Thursday, December 22, 2011


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

~ 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. Otherwise, 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 final 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 ain't been in spiffy joints at the most fortuitous times to feel my sultry coming on. But it can, Bennerino. And, oh, it does."

With his 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 her end of the phone. Benny deciphered 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 by 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 this kid. He'd promised her Pop in the old days back 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 spit out his name. Shake it off kid," Benny gruffed, though not all that rough. "You ain't got no lollygagging time girly."

~ ~   ~ ~ ~

SWANKY TIME! ~ Pic ala JCarbaugh
Amazing what tinsel can do to a toddling town. Up, down, all around ~ shiny, sparkly,  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 into 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 -- there, 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, 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, slinging 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 parlayed 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 just waitin' for a midnight clear.
What I didn't expect to fall clear down, was the single satin strap of 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 through rich rubes three rows back rose to the unappreciation of their dates for better eagle-eye ogling. Kate lost no bum's rush 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 trusty silver derringer, was 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 sure yet 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 screeched mean motion into sudden commotion, as he drew his heater on our "dear saviour's" cue: "Long lay the world in sin and error pining". Yeah, it was Lansky's guy. I glared him in the eye, clutching the best weapon I already had in the clutch. The open mike's reverb revved as I yelped out, "WATCH OUT BAD GUY! SANTA DON'T LIKE NO POLITICIANS BUMPED OFF IN MY ACT!"

Stunned, the 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 wriggle to their rift. Sammy backstage reangled the audience spot. What a mess. This was gonna be no clean getaway.

Near 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, 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 from his old blue eyes, actin' kinda 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!"

~ ~   ~ ~ ~

 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 
as she whispers
to Absolutely*Kate

Absolutely*Kate is prolific author/designer and promoter/publisher presenting NOIR NOEL, then sailing HARBINGER*33. Happily, Kate creates international theatre for the mind AT THE BIJOU ~ where writers' raves become readers' faves. She believes in believers, magic 'neath the shadows of noir and moxie.

The world needs more moxie.

Absolutely*Kate is prouder than Santa crossing off his list to be one of the crime-syndicate of authors in the JUST RELEASED ~ Grimm Tales.

What happens when fairy tales go on a crime spree? You'll see . . . 

Joining the teeming (and teaming) talents of Patti Abbot, Jack Bates, Eric Beetner, noirtorious Nigel Bird, Loren Eaton, Kaye George, Blu Gilliand, Seana Graham, Eirik Gumeny, RL Kelstrom, Editor John Kenyon, BV Lawson, Evan Lewis, B Nagel, Sean Patrick Reardon and Sandra Seamons . . . Absolutely*Kate can only promise you ~ never the expected . . . 

Get it for Christmas. Get it for its damn way cool appeal. And while you're at it, sneak in your purchase of  DISCOUNT NOIR in a cool caper of a combo deal.

Santa knows I've been good.
But this book's so good it's bad-good!


SIT DOWN SCHWEETHEART ~ Wait Bub. You too Toots. You eyeballed The NOIRtorious Lineup Katie's been presenting?


   LINK delicious INFLUENCES of ~


 Zelda Martin . . . and The GRIMM TALES Gang ... so far . . . . 

               Every-other-day cold crimes . . . decking NOIR NOEL in December & beyond:

Ian Ayris ... Paul Brazill ... Kevin J Mackey ... 

Steven Miscandlon  ...  BR Stateham ... 

Luca Veste, on the record 'bout OFF THE RECORD

Sal Buttaci ... Julian Bramwell Slater ...  

Helen Howell ...  Christina Vincent ... Charlie Wade ... 

Darren Sant ... Aidan Fritz ... Lily Childs ...  

Vic Watson ... Fiona Johnson ... Jack Bates ...

Thomas Pluck and the Lost Children benefit show

New Year challenge, new NOIR PublisherBLASTED HEATH

editor John Kenyon, publisher of GRIFT magazine
with stories of GRIMM TALES' greats 

Rex Pickett picks a surprise ... 

plus . . . return of our pally, the great Randisi ... 

AT THE BIJOU'S Harry B Sanderford ... Matthew Magda ...  

plus return pizazz by our masters of the ceremonious ~ 
Kevin MadDog Michaels and Absolutely*Kate ... 

Why ~ Who knows who's getting into the act? . . . 
RAYMOND CHANDLER may be channeled! 




Wendy said...

I'd like to have a cup of egg nog with that Nelle sometime. She's got gumption galore!! Nice jingle, Katie Mae.

Harry said...

I was thinkin' I'd been down this road before, see? But if I had, they've repaved since my last ramble, see?

Love your girl Nelle, "Trixie" and too many of the lines to quote them all, but I think this one is perfect, "What I didn't expect to fall clear down, was the single satin strap of Lena's knockout jet black gown. One note too high, one arm too flung and there her left breast . . . barely hung."

Really really good stuff Katie*Girl!
Merry Christmas!

Author said...

Still loving that Nelle Callahan, and her sidekick, Trixie. Keep 'em coming Kate and I'll keep reading.

KjM said...

Where to start? Where to end?

That part's easy - Brava! Brava!

"The kind that don't leave no shadows no more." Wonderful line, among so many wonderful lines.

An inspired, and inspiring, romp, *Kate. I need to go read me more Nelle now.

Author said...

Lovely stuff, Kate - that Nelle's a swingin' gal and no mistake! :)

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Swanky SUGAR, Nelle's waitin' down our usual saloon to sling back high tales gone good and bad wit the likes o'youse! She yelped, "Bring back-up. There are men needing our wiles a while."

Hunky HARRY ~ There are many roads that our gal Nelle takes all the forks in and like you author-man, she spiffs up along the way. Ain't a fork in the road she won't sit down ta dinner wit.

Hero HILTON, you mighty MATT ~ You'll keep readin? Just like that? Sure as shootin' Nelle and her tough tender Trixie will aim high, thriller guy.

Kool as Kris Kringle, comes KjM to dance wit' Nelle's jingle. I just heard her stage-whisper passionate poet man ~ "I'll romp with the Mackey man in 3/4 time -- He's a-tuned."

Jump jivin' JULIE, Nelle tells me it takes a classy dame to know when a femme is swingin' the strut of her stuff. She remembers running into you on dark corners 'bout a year ago and knew an accomplished accomplice taking on crime, when she sized up your teeming talents.

Prouder than Santa crossin' off his list am I to be seein' youse guys AT THE BIJOU. Mighty fine thanks for all the kind cool words you just warmed me with. Happy Happy*Christmas all!

~ Absolutely*Kate

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

And Nelle says you're swell!

Blaze McRob said...

Santa noir is the best kind of Noel niceness-Nelle style!


DarcKnyt said...

WOWSERS, lookit Nelle my Belle, all glitter and spice and everything nice! You sure do set the flapper on flutter in my chest, Nelle. I've missed seein' ya 'round the 'hood and I can't tell ya how glad my peepers are to peep you, doll.

Maybe we could have a moment under the mistletoe, Ms. Nelle. It'd make this hack's night. ;)

Helen A. Howell said...

Bravo Kate, Nellie is a girl to know! As alway Kate you writing weaves magic!

Madam Z said...

Oh Nelle, my belle, you sling so welle. But it's Kate, who's in charge of your fate.

Anonymous said...

Jingle Nelle do tell your belle, Kate* more. Hmmm the black satin strap brings on ideas alone. Thanks for the funnery.