#Incubus: A Noir Experience

I was warned.

Right there in the book blurb, printed in italics so you couldn’t miss it: There are no truly happy endings in Noir.

Did I heed the warning, did I even understand it? No.

If I had paid more attention to the author’s alert—”for mature readers who enjoy the darkness and moral ambiguity of noir stories.”

If I’d been less intrigued by the line—”Cole fell for the suave Leo Mancini the day they met, but is it ever really possible to trust a liar—especially when Mancini makes a murder suggestion sound like a marriage proposal?”

I would have missed not just a beautifully crafted story, but a visceral experience.

Dark?

Yes, yes, and God, yes.

Leighton Greene spins you into a roller-coaster of a ride. Hurtles you through a tunnel of deceit and deception, lies and liars, and dumps you into an inescapable pit of despair. The ending stays with you, and the more you think about it, the worse it gets until you’re curled up under the covers, telling yourself that it’s only fiction.

Happy? No.

The most well-written, absorbing, provocative book I’ve read in years? Yes.

Incubus. Read it, if you dare.

Aimer at Amazon

Monday

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

As anyone who has ever dieted knows, Monday’s the day.

The day you kick a lifetime of bad habits out the door, and usher in the new and improved you.

The day you pop out of bed, hit the treadmill and the shower, and get it together…all of it, everything on that DIY improvement list in your head.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The only problem with Monday is, there’s always another one coming along 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

Post Covid: Scary

Now that the vaccines are out and about, and we’re impatiently awaiting the end of pandemic restrictions, have you put any thought into a post-Covid world, and what that might look like?

I’ve wondered if masks might become a permanent part of my wardrobe, if the Western handshake will be replaced by the Eastern bow, if my poor neglected passport will ever escape the drawer its imprisoned in, but that’s as far as it went.

Until today.

In the kitchen, baking cookies I had no business baking, I saw it—our post-Covid world.

You’ve seen it too, in all its HD clarity.

Touchstone Pictures 2009

It’s been awhile since 2009 so you might not remember, but the movie ends with people stumbling out of their houses, blinking in the daylight most of them haven’t seen in years. Unshaven, unwashed, wrapped in bathrobes, they’re lost in a world they’re no longer familiar with.

Scary?

OMG, Yes! Have you seen my robe?

FYI, the cookies came out pretty well 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

Late Night

Joel worked late, the desks outside the glass walls of his office empty. The lights on the floor low, but…he flicked a glance at the corner of his screen…not for long.

He read through the report he’d been working on, checked the numbers again, and hit save. His eyes on the outer office door, he leaned back in his chair, stretched his legs out under his desk, and waited.

The frosted glass door, the company name and logo etched front and centre, swung open. The lights came up, and a cleaning cart bumped over the threshold.

The orange vest was hideous. You would think, after all these weeks, Joel would be inured to its repellant neon sheen, but no. Too long, too wide, it hung on the man wearing it. Granted, the damn thing was probably one size fits all, and the guy wasn’t big.

Tell-tale white plastic hanging out of his ears, head bopping to music only he could hear, the man pushed the cart to the first desk. Black hair pulled into an undercut ponytail hung past the guy’s shoulders as he grabbed a spray bottle and cloth.

Desk cleaned, computer wiped down, and waste basket emptied, man and cart moved to the next cubicle. After almost two months of watching this man work, Joel had the routine down. The outer office first, desk to desk, cubicle to cubicle. Next, the vacuum cleaner mowed under chairs, and between desks. Joel’s office, the only enclosed space on the floor, was tackled last.

A knock on his open office door, a nod of greeting, and green eyes smiled in at him. Joel never got used to that smile either. He shut his laptop down, grabbed his suit jacket off the back of his chair, and got out of the guy’s way.

Same routine, desk, laptop, wastebasket. The vacuum cleaner whirred and was hooked back into place on the rolling cart. Joel, leaning against a desk in the cubicle outside his office, watched and waited. The earbuds disappeared into the guy’s pocket. The neon vest dropped onto the collection of cleaning supplies.

Hand on his cart, the man turned, tossed a smile at Joel. “Good to go?”

Aimer at Amazon

Camera Shy

Not everyone is. Some people don’t hide in the back row of a group picture, or obsess over the fact that the camera sees everything.

Certainly not this guy…

Oh, sorry. You probably don’t recognize him—with his clothes on.

Will Amos, federal Liberal MP for Pontiac, Quebec got caught with his pants down on Zoom.

What? You don’t strip down in your office after a jog?

Doesn’t everyone?

Probably not while participating in a video meeting with colleagues.

Vive La Belle Province!

Amazon.ca

Aimer at Amazon