“Slacker. Get up!” Smilin’ Chris outside my door. My only friend, and driver. I’m off the grid. I’ve never had a license.
When I first rolled into New Orleans, Chris was my first cabbie. He’s been getting me where I need to go ever since. He never knocks, just speaks through the door. I got up from the kitchen table, black coffee in-hand, and made my way over to the door and snapped the dead-bolt open.
“Palaver?” I said.
“Yeah, you right.”
Palaver, a word my father uses for a sit down discussion. It was understood that we wouldn’t waste words until we both had a cup in one hand and a smoke in the other. I poured a cup for my “brother from another mother” while he lit a smoke. It was 2 pm. I had been up for about fifteen minutes. The ebony, eternally smiling guy across the table from me knew that this was morning for me. We’re both night-owls but, as far as I know, he never sleeps. That makes me the slacker. Whatever. Asshole. I wake-up homicidal. He thinks it’s hilarious.
The neon over the bar blinked out and he heard the door open behind him. He kept walking, not turning as he heard footsteps behind him, the sound echoing around the canyon of brownstone buildings and wet streets and drowning out the sound of his hammering heart. He rounded the corner and stopped until she turned the corner and he was able to swing an arm around her neck. His hand covered her mouth and choked off her scream as he drove the knife between the c4 and c5 vertebrae and whispered into her hair,”Th-th-thank you!”
There is a segment of society that thinks that Coffee Shop Writers are douchey. To them I say, “Bite my ass.”
The thought is that a writer in a coffee shop is a pretentious “Watch me write my novel” type. That guy might exist, but there are a whole sub-culture of us who get our creative vibe from the music, eclectic customers, sights and sounds that are unique to these privately owned atmospheres.
We are excited about writing and love to be around folks who are excited about their lives and dreams. To sit in a room where the conversations could be about Voltaire or Avenge Sevenfold. You might hear Ernest Hemingway and Pikachu’s name being dropped in the same conversation.
Politics, religion, and social issues are debated and it can get ugly. The First Amendment, baby.
Some of the art work on the walls has obviously been done by someone on Adderall and weed, yet some of it is amazing and inspired. The music might be Coltrane, Kraftwerk or the Lemon Heads.
The Baristas seem as though they’re born to the work. Each one of them is an experience worth having. Dreads , ball caps, pierced nostrils or Polo shirts, Camo pants or short shorts over fish-nets
This is where I thrive. With the tribe.
Best of the Thriller genre that I’ve read in many years. Truly excellent work.
Whenever I tell a story I want the reader to be swept away, intrigued. To feel the exhilaration that the protagonist does, to be able to smell and taste the darkness, or to feel the concrete in the back alleys or the wind blowing along forested trail. It’s my hope that the reader had a good ride.
Some folks miss the adventures in this short life and others will die rode hard and put away wet with a smile on their face. I’m writing for both and I hope your experience is like a 14 year old boy seeing Jeremiah Johnson for the first time.