Noir: Assuming The Best

Avatar Author: Pablo Vilas "Ascension" writer's notes are here, . Corrections and improvements, please! Born 1948, married, two daughters. Living in Seattle, Washington state, USA. Retired from a career in... Read Bio

Ahead I see a little green sign; Gunn’s. Yes, that’s where I’m going. One thing I haven’t forgotten; I need a hit. I peer in my jacket and see money. Vincenzo must have given me the advance right out of the cashbox. Later, I’ll count it.

I go into Gunn’s, a seedy place that caters to seedy people whom I would never admit to The Topaz. I go to the third booth from the left. Here, a rumpled fellow in a patched brown raincoat is facing the gristly mess Tommy calls Shepherd’s Pie. By his plate is a notepad. He looks up at me; “Well, hello!”

I shiver and draw a ragged breath; God I need a hit. But this is the wrong kind of guy. Then I remember it’s the third booth from the right, and go over there. That fellow is working a crossword and chewing a toothpick. He hands me the toothpick and says “25.” He puts his menu in the window and goes back to his puzzle.

I carry the toothpick outside. These transactions always seem to involve saliva. After a few minutes, cab number 25 rolls up to the curb.

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Comments (5 so far!)

  1. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Gross, seedy, and a nice portrait of the elaborate world that is known to junkies but somehow remains largely out of sight to most people.

  2. Avatar August 2nd

    Everyone ends up at Gunn’s sooner or later!

  3. Avatar JonB

    Gristle and saliva: that’s Gunn’s!

    Fun interlude and a change of scene, and it’s good to see Lambone once again in his natural environment – though not sure why he greets Fabrizio, a perfect stranger, so warmly.

  4. Avatar Pablo Vilas

    1024 character limit is why. I had a more suspicious greeting in mind, but couldn’t make it fit. Nor would a sarcastic spin on Shaw’s delivery fit. Make of it what you will!

  5. Avatar JonB

    Fair enough. If it wasn’t for that damned character limit, every one of our stories would be a masterpiece!

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