Friday, August 23, 2013

THROUGH THE SHADOWS OF THE PAST ... THE 194O'S REVISITED ...

HI, EVERYONE!

Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes! I am hanging in ... hating every minute of my down time. Taking down an active dude is just not right. I'm no couch potato ...

Sadly my recovery will take at least six weeks! Not working out that long will surely take away all the hard work I put into keeping fit. I am very thankful that it's not worse, but I am angry that it will change my life to such an extreme. Life can be soooo challenging at times!

I wish I could at least write, BUT typing with one hand is so frustrating and TIME CONSUMING!

Anyway, enough self pity...  I'm a fighter and I will get through this like i've gotten through every other obstacle in my life!

I did manage to write over five hundred words before the accident for my entry for Denise Covey's, WRITE ... EDIT ... PUBLISH ... Another excerpt from my film noir novella ...

The prompt ... a vacation...

A bit of back story...  In 1947, a young woman, dressed as a flapper, was invited by her girlfriend to the elegant Palmer House in Chicago for a Halloween Party. There she meets her friend Doris and a blind date: a detective. He is the friend of Doris' gangster boyfriend, Marty.

The two couples get acquainted and dance the night away.... then, right after Liberace's performance, she gets abducted by Marty....


A light snow falls on this All Hallows day. 

A chilling breeze mixes with a soft haze which lingers over the city. Dim streaks wrestle their way through dense, gray clouds as the once dancing fringe of a flapper’s dress drags the pavement, tattered and fraying.

Scratched legs climb a cracked and crumbling front stoop. Hands shaking, Rosemary reaches into her purse and pulls out the front door key. Flashbacks of the struggle with Marty race through her mind. His rough hands tearing at the fine material of her dress; her feeble attempts to escape as he pulls her into that dark alley; and her screams muffled by his brutal backhand. The bruise still throbs as she places a trembling hand on her cheek. 

The door opens with an eerie creak. She drifts through and the subtle scent of rose water still perfumes the air. The artificial mink slips off her shoulder and puddles on the thread worn carpet.

What if ... 

She chews her lower lip. 

Over and over the scene replays, flickering through her mind like an old silent movie. The blinding light reflecting off the mile-long chrome of that black, glossy Packard, screeching to a halt; the two hoods jumping out, grabbing Marty, and stuffing him into the trunk; and then ...

She stares down at her beaded purse overflowing with hundred dollar bills.

His words still rung in her ears. “This is for you toots,” he said, as he reaches into his pinstriped vest and pulls out a stack of bills  ... “I can tell you ain’t no moll. Marty’s gonna get his, don’t you worry about it.” He smiles. “Take a little trip south for a while. Remember, you ain’t seen nothin.”

“A trip south?” A hushed whisper escapes from her lips. She picks up the purse. There must be over five grand in here. 

 Her heart beats faster, as the trace a smile crosses her snow-white face. “Why not?”


*     *     *

A wool coat drapes over a battered, brown suitcase, sitting next to an open door. Rosemary addresses an envelop and seals it. Tears roll down her face. She sighs. A chill runs down her back. At least Miami will be warm. 

The chair leg catches on the ragged pile of the carpet as she stands. “I certainly won’t miss this dump.” She looks around the room and takes a moment, focusing on each stick of furniture: the speckled brass bed covered with the thinnest of spreads, the scratched pine dresser with the cracked mirror, and the rickety table with only one chair. She shakes her head. No I won’t miss this.

She steps over the the smudged window. A hint of light illuminates the fire escape and dingy alley.

A tap on the door startles her. She spins around, holding her breath.

“Eh, lady. Did you call for a messenger?”

“Ah, yes.” She hands him the letter. “Please deliver it to the address on the envelope.”

“That’ll be half a buck.”

She grabs her pocket book, takes out a bill, and stuffs it into his hand.

“A Undred? A bead of sweat forms on his brow. “I-I ain’t got change for this.”

“Keep it.”

He scratches his head and knocks off his cap. Half-dollar sized eyes meet hers.

“Gee. Tanks, lady.” 

“Now, go!”

He snatches up his cap, looks up, beams, and races into the hall. 

“And get some elocution lessons with that money.”

She smiled. At least I made someone’s day.


I wanted to write more ... the vacation part is coming ... i hope to post the rest later today or tomorrow... Please drop back and let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend everyone!

A preview of what's to come ...




34 comments:

  1. She's cold! But not totally unfeeling.
    Sorry you'll be sidelined when it comes to exercise. I'm sure you'll find creative ways to work out what you can. There is always a way.

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  2. Good luck with your recovery, Michael - I'm sure you'll put your creative juices to work and find a way.

    Hey, just thinking out loud... while you can't write two-handed, have you looked into the various speech-to-text programs... *that* might be a solution?

    Anyway, "Tanks" for sharing the short story - it was a great read and I hope the cabbie doesn't hire an Oirishman to give him "electrician" lessons :)

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  3. Sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you didn't have to have surgery on your wrist, but if you did, the physical therapy is absolutely critical to restoring your wrist and hand motions. Been there, done that.

    Enjoyed your story. Intriguing and well written. Good character.

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  4. Be well Michael, so sorry for the downtime, but I'm sure you'll use it for the best!

    Your story is lovely, and you spoke of her desire for a warmer climate, vacation is in the planning!

    Excellent!

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  5. First - still loving the voice in your 1940s Noir.

    Second - Gah! I can't believe this happened to you! Grrr Chicago bikers. I've always thought they were mean, tinkling their stupid bells at me... It totally sucks that your workout routine will be interrupted. But look at it this way---all those hours and hours at the gym have you primed enough to withstand some time off. You'll snap right back once you get back to it, I'm sure.

    Let me know what you want to do about next Friday - I'll totally understand if you want to reschedule. Or I can bring chicken noodle soup to your place, whatever works best for you.

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  6. i'm so glad you are okay & rcovering!
    i guess we must suffer for our writing, eh?
    hopefully this will be a good time for observation...

    and love the sound of what you have, the picture sets a vivid foretelling! hope the recovery time goes by wuick for you!

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  7. Hey Michael this is awesome. Tanks so much for posting. I thought of the audio to type too. A friend demonstrated it to me this week on her new MacAir. Would be purrfecto while you are laid up. No one minds that this dame didn't get to her vacation. Why not use it for MOVING ON in September?

    As always I love your noir voice. So authentic.

    Thanks for posting for the inaugural WEP bloghop.

    Denise

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  8. I'm a big Noir fan, and you do it so well. I hate that you are so banged up. The one hand approach could get faster with repeated use. The voice-to-text option sounds promising but expensive.

    Scribble your thoughts in a journal so that some of this time can be spent in laying foundations for the future. May you heal quickly.

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  9. Great start to the story - I can't imagine typing one-handed. Hope you mend quickly.

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  10. I hope you have a speedy recovery and I will be back to check out the rest of the story. Sound great so far.

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  11. Excellent beginning, even if you were unable to finish.

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  12. I know how hard this must be; there's nothing worse than feeling like you're doing pretty good and have life slap you down.

    Love the excerpt :)

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  13. The story sounds good thus far. Very atmospheric.
    Take care.

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  14. Wish I could go back to visit the 40s. Such a unique time. Well done!
    I just saw that you were injured. Oh man, it sounds awful. So sorry!
    *sending you hugs and chocolates and all good wishes*
    So glad it wasn't worse!! I wiped out on my bike a few weeks ago and it's the most I've been injured in a long time. It really does make you appreciate good health.

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  15. I know you are a fighter Michael! I was sad to read about your incident, but happy you had a guardian angel help you~

    Great story-yes, I do want to hear more!

    Yes, sending you get well wishes and a speedy recovery~

    ATB

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  16. Sucks about not being able to work out, but at least it wasn't worse. Take it easy!

    Loved your writing excerpt. Beautiful, haunting description in parts.

    Nice photo clue as well :)

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  17. Hi Michael .. what an interesting story line - and I can see many threads being possible from this start -

    I'm not sure I'd like to be her escaping south with cash in hand to disappear as such ... I'm not sure she can and could be found ...

    We'll see - anyway look after yourself and do what you can - you will I know .. cheers Hilary

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  18. Take care, hope your recovery will be quicker than longer. Sorry to hear of your injury,

    Yvonne.

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  19. Sorry to hear about your accident! You know, someone told me that doing a bit of yoga (with the uninjured parts of your body) can be a great way to keep your muscles fit(ish) while resting up.

    Love the sound of your story. And I'd love to read your description of air travel in those times. People sure understood luxury back then. ;-)

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  20. Interesting story, full of suspense. Get better soon.
    Nancy

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  21. Oh, Michael, I'm so, so sorry to hear about your accident. I know how frustrating it is to be forced to type with one hand. I think Mark and Denise are onto something. Have you thought about getting speech recognition software like Dragon to use until you're back in form?

    I love noir, and this piece has great ambiance and voice. I'm looking forward to reading the rest.

    Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery with no doctor bills and no surgery.

    VR Barkowski

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  22. Nice!

    Maybe you should hire a secretary to type while you recline on the sofa and dictate. Or get some of that voice-to-text software. ;)

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  23. Love it- and glad to hear you're in good spirits.

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  24. Love this as I knew I would. Rosemary is a great character and I love the teaser pic.

    Best of luck with your recovery! I can imagine it is really hard to be side-lined, I don't think I'd make a very good patient at all. Take care, Michael.

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  25. So sorry about the accident and the forced down time. Here's to healing and getting back to your active life.

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  26. Interested to see what she does with all that money! So sorry to hear about your accident, wow, a bicycle. He must have been going fast to cause you so much damage. Glad you were able to write about your interview with Tammy before. I'll be back to see what the flapper girl does, and what was done to her. I wish you a speedy recovery and am impressed you're even on the computer in your state! I found you on Denise's WEP bloghop.

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  27. So good to hear you're a fighter. And yes, typing with one hand is painfully slow!! I hope you mend quickly and painlessly. Many hugs from across the ocean.
    Lyn

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  28. Now I'm in the mood to go watch an old movie! I really enjoyed this. My worry is that the messenger will go tell someone where and who he got the big tip from .... and they'll gang up, looking for more!

    Hope you're mending. It stinks, being sidelined. :(

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  29. I was SO SAD when the piece ended... I WANT MORE... Seriously. I love the "old silent movie" line... that was PERFECT. And I could see the room she wouldn't miss perfectly in my mind... there's such a flavor to this style of writing for you, Michael. Honestly, I want to read a whole book of this! It's all so... REAL. I love it--and it takes me to one of my favorite time periods. (The one I swear I was supposed to live in!!!!!)

    Such a great excerpt. And I hope you're faring okay. It really does just stink all that you're going through!!!

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  30. in love with this blog, keep up the great work!!<3 xx Peach

    http://momomoworld.blogspot.com

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  31. Love this one. So sorry to hear of your accident --hope you feel better soon!

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  32. Michael, I love your writing. =)

    I know what you mean about single handed typing--I became a pro about a month back after an unfortunate incident with a newly sharpened blade. It's amazing how quickly things can change, and how much we take for granted the little things sometimes, eh? My thoughts are with you.

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  33. I hope you're feeling better! I remember how awful it felt to not be able to exercise when I hurt my back. I think I had to wait something like 7 months. Definitely not fun!

    I love your writing style. I'm also very partial to the 1940s so I liked it before I even read it :)

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  34. Hi Michael,

    I'm so sorry to hear of your accident, and sorry too that it's taken me so long to come round. All the best for your quick recovery.

    Your writing is as absorbing as ever, of course, and the pic is awesome!

    Take care and feel better soon.
    Nilanjana.

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