The Online Journal of the Art of Magic
In Your Hands
Editor's Note: The
following is a story-deck idea by Al D'Alfonso. As such, there really
is little the instructions: stack the deck, false shuffle and cut, and
then start. The story is the thing here, like in most story-decks. Al
does a lot more with this one, inspired as he was by "Sin City",
the film noir style of the flick and some of its humorous dialog. As Al,
wrote, "My goal was to actually try to tell a story of sorts while
keeping the obvious 'I went to 123 street to see the a guy named Jack'.
I think he succeeded to a good extent. Al's favorite way of doing this
is to come with a big shopping bag and talk about a recent all-night long
film fest on the American Movie Classics cable channel and how it showed
lots of Sam Spade and Joseph Marlow movies, lots of black and white film
noir. As he's doing this bit of presentational set-up, he's pulling out
a trenchcoat and hat from the bag and puts them on. He then continues
on about how he fell asleep in front of the TV and dreamed about being
a magic detective...not a detective that does magic but one that solves
magic-related crimes. He then takes something out of his pocket
The name is Club, Sam Club, Im an ace (AC) private eye, a dick, a gumshoe (2S). It was raining, the night was dark as the Ace of Spades (AS) when she walked into my life. She slunk into my office looking like an angel of mercy and smelling like angels ought to smell. She had a fiery mane and a temper to match (QD). I looked up those gamms that went on for miles and finally came to the 3 carat rock on her finger (3D). She needed to find something that was missing-something dear to her. I wasnt lost enough in her emerald eyes to forget my fee, 10 big ones a day (10D) plus expenses, and she agreed and laid down a c-note without batting a beautiful eye.
I was no fool, I knew
a dame like that couldnt be interested in a two-bit (2H), busted-up
gumshoe like me. She put two (2C) smokes between her full lips and I lit
her with my ever-present Zippo -- she passed one to me wordlessly. I tasted
I went to my bottom drawer, pushing aside the bottle (JC) Jacks gonna be no help to me this time, and grabbed my forty-five (4H,5H) and tucked it away while giving her a wink. I followed her out the door, watching her body (8D) try valiantly to stay contained in the skin tight scrap of fabric that she passed off as a dress. I hailed a cab and we hi-tailed it over to the 753 Club (7C,5C,3C). I knew that hotbed of demented tricksters was as good a place as any to find some leads. Kate (8H) was at the bar--ahh Kate, all of 19 (AD,9D) and already shes left a trail of broken hearts (10H) behind. She looked the doll on my arm up and down with the fire of the sun in her eyes and her ruby red lips purred, Hiya Sammy, Hows Tricks? As she put a bottle (JS) and two shot glasses on the bar. I slipped her a fin (5S) and in maybe too rough a tone replied not tonight baby, Im working --- and Im sober.
She laughed like shed heard a joke-- that gentle melody that contained the sweet promise that could bring a grown man to his knees in tears. She slid the fiver back (5D) laughing and cooing save it for a new suit Sammy then in an almost inaudible whisper said table thirty-six (3S, 6S). We sat down and saw a small silver tray (3H) at the table with an envelope on it. I bummed another smoke from the vixen who with an icy voice gestured to the bar and said friend of yours Mr. Club? (sigh) Dames!! I ignored her and opened the envelope, inside was a jigsaw puzzle of a ransom note--we were dealing with one sick (6C) puppy here. It said to bring nine hundred and ninety-nine clams (9S, 9H, 9C) to the 77th Avenue Bridge (7S, 7D) at exactly 10:42 (10S, 4C, 2D) tonight or wed never see the card again. I passed it to the doll as I caught Kates (8S) eye and nodded.
While Legs (QH) read the note and turned on the waterworks, Kate (8C) wordlessly brought over a bottle (JD) and I poured a shot. She looked me in the eyes and covered the drink before I could down it and softly asked, Sammy look at her--she needs you more than you need this. I looked in her fawn-like eyes and knew she spoke wisdom beyond her years but as usual I was too proud to tell her so. When it comes to consoling nineteen year old girls Im about as useful as a palsy patient performing brain surgery with a pipe wrench. I touched her soft cheek and said Put it in a sack for later kiddo and against her better judgment she complied. I thrust the tray and note in by breast pocket and grabbed Red and the bag with the hooch in it.
We dashed out the door to get a cab where I flipped a ten-spot (10C) to the driver hoping he could get us to the bridge in the six minutes (6H) we had left before the doll (QC) lost it all. We made it with seconds to spare and I fingered my lighter nervously as we walked through the light drizzle of mist towards the bridge. As we got closer we saw a solitary beam of light from the only working streetlamp under which were four goons (KS, KH, KC, KD) .
Ahhh hitmen I love hitmen, no matter what you do to them you dont feel bad.
I walked up to the one with a card in his hand and put the paper sack on the ground a few feet in front of him. He spoke in a gruff voice Your gun too Club- right on the floor (4D). As I was pullin out my piece I heard a trigger cock and I quickly rang out 6 shots (6D) nailing all but the ringleader. He picked up the bag while holding his iron on me and as he was looking inside I tossed my piece at it just about the time he was figuring out there was no mulah. A split-second behind my gun was my lit Zippo. There was a tinkling of breaking glass followed by a flash of light as he burst into flames. I was quick but not quick enough he was able to get off a single shot before he leapt off the bridge like Haleys Comet. I was down but thanks to the tray - the tray that now had a slug nestled right thru the belly of it- thanks to the tray I was down but I wasnt out. Kate my beautiful , sweet Kate smart kid .just like her mother. Red didnt see my waterworks and its just as well she did see what her dough bought her. A single card that didnt quite make it over the bridge when its false owner took the dive. As the card drifted to the pavement she reached down and saw it was the one with her flowery script across its face . She clutched it to her slick top before deftly putting it in her purse. She quickly composed herself and throwing her arms around me in in a honey-laden voice said, Club baby, youre Aces (AH) in my book. I was in seventh heaven (7H) as we walked as one towards my office. Call me a fool (Joker) to think that her affection would last longer than the darkness that was slowly creeping away.
I dont know
much about life and I know even less about Dames but Ive learned
when Lady Luck (QS) gives a lug like me an opportunity--you dont
pass it up
.cause in my business; theres no guarantees (Guarantee
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