Chapter 1: This Is Chilton

Welcome to Matt Horn’s first blog noir.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my work. All comments are welcomed.


Noir Set

***Wednesday morning around 1:30 AM, October 27th. Another dreary night at Mick’s Bar is slowly creeping towards closing time as A Flock Of Seagulls whines out of some old speakers.***

Really, A Flock Of Seagulls? My headache begins to pound even harder than before. Can this night get any w…

I catch myself before finishing that thought, I know it’s a dumb one. Nights in Chilton always get worse. This is Chilton after all.

But damn my head hurts, and this music is shitty. Not only do I have to look at shit as I clean out these last few stalls, and have the smell of shit caked on my clothes. Now I have to listen to shit too? I hit the trifecta. Lucky me – God, I need a drink.

In Chilton, luck is rare, the good kind anyway, very rare. So is hope. The glass is never half full, it’s completely empty, with no ice either. No need. Chilton is the Icebox, and everything here is served cold. The drinks, the weather, the people… Hell, there should be a sign at the edge of town that says: “Chilton. Where the weather is cold and the people are colder.”

I used to dream of getting out, going to the city – Rock City. Where you can find the means to anything you seek. Money, sex, fame, drugs, you name it, Rock City got it. Grab my guitar and go – that’s all I could think about. Hit the road towards Rock City and never look back. I never envisioned getting stuck here. Working part-time in the ass-hole of town and having to beg Mick to let me play at an open mic every other Tuesday.

Shoulda known I wouldn’t escape Chilton’s icy grasp. I’m no different from anyone else. Depressed, repressed, whatever-pressed, here, it’s the same shit-storm, different day. And you’re stuck in the eye of it.

Finally – Closing time and another deathly cold walk home in the pitch black. The street lights on East St. have been out of service for months. The only glimmer for blocks is the neon lights at Candy’s Room. And Candy’s isn’t the safest place to be this time of night.

It’s quiet.

So quiet I realize my headache is gone. So quiet, I think of my dad, and how quiet it was at his funeral two months back. The cold and quiet bring the most painful memories back.

Shot in the back while on the job, he never saw it coming. No leads, no anything. No surprise in Chilton. Now that he’s gone, I’ve gone from a loner, to completely alone. Feels like only a matter of time ‘til something bad comes my way. Walking through complete darkness can mess with your head. Then again, this is Chilton, and that fact alone can mess with your head.

Lieutenant Zach Self worked Homicide in Chilton since I was a kid. Dad was probably the only decent cop in this godforsaken place. He knew there was no fire and brimstone in the depths of hell, because Chilton was a wasteland, ice-cold, with a body count that was endless.

Dad never really approved of my rock & roll aspirations. He knew to make it, I’d have to play at the dumps in Chilton. Dumps that had off-the-book funding. I mean, crime is the one job that still paid in Chilton. He didn’t doubt for one second that most of these joints had connections all the way to the Rock City Mob. Which isn’t a stretch really when you think about it.

He just didn’t want me as his next case. He saw one too many back-alley body-drops, and he knew they weren’t pretty.

Thinking about the scum who killed my dad always gets my blood up. I forget that my hands are numb as I go to grab the doorknob to my crummy apartment. Other than hate, I only have two things on my mind as I step over a mountain of bills. 1) Where’s my glass? 2) Where’s my bottle of Jack?

Not even a minute after I sit down, I hear the quick footsteps of my landlord Maggie coming up the stairs. I swear that lady never sleeps. My rent is almost a month late… Everyone’s got problems, and I’m no different. Overdue rent is at the top of my long list. Times are tough.

Like I said… This is Chilton.

Chapter 2: A Face In The Crowd

10 replies to “Chapter 1: This Is Chilton

  1. After hearing about life in Chilton, I have those same two questions. 1: Where’s a clean glass–on second thought, any glass will do. And 2: Where’s M. Horn’s bottle of Jack?

    Oh, and also 3: Where’re the vanillas? Because I don’t live in Chilton, so I’m not hard enough to drink Jack without coke. Although I might move there for the free year-round outdoor refrigeration.

    Anyway, I want to hear more about this so-called Candy’s Room. I think I might have a sweet tooth. And you should use that line for someone who loves Candy’s Room. Hah.

  2. Nice man! I really like the tone/atmosphere you’ve created in Chilton. Maybe like a flock of seagulls, the character will run; he’ll run so far away! This sort of reminds me of the comic idea you were going to write. Also reminds me of Sin City. Are you thinking of make a short story or novel with it? Keep going!

    1. Yea dude, I plan to keep the story rollin.

      The original idea was to do 10 chapters, but I’m having fun with this concept and it might run longer than that.

      Thanks for the feedback!

    1. Thanks! I’ve been working on and off with this idea for a few months, but only really dug in over the last week. It turned out way better than I anticipated so far.

  3. Does Columbia inspire Chilton in any way?? And is the main character based on Bobby Schoelkopf?? Fun read, I’d like to continue reading. You’re missing what I believe to be an “I” in the following sentence: “I forget that my hands are numb as go to grab the doorknob to my crummy apartment.”

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