. Stinks like two-day old fish left out on the counter at Albie's in a summer heat-wave; stinks like an outhouse in Arizona in July. Stinks like a body in a trunk in Atlantic City after Benny the Thumb's been makin' rounds in August, y'know? Know what I mean?

Love ya Nelle; watch yer back, doll. :)

Anonymous said...

Nelle nailed the shooter deftly with her Colt DS, Detective's Special. "Right in the jewels.

HAHA Sorry fellows, but that was funny.
Kate* you are the queen of one liners.

Madam Z said...

Kate, your colorful dialogue sparkles like the Spoonmaker's Diamond!

Eric J. Krause said...

Another good one. Nelle never disappoints. Can't wait to see what's next for her.

Unknown said...

I love Nelle... She's a spunky broad...