Topic: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

With my love of the hard-boiled detectives such as Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, I thought it'd be a good stress-reliever to play a sort of game.

The style is 'continue-the-story' meaning that not one person is a character as per other RPGs, but that you read the previous postings and come up with something to continue the story.

Not to say it's going to be cold-blooded noir action, but as the hard-boiled detective genre can go into parody, this is going to be a parody. Stress relief is the key - there's going to be a high probability of ludicrous description and clichéd cigarette-toting femme fatales with ulterior motives involving another relative etc etc etc...


1. Keep within the nuances of the hard-boiled noir detective genre (1920s to 1940s). So, no fantasy characters like:

The cast of Lord of the Rings
The crab people of Atlantis

However, occult ritualists such as Aleister Crowley are okay, as is mad science and technology, but whether they work, who can say...

2. Follow logically from the previous post. If our detective protagonist is cornered in a dead-end alley by a gang of lackeys with no weaponry and only one rubbish bin, there better be a good reason for the detective's best friend bursting out of the bin and saving the day with a harpoon gun.

3. The detective protagonist cannot die as he is the narrator. However, feel free to injure him as liberally as you like.

4. Write in first person.

5. Include at least one ludicrous simile/metaphor to describe something in your posts.

6. New characters can be brought in at your discretion, but remember, as long as it logically follows the plot (and the plot twists!).

7. Once you make a post, the fate of what happens lies with the next poster, and then you may post after in this vicious circle. Twist the tale as much as possible... it may never end!

8. Please:

Be ludicrous in description
Clichéd in character
Throw in lots of plot twists so the plot is 'what?'
Have fun!

References for the genre well as the wonderful Dieselpunk/Deco references here at the Gatehouse.

Posting Format

Post your part of the story in italics like so...

(Post non-story parts in brackets, like this)

So, our detective, Oliver Lynch, is ready to get started on Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep...

Sorry, left the Falcon in the Bentley. Right now, you answer to my Ronson T-T.

All hail Kremperpunk.

2 (edited by Ella Kremper 2008-12-21 23:13)

Re: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

Eleven hours hours ago, you'd find me lying horizontal on a plank of squeaky wood they call a mattress round here, because I'd be asleep and you'd have plum trouble getting Lucifer out of me. Times have been quiet recently, I must admit, just like an idiosyncratic weasel squashing a maggot with a twenty tonne chimney pot from Prague. The phone hasn't rung since last week, but then, I did use it for target practice after I got a little eager with the liquor after sundown. Evie, my secretary, clocked off around an hour ago. She's a sweet girl, Evie, nice ideas but not much in the way of logic inbetween her pretty ears. She'll be back tomorrow, and judging by how business has been going, I'll have to tell her:

"Sorry, sweetheart. Times are getting rough for Oliver Lynch. Damn city's too good at the moment. Nobody needs a gumshoe to fix things right now. Take the rest of the day off."

I pulled out a cigarette, clicked the Ronson and watched the ambient tangerine glow of the end breathe out a copy of that phoney old Indian rope trick.

Before I could take a drag, she swished into my room. There was a cloud of perfume, camera flashlights and the unmistakeable aura of dead foxes draped over her sweet little neck.

She definitely looked better than the posters they'd put up of her outside the Loony Bin club.

Sorry, left the Falcon in the Bentley. Right now, you answer to my Ronson T-T.

All hail Kremperpunk.

Re: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

Dita Le Vamp, probably the most famous jazz singer the seedy underbelly of the city had to offer, sat down right in front of me. Out of respect for the little lady, I removed my feet from the position they had occupied on top of the desk for the past hour.

Taking a long, satisfying drag from the cigarette in my hand, I nodded to her. Exhaling a cloud of smoke that rivaled the apartment fire across the street last week, I asked: "What seems to be the trouble, dollface?"

Tears welled up in her eyes as she clasped the orange stole to her large chest, causing the head of the poor creature to wobble about like a drunkard trying to wait tables on an abnormally shaped ice cube. "Oh please Detective Lynch, you've just gotta help me!"

Re: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

(This is fun!)

Used to women begging helplessly for my talants, I remained cool and calculated and took another drag from my cigarette before assuring her: "Of course I will, sweetheart. Now just tell me what I can do for you, OK?"

"Oh it's all just such a dreadful story, detective," she cried, burying her face in her hands. For a moment there, I began to think that she wouldn't tell me anything more than that, but after a long and uncomfortable silence, she looked up and said: "It's my lover, Mr Lynch. They have abducted him."

It was widely known that Dita Le Vamp had a different lover every other week. After their few days of fame, they disappeared from the papers and no-one ever heard from them again.

I bent forward over my desk, gazed into those two perfect deep blue eyes of loveliness then dropped by cigarette butt in the ashtray and asked, "Who is 'they'?"

5 (edited by Ella Kremper 2008-12-22 17:16)

Re: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

Dita Le Vamp sniffed, fluttering her long, curvy eyelashes so violently that the coal black mascara coating them flecked off into a cloud of sin. This was definitely one dame in distress. However, I don't list counselling services in my phonebook. I waited patiently until Ms. Le Vamp had composed herself significantly to spill the beans over the beans that she'd already allowed to trickle out of the crimson-painted tin can she kept in that little songbird mouth.

"I was on stage at the time," she finally spoke. "I'd had an argument with Guppy beforehand. He wasn't pleased with the customers we entertained at the club. He'd never complained before but that evening, for some reason he was livid."

Her fingers clasped and unclasped her handbag over and over as she spoke. The clicking sound began to grate real nasty.

"So I was singing a medley of songs. When we got to 'I Didn't Think It'd Be Sticky Like Golden Syrup', it happened. Guppy always watches me sing. He stands in the same place every time. It was really smoky, but I saw a group of men grab him and bundle him out of the door. It was a full house that night. All the big crocodiles were at the club."

"Have you tried the fish market, Ms. Le Vamp?" I suggested. You needed a joke at a time like this. Or maybe not. The little lady's face dropped like a two hundred and ten pound toilet brush in the wind.

Guppy. Who gives a pet name to their beau like a fish unless they've got a mouth like a sucker at dawn?

Sorry, left the Falcon in the Bentley. Right now, you answer to my Ronson T-T.

All hail Kremperpunk.

6 (edited by Toby 2009-01-02 01:01)

Re: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

"Listen, sister," I spat, sensing that this dame had mroe water in her eyes than Niagra has in the monsoon season, "the last time I went looking for strays I ended up with more lead in me than the roof of Notre Dame. If you want this job done you'd better give me the whole truth, damn straight."

"Okay, okay!" Dita le Vamp blurted. "The gunsels they sent after Guppy... one of them was Red Johnson, a hard boy who works for Deadfish Donegan. I didn't want to say, 'less it scared you off the case."

"Scared, lady?" I laughed harshly in the face of the smoke she blew in my direction. "I look fear in the baby blues every morning. Scared ain't in my repertoire - hell, I can't even spell sacred right. Now, let me just bang gums with a half-pint of rye and I'll be right on the case."

I opened up one of my desk drawers - any of my desk drawers - and took out one of the whiskey bottles. I poured myself a slug that you could have stored behind the Hoover dam. It tasted of grit, of fire, of gasoline and cop cars and cheap perfume. It tasted of the city. It tasted of trouble. It tasted good.

"But what should I do, Mr Lynch?" le Vamp cried, dabbing at her eyes with a kerchief.

"Do?" I looked her over again. I could get used to that. "Simple. Tonight you get up on stage at the Loony Bin and knock 'em dead. Sing like a siren - and I don't mean the siren on no cop wagon. The difference is, you'll have one sap more than usual in the audience - me. And I'll be looking real close at the customers. Time I found out a little about what's really going on down at the Loony Bin."

[Could someone tell me how to do italics, please?]

Re: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

(I added the italics for you. For future reference, use [ i ] before what you want italicized and [ / i ] after, but with no spaces.)

Re: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

I strolled through the twilight that had sunk over the city, causing the building lights to twinkle like a group of diamond dust encrusted dancers performing a French can-can at a certain mob member's birthday bash last year. Needless to say, they'd all expired from asphyxiation of the skin before I could finish my investigation. It's a shame, really. They were nice dames.

Ah, the Loony Bin! Real swanky joint, neon outlining the dance of smooth and jagged deco lines covering the facade of the building. Perfect place for conducting not-quite-legal business.

"Stop right there!" The doorman, looking more like a tank than a person, shuffled towards me. "State your business."

"It's payday, bimbo! Where else is a fella s'possed to spend his hard earned clams?" Finally the leviathan moved aside, convinced I was harmless.

Re: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

As soon as I entered the building, I saw two fellows sticking out like a couple of giraffes walking down Broadway. I instantly recognized the two as my dear friends from the police department.

"That's it Lynch, you're under arrest!" screamed officer Frank Schimdt. He was as red as a sunburned tomato from his yelling fit. In fact, he never said anything without yelling like a pack of baboons after a chocolate bar.

"Now, now sir, I do believe that yelling on the stakeout won't do." said officer Paddy, in his gentle thick Irish accent. He smiled at me and rolled his eyes.

"Think you can keep your partner from announcing me to every lugfisted gorrilla thug in this joint?", I said irratably to Paddy. "What are you arresting me for anyways?

"Don't play smart with me!" barked Schmidt. "You've done something, or will in the next eleven minutes! And when you do...!" His tirade was cut short, fading like a drying puddle of bourbon as Paddy led him away.

The fact that the police were here was mildly offsetting. Something illegal must be expected at the Looney Bin. Then again, that was about as surprising as tripping over the bum on 41st street every day. I pushed through the stinking crowd to find a seat.

Blessed be Science and her handmaiden Steam;
They make Utopia only half a dream.


Re: Farewell, My Lovely Maltese Falcon's Big Sleep - a detective parody

About the time I had found a seat and a glass of bourbon to keep me company, the lights were dimmed and music strolled onto the stage with the audacity of a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl. It began to accelerate and a spotlight was lit to reveal a black-skinned piano-player hitting away at the chords as though possessed by mean spirits. He played louder and louder and then at the climax he suddenly stopped! when another spotlight went on to illuminate the otherwordly gorgeousness of Dita Le Vamp standing still on the stage. There was not a man in the Loony Bin who didn't choke on his drink at the sight of her. Like a revelation she appeared in the brisk smokey clublight. What a piece of work!

And what shame that some feller named "Guppy" should be hers.

She began to sing, some nightclub classic undoubtedly, but I cannot imagine that any man heard the words she burst into song. Her voice alone was enough to enchant any creature. It was nothing like the sad sobbing of the girl who had plead for his help earlier that day. This was a woman who knew what she was doing. Yet there was something in her eyes, something in the way she gazed into the darkness of her audience, that seemed off. As though she was surprised by something. As though she were looking for someone who wasn't there.

I considered beckoning her to make my presence known but then realized that it probably wasn't me she was looking for. Whom was she expecting to be here this night?