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Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-22-2010 21:04

"Cut!" The director screamed. He ran onto the movie set and stared at the lost man in a tacky detective costume. The director was a head shorter than most actors, but his stare was fierce. "I told you for God knows how many times, read your script as it is WRITTEN!"

"But real detectives don't say things like 'What were you doing at the time of the murder.' It's a straight give away to the suspect that a murder had taken place!" The poor man defended.

"God damn it, who cares what you say as long as it's a talkie film. A MOVIE!" The director slapped his script on the prop table. He turned to his crew, "Who hired this genius?"

The crew was stone silent. The cameramen wiped their bulky equipment fervently like their life depended on it. The lighting crew looked at their silver lamps as if they saw it for the first time. The soundman listened to his playback looking for noises that didn’t exist.

A young man in a plaid sweater put up his shaking hand, "but sir, you said you wanted an authentic guy to play the part, so I got you a real detective."

"I said I wanted an authentic LOOKING guy, Martin! Not the real deal. This is show biz, use your brain, if you're not SITTING on it!!" The stumpy director bellowed.

"But…"

A voice light as chimes cut through the quarrel. "Boys, if you don't mind, I'll just go powder my nose." The lead actress with white blonde hair and the figure of an hourglass floated back into her dressing room.

"Yes of course, certainly my darling." The director cooed. He then turned coldly to Martin and the detective. "We'll take a 15 minutes break for you two to sort this out."

"Break! 15 minutes!" Martin announced, he then turned apologetically to his friend, "I'm so sorry, detective Zeo. I know most of this doesn't make sense, but can you please stick to your lines?"

Joseph Zeo looked at his shiny detective costume and gave a weak smile, "I dig what you mean," he sighed, "and you know I wouldn't have taken the job if I wasn't low on dough.

Replies

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-24-2010 09:20

Joseph Zeo parked his Buick on a side street in the Irish sector of town, and got out of the car with Riza. The sun was about to set, casting a golden glow to everything around them.

"Thought you said you wanted to get some good rest. Where are we heading?" The sharp lady detective asked.

"We will relax, and see an old friend of mine," Zeo replied, "someone who meet more people than the rest of us pooled together, and hear things around town whether he wants to or not."

"Sound like quite a guy." Rize remarked.

"He is." As Zeo entered the building labeled 'Peter's Pub', he saw the person he was looking for coming down the stair.

"Hey Joseph! It's been a while. I just had dinner. Have you eaten?" Peter asked warmly.

"Ah, we're fine, Peter. How are the kids?"

"Sam has grown a head taller since last Christmas. Sooner or later the lad will surpass his old man in height." Peter poured Zeo a Scotch whiskey, his usual. "And for this nice lady here?"

"Oh I forgot to introduce. My apologies. This is Ms. Riza Hawkeye, a good friend of mine, although seldom do I hear people describe her as 'nice'..." Before Zeo could finish, Riza ebbed him hard on the rib. Zeo gave a silent grunt and learned to shut up.

Riza said, "another Scotch is fine, thank you, and don't listen to Joseph." Peter smiled and poured Riza three fingers.

"I suppose you're also a P.I.?" It came out more like a statement then a question.

"Peter here is a great observer of people. He can tell a lot from just the way you carry yourself." Zeo inhaled the aroma before he sipped his drink.

"And from the way you're drinking, I supposed you're here on business?" Peter stated.

Zeo gave Riza a 'see what I mean?' look and continue, "Ever heard of the actress Simone Summers?"

"Who hasn't?"

"Did you know anything about her brother's murder, and his dealings before he died?"

"Depends on who's asking, and for what reason." Peter replied quietly, wiping a spotless beer glass.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-24-2010 09:21

Zeo leaned closer and spoke in a low voice. "Earlier today, Simone received a threaten note, and it seem that it was related to her brother's death, or his life before he died. Which ever way you wanna put it. So, we need more information in order to sort heads from tails." Zeo finished and continued to sip his whiskey.

Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Apr-24-2010 11:26

Peter looked about the pub. Still early. His bartender, Meaghan, had just arrived and was pulling her apron on.

“Pick up your glasses and let’s have a seat.”

They walked along with the bar on their left as traffic passed on their right, outside the wide front window frames and the small tables with chairs. At the end of the bar, the windows ended as well, and the area opened up wrapping around to the left where two pool tables sat waiting. They continued to the far wall and drew chairs up to the corner table.

“What do you know about him?”

Joseph answered. “Not much. Nothing really. We don’t even have a name.”

“Johnny Cross,” said Peter, “though not many know of him or that he was Simone’s brother. She was just making her way to the big time when he took a dive off a roof. Never even made it into the obits. Used to hustle the women telling them he was her agent when she started out and he could get them into pictures. What makes you think he has anything to do with the threat?”

Riza chimed in, “The note said she would end up like her brother.” Peter noted the lack of emotion in her voice. No, not really lack of emotion " lack of fear and a firm hold on her emotions. Easy to look at and a cool lady, indeed. He understood why Joseph had brought her along. Joseph never brought any but the most trusted when he came to talk business.

“Well, there’s not much more to tell. The guy was mostly a nuisance. Besides hustling the women, he was always trying to get in with the studio big shots. Rumor was he promised to get Simone to leave that director Salazar in exchange for a fat envelope. I don’t think anyone believed he could do it. Any help to ya?”


Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Apr-24-2010 11:28

Joseph thought for a moment. “Any idea why he was killed?”

“Nothing specific comes to mind. Want me ask around?”

“Sure. Just send me a message or call the office. I’ll be back, or Riza might come if I’m tied up.”

Peter couldn’t hold back his smile. “I’d want her with me, if I was tied up.” A chuckle escaped. “That blade of hers would come in handy!”

Joseph smiled too, and looked at Riza. “I told you he was a sharp cookie.”

Riza laughed. “About as sharp as my friend.” She reached and touched the place where she kept her trusted stiletto. Reassuring as always, she thought.

Outside, the street was filling as the factories and docks changed shifts. Some began to enter the pub and Meaghan was skillfully filling their orders. Peter stood up.

“Gotta get to work. Stop by anytime, Joeseph. And Miss Hawkeye, you don’t need this guy to come by. You’ll be welcomed as a friend.”

As they pushed through the door, the evening air coolly greeted them and Joseph and Riza paused before getting in the Buick.


M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Apr-24-2010 19:57

"Simone, I need some names. Someone who knew you and your brother. And if your brother got mixed up with the wrong people, you need, no, you HAVE to tell me NOW. I think both of you got mixed up with the wrong people to be honest. And If I'm gonna protect you, you need to talk. Because if you don't, someone here trying to help you, is going to get seriously hurt or killed. Do you understand me?" Marc said.

Simone nodded and a tear rolled down her right cheek. She stood up and walked to the window.

"It was about twelve years ago," She said. A moment later, she told her story.


"My brother Johnny hustled a lot of women. Most of them to the mob. After they got what they wanted, they'd kill them. Most of them, I knew. When the mafia got what they wanted out of them, they'd brutally kill them. Johnny took photos of it. Of course, the mafia didn't know. If they found out, they would have killed him right there. That was when Luciano was in power; some time back in 1929. I found out and forced him to stop by threatening to turn him to the police." Simone said.

Marc listened. He knew where she was going with this now. He pulled out his pipe and filled it with his favorite tobacco and lit it.

"Johnny must have been blackmailing them." Marc said. "The mob works that way with black mail. If you owe them money, they won't kill you. They will beat you until you wish you were dead. They won't kill you because then they won't get their money." Marc replied puffing on his pipe.

Simone closed her eyes. It was the ugly truth that Marc had said out loud. Johnny was blackmailing the mob; a nasty thing to do. "Simone, how long did he do it?"

"I can't say for sure. But he did it for a while."

"And we can't prove that the mafia killed him." Marc said.

He stood up and paced around the room and Simone took a seat on the bed.

"Which group was it that he was black mailing?" Marc asked.

"I don't know the name of it..it's bunch of Italians..."

Marc closed his eyes and sighed.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Apr-24-2010 20:07

Marc closed his eyes and sighed; La Cosa Nostra. The most ruthless group of people running the streets.

"IF the mafia ordered a hit, Vito Genovese must have been the one, receiving the mail. He would be the one to order the hit. But we can't prove it. For all we know, he really pissed someone else off. And Simone I hope to god that it wasn't the mob." Marc said. He flashed back to Tim O'Leary. How he killed Tim's brother in cold blood. Marc didn't regret it. It sent a message.

Marc killed more than just O'Leary's brother. But La Cosa Nostra was different. Vito Genovese would order a hit if you looked at him funny; or it was as if it seemed like it.

Marc walked over to the phone in the hotel room. Paused and turned around to Simone. "What time do you have to be on the set tomorrow?"

"I have to be there by seven a.m." She said.

Marc picked up the phone and dialed Joseph Zeo's phone number. After three rings, Joseph picked up.

"Zeo, it's Marc. I need to you to come to a hotel. Go onto 2nd Street from Jame's Street. It's the run down building on the right. Park behind the building. You'll see her Mercedes and my car. I've got something to tell you that' isn't safe on the phone lines. When you walk in, tell the bell hop that you're a close friend of mine." Marc said.

With that Marc hung up the phone. He emptied the ashes in his pipe and lit up another one. They sat in silence waiting on Zeo to come in.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Apr-25-2010 18:11

The Buick pulled up to Joseph’s place and they both got out. As Joseph unlocked the door and opened it, the phone began to ring. He ran to answer it while Riza plopped down on a chair with her feet up on the coffee table.

“Yes, alright, ok, got it. I’ll be right there,” he said, and hung up the phone. “Marc needs us at some hotel on Second and James. He sounded worried,” Joseph said, turning to face Riza.

“God, I just sat down!” she exclaimed. “Fine, fine,” she said at a disapproving look from Joseph, grumbling as she got up, “Let’s go.” Joseph led the way out and got into the driver’s seat of his car.

“Move, I’m driving,” Riza said, pushing Joseph aside into the passenger seat, slamming the door shut, and hitting the gas pedal. “Wait, wha-” Joseph exclaimed as the Buick sped off at top speed through traffic, slamming Joseph right into the side window. They dodged cars and flew down side alleyways, amidst the yelling of several angry drivers and pedestrians.

Soon they arrived at their destination: a rather old-run down building, probably festering with roaches. “Woman, you have issues,” Joseph said, rubbing his left temple as they got out of the car. He knew he was probably the only one who could say that to her without getting shot.

“So, Marc brought the ‘princess’ to this place?” Riza asked skeptically as they approached, looking the structure up and down. “Somehow this doesn’t scream class to me.” She smirked at seeing the bemused look on Joseph’s face.

“Come on, let’s go,” he said, leading them inside. A short man in a green uniform, whom Riza assumed to be the bellhop, has standing off to the side, gesturing wildly to an old woman. As they approached, they caught a bit of his conversation. “I’m sorry miss, but I can’t do anything about the smell. You’ll have to talk to the manager. He’s-” he broke off as the woman threw her hands up in the air and walked away.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Apr-25-2010 18:12

“We’re close friends of Marc’s,” Joseph muttered into the man’s ear as he sidled up to him surreptitiously.

“Ah, ok, come with me,” the bellhop said, darting his eyes around. He gestured towards the stairwell.

One filthy climb later, they veered off down a side passageway and came to a door at the far end of the hallway. “Disgusting,” Riza commented, trying to rub roach carcasses off her stilettos onto the just-as-dirty carpet.

“Thanks,” Joseph said, turning to the bellhop, but he had disappeared. Riza and Joseph looked at each other. Riza shrugged.

Joseph knocked at the door. Once. Twice. Three times. There was no answer.

“Stand back,” Riza said. Joseph moved aside. Riza raised her leg up high, and brought the heel of her boot down hard on the doorknob. The sickening crack of splintering wood followed as pieces went flying everywhere.

Joseph pulled his gun out, and slowly pushed the door open. They both entered the room. It was very dark inside, and it was hard to see much of anything. The smell of tobacco, stale urine, and sweat reached their nostrils; quite an unpleasant combination.

“Marc?” Joseph called out warily into the darkness of the single room. A shadowy figure moved on the right. “Riza, don’t move!” Joseph shouted, tumbling and turning, firing a shot at something behind her.

“Damn!” came a husky voice out of the darkness as it collapsed to the floor. Joseph came right up to the figure and grabbed him by the collar. “What have you done to Marc and Simone? Answer me!” he screamed at the silently smirking figure that was dripping blood out from his left arm.

The sound of gunshots firing and a high-pitched woman’s scream from down the hall snapped everyone’s heads to the open door. “Let’s go,” Riza said shakily, drawing out her pistol.

Joseph slammed the man against the wall hard, causing him to lose consciousness and slide down. He dashed down the hallway with Riza right behind him. They stopped short at what they saw unfolding.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-25-2010 20:16

Marc held his Colt .45 at Simone between her eyes. His whole body was shaking.

"What the hell's going on?" Zeo barked.

"Marc, that's Ms. Summers you're pointing at. Are you alright?" Riza asked. Marc shook his head clear and looked around.

"Joseph? Riza? I thought I was attacked." Marc replied, sounding as if he had marble in his mouth.

"There was a man in your room. What's going on?" Riza continued.

"I... don't know. Simone was in the bathroom taking a shower then my head became heavy and someone must have knocked me out." Marc's voice was still blurry from the dizziness, "when I woke I saw someone close by and by instinct I took out my gun and fired."

"It was me! You almost shot me!" Simone screamed. Even in a panicking mode her voice was still the sound of fairies. "When I came out of the shower the bedroom was really dark. A voice asked me 'where are the photos'. In panic I hit the man with an ashtray and ran."

"Then how come Marc was with you?" Zeo asked.

"I... I took Marc with me when I ran," was Simone's reply.

"You 'took' an unconscious man with you when you ran?"

"I couldn't leave my bodyguard behind now, could I?" Simone said. There was no sarcasm in her voice.

"Guys, let's return to the room and see to this mystery man first." Riza reminded everyone cooly. They all headed back to the room but the man was already gone.

"Did you get a good look at the guy?" Zeo asked Simone and Marc, but they both shook their heads. "What about the voice, Simone. Is he someone you recognize?

"I don't think so, but it could be one of the people Johnny used to hang with." She replied, "He wanted the photos, but I really have no idea where my brother hid them. I had searched Johnny's place already, but found nothing." Simone wrote down an address on a piece of hotel napkin and gave it to Zeo. "Perhaps you'll have better luck?"

"I will get Vulkie on it, since I have to shoot tomorrow as well, and Marc should never leave your side. " Zeo replied. (con'td)

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-25-2010 20:28

"I have no idea what came over me today, but I promise it won't happen again." Marc firmly stated. "It's strange. I was sure the door was locked..."

"This is no longer a safe place, and I am sure the man recognized Simone's car outside. Mame, I don't think you should be using that car anymore." Simone nodded. Zeo then suggested to go to his office for the night, and they all drove there in Zeo's car.

When everyone finally settled down, Marc told Riza and Zeo their account of the man in Simone's villa, and everything the lady had told her bodyguard.

"Yes, I believe the words on the street was that Johnny was hustling women for the mob as well, as to blackmailing them... the guy got some crazy nerves." Zeo replied.

Simone sighed. In her charming voice she remarked, "my brother was always running on the wild side of things... I've tried to tell him many many times..." she swallowed a tear.

Zeo was silent and waited for those finely drawn brows of hers to relax before he continue, "Simone, did Johnny ever asked you to leave Salazar's productions for another studio?"

Simone was shocked. "How did you know about that? I thought Johnny was discreet."

"So he did asked you." Zeo concluded, and Simone nodded.

"Johnny did a lot of things. He was always trying to make a name for himself, but I do have my own future to look after as well. The other studio's offer was tempting though, and I did thought about switching over. Salazar found out about it and had a huge argument with Johnny, claimed that Johnny was stealing from him. Of course, Johnny won the fist fight and left Salazar with a black eye. I don't think Salazar ever forgive or forget."

"And this happened, when?" Marc questioned.

"About a week before Johnny... Johnny... but no, I don't think my dear director is a murderer. Besides, he is too... short... to lift Johnny over the edge." Simone chimed.

"But he could've got someone else to do it for him..." Marc remarked.

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