“Civil Blood” by S. Douglas Hosdale
Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.
A hush had fallen over Hvar. The fish market was closed, the cold cement countertops were empty, and the knives and scales remained untouched. The cold weather of fall had descended upon us with a ferocious howl of the wind and a violent clap of thunder. I watched the few bright patches of the shimmery water fade into a dark sea.
I passed through the front patio of the Red Baron, where a few shivering tourists were still clutching their Mojitos, and headed into the dark, stale interior of the inner bar. I saw all the usual suspects. There was Tasha, our saintly bartender, Marko, the always-smiling fisherman, who only got upset when you mentioned his girlfriend Bianca, and Ivan, who did nothing but drink. To his left was Niko, who fixed thing up when he wasn’t drunk, and there was Deniz, the big Turk, who no one knew much about. Down at the far end of the bar I saw Javier drinking alone. I figured that Andre must be nearby because I’d never seen one with out the other. I decided to slide down and talk to Javier.
“I left that little bitch back at the house,” Javier squinted as he smoked his cigarette. “I told him to think about what he’s done.”
“Why don’t you faggots just kiss and make up?” Deniz, the big Turk, yelled from the end of the bar.
“Fuck you, I’m no faggot!” Javier threw his barstool back and charged. Deniz would have crushed him if Marko and I hadn’t grabbed him.
“Alright, out of here!” Tasha pointed to Javier. I dragged him out of the bar. He was screaming obscenities and fighting me the whole way.
Outside, on the slippery stones, I wrestled Javier to the ground. I could see that some tourists were excited to see a big brawl, but the ancient stones knocked some sense into Javier. He tilted his face up towards the sky, and the gently falling cold mist glistened like sweat as it stuck to his dark visage.
“Sorry. I lost my head in there,” he smiled. “It’s alright.”
“You want to come back to my place for a drink? I’ve buried a couple bottles of rum that that little bitch Andre doesn’t know about.”
“No thanks. I’ve still got some whiskey back at the bar.”
“Suit yourself,” Javier said. He turned and walked down the street, looking very dignified.
I couldn’t help but notice what a stark portrait he made. The right angles of the church were juxtaposed against the tumultuous liquid sky, and his elongated silhouette stretched in the void of the alleyway. I watched him walk off into some lonely destiny. It was indescribable in words, and yet it conjured up an intangible shade of a feeling that somehow seemed so familiar to me.
I turned away and headed back to the bar before Javier disappeared down that ancient alleyway. I wanted to remember that solitary image of him forever.
Back in the bar, the mood had changed. It was a much lighter, happier place, and everyone was drinking peacefully. I drank my neat whiskey and flirted with Tasha, and gradually the image of Javier walking away slipped from my consciousness.
It wasn’t long before we heard the sirens. There were only two police cars and one ambulance on the whole island and they were all speeding up the steep hill that led out of the harbor. The wailing sound bounced off the unforgiving right angles of the old stones and penetrated our lair.
Apparently, some German tourists hiking in the area had seen it all. There had been a terrible argument and Javier had stormed off. And while Javier was at the Red Baron getting drunk, Andre searched through the rubble of the abandoned village, found the rum, drank both bottles, and passed out. When Javier returned and saw the empty bottles he flew into a rage. He grabbed the shovel that was laying alongside Andre, and in the flash of a bright orange sky, the Germans watched a black silhouette bash in the skull of his lifelong friend, until he stirred no more. An eerie laugh echoed across the night as an elongated shadow poured gasoline on the lifeless body and the dark figure struck a match.
When the police finally came, they found Javier sitting beside the burning corpse of what was once his best friend, playing the guitar.
S. DOUGLAS HOSDALE’s love of Chihuahuas is almost as strong as his love of writing. He has directed short films, music videos, webseries, reality TV shows and commercials. Recently, he finished his latest screenplay, “Dirty Machine”, and a webseries that he directed, “Adventures of a Merch Girl”, is coming soon. Currently, he lives in Santa Monica and is concentrating on writing a book of short stories titled, “The Lees of Sunshine”. Douglas Hosdale is an ardent adventure traveller and aspires to visit all seven continents before his time is up. You can contact him and check out his cinematic work at www.manifestoproductions.com, and follow him on Twitter @hosdale.
Posted: Nov 16, 2015
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