Three of these stories take place in the same “universe.” The Fuse, The Fuse pt 2 (The Escape) and the excerpt from Jett are all part of the same story. The Fuse is the beginning of the story (for now) where a man, the hardboiled burnout of a private eye who keeps getting burnetbecause he can’t seem to help himself from doing the right thing to help people; meets the woman who is the troubled dancer with a heart of gold who wants to leave town and start over. She saw something that she believes puts her in danger so she saves up her money, finds our protagonist, and approaches him at the bar. The vibe of the story is film noir. In The Fuse pt 2, (The Escape) the protagonist tells the story about how he managed to swindle Vinnie out of some money and get the girl out of town. Our protagonist exists in a tangled world of extortion and alliances and he has been using both to work all the characters in town against each other. It’s how he survives. He and “the boss” have an understanding because, at some point in the past, he discovered information about the boss that makes him vulnerable. So he uses this as leverage to keep himself safe. He has a backup plan if something happens to him so the boss looks out for him. At the same time, he has an arrangement with the local DA of the same sort. He knows enough about everyone to be left alone to do his thing. Vinnie is a brash, obnoxious gangster wannabe; another throwback to the past. While the boss is actually trying to transition the mafia he inherited into a legitimate business empire, Vinnie is still enamored with the old ways.
Jett (from the excerpt from Jett) is actually the daughter of the protagonist and the woman he helps to escape. The story of Jett includes a perspective shift. The story is no longer told in first person by the protagonist because the story is now about Jett, not our intrepid and resourceful private eye. Jett’s story starts 14 years after the encounter in The Fuse. Jett is an odd, shy, resourceful girl who is equal parts her mom and dad. Her story is one of finding her identity in the same universe that her parents occupied over a decade before. In the excerpt from her story, she finally confronts the bully who has been tormenting her since she started her school.
The arc of these stories is to continue the story of the hardboiled, film noir private eye into the future through his child, Jett, who is destined to become more of a comic book style heroine, but who still lives with the ethos and values that were taught to her by her dad. She is his legacy, but she is the future. Later, in the story, she’ll refer to putting herself in peril to help people who can’t help themselves as “the family business.”
I’m still writing and telling this story so if you read this and have questions, feel free to ask them in the comment box and I’ll gladly answer them to the best of my ability.
Enjoy and there is more to come.