It was Fur Elise

This story will leave you in awe, as will the music (click the video and have a listen!). Check out the rich descriptive language!
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In response to photo-fiction #31


It was Fur Elise we heard, as we hid in the woods.It was the song  Nan had played on the old baby grand. To get us to sleep, or to be quiet when Mama had reached the end of her wit and Papa was not there to quell us with his stern expression.

We had listened to her play the night the men had come. Stopping abruptly the music and the spell of sweet Nan, who smelled like peppermint and her tincture for her fingers and old age. Stopped it with shouting in their harsh voices, the splintering of wood as the door frame shattered beneath their boots and the wailing of an old woman, and the arguing of an old man. A ruckus made only to allow Mama to herd us all out the kitchen, across the way and to Papa, the Rabbi and…

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Thoughts on The Stacked Deck

I just wanted to take a moment and thank all of my readers who’ve joined me this month for The Stacked Deck. It has been an amazing experience for me to write a noir-style WhoDunIt. It is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Film Noir has always been my favorite movie genre. I fell in love with it as a child while watching movies like The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and D.O.A. with my mother. I watched those again, plus around another 10 movies, while preparing for this. I am not sure if I captured the complete essence of Film Noir, but I certainly gave it my best effort.

The story came in at 34, 812 words. Wow. This is the second longest story I’ve ever written.

People always ask authors who their favorite characters are and I would have to say that Jack Diamond and Dani Morgan were my two favorites. Jack is loosely based on the Humphrey Bogart characters Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon and Rick Blaine from Casablanca. Dani’s character is loosely based on Rosalind Russel’s character Hildy Johnson from His Girl Friday.  Jack really is a cad, but I love him as a MC. I had so much fun getting into his head every day. Dani started out as just the secretary. I had no thoughts of turning her into Jack’s greatest love interest, but I loved how she cared about both Jack and Bobby and decided that she needed a bigger role.

Here are my initial notes back in February when I first began researching for the story:

A man is killed but the cops believe it is suicide. The young widow doesn’t believe her husband capable, hires the PI to find his murderer.

Name for the PI: Jack Diamond – hard-noised seasoned detective, former police officer
Name for the young widow: Millie White
Name for the widow’s husband: Charlie White
Name for the PI’s assistant: Bobby Weston – runs errands, checks out leads, handles the less favorable grunt work, young guy about 25
Name for the PI’s secretary: Dani – no last name given
Name for the villain: Victor Angelo
Name for Angelo’s strong-arm: Tito Russo
Name for the murdered woman: Jessica Daley – worked as a singer in a night club/illegal gambling house owned by Victor Angelo called The Wild Card
Name for the Femme Fatale: Ella D’Amore – lead act at The Wild Card, dancer, singer, dangerously flirty, and Victor’s
Name of lead detective: Detective Arthur “Art” Larson
Name of Captain: Morgan

I had no idea there would be an Angelia in the story, nor that Ella would be the one who killed Jessica until I wrote the scenes. I also didn’t intend for Ella to be Victor’s half-sister. I love it when stories begin writing themselves and events unfold that even I, the writer, never saw coming.

The title of the story didn’t come about until I settled on the name of the MC, the name of the nightclub and the fact that illegal gambling was going on. It just became the obvious choice with all of the card references.

I loved the comments about all of the smoking and drinking that Jack did in the story. Those are two of the classic images of Film Noir. I kept thinking the same things, wondering if I had him drinking and smoking too much. I know those are no longer norms in our society, but in the 40s and 50s, it was still fairly common for people to smoke and drink that heavily.

I am not into Romances and I don’t usually write love or sex scenes. I knew there would have to be some elements of romance in this. A friend of mine kept urging me on to write a sex scene, which is how the scene between Jack and Ella came about. I wanted to keep the story as close to PG-13 as possible, which is why there were no extreme sex scenes in the story.

I really hope that my readers enjoyed the story and that I didn’t disappoint anyone with the ending.

How about you, dear readers? Who were your favorite characters? Least favorite? Did you like the ending or would you have wished for something different? Share you thoughts with me in comments.

The Stacked Deck -Part 31

Jack was in a foul mood by the time he returned to his office. He still couldn’t believe that Ella murdered those people, but she’d confessed. Ballistics on the gun would seal her fate. He’d stopped by the hospital and check on Frank and Angelina. Both were doing well. Frank and Angelina had agreed to testify against Victor and had given statements to the cops and the DA. Now all they needed was Victor. He couldn’t run forever. Angelina had wanted Jack to stay, but he couldn’t bring himself to encourage her ideas of a reunion between the two of them. That was never going to happen. She’d been right about one thing, Jack only loved one woman and it wasn’t Angelina or Ella.

When he walked into the reception room, Dani stood with her back to the desk. A box sat on the chair, and she busily wrapped and packed items into it. She didn’t acknowledge Jack’s presence. His heart sank. Had he pushed her to leave him completely? He couldn’t blame her. No decent woman deserved a cad like him. He walked into his office and hung his fedora on the coat rack and returned to the reception room. Finally, Dani turned around and smiled at him.

“Hey Jack, I wasn’t expecting you back until later,” she said as she placed another wrapped bundle into the box.

Jack sat down in the chair on the opposite side of the desk. “We wrapped up the case,” he informed her. “Well, except for Victor. He’s still on the lam.”

Dani moved the box to the floor and sat down. She crossed her leg and leaned over the desk. “Don’t worry, Jack. They will get him. Are you hungry? I could go fetch some carry-out.”

Jack didn’t get it. If she was packing to leave, why was she acting so calm? Jacked nodded toward the box. “You going somewhere?”

Dani glanced down at the box and then back at Jack. She laughed lightly. “That’s just some things…” her voice trailed off and her eyes widened. “Oh Jack! You didn’t think that I was packing it in, did you?”

Jack sighed. “Honestly, Dani, I wouldn’t blame you if you did.”

Dani grinned, stood up and walked around the desk toward Jack. “We’ve weathered worse than this. Haven’t we?” she asked as she reclined against the desk in front of him.

Jack leaned forward, wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her toward him. He buried his head in her stomach. “I don’t deserve you, Dani,” he whispered.

Dani cradled his head in her hands. She bent down and rested her head on top of his. “Who else would put up with you, Jack?”

Jack eased himself up, sliding his body along hers. He crushed her against his chest, tilted her head upward and gazed into her green eyes. He hadn’t completely realized it when Angelina said it, but it was true. He did love Dani. He’d always loved her. Chasing dames had just become a pastime because he couldn’t have her. Jack brushed her lips with his. When she didn’t protest, he kissed her with all of the passion he’d held back for so long. Dani wrapped one arm around his neck and the other around his waist. She returned his kiss, teasing him with her tongue. After a long moment, Jack released her lips and smiled down at her.

“I’ve wanted to do that for so long,” he muttered as he pressed his cheek against hers.

Dani sighed blissfully. “Why did you wait?”

Jack lifted his head. His eyes searched her face and rested upon her eyes once more. “I didn’t think… after Mason… God, Dani! I’ve been such a fool. You deserve someone better than me,” he declared as he pulled away from her and walked over toward his office door.

“Jack, I will admit it. You are probably the last man I should ever get involved with, but you are who I ache for every day. Don’t make me regret kissing you,” she said as she walked toward him.

Jack turned around and wrapped his arms around her once more. “What if I hurt you?” he pleaded. “I couldn’t live with myself if I did, Dani.”

Dani smiled up at him and whispered, “If you hurt me, I will tell Daddy.”

Jack knew she would too. She was the Captain’s daughter after all. Jack laughed and pulled her into a hug. He leaned down to kiss her again when the door opened. Bobby walked in and stood there gawking at them.

“Girlfriend material,” Bobby said with a chuckle.

Jack grinned at him and released Dani. She smoothed back her hair and flashed Bobby a cynical smile. The three walked into Jack’s office. Jack sat down behind his desk, while Booby took a seat across from him and Dani sat down on the edge of the desk.

“Good news, boss,” Bobby said.


“They got Victor.”

Dani clapped her hands and grinned at Jack. “It’s about time!”

“I hope they send that guy to Alcatraz!” Jack exclaimed. He pulled out his bourbon bottle and three glasses from the bottom drawer. He poured the amber liquid into each glass and handed one to Dani and Bobby. He held his up and shouted, “Cheers!” The three downed their drinks and laughed.

The phone rang and Dani picked it up. She took a notepad from Jack’s desk and wrote down some information. “I’ll have him call you, Mr. Clarke,” she said and hung the phone up. “Looks like we’ve got another case.”


The Stacked Deck is a noir-style WhoDunIt serial which has appeared as 31 parts, told every day in March. I hope you enjoyed the story.

The Stacked Deck ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.

Click the link to catch up on the other parts of this story:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23. Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30

April on A Whispered Wind

April will be a bit slow here on A Whispered Wind. I will post “small stones” daily and try to reblog as often as possible. The Hump Day Poetry will also post each Wednesday! I may even posts some of my archived poems and stories occasionally.

However, over at Promptly Written, things will be very very busy! I will be writing 26 original Science Fiction stories for the A2Z and 30 new poems for the April PAD Challenge (and maybe more as I also joined the NaPoWriMo!). If you are not following me there, you may want to considering doing so now so you won’t miss any of these exciting stories and poems.

Also, over at As the Fates Will Have It, I will be writing about People Who Inspire Me for the A2Z and participating in the NaJoWriMo. So if you are not following me there, you may want to consider doing so now so you won’t miss those posts either.

See you tomorrow!

Blogger Recognition Award


I’ve been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by the lovely Brooke @ theutopianuniverse. Thank you so much, Brooke. I am humbled and honored and graciously accept your nomination.

The Rules:

  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give two advice notes to new bloggers
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to

I think I’ve told the story about how A Whispered Wind came about before, but I will tell it again for my new followers. A Whispered Wind is actually the title of an unfinished novel that I was working on eons ago. When I began it, I was in the flow of it full force. Then I had a serious bout of depression. When I recovered from that depression, I could no longer get back into the voice of my MC. It sits now on a shelf awaiting the day when I may or may not get back to it. So why did I chose to use the title of an unfinished novel? Good question. I love the way the words sound together. I used to post my poetry and short fiction on another site, but I had a falling out with some of the writers there and decided to just create a blog to put my work on. I was currently working on that novel and thought that maybe I would post it on here too. That never came about, but I have been pretty much actively blogging here on A Whispered Wind since.

My best advice for new bloggers:

  1. Make your blog easily accessible to other bloggers. You can do this by adding the following widgets to your blog: Follow Me by Email, Search, Calendar, Archives, Categories, Tags, Social Media. You can add other widgets too, but the above should be on every blog to make it easier for your followers to follow you on other media (if you want that kind of thing), find your stuff, and go back through your blog for your older material.
  2. Chose a theme for your blog, be it a personal journal, writing blog for your poetry or fiction, your hobbies, or just interesting facts that you have knowledge about.
  3. (yes, I know it said 2, but I just have to add this!) Be consistent! This goes for not only posting regularly, but answering your comments and visiting those who follow you as often as possible. The blogosphere is a community and if you want followers, you have to give as much as you take.

As for nominations, I nominate EVERYONE! You are all phenomenal and I enjoy all of your blogs! So consider yourself nominated, grab the badge, follow the rules and link back to me so I can read your answers.


The Stacked Deck – Part 30

Jack had spent the night at the hospital. He paced the floors while Angelina and Frank were in surgery. He drank one too many cups of bad coffee and smoked one too many cigarettes. His head ached as did his heart, and his mind wouldn’t stop asking questions. Ella had said she loved him. Had she meant it at all? Or was he just another joker in her deck of twisted cards? Did she honestly think he would have stayed with her knowing that she worked so deeply with Victor’s illegal schemes? Hell, she was practically Victor’s partner. Maybe she was. Maybe that was what she meant when she said Jessica was ruining everything. Even if he’d never found out that she had killed two people, Jack would never have stayed.

Bobby had stopped by to bring Jack up to date on Ella, but Dani had kept her distance. It was just as well. He wouldn’t have been very good company and he didn’t like for Dani to see him in such a mess. In his state of mind, a decent woman like Dani could get hurt, not intentionally of course, but Jack knew himself too well. He could say harsh things, things that could rip a heart in two, and the last thing Jack wanted was to hurt her.

Both surgeries went well. Frank and Angelina rested comfortably in their respective rooms. Jack had stopped by each and checked in on them. Frank was the first to wake up, but he was too weak to speak. Jack had patted the man on his hand and told him to rest. When Jack went into Angelina’s room, a wave of emotions washed over him. She looked so pale, so fragile lying there in that bed with an oxygen tube running to her nose and the iv tube running from her arm to the pole at her side. Jack sat down in a chair by her bed and watched her. Hours passed and she hadn’t stirred. He held her hand and finally fell asleep. It had been a long, exhausting day.

Jack felt a squeeze of his hand. He opened his eyes and looked around. At first, he didn’t have a clue where he was, then he remembered. He sat upright in the chair and gazed over at Angelina. She smiled at him. He felt the warmth of her smile and leaned forward. He flashed her a bright one in return.

“Hey,” Jack whispered as he squeezed her hand.

“Hello, Jack. Have you been here all night?” Angelina whispered as she tried to sit up.

“No, no. Stay lying down, Angelina. That was a nasty bullet you took.”

Angelina’s face grew grim and her eyes widened. “Ella?”

Jack stood up and leaned over her. “She’s in custody. She can’t hurt you anymore.”

Angelina sank back into the bed. “Thank you, Jack,” she sighed as her blue eyes closed and she drifted back to sleep.

Jack remained there with her for a bit longer. Finally, he told the nurse to call him when she woke up again. He gave her his office number and the Captain’s number at the 5th Precinct.

By the time he left the hospital, the sun had risen and hung mid-way in the sky. His mood lifted as well. He wouldn’t go so far as to say he was happy, but at least the dark cloud that had surrounded him for weeks was finally gone. Ella had been that dark cloud. He realized that now. As he drove to the 5th Precinct, even the morning traffic didn’t bother him.

Thirty minutes later, Jack joined the Captain and the DA in the Captain’s office. Mickey Parson, Millie White and Bobby sat outside. Victor was on the lam, so Mrs. White was still under Parson’s protection. Jack sat across the desk from Morgan while DA Johnson stood by the window gazing out at the City.

“Well, get him, Johnson,” the Captain assured him. “Miss D’Amore will turn state’s evidence and then we’ll finally nail that son of a bitch.”

“What will happen to her?” Jack asked as he puffed on a cigarette.

Johnson turned around. “If she does cooperate, probably 15 to 25. If not, 30 to life.”

“Is there some doubt that she will cooperate? I thought it was a done deal,” Morgan inquired.

“She gave us an ultimatum. She is refusing to help unless…,” Johnson narrowed his eyes at Jack. “Unless you talk to her first, Mr. Diamond.”

Jack blinked. He couldn’t imagine what Ella could say to him now that would make any difference. “I have nothing to say to her.”

The DA walked over to the desk and placed his palms down on it. He leaned forward and stared at Jack. “Apparently she does. Come on, Mr. Diamond! We need her testimony or Victor Angelo gets off scot-free again.”

Morgan nodded his head in agreement. “He’s right, Jack. You have to do this.”

Jack took a drag off of his cigarette and then stumped it out in the ashtray. He shook his head and stood up. “Damn it! Okay, fine. Let’s get this over with.”

Jack followed the DA and the Captain to an interrogation room. Jack sat down at the table while they waited for Ella to be brought in. Jack felt that cloud descend over him again and the grey room didn’t help matters any. Minutes later, an officer brought Ella into the room. This was not the same beauty who had affected him so badly. She looked three shades of hell. Her hair was in disarray, her face pale, and her eyes red. The officer led her to the table and she sat down across from Jack with her head bowed.

“We’ll just leave you two alone for a minute,” Morgan said as he and the DA walked out of the room, closing the door behind them.

Ella didn’t speak or look at Jack. She sat there with her hands in her lap. Jack watched her for a long moment. Finally, he let out a deep sigh.

“I’m here like you demanded, Ella. Now what do you want?”

Ella slowly raised her head and cast her gaze upon Jack. “I need to explain,” she whispered.

Jack laughed. “What could you possibly explain to me that I don’t already know?”

Ella continued to stare at him with her brown eyes. “I didn’t have a choice, Jack.”

“We all have choices, Ella. You just chose the wrong ones!”

“You don’t know what it was like growing up in my family, Jack. All of those powerful men. When my mother died, Victor was all I had left. He raised me and took care of me. I owed him.”

“You owed him nothing. Why’d you really do it, Ella? All of those lives you ruined. Why?” Jack demanded.

Ella turned her face away. “I had two choices, Jack. Help Victor or become one of the many whores he controlled. No one controls me, Jack. No one!” she exclaimed as she turned her head back toward Jack.

“You didn’t have to murder for him, Ella,”

Ella let out a soft laugh. “No, I did that on my own. That sailor… He tried to rape me. And Jessica… Well, she was going to the cops about what we’d done to Charlie White. I worked too hard to get where I was to be brought down by the likes of her.”

Jack shook his head. “So no remorse, no regrets?”

Ella placed her hands on the desk and leaned forward. Her eyes searched Jack’s. “Only that I fell in love with you, Jack. For the first time in my life, I wanted to be the woman I saw in your eyes each time you looked at me, but… I am not that woman.” Ella slumped back down into the chair and lowered her eyes again.

“No, Ella. You are not that woman. You give the DA whatever he needs to put Victor away,” Jack said as he stood up. “And maybe, just maybe someday I will forgive you.”

Jack walked to the door and turned back one last time at Ella. She stared up at him with pleading eyes, but Jack ignored it. “Don’t ever ask to see me again,” Jack concluded and left the room.


The Stacked Deck is a noir-style WhoDunIt serial which will appear as 31 parts, told every day in March. I hope you will join me again tomorrow for another exciting part of this story!

The Stacked Deck ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.

Click the link to catch up on the other parts of this story:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23. Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29

Jump forward to Part 31

Hump Day Poetry – Week 8


Hump Day Poetry is a weekly poetry blog-share every *Wednesday*

Here’s how you can join in

The rules:

1. Write a poem (any type of poetry, even for other challenges) You have from Wednesday to the following Tuesday to link up!
2. Grab the badge and display it on your blog to show your support.
3. Link it to my poem of the week with a pingback or by leaving the link to your poem in comments.
4. Visit other bloggers’ poetry for that week. Like, leave a comment, and share! (Please try to visit as many other poets as possible. Keep the community love flowing!)

Note: to create a pingback, simply include the url of this post somewhere in your post. Please check my page to ensure your pingback has posted. If not, it is either awaiting moderation, or the pingback failed (happens sometimes!). To ensure your post is seen, you may want to just add the link to my page. I would rather have duplicates than not get to read your poetry!

Click HERE for further information.

And now for my poem of the week….


Just To Be With You
~for Lisa D.

I discard these bones
to appease you
toss out my heart too
open up my veins
to bleed for you

give up my darkness
for a day of light
to be with you

you couldn’t survive
the real me
if I didn’t mask
this darkened me

I give you bunnies
sunshine and joy
a blanket of beauty
to shroud you in
all this pretense
for just one day

and when you are gone
I emerge
exhausted and shallow
once more

©2016 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.


Happenings in the World of Poetry

Each week I will list 5 poetry (and fiction!) bloggers who I follow and enjoy their work. I hope you will take a few moments to check out their blogs. Here is this week’s offerings:

  1. No Talent for Certainty
  2. Ginni Bites
  3. Quilted Poetry
  4. Penumbra Haiku
  5. JohnCoyote
  • If you’d like to join a poetry collective, check out The Poet’s Corner
  • Candor Creatives is seeking submissions for April, to read all about the rules, click here
  • There’s a lot going on over at the Poetry Festival – how about your poem made into a film? Also lots of poets from around the world to read and enjoy!

REMEMBER: April is National Poetry Month and we are only 8 days away from the April PAD Challenge and NaPoWriMo Challenge!

Are you looking for weekly poetry (and sometimes fiction) challenges? Never fear! Check out the following:

If you know of other happenings in the world of poetry or  blogs that host poetry challenges, let me know in comments and I will include them in next week’s Happenings!


The Stacked Deck – Part 29

By the time Jack pulled up outside The Briscoe Hotel, he was in a frenzy. He could only imagine how desperate Ella must be to shoot Frank. He just hoped his hunch was right that Ella would go to Angelina’s hotel. His mind raced with a dozen possible scenarios. Since Ella had a gun, would she use it again? Would she actually kill Angelina? Over me? None of this made any sense. Angelina knew there was no chance he would take her back and with all Jack had recently discovered about Ella, he wasn’t sure he could trust her. Dames! he thought as he entered the hotel lobby.

The Briscoe was a posh hotel near the train station. Jack didn’t care much for its Parisian style or its expense. Angelina must be doing okay in New York if she could afford this place. He headed to the registration desk. There were two others waiting in line to check-in. Jack wished now that he had asked Angelina for her room number, but he didn’t want to give her mixed signals either. He pushed his way forward, ignoring the other guests, and pounded on the desk.

“I need the room number for Miss Angelina Favero!” Jack demanded.

“Sir, you need to wait your turn,” the desk clerk stated and then turned back to the woman he was assisting.

“You don’t understand. There could be a murder in progress. I must have that number!”

“A murder? Are you the police?” the clerk asked.

“No, I am not the police. I am a private detective and if you don’t give me that number right now, I will come across that desk and beat it out of you!” Jack screamed. His face had turned red and his eyes bulged. He didn’t like getting into such a frantic state and threaten people, but this time he had no choice.

The clerk shifted his eyes nervously, scanned his register and stammered, “Room 619, sir.”

Jack raced to the elevator and pushed the button. He shifted from foot to foot as he waited. When it opened, he entered and pushed the sixth floor. He just hoped he wasn’t too late. It felt like an eternity as he stared at the numbers going up. Finally, he reached the sixth floor and ran down the hall. When he came to room 619, he heard shouts coming from the room.

“You left him, Angelina! You don’t deserve him!”

Angelina laughed. “And you think after what I told him about you, he will still want you? You are a fool, Ella!”

“You are wrong. He loves me.”

“Oh yes, love. He loves you so much. That’s why he gave you back to Victor. He only loves one woman. And that is definitely not you!”

“You bitch!”

“Put down the gun, Ella. You don’t want to do this!”

“I am tired of you telling me what I do or don’t want to do!”

“No Ella!”

Jack heard the gun shot and rammed the door with his left shoulder. As it broke free from its hinges, Jack jerked it away and entered the room. Ella stood in the center of the room with a gun in her hand. Angelina laid on the floor near the bed. Jack ran to her and placed his arm under her head. She’d been shot just a little right of her heart, but blood was flowing freely from the wound. Jack glared up at Ella.

“Why Ella?” he asked and reached for the phone on the bedside table.

“Don’t do that, Jack!” Ella yelled as she aimed the gun at him.

Jack halted. He looked down at Angelina. Her face whitened and she took shallow breaths. “I’ve got to call an ambulance, Ella.”

“She doesn’t deserve to live, Jack,” Ella said, her voice calm and cold.

Jack grabbed a pillow off of the bed and placed it under Angelina’s head. He pulled a sheet off of the bed and wound it up into a ball and placed it over her wound. He placed Angelina’s hand over it.

“Hold it tight, Angelina, ” he whispered. “You will be fine.”

Angelina nodded her head and gasped for air. “Jack… .”

“Shhh, save your strength,” he cooed at her.

Jack stood up and faced Ella. The cold, calculating woman who stood before him was nothing like the passionate woman he thought he’d known. This woman would kill anyone who got in her way.

“So you are going to shoot me too?” he asked as he took slow steps toward her.

“I will if I have to, Jack.”

Jack inched forward. “There’s no way out of this for you, Ella. Frank’s still alive. He told me it was you who shot him. And I know you’ve shot Angelina too. Who else have you shot, Ella?” Jack asked as he glanced at the gun. It was a Colt. The same make and model that was used on Jessica Daley and the sailor in New York.

Ella waved the gun at him. Panic flashed across her face. “Don’t come any closer, Jack. I will shoot you!”

“Did you shoot Jessica?” Jack asked as he moved another step closer to her.

Ella wrenched her head around and stared out the window. “I had to, Jack. She was ruining everything!”

Jack took advantage of her distraction and raced toward her. He grabbed her arm and twisted it around her back. She fired the gun, but the bullet whizzed past Jack and landed in the wall. Jack wrestled her to the floor and finally got the gun out of her hand. Ella collapse into a huddle on the floor, pressed her head into her hands and wept. Jack ignored her theatrics, stood up and walked to the bedside table. As he dialed the lobby, he kept his eyes on her.

“We need an ambulance in room 619. Now! And ring the police!” he shouted into the phone. He hung up the receiver and bent down to check on Angelina. She was unconscious, but still alive.

Jack walked back over to Ella and pulled on her arm. She stood up and Jack walked her to the bed. As she sat down, Jack took a couple of paces away from her. He took a cigarette out of his pack and lit it. Everything Angelina had told him about Ella was true. He hadn’t wanted to believe it. But there it was. She admitted to killing Jessica.

“Did you kill that sailor too,” Jack asked and took a drag off of his cigarette.

Ella lifted her head and tears streamed down her cheeks. She stared at Jack for a long moment. Finally, she confessed, “Yes, Jack. Him too.”

Jack turned away from her. She was not the woman he thought she was. “And Charlie White?” he asked as he flicked ashes into an ashtray on the table.

“No, that was Victor’s doing. Jack… look at me, Jack,” she begged.

Jack turned his head toward her. A grim look on his face. Ella opened her mouth to speak, then shut it. She stood up and walked toward Jack, but he pointed the gun at her.

“No, Ella. Just stay where you are.”

Ella cupped her mouth with the palm of her hand. “Oh Jack… what you must think of me!” she cried out.

“I think you are a murderer, Ella,” Jack said coldly.

Ella flung herself across the bed face down. “I guess Angelina has won after all,” she muttered through her tears.

Jack groaned and put his cigarette out. “I am not a prize to be won, Ella,” he said as he walked over to the bed and put a hand on her back. “I’m sorry it went down this way.”

Ella lifted her head up from the bed and turned it toward Jack. She stared up at him with tear-filled eyes. “Me too, Jack. Me too.”


The Stacked Deck is a noir-style WhoDunIt serial which will appear as 31 parts, told every day in March. I hope you will join me again tomorrow for another exciting part of this story!

The Stacked Deck ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.

Click the link to catch up on the other parts of this story:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23. Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28

Jump forward to Part 30