Noir: Exits

The band returned and struck up a tune which was quickly interrupted by a female screeching something about a diamond. I saw the owner grappling with the very woman Fedora-raincoat had abandoned a few moments earlier, and before I could figure out which one was crazy, he reappeared and instigated a full-on melee, assaulting the owner and pulling his gun before backing for the exit, dragging her with him.

Dimly, I realised this was the real thing: breaking news, happening right before me. I should have taken notes – instead, terrified, I looked for the exit. I saw an unmarked door behind me and pushed through.

I found myself in a private corridor. Catching my breath, I had the wit to duck out of sight as a door opened, and the maĆ®tre d’ emerged – followed by the chanteuse. He opened an external door, revealing a waiting car, and ushered her in. As she turned in the back seat, I caught a clear glimpse of something round her neck: a gold pendant with a huge, smoky stone.

A second later, the car slid away.

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