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    Child of the Atom Hellion's Avatar
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    Default The Red Dahlia - ON HIATUS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

    Lighthouse Investigations: The Red Dahlia


    Being a fan of the film noir genre and detective stories, I always wanted to try my hand at writing one where the various characters would be taken from the world of Pokémon. I tried my best to incorporate certain elements from the canon looks and/or persona of the characters in their adaptation. This'll be about 10-15 chapters in total and will feature characters from all 5 generations.

    Before you read this story, be advised that it is a murder mystery and that therefore there will be... well... at least one murder. Also, anyone who's ever watched a film noir knows that sexual tension plays a big part, though most of the actual sexuality is implied. So please be advise that the following story contains some gory macabre descriptions and some mature themes. Therefore, it's not for everybody.

    As always, I say that English is not my first language and that mistakes may slip in. If you do see them, please point them so I can correct them.

    With that being said, please read and hopefully enjoy! Comments, suggestions, reviews, constructive criticism are more then welcome. Thanks in advance for reading and commenting.

    Chapter 1: Blood Stained Petals
    Chapter 2: Ready-made murder
    Chapter 3: Lunch Time at the Tricorne
    Chapter 4: Stargazers
    Chapter 5: Fire and Brimstone
    Chapter 6: Rude Awakening
    Chapter 7: Something Old, Something New

    - - - - - - -

    Chapter 1: Blood Stained Petals


    The girl was trouble. All I could think about when I saw her was that she was the kind of girl who would either be killed or get someone else killed, probably both. She walked into my office with both poise and fear, like she was Russian royalty that had fled the Revolution. There was something aristocratic about her walk, about her stance that made her look like she either came from old money or at the very least, that she was sleeping with someone who did. There was something hypnotic about the way the streetlights coming through the blinds stabbed her golden satin dress with their shiny blades. Her heels resonated on the hardwood floors, carrying with them echoes of tragedies past and future. This girl sure knew how to make an entrance.

    As she sat on the chair in front of me, something about her that hit me harder than a speeding car hits road kill. Maybe it was the way her hair bounced on her shoulder like a tar cascade; or maybe it was the way her trembling fingers brought a silver cigarette holder to her ruby red lips; or then again, maybe it was the half bottle of gin I’d been drinking throughout the day; but I couldn’t help thinking one thing: The girl was trouble.

    “Mister Shore, my name’s Dahlia Kincaid,” she said in a shaky, uneasy voice. “I’ve been looking to hire someone for some easy gumshoe work, and I heard you were the best, so….”

    “Flattery ain’t gonna get you no discount, lady,” I said, interrupting her feeble attempt at sweet talking me. “We both know I ain’t been in business long enough to have earned even a semblance of reputation. You’re here because I charge half of what the others will charge you, and despite your best efforts to look like you’re as rich as them silver screen starlets, I’m all you can afford. Ain’t I right?”

    “Maybe you are,” replied Dahlia, obviously annoyed. “Do you always treat potential clients like they aren’t worth your time?”

    “Not my fault that most of them ain’t,” I answered matter-of-factly.

    She smiled, but it was a pained and forced smile. It looked like the corner of her lips were crimson blades cutting through her powdered cheeks. Something told me it was more than my bluntness that was making her uneasy.

    “I wouldn’t exactly call that a smart business strategy Mr. Shore,” said Dahlia.

    “Why do you think I’m the cheapest PI in the phonebook lady?” I said, smirking. “And please, call me Volkner. It's nine o’clock Miss Kincaid; it’s too late in the evening to give a damn about being polite.”

    “Well, since I’m paying you, maybe you could make an effort,” she said dryly.

    “You ain't paying me yet, lady,” I said. “I haven’t agreed to take your case, and so far, you haven’t given me a whole lot of incentive.”

    “Well, maybe the general mess your office is in, the smell of alcohol coming off of you in waves, and the fact you look like you’re wearing days old clothes are putting me off,” she answered back defiantly.

    The girl was trying hard to act the part of the capable, independent woman, but something was off. Behind her cracking porcelain mask, she definitely looked like she had something on her mind that was eating her up like a cancer, devouring her from the inside. I shook my head and picked up a cigarette from the pack lying on the corner of my cluttered desk. After lighting it up and bringing it to my lips, I locked eyes with hers through the swirls of smoke.

    “Listen, lady,” I told her, “you can either be straight with me, and that means dropping the tough girl act, or you can walk out that door. I got no time and no desire to go running around the city if you ain’t gonna be honest here.”

    At first, I could see she was pondering whether or not to leave my office, but she soon started rummaging through her lavender purse. She pulled out a few pieces of paper. As I laid my cigarette in an already overflowing ashtray, I opened the messages and started to read them.

    “They’re threats I’ve found in my mailbox,” said a shaken Dahlia, whose mask was slowly beginning to crumble. “This guy knows where I live and you can see the stuff he wrote in there. I just don’t feel safe anymore.”

    “You’re an actress?” I asked, “The author mentions seeing you on stage.”

    “Well, yes, among other things,” she answered. “Ever since I was a young girl, I dreamt of being a star. So I packed my bags at seventeen thinking I’d make it big instantly. Started out as a waitress in a cocktail lounge, but as soon as the owners found out I could sing, they put me....”

    “Which lounge would that be exactly?” I asked, interrupting her meaningless drivel. I was captivated by the letters, all of them written in some sort of red ink, though it felt too bright to be blood. The calligraphy of the author was strangely unequal, as if the tool he used to write varied in width and weight while he wrote the letters. I heard Dahlia as she continued her sob story, barely listening to her. There was something wrong about the letters, something that didn’t feel true. I couldn’t help but feel that the letters were staged, that they were hiding something. One thing was for sure; they didn’t feel like the work of no axe-wielding maniac.

    “Sorry, what lounge was it again?” I asked, hoping she wouldn’t catch on to the fact that I hadn’t listened to her babbling.

    “The Tricorne,” she said, obviously feeling more and more relaxed as she realized she wasn’t alone with her secret anymore. “It’s named after a hat or something. You know it?”

    Did I know it? Everybody who was anybody in this town knew about the Tricorne. Every night all of the shakers, movers, politicians, and even the kings of the underworld went there. Any man, whether he was downtrodden or had as much gold as Fort Knox, was welcome as long as he wore a tie, a suit and didn’t make any waves. In a city like this one where there was crime at the end of every dark alley and vice on each street corner, it was the one place where everyone played nice, a no man’s land of sorts. This girl’s life was getting more and more colourful by the minute.

    “Now I’ve got one more question to ask you, Miss Kincaid, and I need you to be truthful,” I warned her. “Why haven’t you gone to the police with this?”

    “I got a gig,” she said. “I was cast in a picture by a well-known director, Pryce Winters -- perhaps you know of him.”

    “You mean the Pryce Winters?” I asked, incredulous. “As in the one who directed Mahogany Blues? You’ve been hired by Stone Cold Pryce?”

    “Yeah it hasn’t been announced yet,” she whispered, “but he’s famous for not being very tolerant with the problems of his actors. If he knew something like this was happening to me, he might think I wasn’t worth the trouble to hire.”

    “That’s all I need to know?” I asked her.

    She nodded, but I didn’t buy it. There was still something she hadn’t told me, still a part of her she’d kept secret. Now, there are two kinds of secrets: the kind that doesn’t get you killed, and the kind that does. I hoped whatever she was too scared to tell me wasn’t the latter.

    “Very well, Miss Kincaid,” I said getting up. “I’ll look into this, and in the mean time, go on about your business as usual. Just leave your info with my secretary. She’s the one you deal with regarding payment and all.”

    She smiled at me and this time, it wasn’t the smile of an actress trying to smile. This one was a real smile, one that could light up an entire room like the skies on the Fourth of July. She removed her right purple glove and shook my hand. As she did, I noticed a very intricate ring on her finger. Both the ring's design and ornaments felt very foreign, almost ancient. I couldn’t help but wonder how a struggling cabaret artist could afford such an obviously expensive piece of jewelry, but I kept the thought to myself. The girl was a mystery, and obviously intended to stay so.

    After shaking her hand, I sat back in my wooden chair and tried to make sense of those letters. I must have read each one a hundred times, trying to find a clue, trying to find something that could help me. Each read confirmed my first impression, that this wasn’t the work of a mad man or an obsessive fan. They felt meticulous, they had a clear goal, and that goal was to inspire fear in my client -- but to what end?

    After a while, I was brought back to reality by the sound of a white ceramic mug being delicately placed on my desk. I could smell the bitter aroma of freshly made coffee emanating from it. I looked up to find my secretary, Jasmine, standing there, her arms crossed across her waist and a worried look on her face.

    “Did you open a file for Miss Kincaid?”

    She shyly nodded. Jasmine was always very quiet and never said much. I could tell it was very hard for her to even talk to me let alone clients. It was like she always feared messing up, even though she was one of the most competent person I’d ever met.

    “What about payment?” I asked.

    “She left a down payment to cover the investigation fees,” she said quietly, in a barely audible whisper, “and I’ll run her credit with the bank tomorrow.”

    I smiled and thanked her. I watched her turn around and make her way to the door, her long brown hair and her white day dress floating behind her. She stopped at my office’s door and looked back at me. I could see in her eyes that she wanted to say something, but she seemed very much afraid to.

    “Jasmine, can you stay a minute?” I called her.

    “Yes, Mr. Shore,” she answered in her usual quiet voice.

    “We’ve been working together here at Lighthouse Investigations for about a year, right?” I asked her. “During that time, I’ve never made you feel like you couldn’t tell me something, did I?”

    She shook her head, indicating that she tacitly agreed with my question.

    “So, what is it?” I asked, trying my best to wear a smile that just wouldn’t come.

    “I just…” she started, stopping herself in hesitation before continuing. “I… I wanted to say that I think you should go home tonight and not…”

    “…stay in the office and drink myself into oblivion for a third straight night, is that it?” I asked calmly but sternly, before adding in a softer tone, “Look, I appreciate the concern, sweetie pie, but this ain’t an easy week for me, and my Beefeater friend here is helping me get through it more or less in one piece.”

    “Is it because of Flint?” she asked, genuinely concerned.

    “Look, I ain’t looking for a heart-to-heart right now,” I answered back, a little sterner than I'd intended. “We’ve got a case, we solve it. That’s all I need you for.”

    As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized they were much harsher than I ever intended them to be; before I had a chance to apologize, she had already run out the door. Alone again with my thoughts, I decided to push away the cup of coffee and pour myself a glass of gin. Why’d she have to mention Flint? I was doing well since Dahlia walked into this office. I had a case, I was getting into it, and I had something to keep my mind off of… Flint. But now that he was on my mind, there was a fire in my throat and every cell in my body urged me to drink the contents of this glass to douse the flames. I drank one glass, then two, then enough liquid to extinguish a wildfire. And it still wasn’t enough to forget him. I plunged my hand into my shirt pocket, the one over my heart, and pulled out a grainy and ruffled picture.

    You could tell it had been through a lot from the folded corners and the tiny tears around some of the borders. It was a macabre token of a grim past I couldn’t outrun, and yet, it also felt like my most precious possession. Not that I owned anything of any real value, but this tiny piece of paper felt important. On it, there were two guys. Even though the picture was in black and white, I still felt that every time I put my gaze upon it, I could still see the scene. My unkempt strawberry blond hair next to his fiery curls, both of us wearing our blue uniform for the first time, and then there was his laughter. God, his thunderous and contagious laughter still resonated in my ears. That had been the day we both joined the police. The day he died in front of me, about a year ago, was the day I left the force. Ain’t no use being a cop and protecting people if I couldn’t protect my own partner.

    Unable to get the images of that night out of my mind, I crushed the picture in the palm of my hand and threw it across the room. I could still feel him dying in my arms, shaking as he took his last breath. The last face he’d ever see was the one of his partner who couldn’t protect him, who couldn’t do anything but hold him as he died.

    I must have cried myself to sleep as I woke up by the phone ringing. I turned on my desk light and glanced at the clock on the wall. Who the hell would call me at two in the morning? With a trembling hand and a head that was spinning more than a rollercoaster, I picked up the phone. I could hear a vein bouncing in my temple and a distraught voice on the other end of the line.

    “Mr. Shore? It’s Dahlia, are you there?” said the voice. I had barely recognized it because it was full of fear and genuine panic. She started speaking faster and sounding increasingly frantic. “I was attacked just now outside of my apart--”

    Just as she said those words, the line was cut. The panic stricken voice of my client made way to the monotone droning of a hung telephone. There was nothing but silence, as if I was waiting for someone to give me the order to go save the girl I'd sworn to protect. Even though I was barely able to walk a straight line, I ran out of the office, barely taking the time to pick up Dahlia’s address in Jasmine’s file and grab my hat and raincoat.

    As I climbed down the stairs and nearly tripped a few times, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of sheer terror that Dahlia’s call had instilled in me. I burst onto the street and found it damp. It was as if a tidal wave had swept through the city and turned the concrete streets into wetlands. Braving the nightly drizzle, I jumped into my car and sped through the ebony labyrinth of darkened streets. Still dizzy from the gin, it suddenly felt like the surrounding obsidian landscape was about to swallow me whole.

    As I reached my destination, a shady three-story building in a shady neighbourhood, I double-parked the car and opened the leathery glove box to get my gun. I found the building’s door unlocked.

    As I ran up the stairs, my heart was pounding like it wanted to break free of my ribcage. After reaching her floor, I slowly made my way through the darkened corridor, shadows enveloping me in a shroud of anonymity. Tightening my grip on my revolver in one hand, I used the other to slowly turn the coppery doorknob and push open the door to my client’s apartment. As I made my way through the tidy and small apartment, I could feel the darkness and silence surrounding me. I traveled through the poorly furnished living room and the adjacent kitchen, my damp raincoat dripping on the white ceramic tiles. As I stood before Dahlia’s bedroom door, I took a deep breath, not knowing what I’d find on the other side.

    As I pushed open the door, nothing could have prepared me for the sight I was about to witness. On the bed, amongst bloody sheets, my client laid naked, lifeless, with a look of utter terror forever stamped on her face. She’d been carved up like a turkey on Thanksgiving. Triangular pieces of her flesh had been folded around her stomach, like a sickly flower with petals made of flesh and fat. Amongst her exposed intestines, I could see something that didn’t belong, a lone flower -- a dahlia with blood stained petals.


    To be continued
    Last edited by Hellion; 11th May 2011 at 03:35 PM.

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    CottonSheepFairy 33Whimsicott33's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    It's like you selected characters from around the Pokemon world and got them to play in an act of the genre you described at the beginning! Cool.

    I'm wondering how you will handle the personality traits that come with the characters you chose. And is Dahlia supposed to be from a certain part of Pokemon, or is it someone completely original?

    I wonder how much focus the pokemon in the pokemon world are going to get, too.

    It's been a long time since I've seen anything in the mystery genre for Pokemon fanfiction. I think this is well written, keep it up!
    Oh?

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    Child of the Atom Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    First off, here's the reply to 333Erufuun333's comments. Thank you very much, they were really appreciated :)



    Comments are really important, this is my first time working with this genre and in 1rst person narrative so feedback is extremely welcome and needed :D

    Now here's the next Chapter.

    - - - - - - -

    Chapter 2: Ready-made Murder


    “Damn, Sunny, you do know that you don’t need a dead body for me to come over and visit,” said the gruff and deep voice of Inspector Surge.

    “How many times have you come to see me in the last year, Lieutenant? Once, maybe twice,” I said nonchalantly, “so forgive me for thinking I need to step up my game since your visits have been scarcer than a rainstorm in the middle of the Sahara.”

    “How many times do I have to tell you to can it with the lieutenant?” asked Surge. “War’s been over for a long time and I’d rather not think back to those days, boy. So let’s take a look at…. Well I’ll be damned.”

    That last bit pretty much summed up my impression when I’d first laid eyes on the body. Just the sight of that girl, sliced up like a pizza fresh out of the oven, was making me sick, mostly because the red stuff around her just wasn’t tomato sauce. Bloody sheets, bloody walls, a bloody corpse-- actually, it’d probably take up less time to list the thing in that bedroom that didn’t have blood on them.

    “I’ve seen some sick things in my days,” whispered Surge, “but this takes the cake. Just who was that girl?”

    “Just a lady trying to make a living,” I answered.

    Surge shot me an inquisitive look as to exactly what the lady did to earn a living. I could see what he was thinking, and the answer he’d thought up couldn’t be further away from the truth.

    “Get your mind out of the gutter; she was a singer at the Tricorne and she was trying to make it as an actress,” I told him.

    “And you know her how?” he asked. “Tricorne ain’t exactly your scene, Sunny.”

    “She was a client, Matis, she came to me last night 'cause some nutcase is sending her death threats,” I said.

    “Looks like he made good on that promise,” said Surge.

    We both stepped into the poorly decorated bedroom and walked towards the naked, lifeless body of my client. She looked like a howling banshee with her mouth wide open and her empty stare, like she was possessed.

    “Now who would do something like this to a pretty girl like that?” asked Surge.

    “That’s what I’m trying to find out,” I answered matter-of-factly.

    “Volkner, listen to me,” said Surge. He only called me by my name when he was deadly serious. “I don’t know who killed this girl, but I don’t want you to end up its next victim.”

    “That’s swell and all, but I can’t keep doing nothing while people around me keep dying,” I answered.

    “What happened to this girl ain’t your fault, Volkner,” said Surge, “Just like what happened to-”

    I shot him an angry look before he had the chance to finish his sentence. That was one subject I didn’t want to talk about. We’d been through enough together and he knew me well enough to know he shouldn’t bring it up. After the war where he’d been my commanding officer, he had helped me join the force. That’s when I met Flint. Damn, why did everything always have to bring me back to him? I shook my head and, hopefully, the grim thoughts it contained.

    “Now, I sure ain’t the museum type,” said Surge, “but the flower coming out of the bowels, the splatters of blood running clean lines all over, this feels like one of them surrealist paintings. Like the ones with the molten clocks or something, you know what I mean?”

    I didn’t. I wasn’t anymore of a museum type than the lieutenant, but he raised a good point. The bloodied dahlia, the skin petals, the position of the body... everything felt staged, like an art piece. Like someone wanted whoever discovered the body to find it this way. It was a message, like the death threats. It was meant to leave an impression, but to whom? Dahlia was dead, so who was the message for?

    I left the room and passed a few officers dusting the apartment for prints. The photographer came in and took pictures of the bedroom and the body. While the whole police circus was doing its dog and pony show, I sat in an armchair and stared at the abstract geometric pattern of the wallpaper. This pattern was so ugly, it could drive any sane man to murder. Murder by wallpaper, I couldn't believe this was the best theory I could come up with.

    I closed my eyes and tried to picture all the pieces of the puzzle I had in front of me. The letters, the old film director, the Tricorne, the body... the whole masquerade was taunting me. Nothing felt straightforward here; everything seemed to lead in a thousand different directions. After what must have felt like hours, I glanced at the clock on the wall, one of them ugly modern clocks that felt more about design than telling time. A quarter past eight in the morning, Jasmine would be in by now. Girl might have been shy as a bud in a snowy spring, but she was always in at eight on the dot. I picked up the phone and decided to call the office.

    “Lighthouse investigations,” she answered, in a quiet voice bordering on whisper. “We shine a light through the night of your problems.”

    She’d come up with the slogan herself and I didn’t have the heart to tell her I didn’t like it. Her heart was in the right place, though, so I kept mum about it. She was only trying to help.

    “Jasmine, it’s me. Listen, I need you to make copies of the letters Dahlia brought in yesterday. They’re on my desk,” I said. I could hear a certain hesitation in her breathing. She could tell something was up. The girl’s instincts were almost always spot on, so I knew I had to be straight up with her. “After that, could you bring them to the metropolitan police station?”

    “Is she okay?” she asked timidly, knowing all too well the answer.

    “Just hurry up, please,” I answered, tacitly confirming her worst fears. It was one thing to let her know our client had died, but I didn’t want her to know how. Though, pretty soon, the vultures would come circling. The press would have a field day with this. There’s only one thing that sells copies more than a pretty girl dying in a gruesome murder and elections were still a few years away. The less involved she was, the better.

    Just as I hung up the phone, I felt a hand tapping my shoulder.

    “What is it?” I asked Surge.

    “The coroner people are gonna be up here in a few to collect the body,” he said, dead serious. “I know you’re probably still in shock, but I have to ask you to come in and give your testimony.”

    “Sure thing. I called my assistant; she’ll drop the letters downtown after she’s done copying their contents,” I answered, “I suppose you want to do this now?”

    “Well, I’d like to get you out of here before the press gets here, if possible,” said Surge, flashing a shy smile. He always tried to look out for me, ever since the war. He always tried to dismiss it, but he was the one person I knew would always have my back.

    As we went out the building and into the cold and grey morning, I couldn’t help but see familiar blue uniforms and cop cars. Everything reminded me of my past life as a cop. Everything reminded me of him. The ride to the station was uneventful, just rolling through the grey streets, between the grey buildings, underneath the grey skies. The city as day was just a monochrome block of concrete and desperation. People running around in their grey suits to their grey offices -- all of them were blindly ignorant of the things that went on in the night. The crimes, the murders, the bodies; they were ignored or treated like carnival freaks. A city full of millions and most of them didn’t know Dahlia, but I swore to myself they’d know of her murder.

    We arrived at the downtown station and made our way through the art deco lobby to the elevators and then up to the homicide floor. I was hoping that we didn’t meet some old colleagues on the way and thankfully, we didn’t. There was nothing I hated more than running into people that want to reminisce about the good old days when there ain’t nothing good about them.

    I sat next to the lieutenant’s desk. I shouldn’t call him that. He always said the war’s over anyway. He looked at me and asked all of the usual questions. Why was I there? When did I meet her for the first time? What was our business together? He asked all of the expected questions and I provided all of the expected answers, like a well-oiled machine. After a while, Surge raised his head and signaled me to look behind. I turned around and saw Jasmine, looking uncomfortable as she was clutching a few letters against her chest.

    “Here, I brought the letters you asked for,” said Jasmine, desperately trying to avoid looking at me and Surge.

    “Thank you. You did make a transcription like I asked?” I asked, trying not to sound too patronizing. She nodded in acquiescence and handed the pieces of paper to Surge while trying to avert his gaze. She hated being the center of attention.

    “Well, thank you little lady,” said a blushing Surge. Jasmine might have hated the spotlight but whenever a pretty girl walked into a room, there wasn’t anything else that could capture Surge’s attention quite like it. “I don’t believe we were ever properly introduced; name's Matis Surge. Sunny here and I were in the war together.”

    “I… I know,” said Jasmine timidly. “I’m Jasmine... Jasmine Oliver, nice to meet you. Mr. Shore has mentioned you before quite a few times.”

    “He did?” asked Surge while looking at me. “Well, he’s mentioned you, but he never told me what a looker you were. Now Sunny, why would you ever hide a pretty little face like that from me?”

    Surge started laughing, totally oblivious to the fact that Jasmine was getting more and more uncomfortable by the second.

    “Because I knew you’d always make up flimsy excuses to drop by the office instead of doing your job,” I said dryly, “which right now, involves finding my client’s murderer. Now, we wouldn’t want to keep you from getting started on that, so if there ain’t anything else you need to ask me, we’ll be on our way.”

    Surge nodded and then turned to Jasmine. “Well, it was a pleasure meeting you, Miss Oliver.”

    Jasmine nodded as I shook Surge’s hand. Jasmine and I left the blond detective and made our way through the labyrinth of desks in the homicide division. After reaching the safety of the elevator, I let out a painful sigh.

    “I hate this place; too many ghosts,” I said. “Sorry to have dragged you all the way down here.”

    “It’s nothing,” she kindly said. “I’m just glad I could help.”

    “Actually, there’s something else you could do for me,” I said, “I need a ride. My car is still at Dahlia’s apartment and all the press must be there, so I’d rather go get it later. I want to get started on this case right away.”

    “But isn’t the police taking care of this?” asked Jasmine. I could tell she was concerned about my safety.

    “Listen, I know you’re worried about me, but a dead client ain’t exactly good word-to-mouth advertisement,” I answered. “I need to do this Jasmine. I don’t want to bury someone else while their killer is running loose.”

    “Well, I don’t want to have to go and bury you,” said Jasmine defiantly as her face became redder than a ripe tomato at sunset.

    We both stayed silent as the elevator arrived at the ground floor. We made our way to her car on the busy streets, not speaking a word along the way. I had the distinct impression that Jasmine had said more than she wanted to say and I knew for a fact she had said more than I wanted her to say. The people that didn’t want to see me dead, well, they usually ended up six feet under themselves. Getting attached to me was a dangerous sport.

    “Where to?” she asked as we got into her car.

    There was one place I was particularly anxious to check out. It was where Dahlia had gone after leaving my office and probably where she’d met the person sending her those letters: the Tricorne.
    Last edited by Hellion; 17th January 2011 at 12:02 AM.

  4. #4
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    Hey Hellion,

    I like what you've done so far. Clever to incorporate the various canon characters and your style is very enjoyable to read. :)

    Coming Soon...

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    Child of the Atom Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    Quote Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
    Hey Hellion,

    I like what you've done so far. Clever to incorporate the various canon characters and your style is very enjoyable to read. :)
    Thanks Legacy, expecially about the style comment. I'm still not sure about being able to make truly capture the film noir feel and make the first person narrative work, but it's encouraging.

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    This fic has been so much fun to read so far! Usually I don't like AU fics, but this one is done really well and it is very unique. I really like how you captured the film noir style, and I think Volkner is a good choice of character to focus on. It's clever how you add different gym leaders as supporting characters.

    Can't wait to read what you write next

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    Corrections in yellow, my thoughts in bold. -- Italics

    Chapter One Review:



    The main problems I see in here are comma usage. As I'm not very good at explaining things, I suggest you look up "correct comma usage" on Google. It'll help you out.

    For a first chapter, this is both informative and fun to read. You keep to the model of film noir very well, but you should be careful of running into detrimental cliches of the genre. Look up some Agatha Christie; it'll help out with the "mystery" part of this fic.

    Also, you don't have to follow my corrections. You can choose whether or not to use them.

    Also-also: I can't help you with any plot-related problems until, at the very least, the second chapter. I think I'll be able to get to it tomorrow.

    I'M AN UTTER BADASS.
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  8. #8
    Child of the Atom Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    Quote Originally Posted by Paperhorse View Post
    This fic has been so much fun to read so far! Usually I don't like AU fics, but this one is done really well and it is very unique. I really like how you captured the film noir style, and I think Volkner is a good choice of character to focus on. It's clever how you add different gym leaders as supporting characters.

    Can't wait to read what you write next
    Thank you Claire! You're a really good writer so this means a lot coming from you. :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Italics View Post
    You like blades a lot, I can see. First rays of light, now red lips.
    Actually, I'd like to think that blades like Dahlia, which should be evident by the end of the chapter :D The use of the blade metaphors wasn't innocent, I wanted to foreshadow the way Dahlia died.

    The main problems I see in here are comma usage.
    I agree, English isn't my first language and dialogue is written differently in French, so thanks for pointing it out. It's very helpful.

    For a first chapter, this is both informative and fun to read. You keep to the model of film noir very well, but you should be careful of running into detrimental cliches of the genre. Look up some Agatha Christie; it'll help out with the "mystery" part of this fic.
    Actually, I'm gonna play with the clichés of the genre both with the characters like the alcohol friendly, deadpan snaker, ex-cop detective, but also femmes fatales and a Kingpin and of course the narration style being very similar to a Private Eye Monologue. Though I intend to put a few twist on these characters and the plot itself is where I hope to be more original.

    Also, you don't have to follow my corrections. You can choose whether or not to use them.
    I followed most of them. I followed all of the punctuation, but some things I kept because they added a bit of color to the speech and added to the private eye feel to it and where on purpose. I also corrected a few mistakes I saw, like preplacing Tricorn with Tricorne and giving Dahlia a last name. (Kincaid because it rhymes with arcade :P)

    Also-also: I can't help you with any plot-related problems until, at the very least, the second chapter. I think I'll be able to get to it tomorrow.
    Thanks again for reviewing, it's super helpful!
    Last edited by Hellion; 12th January 2011 at 09:34 PM.

  9. #9
    I'm Alive The Puppetmaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    Hi!

    I'm thoroughly enjoying your fanfic thus far! You have a wide vocabulary, vivid similes/metaphors, and your characterization is spot on. You've nailed every character so far. Names like Volkner "Sunny" Shore, Jasmine Oliver, etc. made me laugh a little due to how fitting they were.

    I wish I could be of more assistance in evaluating your writing style itself, but I don't have much experience. I can say, though, that the mood surrounding the story is well suited to the genre. What's the setting, by the way (more specifically, the date)?

    The Volkner/Flint story intertwining with the Volkner/Dahlia case is ingenious. It's impressive when writers can maintain multiple story lines without getting jumbled.

    I like that your characters are sort of falling into stereotypes. It was creative on your part for incorporating their game/anime personae into the characters in your story.

    Props to you for not being afraid to take the murder aspect of the story lightly. I don't always think it's necessary to have excessive amounts of gore for mature stories, but the foreshadowing with the "blades" like you said earlier was clever.

    Don't be afraid to go overboard with the frightful aspect of the story, I love getting chills.

    Good luck!

    P.S. I love the foreshadowing of a specific line (if I'm correct in what I believe may happen).

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    Sorry I couldn't review this like I said I would. Caught a cold, couldn't move out of bed, blah, blah, blah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    I agree, English isn't my first language and dialogue is written differently in French, so thanks for pointing it out. It's very helpful.

    Actually, I'm gonna play with the clichés of the genre both with the characters...and of course the narration style being very similar to a Private Eye Monologue. Though I intend to put a few twist on these characters and the plot itself is where I hope to be more original.

    1. That's why I'm so impressed with your fic; this genre is notorious for its superfluous use of idiomatic English and slang. I know if I ever tried to do this in French...well, uh, I kinda forget (sometimes, maybe, a lot) what the French word for "yes" is. Yeah.

    2. As long as you know what your doing, I'm fine trusting you with the wheel. Just don't crash, man.


    Chapter Two:



    Okay, characterization time. I'll put down what I've interpreted of your characters, all right?

    Volkner: Cool, clear-headed, sarcastic, rather cold, bisexual (?), a skulking, brooding type. Has a bad past, apparently, which includes some time at war and a loss of a partner. I would assume observant, reasonably clever, and non-conforming, considering he's a PI that left the police. A bit of a broken bird, a woobie (look those up if you don't know, cap'n), and has Jasmine as a morality pet. An alcoholic, has a soft spot for timid things and women, has a problem with metaphoring and simile-ing all over the place. Is used to blood and gore, so I assume he's used to violence (he killed in the past, maybe?).

    Questions: I haven't really seen him do anything more than look at things -- not observing, mind you, but just watching like a child peering into a fish bowl. You've stated that he went to war; if so, shouldn't losing a partner during his stay with the police be a little less ripping? (Not saying death is easy to endure or something you can get used to, but war brings death all the time.) He's interesting, though, and I'm interested, so hey, I dunno. Let's see.

    Jasmine: Shy, reserved, observant. Doesn't talk unless compelled to by outside circumstances. Distant, but in a I'm-afraid-the-world-will-eat-me way, not the cold way Volkner is. Trajic past as well? Secretary, so has some skills with typing, writing, perhaps shorthand, multi-tasking, evading problems as she tries to fix them, clear-headed (I hope), good with technology a bit (basics, I think), and some nice motor skills and coordination.

    Questions: Why would someone that's so shy take a job that includes handling other people and their business? It's very verbal. Was it for her observational talents? Her "other" talents? (Masculine, alcoholic charm can only go so far, after all.) She seems innocent. Are you, like...going to kill her, or something? Use her as bait? That's what I expect. Pretty ladies that are involved with the PI in fiction never last long with literal ladykillers around. Especially the innocent ones with necessary detective skills. She's cute, so let's see how it goes.

    Surge: A bit more crude than Volkner, has a "hands-on" approach to things, is more emotional of the two, or at least actually shows his emotions. Likes pretty women. Seems straight-laced, at least compared to Volkner. You know what? How about I go out on a limb and assume he'll be Volkner's foil right here.

    Questions: He's the foil to Volkner, right? Since this is his first appearance, I've only seen him in terms that say "opposite," "different, but in a way compared to Volkner," and "is parallel to Volkner." Don't know about Surge yet; you've got a plan for him, I expect, so I won't bother him too much. I'll wait and see if I'll like him as a character.

    General Questions:


    1. Are you going to show us, the readers, some policin' procedures?

    'Cause I think they're both necessary to show us that Volkner was a former policeman, and to get us interested with how Volkner's own style of policin' contradicts and follows standard procedure. Plus, I think its fun.

    2. Do you have general outline for the "mystery" part of this?

    That's what I'm most afraid of: a Scooby-Doo sort of mystery. Characterization and development is great and all, but still, mystery is mystery.

    3. How will you use the setting to your advantage?

    Will the city's population make it harder or easier to find the culprit? Will there be neighborhood divisions between different sections of the city? Will there be gangs? Violence? Rule-breaking? Will Volkner's own background make it hard for him to investigate? Will the level of technology (or lack thereof) be helpful or a burden? Are medical practices in line with, say, 1930's Chicago, or 2000's New York City? All of that will make things easier for you when you need to think up certain situations.

    4. How long do you think this will last?

    The story, I mean. Ten chapters? Twenty? It matters, because depending on where you're going to end, the story might rush on and pull a deus ex machina out of nowhere just to conform to the ending chapter's needs.

    5. What kind of pacing are you going for? (Fast? Slow?)

    This is pretty important. If you go too fast, then it might become a sort of action-laden thriller; if too slow, it might turn into a psychological-suspense thingy. Pacing definitely makes the story in this genre of fiction.

    6. What's the French word for "yes"?

    Honestly, if I don't remember this soon I'm never gonna get to bed. And it will be all your fault.

    You know, I think I'm turning into more of a beta-reader than reviewer. Is...that good?

    I'M AN UTTER BADASS.
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  11. #11
    Child of the Atom Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    First, I'd like to thank both of you guys for your comments and reviews. Both were really encouraging and useful.

    The Puppetmaster's answer:



    Italics' answer:



    Oh by the way, I'm planning on updating with Chapter 3 either Wednesday. The first part of this chapter was a bit more difficult to write.
    Last edited by Hellion; 18th January 2011 at 12:42 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    I'm just glad you accepted to take some time to look over this fic in the first place.
    D'awwww, you're some kind of sweetie, aren't cha? /:Y


    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    Well, safe for a few things about each characters, you're pretty much spot on with your descriptions of them.
    Well, that's good. If a reader can't interpret the character in the proper direction, then something tends to get screwy later on.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    I liked that you asked the questions, because it actually forced me to really question myself about some aspects of the characters, though I had an answer for all of them, so that's a good thing. You'll get the answers throughout the chapters.
    Good. If you answer them outright you'll ruin the fun of interpretation. And answering questions about stuff is always fun, in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    Well, as I said above, chapter 2 was mostly about the shock more so than really gathering clues. Though that'll come starting in the next chapters. It'll become an increasing part of the story.
    As long as you're putting that stuff in there then I'm good, cap'n. If you'd ignored it then I would've bothered you for the next thousand chapters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    Well, next 3-4 chapters will be about introducing our gallery of suspects. I already mentionned Pryce Winters and Dahlia's working place, the Tricorne. Then, it's gonna be about Volkner trying to figure out how they all fit in Dahlia's death.
    Cool. Keep that up and things will stay interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    As I mentionned above, I'm introducing a cast of characters. They'll range form high scoiety to underground and everything in between. Though, I won't necessarily have Volkner deal with the criminal underworld, more like brush past it a few times.
    Good, good, and good. Reality has many different layers, and when a work of fiction follows this then things become like lovely little onions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    Originally, I thought 10-15 chapters, but I think it'll be 15-20. I'm ready to go for more if need be.
    Whelp, now I know how long I'll be reviewing, cap'n. Not that that's a bad thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    Each chapter spans anywhere from 6-12 hours in the story, so I'd say it'll be more fast than slow. Though, the dialogue slows it down a bit.
    Huh. Like 24, I expect. Awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    Oui
    DAMN IT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    A review like yours, that really dissects the story is super useful for the author in my opinion. Like I said, by asking questions, you're forcing to make sure I have the answers and really know where I'm going. So thank you, you're review was incredibly useful! :D
    Heh. I guess saying you really know how to complement someone was pretty spot-on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    Oh by the way, I'm planning on updating with Chapter 3 either tomorrow or Tuesday. The first part of this chapter was a bit more difficult to write.
    Cool, now I know when to look this thingy up again. Be there, then, as soon as you have it up, I guess.

    I'M AN UTTER BADASS.
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  13. #13
    back to the start Arc Blader's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    This is actually really cool. I'm a sucker for a good AU fic, and this definitely fits the bill. The characters feel natural, which can make or break this kind of fic. The story itself, while basic up to this point, is engrossing, and it revels in traditional noir dialogue without drowning in it. Can't wait to see the next chapter.

  14. #14
    Poet Laureate AiedailEclipsed's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    I really love the imagery you created with the death scene. And I have to say, the story overall (so far) has been captivating. I eagerly await the next chapter. ;)
    Currently looking for help with a web project. If interested in more details, please feel free to PM me!

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  15. #15
    Irrationally Logical Sombra29's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Red Dahlia

    Just the sight of that girl, sliced up like a pizza fresh out of the oven, was making me sick, mostly because the red stuff around her just wasn’t tomato sauce.
    I feel like a terrible person for laughing inside with this analogy.

    And I also feel like a terrible person for shipping a one sided Jasmine x Volkner relation,even if that's obviously against the authorial intent.

    This story has been really cool so far,I think you have archived what you intended.I get the mystery vibes easily,and will be looking forward the crazy twists and Xanatos shenanigans.

    Also I did a little fanart of Mr.Detective Volkner(or at last how I see him...oh gosh he looks more like a sailor here doesn't he dammit)sorry is a bit rushed...


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