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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 07:42

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.

Steve Adams
Steve Adams

Apr-13-2009 07:40

There I was and there was nothing I could do to hide. He noticed me right away and for a minute neither of us moved. He took a step towards me and my heart started to race. There was no running from this. I took my eyes off the man and looked around for some type of weapon, maybe a wrench or a pipe, there had to be something, but as fate would have it the space around me was completely empty. I went to look at who would probably be my killer only to see the space below completely empty. I looked to the stairs expecting to see him running towards me, but he wasn’t there either. I leaned over the rail and saw the door flapping in the wind.

He had run off.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Apr-16-2009 23:40

I tried to fall asleep during the ride, but it became obvious soon I wouldn’t even stand a chance. Whispers’ smoothness in driving was just like an elephant’s in a porcelain store. After a couple of fast turns that raised the alcohol my stomach was struggling to digest strait up my throat, I pushed my hat back up and lit myself a cigarette.

“So, what’s up with this Homer guy?” I started.

“Not much…he’s just a small time thief with a gamblin’ problem.”

“You think he’s been involved in wasting Chiappetta?”

“Dunno…less likely, though. The rat is a complete failure. Ya’ know…he tried to rob a bank a couple of years ago. Boy…I had crazy laugh when I heard about that. It was the biggest mess up in the history of bank robbin’!”

“What happened?” I asked with a slight shade of curiosity.

“Well…” Whispers started “…see, he scooped this bank in a small town south of Chicago for a week. Funny enough the joint had no security at all, so he decides to make his move one mornin’. The dumb old rat entered the bank armed with a huge shotgun and pointed it at the clerk. And now guess what: the freakin’ place was bankrupt! Outta’ business! Hahahahahaha! That clerk was just on his last day at work!”

“Now that’s tough luck…” I mumbled “…and a hell of a ‘scooping’.”

“Oh wait, there’s more! Now old Homer gets mad and starts shootin’ the widows out. A flatfoot passing by hears the noise and busts him. The dumb old bastard spent a full year in jail for this! Now ain’t this a fun story or what?”

“Yeah…I guess killin’ ‘wise guys’ is a bit outta’ his league.”

“Hell yeah! Ok, we’ here.”

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Apr-16-2009 23:41

Whispers turned off the engine in front of a small house somewhere by the town’s limit. We went in and found the place in a complete mess, as if someone torn everything inside out in search for something. Upon takin’ a stroll through the house we finally found also Homer…sitting on the toilet with a pair of scissors stuck in one of his eyes.

“Guess he ain’t in shape to tell us anything now…” I mumbled and then we left.

After about half an hour Whispers dropped me in front of my building. Considering our only ‘lead’ in this crazy story was dead, we decided to drop the subject and go on with our lives. Well…at least I did.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-19-2009 08:52

The betting parlor was hidden behind the bakery on the 34th street within a nondescript building. I decided that I had enough confrontation for the night. The mayor and Shady all together took a toll on my psyche; I couldn't afford to go through another one within the day. Louie the bookkeeper had his office in the basement with a small window opening to the back alley. From the last time I was there, I remembered the window was broken by some local mischiefs, kids who had nothing better to do. I just hoped they haven't fixed it yet.

The night was chilly and there was not a soul on the street. I walked along in the shadows away from the orangey street lamp, went around to the back, and approached the small opening near the ground. Thank goodness the only change to it was the addition of a paper cardboard put up with few useless duck tapes, nothing that could block noise. I could hear an on going conversations leaking out through thin partition.

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