Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"ENCORE" ~ By Christina Vincent ... *The Shadows of Our Noir* ~ AT THE BIJOU

By ~ Christina Vincent

Jimmy had half of his face covered with his hand, and when he turned around I knew he was trying not to laugh at me. Seeing him do that was my trouble, honey, not anything I mighta done or not done. When the bulls came into my crummy little apartment in New York years ago, I was just sitting there with a butt and a glass of bourbon in one hand and my little Remington derringer in the other, and Mr. No Good Two-Timer all spread out on the bed with all that blood staining the pillowcases. Didn’t even take my smile off when they threw me in the cooler.
            But when Jimmy was trying to hide how hard he was laughing at me? Yeah, that spells trouble for a girl, especially when there’s some private dick on the couch across the way asking about another dead body. I licked my lips and gave him my stage smile.
            “Sweetie, you’re just gonna have to stop messing around and tell me.”
            “We found him dead, Miss Dietrich. His wife saw him leave for work this morning, and then we find him out back behind the newspaper office tonight.”
            I made my eyes real wide, and Jimmy had to turn around again. Nobody made Jimmy laugh like me, and I kinda like that. “Oh, goodness, that’s just… gosh. How awful! What happened?”
            “I was hoping you could tell me that, Miss Dietrich.”
            “I don’t see how she possibly could,” Jimmy said, face all serious again, that sweet accent of his filling up the room. I don’t know what it is about English guys. They never really did it for me until Jimmy. Now I could sit here listening to him read the paper for hours, watching him run those long piano fingers through hair the same color a Hershey kiss left on your fingers if you held it without the foil, not to mention those eyes. You look straight at them, and they’re the palest shade of something in the middle of blue and gray, but you look at him from the side while he’s looking straight ahead, and they’re gold, I ain’t kidding. Jimmy reached for the deck of Luckies on the table and pulled one out. “She was with me all afternoon.”
            “Doing what, if I may ask, Mr. Sangster?”
            There was that smile again, lips all closed and one eyebrow going up. Jimmy was trying not to laugh, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to pretend to take a drink of bourbon before I started in. “Now, Detective, that isn’t a terribly appropriate conversation.”
            The cop looked back at me, but I was real busy inspecting the inside of my glass and trying to stop grinning. “All day, Mr. Sangster?”
            “Hannah’s quite a woman,” he said, all calm and cool and British, and I set the glass down on the table.
            “Any other questions, sweetie?” I crossed my legs at the knees, and the hem of my dress might’ve gone up just a little bit. I saw him staring at my ankles, and I rotated one foot in a circle. He cleared his throat and looked back at me, no kidding around this time.
            “Are there any other witnesses who’ll swear you were here all day, Miss Dietrich?”
            I put the ciggy to my lips and had a nice, long smoke. “No, sweetie, I ain’t that kinda girl.”
            The cop was getting awful red by now, and Jimmy was watching me the way a cat looks at a bird through a window. I was gonna get it, and I didn’t care one little bit. “What brought you to Los Angeles, Miss Dietrich?”
            “What girl doesn’t wanna see Los Angeles?”
            “You see, that’s what I’d like to know.” The detective leaned back against the cushions, all kinds of comfortable now. “There aren’t any records of you, Hannah. Not a single one.”
            “It’s Miss Dietrich,” I said smoothly, tilting my head to one side. He’d done some digging, that was pretty damn clear.
            “Is it? See, I don’t think that you’re really Hannah Dietrich. I’m not convinced there’s a Hannah Dietrich at all.”
            “Ain’t that something.” I tried not to look at Jimmy.
            “I believe our time is up, Detective.” Jimmy handed me his ciggy and stood between me and the man on the couch.
            “I don’t think we’re done here,” he said.
            “I believe that we are.”
            “No, because, see, I read this story about a dame in New York about fifteen years ago. Real pretty thing, with nice blond hair like Miss Dietrich there, only shorter, and the prettiest green eyes, just like Miss Dietrich. Back in ’29. this dame shot her husband with a little Remington derringer, just like our stiff, and then she just disappeared out of jail.”
            “That’s fascinating.” Gosh, Jimmy could sound real, real cold when he wanted to. I was shivering. I took a smoke off of his cigarette, just to taste him.
            “The girl’s stage name was Hannah Clara Santa Barbara. She was a dancer. Frequented a lot of jazz clubs, speakeasies.”
            “Ten years ago, Detective?” Jimmy reached behind me for his ciggy. “Precisely how old was this girl at the time?” The way the smoke just curled out of Jimmy’s mouth, the way he stayed right between us… I needed another drink.
            “She was about twenty, I’d say.”
            Jimmy turned around, giving me that little closed-lipped smile. “That would make this pretty thing about thirty-five if that was the case, wouldn’t it? She doesn’t look a day over twenty-one to me.”
            Oh, Jimmy, you…
            “It’s a pity about the young man, but even if my darling girl was seeing him on the side, well… I’m certain you’ve never had any such indiscretions come to your notice, hm? Seems to me that your victim had his fair share of… how shall I put this delicately…”
            “I see your point, Mr. Sangster.”
            “And it’d be a horrible shame if your department were to come under investigation for harassing my darling girl.”
            The cop stood and nodded to me around Jimmy. “My apologies, Miss Dietrich.”
            “I’ll show you out, Detective.” Jimmy kept right behind the man until he was safely in the street, then locked the door and turned to me.
            “Jimmy, honest to God…”
            He finally let the laughter go, those long needle fangs catching the light. “Hannah Clara Santa Barbara, you are an absolute nightmare.”
            “But you love me anyway, honey,” I purred, hooking my fangs on the rim of the bourbon glass. He shook his head and smiled.
            “Aye, love, I do.”

© 2012  Sultry NOIR Author ~ CHRISTINA VINCENT
Cold crimes for  "The Shadows of Our NOIR"  AT THE BIJOU
IMAGES: Ms Dietrich from The Scarlett Empress

CHRISTINA, whisper-shouting the past months in her vibrant worlds: "You guys wanna know a secret? C'mere real close... I'm gonna be featured AT THE BIJOU real soon. Keep an eyeball on me and AbsolutelyKate.

"Hey, callin' on all o' you swell fellas and classy dames... come meet me AT THE BIJOU for a little serving of THE SHADOWS OF OUR NOIR, where you will see yours truly giving my dear friend with the moxie, Ms. Absolutely*Kate, an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at some of the characters in my novel-in-progress. You'll only be seeing this'un AT THE BIJOU!"

Absolutely*Kate ~  LASCIVIOUS LADIES and GENTEEL GENTS . . . You're in the enthusiastic joie de vivre of an up and comer where Authors go to soar ~ Ms Christina Vincent, whose name you shall all come to know the more!

CHRISTINA ~ "Thank you for everything that you do for people. You're a shining star, Kate, and you're glowing no matter what the cloud cover outside is like. We're lucky to have you."

A very, very happy new year to all. Here's hoping everyone is surrounded with love and joy this season, and that peace and creativity walk with you hand in hand through the quiet winter. Much affection to all of you wonderful theater-loving folks!

Absolutely*Kate sails with stars.

Will notify the spotlight guy that you are ready for your curtain calls, Lady sultry Stina. Much thanks for tellin' the worlds you dazzle in about your encore of ENCORE ... AT THE BIJOU.

CHRISTINA ~ Sultry, eh? Guess I'd better practice my jazz voice for the stage, huh? Prep the microphone. For Noir Night? I'm thinking poils. Goils love poils.

"Well, if these folks want to see my exclusives, they gotta get a ticket at your theater... because my characters are staying EXCLUSIVELY on your stage or in my library! (That's 'cause I love ya, schweet-haaaaaht.)"

"Naps in the Library will officially compensate Absolutely*Kate for any and all popcorn consumed by card-carrying library patrons."

Absolutely*Kate ~  Shy? Introverted? Not our gal 'Stina. Give the dame a hand folks ~ She's the voice who shouts out so many other authors in their own dances of acclaim to fame. She's a heart that 's bursting at every tip-tap-typing she attempts ... even when she goes scary, Christina's not contrary.

CHRISTINA ~ "Kate, ain't a dame this side of Casablanca that gives intro like you do. Hats off to ya, doll face. "

Christina Vincent

@StinaVincent Capital District, NY 

Storyteller, lunatic, occasional human being. Currently working on a paranormal fiction novel entitled The Occult Consult.

Naps in the Library  <------- click & go visit her wild crazy ride of a blogsite ... Shhhh, you're in a library, y'know

CHRISTINA ~ Well, Kate, like I told you backstage, I’ve been missin’ AT THE BIJOU something fierce, so I’m giving it my all now that I’ve come wandering out of my library and back on stage with the great gang here.

These fine folks can find me at Naps in the Library, where you’ll see everything from horror to paranormal fiction to downright comedic nonsense. I’m a gal of many talents. I used to be a supervillain way back in the day, and you can see some links to my work as Lady Unpleasantries up on the site. I’m hoping to eventually rewrite all of those pieces because, as you’ll see if you dare venture that way, my writing style has changed dramatically since then… but don’t we all do everything dramatically?

I’m hard at work on two novels right now. One of them is the finished first draft of The Occult Consult, which is a dark comedy about demons, ghosts, zombies in a liquor store, and home-cooked Italian cuisine all mixed up with a little magic and a cat named Snickers. The second thing I’m pouring my heart and soul into is a story about vampires, shape shifters, and a hefty dose of paranormal science. The working title is The Project, and the very same James Sangster and Hannah Clara Santa Barbara that schmoozed their way into my latest AT THE BIJOU performance are some of the upcoming cast of that little horror/drama. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might see more of my extra special characters popping into the theater to steal your popcorn.

 A*K ~  Another of the gazillion reasons I find myself rather fond of Christina Vincent, is her sensational support of INDIE AUTHORS . . . and now  . . . what goes around -- deservingly, comes around:

C.V. ~  I won. I’m going to be published.

My short story Inferna won first place in the Bloody Parchment anthology competition, and will be published along with some amazing authors. Read all about it here. Release date to be announced.

As if I needed more reason to dance through the day, first place also means that the fabulous Nerine Dorman will be editing a novel-length work for me. Hm. We don’t know about any novels here, do we…?

This has been such an incredible morning. Waking up to Nerine’s email was unreal. I had to read it three times before I believed it, and then proceeded to flood inboxes and cell phones with excited, caps lock-ridden messages. It’s remarkable to think that it’s beginning. This is my dream becoming reality.

AND NOW I'M BACK ~ AT THE BIJOU ~ AGAIN. It's my encore with ENCORE, our luscious Absolutely*Kate stage-whispered me, before she swooshed me out in this fabulous spotlight of "The Shadows of Our Noir" show. What a cast! What a slew of a crew -- Hey Kate? You writing my dialogue on this paragraph?

Thank you all for being here to share it. I’m so grateful for all of you, my friends here AT THE BIJOU, and to the other writers that will be in this anthology. I’m not going to be able to wipe the smile off of my face for weeks, and I’ll probably be dancing periodically throughout the day.

Thanks be ours, sultry, excitable 'Stina,
We wish your soar the greatest heights!

~ Absolutely*Kate
and the ritzy crew

Where Writers' Raves are Readers' Faves


   LINK delicious INFLUENCES of ~


Sal Buttaci  . . .  Kevin j Mackey

 . . . and Absolutely*Kate so far . . . . 

                          Every-other-day or so, cold crimes . . . jump-jiving January's NEW NOIR

Paul Brazill ... Leon Jackson Davenport

BR Stateham ... Fiona Johnson ... Jack Bates 

Luca Veste, on the record OFF THE RECORD

 Julian Bramwell Slater ... 

Charlie Wade ... Darren Sant  ... 

Lily Childs ... Walter Conley

Carrie Clevenger ... Daniel Stine  ...  

Thomas Pluck and the Lost Children benefit show

New Year's new NOIR-Publisher BLASTED HEATH

editor John Kenyonpublisher of GRIFT magazine

tempting telling tales of GRIMM TALES' fairytale crime-spree

Rex Pickett picks a surprise ... 

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

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

intermittent intermissions by masters of the ceremonious ~ 
Kevin MadDog Michaels and Absolutely*Kate ... 

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




Carrie Clevenger said...

Absolutely wonderful. Congratulations on the good news. :)

Stina said...

Kate, baby, you can write my dialogue any time. You know I only go on stage for you, schweet-haaaaaht. You do give me the best lines. Yer a dame like no other!

Paul D Brazill said...

Very nicely done!

KjM said...

Oh, that was just gorgeous. It played great as straight noir, and then the twist in the tale lands in your lap. Good, good, goodness. Well, probably more badness - but you get my drift.

A cat named snickers? I have to have a read of that when it's all finished.

Really fun work.

*Kate - you know the greatest people!

Stina said...

So glad you all enjoyed my story. :) Fiercely proud to be part of such a spectacular cast of writers! Feels good to be back here.

Madam Z said...

How to get away with murder: Lick your lips, flash your legs, say "gosh" and have a cool, but tough, British boy friend intimidate the investigating detective. 'Stina,may I keep a copy of this story handy, to guide me through my next murder interrogation?

Seriously now, I enjoyed the story and admire your style. By the way, does Snickers wear Knickers?

Stina said...

All of that and the vampirism to boot tends to make for an easy interrogation! Glad you liked it!

Snickers does not wear knickers, sadly... yet. Maybe I'll add that in.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

FROM JEANETTE CHEEZUM (Row 3, aisle seat) ~


I love the way your story fills the Bijou stage. You have a gift for Noir.
Great interview. I wish you all the best and I believe there will be many wins for you in the future.

Jeanette Cheezum

Stina said...

Wow, thank you so much. You guys are the best crowd of writers I've ever had the pleasure of joining.

Salvatore Buttaci said...

I particular;y love the vivid descriptions that allow me to watch the noir show unfold!

Helen A. Howell said...

Cool story filled with lots of atmosphere and a great twist to boot.