Monday, February 14, 2011

A Twist Of Noir 660 - Charlie Stella



Quote by Gustav Mahler (scribbled by the composer on the score of his Tenth Symphony)

Sarah never understood why I listened to Mahler whenever we had sex and I refused to tell her.

I arrived at her apartment determined to finally end my humiliation. I shaved, showered and then listened to Mahler’s Tenth Symphony while I lay naked on her bed. I closed my eyes to the scherzo and dreamed of Mahler and his unfaithful wife, Alma, and the scene it must have been when her lover’s letter reached the man of the house; that single moment of terror when one recognizes he’s been simultaneously robbed and raped of his dignity; he’s been made a fool and is unlucky enough to find out for just how long it has been going on.

I must have fallen asleep because when I opened my eyes, Sarah was standing in front of her dresser dabbing L’Air du temps on her bush for when I would go down on her later. She wore a black silk nightdress that barely covered her rump. I grew hard looking at her ass cheeks when the material pulled up as she leaned forward to reach for something. I imagined another man getting the same view and closed my eyes; watching Sarah was so much easier when my eyes were closed.

I knew she had been with somebody new the moment she leaned across my body to take me in her mouth.

“Wait,” I said.

She stopped. “What?” she said.

She had approached me from behind and to the right, her arms outstretched while she arched her trunk. Sarah gave me head one of three ways, none of which included the new approach. I stared at her until she was uncomfortable and forced a smile.

“What?” she repeated.

Something was amiss; I could see it in her nervous smile. I guided her away from me with my right hand. “Since when do you start like that?”

Sarah forced a chuckle. I continued staring until she stood up. It took her another moment to compose herself and then she was angry.

“You want this or not?”

It was at that precise moment when my suspicion was confirmed; Sarah had a new lover.

“Maybe,” I said. “I don’t know.”

There followed another nervous chuckle that turned to more anger when I didn’t reply.

“Yes or no?” she said.

Her question was a second stab to my ego. She was anxious to get it over with; I was in the way. I was also too tangled in thought to answer. Her posture suddenly deflated and she looked at me with clear disdain.

“Hey!” she said.

I was wondering if she would be meeting with whoever he was later in the day. I pulled her to me. Our lips met with force before I stuck my tongue deep inside her mouth. She responded in kind and we kissed passionately awhile before I let her move down the length of my torso, one of the three ways she usually began.

It didn’t take long because of the images she had left me to conjure. Sex could never be as good as I saw it in my head; I saw her stretching across different men to take them the same way she had started with me. I saw her eyes closing as she took them full in her mouth. I could hear her hum the way she did as they responded and before I knew it I was there.

Sarah’s infidelity had left me fighting a bittersweet battle from the time I first learned of her cheating on me less than six months before we were married. Back then I had been insane with jealousy, anger and fear; rage and carnal excitement had been seared into my being. Images of my fiancĂ© with other men were both excruciating and sublime.

Ultimately they left me wanting more.

Now Sarah made her way to the bathroom to spit me out. When she returned the gun was already in my hand. I fired.

BIO: Charlie Stella needs no introduction. The author of outstanding novels such as Jimmy Benchpress, Mafiya and Johnny Porno, he is, in this editor’s opinion, part of noir royalty. More knowledge of Mr. Stella can be gleaned at


Paul D Brazill said...

Magnificent. Perfectly noir. And how noir is Mahler!

Charlieopera said...

Hey, this guy is fuckin' sick ...

Dana King said...

Nice. Usually when I read Charlie I think of George V. Higgins. This one has much more of a Spillane feel. Well done.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Maybe she just finished a book of new techniques. He should have given her a chance. Nice, Charlie. You can never stop reading once you begin.

Nigel Bird said...

that's really tight, jam-packed in a way that made it feel like a much longer story in which i was there all the way.
and to spit him out into the sink - no wonder the gun was loaded.

Al Tucher said...

That's the problem with infidelity. It's hot, and nobody knows that better than writers of noir.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Quite a tale, Charlie ~ and I love the Mahler reference, it's perfect. What you've accomplished in 660 words is amazing.

AJ Hayes said...

As tightly scored as The Song Of The Earth. You can tell it's Stella's stuff by the taut use of words and the perfect sentence structure that make the prose come very close to poetry. The simple complexity of her spitting him out and the gun spitting out a bullet to take away her life is the essence of noir . . . and, sometimes . . . life itself. Now that's not what the Frenchies mean by Petite Morte at all.

Dana King said...

A thought: Did the narrator refer to his tumescent member as Der Titan?

Hilary Davidson said...

A twisted tale, beautifully told!

Charlieopera said...

Thank you all very much (very kind words) ... now I've a question (because I wasn't sure at the time).

Did he shoot her or himself?

Charlieopera said...

Had to look up tumescent, of course ... Sure, why not? In that mind everything probably looks bigger'n it is.

Michael Solender said...


Michelle said...

YES! Perfect Stella story. You know it's a Stella story if the woman is putting perfume on her puss. Hmmm, shooting himself or her? Like that.

Chris Rhatigan said...

Outstanding. Every sentence, every image, is locked in. And what an opening line!

Joyce said...

Wow. That's cold. Never saw that ending coming. Magnificent!

Naomi Johnson said...

Maybe this is why I get so pissed off when I listen to Mahler. Ah, Charlie, you know all our dark secrets, don't you?