Enabler By Martin M. Clark


Feb 12, 2007

The hood came off and I blinked in the anticipated spotlight. However, it was just a standard Anglepoise and I was cable-tied to a basic wooden chair, not a restraint-cum-waterboarding recliner. That shouted amateur, and amateur can be dodgy.

“Are you Mallory?” The voice was East End London with an undertone of anger. He was a big man in a black rollneck and camelhair car coat. Pretty much a walking cliché if you’re into retro gangland, but no less dangerous for all that.

Still, it never hurts to run your mouth. “I’d better be, buster, for your sake. Whoever hired you will be less than chuffed if you’ve lifted the wrong bloke. And I know you’re just muscle ’cos you and me, we have zero history.”

Rollneck’s gaze shifted to a point over my right shoulder.

“Quite correct, David – may I call you David?” Unseen had an inflection that reminded me of Peter Lorre. “The gentleman in front of you, and his two associates, are here to provide a physical inducement, should reason not prevail.”

A great noir image for a great noir story!

I think most of us know that Martin Clark is the supremely talented reiver33, who has delivered many stories for us in the Challenges and in Critiques, as well as being published here on Kraxon and elsewhere. What some of you might not realise, though, is this might well be the last story of his we see -- back in March he lost his PC and with it all his writing past and present, including his WIP, and he had no backup of any of it. At the time he said "I simply don’t have the energy to start over so is the end of any serious creative writing."

I'm hoping that once the shock of the loss recedes, we might see more of his noir-ish tales, but perhaps now is an appropriate time to thank him for entertaining us so well over the years.
I'm truly sorry for the loss of your work, Martin. I'm sorry it's been such a blow. I've always enjoyed your thoughtful, beautifully written Challenge stories, and hope you'll feel up to writing again one day.

Enabler is terrific. Great atmosphere, great characterization, with the MC especially. The dialogue is wonderful throughout, and feels very authentic... the whole piece feels just right. I really enjoyed the ending, too. Well done, and maybe this could be expanded one day. Best of luck, CC
Yet another gripping entry
in the Leon Hurst saga

I've enjoyed Martin's Kraxon pieces, as well as his contest entries, so it would be sad to see it end (especially with so much unresolved). He's clearly a talented writer and storyteller, and I hope that his current state of affairs ends up as only a slight bump in the road for him. Either way, I wish him the best.
My thanks for the kind words expressed above, especially those from The Judge, but the loss of my writing is part of a larger personal issue that probably won’t be resolved anytime soon.

Anyway, Enabler is chronologically the first in a series of snapshots drawn from an underlying narrative idea, the other two being Morte Ex Machina and Accessory. The next two stories I’d planned to send to Kraxon were Acolyte (follow on from Accessory) and Nadir (sequel to Cusp). They may be recreated at some point when I’m more focused, but this is lap of the Gods territory.

Best wishes!

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