8/18/10 – a twiller, “Jack Noir, PI” part I of II

This is a ’twiller’, a serial detective thriller I wrote on Twitter last year, using @JackNoirPI. My idea was to do an installment a day, and make each tweet,  not only a continuation of the story, of course – but also that each would make ‘sense’ as a standalone, that someone could see one at random and know instantly that it was an artifact of a film noir style story.

The remainder half of the series, before I ground to a halt for some reason, I’ll post tomorrow.

And remember, each line was posted separately, daily, and limited to 140 spaces and characters.


He once broke my nose for “ruining” his sister – or so he thought – but I still didn’t like seeing him dead, not like this.

I turned away – my morning eggs and whiskey churning up in my gut. If the cops hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have recognized him.

Dunfrey – he’d made sergeant since I last saw him – watched me with a weary scowl pulling down his jowls. “Someone was angry…”

“You’ve called Vera?” I asked, stuffing my handkerchief back in my pocket. Knowing he would want to break procedure, have me make the call.

“I was wondering–” “If I would?” He nodded, his eyes flickering down at the floor. My own eyes were squinting, beginning to burn.

I glanced at the corpse again – all it was now, no longer Tom, especially with half its face orange and red pulp and slickly glistening bone.

Lying nearby, obscenely imitating him, was a steel fireplace andiron, it’s bulbous top bloodied like his head. But here?

Last time I saw Tom was when Vera had asked me to pull a favor down at Pct. 5. I tried, but cops’ memories are like elephants’.

So I owed Vera a favor. Somehow, my gut knew this would be a walk through Hell. But maybe I’d meet Tom there and take a weight off him.

“I’ll go tell her. Just sign off her as getting down to the morgue, ok?” I said, knowing full well she would insist anyway.

Dunfrey nodded. I stamped out my spent pill on the warehouse cement floor. Overhead the tube lights buzzed. Like the ones in the morgue.

“Do your job, ok?” “You know I will Jack.” He had the tin, I had the rapsheet-but we both knew we were two mugs in the same lineup.

Outside the warehouse the sudden sun drove chivs in my eyes and a fist in my sour gut. I was getting too old for mornings.

Once in my Royal I sucked on a new bullet – and an old flask – and rumbled out of the yard. Sick at the thought of how Vera would react.

Damn, last time was a year back, Fish’s funeral. She was good enough to come, even how Fish had treated her. And how I let him treat her.

Vera had grown up with Ziegfeld dreams. And she was quite the canary in her time. What she had ended up with was me.

But way back when she’d gotten on the hop. I pulled her off it, so she thought she owed me, and maybe she did. But I owed her more.

I pulled out the flask again at a stoplight, but jerked my arm down as a squad car crossed. The shotgun saw, eyeballed me, head pivoting.

It’s the way of the world – Vera, me, everyone, has their demon. Looks like Tom’s had walked right up behind him and shown him the sunset.

On Vera’s street, I curbed it. I pulled my aviators out of the glove compartment, thought, frowned, and tossed them on the seat.


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5 responses to “8/18/10 – a twiller, “Jack Noir, PI” part I of II

  1. I never knew you were into thrillers! This is so cleverly done! Each line/sentence in 140 characters – WOW! And the continuity is so well maintained….
    I am REALLY looking forward to the second half… I love reading mysteries and thrillers… some day, I hope to write one myself! (Sigh)….

  2. Chillingly good Lawrence 🙂

  3. Oh my word, you have blown me away with this…I did not know you were into this Lawrence!!!!???? CAN’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW!!!! You rock my friend!!! And full of sursprizes!!! Hugs x

  4. This is really clever, Lawrence. What happened next?

  5. Lawrence what a treat…you took me roaring back to my youth…watching such stories on television …..I’ve always loved old movies and I could almost hear the voices as I read this….great…..can’t wait for the next set of these. THANKS!

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