It was in Year 12 of high school English that I studied Film Noir. During my schooling days English was my favourite subject by far. Mainly due to two reasons:
1. It was interesting, and
2. I wasn’t that bad at it.
One of my assessment pieces for the unit was to write a script (I guess that’s what you’d call it) for my own original film noir. There were a few restrictions such as word limits, language, etc. but for the most part I was able to draw on my imagination.
That being said, I present to you my Film Noir assessment piece from Grade 12, unedited.
Angel of Death
The boss must really have it in for me this time. Two weeks on night-shift, for what? He knows I have a family to go home to. A beautiful wife and two gorgeous kids. Two kids that I never see anymore because of some grudge he’s got against me. I can’t put up with this much longer. If he pulls anymore of this kinda garbage on me, he’s gonna be detrimental to his own health.
I shivered. The kinda shiver that men like me get when some dame winks at ‘em. Well, that or if it’s too cold; and as far as I could see, there wasn’t no dame and it sure as hell ‘aint that cold, so what was it? I’d patrolled this section of the town hundreds of times before and there ‘aint nothin’ to be afraid of, unless you walked down the wrong alleyway that is. The tall street lamps sent long spindly shadows across the broken path in front of me. Sure, this section of town could be frightenin’ to some inexperienced dick, but me? Nah, somethin’ was definitely wrong. If serving the community had taught me anythin’, it was to trust your gut, and right now, my gut was felt queasy.
I kept trudgin’ down the path, keepin’ a watchful eye on the alleyways I passed. I was on my way to my usual haunt, Kandy’s Klub. I kept tellin’ myself that I only went there to keep an eye on the crims, but my shrink? Well, he was of a different opinion. Ya see, I’ve turned into a bit of a regular over at Kandy’s now, so I get every second drink free of charge. Hell, what do I care, just means more dough in my pockets.
I’d reached Kandy’s Klub. It stood before me in all of its glory. The bright pink neon sign that swang above me illuminated the doors in an eerie pink glow. I stepped through the doorway and if one thing was for sure, this was a man’s heaven and a woman’s hell. I could book every last person in this joint and have ‘em all convicted of some felon. Not tonight though, word on the street was that a hit was goin’ down here tonight. The suspected target, Gwen Carver. She was notorious for ordering killings all across the state, but now she’s the one in the line of sight. What’d she expect? If ya keep gettin’ your hands dirty, eventually someone’s gonna come around and clean ‘em for ya.
Walkin’across the room I was greeted with familiar voices callin’ out my name and a free round of liquor. I was the perfect agent for an undercover mission. I was just another bird in a gin mill. Once someone sees a strange face in the crowd, they’re gonna start asking some questions. I made my way to my usual seat, away from all the boozehounds near the girls. It was empty as usual. A dusty old cushioned chair in the far corner of the room. It definitely wasn’t as luxurious as the other seats in the room, but I sat there for a reason.
I could see everything from here, including Ms Carver. I wish I could just let her go. Let her feel whatever warmth there is left inside that body drain out her when she gets slugged. All the pain ‘n suffering she’s caused, for what? To maintain her reputation? Behind all that beauty there’s an evil lurkin’inside. She’s a true angel of death. A woman that takes her drinks dirty and her men dirtier, and after tonight, I’d be needin’ a long, hot shower to make me feel somewhat clean and respectable.
The man sittin’ opposite Ms Carver was a dead-beat, Larry O’Toole. We used to go to school together, back in the day. We weren’t enemies, but we weren’t friends either. He was just like me, except for the fact that twenty years ago when I joined the force as an attempt to try and steer my life in a respectable direction; Larry just gave up. Somehow he managed to find his way into Carver’s back pocket, and of all the dirt in this club, Larry was the dirtiest.
I knew I’d be waiting for a while. I settled in, making the most of my last night in Kandy’s Klub, because I sure as hell wasn’t gonna come back after everyone knew I was a cop.
My second dose of corn liquor arrived. I glanced over at the duo of death as I drank. The devil was lighting up another sin stick. The smoke masked most of her face, but I saw it. Her eyes darted away from mine in an instant. Her cheeks went the colour of her lips. Blood red. I’d been made. There wasn’t anything I could do now. Both Carver and O’Toole knew I was here. Chances were I’d be stuck in the back before I could flee. I had to make my move in any case.
I stood up, excusing myself from my untouched glass of bourbon and made my way towards the front door, hoping that they wouldn’t make their move if there were any witnesses. A lifetime went by before I made the entrance, now my exit. My pure thoughts of escape were interrupted by a voice. A challenge. A soft cooing that made me question my own authority. I turned on the spot and faced the angel with the blood lips. She looked me up and down. Unblinking.
Cold metal pressed against the back of my head. In an instant I understood. She was never the target. I was. One word was all it took. One word was all she wasted on me. The last word I ever heard. “Goodbye”.