Monday, June 02, 2008

Scene from the New Book

Kane finished his lunch. He put a twenty on the table and stood. Might as well get to it.

The tail -- a stocky, balding guy who sat well, hadn’t ordered any food, but he had two beer bottles on the table in front of him and as Kane approached, he saw that those were Chimay.

Must pay well, being an undercover op.

He smiled. He’d had a buddy once -- a beer-snob -- who had loved that stuff. Had gone on and on about how wonderful it was. It was, he’d said, made in Belgium, by monks. Kane used to razz his friend about it being Nazi beer, since the Germans had occupied that country during WWII and taken over most of the industry there, including brewing. What Kane remembered about the brand was that it was over-priced, kind of stale, and highly alcoholic, two or three times as potent as regular microbrews. Portland and vicinity had a bunch of such places, and the local beers and ales were, the few times he indulged, much better than the bottled brew shipped halfway around the world to suckers willing to play premium prices for no more than bragging rights:

“Oh, yes, this is Chimay! From the loving hand of the monks in Belgium!”

As far as Kane was concerned, it tasted like it had come from a part of the monks’ anatomy somewhat farther south, and all they got right was the color ...

Kane knew that the stocky man who’d been tailing him might make a move, and he figured that he likely had some skill, so he needed to head it off.

Kane paused at the table. He looked down. “Hey, Chimay! That’s really good, isn’t it?”

The stocky man relaxed a hair. “Yes, yes, it is.” Maybe, he must figure, he hadn’t been made; Kane was just caught by the sight of the beer. Could be.

“You mind?” Kane reached out slowly and picked up one of the empty bottles, ostensibly to read the label.

Stocky started to rise. He sensed danger, but because he had drunk a couple of the potent brews, his reaction time was slow.

Kane slammed the empty bottle down on top of the man’s head. The bottle-glass was heavy -- it didn’t break.

The guy, stunned, stopped halfway up, as if puzzled.

Kane circled his arm and smacked the bottle into the guy’s temple. He collapsed, his lights out. Again, the glass held.

Good bottle. Had to give them that.

He set the empty onto the table, and headed for the door. This tail wouldn’t be following him for a while. Most of the diners missed it, and the ones who didn’t stayed in their chairs. Might be dialing 911, but by the time the police arrived, Kane would be gone, and Stocky the sleeping beer snob wasn’t going to be registering any complaints.

Kane smiled at that last thought.


Bobbe Edmonds said...


...Of course you made it up, I mean that as in, "Just to screw with me".

There is no way this is going into a book of yours, Steve...You don't want to go down this path...

Be a shame for a lanky astrotech I know of in Barsoom station by the name of Sperry Peal to get ripped apart by Martian Stitchers. Slowly. While screaming like a girl for three pages.

Don't make me do it, Old Man.

Steve Perry said...

You never learn, do you?

Mark the lesson: Old and treacherous beats young and fair every time, Kid.

I've been the villain on Saturday morning cartoons; a sleazy officer in a Star Trek novel or two, and killed off in other books left, right, and center. No big deal.

Your beer, on the other hand is goin' down. I warned you, but nooo, you wouldn't listen.

Wait until you read the next part ...

Dan Moran said...

Hemingway couldn't have done it better.

Jason said...


The fabled Sci-Fi writers' version of the dozens!

*grabs popcorn*

Jason said...


The fabled Sci-Fi writers' version of the dozens!

*grabs popcorn*

VC said...

This is fantastic - I can't wait to see it in the book. Have you told us which book or did I miss the clues necessary to recognize a series?

Steve Perry said...

It's an urban fantasy, called *Champion of the Dead.*
Starting out as a stand-alone, but if it sells and people get to pounding on my door and shoveling money at me for a sequel, I might be persuaded.

I'm hoping to get the draft done by the end of the summer. Between that and the doorstop fantasy with Reaves, that'll be two books making the rounds by then. I hope.

Anonymous said...

"I've been the villain on Saturday morning cartoons"

Really? Which ones?

Sean said...

< Nelson Muntz >Ha HAA!< /Nelson Muntz >

Steve - care to share where those "and this evening, playing the role of XXX, Steve Perry" occured?

Steve Perry said...

Been a while. I was the bad guy on an episode of The She-Hulk. An old retired ranger on Stellar Rangers. I wouldn't be surprised to find somebody who talked like me or looked like me in several other shows, even if the name wasn't the same.

Like Hitchcock, I sometimes give myself bit parts in my books. I was a jewel thief in Shadows of the Empire, and have walked my dogs through a few of the Net Force books, as well as in my SF novels.

Reaves and I sometimes give each other walk-ons in our books. I named a planet after him once, slightly disguised.

My favorite name was in one of Bunch's books, wherein there was a martial artist named "Stiff Perr."

I expect Bill Dietz might want to do me in after he reads how I blew up his airplane in a recent book.

After you run out of kids who used to pick on you in junior high -- slaughtered in horrible ways, thus giving you a certain amount of satisfaction, not to mention getting paid to do it, you could be tempted to play games with your friends.

Not that you should ever do this, because you might get sued if you portray somebody in a bad light. So, don't. Just talking theoretically here, of course.