Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Waverley Knees, by Ray Banks

"The Waverley Knees," by Ray Banks, in Noir Nation 2, edited by Eddie Vega, 2013.

What I like best about this story, I suppose, is its central conceit: that to a homeless guy on the sidewalk, the good citizens passing by are just a collection of knees.

Living down here, the knees were all you saw, and they saw little of you.  they were international  -- those trousers had a German accent, that skirt was French, those massive backpacks over there were probably Dutch or whatever language it was that sounded like English in reverse.

Grizzly is the homeless guy, stuck in front of Waverley Station in Edinburgh with his dog Winston.  Except Winston used to belong to someone else, which is where the conflict comes in, and gives Grizzly reason to get up off the sidewalk and, in true noir style, try to accomplish something.  But, in true noir fashion, there are no happy endings.

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