Sunday, March 30, 2014
A Knock On The Door, by Jas. R. Petrin
I have written before about my admiration for Jas. R. Petrin's stories about Skig Skorzeny, an aging Halifax loanshark with a gut full of cancer and a heart of, well, not gold, but something more than the rock he pretends to possess.
I'm not going to dwell on the plot of this story (late wife's niece, missing person) but instead I want to concentrate on the writing. As I went through the tale I found myself marking passages I like (perhaps the only benefit of my not having a story of my own in this issue. I don't need to save it). So, with no further ado:
Skig to a delinquent customer who is suffering from a protection racket:
"Those partners of yours bleed you again before I get paid, I'm gonna attend their next shareholders meeting. In fact, I might anyway."
"Please don't do that."
"Could be fun. A hostile takeover. Tell 'em."
Skig about to have an MRI:
"So, Mr. Skorzeny, is there any metal, iron, nickel, or cobalt on or in your body?"
"Cobalt? What the hell is cobalt?"
"How would I know? This body's been through some pileups. Do bullets have cobalt in them?"
The narrator explains why Skig moved into an old filling station:
After Jeanette died, the house had seemed too empty during the day, and too full at night, all the ghosts peering out of the woodwork.
A cop asks Skig for help:
"Help you? Listen, I'm responsible for half the overtime you get."
And, at random:
"Nobody knows nothing anymore," Skig said. "The information age."