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Black and White

A Noir Christmas

By John CoxPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 1 min read
Top Story - February 2024
49
He looked me unflinchingly, his hard gaze a strange combination of angry and sad.

The snow fell lightly in the darkness as I trudged along the slowly whitening sidewalk. The sound of my steps marking a lonely rhythm in the night air, my stomach clenched in ever-tightening knots.

Why did this have to happen on Christmas Eve?

I saw him long before he recognized me. Once he did, hope briefly flickered in his eyes till my jaw tightened and I hardened my gaze.

We stood together under a streetlamp, neither of us speaking for several minutes. After trying to light a coffin-nail two or three times, his lighter throwing a few feeble sparks, I struck a match, gently hiding the flame with my hand while he puffed, the end of his cigarette glowing in the pale light.

I can see the answer in your eyes, Tommy, Mike muttered.

Well ... you really screwed up this time, I replied bitterly.

That bad?

Christ, Mike. You fucked the boss's girlfriend.

Could a been worse, at least it wasn't his wife, he said with a snicker.

I laughed in spite of myself, and he flashed his wicked boy grin. Oh, the girls loved him alright. They lapped that shit up.

Damn it, Mike, you're not making this any easier.

So, get on with it already.

He looked at me unflinchingly, his hard gaze a strange combination of angry and sad.

Then he smiled just before crumpling to the snowy walk. My shoulders shaking with the pistol still smoking in my hand, I whispered, Goodbye baby brother. Goodbye.

HolidaythrillerShort Story
49

About the Creator

John Cox

Family man, grandfather, retired soldier and story teller with an edge.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  4. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  5. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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Comments (40)

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  • Bonnie Bowerman2 months ago

    Powerful dark sad images! Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Catherine Dorian2 months ago

    John, only you could pack suck complexity in under 250 words. I once had a professor explain to us that endings should surprise, but that they should also make logical sense; the reader should say to themself, "That's exactly what's supposed to happen." I think you've mastered that here.

  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    Well damn, that was unexpected, and I loved it. I appreciated how well you used the dialogue to flesh out these characters so quickly. Wonderful work, congrats on top story :)

  • ROCK 2 months ago

    You are a delicious discovery for me today! I subscribed. I am reading away on Mondays and Wednesdays now. Writing away with just winks and nods the rest of the week.

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    Oh damn. That's one way to deal with a problem. This was incredibly captivating and loved your exquisite use of descriptions in such a short piece. Remarkable writing again, John and another fine entry. Congrats on this getting Top Story, it's stunning.

  • Anna 2 months ago

    So glad this got Top Story! Well deserved!🥰

  • Gerard DiLeo2 months ago

    Cruel twist.

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Came back for another read. I really like this.

  • K. Kocheryan2 months ago

    Congrats :)

  • GASP!! What a fabulous job of a terribly tragic tale

  • muhamad salih2 months ago

    آخر أخبار وتطبيقات التكنولوجيا: ابق على اطلاع دائم بالعالم الرقمي https://alsnwy.blogspot.com/2023/08/blog-post_56.html

  • Aurora2 months ago

    congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Marc Linah2 months ago

    this was awesome

  • Tina D'Angelo2 months ago

    Whoa. Stark. Harsh. Perfect setting, under a streetlamp. The last sentence got me. I think it stunned everyone, even after we figured out what was going to happen. Yikes.

  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    Whoa, that’s definitely black and white justice! Love the coffin-nail foreshadowing. Brilliant use of suspense. Great micro!!

  • Ashley Shiflett2 months ago

    Oh wow! Exceptional writing. Congrats on top story! It is well deserved!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Joe O’Connor2 months ago

    Love the gangster vibe in this winter setting, and what a twist! “My shoulders shaking with the pistol still smoking in my hand” is a powerful line says a lot.

  • Lacy Loar-Gruenler2 months ago

    John, I pictured Robert Mitchum and Richard Conte on that snowy street. You may be our next Dashiell Hammett! Let's bring noir back in fashion. Congrats on TS, this is amazing!

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    Excellent tale. Congrats!!!

  • Phil Flannery2 months ago

    Nice. It had that 40's gangster movie vibe

  • Bishnu Mahto 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!!!

  • Gabriel Huizenga2 months ago

    Compelling writing!! You had me on the edge of my seat till the tragic ending- well- earned T.S.!

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!!!

  • Test2 months ago

    Fabulous work! Keep it up—congratulations!

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