Untitled Mystery (Mild language and some drug references) - Page 3

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Thread: Untitled Mystery (Mild language and some drug references)

  1. #21
    Interesting story, I am curious as to where it is going. You said you were going to post a second chapter, anytime soon?

  2. #22
    I was going to post a 2nd chapter but will instead post another piece of work, a chapter from a fantasy piece i'm working on, Aidos the infinite.

  3. #23

    Chapter Two

    I changed my mind again, I've not gone through looking for mistakes but ill assume there are plenty. Here is the second chapter.

    A town car arrived in forty seven minutes and a fifty seven minutes turnaround with a quick stop at the supermarket for more smokes, I arrive at the gates to Vermilion Manor. A stone cut driveway lined with pines as far as the eye can see curves around as we slowly embark toward hedge gardens and sprawling fields of green grass that look to go on forever. The manor itself is a glimmer in the distance and is far beyond anything seen on the internet. It looks as long as it does wide.
    We pass what’s either a large red brick garage on the way through or it’s what I can only assume was an old greenhouse.
    Tall brick work with a glass roof that has probably never been cleaned. It’s murky top and rundown exterior sends my thoughts into an overdrive as I wonder what lies inside. The eight... no nine as I count them, large padlocks that line the centre doors with thick braces only makes me more curious as to what could be hidden in there.
    As I approach the Manor itself I see Cherry blossom trees on each side of the fields from the driveway.
    Next to them are large oblong stones and I can only assume that is where the bodies were discovered and I’m curious as to why they kept the marked graves.
    We drive up to the front entrance where we park amongst a few town cars. The chauffer opens my door and I eagerly get out. I watch him as he takes my luggage into the manor.
    A man dressed in a neat suit that looks expensive as it shimmers in the sun waits with his arms folded on the first step of many towards the main foyer. A woman sitting on a limestone garden wall, dressed in a sunflower dress with a wide brimmed evening hat polishes her nails as she crosses her legs.
    It’s strange but all of this seems set up, faked as if it is something written in my pulp stories.
    ‘Welcome Mr Valentine, I am Richard Vermilion’ he extends his hand and I shake it cautiously, it’s an awfully familiar situation and I give Richard strange look suggesting this, he clearly notices and clears his throat.
    ‘Please forgive me Mr Valentine, but this scenario, me, the woman I felt compelled’ Richard chortled with a restrained snort at the end.
    ‘Can I go now?’ whined the woman, she sighed and stood up. Richard nodded as she solemnly trudged off up the stairs and into the manor.
    Richard was still smiling and seemingly waiting for a response.
    ‘It’s familiar but I can’t pick it’ I say
    ‘The Dame in the Sunflower Dress’ says Richard
    Like lightning, it penetrated through every facet and I smiled understanding the set up. My third story about a Dame in a sunflower dress who sets up her husband for a, damn... I can’t remember. A story a week and you kinda forget the details about previous stories.
    ‘I remember every detail of your stories’ says Richard, challenging my thoughts.
    ‘You read my stories?’ I asked and it all started to fall into place.
    ‘God yes, your stories are the only reason why I still subscribe to Gumshoe’ says Richard.
    ‘The Dame in the Sunflower dress, top ten. Easily’
    ‘Thanks’ I say not sure whether to be flattered or feel pity for the guy.
    ‘I’m a fan of all the early century detective stories, there so gritty and heroic’ he started sounding more like a fanboy than the dignified man I spoke to earlier.
    ‘Then there is The Fredrick case files and the Evergreen Mystery...’ I put my hand up to stop him, the idea of him reciting every story title he likes feels like something that could take all day and my eagerness to find out why I’m here is becoming too suspenseful.
    ‘Please, I’m eager to find out why I’m here’ I say.
    ‘Sorry Mr Valentine I’m sure you get this all the time’.
    I don’t but it’s not something I’ll admit too.
    ‘Valentine, Mr is not necessary’ I say
    ‘Please follow me, my office is this way’ I follow Richard and we pass to the right of the foyer, I walk slowly to look inside and the classic interior has the smell of varnished wood.
    Walking to Richard’s office I pick up other smells, a faint sea breeze and honey, an odd combination.
    Richard opens a sliding door to a room that has been converted into an office. The inside is more modern than the rest of the premises and has a more Art Decor style about it.
    ‘Please sit’ he says and I find myself rested in a white plastic tub chair that is remarkably comfortable. I look around at the different restoration photos that line the office walls and take into account that there are no family photos in here, just a variation of the manor itself and beneath each photo are model replicas of old classic cars dating back to the early eras of automobiles.
    ‘So, why am I here?’ I ask again, it feels as if getting this question answered might be a mystery itself.
    ‘As you might be aware there were a series of grisly murders found here nearly two years ago’ says Richard, I nodded and he continued ‘what you don’t know is the bizarre nature of the murders, four women relatively of the same age found in different parts of the Manor’s estate’
    ‘How were they found?’ I asked curiously ‘as they are so far apart?’
    ‘Well, one of our Gardeners was planting a Blossom tree, as he was digging he caught a bone, thinking it was limestone or rocks he dug around it to reveal more that he was hoping for. We called the police and an investigation was sub sequentially launched. The reason all the bodies were found we’re because the young girl was missing her head, they dug further down but nothing was found so the police bought in Cadaver sniffer dogs, after a day searching the grounds, three other locations were marked. Throughout the night three more bodies were found in several states of decomposition but oddly, none of them having a head’. I pulled a face that probably resembled sucking a lemon, cringe worthy as the thought itself was chilling.
    ‘So I’m here to write about the mystery?’ I asked puzzled.
    ‘Yes, but not quite, after two years the police have found few things except what I perceive as planted evidence. Not by the police but by the culprit, it leads to an unfortunate frame of which I will explain soon. I was rather disappointed with their investigation, it seemed rather lacklustre and to my further annoyance I spent a small fortune keeping it out of the media so as to not hinder their investigation. So I asked you here as I want you to do your own investigation’ says Richard.
    I burst into a laugh, it was unintended and spontaneous but the idea was ridiculous.
    ‘If the police couldn’t catch a killer or a clue then what chance does an amateur writer have’ I say.
    ‘Very little, but you write mystery and very well so yes in a way I want you to write this as you go along looking into the crime. I have a copy of the police reports and photos. They will be at the group’s discretion’ says Richard.
    Groups, as in more than one.
    ‘You have more than one writer?’ I asked
    ‘No, you are the only writer. I have a small assortment of people here, you are to help each other with your expertise in solving this’ says Richard.
    Scooby-doo, the only thing I could think off was Scooby-frigging-doo. A group solving a crime, I wonder who shaggy is because I’ve always been the Shaggy type only I don’t own a damned horse-Dog. Especially the variety of horse-dog that gets stoned and eats a King’s ransom in food. Then my interest perked up a little and I pondered if this is like Scooby-doo then there might be a Daphne to get closer too.
    ‘So this assortment, what working skills do they have?’ I asked.
    ‘Ah, we’ll meet the group in a few minutes but first there are a few legal bindings to take care off’ says Richard.
    He pulls out a non disclosure form stating that during any investigation that shall proceed, any contact with the media or any affiliation is prohibited. If this is breached so is the contract etcetera and it goes on pretty much stating that the Vermilion name needs to be protected.
    I pretend to read it all but I skim through until I read the addenda. Should this matter be resolved publishing rights towards the author will seek approval of the Vermilion estate in draft and final copy. So no bad mouthing the Vermilion’s then. I peruse further down the addenda and I received what can only be described as a killer erection as I read the words “An authorised reward of One hundred thousand dollars should this case be resolved”.
    ‘There’s a hundred thousand g’s if we solve this?’ I ask, my voice breaks and I sound ridiculous asking in that tone but I clear my throat and stare blankly at Richard.
    ‘If this matter is concluded sufficiently and without damage to reputation then all parties involved will be rewarded that sum in addition to all expenses here’ says Richard.
    I thought hard and while the Vermilion’s had more cash than could be counted this seemed all too surreal and there had to be some catch along the way.
    ‘You think there’s a catch Mr Valentine’ and he reads my mind again, I really need to tone down my expressions.
    ‘Well yeah, don’t get me wrong solving a case that has the police turning up nothing seems unlikely there really feels like there should be something more’ I say
    ‘You and the rest of the group have three weeks. As I previously mentioned, there seems to be convenient evidence that makes me assume a frame job. I have it on good authority that in three weeks the prime suspect will be arrested and the circumstantial evidence will be used against him, in addition all the details relating to the crime will be released to the media and I cannot buy them off this time. He will be tried by the media before he sets foot in a courtroom’ says Richard.
    ‘Who’s the prime suspect?’
    ‘Richard Vermillion the Second’ I like how the word Junior isn’t used, “The Second” as if it is to carry prestige.
    ‘Your son’ I say with a fake surprise look, its faked because I don’t care, if the cops named him the prime suspect its probably because he’s a twisted son of a bitch who killed and beheaded four women.
    ‘If it’s that serious why don’t you hire professionals investigators?’ I ask.
    ‘I did, several. But they seemed more interested in cash flow than any real investigating. Of the four most recommended, two showed up and asked questions, looked around the yard and took photos. One sent his teenage son to gather information and each time I heard from them it was for more cash for more clues but I ended up with close to what the Police found. That brings me to the forth, he was how I ended up with a copy of the police files, that alone cost the amount I paid the other three combined’ says Richard, his tone was hostile when talking about wasting money on little results. I assume they came to a similar conclusion about the son and tried to squeeze as much as they could before he was found guilty.
    ‘I’m sorry but I find it hard to fathom a group as you suggested doing much more’ I say. He looks at me and sighs.
    ‘It’s a last resort. A suggestion was made that I hire a group of individuals who’s perspectives will disparate those who haven’t found anything’ he says. I shrug.
    ‘Please Mr Valentine, come and meet your fellow guests’

    We walk into the main foyer and damned if I’m not impressed, the entire front foyer roof is a mosaic of stained glass telling a story of what looks like fairies and goblins. I look at the staircases that spiral each side of the room to a large hallway and marble floors that are polished to within such a reflection I can see my nose hairs.
    ‘This way’ says Richard guiding me to a lounge bar where a group of people are sitting around a hand carved oak table with the Vermilion crest as the tables centre piece. Each chair or couch comfortably resting the guests is red leather that looks like it belongs to a gentlemen’s club.
    ‘Drink sir’
    The barman offers me a drink from behind the bar, I look at the fine selection of spirits and the two on tap brews, neither appealed to me as I wasn’t in the mood for beer.
    ‘Tequila, big boy glass with at least three limes sitting in the glass’ I turned and smiled at Richard who in turn smiled at me.
    ‘Please welcome our last addition to this group... Mr Valentine’ says Richard.
    ‘Valentine, there is no Mister’
    The Blonde applying a dark shade of red nail polish looks up with a snigger and says ‘your name’s Valentine?’
    ‘Yes, like the hallmark holiday’
    ‘Very queer’ says a fat bastard with a moustache that doesn’t turn around to look at me but keeps reading through the case file.
    I’m tempted to retort with something clever and insulting but I bite my lip as I’m gonna be with these people for the next few weeks and a poor first impression may not be seen as the best way to make new friends, even if the others don’t feel that way.
    ‘Hmm, well’ Richard looks unimpressed with the snarky remarks towards me but continues with his introduction.
    ‘The Gentleman here’ he refers to the obnoxious fat man whose attire is that of a white and red Cuban shirt with beige cargo shorts and sandals. His chunky leg is rested on the other as it jiggles up and down, a twitch perhaps that if I stare at long enough will become annoying.
    ‘This a Francis Benedict, he’s currently an off duty city homicide detective who knows his way around, well this kind of investigation’ he moves on to the next person, an elegant man in a striped grey and maroon suit with a blue Persian cravat, he flicks through a deck of playing cards turning up the ace of spades with every flick of the wrist.
    ‘This is Hugo Helliar, also known as Hellraiser Hugo’ I looked stumped, not because I was, I knew exactly who he was. I wanted to allow himself to tell me. Ego is a precious thing and the moment someone like Hugo realises that there is someone out there who hasn’t heard his name... they tell you everything to impress you.
    ‘I am a Magician, a master Illusionist. You have really not heard of me’ his accent sounded European and his pencil moustache moved in a funny manner with his lip, perhaps a twitch of distain at my lack of knowledge towards knowing of him. I shrugged and gave a sympathetic look.
    ‘Uh... to continue’.
    He extends his hand towards the Blonde who blows on the wet polish.
    ‘This is Hugo’s assistant, Carmen’ clearly not impressed by her attendance here Richard moves on quickly to the last member of this mystery gang.
    ‘Please meet Floyd Zsaz’ says Richard. He stops his introduction at his name and holds his hands clasped together in front of him. He’s waiting for Floyd to speak and there is an awkward tension in the room as all eyes turn to Floyd. An athletically build man with tattoos that come down each arm and piercings in his eyebrows, ears, nose and bottom lip. He looked like he has just come from a Sex Pistols concert and gives Richard a look that almost dares Richard to reveal his profession.
    ‘You’re a crook, a conman’ I say, the ice breaker.
    ‘A Grifter, Conman and Crook’ says Francis.
    Floyd smiles a mischievous grin flashing a perfect white smile and speaks with a surprisingly perfect gentlemen English accent, very posh.
    ‘I am a Con-artist and how did you know?’ he asks surprised.
    ‘The tattoo of the two faced devil on your right wrist, when I was researching a story I found it a common trait with all men in your field of work, a distinguishing mark to identify yourself among other con-artists’ I say.
    ‘There’s no art in what you do’ says Francis.
    ‘I disagree, to pull of a perfect job is merited in artistic ability. Everything from setting up a scenario and acting out the Con and executing the getaway before anyone has realised’ says Floyd.
    ‘Yeah but your not good at it are you?’ chuckled Francis ‘Otherwise you wouldn’t be here as a consultant’.
    ‘I like to think it’s because I am quite good at it as too why I’m used as a consultant’ says Floyd.
    This isn’t going to be a get along strong group, I look at Floyd and see him tapping his right index and middle three times on his knee, it’s a slight movement perhaps a tell. Floyd’s uneasy last statement unfortunately forces words out from my mouth, I try to restrain myself but lack of discipline in blurting out the wrong thing overwhelms me.
    ‘If your really that good then no one should have heard of you, anonymity is the sign of a good conman’ it echoed in my head and instantly the first thought is why piss of the one guy who looks like he could shank you without a thought. The rest of the group including the ditzy blonde found this statement funny and the scowl towards me made from Floyd made me unintentionally gulp, choke and cough into a fit that fortunately took the attention off him and squarely on me.
    The Barman brings my drink and I take large gulp of tequila that burns like a jalapeño on mouth sore but takes away the itch in my throat. My eyes water from coughing too hard and I wipe them with my thumb and finger.
    When the blurry vision subsides Richard hands me the file that everyone except the ditzy blonde and her Illusionist Master are reading.
    ‘Lunch?’ I asked
    ‘Oh, Lunch has been served already but please see our kitchen staff and they will make you something’ says Richard.
    I raise my glass in appreciation and take another look at the motley crew of hand picked investigators who apart from one has no investigative experience.

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