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Scene Four: The Handyman

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  1. #1
    Seryna's Avatar

    Jennifer Hazelton

    The Motel

    The man stepped back into the small motel, leaving the door wide open.

    "You say you're not with the Sheriff?" The man wheedled again.
    “Then I'll talk to you. My name's Fredrick Walker. New folks around here are always bad news. We need to talk. Come on inside, I’ll put on some coffee.”

    The man was good to his word, moving to a small and neat kitchenette. He had a microwave, a tea kettle and a faithful Mr. Coffee. The man set up a 10 pot to brew and gestured to the biggest piece of furniture besides the bed, a card table with four folding dinette chairs. The chairs were good quality - wooden and upholstery. They clashed with the cheap card table that fit the motel. You imagine that Fredrick has furnished his rented motel room on his own dime.


    Fredrick moves over and takes a seat in the first chair, giving a grateful sigh as he rests his old bones.

    "If somethings gone missing, you ought to go talk to Adam Chen, the night manager. He's a shady character. He's not even supposed to be here at 10 in the morning, but there he is like a bad penny. You ought to keep a sharp ear out for the Sheriff and his Deputy, too."

    The man perks and glances towards the door, listening.

    "He's not a man to cross. Lets be quick about it."

    ...

    Fredrick listens to Al gravely and then leans forward.

    "A woman's gone missing?" He sucks in some air between his teeth, shaking his head.

    "I hate to say it, but pretty women shouldn't be around here. There's been all sorts of strange things going on." The man pauses and looks up, organizing his thoughts.

    "I hate to hear about the woman, though. That's bad news. I didn't see a woman this morning, but I was doing my exercises. I was just about to do my rounds." Fredrick stated. There appears to me no deceit in him. He's taken the news of a missing woman to heart and seems heart sick. His winkled face is a mass of frown and concern.

    "What do you think happened to her? How can I help?"

    Justin Cross

  2. #2
    Cross's Avatar


    "Yes, sir," Alistair said with a nod. As the old handyman spoke, Al looked interested. "She was kidnapped, sir. It would be very helpful if you could tell me everything you know about the Sheriff, his Deputy, this Adam Chen fellow, the strange things... and this area generally." He flashed the man a sympathetic smile. "I'm sorry. That's a lot of questions, but it's very important. Her life is at stake."

  3. #3
    Seryna's Avatar

    Jennifer Hazelton

    Mr. Walker lets out a long sigh at Alistair's questions.

    "This place has never done a good bit of business. I've been here ten years and those have been good years." His voice catches on the last word. "Until six years ago when D'angelo blew into town. He doesn't do much work, but I see that stranger slinking around here at night. Some six years ago I used to see him and the Sheriff taking nearly every meal at that restaurant."

    Walker stands and flicks open the blinds. You realize now that this motel room is the ideal vantage point from which to spy on the Restaurant and the Rest Stop. With the tree blocking the light and shading Mr. Walker's window, one might never know that they were being observed.

    "Sheriff and his Deputy drive through here at least every week. They get kicks hassling people out of here who aren't deadbeat ex - cons, so few people ever stay for long. We got Chen, the night manager. Those three - Vick, MacGrueder and Cole - who work at the Rest Stop. MacGrueder - he's getting pretty distant lately. Those lot are thick as thieves with each other, but they seem to all be afraid of that other fellow. I'm willing to bet that any kidnapping of this poor girl involves Chen’s three friends from the rest stop across the street, as well as Sheriff Ostler, and that other fellow. "

    "Sheriif Ostler is a very bad man. Corrupt as the night is long."
    Walker's tone is bitter. "Always has money, that one does. Come to think of it, all those young punks do, not that this motel is doing any sort of business. I expect they have some sort of drug ring, so I make sure I stay out of any late night meetings when the out of town cars come in. I keep shuffling Miss. Edie out of here by 5 - no one comes over here in daylight, seems like. Oh," He smacks his knee.

    "- almost forgot about 'dem Pit Bulls." Something dark and hollow, like some deep seated terror flickers in Walker's eyes.

    "Something is deeply wrong with those animals. I've never seen the punks touch 'em- I wouldn't stand for hitting a dog, you see-" He meets your eyes to see if you understand.
    "But those beasts are unnatural. Mean. I've seen them move like ghosts on the wind. Big beasts like that, you ought to hear it. Some nights I be going about my business and I turn and see one of them watching me. Like I'm a meal. Seems like they're always listening to something I can't hear." His tone is speculative on that point.

    He looks at the window pane and purses his lips. He opens his mouth and closes it with a snap. He wants to say something, but it seems like his mind is deciding that no, he better not.
    Cross

  4. #4
    Cross's Avatar


    At his core, Alistair realized just how deep the wrongness of this scenario went. Ghosts in the telephone camera. A missing woman. A corrupt cop or two. Men watching them from a closed-off restaurant. Pit bulls that moved silent as demons. A man rolling into town which even a trio of ex-cons were afraid of. He let out a long, low breath, concerned as hell about where this was going to lead. He needed to regroup and let the girls know what was up. They needed to know that nothing here was to be trusted.

    Perhaps not even this old man, but he seemed to be trapped in all of this.

    "Mr. Walker, I think you should do your very best to stay inside and lay very low today. Can you describe these fellas to me so I know what I'm looking for? And is there anything else you can tell me about this area or this place?"

  5. #5
    Seryna's Avatar

    Jennifer Hazelton

    "I've worked here for ten years. " Mr. Walker says heavily. "Not a place here that I don't know about. This place is mighty isolated. Folks don't come by here often. Maybe to drive in for gas and out in the same breath. I'd expect that you've come with your side arm?"

    He glances at Alistair speculatively.

    "Remember no 911 calls get any one out here in two minutes. We get by on our own."

    He meets your eyes for a moment.

    "Those punks are used to getting their way. Sheriff and his Deputy do what they want with impunity and nothing ever stops it. The folks you want are all in that restaurant except for Chen, whose in the motel office. Vick and Cole are big guys. They roll around in bulky clothing most often than not, but its not fat under there. MacGrueder's been hiding out in his trailer more often, but I saw him on the restaurant porch earlier. Sheriff and the Deputy will be in uniform and in their expensive, shiny new truck and car. "

    His lips work into a scowl at that.

    "The stranger I never see in the light long enough to get a good look at him. I do what I can, but seems like these lights flicker and pop out when I try and focus on him too long. His name's D'angelo and he's a monster. "

  6. #6
    Cross's Avatar


    Forging ahead per ST.


    Alistair nodded, leaning back in his chair as he answered the question. "We're well armed, sir. We expected trouble - kidnappers usually don't like to give their marks up easily." He frowned. "D'Angelo. All right. Do you know first names for these fellows? I want to phone them in and see what I can find."

    He paused. Maybe there was one other thing... "Also... are there any tunnels or back ways through this area that I ought to be aware of? It would be really handy to be able to move around without those boys watching us from the porch."

  7. #7
    Seryna's Avatar

    Jennifer Hazelton

    "Adam Chen is the manager of the hotel. He's a smarmy bastard, thinks he's cute with the ladies. The tattoo on his arm makes me think he's seen the inside of the pen. Vick and Cole are the first names. Last names are... let me think..."

    The older gentlemen tips his head back. The coffee pot makes a chugging noise to signal that the task is completed. Mr. Walker rises and pours from the carafe into solid blue ceramic mugs. He places the mugs on a small metal t.v. tray, onto which go two spoons and a sugar bowl. Mr Walker carries the tray the fourteen feet back to the 'dining room' and places the tray on the card table. He takes his coffee black. A good drink and Mr. Walker leans forward. He seems more awake, now. More aware.

    "Sorry, don't think that I know the names of the men at the Restaurant. Sure you can make them show you their I.D. .." The old man swirls the coffee in his mug.

    "Sheriff is Louis Ostler. Pig extraordinaire."

    "Tunnels? No, 'fraid not. I would have liked to have done the same." At the mention to stay inside, he remarks. "I'm missing my rounds. Say, if there's a woman hidden around here, it wouldn't be out place for me to do my normal routine. If I see her, I can call you folks. "

    He looks to Sam.
    "I won't be stupid. I'm just past retirement age. May cash it in, now. Don't want to be involved in some place that kidnaps ladies."

    Walker drains half his cup and sets it on the table. He rises and checks out the window, frowning.

    "MacGrueder's out in force. Got two of the beasties with him. " Something changes in the man's tone. A note of alarm enters his voice as he cranes his neck, checking the door at the farther end of the motel. You imagine he's checking room six - Diane's room.

    "You didn't say you had ladies with you. They undercover?"

    Justin Cross

  8. #8
    Cross's Avatar


    "We're not undercover," he said matter-of-factly. Alistair had no intention of playing this lightly. "I've got to go now. Thank you so much for your help, sir. Please, stay safe."

    His phone rang. It was Tal . He took the call quickly, motioning to Sam to be ready...

  9. #9
    Cross's Avatar


    Alistair and Tal have agreed that we're going to go out and hook back up. If MacGruder is coming, we'll talk to him. Might be time for a new scene?


    Al looked to his partner and nodded toward the door. Time to go.

  10. #10
    J
    Justin

    I am really sorry for not noticing this thread; I thought I had things set up to email me when I get tagged, but I guess I don't. I'll keep a better eye out if we move to a new thread.


    Sam nodded back to Alistair. Mr Walker had been incredibly helpful, and his blood boiled to hear about the situation here. In Sam's eyes, the only thing worse than a crook was a crooked cop. He seethed inwardly as he prepared to move out with his partner.

    "You know, it's times like these that I regret not hitting the shooting range. Al, you're going to have to get me acquainted once this is over."

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