Noir, what is it?
Noir fiction (or roman noir) is a literary genre closely related to hardboiled genre with a distinction that the protagonist is not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator.
My first foray into the genre is with Once Upon a Mystery. The challenge of it was to create a 1920’s – 1930’s story using fairy tales as a base. I chose a setting comparable to 1929, just before and as the stock market crashed.
I drew the “Three Billy Goats Gruff”. I was almost dismayed when I began researching the story. Of all the uninteresting, straightforward stories, but I decided it was a challenge. There are some interesting points to the story. There were several themes in the story. Greed, patience, cunning, and a few others if you look for them. To incorporate these into the time period was not as difficult as feared once the story was laid out. Adding layers of intrigue to this straightforward story while maintaining its core was the trick.
Following is an excerpt from “Three Billy Goats Gruff: A Noir Fairy Tale”
“Orland squinted as he tilted the bottle. Disappointed with how little remained, he downed it in a swallow; then held it upside down. Where were the answers that were supposed to hide at the bottom?
He knew why there were no answers. He already had them.
It was late and the office echoed. Still, he looked over his shoulder. Billy needed the new medastinum surgery to fix his lungs. Orland had lost his wife. He was not going to lose his son.
Before his last swallow of liquid nerve waned, he made a few quick pen strokes. There! It was finished. Tomorrow, as part of routine processing, a clerk would set up an ongoing transfer of funds to his secret account. He was an honest sort, but the company had refused to help. His salary was just not enough. The evidence was well-hidden and another clerk processing it was the final shield. Even the best auditors would be hard-pressed to track this back to him.”