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!