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8 Tales of Noir: As Heard on the Thrills and Mystery Podcast

8 Tales of Noir: As Heard on the Thrills and Mystery Podcast

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8 Tales of Noir: As Heard on the Thrills and Mystery Podcast

199 Seiten
3 Stunden
Nov 2, 2015


8 tales of Noir is just what the title would lead you to expect, eight stories about the darker side of the human condition. Six short stories lead in to two novella length tales.
•Two desperate men at a standoff on a residential inner-city street...
•A high school prank with unexpected - and deadly - results...
•When you grab the wife of a small-time construction company owner for ransom, make sure he's not from the family...or smarter than you...
•A man intent on collecting a debt...
•A heist gone wrong...
•A prodigal son whose sins follow him home...
•A moment of reckless anger puts a sad-sack on the wrong side of the law and leads to an unexpected comradeship with the forlorn bounty hunter sent to bring him in.
•Finally, a high school dean, a construction worker, and an off-duty cop head out for a night on the prowl. When each agrees to seek out and introduce another of the trio to his ideal woman, only the annoying fly that keeps buzzing the table is privy to all the behind-the-scenes goings on in this quirky black comedy.

Nov 2, 2015

Über den Autor

With a profound interest in religion, liberal politics and humor, Dave began writing in High School and has not given up on it since. His first professional writing jobs came while attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh when he was hired to create political cartoons for The Pitt News and to write humor pieces for Smile Magazine. Dave has worked in the newspaper industry as a photographer, in the online publishing industry as a weekly contributor to, and was a contributing writer to the Buzz On series of informational books and his story, The Bet in Red Dust, was published at the Western online anthology, Elbow Creek. Dave’s science fiction novel, Synthetic Blood and Mixed Emotions, is available from its publisher, Dave currently resides in his childhood home in Toronto, OH with his beautiful girlfriend and his teenage daughter. He enjoys participating in local community events and visiting with his two adult children and his grandson.

Ähnlich wie 8 Tales of Noir


8 Tales of Noir - J. David Core

8 tales of Noir


J. David Core

1st Smashwords Edition

©2015 by J. David Core

ISBN: 978-1311547279

This novel is dedicated to my wonderful family and friends for all of their patience and help. I particularly want to thank my beautiful girlfriend Cheryl and all of the people who read my manuscript and gave input. I especially want to thank my beta readers; Confessions of the Cuckold: Karen Shell, Lauren Briese, Damien Buty, and Deirdre Gould, Wingman: Wendy Potocki and Austin Briggs.

Cover art by the author.

Also by this author:

Synthetic Blood and Mixed Emotions

(Available from Write Words, Inc.)

The Lupa Schwartz mystery series:

Extreme Unction

Common Sense

Fair Play

Shared Disbelief

Five Secrets

And coming soon:

Hard Boiled

Nonfiction title by this author:

Believe It: You Know an Atheist


That You Wilhelm

The Hazing on Brume Lane

The $300,000 Finger

Fiat Cash

Saving Time

The Manner of Tanner

Confessions of the Cuckold

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8


Author Bio

That You Wilhelm?

I leveled the gun and fired off a round. It smacked into the stone lintel and rained gravel into the stairwell where I knew Pavel had taken cover. A few more shots rang out as my arm bucked and my hand vibrated all the way up to my elbow before I found cover behind the green mailbox beside the fenced in oak sapling. There was a truck, a GMC Sierra, parked just in front of me, away from my target so I couldn’t use it for cover. It had been an unfortunate choice of location. I could have probably made it behind the truck or to the protection of the brick railing of a nearby stoop if I hadn’t been panicked, but I was where I was and there was no changing that now.

Throw your gun out, Pavel! I shouted. There are innocent people in these buildings and on these streets. We don’t want anybody getting hurt!

At that moment several shots rang out from the direction of the stairwell, and I covered my head instinctively, but Pavel was shooting wildly. He had no idea where I was. I glanced up and caught Pavel’s reflection in the tinted window of the Sierra just as he crouched back into his makeshift bunker. I had counted three shots. Adding those to the four he’d fired earlier, and I knew that he was down by seven rounds. Unfortunately that told me precious little since I had no idea how many bullets he’d begun with. I didn’t know what gun he held, whether he had backup ammo, or even if he had more than one weapon.

I did, however, know what I was packing; a Beretta 92SB. It had been my father’s service pistol and it was 8.5 inches of cold steel beauty. It had a 15 round capacity, and so far I’d only fired four shots. I also knew that I had a second mag in reserve if I needed it, meaning that I still had 26 shots to use if I needed them. Hopefully I wouldn’t need them. I’d been dead serious when I’d screamed at Pavel about the likelihood of collateral. I hated when there was collateral.

We were in the middle of a lull in the gunplay. I was trying to calculate and assess. Pavel was probably just crouching waiting to hear movement from outside so he could pop up out of his trench like a groundhog/dragon hybrid and breathe metal fire at me. We were on budgeted time, though, and both of us knew it. The people in the surrounding buildings were all probably either on hold with 911 or were giving directions to the cops at this very moment, and soon the street would be swarming with the city’s finest. Knowing that all hell is soon going to descend, a criminal only has so much time to consider the options before circumstances demand action.

Pavel had decided to take another pot shot hoping to either flush me out or discern my location. He jumped up and bang! A bullet skipped off the street eight yards from where I sat, a little bit short of perpendicular from my position. This actually told me a little something I hadn’t known before.

I watched the reflection as Pavel dropped back into his stairwell. He’d had to hold the gun over his head to fire and his natural inclination was to angle his shooting hand downward just a little, which meant that most of his shots would probably fall short if I should decide to stand and unleash hell. Which isn’t to say that I couldn’t be hit by a ricochet, but I was liking my odds.

In my mind’s eye, I envisioned a scenario. I could fire a shot into the air, which would force Pavel to crouch since he wouldn’t know at first that it was a wild shot, and people always act on instinct when the shooting starts. During his initial crouch I could jump to my feet and begin walking towards his hidey-hole, firing into the lintel as I came. The debris would probably keep him crouched as I advanced a few yards, and eventually I’d get close enough that my vantage would allow me to see him huddled at the base of his bunker. At that moment I’d be his god; graced with the option to either demand that he surrender his weapon or to fire a coup de grace into his thick Russian skull.

It reminded me of an old World War I joke. An American soldier whose platoon had been held down at the foot of a hill by snipers for days sneaked over enemy lines in the middle of the night and made his way to the various nests. A few feet from each location he whispered, Psst, Fritz! Each time, a nervous sniper would jump up whispering back, Ya? and pow, the GI would shoot him dead. Finally there was only one sniper left, and as the GI approached, he whispered, Psst, Fritz! But the Kraut didn’t budge.

As the sun crested, the GI made his way back to camp, and with most of the snipers dead, the GI’s platoon made it safely around the hill, but the GI remained behind determined to finish the job. He waited patiently in his trench until finally shortly after midnight he heard somebody approaching. Certain it was the lone remaining sniper he stayed stock still. Although, really for all he knew it was one of his buddies coming back to tell him the German had surrendered or that they had finished him off. So he waited. Finally he heard a very soft voice call out, Hey, Joe, you in there?

That you, Wilhelm? he called back.

Ya, answered the kraut popping up.


Suddenly, Pavel popped out of his hole again. He was clearly nervous and desperate, and he too probably realized that I held the upper hand. Two more shots echoed off the brownstones and two more bullets dug ruts into the city street before they made it as far as my barricade, though each skipped harmlessly off in random shallow arcs away from me.

I waited ’til I saw Pavel drop back into his dungeon before shouting again. You’re going to hurt somebody, asshole! I called out, but that was all I dared shout. I was pretty sure he hadn’t yet made my exact location; unless he’d gotten lucky and caught a glimpse of my rear end in the gap under the mailbox while he was squinting off shots. However, I also knew that each time I bellowed, I was giving him a chance to echo-locate. People weren’t generally aware of how acutely and innately talented they were at judging distance and direction by sound when it came to navigating the human voice, but it’s a skill we innately possess. Pavel’s was probably compromised somewhat by the ringing he undoubtedly heard from the various explosions he’d recently been subjected to, but I wasn’t willing to risk it by calling to him much more than I already had.

Besides, I knew the dead silence would bring him up out of his hovel at least once more. It had to be nerve racking for him hunkered down unable to reposition just waiting for me to make my move. I had the high ground and a thousand possible hiding places. He was trapped in a hole and I knew his location. He was on the losing side of this stand-off. So all I had to do was wait for him to pop up one last time, and then make my move. Sooner or later, he’d come up to shoot again, then when he dropped down I could just stand and move in on him guns blazing. He’d be a sitting duck.

Or at least he would have been, had the human-nesting-doll who resided in the house I was crouched in front of not decided to make her opinions known.

Some crazy broad in a babushka opened the door and started screaming at me in Farsi or Italian or Esperanto for all I knew. Whatever language it was, it wasn’t American English. Maybe it was Elvish or Clingon. The one thing I could tell for sure was she was none too happy with my choice of her curb for my base of operations. She was waving at me in that manner one normally expresses to shoo an unwelcome cat from the porch. I was seriously reconsidering my position on collateral.

I glared at her from my perch and pointed my gun at her sideways in that less stable but somehow more threatening straight-arm manner wannabe street-thugs display in rap videos. She quickly disappeared behind her wall and I stole a glance at the tinted window. Shit, Pavel was peeking out from his cubby. He now had a bead on my location. I’d lost the upper hand.

I kept watching the reflection, waiting for my moment when Pavel dropped back down. I could still take advantage of that brief instant to set my plan in motion. I waited. He wasn’t going back down.

He knew where I was and he knew that he could wait me out. The moment I gazed around the side of the mailbox or made a run for it, he could mow me down. I was trapped. He brought up his non-shooting arm and used it as a brace to steady his arm as he stabilized his shooting hand.

Strategies rushed through my mind. I could fire a shot into the air. Perhaps Pavel would become disoriented and drop down giving me a moment’s respite to charge. Or that could backfire and he’d just start shooting back, and I’d get hit in the melee. Or I could slither to my belly and fire on him through the gap under the letterbox. Now that he was staying above ground he was a sizable target. Only that would mean bringing my head into the relative open of the gap below the box as I lowered myself. What if he already had is gun pointed at that opening? As it was, I’d only have my ass exposed. Maybe he was counting on me doing exactly that and he was waiting for the kill shot to present itself.

I could also make a run for it. If I could keep low, stay in line with the mailbox, and make my way to the far side of the Sierra, I could duck behind it and have a much better barricade and be in a better position to pick my shots on Pavel. Yes, I decided. That was the play.

I pulled in my feet and rose-up my behind, maneuvering into a runner’s starting stance. I took a breath and awaited the imagined sound of a starting pistol, ready to burst forward at full gallop. Only it wasn’t an imaginary pistol I heard. It was a real one. Pavel must have seen or heard some movement and he fired off a shot. It startled me, and I fell to the ground, flailing like a fish trying to find purchase on the slick grassy berm. Bang! Pavel fired off another round, and I was struck in the calf. The red hot burn of the bullet seared into my muscle, and as I stood the leg gave out. I wasn’t going to make it to behind the truck, so I dove across the sidewalk and took cover beside the stoop of the babushka lady’s house.

Pavel couldn’t see me there, and I had no visual on him either. We weren’t exactly in even positions though. For one thing, I was wounded. For another, if he chose to advance I could do nothing to stop him. I was running out of options.

I still had one thing in my favor. I hadn’t fired a shot since my first volley of four. I knew exactly how many rounds I had left, and I knew that Pavel had wasted several just to get that one hit.

I figured I had a little time to relax while Pavel either considered his options or slowly made his way in my direction, so I used that time to yank off my belt and pull it tightly around my leg just below the knee in an effort to choke off the flow of blood. I didn’t want to bleed out before Pavel got another chance to shoot at me.

That done, I came up with a new plan. About fifteen yards from my present location was a stairwell just like the one Pavel had taken refuge in. If I hugged to the wall, I’d be hidden from Pavel by the stone banister of the stoop for about ten feet or so. Pavel wouldn’t know I’d moved, and at the last moment I could make a run for the hole before Pavel could line up a shot. So that’s what I did. When I’d crept down the wall as far as I could before coming into Pavel’s line-of-sight, I bent the knee of my good leg and catapulted myself forward. Pavel tried taking a shot, but he didn’t have time to aim, and it went harmlessly into the brick wall behind me.

I didn’t have time to nurse my leg onto the steps, so I rolled into the stairwell like the stuntmen do in the movies. Only I’m not a stuntman, and this wasn’t a movie; and I smashed my arm and my ear in a corner, and I wrenched my back on the hard concrete stairs. But I was alive, and I was in a more defensible position. Pavel couldn’t advance on me without opening himself up. Plus, I had one more advantage I hadn’t realized earlier. I saw it when I rolled over onto my back and looked up skyward. Just over the stairwell above the lintel was a large plate-glass window, free of glare and reflecting the street scene it overlooked. As long as that window remained intact, Pavel could not approach

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