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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.

Replies

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli
Huntsman

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
Sleuth About Town

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
Huntsman

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."

"Sure."

"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.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Nov-10-2010 07:35

"I'll be back," Marc said. He ran out to his car and pulled out his empty brief case. In side the case was an empty pad with small indention's; each for a part of his Tommy gun. He broke down the gun and placed it back in his case.

"Let's do this." Marc said. Corelli looked at him. "What are you, a lawyer now?"

"Maybe," Marc said.

Marc started approaching the man behind the counter. "Let me handle this," Marc said and he handed Crorelli his brief case. They came to a stop at the counter. "How can I help you gentlemen?" The man asked.

"I'm detective Joe Benito of the FBI and this is my partner Salvatore Castello. We need your records of everyone who has stayed in this hotel in the last forty-eight hours." Marc said quickly.

"B-"

"No question, I need it now." Marc said.

It took about five minutes to get all the records. Then Marc and Andrew began their investigation.

"We don't have much longer," Marc said, "we still have to meet up with Vulkie and Sal tonight at midnight."

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Nov-12-2010 13:23

Molly trailed after them, turning the corner as Marc and Corelli received the records from the man behind the counter. He looked up in surprise at her and smiled.

"Did your daughter want her story back? Children are so mercurial."

Marc and Corelli looked at each other in confusion, but without missing a beat Molly smiled and nodded, even though her heart was racing.

"Yes, she changed her mind, I'm afraid. The temperament of a published artist, that one."

The man handed her a few stacks of paper with her daughters unmistakable cramped handwriting all over it. Molly nodded her thanks and walked outside, choosing to sit on a bench outside to read it. After a few minutes, Corelli joined her as Molly scanned the last page.

"Oh!" she suddenly called out, and smiled. "Smart girl! Look, Corelli, she wrote it all into her story!"

Corelli scanned the page, but just saw a clearly childish story about a boy and her dog. The dog was sent away by the parents at the end of the story for 'being bad.'

"I'm sorry, I don't understand." he said finally, and Molly shook the papers in his face.

"The boys name!" she shrieked. Andrew read it again.

"Lonnie." he said dubiously, and Molly nodded.

"And the dogs name is Don."

"Lonnie and Don... Lon... London!" Andrew said, catching on.

"Yes, and that means she might not be on the ship yet!" Molly said, and they jumped to their feet, running inside to tell Marc the latest.

"She disguised her location in a story?" Marc said, staring at Molly deadpan. "Boy she is your daughter."

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Dec-2-2010 20:23

The air was cold as the large ship set sail for London. It was going to be a long two days before the rag-tag group of misfit detectives would be in London searching for Molly's daughter and trying to find out who it was that was playing as Molly.

Marc stepped outside on the front deck and leaned upon the guard rail. Everything raced in through his mind. Sal and Vulkie had come up with nothing in particular. Everyone was somewhere on the ship. Molly was with Andrew down in the dining hall posing as husband and wife under assumed nicknames. Vulkie was somewhere on the ship doing her own thing and Sal was in his room sleeping.

Marc pulled out his pipe. After lighting it, he started to get lost in his thoughts as he usually did when he smoked his pipe. Sal came up from behind. "I thought you were sleeping," Marc said.

"Ahh, can't sleep," Sal replied. Marc turned and faced him. Sal had cleaned up and actually looked sharp. He was cleaned shaved and wore his newest suit. Unlike Marc, who preferred a double breasted coat, Sal wore a single breasted coat and with a deep, navy blue tie.

"You look sharp," Marc said with a smile as he puffed on his pipe. Sal smiled revealing the slight yellowish stain on his teeth from smoking too many cigarettes. Sal pulled out a cigarette and lit it, inhaling deeply.

As he exhaled, Molly came up from behind them accompanied by Andrew Corelli. "I have something useful," Molly said.

"What is it?" Marc asked.

"Not here. Too many eyes and ears. Down stairs in my-"

"No, we go down stairs in MY room," Marc said.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Dec-2-2010 20:30

"We go in my room. You get what you need to show us, and we go into my room." Marc said.

"Nothing personal, Molly, but we have to guarantee your safety." Sal said.

"Okay. Where is Vulkie?" Marc asked.

Everyone shrugged.

"Okay, look, you guys go meet me in my room, and I'll find Vulkie and bring her in." Marc said.

They nodded and left.

Marc emptied out his pipe and and left back into the ship and split from the rest of the group. It didn't take long to find Vulkie who was sitting in the bar. She wasn't drinking her life away, but rather she seemed relaxed and sipping on French champagne. Marc pulled up a seat next to her.

"Let's go," he said. "Molly's got something we need to see."

"What is it?" Vulkie asked.

"Not sure. Let's go."

It took only minutes to get to Marc's room and everyone was there waiting.

Andrew Corelli
Andrew Corelli
Huntsman

Dec-15-2010 21:10

The walk to Marc's room was a silent one, everyone was absent in their thoughts, in fact it was like a complete different group, Molly was a few steps ahead of Sal and Corelli, they looked like perfect strangers.

"Everything is ok?" Sal asked.

"Yes, it's just that I have been thinking..., take a look at this" Corelli handed Sal a rumpled newspaper that said something about the war, casualties in some far away front and a speech by the Prime Minister Churchill.

"We're going to a country at war"

Corelli smiled.

"Yes, but I was thinking about another thing, this little editorial" and the smile disappeared, "apparently there have been some... unusual crimes, people claiming to see criminals, with solids alibis, in the crime scene, and the public opinion is quite angry..."

"Do you think that it has something to do with the double?"

Corelli shrugged.

"So that's the important thing that..."

"No, actually, Molly discovered..., well, we better talk in Mr. Lacrimosa's room, it's safer"

"This is the place" Molly said and everyone got into the room.


Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Dec-30-2010 14:24

With a sly smile, Molly pulled out of her pocket a bundle wrapped carefully in a handkerchief.

"I found this stuck in my door." she announced, and yanked away the handkerchief with a flourish. In her hand winked a slim, deadly-sharp knife, of a familiar design. Corelli immediately leaped to his feet, as did Sal, with oaths of dismay and outrage, but Vulkie and Marc looked at the knife, comprehension dawning in their eyes at the same time.

"Gentlemen, I must ask you to calm yourselves. What you have percieved as a threat is actually a sign that we have an ally on board." Molly and Marc nodded as one. "Now as this room is crowded, I vote we head to a more open space to discuss our options. May I recommend the library on this deck?" Molly asked, and opening the door, led the way into a medium-sized but spacious library.

"Now, about my daughter. I feel like theres something fishy about this set-up. We haven't heard a peep out of anyone about a girl, and a small girl being held against her will would probably make a scene. I feel as if...dare I say it, perhaps we've been misled." Molly said, her eyes sad, and her face showing signs of age suddenly that none of them had noticed before.

And as if on cue, the lights were extinguished.

"Brilliant deduction, detective." a throaty voice came from somewhere in the darkness, and thats when the shooting started.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Dec-30-2010 16:15

Gunfire ripped through the air as commands were issued in a gruff voice. “Kill them all, show no mercy!”

“Everyone get down!” Marc yelled. The sound of gunfire and wood being blown to bits echoed throughout the large room, coupled with the sound of footsteps rushing around in the darkness. The sound of heavy thuds echoed as men jumped down from the tops of bookcases and rushed towards the group that had just entered.

The group dropped to the ground, rolling for cover under tables and behind bookshelves. The dank mustiness of unwashed floors and seawater wafted through the air, coupled with the smell of something distinct. The silhouettes of moving figures could be seen from the little moonlight which filtered through the windows on the sides of the room.

“They’ve got us surrounded!” Corelli whispered. “Quick, everyone form a circle, it’s out best chance.” The group ducked low and ran, forming around Corelli, back to back, creating a ring.

“Damn it, I can’t see anything!” Vulkie cried, shooting blindly into the darkness in front of her.

“If we can’t see, then they can’t see either!” Molly said, shooting in whichever direction footsteps sounded like they were approaching from. Heated gunfire tore through the air, with screams and curses as men were shot down.

The library door was kicked open and a female voice began to laugh. Everyone froze as the sound of clicking echoed on the wooden floorboards. A dull metallic clink followed, and a bright orange light appeared in midair. As they watched it descend to the ground, a ring of flames instantaneously engulfed the room, tracing a path around the bookcases. Molly fired into the gang of approaching men, now illuminated only by flames.

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