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May Writing Competition
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M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Apr-25-2012 16:52


M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

May-13-2012 17:02

Ok everyone this is the last week when all submissions are due. The final day to have all posts submitted will be this upcoming Saturday. Judges will begin judging the following day. All judges, PM me your scores.

Looking forward to more posts!

Safety Officer

May-15-2012 05:28

I'm flat out at work, so I apologise in advance for my diminished capacity. Maybe someone will believe the lack of detail is planned or the typos are to test the judges lol. :D

Safety Officer

May-15-2012 05:30

Strange Bedfellows

"Vait a moment, vill you", a voice whispered from the darkness.

"Wha..." Jack spun, gun raised.

"Now, now" said the voice, "Ve are all on the same side." And from somewhere above him a shadow dropped to the ground. It was all Jack could do to stop himself from squeezing off a few nervous rounds.

"Damn you Pete" he spat. "I nearly pinned you then."

The other laughed softly, "Vot little good it vould do..."

Jack shrugged. He had him there. "Can you not... with the voice. Please it drives me nuts."
Pete brushed imaginary dust from his black velvet sleeves "Vell..."

Jack swore.

"OK, OK, don't get your panties in a bunch, but heck only for you Jack ol' buddy", came a languid Texan drawl.

"Marginally Better."

"Hey I have an image to maintain".

"Yeah, yeah, bad guys beware, 'he who stalks the night' is out to suck your..."

"Blood" Pete finished.

Jack grinned. "Yeah that too."

"So who're you doggin'?" The man in black asked.

"Malatesta..." Jack began, but a well-cultured voice cut across the darkness.

"Oh come now, this is impossible" and a young woman in a sensible dress stepped out from a doorway holding a derringer.

In a heartbeat the gun was on the ground and the girl was not. Pete suspended her by her neck, toes dangling in midair, his teeth glistening in the moonlight.

"Down boy", Jack said cooly. "She's one of us."

Pete dropped the girl as quickly as he had taken her. "Pity. I could eat the leg off a low-flying duck."

"Charming" the girl choked from the ground.

Pete laughed. "I can be charmin' if y'all want Missy", and his eyes glowed red. He waved a hand toward the girl and she shuddered and swooned.

"Leave her be and stop showing off." Jack sat down on a nearby garbage can. "You were saying 'Malatesa'."

Safety Officer

May-15-2012 05:30

Pete sauntered away from the girl trying to shake the fog from her head, and eased himself disdainfully down onto some crates across from Jack. "That's right Gumshoe, none other than that old goat Baron Frederick Malatesta."

"Same" Jack sighed.

"Likewise" the girl half coughed, half spat as she regained her feet. "Nice to see you too Jack." She said dryly.

Jack lit up. "Clementine Fortescue, Pe..." he looked at the vampire and got a non-committal do-as-you-please shrug. "Clementine Fortescue, Pete Jackson. Though you might know him better as the Dark Man."

The Gumshoe smiled as he watched Clementine struggle to keep her nerve. "I thought you'd be bigger." She said bravely. Jack laughed.

The Dark Man pulled a flask from his coat and took a swig. “Heck'n I thought you'd be prettier, if you're that little English girl I keep readin' 'bout in the newspapers. Explains why you don't like having your picture taken I 'spose.”

Clementine had regained her composure a little. “I still take a better picture than you I believe Mr Jackson.”

Jack laughed again. “Come on make nice. I haven't got all night to listen to you two practise your foreplay.”

“Jack!” Clementine exclaimed.

“Jack!” Pete mimicked.

“Malatesta...” Jack continued. “Can we just cut a long story short folks? We're all standing in the same alleyway, chasing the same man, for the same damned employer I'm guessing.”

“The Prince”. Pete and Clementine spoke together. Neither of them found it amusing.

“Why send three where one would do?” Clementine said quietly, more to herself than her companions.

“Well I don't know about you Clem, but I drew a fat old blank out here tonight.” Jack admitted. He took the following silence as a disgruntled 'likewise'. “So maybe the Prince knew more than he was letting on.”

“Shucks. Y'all should know I saw Finlay Stapleton in town last night.” Pete drawled.

The young Englishwoman swore.

“Clementine” Jack and Pete said together. They all managed to laugh.

Safety Officer

May-15-2012 05:31

“Well really” she said. “I mean to say. If that thug in pinstripes is going to go around badgering my witnesses and trampling through my evidence! It just won't do. I'll take that annoying little notebook of his and shove it up his...”

“Clementine” Jack and Pete chimed.

“I need a drink”. The young woman looked at Pete's flask.

The vampire shook his head. “You wouldn't like what I was serving Missy.”

“Oh” she mouthed.

Jack offered her a smoke instead. She took it, and to her credit her fingers only shook a little as she lit it.

“So, Malatesta.” Jack began again.

“I thought I had him cornered in Plymouth”, Clementine admitted. “But I lost him on the rail. I'm not even sure now he was ever on the dashed train.”

“When was that” Jack asked.

“Why, just last week.” Clementine replied.

Pete hissed. Even Jack found it a little disconcerting. “Shoot. I was chasing him through those damned catacombs in Cairo last week. No way he coulda been in Plymouth.”

“I assure you Mr Jackson...” Clementine protested.

Jack cut across her. “And last week I had him dead to rights in the Post Office in Delhi before the whole place went up like the fourth of July.”

Clementine choked a little on her cigarette. “That was you?”

The Gumshoe grimaced. “I've had better days.”

Pete took another swig of his flask. “Well heck. Aint no way it could be the same fella we was all chasin'.” He looked up at the sky and twitched a little. “Y'all mind if we find a quiet spot indoors somewhere to finish this conversation.”

The three looked at each other.

Jack wasn't sure exactly what he was getting himself into, but he knew that in that moment there was a silent agreement that whatever happened next, they might possibly be doing it together.

As they walked around the corner and towards the door of a nearby bar Jack put his arm in Clementine's, neatly inserting himself between her and Pete. “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” He said, falsely op

Safety Officer

May-15-2012 05:32

As they walked around the corner and towards the door of a nearby bar Jack put his arm in Clementine's, neatly inserting himself between her and Pete. “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” He said, falsely optimistic.

Pete Jackson hooted, “Or a really bad joke.” He stepped ahead to open the saloon door for them. The fact that the bar looked shut and the door looked locked didn't seem to make any difference to Pete. “Say pardner how does this sound 'A vampire and a virgin walk into a bar...' ”

Clementine fixed him with an icy stare as they passed into the unlit bar room. “Dark Man or not, if you continue in that vein, mark my words, you shall be sorry.”

Pete just hooted again and pulled the door behind them as the sun began to rise.

................. END .................

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

May-19-2012 09:03

Ok writers, today is the last day to make any submissions! Judging begins tomorrow, 05/20/2012.

All judges must PM their answers to me. Good luck everyone!!!

Night Queen
Night Queen
Old Shoe

May-19-2012 23:06

The Perfect Case

The Scene

The clock reads 4:02pm. On a bench, a discarded issue of the NY Times headlines activities at the World’s Fair, World of Tomorrow. Johnstown wins the Kentucky Derby, but the headline that really catches my eye is The First Performance of Honegger/Claudel's ‘Jeanne d'Arc Ouch B-cher’ in Switzerland. Being rich and unattached, I will go see it.

The clock keeps ticking high on the wall here at Grand Central Station in Manhattan. I am at one end of the main concourse in the Vanderbilt Hall. The Times is current, May 7, 1939, so I pick it up and pretend to read more, but I am on a case. The Perfect Case, I pan my surroundings.

On a bench is a young mother with her 4 children. The Smiths. They are waiting for the train bringing father. My job is to protect the arrival of Mr. Smith. The three eldest kids are loud and boisterous. Mom has baby Brenda on her lap and is changing a disgusting, lumpy diaper. Mrs. Smith’s face looks perfectly serene and joyful. No look of regret on her face for not choosing a carefree life like me.

There is a pretty, brunette nearby waiting for her fiancé. Her engagement ring reveals this to me. An army serviceman across from her pretends to read a newspaper, but he is girl watching, ogling the brunette and me in my black, soutache-laced-yoke dress. Black is my color. It represents my dark side. Artists are about due to the art gallery on a floor above. Threats are not lurking around here, and I know how to spot them.

After thousands of murder cases, all have one commonality: I catch the crook AFTER the murder.

My definition of a perfect case is where I catch the villain, weapon in hand, and actually prevent the murder. The clock is ticking. My plan is to thwart the murder, take out the assassin, get paid, and allow Mr. Smith to go home with his wife and children. It will be perfect. IF-a big IF-things go according to plan.

I wait until 4:23, put down The Times, and head for the escalator leading down to the lower concourse.

Night Queen
Night Queen
Old Shoe

May-19-2012 23:13

The Plot

There are nearly 9 million union workers in the United States now. Last year, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act establishing laws for minimum wages, overtime pay, and restricting child labor. The corporations are still reeling from that Act. What an understatement! The history of labor union versus corporations is tainted heavily with extreme violence, bribery, and coercion. Many mafia families are involved, and the corporations, unions, and mafia bosses all do their utmost to gain political favors.

My case has to do with the impending agreement between IAM (a machinists union) and Eastern Air Lines, Inc. in the fast-growing, air transport industry. Mr. Smith is with Eastern. The UAW (auto workers union) wants this agreement in place of IAM. The UAW is willing to spill blood for the chance. It didn’t make sense to me until I learned that Eastern was purchased from GM just last year by the famous aviator, Eddie Rickenbacker, so the UAW figured they were owed some allegiance because of the GM ties. Yet working against the UAW are multiple labor strikes involving GM, Ford, and Chrysler, and Eastern wants no part of that. IAM simply looks like the perfect alternative union for Eastern.

Through Frank Costello, the boss of the Luciano crime family, I learned that Smith will be carrying a tentative proposal for the IAM/Eastern agreement in his briefcase. It is the only copy.

UAW’s plot is simple:
1- Kill Smith
2- Destroy the draft agreement.

Costello has hired me to prevent the assassination of Smith. In reality, there is nothing simple about conspiracy to commit murder. I purposely attended a luncheon at the World’s Fair Chrysler pavilion. There was no doubt the UAW reps were keeping an eye on things. Sure enough, I saw a note exchange between two key union members. The note was passed quickly, but I read even more quickly. My eidetic brain easily retained every detail. The note revealed when and where, but not the assassin.

Night Queen
Night Queen
Old Shoe

May-19-2012 23:16

Evil Intent

Smith’s subway train is to arrive at 4:40. As I casually stroll toward the escalator, I see two serious-looking men exit the elevator from the Biltmore Hotel above. They are carrying no baggage or packages, and both are wearing cheap suits. Mafia men would be dressed in $300-or-better suits. These two are wearing $25 suits off the rack. Union thugs, I now know the “who” part of this puzzle, but I was hoping for a single assailant. The thugs rudely shove by people in their way. Their demise will be their haste. Professionals take the time to arrive early. I’ve been scouting Grand Central since 2:45.

There are no telltale bulges in their jackets of concealed handguns. They could have ankle holsters or concealed knives elsewhere, so I still have to be careful. There is one tipoff to packing heat in ankle holsters: stairs. They are in a hurry as they purposely descend the escalator steps. Good news, no guns.

At the lower level food court, I purchase a pretzel and casually stroll toward the platform between tracks 109 and 110. Smith’s train will be arriving on track 110. It is now 4:36. An Express train will speed through on 109 without stopping at 4:42. As I amble along the platform, I wonder what the plan is to take out Smith. There are very few people waiting for the 4:40. I try to look innocent and harmless, just another dame. My ruse works, and the two thugs ignore me.

4:40. I feel a burst of wind as Smith’s train races out of the tunnel and glides to a stop. Only four passengers disembark. Smith is the last off. He looks very tired from days of negotiations and travel. I sense the Grim Reaper waiting, unseen. Death will not be denied. Another rush of wind, and the 4:42 train approaches at high speed. I focus and realize the peril by their positions. One assassin will grab Smith’s briefcase while the other pushes Smith from behind into the path of the 4:42 Express. This train will be the “smoking gun”, an unstoppable weapon of destruction.

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