Flowers for Lobelia: Chapter Two – Scene 4


She was walking away from him toward the back of the house, her soft hair so fine and pressed smooth with layering’s that shifted blue on black; yet fluffy, as it dipped down into the little ringlets that fell about her thighs. He called to her, following her faster and faster down a long hallway. Every time he caught sight of her she’d disappear again into the blackness. Finally he came to a door, her door; opened it and went in, and saw her their tied up like some kind of malformed bird or winged creature, her eyes being gnawed on by two large crows, black and shiny; pecking at her eyeballs till all that was left were two empty pits staring at him with neither pity nor sadness, just an emptiness that cast a deep shadow across his life so large he’d live in it till time or time’s ruins were finished with him or else done with life itself.

He woke up in a sweat. The bed was wet in it, he felt around for some water on the side stand but forgot he wasn’t home. He was sitting in the middle of a flea-bitten motel bed on the edge of town. He threw the covers off turned on the TV went to the sink in the lavatory turned on the water: rust colored crap dribbled out, full of odd bits of metal and bugs; who knew what else. He waited for it to clear and dampened a towel that looked like it’d been chewed up by a pit bull out of pure spite and orneriness. “Dam,” he thought to himself. “What the fuck am I doing?” He was about to look in the mirror, but he knew what was there, no sense belaboring that fact again. He washed his eyes out best he could, sat down of the commode took a long constitutional and thought about things.

He wasn’t getting anywhere, he knew that. He knew Toot was not the answer, yet he’d have to follow down every path he could just to weigh out everything like a road map till it lead him to the black spot sitting there like a big X on that blank map. That was it, too. He needed something to start that process. Then he thought about that gnawing sensation in the back of his mind. Why crows? Why her eyes plucked? What did it all mean? It came to him. That little bit of nothing in his coat pocket, that folded up carnival mask or origami contraption made out of paper: what did it mean, what was it trying to tell him? First thing in the morning he’d have to go on down to Lee’s and see what he could make of it.

First thing first he needed some fresh clothes, a shave and a real shower. He felt like hell warmed over. He reached for the phone, dialed a number, said: “Coming over, ok?” Whoever was on the other end must’ve been agreeable, because he hung up, put on his clothes and left that room behind like it left a bad taste in his mouth.

* * *  

 – Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.  

Comments are welcome and needed. This is my getting wet in noir, a first stab at this genre, and all the insight I can gather (likes, dislikes, whether its too sentimental, gritty, etc.) will help out. Obviously as I’ve said before this is a fast storyline mode for the first run through. Just getting the ideas and story down day by day. I’ll come back on the 2nd draft and start filling in details of character and setting, but for now the story itself is driving things. So if you’d be so kind drop me a comment, tell me honestly what you think.

Read more: Flowers for Lobelia – Noir Novel in Progress

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