straight down the line

Wild Party Alternate Ending

While I was reading about noir, one of the works I studied was TheWild Party by Joseph Moncure March. I really enjoyed this piece, but was a bit unsatisfied with the ending. The two romantic interests of the main character get into a fight, with one dying and the other ending up in prison. This seemed quite abrupt and stereotypical to me. This assignment ended up being perfect.

I rewrote the ending of the story. My ending starts on page 102, right when Burr is waking up from his drunken stupor.


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[Burr] writhed out to the edge of the bed

And sat there hunched; Clutching his head.

He soon laid back down,

Sleeping as heavily as if he were dead.


Though the flat was silent, one pair still stirred,

Their bodies pressed together, not thinking of Burr.

Their minds were clear though their speech was slurred,

To sleep would be utterly absurd.


Queenie and Black

Chest to chest, hands on back

Passionately kissing in the pitch black.

Soon from Queenie’s lips came the warning,

“You’ll have to leave soon. It’s almost morning.”

Black was confounded.

“Why must I take leave?

If I should part now I’ll do nothing but grieve.

Come with me, my Queen,

Run away from this scene,

I’ll take you to Rome and Paris and between.”


She smiled softly, a tear painting her cheek.

“Please Black, don’t speak

Of such a thing; you won’t remember

My name by the end of the week.”


But he insisted;

He’d never seen his advances go resisted.

Finally he gave up.

“Queenie, you’re twisted.”


“Exactly, my boy,” she said with a sigh.

You won’t find a girl more twisted than I.

I live for the rush and the life of the city,

And I won’t be your bride, no matter how pretty

The offer, or how much pity

You hold for me.

I hope you see.”

Black was angry.


“You’ll surely regret

This rash decision when you’re neck-deep in debt,

And when your miserable pet

Of a roommate settles down

With someone much more attractive

to such an ugly clown.”


He stormed out of the room, necktie in hand,

Leaving Queenie to stand

Looking out at the baby grand,

Where the guests slept soundly

And the silence echoed profoundly.

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