Serendipity Strikes!

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Took a break from book review which I am writing for a new magazine and came across an article in the New York Times, Every Building on Every Block: A Time Capsule of 1930’s New York.
It has some great street scenes from the 1930’s, since an upcoming digest novel coming out later this year and I have two works in progress, its sequel and another new novel, always enjoy looking at the old photos.

One in particular caught my eye and is going to find its way into a work in progress, Tales from The Sleeping Hare, is the Gnome Bakery. It should fit quite nicely into the Pulp Noir Fantasy world.

A quote from the Times article.

“In 1930, a small building on East 59th Street by the Queensboro Bridge was remodeled for the Gnome Bakery. By the time the tax photograph was taken, a retail bake shop in front had been turned into a loading dock for Gnome’s trucks.

Today, Gnome is gone, and the building is dwarfed by postwar apartment houses. Gnome was swallowed up by a larger baking company. After housing a picture-frame maker, an exterminator and a kitchen-supply store, the building became a chiropractor’s office with a rental apartment upstairs that was listed for $14,000 a month in 2015.”

Thanks for reading and sharing a momentary excitement about my writing.

Ernest Russell

(image from Pixabay)

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The Billy Goats Gruff – A Crime Noir Fairy Tale – Part 1

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.
*****
Across town, splinters and dust flew as a stool attacked the wall. The wall won.
Detective Mikk Raud, enforcement services, had felt lucky his station was near home. He often stopped in for lunch. How could she? He never saw it coming. Knew she and the stoat had been friends. But he had been too trusting; it was a total shock coming home for lunch, maybe a little hanky-panky with the wife. Then he found all of her and their daughter’s things gone.
Numb from shock, he had gone on a toot. A few bottles of Ol’ Swamp Piss later and he’d woken to the landlord banging on the door. Stumbling over pieces of broken furniture, rubbing his sloped forehead, he’d answered the door. His landlord took a step back. “There’ve been complaints about the noise last night. I’m a nice guy, rented to you even though you’re trolls. Hope I don’t have cause to regret it.”
Mikk promised it would not happen again and shut the door. Then he’d crawled back into a bottle until, still on edge and hung over, he reported for his shift. He had thought routine might help. First call was a stupid teen goat. Had the kid just come peacefully he would have gotten a slap on the wrist. But no, he’d attacked and Mikk reacted. His natural trollish strength amplified by red rage, he let fly with all the pent anger at his wife. The kid was flung into a wall. With the crack of a homerun, his neck snapped, killing him.
Now, family gone, career ruined, Mikk perched on the skeleton of a chair, surveying the damage to his home.
Head falling into his hands, he wept.