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Secrets At Samhain: A Caper in Ireland
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Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Oct-27-2011 09:35

"Darlings, its terribly good to see you." Amelia de Maltesse known as Molly to her inner circle began, taking a seat at the head of the decadent art nouveau table that crowned her dining room. "I do declare its been a while since we reunited- I daresay some of us have gotten into the most delicious ventures in that time."

There were appreciative murmurs all around the table, and a few jokes besides. She waited a moment with a coy smile on her lips, running her fingers absently through her rich waves of auburn hair. When the room had quieted somewhat, she produced a slim folder and placed it delicately on the table before her.

"The reason why I called you all here today is I have had the most interesting case offer from a rather desperate fellow in Scotland. He is the caretaker of a castle in Ireland. Excuse me for thinking the man is already quite a dunderhead- he's had several psychics tour the premises in an effort to discern the curious activity there and come up with nothing. The parish police have investigated a strange murder that recently occurred there but have come up with nothing."

"You're saying this place is believed haunted?" a voice rose from the friendly din of the dining room.

"It would appear so." Molly looked down at the file and tapped a slim fingernail upon it. "More like, it may be a series of elaborate pranks designed to drive the castles denizens away. There is a footnote in here about a vast treasure hidden somewhere on the grounds in the 12th century, and the recent discovery of a priceless gold cup has stirred up local interest and treasure hunters."

"Cursed treasure, of course." said another voice. Molly threw a quick grin.

"Naturally." She ran her fingers through her hair once again. "It isn't our usual case. However, all expenses are paid for our travel and the caretaker seems quite desperate for our professional opinion. The murder has put quite a damper on things as well.


Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Nov-20-2011 16:41

Riza took the final step, her shoe touching down upon the worn brown dock. She exhaled a huge sigh, relieved to finally be off that godforsaken ship. She had barely gotten any sleep at all during the entire journey. Her eyes were ringed with dark circles and even her pristine clothing could not hide the haggardness of her facial expression. “Let’s head to the bar first, shall we?” Riza said to the other detectives who had gathered around, similarly enjoying the feel of solid ground and the looseness in the air. There were murmurs of agreement. A cool breeze blew through and slightly ruffled their hair.

Riza pushed open the door to the pub, instantly hit in the face with the strong stench of alcohol. She walked into the gloom, followed by the others who milled around and took various free seats. Riza seated herself at the bar and raised a finger to catch the bartender’s attention. “Gimme your strongest whiskey.” The bartender nodded and reached below the counter to fix the drink. Plopping the dingy glass foaming over the rim onto the counter, he gave her a quick look-over and turned to take other orders.

“Are you sure you should be drinking that?” Molly whispered into Riza’s ear, taking the empty seat to her left and raising an eyebrow. Riza lowered the glass halfway to her mouth and set it down, staring at Molly in silence for a good minute, both of them aware of what she was talking about. Riza drew her mouth into a thin line and pushed the drink towards her, getting up and going to sit in an empty chair in the dark corner next to a shaggy-haired man huddled over his drink.

“Dia dhuit,” the man said in a low voice, tipping his flat cap.

“What?” Riza asked, turning to look at him.

The man looked up from his mug. “It means hello. You’re not from around here, are you?” he said in a thick Irish brogue. He looked her up and down. “Damian Byrne,” he said, offering his hand.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Nov-20-2011 16:41

Riza took his hand gently and shook it. “Riza Hawkeye. And no, I’m not. My friends and I,” she said, gesturing towards the others with a wave of her hand, “were actually looking for O’Dwyer Castle, perhaps you know the way?”

“It’s O’Dwyer castle you’re lookin’ for, is it?” he said, adjusting his hat, “Me father’s the caretaker there. What business you have? Sightseeing, I s’pose?”

“You could say that,” Riza replied, putting on a charming smile. She noticed the man had grey eyes, and that there was a small cut below his left ear.

“Well I’m afraid I’m goin’ to have to disappoint you, Ma’am. That ain’t a place for a young lady like yourself to be. Lotta unusual things been happenin’ up there recently, best stay away.”

“What sort of unusual things?” Riza asked.

“Well…things fallin’, movin’ by themselves, odd noises. There was also a murder.” He gave the last word great significance. “Me father’s been driven half-mad. Thinks the place is haunted.”

“Do you think it’s haunted?”

“Not sure, but something’s not right. All I know is, all the residents are fleeing from that place as fast as they can.”

“I’d very much appreciate it if you could take us there. I’m not one to be easily frightened,” Riza said, leaning forward onto the table and giving the man her most inscrutable look.

“That so?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow. “Very well. Meet me out front in five minutes.” Riza gave a small smile and then went to gather the others, suppressing a shudder as she walked. There was something off about that man.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-6-2012 14:18

“All right, I’ve just ran into…or…at least it seemed like I did…a man who presented himself as the son of our employer” started Riza as she approached her friends. “He’s willing to lead us to the O’Dwyer Castle.”

“I…was hoping we could accommodate ourselves in our rooms first…” commented Zeo still recovering from the few days of sea sickness.

“Actually…” replied Molly with a somehow amused smile “…we ARE going to do that…as soon as we reach the castle.”

“You mean…” Mark raised a worried look out of his glass “…oh, please don’t tell me we’re going to sleep at the castle, Molly!”

“It was the logical thing to do” replied her with a steady voice.

“Are you telling us you’re…afraid of ghosts, Mark?” asked Riza posing a somewhat ironic smile.

“Nah…” answered Mark feeling his wounds “…but after the incident on the boat I’d like to make somehow sure I’ll keep intact at least half of my face. So Molly, if it’s not too much trouble I’d like my room to as far as possible from Riza’s, please.”

“Sorry for that, darling, but you didn’t exactly give me a choice” replied Riza, then added after a short pause “…well…actually…considering what I could’ve done with a knife I think you should consider yourself lucky!” She smiled.

“Well…” interrupted Ed upon taking a deep gulp from his gin flask “…I’d love to stay and chat with a bottle of whiskey in this fine establishment, but I do believe we came here to do a job, so…where exactly is this man you’re talking about, Riza?”

“Outside. He’s waiting for us. So let’s go.” She turned around and headed for the door while the others slowly got up and started following her. “And…” she suddenly stopped in her tracks and added in a low voice: “…do keep an eye out for this guy. He seems to me somehow…slippery.”

Just as the group was about to exit the pub…

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-6-2012 14:19

“Ya’ ain’t gonna find nothin’ there but darkness and death, I tell ya’…”

The detectives stopped and turned their eyes towards a small table in the corner where the voice came from. An old drunk with a lazy eye was staring at them holding an empty bottle by the neck with one hand and the back of a chair with the other, no doubt in an attempt to maintain some sort of balance although he was sitting. He was wearing what seemed to be a heavily worn sailor coat and the usual flat Irish cap. The inquiring looks on his interlocutors’ faces apparently amused him as he posed a wide smile with only a few brownish teeth left on the sides.

“Think ya’s gonna discover da’ treasure, huh? Others have tried an’ they’ all down by the docks now, ya’ know…all of’em met the darkness and got them eyes eaten by it, I tell ya’!”

“SHUT UP YOU OLD DRUNK! Or I’ll throw your arse out in da’ street, Ya’ hear?” shouted the bartender from behind the bar. “Don’t mind this old fool” continued him towards the detectives. “He’s had one too many drinks…as usual.”

“He he he he he…ol’ Willy knows what he’ s talkin’ about…” the drunk continued. “Give ol’ Willy a coin and he’ll…” his voice started to fade while his eyes were slowly closing and his head seemed to be aiming for the table. “…and he’ll….” Suddenly he stood up, eyes fully white and with an agility worthy of a circus performer he jumped over the table and grabbed Riza by the collar of her coat: “I TOLD YOU TO LEAVE US ALONE!!!”

This time around Riza’s reflexes worked better than they did on Marc’s attack as she swiftly pulled out one of her knifes and raised her hand to strike him in the neck.

“NO!” shouted Zeo and with a quick move he swung his fist directly in the attacker’s jaw. Willy went down unconscious like a bag of meat.

The five detectives switched worried looks at one another. Riza calmly put away her blade as Zeo was rubbing his fist.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-6-2012 14:20

“Now that was one hell of a punch, Joseph!” spoke Mark. “You didn’t exactly strike me as a fighting character, you know.”

“Certain situations call for certain measures” replied Zeo while leaning a bit with a shoulder on the wall. “I learned that move from an old friend of mine…an ex boxer turned detective in his late years.”

“Don’t know about his detective skills, but he must’ve been a good fighter.”

“Well, let’s just say he had a way to get things done. However…his methods were mostly developed in only one direction and diplomacy was not a part of them. But…enough about old dogs. Let’s get back to our friend lying on the floor here. He did say a couple of interesting things before he…went mad.”

“Indeed…” started Molly. “He mentioned the docks. I wonder what’s there?”

“The cemetery” replied the bartender wiping out a glass.

Short tensioned pause. Carlyle decided to break the silence.

“I believe he also said someone was here before…I think he meant someone like us…”

They all looked at each other with somehow worried eyes.

“What’s that?” Suddenly Zeo bent over the unconscious body looking somewhere behind his ear. “Riza, could you take a look at this? It looks like your area of expertise.”

Riza came on his side and for a close look. “Puncture wound. From a small and very sharp object…like a needle.”

“I think this may be what we’re looking for” said Carlyle picking a small object from the floor. Looked like a needle with small feathers. “Maybe it fell from his neck while he jumped.”

“Careful with that!” jumped Riza as she laid eyes on it. She carefully picked it up from Ed’s hand in order not to sting herself in the fingers. “I’ve seen something like this before. It’s sort of an African arrow usually blown towards its victim through a tube. Also usually…it carries poison.”

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Jan-6-2012 14:21

“Ok…but this guy isn’t dead” Zeo replied with a thoughtful expression.

“I’ve heard of different kinds of poisons” Molly started. “I remember reading a book once about poisons that would allow a person to somehow take control of the victim’s mind, like hypnosis. Not sure exactly how it functioned, but it did involve some type of rituals I believe.”

“Well…” replied Zeo turning his eyes to Marc. “Can I take a look at your neck?”

“Be my guest” answered Mark while feeling the skin on the back of his neck.

“Indeed” concluded Zeo after having a look. “You seem to have the same type of wound. Do you remember if you felt any sting before blacking out on the ship?”

“No. But I couldn’t say I didn’t either. It’s still a bit blurry that day… So, it turns out that I was poisoned?”

The bunch took a small pause once again. This time Riza decided to break it:

“Ok, I’d say we just made some progress in this case. We have a few clues: a possible hypnotic African poison which we don’t know what’s doing in Ireland and knowledge of former detectives…or treasure hunters who found their end in this foggy town. I don’t know about you but I’m starting to feel that our so called ghosts are more flesh and blood like. I also do believe we have someone waiting for us outside, so…I suggest we move our investigation to the castle.”

The others silently approved and the group exited the pub. Zeo stopped in the doorframe and turned towards the unconscious body, then raised his eyes towards the bar.

“Don’t ya’ worry…” said the bartender “I’ll take care of him. Ya’ all have a good day at the castle!”

Zeo tipped his hat and went out the door to the others.

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