Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Tag: Short Story Month

“Pot Luck” by Lisa Allen-Agostini (from Trinidiad Noir)

She always left him, wandering off like a cat without provocation or explanation, returning just as suddenly and without comment after a day or a week or a month. He loved her, but it was hard to keep track of where he stood in her life. He kept her clothes neatly stacked in a chest of drawers and hoped for the best . . .

“Lido Winter” by Maxim Jakubowski (from Venice Noir)

The vaporetto turns the bend.

You’ve seen it in countless paintings by Canaletto, Turner, and others, a thousand and one photographs and movies and TV documentaries, but still the eternal view unfolds like a slow-motion epiphany.

The Grand Canal in all its majesty. Canal Grande . . .

“Tomcat Beretta” by Patricia Powell (from Kingston Noir)

Mita landed in Kingston at three and instructed the cabby to take her to the Courtleigh . . . Knutsford Boulevard . . . New Kingston.

A slip of paper with the addresses and names was getting damp in her bra. She gazed out the window at the glittering sea, trying hard to relax, but it was impossible. The sea hugged the side of the flat smooth road for miles until it cut away from the sea altogether and became narrow and rutted and cars swerved dangerously past the meager little houses leaning shoulder to shoulder. Soon they were in the heart of midtown in slow-moving traffic, the sidewalks overflowing with people, and floors and floors of office windows climbing to the sky . . .

“Live for Today” by S.A. Solomon (from New Jersey Noir)

En route to her job at the morgue, Jinx walked on JFK Boulevard to the PATH station at Journal Square. It was hot for June, the evening cloud cover an airless ceiling pressing on the street. A grimy storefront diorama displayed mannequins behind plate glass, girls with bald heads and painted-on lashes, clad in cheap, thin dresses. They stood frail against the hard gray light. Commuters hustled by, indifferent to the girls’ orphaned gazes . . .

“Gateway to the Stars” by Matthew McGevna (from Long Island Noir)

Gateway to the Stars by Matthew McGevna Mastic Beach, Long Island (from Long Island Noir) Great with fear, Nick was deliberate about getting out of his car just as the policeman had told him. The order came after Nick was ordered to cut the engine because the noise from his broken muffler was “waking up […]

“Sister-in-Law” by Louisa Ermelino (from Staten Island Noir)

Get in the car.

I started to turn but there was a gun in my back or something pretending to be a gun. I faced forward. The voice was familiar, a woman’s voice, a cigarette voice. Philip Morris unfiltered. I think that’s the only way Philip Morris comes. Smoking them was a grand statement, too big for me, but if I was right about the voice then we’d shared a few together, she and I . . .

“Cat in a Box” by Kevin Prufer (from Kansas City Noir)

At last the cat fell asleep and, because Armand still could, he drove his police-issue Crown Vic through the Plaza, down Main Street. He took a left on 47th, slid past Latte Land then Pottery Barn, past Barnes & Noble and Gap Kids, then left again. Three fat men stood outside a fake Irish bar and laughed while the snow came down, but Armand drove right past them too, over the bridge at Wornall and left again, to Ward Parkway then Main then 47th again. Around and around he drove while the cat slept in the cardboard box beside him . . .