Monday, July 11, 2016

Noir at the Bar NYC with a (new) story by me

Juliet Fletcher, Charlie Stella, Rory Costello
(Photos by Peter Rozovsky for Detectives
Beyond Borders)
Even more fun than usual was had at Sunday evening's Noir at the Bar at Shade Bar in New York. Why? Because I:

1) Met a couple of folks whom I had previously known only through social media and e-mail, notably Charlie Stella.

2) Met some new folks from the United States and elsewhere.

3) Had enjoyable reunions with all kinds of crime fiction folks and my favorite bartender in New York.

4) Stayed late, by Noir at the Bar standards, and still managed to make my bus back to Philadelphia.


Scott Adlerberg and Jen Conley,
the evening's hosts.
5) Read a story that I had assembled for the occasion, because Jen Conley invited me to read, and it would not have done to show up with an old story, would it?

The storythe opening section of a story, reallyis a distillation of some fragments that I wrote years ago and that finally may come together as a coherent whole. Here we meet the characters and set the stage for the  main action.

Before we go, thanks to Jen for inviting me to read and to Scott Adlerberg for MCing the event with her.

Oh, the story's title. West Fourth Street is the nearest subway stop to Shade. Beyond that, if you don't recognize the allusion, you've got a a lot of nerve to say you are my friend.

 Negatively Fourth Street

by Peter Rozovsky

Fifteen miles outside NEWark, Delaware, the woman next to me started crying into her phone. I commiserated, I kept silent. Then I slammed my book down and headed for the café car.

On my way back, the train took a curve. I bobbled my coffee and sandwich, and the heavy metal doors between the cars clanked open. From in front came the last voice I wanted to hear. From behind, a voice I wanted to hear even less.

Suzanne Solomon
The train pulled out of NEWark with a long, shrill whistle. I rolled down the grass embankment, mopped the coffee stains and tuna flecks from my shirt, and watched the train disappear.

Blake wore a red T-shirt and blue jeans. He hunched forward, hands jammed in his pockets, and he moved fast. Fetch held a rolled-up Rangers jacket in the crook of one elbow, a Tim Horton's bag half falling out of one pocket. He ambled and shambled, but he still kept up with his friend somehow. He put a hand on Blake's shoulder, and they stopped.

Fetch indicated a door, and Blake shook his head. Fetch held up one finger and ducked into the doorway. Blake shrugged, leaned against a pillar, and lit a cigarette.

Terrence McCauley
Kasey Thompson's voice told a smoky tale of cigarettes and whiskey, but it lied. She never touched either.

"Think I'd be able to do this if I wasted my time in bars?"  She whacked the speed bag and made me feel sorry for the leather. Chin tucked, knees flexed, back straight. Elbows in, her back heel lifting slightly each time she struck. Her two fists became four, then six. Her breath came in short, spitting wheezes with each punch. I got tired watching her.

But she did waste time in bars, and I wanted to know why. "What's with the gym stuff?" I said. "You don't fight."

She stopped punching, and she smiled as she blew a wisp of platinum hair from her left eye. "Would you want to be whipped by a fat dominatrix?"

I jabbed the .45 at the base of Fetch's skull, and I cackled as his eyes grew wide.

"Out of the car. And leave the boxes."

I jerked the gun to the right as Blake went for his jacket. "Hold it right there, Tiger."

"The fuck?"

"What am I going to call you? Paddy? Mick? Now, out of the car, Celtic, and keep your hands away from your — "

"From my Marlboros, you gobshite. All right, I'm getting out."

I waved out the window of Fetch's black 2008 Lexus as I pulled away.

"See you later, gents. Put this in your books."


Albert Tucher
Two nights later I'm shouting to be heard over the crowd at the Grand Hyatt.  We're hooting and cheering as a small, curvy woman dressed in black lifts her blouse to reveal her tattoos: Kasey Thompson. The crowd pushes in around her, all except two guys looking the other way, toward the door.

The snake tattoo is flicking its tongue at Kasey Thompson's scapula, but I've got one eye on the two guys.


His friend, a husky, saltish-pepperish dude with a Rangers jacket and a Tim Horton's bag, shrugs, and they head my way.  Shit. Fetch and Blake

© Peter Rozovsky 2016

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Blogger seana graham said...

Intriguing glimpses of a tale, Peter,and as always, great portrait photos.

July 11, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. And there are more where those came from. I'll look for an excuse to post some of them here.

July 11, 2016  

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