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Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-15-2009 03:31

New York - 1931

I was framed. I did not kill her, but who would've believed me?

Life was getting grimmer as citizens felt the real pinch from the great stock market crash two years ago. My private investigation business was losing a load of clients. Most of them had gone bankrupt, or worse, jumped off the Chrysler Building. Mrs. Gatsby was a loyal client. My only mistake was becoming too intimate with her.

That day, I received a note from her, asking me to meet her in the VIP room of the Astor Theatre. The room was dark when I got there; I thought she was playing naughty. Before I knew it, I was hit from the back, and woke up to find blood all over me with a knife in my hand. Mrs. Gatsby was laying two feet from me, stabbed to death.

I heard the police whistle nearby, and I instinctively ran. Two officers saw me and chased me down three blocks before I loose them. I quickly returned to my office, washed off the blood and changed. I took what was necessary, including my revolver, and composed perhaps my last letter on my prized Remington typewriter. I made some carbon copies, and send the letters to my detective friends before I went into hiding.

They were my final hope.

((Note: I posted this beginning at Shades of Mystery, but I thought it'd be nice to see where it leads in Noir. Hope you'll enjoy it. Feel free to improvise! ))



Feb-17-2009 19:55

The mail flopped through the slot of the door. Ace was working at his desk and didn't even see it fall.

"Ace, didn't you notice? The mail is here!" Scarlett Masters came in from the kitchen.
"Oh, sorry S."
"Sorry my foot! You work too hard! You need time off!" She stomped her foot.
Ace turned and looked after a moment, "Sorry, S, what did you say?"
"Okay, okay!" Ace chuckled.
"Seriously Ace! You aren't getting any younger. You need a wedding band on that finger!"
"Okay, sis, I'll marry the next girl that I see." Ace closed his eyes, then opened them, "Oh, look! Scarlett Masters? Will you marry me? Oh, but wait! I forgot, you can't. Your my sister. Oh, well, guess I'll have to wait."
Scarlett growled a low growl as she bounced out of the room.

Ace began opening his letters. He slowly sliced one open, opened it, and read it. His eyes grew big as he finished it.

"Hey S," He called to his sister. She came back.
"What." She played.
"You know the empty room upstairs?"
"Yeah, of course."
"Well, it's not empty now."
"Oh no. Mother isn't coming to stay, is she?" Scarlett sighed.
"Nope. It's Joseph Zeo."

Inspector Joseph
Inspector Joseph

Feb-17-2009 22:49

((Note: Although I'm unsubscribed, I won't be taking part in the contest. This story looks interesting, therefore I am inclined to write some lines.))
*at the time Joseph Zoe escaped the crime scene*
Inspector Joseph, now retired from police not long ago was walking through the streets under a quiet night when he heard a police whistle.
Joseph's detective's mind had not yet rusted/faded, his eyes shined as he ran to the place where the whistle came from. He could clearly hear the loud footsteps and there was a gun shot, but no scream was heard which could mean two things. First was that the victim of that bullet was dumb or the second one was that the bullet missed it's victim and the victim was saved from becoming the real victim.
Joseph continued running and turned at the street where the bullet was fired. There he ran, yes ran into a police constable. Both fell badly and the constable took Joseph to the inspector in charge as a suspicious man running around the streets at late hours.
The inspector in charge asked Joseph his name and Joseph replied: "Call me Joseph."
The inspector took out his gun and said: "Mr. Joseph, you are under arrest for the murder of Mrs. Gatsby."
Joseph was extremely surprised on hearing that. He did not even know who Mrs. Gatsby was, then how was he supposed to kill her.
Joseph fell deep into thoughts and did not hear the inspector ordering him to put his hands up.
After a while, Joseph raised his head up and asked, "Inspector, what evidence do you have that I murdered Mrs. Gatsby?"
The inspector took out a piece of paper from the inside pocket of his coat.
That was a note! Written in blood! In the handwriting that was done by a shaking hand. It stated:
Joseph smiled as he read the paper and asked, "Inspector, how would you know that this was written by Mrs. Gatsby and more importantly, how would you know that it meant me as there are hundreds of Josephs in the city?"
The inspector did not answer.

Inspector Joseph
Inspector Joseph

Feb-17-2009 22:57

However, even though Joseph proved that he was not the only person who could murder Mrs. Gatsby, the inspector took him to jail. Joseph did not say anything because he knew that won't work. He was waiting for the time when he would be presented in the court. There he could do something to clear his name.
He sighed and sat down in his room, remembering the times when he would put the handcuffs on the hands of the criminals and today, he wore them himself. He smiled and started thinking what to do next. He was completely in dark, therefore, he needed wise planning to escape from prison and clear his name.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-18-2009 02:24

((Since there are two Josephs in this story, let’s call me Zeo. That sounds like someone on the run anyway :P ))

There were hundreds of homeless on the street these days, and Zeo made himself blend in. The collar of his coat was up and his hat was down to shield him from the world. At night Zeo napped in a dark alley, along with the drunks and the loonies. He prodded and he thought, 'who would want to dig me a grave?' There were way too many. Perhaps he should start from her side; who would want Grace Gatsby dead? Zeo could think of a few.

In the morning Zeo scanned the New York Times for his name, and was surprised by what he read. "Don’t tell me those dummy cops just arrested someone based on an identical FIRST NAME! Two of them saw and chased me, and they must be desperate to get themselves off the hook for losing my trail." Zeo thought.

At the moment Zeo was off the surveillance, but it would not last for long. Sooner or later they’d find out the name of Mrs. Gatsby’s P.I. just so happened to be Joseph, with a face matching the one they saw at the crime scene. Anyhow, his sketch was not in the newspaper for now, so Zeo walked a bit taller.

Prohibition of alcohol had been in effect for over ten years, but many underground bars still had plenty of business. Zeo visited the quieter one, the Tricky Mister, where detectives usually hang, drinking wine out of opaque soda bottles. Zeo decided to stick there for the time being, as long as it was safe. Ace came, and offered him a sanctuary.

“I’ve an empty room upstairs, it’s perfectly safe.” Ace whispered.
“Thanks Ace, you’re the champ,” Zeo said between his gulps of Vodka, “but would it be too dangerous for you and for Scarlett? We'll talk about that later. There is however, one thing you can do for me. Grace suspected her husband to have an affair, and I got her some steamy evidence. Find out where he was on the day Grace was stabbed. See if his alibi checks out. His name is George.”

Inspector Joseph
Inspector Joseph

Feb-18-2009 02:58

((Note: I can still call my Joseph as Inspector Joseph but then people may get confused, therefore let's call him I. Joseph. I think that would do.))
*Next morning, 10 am, in the jail*
I. Joseph was called for his statement.
"Now what kind of statement I am supposed to give? I don't know who Mrs. Gatsby was and who killed her and for what motive.", thought I. Joseph as he proceeded under the care of two constables aiming their tommy guns at him.
As they entered the interrogation room, I. Joseph knew exactly what he needed to do and now had a wide smile on his face.
"Sit down Mr. Joseph.", ordered the inspector in a polite way which was rather a bit surprising for I. Joseph.
"Hmph! I won't sit and I won't answer a single question until you call my lawyer.", said I. Joseph like a stubborn kid
"Your lawyer? Why would you have a lawyer?", asked the inspector in amazement
"Why cannot I have one?", asked I. Joseph, raising his eyebrows
"Mr. I. Joseph, we know you are a former inspector of CID and we know that you are currently a PI. Now, why would a PI have a lawyer?"
"That were old days. I have given up the job of PI and now I am working at a restaurant. However, is it forbidden for PI's to have a lawyer?", I. Joseph said in such a manner that the inspector was dumbfounded.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-18-2009 02:59

"Scotty, here!" Zeo hissed.

Scotty walked over to Zeo in his prison guard uniform. He just got off from work and planning to relax with a few drinks. "What is it Zeo?"

"You know that Inspector Joseph you guys have in custody?" Scotty nodded, "He's innocent. Don't ask me why I know. Just so everything you can to help him."

Zeo bought Scotty a few drinks. He had helped the young lad out quite a few times in the past, and got Scotty his current job. They drank together for a while before Scotty headed back home. Zeo was again drinking alone, sorting out in his head all that had happened.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-18-2009 03:04

((I.Joseph and I posted at the same time. Chronologically the bar scene happened the night before.))

Inspector Joseph
Inspector Joseph

Feb-18-2009 03:10

*the lawyer (Mr. Nicholas Horsburgh) came*
"Mr. Horsburgh, I am being falsely accused for committing a ruthless crime. You ask these cops to release me right now or they will have a bad time, paying rounds to the court persistently.", said I.Joseph as soon as his lawyer Mr. Horsburgh entered the room
The inspector felt really upset by the sudden attack and did not speak for a minute.
Mr. Horsburgh smiled at I. Joseph's behavior and asked the inspector: "What are the charges against my client?"
The inspector was again dumbfounded.
After a short period of time, I. Joseph was out of prison, breathing fresh air. He thanked Mr. Horsburgh and walked towards his apartment. He searched his drawers and found a card under a jumble of papers.
He grinned and stepped out. He was out on the streets once again as a PI.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-19-2009 02:49

Since it seemed like the police was not looking for him, Zeo decided to return to his apartment for a short visit. He already took with him what was necessary on the day of the incident, but he missed his Macallan single malt scotch whiskey. It did cost him a little fortune to obtain it. Of course, a short nap wouldn’t hurt, for he liked his nice King size bed, where many ladies had visited in the past. As he approached the backdoor through the fire escape, he sensed that something was wrong. He took out his revolver and cocked it. He peeked into his apartment.

War Zone. Someone was here: Someone was looking for something. Files were scattered all over the floor, and his collection of whiskeys shattered. He supposed his collection was thrown down in anger. 'I guess the Someone couldn’t find what he was looking for.' Zeo induced. 'There was no police type, so it wasn’t the cops; then who was it, and why?'

Zeo unconsciously touched the packets of photos in his breast pocket. He supposed any one of those photos could be the reason. Cautiously he left the building and returned to Tricky Mister.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-26-2009 17:11

"Scotty, did you talk to Inspector Joseph in custody?" Zeo asked him. The evening was settling in at Tricky Mister.

Scotty shook his head. "He's been released today. He bought in a big lawyer an' all." Zeo felt relived. Scotty eyed the man suspiciously and downed his drink. Suddenly, he got up.

"You're leaving early again?" Zeo asked.

"Well, yeah. The inmate had been acting up lately. I need all the energy I could muster." Scotty gave a smile that didn't touch his eyes. "See yeah 'round." He went up the small flight of stairs and exited from the door.

Something wasn't right. Zeo could feel it in his bones. "Cyrus," he called over the bartender. "If anyone asks for me in here, I never existed." Zeo slid some greens over the counter.

"Who?" Cyrus took the cash and smiled. Zeo finished his drink and headed up for the door. There were many shadows outside, cops. "Scotty you ungrateful son of a brat!" Zeo muttered, heading back down inside. "Where's the backdoor?"

Cyrus pointed to the left, and said in a low voice "If someone's looking for you, that door is probably guarded. Why don't you head for the men's room? There's a ventilation window large enough. I just want no trouble in here."

Zeo had to trust Cyrus on that. The washroom was filthy and smelled of vomit. There was a small window in the upper corner. He rushed into the last stall and locked it behind him. Stepping onto the water closet he opened the window and looked out. There were two uniforms by the back door ten feet way, looking in the other direction. Zeo crept out of the window with stealth.

When he was almost out, washroom door popped open. There were some shouting and a gun shot was fired very close to his feet. Zeo pulled himself totally out onto the alley.

The shot had alerted the two cops by the backdoor. They noticed Zeo and yelled "stop!", as if he would. Zeo sprinted away. Shouting, gunshots and footsteps followed him for four blocks before he lose them all.

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