Sleuth Home - Message Boards - Role Playing Stage

0 0
Airs and Heiresses
  <<First Page  |  <Previous Next>  |  Last Page>>  

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jul-6-2015 11:19

New York, 1938
St. Regis Hotel
Rooftop Nightclub

"So there I was, staring down a barrel INCHES from death...and I told the man, 'darling REALLY, if you simply must shoot me do allow me to remove my earrings. They are Cartier, you know." Molly Maltese paused to take a sip of her Red Snapper, popping the olive neatly between her cherub lips before gnashing it to a pulp. "And the man was quite flummoxed, he said- I say, is that Riza Hawkeye?"

She rose, the group of rapt men in tuxedos and women in glittering dresses and furs murmuring their protests as she wended through their knees. But the apparition she was quite sure had been Riza Hawkeye had vanished in the crowd of New York socialites populating the exclusive terrace.

"Well, this place is a bit ritzy for Riza." she murmured, fairly certain her old acquaintance didn't make a habit of populating social-climbing fetes. And she reasoned, any time Riza had appeared before it was hardly ever for a pleasant cause. Well, maybe that was unfair. It just seemed she was more the swirl-of-furs-and-stiletto-daggers type than a frothy socializer like Molly herself.

Peering around, Molly saw nothing but the shadowed faces of revelers partially cloaked in the smoky haze. She had just been about to give up and go back to her companions when the most shocking hubbub began. Over on the north part of the terrace, she could distinctly hear the shouts of men and panicked screeching of females. Moving forward, she could just make out..

"Did you see... The Ambassador... who could have... murder! Someone has pushed the Ambassador off the building!" Molly picked up speed, expertly weaving through the crowd of panicked voices. Sirens already began to sound twenty stories below. Just as she grasped the ledge and looked over, an all too familiar voice sounded in her left ear.

"Oh hello there, old friend. Lovely breeze out today."

Before her stood Riza Hawkeye herself, looking utterly unruffled as several ladies fainted behind her.


Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Aug-24-2015 10:49

The dimmed down but airy dance hall dressed in mahogany wall panels and dazzling chandeliers seem mesmerized by her soulful expressions. Young Chinese ladies in velvety qipaos endowed with jade and pearl waltzed with men in drape-cut three-piece suits. Zhōu Xuán’s shidaiqu raised above the playful trumpets of the famous Peace Hotel Jazz Band. It was a full house thanks to Zhou Xuan’s special appearance this very night, and those on the dance floor stood shoulder to shoulder without complains. Even popular songs known from top singers to street urchins in the alleys of Shanghai somehow became a fresh tune when her golden voice touched it. A little shy of 18, Zhou Xuan was already a household name much like Ella in America. Her fame was only outmatched by her own youth and beauty, but those were not the reasons why Joseph Zeo finally fell in love again.

The tall, quiet man sat near the back of the dancehall at his usual table, with a glass of Vodka he hardly touched. Over the years Joseph has changed, his shoulders seemed a bit lighter, but the furrows etched between his brows spoke otherwise. Colored lights danced off his well-fitted cream-colored suit, something he would never have worn in the past.

From the center stage, the girl in white gave him a ghost of a wink, hardly noticeable to the crowd but obvious for those who paid particular attention. Her serene eyes reflected wisdom beyond her years, and her quiet demeanor like a fresh breeze amidst the powdery façade of the finely dressed peacocks in the hall. Zhou Xuan was the opposite of Lizette, Joseph’s deceased girl friend from another lifetime, who always craved to be the noticed. She was also the antithesis to the strong & capable exterior called Riza, but with an inner world that could be far more steadfast. Somehow Zhou Xuan’s shadow reminded him of Anais…. and again Joseph allowed his thoughts to stopped there and went no further.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Aug-24-2015 10:50

“Mr. Zeo.” The wide man with a balding comb over sit down across from Joseph without asking for permission. “Here again to escort Ms. Zhou after show.” Juong stated the obvious with a hint of accusation.

“As the manager of Zhou Xuan, Mr. Juong, aren’t you supposed to focus on her career and singing, not her personal life?” Joseph retorted.

“Oh but Ms. Zhou’s personal life IS part of career. You know, show business.” Juong took out his cigarettes and mockingly offered one to Joseph, who starred him daggers in return. Joseph hadn’t touched a single stick of Chesterfield in 3 years. “Oh I forgot again,” Joung smirked and slowly leaned back, “You try put ‘smoking’ behind you. One thing lead to other, right?” The silence between the two men was louder than the boom band playing.

Juong inhaled deeply through his Lucky Strike and continued, “Ms. Zhou can choose anyone she want. Richest businessmans, ambassadors, foreign dignitaries, famous movie stars… I really don’t see what she see in"“ The ear-splitting applause as Zhou Xuan bowed for her final number for the night saved Zhou from being split in half by Joseph. The man would still look fat half his size anyhow. Joseph stood up.

“Excuse me.” Joseph dipped his head for his exit and headed for the entrance to the dressing room before Juong could follow.

The meticulously groomed dressing room was lined with fresh flower baskets with strips of red cloth banners hanging vertically on them with congratulatory notes from her admirers across the lands. Half the country was starving from invasion and chaos, the Chinese-controlled parts of the city just fell to the Japanese, but the French quarters were still drunk with singing and dancing, all hailing peace with a blind eye. As Zhou Xuan quietly removed the little make up she needed for the stage, Joseph kissed the tip of her ear. Zhou Xuan smiled into the reflection of the man in the mirror, the former police detective from New York whom she had helplessly fallen for.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Aug-24-2015 10:50

The spell was soon broken by the wide man in a suit too tight for his size. Juong briefed Zhou Xuan in Shanghainese on her next performances and discussed a few advertising deals. When the man finally left, Zhou Xuan couldn’t help but attacked Joseph onto the corner couch. Her own laughter slowly died down as she remembered…

“I need to visit the yan guan tonight.” Zhou Xuan announced in a small voice.

“Is the opium den holding her up again?” Joseph whispered, and his heart went out to her. Zhou Xuan reluctantly nodded. Her mother’s addiction was the link between the two souls outsiders could never comprehend. Joseph distinctively understood Zhou Xuan, as he went through the same hell, and would not judge her to helping her mother in all the wrong ways.

Joseph had once helped Zhou Xuan lock her mother in a room, like what Vulkie once did for him which cleared him of his addiction, but the old woman’s poison ran too deep for too long, and that episode almost killed her. Zhou Xuan had no choice but to continue to pay for her mother’s habit.

The two left the dance hall of Peace Hotel through the back doors. With her make up removed and changed into a non-descript cheongsam worn by commoners, Zhou Xuan looked more like a 16 year-old from the longtangs. She further covered her hair in a dark green scarf. No one can recognize Zhou Xuan as the Star. The girl bade her Western boyfriend goodbye.

“I’ll come with you.” Joseph muttered weakly.

“You should not be there and you know it.” Zhou Xuan’s honeyed voice was soft as steel. They have been through this debate many times over. The opium den still held a dangerous lure for Joseph, and his Westerner features would only jack up the sum of the ‘ransom’ money.

Joseph kissed Zhou Xuan on her forehead and inhaled deeply. “Be careful. Don’t"“

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Aug-24-2015 10:51

“Remember I was practically raised there.” Zhou Xuan smiled. Her mother sold her to a song master when she was 3 years old, but like a small rat she wiggled her way back to the yan guan day after day. Whenever the little songstress didn’t have to practice or perform in teahouses, she would sneak back to see her mother behind her master’s back. The fact the Zhou Xuan was never addicted to opium said something about her wisdom and will.

Joseph stood on the steps and looked longingly at Zhou Xuan as she disappeared into the cool night air. As he turned around, Joseph noticed two men in black suits standing by main entrance, staring at him.

The Cloaked Figure
The Cloaked Figure

Aug-24-2015 17:41

Agatha Brown strode briskly down the alley. Two years in Shanghai as the chief secretary to Ambassador Kerr had done little to make this city feel anything like home. The work days seemed to be getting longer and longer and it had indeed been days since she had seen the sun.

Tonight was especially important. The Ambassador was meeting with US Ambassador Johnson to discuss Japanese aggression. She'd been so caught up in reviewing policy documents that she'd forgotten to pick up the dinner the two men would be enjoying.

"One hour," she said to herself, "I have one hour to make it back. I just pray that this bloody restaurant has everything ready when I arrive."

She darted down another alleyway, almost there! She broke into a run towards the light at the end of the alley, when suddenly it went black. Someone was ahead of her. She stopped and turned, only to find advancing shadows behind as well.

"Miss Brown...," one of the shadows called out, "your boss make big mistake!"

She gasped, she was surrounded on all sides. Six men, closing in menacingly towards her.

"What do you want?" she demanded, "I'm just a secretary! A citizen of the United Kingdom protected by diplomatic privilege!"

"Your boss did not do what was good for him Miss Brown." one of the figures said menacingly, "Now his secretary will pay the price."

Agatha felt herself being swarmed, she screamed at the top of her lungs, and a hand clasped tightly over her mouth. She wrestled with the men, only becoming still when she felt the cold steel against her neck.

"That's right, Miss Brown," the figure sneered, "when you cross Sphinx you gonna pay one way or the other!"

*tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap*

What was that tapping? It was slowly growing louder. The man who had done all the speaking for the group seemed to notice it too. He looked at one of his men, gestured towards the tapping, and the man departed.

"Zhè zhǐshì yīgè lǎorén zh"zhe guǎizhàng!" she heard the man call back.

The Cloaked Figure
The Cloaked Figure

Aug-24-2015 18:03

"Chú diào tā háishì shāle tā!" the leader shouted back.

*tap* * tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap*

"Zhuǎnsh"n lǎotóu! Zhèlǐ y'u méiy'u shìhé nǐ de!" she heard the other shout.

The tapping came to a stop. She held her breath. Then the sound of a struggle and a crying out. The leader smirked and turned his attention back to her.

"Now, Miss Brown... Ambassador Kerr has been hiding from us," he sneered, "so he send his little secretary to face Sphinx. Do not think because you are woman that we will not..." *tap* *tap* *tap* The man stopped mid sentence , his face a mask of shock. All five of the gang turned towards the alleyway that their companion had disappeared down moments earlier.

*tap* *tap* *tap* *Tap* *Tap* *Tap* *Tap* *Tap* *Tap* *TAP* *TAP* *TAP* *TAP*

A cloaked figure emerged from the alley holding a long walking stick, making a tap with each step.

"Leave us, old man!" the leader shouted, "This does not concern you!"

"Oh my," the cloaked figure responded, "I do believe that the lady would like to leave, and I think it best that you allow her to do so." He spoke with an American accent. How was he so calm?

"I give you one final chance, old man!" he said sternly, "Leave now!"

"Ah," the figure replied clasping his hands together, "I'm terribly sorry but I cannot do that. No, no it would be quite impossible. I am prepared to offer you something much more valuable in exchange for her release."

"Qi" duànle tā de jībā!" he shouted, pointing towards the figure.

The four remaining Sphinxes rushed at him. In a flash the figure had swung his walking stick into head of the first to reach him, knocking him to the ground. In a single movement he had tripped the second, slammed the walking stick into the third's stomach, and grabbed the fourth by the forearm. The figure jerked suddenly causing a sickening crunch and the fourth let out an earsplitting wail as he clutched his shattered arm.

The Cloaked Figure
The Cloaked Figure

Aug-24-2015 18:25

The second drew a knife and lunged at him, but the figure was too quick, before Agatha could blink, the figure dodged, grabbed the second's arm, and plunged his own knife into his neck.

The figured raised his walking stick above his head in a killing strike above the third, who held up his hands whimpering, "No! No! I go!" he scampered off clutching his stomach, leaving behind a puddle of urine.

"Nuòfū! Nǐ sǐ dìngle!" the leader screamed after him. He locked eyes with the figure, "Who are you? What government? Who sent you here?"

The figure chuckled, "My identity is of no consequence to you. I am in the service of no government. I act solely of my own accord. Now as I am a man of principle, I will let you know that my offer of something much more valuable than this young lady still stands."

The leader pulled out a gun and pointed it at the figure, "I think I choose both!" he retorted acidly, "Give it to me now or after you dead, make no difference to me!"

"Oh dear," the figure replied, "well I'd hoped it wouldn't come to this." He reached into the folds of his cloak with his left hand, "Now where is it? Ah! Yes!"

With his right hand he tossed his walking stick full force in the leader's direction. He gasped in surprise, breaking his gaze on the figure for a moment, and that was all it took. The figure closed the distance between them, clasped his arm with the gun, and twisted it producing the same shattering crack he had done on the fourth.

The leader barely had time to scream before he had done the same to his left and landed a swift kick across his face. The figure retrieved his walking stick and pressed it across the leader's neck, pinning him against the alley wall, and lifting him well over two feet off the ground.

The Cloaked Figure
The Cloaked Figure

Aug-24-2015 18:32

"The item that I offer you tonight," he said sternly, "in exchange for this woman's safety, is your own life. For your failure tonight and lack of usefulness, Sphinx will have you killed. If you leave now, you may have a chance to get somewhere safe. Start over. So what will it be? Shall I finish you, or set you free?"

The leader gritted his teeth, his face was purple with rage and lack of oxygen. With all the strength he could muster, he gestured towards the light at the end of the alley.

The figure dropped him to the ground with a thud. After pausing just long enough to catch his breath, he hobbled off down the alley.

The figure walked toward Agatha Brown and helped her to her feet. Flabbergasted, she didn't know what to say.

"Thank you!" she managed to choke out, tears streaming down her face.

The figure handed her the pistol the leader had possessed only moments earlier. It was still warm and wet from his hand.

"You may need this. I might not be there next time." he said tersely. Without another word, he turned and walked away.

*TAP* *TAP* *TAP *Tap* *Tap* *Tap* *tap* *tap* *tap*....

Ed Carlyle
Ed Carlyle

Aug-24-2015 20:18

The train's whistle blew, echoing at the train station as the doors opened. One by one, the thousands of patrons on the train stepped off, many taking their first steps into China. Among those, were Edward and his crew. Jasper Mayfield and Thomas O'malley smiled in excitement, as they pushed their way through the crowd of people. Stanley stood next to Edward.

"You okay, boss?" He asked

Edward opened his mouth to reply. Was he okay? Some of his cash had been taken the night before by that damsel he took to bed with him, and on top of that, his luggage had been lost by the train crew. He was not happy.

"I'm fine," Edward lied. "Come on, let's go catch up, get some clothes, and go find a room. Tomorrow's going to be a very buy day."

He and Stanley hurried to catch up with Jasper and Thomas.

"Excuse me," Edward said as people pushed their way through to get to the next train, "do you-"

People ignored him, smiling and nodding
"Excuse me-" he repeated multiple times, before an Englishman finally stopped to speak to Ed.

"Excuse me, sir do you know where I can find some decent clothing for my stay?"

"Of course, good sir," the large man replied, "you want to try Messelier," he pointed back behind himself. "Three blocks down, to your left. Can't miss his shop."

Edward thanked the man and he and Stanley left. Finding the shop was easy, right where man said he'd be. Ed pulled out his flask and took a big gulp as rain started to fall from the sky. He took a step inside. Messelier was a polite Frenchman, to Edward, whom didn't trust him anyways, but Messelier seemed to know his stuff. He rang Edward up for all clothes he bought, including a large wool jacket to keep him dry in the rain.

On his way out he bumped into a young woman, and he stubbed his toe, tripping and almost knocking her over.

Ed Carlyle
Ed Carlyle

Aug-24-2015 20:23

"Watch where the hell you are going!" Edward screamed into the young girl's face, releasing his frustration. His toe throbbed in pain, as he dropped his clothes to keep himself from falling.

"Je suis vraiment desole monsieur, Je suis tellement maladroite!" she replied rapidly, "pardonnez-mois s'il vou plait, bon, mon bon monsieur!"

"Damn Frenchies," Edward swore as he started picking up his new clothes off the ground.

He walked outside as the young woman left the other way. But something struck him. She looked familiar, he thought. Then he shook his head. "Onion eating, bread tossing, French bastards," he grumbled to himself as he met up with the rest of his team, who laughed at him after watching him almost fall.

Night had fallen by the time they had found a decent place to rent and stay. Ed reached into his pocket for what was left of his cash. His stomach formed an empty pit when he realised his cash had been stolen.

"DAMNIT!" Edward screamed throwing the service bell from the check in counter, across the room.

"That damn French girl stole my money! I can't believe it!" Edward exclaimed. Jasper let out a roar of laughter, with Thomas and Stanley snickering behind Ed's back. "You poor loser," Jasper joked. He paid for Ed's room. "You just need a little rain cloud to hover above your head," Jasper said, still laughing at Ed.

"I hate kids," Edward grumbled.

"Don't you have two daughters?" Jasper picked back.

Ed rolled his eyes. "Jasper," he said impatiently, "shut the hell up."

  <<First Page  |  <Previous Next>  |  Last Page>>  

[ You must login to reply ]