Thursday, November 08, 2012

A Little Taste of the Weird Noir

On the gritty backstreets of a crumbling city, tough dames and dangerous men trade barbs, witticisms and a few gunshots. But there’s a new twist where urban decay meets the eldritch borders of another world: WEIRD NOIR.

Featuring thugs who sprout claws and fangs, gangsters with tentacles and the occasional succubus siren. The ambiance is pure noir but the characters aren’t just your average molls and mugs—the vamps might just be vamps. It’s Patricia Highsmith meets Shirley Jackson or Dashiell Hammett filtered through H. P. Lovecraft. Mad, bad and truly dangerous to know, but irresistible all the same.

With stories from Chloë Yates, Richard Godwin, Karina Fabian, Hector Acosta, Jan Kozlowski, Andrez Bergen, Carol Borden, Paul D. Brazill, Jennifer Martin, Katherine Tomlinson, Jason Michel, Asher Wismer, Michael S. Chong, Leeyanne Moore, Christopher L. Irvin, Joyce Chng, W. P. Johnson and an introduction by K.A.Laity

Here's an excerpt from my story, "Sins of the Brother":

Dante assigned Judas his own special place in Hell for betraying his Savior. What horrible sin had I committed to deserve my own unique inferno?
I slunk my way along the streets of the Faerie side of Los Lagos, trying to ignore how the glare of neon signs and pixie flash did nothing to dispel the gloom. A temperature inversion had trapped the noxious fumes of Mundane technology, shrouding the autumn afternoon in a dismal, dirty gray fog. People had been warned to stay indoors. The Mundanes, insular by nature anyway, gladly holed up with their televisions and Xboxes, but the Faerie were still too new to this dimension to give up their social ways. The many races that made their homes in this “brave new world” wouldn’t let a little smog get in the way of their gossip and shopping.
With my treasure left behind in the mountains of Caraparavalenciana, I didn’t have the means for shopping—even if dragons did shop—and I had hoped to avoid any gossip about why the resident undersized drake was prowling the streets. Unfortunately, the higher you got, the thicker the air; my nose balked at the idea of flying. I kept to the back alleys until I got to my destination, then flapped my way to the second story of a ramshackle hotel that dared to call itself The Ritz. It was putting someone on, that’s for sure.
I didn’t care about the digs. I’d come to visit another Judas in his hell.
The rusted fire escape made a precarious perch, but my friend saved me the effort of scratching at the window by flinging it open and stepping back to let me in.
“Vern! Thank God you got my message.”
I blinked. Brother Abel breaking his vow of silence? I gave him the dragoneye as I looked him and his flop over. The tiny room hardly rated the rats I’m sure he shared it with. Maybe I’d do him a favor and snack on them before I left. With a stylish Mundane haircut and civilian threads, he didn’t look like a religious, even with the second-hand clothes, and with his clean-shaven face, he could attract many a fair damsel despite his religious vows. Right now, those good looks were as clouded as the sky outside the filmy window. I knew what that meant.
“What’s Cain gone and done this time?”
Abel started to pace, wringing his hands like an old woman. Couldn’t blame him. This wasn’t the first time Little Brother had stuck his head in a noose that Abel—with my help—had to get him out of. In fact, the last time, it had almost been a literal noose. Guess the blood didn’t run so true in Abel’s family.
Still, even then, he hadn’t broken his vow of silence. Believe me, it put a crimp in our rescue mission. The fact that he’d break it now did not bode well.
“I don’t know. He was so excited at first—still is—but now, he feels afraid. Trapped.” Abel hugged himself.
I bit back a sigh. Corsican twins are the stuff of myth and comic books in your world, but in the Faerie, psychically linked twins are rare but real. Years of training had helped him block Cain’s emotions, but sometimes, love trumps training. He’d always know when his “little” brother, younger by mere minutes, had gotten himself in deep, and fishing him out was as much for himself as for Cain.
Of course, how’s a monk on the wrong side of the Interdimensional Gap going to save his wayward kin? That’s where I come in—DragonEye, PI, the professional problem solver for people on the right side of Good but the wrong side of the law, or who want to keep things off the Mundane lawman’s radar.


Anonymous said...

That's going to whet their appetites!

Karina Fabian said...

Hope so!