“The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural; and he may well be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience. When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal ways of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock — to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.” ~ Flannery O’Connor
I have posted my poems here but not any of my short stories.
Here is a Noir Western I wrote, called “Coffee Cup.” Because of its dark nature, I feel compelled to say a few words about the story and the nature of hardboiled fiction.
It seems to me that one of the things that distinguishes truly hardboiled fiction from merely genre fiction is that hardboiled fiction takes seriously the true cost of violence and death. Violence and death make victims of everyone who come into contact with them.
In your typical Agatha Christie-type novel, the main characters encounter death and violence and yet seem untouched by it all. They solve the crime and move on to the next death and murder, and the next, and the next. Never losing their humanity, seemingly untouched and unstained by the violence.
I have no time for such fiction. Violence, suffering, and death by definition challenge our humanity and change us. That is the kind of fiction I like to read… and the kind I want to write.
I hope you enjoy. If you enjoy it, please share it with others. If you do not like it, I am sorry. Stay tuned… you may like the next one better.
For the a .pdf of the story, click here. “Coffee Cup” by Mark Hinton