Friday, December 05, 2008

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Jon recently read a chapter from the novel I am working on. Remarking on the villain he said: "It's Maloney. He's changed, altered, but he's Maloney." I disagreed vehemently, describing that my inspiration for the vile character had been more along the lines of Clancy Brown's Rev. Justin Crowe. Granted, both men are amoral and both are the heads of a perverse religious community, but I don't think the two are alike. So, here's to Jon, a reminder of Maloney (what follows is new, mostly written for my own benefit)...

Maloney's gray eyes penetrated the bar's smoky interior, scrutinizing every detail about her, analyzing and catergorizing until he could break her down into manageable parts. That being done, he slipped from the bar stool and began his walk.

"I don't want to know your name," he said.

She was the sort who was probably stunning in high school and who mistakenly thought adulthood raised her beauty. "I'm sorry?" she responded.

Maloney sat next to her, enjoying the look of consternation. "I saw you were sitting alone and it was obvious you wanted company."

"Well, you're wrong," she said. She adjusted her professional attire, pulling up a collar, pulling down a hemline. "I'm not looking to get picked up."

"I don't pick people up," Maloney commented. "That's way too much work."

She turned away from him and focused her attention on the dance floor. Maloney watched her, recognizing the dismissive gesture but refusing to accept it. When she turned back , he still watched her, his face unexpressive.

"Why don't you go away?" she said with undisguised annoyance. "I don't want to be bothered. I don't want you here.

With a grin he placed a hundred dollar bill on the table.

"What is that for? What do I look like?"

Maloney pursed his lips. "I'm staying at the Kramer. Room 302. Be there by ten."

The shock on her face pleased him. He shut his eyes and inhaled the moment. When it passed, he opened his eyes again and ran a finger along the side of her face. She cringed, but didn't pull back.

"You're a sexist pig," she said. "You're disgusting."

"This isn't about sex," replied Maloney, his voice flat.

He stood to leave. She took the hundred dollar bill and slowly ripped it in two. The halves fluttered to the ground.

"Don't worry. There's more where that came from. When you come, make sure you aren't wearing makeup. Also, keep your eyes down. Don't look directly at me."

She slowly held up a middle finger.

"By ten," he said. "One minute after and you won't be let in."

He turned and walked toward the exit. On his way out he paused to tap another woman on the shoulder, someone who didn't look old enough to be drinking. Maloney bent over and kissed her, holding the kiss until everyone who noticed turned away in discomfort. . He broke away and whispered something in her ear. As she burst into tears, he grinned and winked.

"Ten O' Clock," he called over his shoulder without looking back. 

She'd be there.

[and mike, wherever you level of depravity is a far deeper well than you could ever fathom]


Sidney said...

Very intriguing. Definitely makes you want to read more and find out more about who he is and what he's doing.

Charles Gramlich said...

Personaly, I'm betting she wouldn't show up.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Sidney, he is a con man who is dying of cancer. He's a vile, destructive individual who lives to corrupt. It is his hope that someone will resist his influence, that someone will show that it is possible to redeemed.

Charles, really? I wouldn't make that bet. You know, what's always fascinated me is that people who have become acquainted with this character adore him. They hate him, but they adore him.

spyscribbler said...

Have you ever thought of writing erotica?

Rick said...

Stewart, I'm sensing a strong autobiographical trend in this piece. Also, I notice that the name Maloney and Stewart have exactly the same number of letters. Also, Benjamin (the first name of the man who's face is on a hundred dollar bill) has the same number of letters as the name Sternberg. Geomatriacally, there is something of significance to your past life coming through this story. Under hypnotic regression, it might come out that you have in fact been to this lounge, and were well known there in an earlier incranation for leaving generous tips.

And, admit it, you've always wanted to do another Maloney novel- perhaps a prequel. Imagine the tales from Maloney's childhood!

Nice work, by the way.

Stewart Sternberg said...

If I write erotica, Spy, maybe I'll do it under a penname.

Rick, it's funny you mention it, but I have actually been thinking about writing another novel with this character and setting it in New York, during his younger days as a runaway/con artist.

SQT said...

I'm with Charles. I don't think she'd show up.

L.A. Mitchell said...

I applaud you for being able to write a love to hate character. Such a challenge. No reader can deny the sheer gravity of his character.

When do we find out if she shows up?

SQT said...

Yes. L.A. has the only pertinent question here. When do we get to see if she shows up?

Susan Miller said...

she shows up. otherwise she's not worth mentioning and, of course, we have to consider her god, or creator. she definitely shows up.

I've actually thought about Maloney and Billville in the past couple of weeks. The hint of those worlds has stuck with me, and I keep thinking that one day I'm going to be able to purchase those books.

etain_lavena said...

So happy everyone is still going:)

Avery DeBow said...

I'm guessing she's of the low-self-esteem ilk. She'll show.

Zoe Winters said...

I like this. Nice work!

Jon said...

Hmmm...Stewart's Maloney and my Billville...together? Again...hmmm.

Virginia Lady said...

She has to show. Curiosity and all that. I'm dying to know what he said to the young girl he kissed.