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Double Exposure
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Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jul-7-2010 12:44

At least four things had gone wrong in the relatively short expanse of Molly Malteses morning. One, her daughter Annabelle had once again given her nurse the slip and was now not in lessons as a girl should be, but presumably venturing around the streets of New York like a rampant little urchin.

Two, she hadn't had a respectable case in a good long while, and her understatedly extravagant lifestyle would soon be getting mighty uncomfortable if the veritable drought of business didn't end soon. She was a private investigator in New York, for heavens sakes, one would think there was a murder on every street corner to be looked after.

Three, she hadn't had coffee this morning, and so she was very irate in general. And four, the police were currently handcuffing her hands behind her back.

"You're sure this is the one you saw?" the older of the pair asked the man standing on the sidewalk. He had a deep, rumbling voice and grey whiskers. The man on the sidewalk nodded vehemently, and the younger officer took this as a cue to yank Molly towards their van, throwing her off balance wildly.

"I've never seen this man before in my life!" she said in supremely haughty tones, drawing herself with effort up to her impressive height of 5"11. Her green eyes were hard peridot, casting a glare sharp enough to cut.

"Yeah, because by all accounts you were too busy murderin' that poor fool to notice!" the younger policeman barked in her ear, yanking her head back by her long curtain of vibrant copper hair. She gasped, and taking that as a sign of his victory, the officer sneered and threw her into the back of the car.

"I was home all evening, you bloody imbecile!" she barked, furious as tears welled up involuntarily in her eyes in direct reaction to having half her hair nearly pulled out.

"Tell it to the judge." was all she heard the policeman mutter before the door slammed shut with an authoratative bang. Molly swore colorfully, then took a deep breath.


M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Oct-16-2010 08:29

"Okay," Marc said, "read that code one more time." He was driving and Sal was in the passenger seat as they headed toward the police station.

"YZGGUIB YLZIWDZOP. MLLM." Sal repeated. Marc repeated it two more times out loud and once more in his mind. "Any idea?" Sal asked.

"I think...yes, that's it!" Marc said. "Sal, get out the note pad and write it down. Write down the letters of the alphabet too. Each letter equals a different one." It took only mere minutes to decode it. "You sure that's the place? I mean, if we rearrange it, it could be something else." Sal said. "No," Marc replied, "that place is secluded. Not many people go there. Most people that do are private eyes, and crooked cops who beat people into a bloody pulp for money. What time is it?"

Sal looked at his watch. "Almost noon."

"Alright, let's go. If Molly is able to pull it off and convince the police to get her there, we should be getting there around the same time." Marc floored it and his car hit top speed.

As if it were a slap in the face Marc realized something important. And it wasn't good. Within half an hour, Marc parked his car where he was supposed to meet Molly, who pulled up just as he did. He and Sal got out of the car and approached Molly and two other detectives.

With out looking at either one of them, Marc looked at Molly. "Molly, please tell me your daughter is safe right now because I got a bad feeling about this case."

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Oct-16-2010 22:59

Molly narrowed her eyes at Marcs words. She had always been able to trust his instincts.

"I sent her to a friends nearly 24 hours, I haven't had a moment to check in since." she said seriously, light green eyes searching Marcs face in earnest. "What do you suspect?"

She turned to the group at large without waiting for a reply.

"When we're done here, we will go to the address I sent her to. If she's not there for any know what that means, and who we'll have to call." The nearly imperceptible grim lines that formed at the corners of her mouth told Marc just who she meant.

"Is there anyone else coming?" she asked, business-like once more.


Oct-17-2010 01:02

"What about me?" Vulkie said, as her heels clicked on the ground, as she walked towards the group.

"What a big surprise... You couldn't resist to find me?" Molly said, with a grin on her face.

"You know me too well Molly. Maybe TOO well." Vulkie replied and she smiled.

As Vulkie looked towards Marc, she said : "So Marc, how have you been? I haven't heard from you in a long time."

"Fine" Marc replied, looking down to the ground as if he was ashamed of something he had done.

"Don't worry Molly, we'll get that ol' criminal of yours. Could you please inform me what's going on?" Vulkie asked.

And so, Molly quickly filled Vulkie in about the double she presumed and what happened at the station.

"Ok. Now, Molly, Mr. Corelli. Yes, I know who you are Mr. Corelli, you are one of the greatest police detectives in the force of NY City. Except Joseph Zeo is slightly better then you. Now, what's the plan?" Vulkie said and asked.

Molly made a strange face at the mentioning of Joseph Zeo. Vulkie got used to it and knew that the friendship between them wasn't so close as hers with Joseph. It probably never would be.

Vulkie waited for a reply from the other detectives..

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Oct-17-2010 12:24

"We'll split up," Marc said. "Molly, I want you to come with me-" he was interrupted by one of the detectives. Andrew Corelli. "Not so fast. We're coming too-"

"Corelli, I don't think-"

"Don't think what? I shouldn't come too? For all I know this is some kind of trick and I can have you arrested for being an accomplice to murder and-"

"Fine," Marc said. "Corelli, you, Molly, your partner, and I will go. First off we got to find her daughter and ensure that she is safe. The last thing we need is the death of a child on our hands. Sal, I want you and Vulkie to go to the town hall, Hall of Records. See if you can find anything about look-a-likes framing for murder and any sort of Mafia connection. I have a feeling this has nothing to do with the mob but I've been wrong before. I highly doubt this is the work of Vito Genovese and his gang."

"Seriously?" Vulkie asked.

"Yes. Any information you can find. Don't spend all day in there either. Time is short. Ask around. I'll bet even Shady at the Tricky Mister knows something."

"You got it," Sal replied. The groups split up and headed for their cars. Marc turned around.

"Vulkie," Marc called out.


"Avoid any gunfights if possible. We don't want the whole city coming down on top of us." Marc got into his car. Molly got in as well as Andrew and his partner.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Oct-17-2010 16:22

Molly took the front seat, and she could feel Andrew Corelli's watchful stare burning into the back of her head as she pulled out her notepad and began making a list in neat, precise print.

"I sent my daughter to Anais." she began without preamble. "It is important that we check that she arrived, and that Anais is okay. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I indirectly brought her and her daughter into danger, and I don't think the others would be able to forgive me either."

As they neared Anais' house however, Mollys stomach dropped. On the front door a nail was driven into the wood, and from it hung Annabelles little scarf and a scrap of paper that said "Regards, Lolita Mayelle Mirkless." A sloppy lipstick kiss was left next to the letter.

Bounding up the steps, Molly snatched the note from the door, staring at the lettering intently. Corelli came up behind her, but rather than seeing her burst into tears, as he expected, she had a little smile on.

"I may know how to find her." she said suddenly and brandished the note."This lipstick. Its a one-of-a-kind Dior shade. Only one department store in the whole of New York carries it. I tried it on once, but my double ought to know that it doesnt quite go with our hair." she crinkled her eyes in a disgusted fashion.

"Its not much. But its all we've got. Back in the car. We're headed downtown." she said determinedly, stuffing the scarf into her pocket. The whole way there, she stroked the wool, an uneasy frown marring her marble brow.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Oct-18-2010 11:30

They pulled up in front of a well-known department store in downtown New York, and Molly went in with Andrew Corelli while Marc went to park. As they past a display of ladies stockings, Molly flashed a dimpled smile at Andrew.

"I bet you didn't foresee this case taking you here." she said playfully. Andrew, despite his generally serious demeanor, cracked a tiny smile at that. Feeling strangely victorious, Molly sailed up to the counter and smiled winningly at the sales clerk.

"Hello, I'd like to see a tube of your Dior Haute Elegance, please." she said without preamble. The sales clerk raised her eyebrow.

"Did you lose the one you bought ma'am? You were here only a few days ago."

Molly affected a hearty laugh that had Andrew Corelli raising his eyebrows."Oh, my darling sister must have been in here. Twins, you know. She told me I must come in here straightaway, she found the most darling lipstick shade. I said I'd come, although, truth be told I think it makes her a little peaky."

The sales lady nodded in a manner that suggested that she had tried to tell the double the same thing.

"Silly girl, this shade suits our coloring much better." she picked out one, and the sales clerk nodded her approval.

"Look here, be a doll and ring that up, will you? I don't have the time- do you have a store clerk that can do a delivery?"

The sales lady nodded and said there was a boy lurking around the store somewhere who would be available.

"Now, you can go right ahead and send that to her. Do you need the address?"Molly made a show of digging around in her purse, but was relieved when the clerk flipped open a large address book next to her register.

"Your sister asked us to deliver her purchases, we have it on file."

Molly beamed and paid for the makeup,linking arms jovially with Andrew as they walked away.

"Perhaps Marc can apprehend the delivery boy on his way out and we can secure that address." she said with a determined glint in her eye.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Oct-23-2010 07:03

"Perhaps I can," Marc said coming up behind Molly and Andrew. "Go to my office and wait for me there. I'll be there in just a bit."

Molly nodded and left with Andrew and his partner.

Marc smiled as he stepped into the shadow of the garage where the delivery truck was. He stood next to the door and waited for the young driver to step out to his truck. Marc grabbed the man when he entered the room.

"Who are you?" The man asked quickly.

"My name isn't really all that important. But what is important, is an address that you are going to. I'm not going to stop you from making your deliveries, but I need to get an address."

"That would be confidential." The driver said.

"No, you see, I'm a private detective. One of your deliveries is a certain shade of lipstick, and the lady you are taking it to, needs to answer a few questions."

The man raised an eyebrow. "What kind of questions?"

"More personal than anything-"

"If I tell you, what's in it for me that I keep my mouth shut to her when I get to her place?"

"My friends here," Marc said pulling out a small wad of cash, "says you'll stay quiet and not speak of this to any one."

"I don't-"

"So does my other friend here," Marc said whipping out his revolver, "and his six counter parts. They say you'll keep quiet."

"Are you threatening me?"

"No. Its a promise."

The man swallowed hard. For all he knew the man standing in front of him was a fed. And those feds were known to show up out of no where and arrest people. Shady characters, they were.

"You got a deal." The man scribbled down the address and gave it to Marc, who pocketed the address. "Good man," Marc said.

Marc left. It was short walk to his office. He walked in to find Molly in there with Andrew and his partner.

"Well?" Molly asked.

"Got it," Marc said. He gave her the paper with the address on it.

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli

Oct-24-2010 12:19

"Let me see..." said Corelli, looking at the piece of paper where Marc wrote the address, "The Grand Hotel? That’s the kind of place where all those famous ballerinas go when they want to be alone, right?" and without waiting for an answer, "Mister Lacrimosa, would you mind if I use your phone?"

Marc made a little gesture towards the phone.

"Operator, would you mind putting me with the police? Thank you..., Harry, Corelli..., well, you know how is this business...," Corelli looked at his watch, "Ok, got it, but before that I need you to send a squad..., yes, I know, but this time is for real, send the squad to The Grand Hotel, I need them to cover the place..., ok, thanks" Corelli hung up the phone, with a wry face.


As soon as they got near The Grand Hotel, Corelli quickly looked for his men, everyone was in position. Marc was checking his Thompson submachine gun, and Molly was looking for something unusual in the building, she raised an eyebrow.

"This place looks so calmed, are you sure this is the place?"

Marc nodded.

"Let's hope this is the place" added Corelli, while he produced a gun, then hesitantly gave it to Molly, "I have a spare gun, use it just to defend yourse..."

"Uh..., detective? I think we have a problem..." interrupted Harry.

Corelli sighed.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Nov-8-2010 20:58

"For crying out loud!" Marc said. "We have only been here for five minutes. How can there already be a problem?!"

Marc looked at Corelli, who sighed. Molly didn't look too happy either.

"One of our guys on the top floor found something." Harry said.

'What did he find?" Marc asked impatiently. The answer he hoped for didn't come. What he wanted to hear was that they captured the woman; Molly's double and that little Annabelle was safe. Instead what he heard was that there was no one there at the hotel. No one was in the suspected room.

When Marc and Andrew Corelli kicked in the door, all they found was a note. Same as before. The written part was different, yes, but in the top left corner there was the same sloppy lipstick kiss with the same color.

"What now?" Marc asked.

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli

Nov-8-2010 22:16

"Ok, again, we're out of leads, so we better show Miss Maltese this note," said Corelli while they were waiting for the elevator. "And...well, this is something awkward to ask, but since we're in the same line of work, would you mind helping me? I need to talk to everyone in this hotel. Maybe someone saw something."


"And would you mind not going around with that?" said Corelli, pointing at the submachine gun.

"It's for intimidation."

Corelli blinked a couple of times.

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