Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wordzzle 71 - Crazy eights

Deal yourself a winning hand by betting on all the other stories and links at the Raven's Nest.

The Ten Word Challenge: sober, spoilage, knight, laugh and the world laughs with you, peak, blueberries, owl, drugstore, lampshade, and keyboard

The mini challenge: economy, Michael Jackson, ladder, clue, structure

This week's Episode: Riverboat gambler

Martin spent just enough time in the internet cafe in Macapa to learn that the mysterious redhead was a local demi-celebrity in nearby French Guiana. What she had been doing in California at his now deceased and disgraced ex-boss's house was questionable. He had no clue as to her motivation or intention, but sober thinking convinced him to avoid her at all costs.

After purchasing a guide for the interior he made his way through the town in search of a drugstore for some malaria tablets and first aid gear, a clothing store for proper jungle attire and some sort of a hotel for a decent nights sleep.

The local economy was able to accommodate his needs, though the hotel room's lighting included a lampshade inhabited by lizards. Martin found the local cuisine to his liking and his fine dinner filled with fresh seafood cooked with expertise and talent. There was no sign of spoilage or tainted shellfish. The staff at the Hotel Ceta provided Martin with cereal and blueberries for breakfast the following morning, though the local melons seemed more appropriate than his standard corn flakes.

The shops were playing Michael Jackson hits in honor of the deceased singer as Martin moved around town to accomplish his preparations prior to boarding the riverboat "Amazonia Grande", the first of its kind to make the run from Macapa to Manaus. Well, at least to the falls just 30 Km below and then there would be a jeep run the rest of the way. Once there, Martin would get to see the beauty and structure of the deep Amazon interior on yet another riverboat, the "River Owl".

The small town of Macapa gave Martin hope that whatever he had inadvertently gotten involved in back in the states would fade into his past. The people were friendly and proved the old adage "laugh and the world laughs with you."

Back in Laughlin, the working group investigating the serial killer murders was being briefed via teleconference from Sgt Johnson in D.C. "So here's what we know for sure" he summarized. "Connie Liplin/Constance Lawler is our serial killer, but we're pretty sure she's changed identities again." We've connected her with the Charles Hollingsworth real estate fraud and believe she may have been in L.A. at the time of the house fire." "Information from the French National Police is that the DNA test on the noblewoman in French Guiana came back negative."

"We've worked our way up the evidence ladder to the top rung and we're just missing one thing; the perp" he finished. "Anyone out there have any ideas?" he added as an afterthought. "How about following up on the real estate angle" McCool replied. "I'd like to talk to the investor that lost billions in the original deal" he continued. "The young Saudi Prince Akim al Hatar ek Farsim will be in L.A. for the opening of the new Art gallery next week and I've got invitations for Jean and me from a friend" McCool continued. "We could drive over for the opening and talk to the Prince while there.''

"What makes you think he'll want to talk with you?" Johnson asked. McCool gave Johnson the breakdown on the Prince and his attempt at entering the California market. The Prince had invested at the peak of the bubble and lost just under five billion dollars by the time Indy Mac failed. Thomas was confident he would get an audience with the Prince and that the Prince would want some justice for the fraud perpetrated on him and others. The group also discussed the revelations concerning the killers M.O. and the lab's finding that the killer was using a combination of herbal and psychedelic drugs to incapacitate her victims.

That ended the conference and Dan punched the exit button on the keyboard. "Well, with you and Jean taking off to rub elbows with the Artsy Fartsy crowd in L.A., perhaps I'll take the opportunity to be Carla's Knight in shining armor and whisk her away to the White Mountains for a refreshing mountain weekend" Dan quipped. "What, you don't want to stick around for 115 degrees this weekend?" McCool smiled back at his partner. The meeting broke up with each member having their own thoughts and mission. No one believed the case would go much farther if they couldn't find the killer.

Meanwhile in French Guiana, Charlotte was making preparations to fly into Macapa and meet her contact. They would head up the Amazon to check out the lead. It seemed a nurse for the Peace Corps working in a small village might fit the description of Charlotte's missing tormentor. It would be so nice to get the last one before she closed the deal with the Saudis in L.A. next week.



quilldancer said...

Martin needs to go back to the states where he's safe!

Akelamalu said...

Another great instalment Rich, I do hope you are putting all these together in a book! :)

Reston Friends! said...

Ooohh, a weekend in the mountains! That's what I zeroed in on! Can you tell we need a vacation?

Love the local flavor of Macapa! Well done.

Dr.John said...

Hey! It's time to catch her. She really needs to be caught.
Really great writing. I dislike her more every week.

Fandango said...

You know we would gladly fly in and eat your villain. Her life to save a nurse. Who could refuse us.
Wonderful writing as usual.

Raven said...

Once again the words fall seamlessly into the wonderful, twisting plot. I love how you drop bits of your own reality (115 degrees and a trip to the mountains) into the stories. Hope you and your wife have a good time in the beauty and cooler climes of northern AZ. I still think you should look into getting your wordzzle mysteries published. They're as good or better than those of people who get mega bucks and interviews on Charlie Rose.

Stephen said...

Another interesting episode. Looks like Martin is going to get a chance to meet Charlotte again soon. Will his luck continue?

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Richard said...

Thanks everyone for coming by this week.


gabrielle said...

Just catching up with the elusive villainess. Another wonderful installment! I know the dragons mean well, but please keep writing!

Hope you had a "refreshing weekend in the mountains"!