Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wordzzle 62 - Is Eight Enough?

Hey it's Saturday, so get yourself on over to the Raven's Nest and check out the show.

This week's Ten Word Challenge: gentle spring rain, mammoth, soap opera, worry, bubble gum, garden gate, seizure, of Biblical proportions, paralysis, wrinkles

Mini Challenge: operatic, stuffed animals, anger management, biographical, paint splatters

This weeks Episode: Real Estate Fortunes

Charles Hollingsworth had received the acceptance letter from the PPIP office and had finished e-mailing the results to Charlotte when he noticed a visitor coming through the garden gate that was just outside his office. He loved the way the office was positioned to catch the afternoon breezes.

Charles was a crass man in many ways, but he appreciated the solitude and luxury his success had afforded him. What did it matter to him that it (his success) would come to fruition with the collapse of the very real estate market he had pumped up for two decades. The crisis, while of Biblical proportions, was just a tool to increase his profits.

He watched the woman walk gracefully through his lavish garden and come to the set of French doors leading to his office. From the first view of the woman's face it was impossible to tell that this might be his Charlotte. All the wrinkles were gone from this face looking at him and she seemed years younger. Yet, when he looked into those strangely Emerald eyes he was sure it was her.

"Connie, is that you?" he asked as she entered the room. "Only Charlotte now my love" she replied "and never any other name even just between the two us." "You understand, don't you Charles?" she finished as they embraced. Charlotte took the time to take off her shoes, which had been dampened by the leavings of an atypical gentle spring rain from the night before. It occurred to her as she did this that it wasn't really necessary, but she needed to keep up appearances.

For Charles's part there was never a worry at the unexpected arrival of his partner and sometimes lover. She could be quite mercurial in spite of her mathematical accomplishments. Her derivatives were some of the most unfathomable and most profitable of all the more than 600 trillion dollars worth that had been written in the preceding decade. While her total was a lowly 500 billion, it represented over 100 billion in profit when their scheme was put into play.

At a time when banks, hedge funds and the good ole US taxpayer was taking it in the shorts, their partnership would make 20% on 500 billion and over 1000% profit from their initial 10 million investment. The Saudis had supplied the rest and then lost it when Indy Mac was closed by the FDIC. The stealthy but lucrative CDSs were sitting in the governments hands and the new company had already placed and won a bid on them.

Charlotte's signature on the checks and the final papers was all that stood in the way of completing the deal.

"How did you get here so soon?" he asked as he kissed the nape of her neck. "Don't worry, I gave everyone the day off today" he added. "We've got the entire estate to ourselves." Charlotte already knew this. The idea of the day off on Mayday and Bank Monday had been floated by her through her contact in the household staff. She had advised Charles to go ahead with it when she e-mailed her reply to his question concerning the history of the day and her advice on setting the precedent. Little did he know that he and this ridiculous homage to his narcissism would not live to see the precedent take effect.

To the eventual investigators it would look as if he had a seizure and left a candle burning by his magnificent sunken tub. By the time they found his charred corpse there would be no sign of the drug given him to induce paralysis and make him a much more compliant playmate.

Charlotte needed only to remind herself to make sure he had an erection when the drug took effect. That way she could play at will for at least another hour. And the one truly wonderful thing about Charles was his member. It was no wonder she was able to take such advantage of him. All the blood must have rushed from his brain each time his mammoth organ became aroused, because that would be the only explanation as to how she so easily deceived him.

Perhaps she'd take him here first, since the office did not sport the watchful eyes of stuffed animals like her male victim's offices had. There was something off-putting about looking up into the eyes of a long dead Tiger and then looking down into the eyes of a frightened and paralyzed man. She much preferred the latter to the former. Then when done with him she’d use his remaining breathes for a little anger management workout. There was no need to worry about the forensic evidence; it would all be burnt up in the fire.

Charles was overcome by her obvious arousal and her aggressiveness. She walked with him in tow towards the master bath. He had no option but to follow as she tugged not to gently on his now aroused member and led him down the hall like he was on a leash.

The last thing Charles remembered clearly would be the vibrant colors of the paint splatters on the original Jackson Pollock that hung on the wall at his bedroom’s entrance. The rest of the afternoon would fade into a fog of pleasure, pain, and then horrible death.

Sgt Johnson was jarred awake by the phone call from McCool. He picked up the phone and left the bedroom so he wouldn’t wake up Zandilla. She slept lightly when he wasn’t beside her.

After coming to his senses and getting all the info, he called in information requests on both names, Connie Liplin and Constance Lawler. With any luck he’d have some news within the next 24 hours. He let Thomas know he’d get back to him ASAP with anything pertinent.

What would be helpful to his case and the one’s being investigated in Laughlin would be a very big surprise. It would all come down to a 20 year old piece of bubblegum and a lab report from a high school in South Dakota. With luck and hard work the FBI analyst might be able to infer some of the more elusive biographical details of the perpetrator of these violent crimes. Of course Sgt Johnson had no way of knowing this at 3:30 in the morning in his home in suburban Maryland.

Though outside the beltway, Laurel was really just another of the many bedroom communities surrounding our nations capitol. Johnson figured he might as well stay up now; he had to get up a 5:30 for the commute anyway. If he left a little early today he could get a head start on the weeks work.

Martin Heingold was the replacement for the missing accountant with the unwieldy moniker of Edward Darion Jamison III. He was also something of a gambler and a snoop. His gambling had taken the form of options trading, so when he was called in on an emergency basis to take over at Hollingsworth’s Real Estate Syndicate he lost no time in investing some of the firm’s funds in shorting the financial sector.

The trades had been disastrous. Now he had traveled all the way out to his boss’s lavish estate to confess and plead for his job. Had he known the true nature of his employer such an operatic performance would never have entered his mind. He would have just left the country under an assumed name and disappeared. Instead he came to his boss as if he was playing out a part in some modern soap opera or financial Telenova. He was unaware that his pleadings would fall on deaf ears.

So he was very surprised to see a rental car sitting in the back of the compound under a tree near the garden. He had been told that the boss might be alone today. He didn’t know who the visitor might be or how long they would stay, but he’d come this far and figured he might as well see it through. He parked his car out of sight and settled back in his seat to await the departure of the unknown visitor. After all he had nothing but time on his hands, didn’t he?



quilldancer said...

Oh! Oh! Little Connie/Charlotte is playing on short time, I think!

Akelamalu said...

Will evil Charlotte's plan work or will McCool figure it out? Great stuff Rich. :)

Dr.John said...

I just marvel both at the quality of your writing and how seamlessly you work the words in.
I have read novels less well written than this.
I await next week's episode.

CJ said...

As a mystery lover, I enjoyed your response to the challenge.

Fandango said...

You are such a good writer. We can almost taste the nasty lady. But shouldn't you be rated x?

bettygram said...

I think Charlotte maybe will be found out.

Nessa said...

Poor Charlie is only a sexual plaything.

The noose is tightening for Connie/Charlotte. It won't be long now.

Dianne said...

I just remembered something Nana once said - "evil people are always so interesting"

Jeff B said...

Look at that, two Johnsons in one story.

I wonder how much Connie will have to pay out to the witness that was not supposed to be there.

Excellent writing.

Raven said...

Connie/Charlotte sure is way crazy/evil. And now there's a witness. Phew! I'm so glad... You write a great thriller.

Richard said...

Quilly: Don't underestimate Evil

Akelamalu: Only the shadow knows

Dr. John: Thanks and maybe you should consider upgrading your reading list (OK, just kidding)

CJ: Thanks for coming by

Fandango: You guys rocked this week

Betty: see answer to Quilly

Nessa: Don't feel too bad for Charlie, he dies a rich man. Think about the thousands of homeowners he screwed out of their life savings

Dianne: Are you saying I'm interesting? (picture warrior from Old Star Trek series "Do you say you will fight me?")

Jeff B: Ya doesn't have to call me Johnson. You can call me RJ, you can call me Ray Jay, but you doesn't have to call me Johnson!

Raven: Are we getting just a bit ahead of ourselves here?

Thanks to all for coming by, reading and commenting this week.


Finding Pam said...

I really enjoyed your story this week. You have an amazing mind
and your writing is great.

Thank you for stopping by and commeting.

gabrielle said...

Deliciously noir!

Charlotte reminds me of Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction.

I so enjoy your attention to detail and the arc of suspense.

Richard said...

Pam: Back at ya

Gabrielle: Merci, I think

Stephen said...

I enjoyed reading your story. It looks like something interesting is about to happen with the witness. He's only seen the rental car so far, but he's about to see a lot more. I also liked the previous week's episode.

I remember the "you can call me Ray Jay" comedy routine (that you referred to in a comment), from a variety TV show I used to watch decades ago. The man that said it did skits there with other performers. Some of the things they did were pretty funny.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Richard said...

Stephen: Thanks man.