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Jayden Rasmussen

Espresso Noir
As he strolled down the alleyway into the main street, Joes mind began to wander. He knew
this case would go somewhere, It had to he repeated to himself. How can someone who
commits crime after crime not be found? Its illogical He muttered to himself. He pulled a
cigarette from his jean pocket and stuck it in his mouth as he continued to the main street through
town. The taste of stale tobacco and rolling paper always reminded him of home. Stopping to
light his cigarette he glanced through the taste of phosphorous and smoke to see a bistro he
didnt recognize. Through the first few puffs he tried to remember what hed heard of the place.
When nothing came to mind he thought to himself, it must be a real stand up place. Joe was
never the spontaneous type. He wore the same pin-striped suit and slacks everyday, his black
leather loafers were always shined with Brazilian oil. Always bought at the corner market.
Everyday for Joe ended the same, he walked through the alleyway behind metro headquarters,
through Ms. Palmers yard and around to the back door of his flat. He could feel the vein in his
forehead start to pop out as he made his way into the bistro. He was stressed, and the tobacco
wasnt helping. He took his place at the counter, between two men. On his right was an elderly
man, writing in a crossword. To his right was a younger man perhaps in his mid-twenties, his
hair was unkept, he wore tattered blue jeans and black sneakers. Joe was never a coffee man,
hed seen grown men lose their minds after a pot but today seemed to stretch endlessly towards
eternity. He ordered his coffee black, his father had always told him that a good cup of coffee
should be as bitter as the days end.
As he sat contemplating the murders hed been investigating, the young man said What
brings a bloke like you to this part of town?

Joe responded Id never seen this place before, figured Id come in for a cup
The man took a swig from his mug and looked back to Joe I reckon the only reason a man
like youd come to a place like this is to get away from his wife.
The detective looked the young man up and down, Ive never been particularly fond of
marriage myself. He continued, What did you say your name was?
Most people call me Elliott
When do you reckon they put this place up? Ive never seen it around.
Probably a few years ago Elliott responded, pointing towards the coffee stains on the
counter that had tarnished the wood countertop.
I suppose youre a regular then? Joe asked half-heartedly.
The coffee isnt half bad, and the waitresses are kind. Elliott responded, I suppose you
could say Im here regularly
The detective thanked the waitress for his cup and gulped down the bitter liquid How did
you find this place?
My aunt used to bring me round when I was a boy, I guess it always felt like home to me
Elliott told him, I didnt really have much growing up, my folks were very poor. I suppose I just
preferred finding places that are hidden in plain sight
Joe looked around, the place wasnt as bad as some of the homes hed investigated. It wasnt
where hed want his children to grow up either.
This place isnt really hidden. Where have you gone thats hidden in plain sight? Joe
pondered.
There are lots of place where no one goes but everyone knows about. Elliott replied.

Alleyways and street corners are a perfect example, how many times have you walked past a
street corner and seen someone just standing out there?
Joe nodded, Well of course there are bums and the homeless but everyone knows they are
their. Thats hardly hidden
Elliott paused. How do you think people end up in those situations?
Their lazy! Good for nothin hooligans! the old man replied
Joe stared silently. I guess I never asked Joe replied. I reckon they had to have really
gotten messed up in some real nasty kind of business to be in that situation.
Elliott looked at Joe. I thought to myself the same thing for awhile. One day, walking home
from mass I decided to ask a beggar. Elliott said He told me of his life, and how he had once
been a well known surgeon even operating on the Queens advisors. He told me that he never
decided all at once to be homeless. He started gambling with his money and found himself in a
terrible bet to some even worse men.
What happened with these men? Joe asked.
They came to his flat one night and robbed him blind Elliott said, seemingly unaffected by
the mans story. They told him that if he ever spoke of the men they would kill him then and
there.
Joes face contorted into a look of disgust and rage.
I think it was his own fault really, gambling is a sin after all Elliott said.
Let me get this straight, you think that it was just for a surgeon to be left homeless because
of a gambling debt? Joe asked, surprised by Elliotts answer.
If thats what the lord wanted for him, then yes Elliott replied, nonchalantly.

So, anything God wants for someone is right then? Joe asked.
Of course, he loves everyone exactly the same Elliott replied. Besides, who am I to
judge?
Joe took another swig of his coffee. The bitterness of the beverage cleared his head but, he
could still feel Elliotts beady eyes drilling into him.
Do you know God? Elliott asked, a hint of childish sarcasm in his voice.
I dont think I know any better than anyone else he replied.
I know God, we speak every day. I pray and he answers. I ask and he tells me what I need to
do. He made me, he knows me. He made you too, and Im quite sure he knows you very well,
Joe Elliott said.
Oy! Thats a load of manure! Young people like yourself ought to know better the old man
cried from the other side of the bar.
The gears were spinning inside the detectives head. This was an incredibly religious young
man with a terrible past. What is he capable of? He thought to himself. Thats all very well and
good Elliott, but Ive just thought of something Joe continued In scripture, God commands that
men never do a list of ten things. What happens if God asked you to do something that went
against his own word?
Well of course Id have to do it Elliott responded, completely unfazed by the question.
What if God asked you to kill someone? Joe asked, pulling out his notepad. The
detective thumbed through his notes. The more he read the more he was questioning himself.
Seven women had been killed every Sunday over the last two months, each woman was
completely different from the others. He hadnt found any leads because they were to

incredulously different from one another.


If God needed me to kill someone than he must have a very good reason for them to die.
Elliott responded. I am a man of God, detective. I couldnt say no to my lord no matter the task.
Even if it meant I had to kill them.
The gears inside Joes head were whirring faster than ever. He finished off what was left of
his coffee and stared blankly at the man that sat next to him.
Although I could never do it Elliott continued. Taking someones life takes away their
choice to become a better person
The detective looked for any sign of deceit in the mans voice or body language. Nothing
came to his attention. As Elliott stared back at the bewildered detective, the smallest grin of
mischief spread through his face.
Whats that youre grinning about? Joe asked.
Im terribly sorry, I just love watching outsiders realize how much we devote ourselves to
our religion Elliott smiled. You know, we thought you were the brightest detective on the Met.
Thats why we had you assigned to this case.
Joes face became a hurricane of confusion.
Im sure this wont be a surprise for you detective Elliott added.
The detective was dumbfounded, he began to search for some escape from this nightmare.
I killed those women Elliott added.
The look of awe on the detectives face wouldve made the cover of Newsweek. Joe looked
over to where the old man had been sitting, but he was nowhere to be found. Even the waitress
had disappeared. By the time he looked back to where Elliott had been sitting, hed disappeared

too. Maybe it was all a dream after all Joe thought, slumping over in his seat. Of course it was.

Espresso Noir Monograph


This is the story of a detective of the London police force, colloquially referred to as the
Met. Our protagonist decides out of desperation to try out a budding bistro in a darker part of
town. While at the bistro, Joe finds that becomes enthralled with a conversation with a seemingly
unknown stranger who questions him about his beliefs. After some time our protagonist finds
himself face to face with a serial killer who has evaded his grasp for months. As the curtains
close our characters are left in a realm of mystery, only for the reader to decide what has
happened.

Corrections/Changes.
1. God wasnt capitalized when referring in the third person.
2. To was corrected to too on page 3
3.All once was corrected to All at once page 3
4. The mans story page 3 was changed to plural
5. 2nd page, 1st paragraph: Separated the two people speaking with a new line.
6. 4th page, mid page: "What is he capable of? changed to a thought by italicizing it like
Joe's previous thoughts, instead of the quotes that make
it look like he's talking out loud.
Unchanged.
1. Increased dramatic tension.
2. Longer ending.
3. Final resolution.

Quiz Responses
Briefly explain the role of persona in poetry.
Persona in poetry, is the voice in which the poem is told. This generally includes the tone
of the work as well as the writers voice.
What is alliteration? Give an example from a poem.
Alliteration is the repetition of stressed syllables. "The soul selects her own
society." (Emily Dickinson)
What is the main difference between metaphor and simile? Give an example of each.
Metaphor is the comparison of two things without using like or as. Simile is the
comparison of two things using like or as. For example, Her smile was the sun, warm and
inviting, is a metaphor. Where, Her smile was like the sun, warm and inviting, is a
simile.
What is slant rhyme? Give an example.
A slant rhyme is a rhyme in which the rhyming words dont repeat the same sound but
instead they only sound similar. The phrase, Her hearts dark is an example of a slant
rhyme because the words heart and dark do not repeat the same syllable but instead only
sound similar.
What is the principal difference between memoir and autobiography?
Autobiography is the history of someones life from birth to death. However, a memoir is
simply a detailed description of one event in a persons life.
What element of memoir distinguishes it from anecdote?
Memoir doesnt have the same conclusion that an anecdote would. For instance an
anecdote would be a story about how you came to have a certain nickname, while a
memoir would be what you did while you had that nickname.
Name three possible points of view from which a piece of fiction may be told.
First person, third person, and third person omniscient are all different points of view.
What is indirect discourse and why might a fiction writer use it?

Indirect discourse is discourse that doesnt take place with main characters, that may
include conversations in passing or with extraneous characters.
How does a short story differ from a chapter in a novel?
In general, short stories have definite beginning, middle, and end. However a chapter in a
novel can include only a beginning and a middle, thus allowing the story to continue to
progress.
What is your favorite genre from the semester and why?
Over the course of the semester, my favorite genre has been the short stories. Ive always
enjoyed reading stories but never really considered making up my own, and I really
enjoyed the experience.