Posts Tagged short story

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“Something about Disneyland struck me as having the same twisted, psychedelic vibe as my crazy San Francisco parties.”

December 19, 2012 by

Ro Cuzon on the inspiration behind his short story “Christmas Candyflip, 1992″, featured in our holiday-themed collection Dreaming of a Noir Christmas.

I moved from France to San Francisco in the second half of 1991, as the rave scene was about to explode all across the City by the Bay. At the time one of my first wife’s good friends was the promoter behind the famous itinerant party ‘A Rave Called Sharon’ (my wife was actually an investor in a couple of the very first parties). This was before raves were held in regular SF clubs and instead organized in abandoned or rented warehouses. Just getting there was part of the fun. You picked up a flyer somewhere—from a record store, a trendy boutique, some guy on the street. You called the number on it and a recording sent to some street corner the night of the party (usually South of Market, or Oakland, Berkeley or any adjoining county). There, some guy dressed like a Dr. Seuss character would hand you another flyer with the rave’s address, or another rendezvous point. Once you got to the rave, you might find anywhere from 200 to 1000 costumed or half-naked people frantically bobbing to deafening house music under lasers and psychedelic lights, the vast majority of them high on ecstasy—or ecstasy and LSD taken together, aka ‘candyflipping’. In 1992, I drove down to L.A and also went to Disneyland for the first time. I was still attending raves regularly at the time (that’s what SF people my age did back then on the weekend) and something about Disneyland struck me as having the same twisted, psychedelic vibe as my crazy San Francisco parties. Twenty years later came this little Xmas story. – RC


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Ro Cuzon on the True Story that Inspired “Last Saturday at Blake’s”

October 11, 2012 by

Of all the horrible things that took place in New Orleans during or in the aftermath of Katrina, one of the most gruesome was the murder of Addie Hall, 30, by her boyfriend Zackery Bowen. Bowen, 28, killed himself on October 17 th, 2006, by jumping off the roof of the Omni Royal Orleans hotel in the French Quarter. In his pocket, police found a suicide note explaining in grisly, violent details how he’d strangled, cut up, then cooked his girlfriend’s body twelve days earlier.

From the Times-Picayune:

“A source familiar with the investigation said detectives found in the couple’s apartment two pots on the stove, one containing a woman’s head and the other her hands and feet. Next to the pot containing her head were carrots and potatoes that had been cut up; none had been placed in the pots. In the oven were turkey-basting trays containing human legs and arms, the source said. At least one of the pans had seasoning sprinkled on the limbs, the source said.”

This shocking crime happened above a voodoo shop just a few doors down from the bar where I worked on Rampart Street (King Bolden’s — my protagonist Adel Destin’s drinking establishment in my novels Under the Dixie Moon and the forthcoming Crescent City Stomp). Zackery Bowen, a Bosnia and Iraq vet, was a delivery man from a French Quarter corner store and bartender; he had brought me po’boys on several occasions. I wrote “Last Saturday at Blake’s” about a year later, having forgotten (or at least safely pushed the horrific story deep in mind). It was accepted by CrimeSpree Magazine, which published it in #24 issue. It wasn’t until a New Orleans friend read it and asked me if it had been inspired by the Bowen & Hall crime, that I realized that indeed it had.

- Ro Cuzon


Shorts & Excerpts

Last Saturday at Blake’s: A Short Story by Ro Cuzon

October 11, 2012 by

Red fastened the strings of a clean apron behind his back and shot the clock on the wall a small weary smile. 8:20 am. He looked around the now spotless kitchen. Shit, he even had time for a cigarette. About ten minutes to spare, really, before Blake and the rest of his motley crew arrived. All Red would have to do then was let himself get swept up in the kitchen’s frenetic activity.

Still, it was going be a long day.

Red wiped his drenched forehead with his sleeve and went to empty the mop bucket into the floor drain. He slid behind the hot line, firing up the stove’s burners under his stew. Guzzling what was left in the half-liter of Evian he’d stolen from the fridge at the bread station, he headed down the cement hallway leading to the employee entrance.

Time to take out the garbage and have that smoke.

A heavy duty black plastic bag lay against the wall by the door and Red picked it up, swinging his hip, using his ass to push through the fire exit, finding himself outside on 13th Street’s sidewalk in Manhattan, steps away from Third Avenue. A heavy snow continued to swirl down from somewhere above the gray buildings, piling on cars, blanketing the ground, softening the city’s babbling voice into a stunned icy hush. Shivering in the biting cold, Red glanced at his rental van parked across the street and nodded to himself. Not a whole lot of meter maids would be out in such shitty weather. He flipped open the lid of the restaurant’s rusty dumpster and heaved the garbage bag over its top before hurrying back inside, rubbing his hands together for warmth, wishing he still lived in the Caribbean. The door slammed shut and Red sat down on his haunches against the hallway wall, reaching under his apron for his Camels. He fired one up, exhaled a messy cloud of smoke. Felt himself beginning to drift.

Stay focused, man.

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