Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Dogcatcher

Been sinking my brain into the 1920's lately in order to work on The Dogcatcher, Ian Adder's introductory story (prior to Poisoned Spirits). It's a special headspace that involves thinking in slang and keeping a pencil handy because I don't smoke and Ian does and--yeah, it just helps somehow.

Ian headspace Vs. Fynn headspace is interesting. Ian is a bit less by the book than Fynn. He's more relaxed and a lot less self-deprecating. Plus I get to drop myself into film noire and write something like I'm inside a black and white movie (which is pretty much how I imagine what I'm doing) and voila!

So, here's a little sneak preview of The Dogcatcher, while I keep the reels in my head moving.

              I folded the newspaper up and tossed it into the pile of papers hiding my typewriter. Every damn cop in the Chicago was on the Franks case and I was stuck tracking down a fifth page blip in the Times some clever jackass was calling the Dog Catcher.
            “Hey, Adder, how’s the case coming?” Jimmy Lee asked. I looked up from my desk at the man framing my narrow doorway. He was an ass.
            “Fair evening to you, leak anything to the papers today?”
            His ears went red.
            “You thought I didn’t know? The whole department knows, and pariah or not I still know what goes on.”
            I thought he was going to swing at me, he sputtered for a moment before pulling himself back together, tweaking his collar. “Ah, you ain’t worth it.”
I watched him leave and sighed. It was my own fault, God knows, that I was stuck in the precinct basement chasing a dog killer. I wasn’t especially living up to the family name. To be fair the only reason I was still in the force at all was my dad’s position. Nepotism could only stretch so far, apparently.
I checked the time and pulled myself out of the creaky desk chair. Time to get home—I couldn’t wear my uniform on a date.
            Especially not a date with a doll like Mona. The sweet faced flapper wasn’t real well endowed in the breast department, but I kinda liked my girl’s on the slender side and Mona reminded me of Clara Bow.
            Now she was a real knock out.
            Mona was a fine girl too, of course.
            Da didn’t approve of me seeing her, but that was only because he didn’t like me going to speakeasies. I knew my fondness for fine whiskey was partly the cause of my relegation to the basement, but it wasn’t like there was a worse job they could chuck me into next.
            Well, at least not for my drinking. If Da caught me at my other extracurriculars I’d be disowned. God forgive me, I did have my share of Confession worthy sins.
            “Why do you put up with these bastids?”
            I looked over at the impossibility that was my great-grandfather. Impossible because he’d died before I was born. Seeing dead people was passé at this point, but they’d lock me up for sure if anyone ever found out.
            “Because, Granda, I don’t want to be out on my ass.”
            The ghost of Connor Adder looked about thirty, dressed in an older version of the CPD uniform. He’d been an enormous man with fiery red hair I’d inherited and broad shoulders I hadn’t.
            “That’s not a good reason boyo.”
            “You’re a special lad, inherited the family Gift for a reason. You should be usin it. Not molderin in a leaky cellar.”
            I rolled my eyes.
            “Don’t ye roll your eyes at me boy.”
            “Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Granda, the only people that believe in the Sight are loonies and women.” I grabbed my coat. “I have a date.”
            “With that girl? Or is it a lad tonight?”
            Her name is Mona.”
            “Shame, I liked that O’Brady lad.”
            “Granda, you can’t say things like that.”
            He blew a raspberry. “Get yer ass moving. Wouldn’t want to be late.”
            I had to stop confiding in dead people.

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