Wednesday, August 17, 2022



Hi All!

Well it certainly has been a while since I have written for a WEP challenge. This month's challenge is Moonlight Sonata. Somehow, this image and song spoke to me. 

First, I would like to thank all the lovely ladies at the WEP for allowing writers to create something magical with their amazing prompts! The quality of writing is above and beyond. I seriously do not know how they can pick a winner. Please drop by the WEP site and read these amazing stories!

For my entry today, I am submitting an excerpt from a Noir story that I had started writing many moons ago. "Moonlight Sonata" to me evokes atmosphere, sensuality, and passion. Let met take you back to 1940's Chicago...

Rosemary is meeting her friend, Doris, for a costume party at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. Doris is setting her up on a blind date with a friend of her gangster boyfriend.  Rosemary is leery, she doesn't like Marty, but Doris assures Rosemary that her date, Cal, is a detective and a real gent.  It's a typical cold and windy night in Chicago... AS-

A sterling mist swirls like autumn leaves, shading the full moon on this All Hallows Eve. Only a single beam of light weaves through the chilly veils and settles on the swinging fringe of an unsuspecting flapper’s dress: the ever present wind, catches each and every delicate strand.

She stops in front of a brilliant marquee; hundreds of lit spheres floating in golden bronze. A masterpiece of mirrored images reflect Chicago’s finest citizens as they enter into the Palmer House. 

After adjusting the feathered headband, she wraps herself in a bubblegum-pink faux mink, steps behind a masked Cleopatra escorted by a bandy-legged Marc Antony, and slips into the lobby.

“Over here, honey.” Doris’ nasal voice rends through the din like a foghorn on a stormy New England night. She glances down from the top of a polished marble staircase centered with a blood-red Persian runner. The ceiling reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel, and appliquéd with hundreds of inlaid gilt medallions, frames Doris as she waves a lacy, gloved hand to the approaching flapper.

The man standing next to her, suited up in navy pin-stripes and spats, extends his arm. “I’m Marty. Glad you could make it tonight, toots. Doris was right, you’re a livin doll.” He wraps his arm around her waist and ushers her toward a tall, strapping man. “This is Cal Cavanaugh...your escort.” He glares at Cal. “Well say something to the dame, you boob.”

Cal’s throat constricts and he swallows hard. As he bends slightly a cowlick brakes free from his greased, raven hair and covers the right side of his horn-rimmed glasses. “A pleasure,” he says low.

A penciled brow raises and she licks her ruby, bee-stung lips. “How do you do.” Her eyes rake over his broad physique. “I don’t understand your costume. Am I missing something?”

A bead of sweat clings to his brow as a grin etches into his square jaw. 

“ her you big palooka.” Doris giggles and smacks him on the back with a senorita’s fan.

He raises thick fingers and unfastens a tight collar and three buttons. Sapphire blue and a red S encased in a yellow triangle strain across his chiseled, muscular chest.

Doris fans herself frantically. “What I’d tell you, honey. He’s a real pip.”

A slight pink glow peeks through her powdered face. “I see. I have a date with Superman. Is that all you?”

Now it was his turn to blush.

The gangster, the flamenco dancer, the flapper, and Superman climb the alabaster stairs flanked by blank onyx illuminated figures. Open etched glass paneled doors graciously invite the quartet into the Empire room. A heavily encrusted gilt medallion holds center stage on the elaborate ceiling as rainbows of faceted light dance from dozens of draped crystals onto the polished hardwood floor.

Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade touches every romantic as hundreds of masked couples sway like coconut palms on Havana’s sugary white beaches. A silence passes and the orchestra engulfs the room with In the Mood.

Marty drags Doris onto to the dance floor. “Bye, we’ll see...”

Cal extends his hand. “Care to dance?” He flashes a smile.

She folds into his arms and the music sweeps them into a sea of glittery gowns, cloaks, masked strangers, and mysterious creatures of the night. 

The chandeliers dim to barely a wisp and a spotlight hits the orchestra leader on stage. 

“Tonight I have the great pleasure to introduce the debut of the world renowned pianist, Liberace.”

Hundreds of raised hands applaud while lips pucker and whistles howl.

“Ladies and gentlemen, LIBER-RACE!”

Sporting a beaded black tie and tails, he steps on stage holding a lit twelve taper candelabra and places it on the high-glossed Steinway. 

A deafening silence filters through the room like a noxious gas.

With the waving of one diamond-studded hand, Liberace casts his spell. From Mozart’s, The Magic Flute, to Casablanca's, As Time Goes By. Each new melody blends seamlessly into the next. Pin-pricked eyes dart across the keyboard and never miss a single note. 

Liberace begins to play Beethoven’s, Moonlight Sonata. Within its ominous tones, a girl screams, breaking the magic spell. She struggles behind a marble pillar as the final fringe of a flapper’s costume disappears into the shadows. 

Chandeliers ignite. Faces unmask, revealing dropped jaws, glazed eyes, and vacant expressions. Bodies are paralyzed. Silence louder than Hitler’s Blitzkrieg jolts the once euphoric atmosphere.

As the crowds disperse, the original foursome are now two. 

“Where’s Marty?” Doris shrieks. “And what happened to Rosemary?”

“I thought she went to the ladies room with you?”

“Oh, no ... I didn’t wait.” Tears explode from Doris’s black-lined eyes. “What could’ve happened to her?” She stares up at Cal with a tear stained face. “You don’t think?” she whispered.

“Marty do such a thing? I’ve know him my whole life. I know he could be a goon sometimes...but this?” Cal shakes his head and stands on tip toe as his gaze sweeps over the crowd.

Doris latches onto his arm. “We need to find them.”

As dawn breaks through a driftwood-gray mist on All Hallows day, a body floats in the Chicago river.

I hope you all enjoyed my entry!  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, August 3, 2022



Hi All, 

Welcome to another IWSG post! Every month we writers get to voice our insecurities and help other writer's with theirs.Thanks to the talents of Alex J. Cavanaugh and the IWSG team.

If you would like to join us, please hop over the Alex's site and sign up.

When I first found out my story was chosen for this year's IWSG Anthology, it was way back in the beginning of the year. So, I had very little time to stress over it...but now, that is another story. With only one month away to my first short story publication, I am stressing. I have so many hopes for, FIRST LOVE- THE ART OF MAKING DOUGHNUTS, which is why I am anxious. I guess because I want the readers to love it.

It is an honor to be part of this publication with nine other extraordinary writers, and the publisher, Dancing Lemur Press, is amazing. The wonderful input from the publisher during the editing process and up until now, has truly helped calm my anxieties. So, why am I anxious. I guess all writer's experience this with upcoming publication. But, this is my first, so I am even more so. Even though I have been writing for well over a decade, I still feel like a novice writer starting out on my journey. This is my first "baby" going out into the world. 

Thankfully, with all of your support, I know I have nothing to worry about. Our community is AMAZING, and I am grateful to be apart of it!

So, until next month, I will try to keep positive and not worry.  I hope you will ALL ENJOY the wonderful stories about first love!

Keep cool everyone and have a great rest of summer!