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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fab fun forgotten fiction found!

I can't believe it!

After 5 years of neglect, my old LiveJournal account still exists!  I am shocked.

The best thing about this is not LJ itself but the fact that I had short stories that I wrote years ago attached to it. I am so excited.

Each of the short stories was inspired by background characters in an RPG I used to run set in White Wolf's World of Darkness, a setting that I think is largely responsible for the current obsession with Vampires in pop-culture.  I loved it so much, and i loved the act of creation.  I couldn't just create the city or set the stories for the characters, i felt I needed to give more depth to my city, and these stories were part of that.

here's an excerpt from Beyond any Measure, a chapter in the story of the hulking ex-con Monk, who works as a doorman/ muscle for one of the major characters, but has no idea that his boss is a Vampire.  In this story he was on the trail of whoever killed his friend with lethally cut heroin.


“Well shit, it really is you,” sez Eddie the Ear. “I ain’t seen you since…” his face screws up as he thinks
“… night before the Spinozzo family had an accident in Harlem.” I supply.
Eddie’s startin’ to look like an old man. His face is getting’ flabby. I guess he’s put on about twenty pounds in the last few years. He scratches at his greyin’ stubble.
“The Spinozzos, yeah,” he sez lookin’ thoughtful. I take a look at his office. Eddie’s workin’ out of an upstairs apartment above the pawn shop he owns downstairs. I don’t know what angle he’s workin’ these days, but it’s guaranteed whatever it is ain’t legal. His nephew Vinnie is sittin’ on the edge of a table glarin’ at me. I recognise the type immediately; he looks about twenty, still wet behind the ears, and that sneer he’s carryin’ says he wants to make a name for himself, and maybe thinks I’m the man whose corpse to make it on. Eddie sends him out to get a beer for me.
“So why you turnin’ up here after all this time?” he asks me, “I thought you stopped workin’ for The Family.” I nod my head, relaxin’ down into a chair.
“I talked to Old Mike Gravano when I came out of my last stretch. Told him I wanted out. Old Mike gives me a handshake, tells me I done good an’ proud by his family, and if I wanna work again, to come see you.” 
The kid comes back with a beer. Its some German shit that I wouldn’t feed to a two day drunk. I hold the bottle loosely between my first two fingers, down by the side of the chair.
“But I ain’t lookin’ for work,” I say “I need information, and you’re “The Ear”.
“There’s someone pushin’ bad shit in town. I got a friend who is the worse for usin’ it. I need to know who’s workin’ East Rutherford.”
“Sorry Monk,” he sez a little too fast, “I don’t know nuthin’ about drugs. That ain’t my bag.”
My lips go tight. This is Eddie “The Ear” Scoleri, the best information magnet I ever met. He never knows nothin’ about anythin.
“Eddie,” I say softly “if you don’t tell me what I need to know voluntarily, I’m gonna have to ask you another way.” Eddie don’t flinch, but I see Vinnie straighten and reach for his piece.
“Kid,” I say, raisin’ my voice, “do you know what a bi-polar recursive haematoma is?” I look at him, seein’ the confused look in his baby blues. “Its when the part of your brain that causes you to feel pain – when, for example, some young Paesan puts a bullet in you – shuts off.
“Now if you draw that sidearm you might kill me, but my body’ll take thirty seconds or so to shut down. More’n enough time for me to snap your neck like a rotten twig.” Little Vinnie gets some fear in his eyes but his hand is still inside his jacket.
“’Sides,” I add, “my guy on the roof across the street’s got you covered.”
The minute the kid’s eyes flicker to the window I’m in motion. My right arm whips up and over, releasing the bottle, and I’m right behind it. The base of the bottle hits him just above the right eye. His head snaps back. I reach him and slam a right into his gut, lifting him off his feet as his breath whooshes out. My left mitt clubs down across his jaw, knockin’ him to the floor.
I pull my knife from under my coat and kneel on the kid’s neck. A gurglin’ comes from his throat ‘til he passes out. I grab his right ear and pull hard. Behind me I hear Eddie protest. I ignore him and make a hard ’n’ fast pass with the knife. I stand up with my prize in my hand.
“Next time get me an American beer,” I sneer into the ruined shell of his ear.


Its not my best work, but I loved writing it, and finding this and some of the other stories from those days really makes me excited about NaNoWriMo. Maybe I can get back to the stories of those minor characters and sidekicks; the hard-working and unappreciated colleagues and minions, the left-hand men and button men of that shadowy world who played out the instructions of their dark masters.


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