And now, for the tour-de-force that is none other than PDB...
The Top Five Crime Short Stories Of 2010:
Deadlier Than The Male
Paul D Brazill
It was raining. But then it always seemed to be raining when they came to town.
The bar was stiflingly hot and cluttered with Monday morning booze-hounds. I sat at a rickety table by the Wurlitzer jukebox and sipped my glass of golden delight down to the dregs. The ice shimmered in the wan light .
And then I heard the motorcycles. A purr turned into a roar. Then laughter. Female laughter. A chill split me like an ice pick.
The door bust open and in they came. Five Valkyries bringing the storm in behind them. The jukebox stopped mid song.
They walked over to the bar, picked up a bottle of whisky and stood in front of me.
I couldn’t have escaped if I’d wanted to.
‘Read em and weep, ‘ one of them said , handing me a wad of paper along with the bottle of booze.
I did as I was told.
What’s In The Cellar by Jeanette Cheezum at Thrillers, Killers N Chillers
This is how it starts: ‘1940: Deep in the woods of Georgia.
If it rained or snowed no one would come down to check on Lucy.’
This is a scary and sad, Southern Gothic tale of family secrets which unravels at a perfect pace and grips like a noose.
Pillow Talk by Jodi MacArthur at Beat To A Pulp
This is how it starts: ‘Henrietta wrapped her arms about her pillow. "I'm still awake, Charlie. I can never sleep anymore."
A mundane domestic start to a brilliantly written story full of fantastic images, great twists and turns and creepy, nasty moments.
In Gods Own Time by Sandra Seamans at A Twist Of Noir
This is how it starts: ‘“You know, I was seventeen and pregnant the afternoon my daddy died. Somebody put a shotgun to his head and blew his brains all over the Lazy Boy.’
It starts with a kick and keeps on kicking. A short, sharp shot of noir. A perfectly crafted hardboiled tale of revenge.
Moose Get’s His Money’s Worth by Julie Morgan at Radgepacket Online
This is how it starts: ‘The man was bent forward, jeans pooled round his ankles, hands braced on the back of the battered old settee. Moose stood behind him, fingers on the buttons of his 501s, wondering how in hell it had come to this.’
A Brit Grit Damon Runyon. A dark comedy of errors with cracking dialogue.
She Got Hers by Pamila Payne at The Journal
This is how it starts.: ‘Sidney knew it was a mistake to let her drive, but after what happened in the city, he just didn’t have it in him to fight anymore.’.
A freewheeling noir road trip where David Lynch crashes into They Drive By Night somewhere close to The Twilight Zone.
I dropped the sheets of papers, drained the bottle of booze and collapsed against jukebox, bringing it back to life. And this is what played