Wednesday, October 19, 2011

SEEING BLUE, an exclusive story by Paul D. Brazill!

Quite some time ago, back when THE BASTARD HAND first came out, I did a guest post over at Paul Brazill's blog, You Would Say That, Wouldn't You? and I managed to coerce him into doing an all-original story here at Psycho-Noir whenever he had the time.

Well, time is scarce for Mr. Brazill. He's a hard-work drivin' man. We waited a while for this story from Paul, but damn... I'll think you'll find it was worth the wait.

It's my pleasure to give to you an all-new, never-before seen short story from Paul Brazill...

Paul D Brazill

First, it all turns red. And then it goes black for a very long time. After that, everything is a searing white. Until I see Blue.

Then everything hurts. Everything.

Blue reaches into a rusty tool box. Takes out a hammer. Snorts some Charlie from the window ledge. Pops a duck egg. And walks toward me.

Black, again.


Now, the room is a muddy brown. Early evening or late morning. An old transistor radio on the mantelpiece leaks out hits of the ‘80s.

I can make out Blue Dobson’s massive frame in the corner of the room. He is naked. His jigsaw of tattoos exposed. His long red hair tied back in a ponytail.

He’s doing press ups. And repeating a mantra, ‘Fuckemall, Fucke em all, Fuckemall, Fuck em all.’

And then I start to panic. I try to drag myself free from the rocking chair but I’m still strapped in. A pool of piss below me, splashed with blood. I scream but my jaw is broken and the movement hurts so much that once again it all fades to black.


Some people never learn from their mistakes. And I suppose I’m one of those people.

Just over a year ago, Natalie, my girlfriend, got a job as a receptionist at the Health Centre. After a few drinks she liked to unburden herself. Tell me all the sob stories she heard all day. It was the old dears she usually felt the most sorry for. Living alone. Abandoned by their family.

I usually zoned out; I never had a thing for other people’s problems. But when she mentioned that Mrs. Barker had just died, I had an idea. Later that night, I sneaked into Mrs. Barker’s house and looked for whatever loot I could find. I got a decent wad of cash and jewelry, too.
I paid more attention to Natalie after that.

But about a fortnight ago, I was almost caught by a neighbor who’d stopped crying crocodile tears and obviously had the same idea as me. I saw him rummaging under the bed, fat arse in the air. I scarpered pretty sharpish.

So, I thought I’d leave it a bit.

And then Natalie mentioned that Mrs. Dobson had snuffed it. She was the grandmother of Blue Dobson, who had once committed a string of post office robberies and killed three people while he was on the run. Blue was eventually caught and given two life sentences but the loot from the robberies was never recovered. This seemed like a window of opportunity well worth jumping through.

I wasn’t to know that Blue had escaped from prison when he’d been notified of his nan’s death. That he’d go back to her home.


Sunlight peeks through the lace curtains. Blue is in the corner of the room, gurgling, puking, grasping his heart with his baseball mitt of a hand. After some time, he stops moving. As the day becomes brighter, it becomes clear that he’s croaked. Brown bread. Heart attack, maybe. Overdose. Whatever.

I wriggle around enough to topple the rocking chair over. It hurts. It hurts so much that I black out again. When I come to, I struggle free from the shattered chair. Crawl over to Blue.

And the suitcase full of money. My jaw hurts as I grin. I untie my ankles. Get to my feet.

The sun has risen over the tower blocks. The day is bright. The skies are blue. And the copper on the balcony, pointing a gun at me, smiles.

The end.

© Paul D Brazill 2011


  1. Once again defining noir with flair!

  2. Lovely stuff, Paul - a noiresque rainbow of pain, greed and badness. Classic Brazill!

  3. Why did I feel relief that the bad boy was going to get away with it - until the very, very end? Clever narrative - you trickster.

  4. At first I thought Brazill is on LSD. Then I continued to read. Who wouldn't he's a genius.

    Jeanette Cheezum

  5. Excellent. Sharper than a bag full of armadillos.

  6. That's some dark blue!
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  7. Great story, love the description of Blue.

  8. great pacing, clever construction & that intro...very nifty. loved it

  9. Colorful, and in all the right shades.

  10. Wicked, compelling little story. Loved the ending :)

  11. Yep, Paul, you nailed it again. Nice play on 'Blue'. Effective colour use to enhance matters. Neat little twists and not a wasted word.
    A hat tip from me, bud.

  12. This is fantastic. Sharp, straight-forward, with that signature Brazill style.

  13. Who says noir is black and white? Love this, Paul.

  14. Heath- Nice "score" on your part.

    Paul- Enjoyed this after a quick first read, and really loved it after a slower, "don't want to miss a single detail, cuz I know there's more to it than meets the eye?" second read. Great job, and way to turn a phase(s)!

  15. Kevin Lynn HelmickOctober 20, 2011 at 4:10 AM

    Nice work. Interesting play on words, very visual.

  16. Highly evocative story Paul. Lyrical and tightly controlled.

  17. Great story, Paul. The translation of noir should now be changed from "black" to "blue".

  18. Tight narrative, no wasted words, great language and a lovely twist. Terrific story, Paul – yet again.

  19. Thanks again, all. And thanks to Heath for letting be stoop over.

  20. This was amazing! Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  21. Thanks so much for "stooping" in, Paul!