Sunday, November 13, 2011

NOVEMBER goes NOIR, AT THE BIJOU ~ "SPY-SIDE ECONOMIC$" - by Absolutely*Kate and AJ Hayes



~ A Crime Duet ~
( In Progress )

Luscious Ladies and Genteel Gents ~

In our previous NOVEMBER goes NOIR ~ AT THE BIJOU show, you had an introspective gander at what AJ Hayes is all about ~ talented author and gregariously colloquial colleague to so many of us rambling writerfolk around the dark (thus inviting) labyrinth of WebTowne. The man's fearless, unbounded by any steenkin' genre, so . . . I sauntered up one night and asked him, "Would you write espionage with me?" 
 ( My Dad taught you don't know what the answer is until you ask. )


Absolutely*Kate and AJ Hayes
are midst set-ups and storylines, blending blitz of patter and patois into spy-side contenderings of a dynamic duo's covert escapades from more than half-a-century ago. Our protagonists are shoved off the moola train while the mission must still stay on track . . . reverberating with rumblings
 from WWII's Cold War freeze frames.

Here then, our "Reveal" of

 A sneak-peek novel du duet

Be kind folks.
We'd like to know how it's doing on its fly-by.

Tentative Tumultuous Thanks,
     Irrepressibly, Absolutely*Kate
with the fearless fedora fella, AJ Hayes


The brief from the Chief was short and sweet, but far from pretty. Funding was foiled, yet covert ops were to continue. Damn, what we were doing to buck the Balkans heightened an awareness it paid not to overlook. Marguerite sighed into the heat of what felt like a thousand Julys, tugged, twisted and tucked capricious auburn tresses into a smart French braid, then eyeballed the missive from headquarters once again. Like it would change anything.


Strategically, Istanbul was intended to be their crossroads, not their albatross. Conflicting concerns from two continents which spanned the powers of political history had brought them to this point of time, to this today. She and a cantankerous partner with smooth patter and tougher instincts. Concealing impatience, she angled her wrist to admire the non-government issued Benrus. Yep. Late again. No more than usual, but still . . . they had an agenda of underlying currents as mysterious as the Bosphorus, as wide as the Sea of Marmara. From here, within the grandeur of Topkapi Palace, their mission was to unleash a chain of specific events guaranteeing safety for the world of tomorrow. It was 1952 and they knew what they must do. The ways and means were what was in the way now. Damn, how she hated crimps to her style, unless they were in her hair. But the exotic city of Istanbul was a sprawling metropolis. Surely a thousand angles flew around so many magic carpet rides?
Yes, they needed a plan to get off the ground, and it had to be on the cheap. From the government issue gun metal gray Regency TR-1 transistor with the false bottom, which traveled always near her, The Mills Brothers tried to lighten hopes and mood with "Shine little glow-worm, shimmer, shimmer". The Regency played her emotions. Possibilities attuned her mind. Then came Nat, that jolly ol' Cole, offering more than a shimmer to the glimmer of the idea Marguerite's honed intuitions were conjuring as ~ Unforgettable.

I watched her from across the plaza. Clocked the paper on the table in front of her. When she messes with her tresses in that fast re-bop, changing from flame haired Veronica Lake-ness to the perfect squareness of my fourth grade geography teacher, I know the score note for note and it just ain't good. I whistled a couple of bars of Lady Be Good to let her know I was there, because it's just not healthy to surprise that particular doll. More than a couple of yeggs who made that mistake are pushin' daisies in some of the loneliest bone yards in the world. I slid into the chair opposite her.

"What's shakin, gorgeous," I said. "Is it windy out today or are you shootin' for the Our Miss Brooks look?"

She made a growl like one of Bix's low notes and pushed the papyrus over to my side.

Yep, there ain't never no good news about bein' broke and absolutely none when you're twinkling your toes in the Istanbul Not Constantinople riff. I sighed like Billy Eckstine on a blues solo.

"So, where does this no geedus jive leave us, Dollface?"

The TR-1 was playing Django Rhineheart, which I thought was appropriate since Django lives in a place and space no one's ever been 'cept him -- and now, us.

She pins me with her electric blues and long, long lashes, leans forward (and that ain't all bad either). Got that grin back on. That grin that sends the bumpities up and down your spine and makes your knees feel like they been Louisville Sluggered by all of Murderers Row and maybe the bat boy too.

"Come closer, Clyde," she purrs like the kool kitty she is. "I got a plan."

Oh, joy is mine, I think. We've played this tune before and the coda is always pain.

It's like she reads my mind now, quick as a kid grabbin' for Dagwood and Blondie come a Sunday morning's funny papers. She rustles me up this look. It ain't so funny.

I wrangle her one back -- you know, the arch to the eyebrow beggin' to differ gaze.

Her look screams Why the hell NOT?

Mine? It starts off pure Bogey sportin' Spade and I think it's gonna hunker down. Trouble is, this dame's got double-dog dare shootin' flares in those true blue peepers. The stuff that can stop a freight train, haulin' four extra cars from Poughkeepsie.

Could be the honey purr, could be the cool cold calculating whirl . . . both I find so damn distracting that for a moment my persistence loses its resistance. I rally, try to get her off track. "Look kid, you want some Turkish cay? It's what they drink around here. See those sparkly little tulip shaped glasses those colourful costumed fellows are running back and forth the streets with? They go into that square shop over there and they come out with this circular tray over here. You want we get us some hometown brew? You can steep still, get copacetic and spill -- whatcha got to say, not whatcha got to drink."

She fiddles with her hair. I figger she's been thinkin' deep to dig up this rich plan. One without the usual payola from Uncle Sam. Part of the tight twist of the coiled coif is tugging undone. One good sign. I signal the waiter for two.

"Tessekker ederim." She slays me. Gets into the walled city of Istanbul by Orient Express only fourteen hours before me, and already she's charming the locals with proper accent and aplomb. Margie's always been about aplomb. And she gets plenty hot and bothered when I call her Margie. 

"Listen Hellewelle -- "

"All ears Margie."

The flying tulip glass just missed my left ear, but I dodged right, shortchanging her the payoff of a flinch. I was paying attention though. Oh brother, you betcha. She was talkin' sense, without the usual dollars up her sleeve to work with. God, this was priceless.

"Way I see it, we have to cross over to Libya. We find us a sultan and a slow boat out of Izmir. The wreck of Flight 64 will speak us the secrets of Mission 109."

"You mean Lady Be Good?"

"You know I mean 
Lady Be Good." 

I shot her my best Mr. Blaine. "Of all the plans in all the world why did ya have to pick that one?" 

Her fingers twitched and I knew she was grabbin' for another glassy tulip, only it wasn't there, so I took a chance and got the rest out before she found one.

"It ain't that easy Magee," I said. "I know some things about that flight, see and it's not exactly the riff you're blowin' now. The score the world knows is rebopped a bit by a baseline they never saw."

She tilted her head in that way she has of sayin' I got a chance to explain but it better be in cut-time or she's gonna take away my saxophone.

"You remember that year or so our duet was blown? I said there was a small misunderstanding between me and some MPs and I had ta spend some time in what is politely called the slam?"

She leaned forward a little so I figured I'd bought another couple of chords to play.

"Well that was true," I said. "About the MPs that is, but the hoosegow time was, uh, a kinda bogus riff. I wasn't in the calabozo. I was layin' down a gig with a friend of mine named Wild Willy Donavon. It was in France and back then, if you recall, there were Schicklegruber Juniors jackbootin' around every place you looked."

She made a twirling finger motion that said, speed it up Jack or that head's comin' right off those shoulders.

"Anyhow," I said. "Cut to the coda. Me 'n Wild Bill jived our way over to the coast, found a cave and stole a bomb Uncle Adolph had in mind to kerplunk right on top of New York City, USA. At least that was the plan until me 'n Donavon stole it and blew up The Grand Achtung's bomber and the cave they had 'em in. Then we splitsvilled with the boomboom and waited for our pickup plane. It came. We went. And I thought that was that."

I fixed her with my best Joe Btfsplk, Little Abner, Black Cloud Over My Head expression.

"But from that look in your eye and the name on the nose of our retrieval plane that night, it ain't necessarily so." I took a quick case of the room. " We ain't talked finance yet, Prettyfoots, so lem'me nutshell the rest of it for ya."

She lost the sleepy look and doubled down her attention.

"Make it fly, Cy ," she said.

"When Wild Bill 'n me gleeped that big bangbang. We got the manual with it. Title of the piece was Die Götterdämmerung Geräte. Which, if you sprakken Kraut, is --"

She waved me off. "I got it, Wunderkinder. The end of the world device. Great BIG boom. Proceed, Speed."

"So, when me and the General picked up the crate, we heard this tick-tick-tick and figured that couldn't be cool. Opened it up and, sure as Dizzy plays a bent horn, there were redlights blinking and bari sax humming and what might have been angels singin' Bye Bye."

She looked. I talked. Fast.

"We rigged a temp fix with spit and bubblegum. Told the pilots and let 'em fly. When I heard the Lady got lost, I figured it was Donavon squaring the deal to Top Secret. But from what you say, what I thought don't matter. So, now you know it ain't exactly what you think waitin' out there in the sand for us, Babe. Just a temporary fix on the end of the world that's lasted way past its expiration date."

I shrugged.

"Now let's talk banking."

I flipped my glance over her, oh-so-fetching shoulder.

"That cat in the ice cream suit and Panama hat back there's got swastikas in his eyes and in his heavy ridin' right pocket, a bag of uncut diamonds that's his get-me-to-Brazil stash. I know this because the two mutts with him -- hiding behind the potted palms -- got lightning bolts somewhere on their bodies and Waffen SS troops don't ride with no lightweights. 

They are not easy to distract." 

I pushed my chair a tiny way back before I said the next thing.

"So looks like the Tunisia gig again, Dah-ling."

Credit due, she didn't go for my eyes with those long, red nails of hers. Just growled way low a bit and sighed.

I shrugged again and tried to look reluctant.

"Look, Toots. I didn't put 'em on your chest. And it was God who made 'em spectacular. I just think we got no other play right now. We'll catch up on your assignment after we got the cash."

She just nodded. I faded and took up a location out of sight of all the bully boys. And waited for the show to start.

© 2011 ~ Authors Absolutely*Kate and AJ HAYES
Sneak Preview ~ AT THE BIJOU
PHOTOS ~ Istanbul Tourism / Matthew Magda on location at Hagya Sofia
a good Turkish tea house / Flight 64, Mission 109 / Men's fashion 


But how are we doin'?
~ A*K and AJ

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Every other day that's


Goes   NOIR

Be there

or be square Bub.

Talkin to you too, Toots. 


rises on:

simply C L I C K  show LINKS below:







Debut ~ CHRIS Rat-a-tat RHATIGAN




   Debut ~ AJ HAYES












from Academy Award Winner, 
Best Movie ~ SIDEWAYS




"NOIRVEMBER" term coined & minted
 by the trendy Harry B Sanderford 


Author said...

Stylish and intriguing - very nice work, you kids. Looking forward to reading more. :)

Charlie Wade said...

Really enjoyed that. Excellent stuff.

Carrie Clevenger said...

Definitely grade A noir, but in a wink-wink sort of way. Not quite as grey as I'd see in others. That's actually refreshing.

Author said...

Read this out the corner of my mouth and it made all the right notes. Loved it. Classy stuff from two class acts.

More please!

Stina said...

Spectacular. I was grinning the whole way through. Excellent work.!

Blaze McRob said...

Absolutely awesome alliterative ability, attacking all avenues around artistic achievement!


Graham Smith said...

A most stylish double helping from the duo with the dynamite dynamic. Loved it.

Nigel Bird said...

Guys, there's an outstanding piece here and thanks for the preview. The dialogue is supreme and is straight from an old movie. The setting and those musical refernces are also sweet to my ears. I'd really like to see more, but, word of caution, don't overstretch the wordplay and amazing originality to the point where the plot sags. It's got to be fun, but it's going to be great.

Groovydaz40 said...

You two guys are ALWAYS entertaining with your word play.

Matthew S. Magda said...

Like the setting and the unraveling mystery so well entwined with the characters interplay and counterplay.
Makes one wonder what that Lady Be Good is all about. I suspect without being suspect that the plot will twist in Mediterranean ways, with that subtle tango of the characters you both do so well. Finely done AJ and Kate.

Madam Z said...

Entertaining and intriguing! You two work well together. But I do agree with Nigel that you shouldn't overdo the wordplay, because it is a bit distracting.

I'm looking forward to the next installment.

Helen A. Howell said...

The era is captured perfectly and the dialogue between the two characters dances to a snappy rhythm. The story is intriguing and entertaining.

Chris Rhatigan said...

Very stylish and fun. Looking forward to seeing more of you two.