Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ I

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Inside Where?

 

I start to bust up the crates and build my fire higher. I still need to reserve the battery in the flashlight. I don’t know what’s on the other side of this wall, I might need it. I’m finally on the last crate and give it a kick to bust it up. This one isn’t empty like the others.

I take a stick and start to dig through the insides of the crate. I see a major mouse nest. That must be why Tee started digging at the wall. A mouse-hole. Under the nest, I hit something metal. I scrape the nest aside and see a shovel. My luck is turning! I scrape more of the nest away and grab the shovel.

Now this is something I can use. Damn it. The shovel has no handle. Just a broken off piece of wood sticks up from the shovel head. This must be where they threw broken tools away, as I come up to some more metal in the bottom of the crate. A broken pliers that look to be decades-old. A few more pieces of tools, but nothing whole.

I manage to finish busting up the crates. Now to start digging my way out of this hole.

Hours later I’m about four feet inside the wall. I’m digging the hole big enough for my body to crawl through. I take a break. I need to find something to put the loose dirt on and drag it out. Otherwise, I’m just digging more than I need to. I’m dirt covered from head to toe. Itchy from where the dirt turned to mud with my sweat.

I’m dying of thirst. My mouth feels like the inside of this hole. I’m not stopping though. I’m afraid if I do, I won’t start again. I got about another four feet to dig. I can feel a stale breeze through the tunnel I’m digging. That and my temper is the only thing keeping me going.

I’m angry as hell. I plan on getting out of here, finding Angela and that goon and kicking some major ass.

Searching around to find something to pile the dirt on to drag it out of the tunnel, I find nothing. Ok, time to get creative. I take off my shirt, tie the arms together to make a loop. I can use the body of the shirt to pile the dirt on, the arms tied together to drag it out of the tunnel. I have my sports bra on and who’s going to see me anyway.

I start digging again. Every once in a while Tee comes inside the tunnel to check on me. Otherwise, he’s in the bigger room laying down in front of the hole watching me. He did his part. Now it’s time for me to do mine.

I’m almost there. A couple more feet of digging and I can crawl my way to the bigger space. I’m exhausted. I need water. I need food. I need a shower. First though I have to live long enough to get those things. My arms feel like lead. My hands are blistered and bleeding, but I’m still alive. With each shovel of dirt, my anger builds. I let it.

I have no idea what time it is. My watch died hours ago. Too much dirt. I’m finally at the end. I burst through the hole and collapse in the other space. I’m so damn tired. I just lay there on the dirt floor. I don’t even have enough energy to lift my head and take a look around. I close my eyes. Just a minute. I need just a minute.

I wake to Tee’s tongue on my face. His whines wake me further. How long was I asleep? I don’t have a clue as I struggle to sit up. I groan as my body aches all over. I need to find my flashlight and the satchel. The shirt I know is history. Towards the end I couldn’t even use it anymore, it’s in shreds. Oh god, I don’t want to crawl through that tunnel, but I have to. The flashlight is on the other side.

I take a deep breath and move my body through the tunnel. I grab the satchel with the flashlight inside. I notice the fire has burnt itself down to nothing. I must have been out for hours. Time to get out of here for good.

I crawl back and join Tee. Taking the flashlight, I shine it’s light around. The place is huge. Dirt floor and dirt walls. There are barrels sitting around, it looks to me like it used to be a wine cellar. I’m under the mansion! That means there has got to be a door leading to the main house somewhere. Then I hear Tee growl. A deep growl from that little dog is unusual. I shine the light to where he is looking and see a couple of red beady eyes.

I grab Tee up with one hand before he can run after those red eyes. I am looking at the biggest damn rat I have ever seen in my life! The thing is huge and it’s staring right at me and Tee.

 

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 

Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ H

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

 

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

 

Helping Paws

 

I turn the flashlight back on and take another look around. I guess I’m on my own getting out of here. I have no intention of me and Tee dying in some dark, dank hole in the ground. I put Tee down on the ground. I’m reasonably certain no snakes are here and I’m going to need both hands to deal with the situation.

I take stock of how high the hole is from me. It’s got to be at least fifteen feet, maybe closer to twenty. I wonder if the crates could help. I take a closer look. They look like your ordinary wooden crates, who knows how long they’ve been down here. I try to move one. Crap, they must have been down here for years as it just falls apart as I move it. There won’t be any climbing up those. Dammit.

I might not be able to climb them, but the crates will make a great fire. I don’t know how long I’m going to be down here and I need to conserve the battery life in the flashlight. So I start to build a fire right under the hole. I figure the hole will act as a chimney and draw the smoke up. The fire will also give off plenty of light and warmth.

If I’m real lucky the smoke will draw the attention of someone and they’ll investigate. A long shot, but what else have I got?

I build a nice pile of wood from the crate. I search Tee’s satchel. I know there is a lighter in there someplace. I remember putting it in there. It’s my brothers and I ‘borrowed’ it from him last time I saw him. Ok, I stole it. He likes to smoke cigars every once in a while and I hate the smell of the things, so I took his lighter and hid it in Tee’s satchel. Yeah, childish I know, but my brother irritates me sometimes.

I find the lighter and I also find my phone! Why didn’t I think of that before? I’ll just dial 911 and get the hell out of here! I look at the phone. Ah crap. No cell service. I’m too deep in the earth. My luck seems to have deserted me today.

Back to the fire. I light a small splinter of wood and stick it under the pile. It catches quickly and shoots upwards. I sit crossed legged in front of the fire and ponder my situation. It’s not good. I hear Tee digging in the background. Ah, leave him at it. He’ll tire quickly enough. I watch the fire flicker straight up. Without any breeze, it doesn’t dance like most fires will that are out in the open.

I lose track of how long I’m sitting in front of that fire. My eyes watch the flames, but my mind flashes through my short thirty-two years. Is this what knowing you are going to die is like? Remembering odd things like the time my brother Mac stole my crayons and melted them down in some kind of experiment. I remember I cried for days. I was about five at the time. My mom bought me a brand new box of sixty-four Crayola’s. The kind with the sharpener built-in the box.

My mind finally registers what my eyes have been seeing for a while. The flames are dancing. I come out of my stupor fast. The flames are dancing! That means they are getting air from somewhere down here. If they are getting air from down here, that means the air is coming from somewhere other than this hole!

I hear very faint scratching sounds. Tee? Where the hell is Tee?

“Tee!” I try to stand up and my legs feel like pins and needles are stabbing them. Damn, I must have been sitting here feeling sorry for myself a lot longer than I thought.

“Tee!” I yell again as I switch the flashlight on and take a look around. I listen, I hear faint scratching sounds. I sure hope while I was having a pity party Tee didn’t get himself stuck somewhere. I yell his name again and hear his barking from the side of the hole where I haven’t searched. It didn’t look like much was over there but a few more broken crates.

The barking is coming from the other side of those broken crates. I walk to the back side of them and see a hole behind them close to the ground. What the hell? The scratching sound is coming from the hole! Tee? There’s just enough room to kneel down next to the small Tee size hole, so I do and call Tee’s name again. Sure enough, the barking is coming from the hole.

I put my eye to the hole and shine the light through it. I also feel a slight breeze against my face. It’s not fresh air like outside air, but it’s a sight fresher than what I’ve been breathing. That means Tee has dug himself into a bigger space than here! Maybe there was a way out of here yet.

“Damn Tee, you might have saved our asses!” I say this out loud and watch a familiar small body scurry through the hole towards me. I sit up just as he reaches me. He’s filthy, his tongue is hanging out with thirst and he’s the best thing I’ve seen in ages.

I hug him and set him back down. Now it’s time to get my sorry ass to work. First to move these crates so I can get better access to the hole. Second to start digging my way out just like Tee did. Even if I have to use my hands to do it.

“Tee, you are one damn smart dog. Let’s get to work.”

 

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 

Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ G

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

 

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Getting Out?

 

I catch Tee before he hits the ground. I’m just glad at this moment that he’s not a Saint Bernard. The crazy dog is licking my face like it was last nights steak dinner.

“All right Tee. That’s enough.”

I settle him in my arms. I don’t want to let him down on the ground as I’m not sure what is sharing this hole with us, if anything. There could be snakes and I didn’t save my buddy just so he could get bit by a snake.

Snakes? Oh great. Now I’ve put that idea in my head. I hate snakes. I hope Angela gets back with that flashlight soon. I stand in that small circle of light that is filtering through the open hole. This has been a long morning.

“Dee! I got the flashlight and the satchel.” I hear Angela’s voice overhead. Her head appears as she lowers the satchel and lets go. I catch it with the hand that’s not holding Tee.

“I put the flashlight inside. I spotted a ladder in one of the sheds. I’ll drag it over here. Hang on!” She disappears again. I sure hope it doesn’t take her long with the ladder. I want out of here.

I kneel down and search through the satchel. I find the nice heavy flashlight and turn it on. Still holding Tee, I flash the light around. I don’t see any snakes. I also don’t see any other way out. There are some old crates on one side. The hole is bigger than I thought it would be. Going back several feet. From what I could see, it was about twelve by twelve feet. Someone had used it to store stuff.

I’m not going to be down here long enough to worry about the crates. Angela should be here soon with the ladder.

“Dee! I’ve got the ladder!” I hear metal clattering and see her pop her head over the hole again.

“Damn, I didn’t know ladders could be so heavy. Let me catch my breath then I’ll slide it down to you. I sure hope it’s long enough.”

“Anything is better than nothing. Thanks, Angela.”

“Ok, let’s do this,” Angela says, as her head disappears again. I hear the metal of the ladder clatter again then a muffled scream.

“Angela! You ok up there?” I hear nothing for several seconds.

“Angela!!” I yell again. A head appears over the hole once more. The face is in shadow, but the head doesn’t look like Angela’s.

“Well, well, well. What do we ‘ave here? It’s Dorothy and her little dog Toto! Guess you ain’t in Kansas anymore, eh?”

Crap. I know that voice. The thug from this morning.

“That must make you one of the flying monkeys then.” I answer. What’s the jerk going to do? Throw me in a hole?

“Bitch! You broke my damn finger this morning.”

“Didn’t your mother ever teach you to keep your hands to yourself? Consider it a lesson learned.”

“We’ll see who learns the lesson. You’ll ‘ave a bit of time to learn yours. Have fun starving in your hole, bitch.”

I didn’t say anything. The jerk has a point. Dammit.

“Here I thought you would enjoy teaching me a lesson yourself.” Maybe I can goad him to get me out of this hole. At least I’d have more of a chance.

“I would normally, but I got orders to find the deed to this place. Bimbo here is gonna tell me where it’s at. Eventually.”

I didn’t like the sound of his laugh as he disappears from view. I turn off my flashlight and step back into the dark. I didn’t want to take any chances that he might decide to shoot me instead.

Minutes pass without further noise or voices overhead. The sinking feeling in my gut tells me they’re gone.

“Hey, jerk!” I yell. “Come and deal with me yourself! Or are you afraid of a woman?”

Nothing but silence answers me back.

Ah, crap.

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ F

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Falling In

“Where’s your car?” I ask Angela.

“Over here.”

“I want to see this Wenner place. You got time to take me?” I start following Angela to her car. I want to see this property that has someone so interested they would send a thug to hustle Angela.

“I canceled all my appointments for this week. Between Tony’s death and threats to me, I couldn’t possibly work.” Angela digs out some keys and pushes the remote. I hear some locks unlock from a Cadillac SUV Escalade about ten feet from us. We get in the SUV and buckle up. I put Tee in the backseat with his satchel.

“We can stop someplace for breakfast on the way out,” I tell her. I was hungry and it’s been a long morning already.

Angela glances over at me and grimaces. “You just beat up some guy! How can you possibly think of food right now!”

“I didn’t beat him up. I stopped him from hurting you.”

“Where did you learn that stuff Dee? It all happened so fast!”

“I’ve been taking lessons for years. Anyway, that’s not important. Do you have the deed to this Wenner place?”

“No. Tony had it since he owned most of the place. I own forty percent, he owned the rest. The deed must be in his house somewhere.”

“Tony had that much money? A stand-up comic?” I ask, but I’m looking for a place to eat. I’m hungry and I’m sure Tee wouldn’t mind a bite. He loves scrambled eggs.

“Oh, he only was a comedian since he retired. It was always a dream of his to become a comedian. He made all his money in real estate. Tony owned one of the biggest real estate offices in Ashville. He started before Ashville became popular with the rich and famous.”

I see a well-known chain restaurant, known for its breakfast twenty-four hours a day. It was good enough for me. I point it out to Angela and tell her to stop there.

We stop and have a fast breakfast. I take some of the scrambled eggs out to Tee, who’s waiting patiently in the SUV. My mind is mulling over all Angela has told me about Tony. Seems he got into the real estate business just in time to cash in on the boom in Ashville. Made millions over the years and finally was able to retire and live his dream of playing in clubs as a stand-up comic. He sounds like he was a stand-up guy all around.

Forty-five minutes later Angela pulls onto a run down gravel road that leads to the Wenner mansion. Even I could see it would make a good area for an exclusive hotel. It sat on some good land, a bit overgrown with weeds now, but I saw the potential. It also was only fifteen minutes away from a ritzy yacht club on the ocean.

I’m looking around as Angela maneuvers the SUV to avoid some major potholes, when the mansion suddenly comes into view.

For being neglected for so long, it was surprisingly intact. Overgrown rose bushes and weeds were everywhere, but the building itself was eye-catching. As my uneducated eye looks the mansion over, it looks to me like something out of the Great Gatsby movies. Impressive.

“The house doesn’t look too bad,” I say to Angela as she stops and parks in what I imagine was once a grand circular driveway.

We get out of the SUV and I take a look around. That’s when I start to notice the various holes all around. Must be where people were digging for the gold.

“The house is in great shape considering. No one bothered with it, they were more interested in the grounds, as that is supposedly where old man Wenner had the gold buried. In some kind of underground vault is the rumor.” Angela steps carefully over some rubble.

“Let’s take a quick look around,” I suggest.

“Ok, but be careful, there are holes everywhere and some of them quite deep,” Angela warns me.

People are strange. To go out and dig holes all over just because of some decades-old rumor of gold. Gold has a way of making people crazy. Gold fever is real. Me, I’m not interested in finding the stuff. I’m just interested in finding out if Tony was killed because of some myth that there was gold buried here.

By now we’re behind the house in what looked like what used to be a pretty fancy garden. I could still see parts of hedges and flower beds. Years of dead leaves and overgrown grass rustle beneath our feet. We skirt a few holes and walk slightly off a faded path when I hear an ominous cracking sound underfoot.

Crap.

We must have stepped on a hidden hole that had been covered with leaves and grass.  The wood was old and weathered and couldn’t hold our combined weight. Seconds flashed by as I give Angela a hard shove off the boards and feel the wood give beneath my feet. This was going to hurt.

I’m laying flat on my back and looking up at the concerned face of Angela. I must have fallen a good fifteen feet. Good thing the dirt was soft. Well, softer than rock anyway. I’m trying to catch the breath that was knocked out of me as I hear Angela calling my name.

“Dee! Dee! Oh my god, Dee! Are you alright?”

I hear Tee barking up there and Angela calling my name, but I have no breath to answer. Finally in a big gasp, air comes back into my lungs. I  cough as the dust I raised when I fell starts to settle around me. I start to take inventory of my limbs. Nothing broke, but damn that hurt.

I struggle up and try to take a look around. It’s dark and smells of the earth. I need some light. And a ladder.

“I’m Ok!” I gasp. “Can you find me a flashlight? And a ladder or rope? Also, get Tee’s satchel and throw it down to me. There might be some things in the outer pockets I can use.”

Tee is still barking as Angela answers me. “I have a flashlight in the car. I’ll see if I can find a ladder in one of the sheds.”

I hear her move off and try to calm Tee down. “Quiet Tee! That’s a good boy!”

I’m looking up at him when I see him move closer to the hole. “Stay back Tee!” I yell, but it’s too late.

I see the dirt shift under his feet and see him slide. He scrambles to get back, but it’s no use. With dirt falling around me, I watch as Tee slides through the hole and starts falling.

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 

Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ E

I’m not going to list each preceding chapter every day. It would get much too long.  If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Excitement

The morning comes full of bright sunshine. Tee and I had a good nights sleep and now he was dancing in front of the door.

“Hang on buddy. Let me grab a shower first.”

I take a quick shower and dress. I put Tee in his leather bag and head downstairs. My thoughts are on the new case as Tee makes a few visits to nearby bushes. We found a nice small park near the hotel, deserted this time of the morning. Tee is enjoying some freedom from the hotel room. So am I.

While Tee is sniffing every bush and tree in the park, my mind is going over what I know about this case so far. Which is damn little. I need to talk to Tony’s daughter. I also need to have a look inside Tony’s house. If the cops weren’t looking at anything but suicide, there might be something of interest inside. I want to pay a visit to the club Tony was playing at too. Talk to a few people. See if they knew of anyone that had it in for Tony Baloney.

I pull out my phone and punch in Angela’s number. I need the daughters address.

“Hey, Angela.”

“Dee. I’m waiting for the cab so I can pick up my car. I should be there in about fifteen minutes.”

“Bring the number for Cynthia when you come. I want to pay her a visit today.”

“Here’s the cab. I got the number and her address for you. See you soon.”

I hang up thinking Angela sounds more like herself this morning. Efficient. I whistle for Tee and head back to the hotel.

I reach the hotel parking lot just as I see Angela get out of the cab. Tee and I are still on the other side of the parking lot when I spot a man walk up to Angela. Something didn’t feel right to me, even from here. I trust my gut feelings. I speed up to a quick walk, almost a jog, when I see the guy grab Angela’s arm. I hear their raised voices, his angry, her’s scared.

This jerk raises his other hand and slaps Angela. Just as I reach them I hear him say, “Leave things alone lady, or you’ll get hurt.”

There are two things I hate more than anything, one is a person abusing an animal, the other is a bully. This guy was a bully. You could see it in his lidded eyes and thin-lipped sneer.

“Hey, asshole! Get your hands off her!” I get his attention.

“Keep moving lady. This ain’t none of your business.” He still has a large hand grasped around Angela’s arm.

I move right up on them. I grab one finger of the hand that’s on Angela and pull back. Surprise I was taught is sometimes your biggest ally. The idiot yells as I pull that finger back some more.

“You bitch! I’ll kill ya!”

“Who are you working for?” I ask him because guys like this are never the brains. They are just dumb muscle.

“Fuck off!” He yells. Yeah, not very original.

“I would suggest that for yourself,” I tell him as I let him go. I knew he wouldn’t take his own advice.

He reaches behind his back and pulls out a gun.

“I hate guns,” I tell him as I kick him. I didn’t tell him I had a black belt in jujitsu. I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

I step into him and hit his arm off to the side. I stomp his foot and having on my biker boots I know it hurts like hell. I know jujitsu, but I also fight dirty. If someone is going to draw a gun on me, they are going to get hurt. Better him than me. As I toss him over my shoulder and he hits the pavement I grab his throat. My thumb is on his jugular. I know it hurts. I’ve been on the receiving end of it in training.

This guy is out of shape. Lazy. If you are going to be muscle, at least have some. I put more pressure on his jugular.

“Lay still.” I tell him. He quiets down. His eyes are looking at me and they are telling me that I’m dead if he can figure out a way to do it. I’m not worried.

“You tell your boss to lay off Angela. You also tell him that I’ll be around for a while. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I’ll find out. You got that?”

He blinks a few times. I take that as a yes and let up. I grab his gun off the ground and stick it in the back of my jeans. I’ll get rid of it later. One less gun off the streets.

Dumb ass is gasping for breath as he gets up. He’s holding his sore throat. Drunkenly he lurches toward the back of the hotel. I’m thinking he has a car back there. I let him go. I want word to get to his boss. Because something is up and Angela has got her pretty blonde self smack in the middle of it.

I look at her. “What the hell did he want?”

She’s holding Tee and hiding her face in his fur. “Angela!”

She jerks her head up and looks at me. I see the red mark on her cheek from when Stupid slapped her but see no tears. I walk up to her.

“What is going on Angela? What did he want?”

“He asked me where the deed was.”

“What deed? To what?”

“The old Wenner estate. Tony and I bought it together a few months ago. It was up for auction for back taxes. It’s run down from decades of neglect, but it sits on some good acreage. We had plans to fix the mansion up into a small exclusive hotel, spa, and nightclub.”

“Doesn’t sound like something to kill over.”

As the words are coming out of my mouth, Angela gives me a strange look. “What aren’t you telling me?” I demand.

“There are rumors that old man Wenner, back in the twenties, hid some gold bullion somewhere on the estate. Tony and I didn’t believe it as people have been trespassing and looking for this gold for years and not finding a thing! Can that be what they want?”

An old estate. An eccentric old man. A gold bullion legend. A thug who talks and looks like a Mafia wannabe?

Add one possible murder and the attack on Angela. What have I got?

Oh, crap.

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 

Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death

I’m not going to list each preceding chapter every day. It would get much too long.  If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

 

Death is Deadpan

“Who was this Tony to you?” I ask a now calm Angela.

“He was my best friend. I could and did tell him everything and he would understand.” Angela was calm, but her tears were still flowing.

I got up and checked the small fridge in the room for some water. I grab two bottles and hand one to Angela. I open mine and find Tee something to drink out of and pour some for him. Then I sit down again and see Angela’s tears have dried up. Good. I never was good with crying females, they make me nervous.

“Were you guys lovers or something?”

“Oh God no! It was never anything like that! I loved Tony, but as a best friend.” She actually looks a bit put out by my question.

“Tony and I met several years ago when I walked into the club he was performing in. I was hell-bent on getting over my last breakup and the place looked like it would be fun.”

“So, he was a musician? Those were never your types in college Angela.”

I saw her smile. Now, she looked like the Angela I knew. “Oh, he wasn’t a musician, he was a stand-up comedian. His show was so funny, it made me forget my misery.  After his show was done he was having a drink at the bar and I went up and thanked him. We hit it off from the beginning and were best friends ever since.”

A stand-up comic? That was even less like the old Angela. In fact, there were bets placed back then that Angela didn’t have a sense of humor. I guess college pranks weren’t all that funny.

“So why would someone want a comedian dead?”

“I don’t know why anyone would want to kill Tony!”

The waterworks were looking like they were going to start again, so I ask another question hoping to head them off.

“Did he have any enemies that you knew of?”

Angela was looking a bit shaky, but no more tears at least. “He never told me about anyone that disliked him that much. I know he was having some problems with his daughter. Now she might have killed him! She’s not a nice person.”

Daughter? How old was this Tony? Did he have a wife too? Maybe one that didn’t like him having a pretty blonde woman as a best friend? All these thoughts are swirling in my head. What the hell am I getting myself into here? A crime of jealousy?

“Daughter? Did he have a wife too?”

Angela sat back in her chair like she was exhausted. She closed her eyes and answered my question.

“His wife died several years before I met him. Cancer. His daughter used Tony like an ATM machine. She only ever contacted him when she wanted more money. Like I said, she’s not nice.”

I grab my notebook from the nightstand and look around for a pen. Even the Hilton must have pens in their rooms. I find one, a nice silver one with the name Hilton discreetly etched on it. Classy. As long as it works.

“What’s the daughters name? I want to talk to her.”

Angela opened her eyes and looks over at me. “Cynthia. Cynthia Bandoni. I have her number at my office. I’ll get it for you later.”

I write the name down. “Thanks.”

“Bandoni, Tony’s last name too?”

“Yes, Cynthia never found a man who could afford her, yet.”

I smile. Certainly no love lost there. “Can you get me into Tony’s place? Is that where he was supposed to have killed himself?”

I try to ask these questions as gently as I can. I don’t want to set Angela off again. They were questions that had to be asked though. There were going to be more too. I give an inner laugh. I guess that means I’m accepting the case. Hell, it’s got my curiosity revved up. I have dozens of questions I want to ask but I better stifle myself for now, or at least till Angela is more herself.

One more question I have to ask, then I’ll send Angela home to rest. It was getting late and I was hungry and tired.

“Angela, how old was Tony?”

She smiles, her eyes on me. “Seventy-three. He was the youngest seventy-three-year-old man I ever knew. He would have liked you Dee.”

Seventy-three? Crap.

I walk Angela down the hallway to the bank of elevators. Making her promise to call a cab and not try to drive in her exhausted condition. She agrees. Just as the elevator doors are closing she smiles.

“Dee? Did I tell you what Tony’s stage name was? It was a play on his real name. Tony Baloney. He was a funny guy.”

I had to laugh.

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 

Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, stories, writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death

I’m not going to list each preceding chapter every day. It would get much too long.  If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Cutout Letters

 

I was looking over the Hilton’s high-priced menu from their restaurant downstairs when a knock sounded on the door. Must be Angela.

As soon as the door was open in rushes Angela. “Dee! Thank God you’re here! I do hope you’re good at this private eye business! Of course you are! You’re Dee! You would be good at it!”

Before I could even get a hello injected into her fast talking, nervous dialog, she starts again.

“Dee! You are good at it aren’t you? I can’t talk to the police and so I thought of you because someone told me that you were a private detective now and I didn’t know what else to do! Someone killed Tony! Now they might be after me! I don’t even know why!”

Whoa. This was not the Angela I knew in college. This was some caricature of her. Not a good one either. She was standing in the middle of the room, still talking in a fast, scared, non-stopping clip. I had to make her calm down if I was going to make any sense of what she was telling me.

For half a second, I thought of slapping her, but I don’t think she would appreciate my tactics. So I decided to use a different method. I grab her shoulders and give her a hard brief shake. She at least stopped talking. Now she was staring up at me with big tear-filled blue eyes and her mouth wide open. Not a good look on anyone.

“Sit down Angela and tell me what the hell is going on. Slowly.”

I push her into a chair and sit across from her. I see her take a deep breath and let it out. She wipes her eyes and hands me a note that I hadn’t noticed she had gripped in her fist. I straighten it out and read it.

Crap.

It was made up of cut out letters from magazines. Crooks actually still do that? Old school I’m thinking. Or they are into the dramatics.

note for book

It was time for me to know about Tony.

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. You could just say hi! Thanks! 

Posted in Fiction, postaday, Serial story, writing

April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death

I’m not going to list each preceding chapter every day. If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Bikes and Bellboys

Before I leave for Ashville, I need a few things from home. I find the saddlebags for the Harley and start packing them. Tee is watching me expectantly. He’s a smart dog, he knows something is up.

I’m done packing, now it’s time to hit the road. I have to admit. I’m curious about Angela and the dead guy, Tony. I have a lot of questions. They were only going to get answered once I get to Ashville. I have the bike ready, I grab up the leather bag I use to carry Tee in when I’m riding.

“Come on Tee, lets ride.”

I grab him up and stick him in the bag and put on his special goggles. He loves to stick his head out of the bag when we’re riding so I had Mr. Frinklestein, the old watch repairman make up a pair of goggles for him. I get a lot of looks and laughs when Tee and I are out and about but they protect his eyes and for a dog, he’s pretty laid back about it all. Personally, I think he likes the attention from the ladies when he wears them.

The leather bag with Tee, I place across my chest as I hop on the bike. The weather is beautiful and it should be a great day for a five-hour trip.

Tee and I have an unadventurous trip to Ashville and arrive well before five o’clock. I find the Hilton and park my bike. Looking around as I take off my helmet and grab the saddlebags, I smell the brininess of the ocean. I look up at the Hilton and wonder how Angela got into real estate. In college, she had big plans to become a teacher in her hometown, somewhere in Hicksville.

Noticing all the fancy cars and SUV’s, this was as far away from Hicksville as she could get. And into real estate?  This certainly wasn’t the Angela I used to know.

I walk to the front counter to check in and some guy with a haughty attitude is watching me approach.

“May I help you Miss?”

“I’m supposed to have a reservation. DeeDee Watson.”

“Just a minute, please.” He’s checking the computer, discreetly tucked under the counter and I’m checking out the hotel.

It’s cool and quiet, with lots of marble and oak. Understated elegance I guess most would say. Me, I’m tired and just want to get settled and give Angela a call.

The haughty guy finally looks up from the computer and a bellboy seems to appear out of nowhere. He grabs my saddlebags and Mr. Haughty smiles a tiny smile.

“Room 432 Miss Watson. I do hope you enjoy your stay with us.”

“Yeah, thanks, I’m sure I will.”

I follow the bellboy to the bank of elevators. All this time Tee has been tucked away in the bag. Once we get into the elevator, he pops his head out, still with the goggles on.

The young bellboy takes a look at Tee and bursts out with a laugh, which he quickly stifles. He gives me a look and smiles.

“Sorry, Miss Watson. Your dog took me by surprise.”

“Not to worry.” I tell him as I slip off Tee’s goggles.

“I’m not going to have a problem with him here, am I?” I ask the young man. I see by his name tag that he’s called William.

“Oh no! Miss Watson. Lot’s of guests bring their small pets here.”

“Just call me Dee, William. Miss Watson makes me nervous.”

“You can call me Billy then.” He gives me a big smile.

The elevator doors open, I follow my new friend down the hall. He stops about midpoint and opens a door.

I step inside and set the bag down with Tee in it. Tee immediately steps out and goes exploring. I dig in my jeans pocket for Billy’s tip.

“Thanks, Billy. I can take things from here.” I hand him a generous tip.

“You need anything Dee, you call downstairs and ask for me. I’ve lived here all my life. I know all the out-of-the-way places the tourists never see.” He gives me an impudent wink and closes the door on his way out.

I need to call Angela and let her know I’m here. I hear Tee snuffling around as I dig my phone out of the saddlebags.

I punch in the number she gave me this morning and hear her voice on the other end.

“It’s me, Dee. I’m at the Hilton. Room 432, just come up and we’ll talk where it’s private.”

“I’m on my way.”

Angela sounded relieved that I was here. Did something else happen in the five hours between our phone conversations? Guess I’ll find out in about twenty minutes.

 

 

I always enjoy comments, constructive criticism. Or just say hi! Thanks! 

Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, writing

April A to Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death

The April A to Z challenge is upon us! As I stated a few days ago, my theme is writing another DeeDee Watson, PI story. Each chapter will go through the alphabet A – Z in order.

Don’t worry, the chapters will be relatively short. So, here we go!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Adventure

I’m sitting in my office with a cup of joe and my dog Tee. Both of us on the edge of boredom when my phone rings. Now, it’s not unusual for my phone to ring, what is unusual is the caller’s name that was showing up.

Angela Michaels. I haven’t heard that name since my college days. We used to be roomies back in the day. Haven’t heard from her since just after graduation. The only way to know what she wanted was to answer the ringing phone.

“DeeDee Watson.”

“Dee? This is Angela Michaels.”

“Hey, Angela, been a while. How you doing?”

“I heard you were a Private Investigator now. Is that true?”

Ah yes, Angela always was one to skip the pleasantries. ‘Cut to the chase Angela’ we used to call her. She never was one for small talk. That’s OK, I’m not good at it either.

“Yeah, I’m a PI now.”

“I need your help Dee. Can you come to Ashville?”

Ashville was about a five hour drive north of here. Nice size town, known for its waterfront condos and upscale community. In other words, rich people lived there.

“That’s quite a drive Angela without me knowing why.”

“I own a real estate business here. My friend Tony is dead! They said it was suicide, but I know that’s not true. Tony would never take his own life! I need you to find out who killed Tony!”

Angela was not her usual unshakable self. Unless she changed a lot since college, which I doubt, she was really upset about her friend Tony.

“Calm down Angela.”

I hear her take a deep, unsteady breath. “I’m sorry Dee, but this has really been a bad week for me. Can you come? I’ll pay your expenses and put you up in one of the best hotels here.”

It took me all of ten seconds to decide. What the hell. I always liked Angela. “I’ll be there by five this afternoon.”

“Thank you, Dee! Go to the Hilton on Main street. I’ll reserve a room for you. Call me at 555-8833 when you arrive and I’ll meet you there.”

“Got it. I’m on my way.”

I stick the phone number I had just written down in my pocket. Time for Tee and I to get moving on our next case.

Feel free to leave comments, helpful criticisms, or just say hi!