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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

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Apr-28-2010 18:45

Marc grabbed the box and opened it. On the top of the pile of photos he saw the one that he was looking for, but only to his horror.

--At the safe house: Location is deep in the heart of the city--

Marc slammed the door open. He shut it and locked it. Then he gabbed a chair and shoved it underneath the door knob, just in case anyone tried to come in.

He grabbed Simone and sat her down in the chair at his table and fixed the light onto the photograph.

Marc grabbed one of his pistols, and charged a round into the chamber. He pointed it at Simone.

"You had better start talking, OR SO HELP ME GOD, I WILL BLOW YOUR f**KING HEAD OFF RIGHT NOW!"

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

This reply has been deleted by a Moderator

Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

This reply has been deleted by a Moderator

Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Apr-30-2010 04:11

Late on a week day evening at Peter’s Pub, the after-work crowd has mostly gone home. Meaghan is deep in conversation with a regular near the front entrance. A young couple sits at one of the window tables opposite the bar. Two men are in the pool area, casually knocking the balls around as they discuss local news. And Peter O’Neil is washing glasses and cleaning behind the bar bantering with two of his older regulars about the sad future of the world given the state of its youth.
“They have no respect for their elders,” says one. “’Tis true enough,” says the other.
Peter adds, “Well they said the same about us, did they not?”
“Aye, they did.”
Peter’s eye is caught by the sight of a familiar Buick as it cruises slowly by.
****
Joseph and Riza peer into Peter’s Pub, a bright wall of light compared to the darkness outside.
“Looks clean to me,” says Riza.
“OK,” replies Zeo. “I’m gonna park in back in the alley. We’ll walk around from there. Remember, play it real smooth and cool ‘til we see how it goes.”
****
As they enter the front of his pub, Peter looks up briefly from his cleaning. Without looking up again he calls out to Meaghan. “See what they’ll be having, if you please.”
Joseph and Riza head to the same corner table they sat at the last time they were here. Joseph pulls out a chair for Riza and says, “Have a seat, my dear.” Riza is caught a bit unawares and hesitates. Zeo leans in and whispers, “Act a little flirty, but keep it low key.”
Quickly, she recovers and flashes him a big smile. “Why thank you.”
She is uncomfortable in this character. Long ago Riza had learned that a young woman’s gentleness and softness is too often taken as weakness by those who would impose their strength. It had cost her dearly. She responded by becoming hard and often ruthless, and that had served her well as a detective. But it had cost her, too. Any chance of knowing the joys only women can know were in jeopardy of forever slipping away.


Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Apr-30-2010 04:14

None of that is in her mind now. She knows they are in danger and her senses are tuned keenly into her surroundings. Effortlessly, she and Zeo blend into the room and, over the next 45 minutes, none of the patrons gives them a second look as they leave in ones and twos. When the last one leaves, Peter pauses a moment and speaks quietly to Meaghan, then comes and sits at the table.

“Well Joseph, you’ve gotten yourself into a fine pickle this time. I don’t mind tellin’ ya so.”

Zeo nods and smiles wryly in agreement.

“You’ve got the whole city stirred up and lookin’ fer ya. And seems each has a different tale. I dunno if you’re a crazed actor in league with vicious banshees, if you’re in cahoots with the Mob, or if yer friends are draggin’ ya inta Hell!”

Riza bristled a little at the last suggestion, but she knew now was not the time to take exception. Plenty of time for that later, if they ever got clear of this mess in one piece.

“OK now,” Peter said, “I see ya got yer own car. I suggest you lose it first chance ya get. I’m willing to bet the boys I been seein’ in that fancy Packard pass by every hour were alookin fer it. They’re parked just down the block a bit now. Pulled up as traffic died off just after you came in. Lucky timing fer me else I’d be figuring how to buy my new windows. And ya gotta know the coppers are lookin’, as well.”

Zeo agreed. “Riza, will help me with that.”

“But we have to get away from here first,” Riza added.


Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Apr-30-2010 04:19

“Right ya are, miss.” Then Peter laid out the plan.

Every week night at 10pm sharp, he and Meaghan let down the blinds and he watched from the door as she walked to the corner before making the stairs to the subway to catch the last ride of the day. Tonight they would make a little chatter noise and she would stop to check her shoes, bending in such a way as to focus the attention of the two men in cheap suits in the fancy Packard car. At that moment, Zeo was to cross the street behind them via the alley. On that side it ran the block and he and Riza would be in the clear. It had to be done at precisely the right moment, at an idle, and without lights.

Riza said, “I’ll stand at the alley entrance in the shadows. When I see Meaghan come out, I’ll get in the car and count to thirty.”

“Aye,” said Peter. “I’ll give her the signal when to give her show.”

Then Zeo asked, “So did you hear anything you think might help us?”

“Aye,” said Peter. “We only got a few minutes left, so here it is, hard and fast. All the commotion got people talkin’ ‘bout craziness and actors and the Mob and such. A couple of names of interest came up when talk came ‘round to Johnny Cross. For starters, there’s a guy name of Sleven Sloan. Word is he and Johnny were best pals. Anything you want to know ‘bout Johnny you can learn from him. Don’t know if they worked together, but they was real tight.”

“Haven’t heard that name yet, have you Riza?”

“Nope, Zeo. Means nothing to me.”

“OK. Now here’s the juicy one in my mind. Seems Johnny was hustling his women to the Mob as well as the studios.”

“Yea,” said Zeo, a touch of disappointment in his voice. “We already heard that one. In fact, we heard there are some photos showing important people in not very important looking situations, and Johnny was trying to squeeze some Cosa Nostra people with them.”

Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Apr-30-2010 04:21

“Aye,” said Peter. “But did ya hear he wasn’t alone? Did ya hear there was someone else who was the brains?”

“No,” Riza said. “That is interesting.”

“Oh lassie, it gets better. Seems the mastermind was his sister, … and she went by the name of Samantha Simons. Now I don’t know ‘bout you, but this Irishman thinks either Johnny had more sisters than anyone ever knew, or he had one sister who had a lot o’ names.”

Whow! Joseph’s and Riza’s jaws both dropped.

“No time to bat that one about now. We gotta get you outta here.”

Peter led them back past the pool tables, through the storage room behind the bar, and into the alley.

“Five us about five minutes, then look for Meaghan’s leavin’,” said Peter.


Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Apr-30-2010 04:24

****

Darn! I forgot the most important part. Oopppss.

Back at the start of my posts, please insert "Earlier that day".
I guess this is what happens to newbies. :p

****



Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-30-2010 22:19

[ Don't worry about it Peter, some of us 'oldies' missed much worse items before :) ]

10:00pm

Meaghan let down the blinds at the front window. She then exited the bar and walked to the corner by the stairs leading down to the subway. She paused to check her shoes, bending so low that half her skirt was up her ass. The men with Packard car couldn't help but stared. Peter made the signal. Zeo and Riza were already standing by the alley entrance and quickly crossed in the dark. They scurried along the block until they reached their car. They remained couched as they quietly opened the car doors and got in.

Riza was in the driver's seat; Zeo had his revolver in his hand, poised. He slowly rolled down the window by his side. "So far so good." Riza whispered.

"Let's step on it!" Zeo said. Riza got up and the Buick sped away. The man by the Packard then realized what had happened and hurried back into their car, ready to give chase. As the Buick passed by, Zeo put three bullets into their tires before the men could start the engine.

Moments later, they knew they were safe, for now. "I just hope Peter is alright." Zeo muttered.

"Don't worry," Riza comforted, "they won't do anything as long as we stay away." Zeo wasn't so sure about that, but he just had to focus on what needed to be done next.

"Let's dump the car, and then we need to find Marc." Zeo said and Riza nodded.


Zeo felt a tinge of loss as the Buick sank to the bottom of the water by the pier. He just hoped his insurance would cover it. They quietly trotted toward the building where Zeo's office was located.

"Someone's watching the front door." Riza noted.

"And I am sure they left the back intentionally opened for us." Zeo replied. "However, they do not know that there is another entrance way into this building. Not a lot of people do." Zeo led Riza into a maintenance block and down some wrought iron stairs. The scent from the neighboring sewer filled their nostrils but they tried to ignore it.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Apr-30-2010 22:21

12:30am

Zeo finally returned to his office with Riza, and as expected, it was empty. The blinds were already closed but Zeo placed the desk lamp on the floor away from the window before he turned it on. Riza sat down as Zeo poured themselves a drink. They were silent for a while, consolidating the event of the day in their heads.

Finally, Zeo broke the silence. "Do you think Simone would be a threat to Marc?" Zeo muttered, more to himself then to Riza, but the tough lady replied anyway.

"Not in any physical kind of way, I don't think, but it could be much much worse..." Just then, the phone rang. Both detectives stared at it.

Zeo finally picked up the phone and greeted in the most pleasant voice he could muster. Riza could see the man's face turned pale as Zeo realized who was calling, and started screaming at Marc for his whereabout. Zeo continued to warn his friend about not doing what he was about to do, whatever it was. Marc hung up, cutting Zeo in the middle of the conversation.

"What is he up to now?" Riza frowned.

"I'd like to find out as well. Marc just kept apologizing." Zeo replied, frustrated.

"Can your 'old friends' back in the force help trace that call Marc just made? Find out where he made it?" Riza suggested.

"I think I can call up a trusted old colleague of mine." Zeo replied, and he proceeded to make the arrangements. When he was done, he told Riza that it would take some time for his friend to get back to him, "but we can't wait around. We must find out as much about this as quickly as possible. At the moment, we still have one lead: Sleven Sloan."

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