A Web of Mystery – GS

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Scene setting – Detectve Frank Malone’s apartment.

co-written with VunG

 

Razorbackwriter:  The ride over to Frank’s place was a fairly quiet one. Frank had tilted his head enough to rest against the glass of the passenger door, and soon he was snoring softly – the drink now having lulled him to sleep. Tommy played some Fleetwood Mac on his car sound system, and that too might have caused Frank to fall asleep. Being that Tommy couldn’t sign as he drove, he didn’t think it was a good idea to try and make conversation with Elissa in the back and so he kept his focus on the road ahead. He knew the way to Frank’s place, mainly cause he had been there often enough. This might well be the first time that Elissa had seen Frank’s digs, but to be truthful they were nothing much to write home about. The ex took most of the family’s possessions, so when he took the apartment, it had been furnished by the previous tenant, who had died shortly before Frank took the lease. The furnishing were dated circa 1950’s and oddly enough suited the detective to the ground. The former tenant was a movie buff, and had film posters on the walls. Black and whites mostly. Classics all the same.

Pulling up at the curb outside the apartment complex, Tommy shut off the engine, only to hear Frank’s snoring. “Great.”Tommy said without thinking. The last thing he wanted to do was carry the guy up two flights of stairs. Getting out of the car, he opened Frank’s door carefully, and caught his friend before he fell out onto the road. Giving him a light shake, he stirred the Detective enough to wake him. “Come on, buddy.” Easing Frank out and making sure he was steady on his feet, Tommy asked Elissa through sign. ~You coming up?~ If she answered him with yes, he would wait for her to alight from the vehicle before taking Frank up the path to the entrance.

Frank muttered a few words before rousing properly and then recognizing his apartment. “Home sweet hovel.” Words of endearment surely for his current abode. Going up the two flights of steps, Frank was now able to stand on his own, and fumbled about in his pockets for his keys. He had a large key chain that even featured a pokemon character…pikachu…or something yellow. Turning the key in the lock, the door swung open and the trio would instantly be hit by a musty smell. Yeah, this was a single man’s apartment alright.

Entering the dimly lit front room, you could see a study off to the left and a kitchenette to the right. In the study, if you cared to take a look was walls of pictures…reports….all to do with the death of Frank’s partner, Rory Lismore. As Frank went to the bathroom, probably to throw up now he was home, Tommy wandered into the study and turned on the light. The scale of the amount of photos and documents on the walls and all across the desk was shocking. It was like this case had consumed his life, even more so than Tommy realized. Glancing back at Elissa, Tommy wondered what her reaction would be to see all of this.

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There was one thing that stood out in the middle of all this. A single framed photograph of Frank’s son who was sitting on his dad’s shoulders at the fair. A moment in time when both were so happy, a time that was now lost to memory as Frank’s life was now a race to uncover the truth about Rory and the other mysterious goings on.

Frank emerged from his bathroom having been sick from his night on the grog. He was wiping his face with a damp cloth when he entered his study in behind Elissa and Tommy. Folding his arms, he too stared at the walls of photographs of destruction and chaos, newspaper clippings about the death of Rory and the subsequent investigation. Pictures of Frank were on the wall too.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Surprisingly, Elissa hadn’t even passed by Frank’s place at any point (at least not knowingly), something that she should’ve probably done if for no other reason than to make sure her research was complete. Still, that was fixed soon enough, and after a relatively pleasant drive through the night, they would come up to the place, and she would see that at the very least the detective wasn’t living in a truly rough part of town. She had fully been expecting to have to just wait for Tommy to get Frank situated, but would be surprised when he signed if she was coming, which she would gladly take him up on without actually saying anything, piling out of the car quickly.

She kept close to Frank during the walk up the steps, keeping herself perched in a position to better catch him if he stumbled, and would quietly follow the boys up to the house. She indeed noticed the Pikachu on his keychain, and it intrigued her that he would have something so childish on it, but she didn’t judge him based on it of course. As they waited for him to unlock the door, she commented to Tommy, ~By the way, I appreciate it, but you don’t need to sign to me. I’m mute, not deaf.~ Following the boys in, she’d rather quickly wave a hand in front of her face to try and get the smell away from her. Yeeeaaaah… not having a woman’s touch around was doing bad things to this place, wasn’t it?

Initially she just looked like she was wandering around, not really looking at anything specific, just killing time and keeping herself warm. However, when as she passed by the study, she came to a stop and found herself drawn to it much like a moth to flame. Placing her good hand on her chin, she went about looking it over, examining the board more than anything and trying to see if he’d made any connections that she hadn’t. Truth be told, she actually had one of these herself, albeit less obsessively large; she did this with every one of her cases and had multiple boards for just this purpose. It was a helpful organizational tool. Eventually she’d realize that they were pretty much just as much in the dark as she was and let out a sigh, putting her hands on her hips as she looked down towards the desk. Damn… no luck.

However, she would notice one thing, and that was the picture of Frank and his son. Initially the glare of light blinded it for her, so she’d reach over to tilt it up. Of course, once she saw it, her own misfortune dropped on her like an atom bomb, and she promptly let out a strange sputtering cough that may have normally been a sob, and by the time that Frank had come out she was pinching her eyes and trying not to cry as she pictured her beloved husband’s corpse. God… at least Frank still had the knowledge his son was alive… but Elissa… she was alone in this world. Her husband, her son, both gone; one didn’t even have a chance.

Eventually she’d shake it off, straightening herself up and running her hand down her face to remove any suggestion of tears before looking at the others, her eyes a little red but otherwise she was back to her usual ice queen treatment. ~Well… at least we’re on equal footing,~ she commented to Tommy, grimacing a little at just how incomplete this case was.

 

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