Book: The Best American Noir of the Century (Short Story Anthology)
Edited by: James Ellory & Otto Penzler
Genre: Short story/Noir
Story Title: Like A Bone in the Throat by Lawrence Block
Page 2, Sentence 2
Chosen by The Hubby
“He wore a suit and tie, and he occupied a seat toward the front of the courtroom, and his eyes, time and time again, returned to the man who had killed his sister.”
He made me feel uncomfortable in a way that I hadn’t felt in years. Like an old friend who urged me to do bad things returning in haste, arriving at my door with a flurry of fist bangs, I felt my heart clamp in fear then relax in anticipation of the different kind of beat a friend like this could create.
The man’s suit was tailored, crisp yet perfectly fit to his lean body. I aged him between forty and forty-five. By the constant pulse of his jaw muscles, I knew he was doing his best to remain cool. We were in a courtroom, after all. Displaying emotion was meant for the witness stand, if even then. This man, the brother of the brutally murdered woman, I’d never seen before. Which made me curious for the swaths of paparazzi light his famous sister had always stepped into. The dame was Vivica Heart, America’s finest silver screen actress, dripping with diamonds and awards. For all her success, she’d managed to stay clean, share her loads of money, and remain single. She was almost too good to be true. And now, she wasn’t any longer. Hollywood was weeping along with fans across the globe. This trial wasn’t being broadcast, but every entertainment show from here, small town Vermont, to Timbuktu (literally) was fighting like starving vultures on the trampled front lawn of the courthouse.
I was lucky to be on the inside. I’d done a stellar job of making a press pass that was easily passable as real. I called the paper I wrote for The Daily Dunce, and the overweight dunce at the door checking passes didn’t even blink at the silly name. I was dressed for the part though, and I know that helped. My suit was tailored as well. I made it that way. Particularly pinched at my slight waist. My skirt, just a smidge higher than above my knees. My heels were sensible and shiny black, but the killer item in my Fake Journalist attire was the hot red blouse, silk, slipping out between my single button blazer. I knew what my body looked like. I knew what it could do. The Dunce didn’t get past my pass, tucked intentionally in the valley between my breasts. Up here, big fella, I thought in my head. My eyes are up here. Didn’t matter. My baby blues would have startled him, I’m sure.