Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Hard-boiled Detective in Cybernetic Playground #Scifi #fantasy
By Suzanne van Rooyen
The Detective meets a contact in a less than salubrious establishment...
Cyrus gazed towards the stage, peering through the
smoky haze that billowed around the crowded tables.
The interior of the club was dark, the walls painted a
deep green--or perhaps even black. Life-size projections of Dizzie Gillespie and Miles Davis moved across the walls, living shadows in moribund dance. The patrons were a motley lot. Some were clad in sequins and feather boas, others sporting the slim-fit catsuits of the modern era, all engrossed in the speakeasy vibe of the club called Dixieland. The kid on stage dipped and swayed beneath the flickering blue and orange lights, the sax sitting snug in his fat cherub mouth. His lips, Cyrus decided, were
made for caressing a wind instrument into sonorous ecstasy.
The detective tapped his feet to the rhythm of the drums, his eyes still fixed on the saxophonist, his criminal accomplice: Cleo. The kid was young, not yet qualifying for longevity treatments. Still au naturale in the bloom of late adolescence, his face doused in freckles and framed by the tight springy hair of his African heritage. Young as he was, Cleo was smart with a ruthless street savvy cultivated by a hard life lived on the sidewalks. He was Cyrus’s connection to the underworld. Half Chinese and half black, Cleo was the poster child of the lower end district: part Chinatown, part 1940’s Louisiana. This strange juxtaposition was the new New Orleans and Cyrus loved it—the warmth of nostalgia in his belly, the hankering for a past he had never lived but only read about in books and seen in gritty black and white films. He had been born two centuries too late, a situation he lamented.