Friday, December 31, 2010

FOR WHOM THE BELLE TOLD ~ By Absolutely*Kate of Harbinger*33 ... #FridayFlash

 FOR WHOM THE BELLE TOLD
~ By Absolutely*Kate

Is a great moment of all time notably spectacular at the exact instance it occurs, or does memorable enrichment glean its merits through gilded legend? That is the question. Well, one of the questions that daunted New Year's Eve's festivities for Stanley and Wanda before the clocktower of 1949 struck life forward.

He was remembering how time flew in the U. S. Army Air Corps in 1945, seemingly a million miles away, across an ocean of thought and a litany of letters from the cat's meow of a dandy dame now clutching her warm grip over the pinstriped arm of his best suit jacket . . . and his heart. Her gloved hand tightened against the possibility of a slipslide as they crossed the icy parking lot. He liked how this night felt. Being reached for, being clung to, wearing his best suit jacket and looking forward . . . to possibilities. They'd get inside before midnight. They'd make it. Then he was going to ask her.

She was recalling for whom the belle told what she was asked to believe in 1946. Colette Broussard had held nothing back when she blew into the windy city. She was certain that either Stanley or his Chicago squadron buddy Chuck was the not so proud papa of her scrawny, whimpering Giselle and she wanted more than nylons and au chocolat for her troubles, as she called them. Wanda listened without judgement across the Kresge dime-store perfume counter the taller, slimmer, more elegant femme fatale leaned her decolletage over. Wanda listened without interrupting the tale of a dark rainy night and a farmhouse and pilots down in a field and a welcome bowl of  soup alongside friendly fire. Very friendly, it seemed from the veracity wriggling against the older woman's shoulder, mewling for her bottle. The story had plot, climax and credence but not a happy ending. 

When Tom, Mr Kresge's eldest son, sent wary glances Wanda's way, she squared her shoulder pads, bared her bravado, and shooed the mad mademoiselle from her scents'ory department, hissing swiftly though, "Why? Why tell - Me?". She'd not seen nor heard tale of the woman, the babe, the story, again. She'd not noticed the column-inch near the bottom of page 14 of the Trib two days later, mentioning the crash of the Nash and the Studebaker with casualties at Lake and Clark Streets.

~ ~ ~

The 40's were something, alright, Stanley mused. History marked in time and temps. The Depression ended and so did the Big One he went through, WWII. The Cold War was changing the climate and some skinny blue-eyed kid from Hoboken was rising his stardom on every hep radio's horizon. Everyone who was anyone in their set of chums had seen and was keen on Casablanca at the picture-show, and romance was warming the climate too. Yes, this world-changing decade was ending and folks were beginning to watch life happen on a television set. He'd read in the Sunday Tribune that over 125,000 American homes now had one firmly nestled into a corner of their living rooms. Why, if Wanda looked up into his eyes and smiled a 'Yes Stanley', they could look into building one of those little homes in the new suburbs like Edison Park and have their own GE to come home to. Life could be good, life could be a dream in the 1950's with the right little lady to love and cherish and create the American dream with. 

The 40's were sure somethin' swell, Wanda mused, knowing what it was like to wait for an overseas man's kisses to come true and his promises to take hold. She knew Stanley was a swell catch and liked how safe she felt holding onto his dapper suit coat arm, and his soft enchanting gaze. She knew she was walking right into the dream, the big one ~ a night as fine and festive as Chicago's swankiest supperclub, The Chez Paree, could entice. She was one lucky gal on one dapper New Year's Eve headed into a brand new decade . . . of possibilities. The Chez was where headliners of the day came to play ~ Durante and Lady Day, the Andrews Sisters and Nat King Cole  -- Gosh it was cold, cold and slippery on this thin ice. The Chez Paree was up ahead. It would feel good to get inside, feel warm, excited, safe, delighted. Safe enough to ask him, before midnight. She should.

Something that happened before midnight struck was going to affect New Year's luck at the Chez Paree and make a memory to last a lifetime.

(c) 2010 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate
another AT THE BIJOU premiere




Time futures us.  ~ Pic ala andoreamon

~ Absolutely*Kate and our fine staff of renown
AT THE BIJOU
  wish you hearty prosperities
from dream-themes into the brave new year!
May your JOY be full.

 

Holiday Noir by Absolutely*Kate follows,
a challenge dared in a crimewriting spree
joining the daunting scene over at DO SOME DAMAGE ~
JiNGLE NELLE, JiNGLE NELLE.

 E N J O Y ... S T A Y ~ S W A N K Y !  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

JiNGLE NELLE, JiNGLE NELLE ~ By Absolutely*Kate of Harbinger*33

"COP A SEAT. I'LL BE RIGHT WITH YA."  ~  superb shadows ala emdot 

JiNGLE NELLE
JiNGLE NELLE

~ by Absolutely*Kate

You didn't just get an off-white vellum invitation with the fancy schmancy deckled edges to come deck the halls with the hoity toity high hats at Fortunato's Supper Club slipped under your doorway, y'know. I needed to be minglin' and jinglin' like I belonged at that ritzy bash on Tonawanda Street come Christmas Eve night or someone I didn't want to was gonna get hurt. Real bad hurt. The kind that don't leave no shadows no more.

So I had to call in all the markers on all the darb tricks I could trade of any hustled angle to be made. I'm Nelle, Nelle Callahan, gal gumshoe of some gumption, some say.  Me? I don't say as much as some do, but what I do do is work all the angles til their more prominent points stick sharp in my noggin. That's when a crime scene unfolds itself keen, and the coppers can pitch their pinch. Man oh man, this time though, I had to be slick. Slick and quick. Word warbled from the Canary last night, was a hit was coming down smack dab in the midnight rendition of "Oh Holy Night". Cripes. A Holy Nativity execution. Joseph, Mary and Jesus, what'll they think up next?

Doesn't take three wise guys with half a starring brain to figger the sacrilege a few extra Garbinos nosing around this gritty city without pity by the bay have stunk up lately. It all started at the Flamingo -- yeah, the Vegas dream, the cha-ching, cha-ching, but that's a long story and I only got a short span. Lemme make some calls. Cop a seat. I'll get back to you.

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~

"RING-A-DING-DING" pic ala Trace Meek
"Lena's the headliner? Really? You're not gaming my gam? That star siren is gonna croon "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" during the last surf and turf seating? Yeah, sure Benny, I can do backup. I soitently can. Stuff your chucklin' Ben, I can do sultry, I can! You just haven't been in spiffy joints at the most fortuitous times to feel my sultry coming on. But it can. Oh, it does."

With a chuckle gone guffaw, "Well then dollface, you got yourself a gig. Be there at 7 square and you're in like Jake."

A jangled groan dangled the end of the phone. Benny imagined the shatter-clatter heard next to be Nelle's cup o'joe going saucer/cup over the edge. Shame if the dame marred up that old mahogany desk any more. That piece was heirloom, priceless. If the drawers could mumble. But that numbskull of an ex-partner Jake shook this dame bad tryin' to shake her down. Detectives shouldn't oughta get shook. Nope, not by a long shot in Benny's book. That's why he kept an extra eye or four peeled on the lookout for her. He'd promised her Pop in the old days at the precinct, and the old days were always somethin' to hold onto, somethin' to respect. "Whoa there Nelly girl. Sorry. Didn't mean to say his name. Shake it off kid," Benny gruffed, but not all that rough. "You ain't got no lollygagging time." 

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~

SWANKY TIME! ~ Pic ala JCarbaugh
Amazing what tinsel can do to a toddling town.  Up, down, all around ~  shiny, sparkly and jolly as promises waiting to jingle, the swanky ballroom at the Fortunato Supper Club was hollied to the hilt with silver and gilt. There was no guilt backstage where Nelle jiggled body parts to fit her bodice part where jingly rhinestones would shake their shimmy like Lena's sister Kate showed her. She'd sultry her part behind the songbird. Piece o'crumb cake. But now, here . . . silver shimmeries all adjusted, she had the advantage of  real solid vantage from stage door left. Heavens to Murgatroyd -- from behind gold fringe of the red velvet curtain she could eyeball the real floor show setting up now . . . Her mind met her suspects ~


There. That's Jack Rhinegold. Fresh and frisky outta San Quen. Hell on a pistol up close and personal, and rumour smirks it -- at fifty paces cold. Could be him leanin' his leer into that chorusline cutie's cleavage. Could be. Or the button could be the money guy. They always surmise where to bury the bodies so as not to mess up the manicure. Word had it the big cheese could be one of Lansky's boys. He'd surely have the means. Watch his eyes Nelle. Read his play-by-play. 'Member how Pop taught ya, "The eyes show their truths and spit their lies." Ain't it the truth. Best to keep my peepers on this creeper's.

WAIT! Holy Cow! Who's the dandy comin' down Fortunato's red and green spiffed staircase now? Arm in arm with a Sheba wannabe all winter-whited in fake fur and sparky zircon. Well, well, well, if it isn't my jerk Jake, bein' jostled by none other than the new thug in town. The youngest Garbino boy. Danny. Brains behind the operation if they'd only give him the chance. Danger lurking if he took it. A two-timer and a doubletimer. Hmmm, it was all addin' up.

"NELLE! D'ya hear me? We're ON!"

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~


Hangin' back with Lena's sister Kate, backslinging backup croons to holiday tunes, the view lookin' over the togged-to-the bricks hoofers was in the groove, swell. I scanned for my man, the mark of the hour. "All is calm, all is bright", I warbled tender, soft and mild. Then I saw him. The man I knew as a child. My brother. No other. State legislator Patrick R. Callahan gladhanding from the corner table, near the bar. Pat had parted ways with Pop when he'd gone too political. Groping fingers in too many pockets was bound to not get a guy the heartiest of handshakes. And that kinda reaching out irked a mob not fondly meddled into. This not-so-silent night was waitin' to happen.
 
What I didn't expect to happen was the single strap fall down  from Lena's knockout jet black gown. One note too high, one arm too flung and there her left breast barely hung. Jostling fellers in the front row to rich rubes three rows back rose to the unappreciation of their dates for eagle-eye ogling. Kate lost no bum's rush in elbowing the push to step me up to the open mike. You had to do these things in my line of undercover work. Tight spots come even under shining spots. Shows must go on. That's just how the biz is. 

Trixie, my silver derringer, was still pressed tight to my derriere. Amazing what a glitzy swathe of garland can do to protect a hip gal around her holidays. I nodded to Joey the jazzy bandleader, found the next note, carried on the tune. It was clearly comin' on midnight high and I wasn't yet sure how this scene was going to shake down, or who I'd have to take down. Best to keep my peepers peeled. Something would be revealed. Somethings usually are. 

THERE! His chair squeaked mean motion to sudden commotion, as he drew his heater right on our "dear saviour's" cue: "Long lay the world in sin and error pining". Yeah, it was Lansky's guy and I glared him in the eye, clutching the best weapon I already had in the clutch. The open mike's reverb revved as I screeched, "WATCH OUT BAD GUY! SANTA DON'T LIKE NO POLITICIANS BUMPED OFF IN MY ACT!"

The stunned shooter turned to the stage. God I could see his rage. So I turned up the volume and vamped, "YOU BETTER WATCH OUT ~ YOU BETTER NOT POUT ~ ~ " Joey caught my drift, winked and brought in the band with a whole new rift. Sammy backstage reangled his audience spot. What a mess. This was gonna be no clean getaway.   
 
In the center of the white damask round tables there arose such a clatter when Chief Gus Donovan knocked over Mrs D's chicken divan platter, standing up, the better to see what was the matter. Without hesitation, he signaled his boys in blue in back. My big brother meanwhile, shunned the courage he'd always lacked. He tabled his decision to stand tall and dove under his damask.

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~

The jig was up. I remember Joey, wrappin' the night with a wicked rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock". On a Fortunato matchbook, he slipped me his number, but heck, I already had Joey's number. I remember Jake, leavin' his Suzy starlet babe sputterin', comin' up and comin' on to me with that same simmer-steam to his old blue eyes, actin' surprised. "That really You Nelle? Silver shimmers curve you crazy Callahan. Y'know, I've been meaning to call and -- "

Jake was cut off for a hundred number of reasons I won't go into to keep the Christ in Christmas when the hand on my back turned me firmly around. And I remember Patrick, standing there -- tall, lean, but quaking much too much in his hotsy totsy white wingtips to appear any more, threatening or mean. "Uh, Sis, I owe you one."
 
"No Paddie, we're square. That one was to remember Pop. You have yourself a merry little Christmas. Hear?"
 
And I heard him exclaim, as I sashayed outta sight, "You haven't heard the last of me Nelle -- No, no, not tonight!"

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~

 T O   B E   C O N T I N U E D   ?

Well ain't that the way crime goes? Some folks win, some have woes. Some shadowy street not named Desire, I'm imaginin' you and me are gonna meet up again. We'll see how that goes. Til then, I'm Nelle, Nelle Callahan, wishin' you a merry little Christmas too.
(c) 2010 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate
Damp Fedora classic pic ala Bryan Costin 
 
 MORE NELLE,
as she whispers
to Absolutely*Kate
  

  
 
Absolutely*Kate is writer, designer and promoter/publisher of the to be sailing HARBINGER*33, and creates theatre for the mind AT THE BIJOU ~ where writers' raves become readers' faves. She believes in believers, the magic 'neath the shadows of noir and moxie. 
The world needs more moxie.

* * *

THE GREAT-8 CRIME FOLKS OVER AT DO SOME DAMAGE CHALLENGED ~ CRIME NOIR ON CHRISTMAS. THEY GOT REAL GOOD SHADOWING DANGEROUS TOUGH STUFF GOIN' ON OVER THERE -- CHECK 'EM OUT WILL YA?

THIS, WAS MY HUMBLE OFFERING . . . WELL, NELLE DID ALL THE TOUGH WORK. I JUST LISTENED. HAPPY*CHRISTMAS EVERYONE ~ *JOY* BE YOU.

~ Absolutely*Kate

 


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO: THE FINAL CHAPTER ~ A "Druther*Ending*, according to Salvatore Buttaci of Harbinger*33


Warner Brothers Entertainment photo
 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO:
THE FINAL CHAPTER
DRUTHER*ENDING, According to ~
Salvatore Buttaci

Before the Revolution he was Dr. Zhivago, a reputable physician from a well-to-do Moscow family.  Some of his closest associates and boyhood friends were Romanov cousins of the tsar.  Those noble good old boyars high on the ladder of the elite.  Like Segei Kapinski.  Andrei Portnoy.  Feodor Rosivev.  All gone now in the name of justice won for the proletariat masses.
Tripped down that same ladder by booted Bolshevik feet, he was now simply Yuri.  Gone the expensive black medical bag, his dark fur-lined gabardine suits, imported Tom Mix boots, unlimited caviar –– all of it confiscated by the have-nots, thanks to one of the Marx brothers who wrote a book and Lenin who applied it by rocking the tsarist regime and rolling it forever into past history.  Now they were the haves, and Yuri, a sensitive but practical man, was making the best of life in Motherless Russia.
Yuri didn’t care.  It was “Yuri” he wanted Lara to whisper in his ear, not “Dr. Zhivago,” on those slow days at the People’s Clinic when he would slip away to Yuryatin, snuggle beneath a dozen woolen blankets with shivering Lara in her narrow cot.
Emptying his mind of the guilt of infidelity, Yuri lay there making the best of it.  He figured, What Antonia at home did not know could not hurt her.  And anyway, life was cruel.  The Red Army had seen to that, and Yuri was fed up with sacrificing.   He refused to turn his head away from Larissa Feodorovna Guishar Antipova.  His lover Lara.  He was a decent man, but not so decent he could walk away.  Lara was married to Pasha Antipova, away fighting a war against the White Army.  Yuri was married to Antonina Gromeko.  So what!
“Lara, my love, I have an idea.”
“Just hold me, Doctor.”
“Call me ‘Yuri’ please, like the masses do.”
“But Doctor ––”
“Lara, the tsar is dead.  The tsaritsa, the grand duchesses, the tsarevich, Rasputin…all of them murdered.  Our dearly departed empire, Mother Russia, has been transformed into a Communist state.  Lenin and Trotsky have led the march of the mother-buckers.  So, to sum it all up, ‘Me Yuri, you Lara.’ ”
“Oh, yes!  Da!  Da!  Da!  And Da again!  Oh, Yuri!”
They sat up in the cot, each half turning to the other.  “Come with me, Lara.  I want to see if the country estate in Varykino is as pretty in the winter as it is in springtime and summer.  Besides, the place is empty.  We shall have it all to ourselves.”
He threw his legs over the side of the cot and said, “Lara, dress warmly.”
From his dogsled they could see in the near distance the palatial estate, made brighter by the setting sun, and when they arrived, Yuri parked the sled under one of the evergreens, then uncovered the scimitar and the estate key hidden under the unwelcome mat.  He stabbed away at the block of ice until the door was visible.  He turned the key and they entered.
“There’s more ice in here than there is outside,” Lara said, then slid on the iced marble floor, managed to stand, only to fall again and again.
Yuri’s cleated shoes kept him at least physically upright.  He headed towards the dining room tabletop encased in a thick slab of ice.  No matter, he thought.  I’ve got poems to write!  Pulling on his fingerless red woolen gloves, he chopped away at the drawer beneath the tabletop where, miraculously, his old Wasserkov fountain pen and bottled ink had escaped the frigid cold.
He wrote on the first page, “Poems to Lara.”
“Oh, Doctor Yuri!” called Lara from some rooms away.
Yuri called back.  “I am writing poems, Lara.”
“Oh, Yuri Zhivago!”
Yuri was exasperated.  “How can I write a poem, much less a little book of them, if you are going to scream like that?” Yuri screamed.
Then he smelled Lara’s perfume (their favorite, “Moscow #6”) and when he turned in his ice chair, he saw Lara standing there sans heavy fur coat, sans a stitch of clothing.  Bare as she was only hours ago on that Yuryatin cot.  She wore only a smile and blue eyes in which white snowy flecks sparkled.
“Let’s write a poem together,” she suggested with more than a hint of seduction.  “Put away your Wasserkov pen, you handsome man.”
No way now could he compose poetry.  Instead, he composed himself, took the bare Lara in his arms, kissed her so feverishly, for a moment their four lips couldn’t be separated.  (Those versed in Russian idioms call the experience “lip gluing”)
From the corner of Yuri’s eye he saw the start of the end of his life.  In Antonia’s two mitted hands she gripped the scimitar her father had won in a Russian bazaar and Yuri had returned to safekeeping under the doormat.
“I believed you!” Antonia said, the words steaming out from between clenched front teeth.  “You had so many patients with the Russian flu, you had to sleep at the clinic.  And if Olga Feodora Bodganevich hadn’t come by for her flu shot, I would still be in the truthless dark.  I came here, knowing how deeply you love this place.  Now you will die in it.  The press will headline this story ‘Zhivago Closes Practice Due to Murder.’ and the lead paragraph stated simply, ‘Yesterday noted doctor Yuri of Trashaponic Road in Moscow was retired from the medical occupation when his wife Antonia zhivogged him with a century’s old scimitar.  The murder weapon was found at the scene of the double murder, jutting from the cleavage of her deceased husband’s lover at this point unidentified.’ “
“I can explain everything,” Yuri said in the tinny voice of a street beggar.  “I came here to defrost our country estate so the two of us, Toni, could come in early spring, have a picnic in the main salon, reminisce about the old pre-Lenin days.”
“And this slut?”
“She’s one of my patients who recently lost both her parents in a blood purge.  It’s driven her quite insane.”  Then he gestured towards the pink naked Lara.  “I was all ready to give her a physical examination when you happened to walk in.”
Yuri’s last words.
Antonia, true to her word, zhivogged Zhivago down the middle like a ripe Ukranian watermelon.  
From Lara’s blanched lips white vapor puffed away like a train running late.  In her blue eyes, the white flecks were gone.  Only tears now.  The widow Antonia, still in hacking mode, light-footed her way towards the naked bimbo, sidestepping the geyser of red-hot blood gushing like borscht from the cavity of Yuri’s chest, painting the ice floor red as the new flag.
Back in Moscow, Lenin was experiencing a senile moment.  “Is the revolution over?” he asked his wife.  Stalin was hot to Trotsky and Yuri’s patients were still patiently waiting for their flu shots in a long clinic line across the street from a long breadline.
Antonia sat at the dining room table, wondering if tomorrow would bring several more inches of snow.  Should I wait here for spring? She thought,  or go home and report my husband missing?  She returned the scimitar to its hiding place under the mat, took the reins of Yuri’s dogsled, and mushed them home.  In mid-ride, she tore her return train ticket and tossed it like snowflakes into the bitter cold air.
                                                    ###
                                                Epilogue
An old man, who could have resembled Yuri Zhivago had Yuri lived to be 80 years old, stood on a moving bus, watching the sidewalk where a woman who looked like a senior-comrade version of Lara walked briskly in her red babushka.
Calling to her through the sealed window distracted the bus rider who crashed the bus into a long breadline where moments before many were standing.  Now most were lying dead or dying.
The two look-alikes suffered fatal heart attacks and died a scimitar’s length from each other. 
Survivors on the breadline took home an extra loaf of bread.




Wowzers! 
Sal scimitared right in 
and zhiovogged a freezing rendition of
a Writers'Challenge to a Druther Ending . . . 
Have you one in you??? 
Info to getcha in the mood, Right Here <

"Can't wait for your druthered Great",
said Absolutely*Kate
and our mighty fine staff of renown

*AT THE BIJOU*

About our shining star Author, AT THE BIJOU ~ That's Sharon, not Lara or Antonia with our loveable Godfather aboard Harbinger*33 . . . though I believe she's all women to he. Sal Buttaci professes English from his former life and prolifics poetry and prose and anything that goes when a pen, frozen or warm nears his crazy, cool, copacetic and conceptual mind. Fortunate am I and so many in WritersWorld to know and love the guy. He's a gent amongst the gentry ... a playful soul who sees into how words wish to best tale their tells . . . and he does. More Sal and all he has to sell from his current books on the market are right at these very slick quick clicks:
naturally, he'd want me to hawk ~
( I didn't let him down, even 'briefly' )
+ 
Thanks Yuri ... whoops, grazie molto bene Sal!
You're a mentor to many ~ a warmer heart than Mother Russia
~ Absolutemente*Katarina


                    * DO ENJOY OUR NEXT WRITER'S BRANDY *   


Friday, December 10, 2010

WHAT BRANDY AND WRITERS POUR . . . (FlashFiction)


"GOLDEN TRUTH, SPEAK YOUR STUFF" ~ Pic ala disou13

WHAT BRANDY
AND WRITERS  POUR

~ By Absolutely*Kate

"Clara -- Bow, 
  Greta -- Garbo,
  Marilyn -- Monroe.

"Cooper drank Gable
  under the table -- 
 Montgomery the Clift
 got Joe DiMaggio miffed."


From under the archway with the red peeling fleur de lis wallpaper into the darkened dining room shushed my tentative muffle of a whisper. I was enough in awe of him at the time that my psyche wasn't feigning frightened. "Is that a mantra? A limerick? What's he doing? Where's he going with this?" The silver fox stammering the luscious Hollywood litany in the next room was the legend my reading mind had grown more grown-up on. Fortunate I was to have met up with his gal Friday after work on Tuesday at the Double Diamond Cafe. She was shiny. I liked her spark. 

We arranged to meet on Wednesday at lunch for a burger and a chocolate malt. That wasn't the last straw. Thursday we danced til dark. Now, she'd honoured me with this nifty invite to meeting my literary hero. I felt more like a blustering boy peeking around a crazy corner called consciousness than a suave man on the make.

"He's warming up. He has to tone his decibel to resonate  writer's rhythm. He only finds himself when he gets lost like that," Molly explained softly, her hand rubbing a pathway up my back, nearing my shoulder. Both were soft, her honey lilting voice and the warming hand I wished never to leave that trail.

"But what happens if he doesn't?"

"There'll be a piper's orchestration to pay. There'll be glass shards to sweep up in the morning. Come on. I'll introduce you."

"No, nonononononoo. He's busy. He's working." I backed up, bumped into, then neatly sidestepped a leather ottoman placed precariously at the side of the sidebar. What it was doing in the dining room, I wondered if I'd ever be lucky enough to come back to find out. But I liked the lay of the great writer's land. And I certainly liked the press of Molly's precious hand.

"Oh you Chickenshit scribe, come on. He can't hurt a fly with its wings peeled back at twenty paces."

"Yeah right, and you know that metaphorically, you're playin' me. I've heard of aggravated dissent though. There's bodies they haven't found, I hear tell. He gets cranky, zany and conceives new profanities to profuse when he doesn't take to someone or something . . . well, ya know?"

"Yeah, I know, I know. I've been his publicist for years. Who do you think plants colourful rooted tidbits to modern day media Heddas? You seen any Norma Desmond look-a-likes hoppering around when you came up the boulevard at sunset?"

Imagining the net results she must get with such articulate volley skills, I backhanded a ready compliment, "Well geeez Molly, you're no hag. You're a looker. You've got class where other dames just sweat it out. You're the tip, you're the top -- "

"Hustle your handsome ass before your lose your cool Cole Porter. Jerome doesn't wait long when he hankers his brandy handy."

Though still subdued, I couldn't very well suppress a snort at Moll's flaunt and flair for quick retorts. So rhetorically I retorted back towards the backside of how hips swayed when swathed tight and narrow in a grey silk pencil skirt. (Oh baby, those defining lines swished where they swathed.) "So you're tellin' me Jerome prefers his snifter swifter?"

"Jerome wasn't built in a day, Harvey. A PR dame worth her own renown has to fan flames to fire up a good writer's fame."

"COME IN, COME IN. I hear you two children doling idle prattle. You call that 'dialogue'? I drub it drivel. And bring some extra snifters." Rumbling up a chuckle, he was on a raucous roll ~ "Good golly Miss Molly -- brandy is medicinal to all."

Molly crossed her eyes, then sent wiggly eyebrows to trajectories not yet charted in the common cosmos. "Here we go again," she lilted from her poised perch 'pon the tapestry arm of his armchair, purposely positioned at the epicenter of his golden writer's lair. Shades of amber, tones of gleaming gold, over all, new and old. Bookcases upon bookcases, side tables generous with crystal decanters alongside sink-into leather club chairs with fussy antimacassars arranged upon the back, plump pillows, gilded frames of friends and possibly foes, as I recalled this titled titan's penchant for speaking the force of what truths moved him. That was the worth of his girth. He held nothing back. Never a hack. And now Hollywood had come calling for a "tell all". Jumpin' genre to kindle his writing nook for sure.

She had a swell way of laughing that accompanied understated delivery. There came a catch to her throat which begged to be touched. The laugh, not the throat. Not yet. I wanted to grasp out for it as if it was a blown bubble floating to be freely caught. I wanted to feel Molly's laugh slide a slick little pounce into my hand. Bet it would pulsate before it popped.

Reveries don't ruminate long though when the floor show's about to begin its beguine, if you know what I mean. Jerome Beauregard Chandell was an illusion sitting still but playing broadly to the room. Like the beat, beat, beat of a streeted Gershwin parade, he was promenading Broadway with one hand in the air waving galley proofs and the other stroking the bulbous snifter as if it was a "5:00 serving girl" from back in studio mogul days. It's true what they say - There's no biz like show biz and his grin was spots and kleigs, all in ~

"Brandy takes away vagrant chills!" He boomed. He sipped. "Brandy is comprised chiefly of antioxidants and moratoriums ." He savoured length to his swallows, tilting his head to nudge Molly's re-pour, adjusting body comfort further into the hold of the regal wingback as the crackling fire understudied like a sound effects foley. Cliches worn tight as the crimson velvet smoking jacket I couldn't believe I was seeing, crinkled the room. "The better the stronger the brandy the better the stronger the benefits! Why whole sections of corrupt pockets can be emptied open with the proper brandy a man of reason realizes. This is an indisputable secret of dignity I bestow upon the two of you." 

He pronounced his edicts without rancor. I wanted to swim long and lanky through them, or maybe, it was the handy brandy's swirl causing me these crosscurrents of good tide-ings. I smirked somewhat to myself at the familiar ease of puns, but I sensed in this scene my higher self learning, as if opening pages from a different side of a book not oft seen.

Molly assented with the smirk of a curvy smile and a nod tangled in tresses, but affectionately so. I watched as a voyeur on the shelf behind Thorndike and Barnhart's unabridged dictionary as JB reached his irrepressible non pen-hand possessively to tantalize a runaway honey strand ever so gently behind one pale pink ear. My own deep swigs were warming up a higher rise that couldn't keep still. My less furtive steps paced discovery 'round the great writer's room. I watched my fingers fondle leather spines. I heard my eyes snap-count how many rows lined up by colour grouping tomes hailed authors this more than mortal wordsmithy had lent a hand, ear or some folded moola to over their mutually climbing eras. Legend. Smooth and rich, like what he wrote. Like what he drank -- prolifically.

In my fuzzy imagination I realized I wanted to do what the Zenith console on the mahogany buffet was cueing up to do -- I wanted to give Molly "a kiss to build a dream on", but some fella's dreams are another man's opus. Jerome B. Chandell could certainly settle the score on opuses. Or was it opi? The Corvoisier was settling in.

"Cardiovascular traumas would behave like good little twits with proper brandy consumption," Jerome pontificated, one finger daring hyperbole to over-dramatize points into thin air, "and bar exams would be readily passed by moderate drinkers lingering longevity!"

Molly winked. It was slow. It was sedatious. Just the sight of that wink tasted delicious. Even from across the room where I had been watching the world still spin from the globe-eye view I'd bumped it into. She hit me hard with those heaters somewhere above Argentina. Slow as silk that knows how to sheath itself, saturated Molly's voice, "We can go now Harvey."

~ ~ ~

"CLICKETY'CLACK"  pic: TimothyKHamilton
CHAPTER ONE:

Old movies were made to be sung. Not wasted too young. You had to pour a good movie. You had to drink it in. You had to taste swirl and breathe amber. That's what bottled up Breathless the stuff that Hollywood was made for. I understood this like the solid sanctity of rolling credits, standing in line one chilly night in November AT THE BIJOU.

~ ~ ~ 

Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, quoth the mighty Remington back. Precisely. Prolifically. Preponderously, I intuited a writer lost when found. Reverently, I put my snifter down, accepted Molly Mahoney's soft proffered hand.

The leading lady always got the good exit lines: "He's writing again. We can go. The proofing comes tomorrow."

(c) 2010 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate
Premiering AT THE BIJOU

Absolutely*Kate is a playful writer, but a soulful writer . . . with moxie. The world needs more moxie. Join her with your own wordsmithery AT THE BIJOU come the New Year's return to the acclaimed ~ Double*Feature Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 Submit concepts, manuscripts
and ever high hopes in the works to ~

Absoltutely*Kate - AT THE BIJOU:  
RiverviewStudios@gmail.com

Yeah. That's the ticket. 
Flash your fiction . . . with addiction.
We thank*you the way we know best ~ wholeheartedly
for Celebrating in such great grandeur Our Very First Year.

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popcorny grins and city snickers
are all part of the drama when
Writers' Raves become Readers' Faves.

Theatre for the mind will do it every time.

Tell your colleagues, tell your pals, tell your Ma and Pa
 ~ but check that we're running a clean act first.

~ Absolutely*Kate
and our fine staff of renown

*AT THE BIJOU*

Thursday, December 2, 2010

THE WALLS COULD TALK ~ By Absolutely*Kate of Harbinger*33 ... (#Friday Flash Fiction)

MIRRORING TRUTH ~ Mensatic pic ala MorgueFile

 THE WALLS COULD TALK

~ By Absolutely*Kate

The walls could talk fluently because the mirrors reflected history. Oak framed on a carved wooden base with a white marble shelf in the front foyer, reflections of the unadulterated surprise in the bright blue eyes sighting Peggy Jean's murder by a back-stabbing exwife left an unwelcome impression. The gold-flecked foil paper the new owners insisted on almost seamlessly covered the blood smears which Mr Clean could not.

~ ~ ~

The main washroom at the top of the mahogany staircase held remembrance. Grandpa's pride and joy had traveled mountainous miles from militia days out West to find a welcome home. Hung high from where he pounded through crumbly pale blue-white plaster, a foldout shaving mirror opened and extended down to three oval surfaces. Grandpa liked to see all the sides of every situation he looked into. When folded back within itself to close, the back side revealed a burnished golden and red painting of the Southern Cheyenne chief, Wolf Robe. On the other side stared back a shy but mischievious rendering of the proud warrior's wife. 

Grandpa relished his daily gentleman ritual of clipping and trimming following the swift stir of Pear's soap to a foamy alchemy in his chipped pedastal shaving mug. I was just a little tyke at the time, but Gramps would kick the seat closed with one foot and plop me down if I promised to be real quiet. He muttered how dignity should last longer, sang bits he recalled from what he called his courting song, "In The Evening By The Moonlight", then settled into rueful reminisces of the sad massacre at Sand Creek in Colorado. "Now Johnny, Wolf Robe's tribe was peaceful, they meant no harm. The open plains stretched before them, around them and there was plenty land for every man. You didn't speak out against the U. S. military mission of the day but it just didn't set well with me shooing people from their homeland. The Southern Cheyenne had good hunting grounds at the upper flow of the Arkansas River. That's where I met Wolf Robe, hunting. He was skillful, wasted no motion. I halted my horse, signaled my admiration. He too raised open palm, approached me with no fear. Back in '76, he showed no fear also when he hitched up the Cheyenne tribe with the Sioux to defeat Colonel George Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn."

"But Grandpa, we learned in school our government moved the Indians to Oklahoma, making one reservation of Indian Territory. Did your Chief Wolf Robe have to surrender?"

I ducked just in time when he flicked a full stipple of foamy Pear's cream from his wooden brush in the direction of my insensitive noggin. White blobs smacked residue blotches on the pale blue-white plaster and Grandpa left it there all week 'til Grandma came around with her Saturday scrub brush. He liked lasting impressions, Grandpa did.

~ ~ ~

LOVELIGHTS?  MorgueFile

"Oh Johnny, OH Johnny," languishing Lizzie moaned softly. My fingertips were playing tease and tender under soft lotioned Honeysuckle skin right where her creamy breast swooped. I lowered my sensitive noggin into a nibble of a nuzzle at the nape of her neck. I was skillful. I wasted no motion. That cuddly cat moaned more as I primed her primal purr. A slew of those girlie scented vanilla candles she was bringing around more lately flickered now, catching a hundred flame lights in the prismatic bevel mirroring Mom and Pop's hand-me-down maple dresser. Funny. Liz was my old flame, the one who got away, and now . . . the one who'd rambled back. I took her back and didn't look back. If I did, I would've seen what I gazed at each night before I slipped into a jumble of dreams. A red Revlon scrawl, "LIZZIE LOVES JOHNNY BEST OF ALL". How many nights, in how many ways my fingers traced air, just above each letter, not willing to mar the will of the wall's lingering sentiment. How many nights now will my fingers trace real sentiment into my lady? My sigh blends resonance into her moan. I tug her to my side, let fingers further glide, catch fire flickering, this time from white hot heat in her bright blue eyes. For not the first time in my life, I wish I could see all the sides of every situation I look into. The better to leave a more lasting impression.

If I had an Indian head nickel of old Chief Wolf Robe for every time I wondered at the return of the luck of my joy, I'd be an enriched man, learning me the words to croon "In The Evening By The Moonlight".

I'd do it with dignity too.

(c) 2010 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate


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