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The Missing Mobsters
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Steve Adams
Steve Adams

Apr-10-2009 07:25

I couldn’t sleep. Memories of Jenny kept probing in my mind. I thought she was the one, beautiful, smart and most important she challenged me. So many of the broads out there just rolled over, but not Jenny, she would let you know how she felt and she would tell you when you were making a complete donkey of yourself. Man, I loved that. Heck, just two weeks ago I had even taken her to meet my old man, but when I came back from work today she was gone. No goodbye, no nothing.

I kept playing it over in my head. It didn’t make sense. What had I done? I know things had been tough lately. We weren’t exactly living in the towers, but Jenny knew going in that starting a detective company in this city was going to take some guts, and some hungry nights. She was okay with it, she even said she welcomed the chance to show the world how great I was. Well, I guess a girl can say a lot of things when the dream seems possible, but after three months we had only seen one case, a missing husband, John Jacobs, who turned out to be some mobsters lackey. Not exactly high priority and not something we wanted to get too involved in. The mob in this town was getting out of control. Benny Provenzo was no small potato. He came from Italy with money and smarts and he was changing the streets, in a bad way.

After another hour of tossing around the sheets, I jumped out of bed and threw on some clothes and hit the streets. I knew I wasn’t sleeping tonight thanks to Jenny, so I thought I would listen to the sounds of the city. There’s no place like the city at night. Lights, sounds, steam everywhere, it gives the impression that its alive and not too happy that you are!


Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Apr-12-2009 07:37

Well, anyway…moving down to the third character at the table, I couldn’t say much about Whispers. Never even knew his full name. He just appeared one day from out of nowhere and made himself a reputation as a rough guy around the city. He had a funny voice…sounded somehow like the hissing of a snake, reason I guess for the funny name. There was also a story behind that name, about how some goons tortured and cut him up like a pig, but he managed to survive and butcher them all. I didn’t know how true it was, yet it was ‘somehow’ sustained by some nasty scars on his face and neck. That, put together with the size of a freaking ape, a sadistic grin and a mad man’s sparkle in his eyes made him a horror character. In fewer words…Whispers was scaring the crap out of me.

2 hours past midnight…

“I’m cleaned…” I concluded tossing my cards on the table and pouring myself another shot.

“Damn…I’m out too” Tom followed my example.

Russell leaned back into his chair and posed the largest smile looking at Whispers. “I see…now this leaves only two of us, big guy…and if I’m not mistakin’ you’re out of dough. Guess that makes me ‘the man’, now ain’t it?”

“Not so fast, fatty…” Whispers hissed. “I still got this!” He reached into his jacket and threw a golden pocket watch right in the middle of the table.”

“Now that’s a real beauty!” Russell’s eyes sparked as he picked it up. “I have to say, big guy, it’s gonna’ be a pleasure to take this off your hands.” He raised his hand and dropped the cards in front of Whispers. “Straight flush! Now that’s what I call poker!”

“Damn!” Whispers got up with a defeated gesture. “This luck must come from rubbing the ass of that fat wife of yours!” He stretched his bones and started walking through the room.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Apr-12-2009 07:38

Russell just laughed and grabbed the watch to check it. “I hope it’s real gold, big guy, or else you’re gonna owe me, my wife and her ass’s!” He lifted the cover and discovered there was a small inscription. “Franco Chiappetta…” he read it out loud. “That sounds familiar…hmm…ain’t that Frankie ‘Teeth’?”

“As a matter of fact, it is…” I replied, suddenly alerted at the sound of the name. “Didn’t the cops fish’im up this mornin’ down at the docks? I think it was in the papers.”

“Actually…they did” answered Russell, lifting his eyes up to Whispers. “Hey, ‘hissey’ how come you got his watch? Where did you get it from?”

The big guy gave him a ‘let it go’ gesture. “Got it as payment from ol’ Homer on a ‘collecting’ job this mornin’. He didn’t have cash so I took whatever I found. What…you don’t like wearing a dead man’s watch? Give it back.”

“You’d wish! Nah…I’ll hang onto it.” Russell stiffed the watch in his pocket. “One thing bothers me though…whadda’ hell was old Homer doin’ with Chiappetta’s watch?”

“Who cares?” replied Whispers taking a seat back at the table and filling his glass.

“Well…” Tom butt in with a thoughtful look. “’Teeth’ ain’t the only one found floating in the river lately. I heard quite a bunch of ‘goombahs’ have been takin’ swims lately…or gone missin’. All Provenzo’s soldiers…”

“Well…” I replied upon taking another sip “…maybe someone’s tryin’ to send’im a message. After all, it ain’t like he came here walkin’ on a red carpet and he did manage to step on everyone’s toes up to now.”

“So? Someone’s been wastin’ a bunch of ‘wise guys’. Whadda’ hell do we care?...Hmmm…think I got a fly in my whiskey…” Whispers stuck his finger inside his glass and pulled the poor insect out. “I wonder if it’s dead or drunk…” said him raising it in front of his eyes.

“That may be…” continued Tom still looking thoughtfull.

“Which one? You think s

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Apr-12-2009 07:39

“Which one? You think she’s drunk?”

“I’m talkin’ about the dead ‘grease balls’, Whispers!”

“Oh, that…hmmm…it ain’t movin’…I think it’s dead.” He threw the fly in the ashtray and started burning it with the tip of his cigar. “So what about the ‘goombahs’? You think it’s a payback on Provenzo?”

“Maybe…but I heard a strange story…”

Tom marked his words with a moment of silence.

“Well?” burst Russell after a couple of moments. “You gonna’ share it with us tonight or we gonna’ have to use some persuasion methods on your ass?”

Tom took a sip out of his glass and made a short grimace of disgust. “This booze is startin’ to get nasty. Where did you get it, Russell?”

“Forget the booze. You think you can do better? Next time you buy. Now go on with that story. Whadda’ hell did you hear?”

“Well…” Tom leaned a bit over the table posing a somehow secretive attitude. “You know that little gamblin’ parlor behind the bakery on 34th?”

“What’s that got to do with anythin’?”

“Louie ‘The Bookie’s doin’ his business down there.”


“So…remember the train heist about a year an’ a half ago? They say it was carryin’ tons of greens! ”

“Yeah, what about it?”

“Well, Louie says a bunch of ‘wise guys’ did it.”

“’Wise guys’ as in…Provenzo’s guys?”

“Nah, he says Remy ‘Slugs’ was behind it.”

“Oh c’mon…Louie’s full of crap!” Russell exclaimed in dismay. “You ain’t got nothin’ in that ugly skull of yours if you’re listenin’ to him! ‘Slugs’s been dead for over a year now. He was the first one Provenzo took down when he came.”

“Maybe he was…maybe he wasn’t. They never did actually find his stiff.” Tom raised a finger and tapped his temple.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Apr-12-2009 07:40

“So what if it was ‘Slugs’?” I asked with a slight shade of curiosity. “What’s that got to do with the killings?”

“Well…Louie says he used some of his ol’ soldiers, now Provenzo’s goons. Word on the street is he’s started to cut’em off the jackpot and also he wanna’ make sure no one knows it was him. If Provenzo would find out he’s still alive he’d have’im buried in a hole alive!”

“That doesn’t really add up, Tommy…” I said slowly shaking my head. “I’ve never heard anythin’ about ‘Slugs’ since he went missin’ and that train job was…outta’ his league, I’d say. And why would he stick around for so long? If that train was so full of cash, I’d be on a sunny island by now. It’s been a long time, you know…”

“Well…Louie says Dickey ‘The Lawyer’ was in on it too. At the time they gave him the money to hide them so that the cops won’t find’em. Apparently he hid them somewhere in the desert, made a map and spread the pieces amongst all of the robbers, so that none of them would be able to pick’em up alone.”

“That’s…kind of a stupid thing to do. I remember Dickey got gunned down in the street about a month from the heist.”

“Well…” Tom concluded “…now ‘Slugs’ is back and gathering all pieces.”

I shook my head again in disbelief. “This story’s sued up with thin wires, Tom. You got a dead ‘goombah’, a pile of cash that wasn’t found and a bunch of other dead ‘goombahs’. Not even a kid would believe it.” I stood up and put my hat on. “Now I don’t know about ya’ all, but I’m beat and Tom’s drunken ramblings kinda’ made me sleepy, so I’m off. Yo, Whispers, could you give me a ride, mate? My car’s down at the shop.”

“Yeah, I’m kinda’ worn off myself too. “ Whispers got up and grabbed his trench coat. “See ya’ next Wednesday, fellows!”

“You got old, guys” Russell went off in disappointment. “Well…whadda’ hell…I guess this means more booze for the Snyders. See ya’ around, ol’timers!”

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Apr-12-2009 07:42

With this we left.

A couple of minutes later, in the car…

“Hey, Joey…I’m thinkin’…” Whispers started.

“You ain’t neva’ been much of a thinker, big guy and I doubt you grew a brain while I wasn’t lookin’” I replied leaning back in my seat.

“Well, if you don’t wanna’ hear it…”

“Oh, whadda’ hell…spit it out. I’m in danger of fallin’ asleep over here anyway.”

“I’m thinkin’…what if Tom’s story is true? That would mean somewhere in that desert there’s a lot of cash stashed out.”

“Now I know you ain’t thinkin’, Whispers. You hit your head when you were little and kept believin’ fairy tales, mate?”

I looked at him and noticed the disappointment into his eyes. He actually was looking like a child whose father wouldn’t buy him the toy he wanted. I figured it wouldn’t cost me anything to give him a brake.

“And what if it was true, big guy? What would you do about it?”

A light of joy suddenly sparkled in his eyes. “I’d visit Homer. If he’s got that watch, he should know somethin’ ‘bout what happened to Chiappetta. You think we could do this, Joey?”

“You mean go to Homer’s? Now? It’s past two in the mornin’ for Heaven sake?”

“Well…it means we got a chance to find him home, ain’t we?”

I sighed exhausted. “Ok, big guy, I’ll humor you. Just drive and le’me catch a short nap in the meantime.”

The car went off as I was pulling my hat over my eyes.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-12-2009 21:19

The Ritz is a small but swanky hang out hidden at the basement of the Carlton Hotel downtown. Prohibition may last forever, but it didn't stop anyone from drinking. In truth, I'd say that it actually heightened people's thirst for the booze. Ricky at the 'soda' bar handed me my regular doze of Vodka in an opaque bottle, and I turned my attention to the darker corner at the back.

Shady noticed my presence right away. "Hey Gumshoe, got another 'dirty laundry' you need cleanin'?" Shady asked with a ghost of a smile.

"Not this time." I looked around the joint to make sure no one was eaves dropping. "I just needed some information on a name."

"Go on."

"Remington Barkley."

"He's dead."

I smiled, "I can find out about THAT from the archive, buddy," and took a gulp of my Vodka. "The drive by shooting 14 months ago by the dock. No one ever pointed a finger but we all knew it was Provenzo's grand entrance to this part of town." I lit a cigarette and offered Shady one, "but Remy's body was never found..."

Shady declined my cigarette and gave me that ghost of a smile again which never touched his eyes. He paused for a second; I could hear his brain churning away with calculation. Finally he gave me a figure.

"Ouch. That's steep." I cringed.

"Ya know my price, and it's always worth it."

I looked into my wallet, that's all i've got on me, and I always carried extra cash. That 50% deposit better be in my safe by now. Grudgingly I slid over the greens under the table.

"Always a pleasure doing business with you."

"Spit it out." I barked.

Shady lowered his voice. "Remy really was dead." I was about to slap him in the face, Shady or not, but he continued, "He had a protege, who took after his title, but no one had ever seen him..."

So, I was looking for a new 'Slugs', with an invisible face. "How the hell I am going to find him?" I muttered under my breath.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-12-2009 21:43

Shady got the ears of a fox. "Okay, gumshoe, I'll give this to you for free." I looked at his breast pocket where he kept my fat stack money, and thought how nice it was of him to offer me something 'free'.

"You know Louie the bookie down at the joint behind the bakery on 34th?" I nodded. Shady continued, "He's been spreading rumors for the kid, putting half truths in his stories to make it believable."

"Why would they want to do that?"

"I guess you're one of those people oblivious to all those dead goons washing up to shore these days."

"What goons?" I asked, taking up the Vodka and kept my eyes on my opaque plastic bottle.

Shady sat back and stared at me. "Do you know what, Gunshoe? You're a terrible liar." Shady smirked, "Seem like you are in this mire deeper than you're telling me. You're not just looking for 'Slugs'. What is it that you're after?"

"I thought I was the one paying." I warned. "And look, it's already 2am. I better run."

I left the dark corner of Ritz, feeling Shady's eyes bore into the back of my head, probably with that ghost of a smile on his face. Sometimes inevitable, but I hated dealing with Shady.

Steve Adams
Steve Adams

Apr-13-2009 07:17

I felt like I hadn’t slept in two years. My legs ached and my brain still felt like scrambled eggs from the knock to the head or was it the talk with Shady, either way I knew the best thing for me to do was catch a break in my bed. So why was I walking towards the river?

I’ve known a lot of people that think a walk by the river can be a relaxing and thought provoking experience. I’m not one of those people. Every time I find myself close to this flowing current I can’t help but wonder how dirty this water is. My mind won’t stop thinking about the sewage and trash that have been dumped into its depths and lately it sounds like a lot more trash has founds its resting place here. Speaking of the trash, I started asking myself the question that's playing in my mind like a record since I first got invovled in this mess, who would want to knock off more than twenty mobsters? I have no doubt there were a few business owners that were sick of paying for “protection” that wouldn’t mind a chance to ring a neck or two, but taking out that many men and from so many different Boss’s…no way that was being done by some grocery clerk owner on Main Street. No, this had to be someone with some professional training and it didn’t make sense that it was some rival boss head looking to take over the streets. If that were the case they would be claiming the killings. No matter how many times I asked myself the “why” of this thing, I couldn’t come up with a motive that would stick.

Steve Adams
Steve Adams

Apr-13-2009 07:37

My walk took me by the new water treatment plant. Seems like I wasn’t the only one worried about the rivers sanitation, but I still think it was too little too late and who really knew if this whole water filtration thing was going to work. One thing was for sure-it was getting enough press coverage. The man who came up with the idea, Petra Wadstrom some genius from Norway, was in the headlines almost as much as Benny Provenzo.

As I walked by the door to the new building, I noticed the door was partially opened. “Oh heck, why not,” I told myself and decided to take a private tour of the newest invention that would save our city. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was that it was a lot bigger on the inside than it was on the outside and it was noisier than two freight trains barreling on the tracks. You could hear the roar of the water as it passed through the filters and that was all you could hear.

I made my way to the stairs. It looked like there were about four levels to this behemoth building and I thought I would take a peak from the top and then get out of here before I got myself in trouble. I let my hand touch the concrete and couldn’t believe how cool it felt, almost like ice. For some reason, as loud as it was and with all the machinery around, I figured it would be hot as coals in here. By the time I reached the fourth floor I was exhausted. The lack of sleep and the emotion of being picked up by a mob boss and discovering that my girl Jenny was being used as a hostage until I solved this crime had really taken it out of me and climbing four flights of stairs was about all I could muster, but the walk was worth it.

Steve Adams
Steve Adams

Apr-13-2009 07:39

From my crow’s nest view I could see the entire plant. Petra had really created something here. I could see the water coming in and pass like a waterfall through the filters and then it would rush out. I could also see something else… there was a man moving on the second floor right next to the filters.

Oh no, I should have guessed there would be workers here around the clock. Maybe I could sneak out before he saw me, after all, all the noise from the water and machines would mask any sound I made, all I needed was for him not to look up. I started taking the steps down, keeping my eyes on the man below. He was very caught up in whatever he was doing and I was feeling very confident that everything would work our fine for me, when something happened I could never have seen coming. The man reached down behind a huge piece of metal machinery and dragged out another person who was bound and gagged. I stopped dead in my tracks.

The man who I thought had been the worker removed the gag and I could tell he was asking something by his actions. He started slapping the bound man and then he took out a knife. The bound man said something and then the “worker” went to work. He sliced the bound man’s throat and dumped him over the edge and into the water faster than I could have ever believed was possible. Then he turned and made to leave when he looked up.

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