Mystery and Crime Fiction posted June 7, 2018

This work has reached the exceptional level
Because one bad deed deserves another

Rendezvous at the Moulin Rouge

by David JK Carr

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
The author has placed a warning on this post for sexual content.


Hello there. Am I speaking with Mr. Lennox?

Yes, this is he.

Mr. Kenneth Lennox?

That's right.

How are you today, Mr. Lennox? I sure hope that you're enjoying some of this glorious spring weather we're having right now.

Well, yes, who is this?

I certainly hope that I haven't caught you at an inconvenient moment, Mr. Lennox.

Well, actually......

Because I have something truly exciting to tell you and I just know that you wouldn't want to miss out on it.

Look, if you're going to try to sell me something.....

Oh no, Mr. Lennox. I'm not a salesman, I promise you that. I'm just not cut out for it, I suppose. It's a really tough racket and I admit that I am far too thin-skinned. That's always been my problem. I'm just a sensitive type of guy.

This is all very interesting, I'm sure but.....

All I am asking for is a few minutes of your time. Now I know that you're a busy man and a serious man so I'm not going to waste either my time or yours.

Look, whatever it is, I'm not interested. Thank you, but no.

But you haven't even heard my proposal yet. I guarantee that it will be worth your while.

You haven't even told me your name.

I'll come to that. Now, let's see what we have here on our database. You are Kenneth Lennox, aged 52 and you reside at 44B Clifton Gardens with your lovely wife, Connie. You've been married for coming up 23 years. You work as an archivist at the Gibbs & Millan Museum of Fine Art, which position you have held for the last 13 years. You have one child, a son, Robbie, and I see here that he is studying on a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Wow, you must be so proud of him.

Why yes we are. He's very gifted in music. Has been since he was a little.....Wait a second, how do you know all of this?

Oh, you'd be surprised at how much information about you we have on our file, Mr. Lennox.

You have a file??!!

Yes, we do and it is filled to bursting with all manner of tasty goodies.

I believe there are laws against this kind of thing, you know. You've obviously stolen this information off of a database somewhere. Now my brother is a lawyer and.....

Yes, Julius Lennox. Aged 56. Senior Partner at Cooke, Blatstein, Lieu and Lennox. Lives on Long Island. Married to Maria. They have 3 daughters and a King Charles Cocker Spaniel called Smokey.

Ok, that's it. We're done here. I'm hanging up now.

No, you're not.

I beg your pardon?

You will not hang up this phone until I give you permission to do so.

How dare you......

Look to your left. Now. Ten o'clock.


I said, take a look to your left, about ten o'clock. Do you see the large oak tree there? know where I am?

Yes, I do. You're sitting on a bench in the North-East corner of Bidwell Park. You've been sitting there for the last 15 minutes.

You're spying on me?

Something like that. Now, do you see the oak tree?


There is a man standing under that tree. He's six feet two, shaved head, neatly-trimmed goatee beard. He's wearing a charcoal coloured T-shirt and he has a dragon tattoo on his right arm. Do you see him?

Yes. He's staring right at me.

Yes, he is. His name is Mr. Copper and he works for us. He is one of our most valued employees.

Is he the one spying on me?

Mr. Copper is so valued because he possesses very rare character traits that are highly sought after in our business.

What "business"? Who the hell are you?

Mr. Copper is a man who has a blank space where a conscience should be. He is a man who has no moral or ethical boundaries. He is a man who is capable of doing anything regardless of how cruel and sadistic it may appear to others. To Mr. Copper, it's just work.

Why are you telling me this?

I am telling you this, Mr. Lennox, because if you terminate this call before I give you permission to do so, then Mr. Copper will be paying you a home visit very soon. And he will tie you to a chair and make you watch while he guts your lovely wife like a fish and leaves her intestines steaming in a pile on your kitchen floor. Then he will slice off your genitals and cut out both of your eyes before hacking out your tongue and then he will watch while you drown in your own gurgling blood. Do I have your attention now?

Ok, you listen to me now. I am calling the police. I won't be intimidated by.....

The police! That's a great idea. Why don't you show them the contents of your hard drive while you're about it?

My what?

Your computer hard drive, Mr. Lennox. The one where you store all your special photographs under a password protected file called Roy Lichtenstein Prints. The one we hacked and copied last week. I am sure that the cops would love to see your collection. My, my you do like them young, don't you Mr. Lennox. Some of them are no more than toddlers.

That's....that's none of your business.

Strictly speaking, that's true. But the police will definitely consider it their business. So will your wife, your son, your oh-so-respectable attorney brother and your employers too.

Those pictures aren't mine. I'm....I'm keeping them for a friend.

Friends! Let's talk about your friends, shall we? These friends you refer to, are they the ones who have created a mini-cinema in the top floor apartment of 299 Griffon Avenue where you all meet in secret every month to watch videos of poor little kids from third-world countries being drugged, abused, buggered and left for dead? Is it one of those friends?

I....I......who the hell are you? How do you know these......

Who we are is not the question here. The questions here are who you are and what you are and whether or not you have any idea of what they do to men like you in jail? I could tell you but, why ruin the surprise. After all, you'll be finding out yourself soon enough.

Look, I don't have much money but my wife has some antique jewelry and.....

We don't want your money, Mr. Lennox.

Then what do you want?

For you to follow my instructions. If you do exactly as I tell you to do, then you will have nothing to worry about.

Alright, what do you want me to do?

First thing, get up off that park bench and turn to your right.

Okay. Now?

Now. Just start walking down the path towards the tennis courts.

Okay. Look, I just want to say, that I'm not some kind of monster.

No, you're a stand-up guy. Why don't we just all pretend that you spend every Sunday in Bidwell Park for the heck of it? And why don't we pretend that that bag of candy you have in your coat pocket is for feeding the ducks? Though, I don't think ducks like bonbons, Mr. Lennox. They can't digest them.

I still don't know how you know all this.

We know everything about you, Mr. Lennox. And your friends. We've been compiling our file on you and them for some time now.

Why are you singling me out?

We're not. They're turns will come. Today is your turn.

Turn for what? And why is he following me?

Mr. Copper?


Because that's his job. He's shadowing you, Mr. Lennox. It's called shadowing. He'll be shadowing you for the rest of the day.

For the rest of the day? What.....

Now we need to focus here. Coming up on your right-hand side you will see a red trash can with a black lid mounted on a metal pole.

Yes, I see it.

Good. Open the lid.

Okay. I see a black sports bag.

Yes. Take the bag out but do not open the bag.


Inside the bag, you will find the following items: a wig and a false mustache both of which are age-appropriate; a sun hat with a floppy brim; a pair of leather gloves and a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 calibre revolver with a fitted silencer.

A gun?

No, a .44 calibre leg of lamb. Yes, a gun. Now, pay attention. Do you know Temple Street?


Good. At 247 Temple Street, there is a very upscale French restaurant called the Moulin Rouge.

You want me to eat there?

No, it's way out of your price range. But our subject will be dining in that exclusive establishment this evening.


Immediately behind the restaurant is a private covered parking garage. It belongs to the restaurant. You will go to the garage by no later than 9.30pm tonight. You will wear the leather gloves, the wig, the mustache and the hat and you will be carrying the gun. The garage is only dimly lit so you will find it easy to hide in waiting.

Waiting for what?

Our subject. He will finish his meal and sometime between 10.00pm and 10.15pm, he will return to the garage where he always parks his car. You will notice the car easily because he drives a canary yellow Jaguar. Our subject has flamboyant tastes. Before he gets into his car, you will rendezvous with him.

Rendezvous? What do you mean?

It means that you will emerge from your hiding place and shoot him dead.

What? You want me to commit murder?

We prefer the word termination.

I.....I'm not a murderer!

No, you're a man who gets his rocks off watching children being raped and tortured.

That...that's not the same.

No, it's way more moral and upright but if you're not willing to do it, then I guess I shall just have to spend the next hour or so sending some e-mails with attachments. Or maybe we could invoke the Mr.Copper option instead. Perhaps we can send him to London too. I know for a fact that Madame Tussauds is on his bucket-list so two birds, one stone.

Okay, okay. You've made your point.

I hope I don't have to make it again. Now, let's discuss the tonight's termination.

Do I know this person?

No, of course not. You have no conceivable connection to him at all. That's the whole point, Mr. Lennox. Now, pay very close attention. The gun you have holds five rounds. You will fire all five into the subject and aim for the torso, not the head. The bullets are hollow-point so it will be big, bloody mess so you make sure that you fire from a distance of not less than six feet. That way, you won't be splashed with blood. Got it?


When you have fired the last shot, drop the gun on the floor. It is cold and completely untraceable. Then you leave the garage and head for home but before you do that, make sure there is no blood on the soles of your shoes. You don't want to be leaving a trail behind you. Understand?

Yes, I understand.

You walk out of the garage and you keep walking, smartly. Do not run. You don't look at anyone but you don't turn your head away from anyone either. Just look straight ahead and keep walking until you get to your front door. Do not take a bus or hail a cab. Should take you around 45 minutes. Have you got all that?

Yes, I think so.

When you get home, you take off the hat, the wig, the mustache, the gloves your shoes and all of your clothes including your socks and your underpants. Put everything in the black sports bag which you will then zip up and place outside your front door. Then go back inside, lock your door and do not leave your home again until the morning. Got it?

Yes, but why leave the bag outside?

Because Mr. Copper will collect it and arrange disposal while you sleep.

Ok, what then?

Then you take shower; as hot as you can stand. Use vinegar to scrub your hands, your face and your neck. Then you fix yourself a stiff drink and hit the sack. Job done.

But, I don't know what this person looks like. How am I supposed to recognize him?

Good question. When this call ends, a multimedia file will be sent to your phone. Open it. It contains several very recent photos of the subject. Commit them to memory as the file will auto-delete by 10 pm.

Well, what if he's not alone? What if he's with someone else?

See, now you're thinking. Good question again. We know this man as well as we know you. Better, in fact. We know his habits inside and out. He will be alone. There will be nobody else with him.

Okay. So if I do this thing for you...


I mean when, when. I'll do it, okay.


Then what happens?

What happens is that we destroy our file completely, as if it never existed. You will never hear from us again and your sordid secrets remain secret. Deal?


Excellent. Now let's recap. What are you going to do this evening?

Put on the gloves, the mustache, the wig and the hat. Go to the garage behind the Moulin Rouge for 9.30pm. Wait in the shadows. When the subject appears, step out and shoot him five times in the body from six feet away. Drop the gun at the scene. Check my shoes for blood. Then leave and walk home.

Walk smartly but do not run.

No. No running. Don't look at anyone, just look ahead. When I get home, take off everything and stuff it all in the sports bag; leave the sports bag outside the door. Shower. Go to bed.

If I had both hands free, I would be clapping right now. Very good, Mr. Lennox.

So what do I do now?


Between now and 9.30?

Anything you like. Your time is your own, Mr. Lennox. But whatever you do decide to do and wherever you decide to go, just remember that Mr. Copper will be close behind you. Are we good?

We're good.

Don't screw this up, Mr. Lennox. Do not fumble this ball. If, for any reason, our subject is still alive tomorrow morning, then you can look forward to being held down on your bunk while a couple of tattooed gang-bangers ram a prison shiv up your rectum.

That would not be good.

Kind of concentrates the mind though, doesn't it? So, with that said, I think we're all done here. You may now hang up.

Wait, wait. How do I know you'll keep your word? How do I know I can trust you?

We always keep our word, Mr. Lennox. We always do exactly what we say we are going to do. Besides, it's not like you have much of a choice, is it?

Suppose not.

Well, it's been a pleasure having this little chat with you, Mr. Lennox but now I have other pressing business to which I must attend. You will excuse me, I hope.

So I can hang up now?

Yes. Oh, but before you do, just one more thing.


Have a nice day.


Dialogue Only Writing Contest contest entry


I entered this competition precisely because I found it very challenging to create and maintain a story structure using only dialogue. It was quite a test. My original version was actually darker and even more graphic but I decided on reflection to dial it back a bit, lest it turn too many people off altogether. I hope it works.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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