A Final October Treat

October began with an attempt at writing Horror. I genre I love, and had little experience with. I end October the same way. This Halloween treat is my flavor of Noir, thanks to one Channel Noir; a blog that I love to lurk. I was reminded of this Noir Flash Fiction contest by way of Are You Gonna Eat That?, for Julie is a flasher like myself. To me Noir is all about first-person narrative, murder and rhythm. Like how improvisational Jazz is rooted in meter, melody and drama.

I tip the hat, and offer… 

Me and the Dame

I didn’t love her. I never loved her.

I tell myself that now. I have to. The other option is just too…

I’m not good with words. That was her angle. We were partners, see. Me and the dame, just like Sinatra and Gardner. He never loved her, either. Yeah, so they say he wrote “I’m a Fool to Want You” about her. But any man could write that about any woman. Should write that. Ava was married to ol’ blue eyes? Said once that he was the love of her life? They all say that, pal. After six years, that was another marriage down the toilet.

I vomit. The bowl is cool next to my temple. I feel the blood beat against the chilled porcelain. Beat. Beat. Beat. It fills me.

No. Wait. That’s the bathroom door. Someone’s knocking. No. They’re yelling. Inside, I think I’m yelling, too. But the facts, the facts still swirl in my mind like my spew in the bowl.

This is just like what happened to Crosby, Stills and Nash in Seventy with Neil Young. All about the contracts. She was the words. I was the facts. The TV tabloids loved us. Biography Channel. Music History Channels. We had a good thing; my facts and her words. But not a balanced thing. Facts are empty without words. She knew that. Knew it. Never a balanced thing. Just like Crosby, Stills and Nash needed Neil, but Neil didn’t need CS N. In the end the contracts couldn’t hold them. Just like me and the dame. Just like Ava and Frank.

Knocking again. Banging. I think I mumbled something. I hope it worked. These damn hotel walls are paper thin. Can’t hold the sound inside the rooms. The sound of joy. Passion. Pain. Betrayal. Gun shots.

Blood. I must wash my hands. The water’s cold. I was cold. The gun was cold.

Facts don’t shoot guns. Facts are cold. Words shoot guns. Words are hot. She shot the gun. She made me shoot the gun. We had a contract. What did they have? Just their sounds. Their constant sounds through these paper walls. Joy. Passion. Cruel laughter. Her hot words bleeding into the cold fact of my room.

Slamming the door. Cracking the frame.

Just like Ava and Frank. Just like Neil and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Contracts never hold us. Facts never hold us. Words never hold us. Love never…it was never love. That would have been too…

I try to turn from the sink. I fumble to turn off the faucet. I try to wash the blood. They’re in the room. I can’t explain.

I just don’t have the words.


I hope you enjoyed. Now go read about Clown Fear. It’s Halloween, after all.


Reader Feedback

9 Responses to “A Final October Treat”

  • Chuck says:

    I like this — I like the spare use of language. Sharp, short, shocky, but not schlocky or schecky.

    — c.

  • Keith Karabin says:

    Thanks, yo. Tried for a fragmented syncopation.


  • Hilary Davidson says:

    Just had to tell you that I really enjoyed this, Keith. Your writing has a great rhythm to it.

  • Keith Karabin says:

    Why Thank You Ms. Davidson. I’m glad it seems to be a stylistically beneficial so far. Welcome my little corner of the net.

    *Blushes, little bit*


  • Steve Weddle says:

    Quick and clean. Cool stuff, sir

  • Ron Earl Phillips says:

    Just the kind of writing I like. What mine would be like if I didn’t let the words get in the way.

    Nice stuff.

  • Keith Karabin says:

    Thanks, Ron.

    I consider that high praise since my words trip me up quite often.

    I must add that what I’ve read of yours dances with the words very well, too. We are all our worst critics, I guess. Though on some level that’s a good thing.


  • Chad Rohrbacher says:

    Loved this — poetic use of language in many ways; the rhythms making the reader feel the character’s emotions and giving him/her meaning without you explaining it. The story leaves so much for the reader to explore and interpret. Nicely done

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