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A Crime Story Part I
Writing the criminal short story can be a lot of fun--if you do your homework. As I have often said, its good to do your research on the subject that you wish to write on so that it can be fairly believable in the particular genre you have chosen.
You can also elect to write several short stories and string them into a series as I have done with this one and with many others. What makes it unique is that it can also work as a "stand alone" short so that makes it very versatile.
As always--have fun with your writing assignments!
A Journalist on a Mission ...
With the surety of a predator, Martino watches Linda as she leaves her stylish townhouse and walks toward the garage where her beige Lexus is nestled. Linda is not what you would call a beautiful woman, short cropped black hair, medium-sized cherry painted lips, enormous light brown eyes that sported long lashes in a rich mahogany face; however she is easy on the eyes and has a figure that many would give their first born in return.
Being an investigative reporter takes Linda around the world and makes quite a few people more than a little upset with her because of her hard-hitting, fact-finding techniques. Martino has told her that she needs to back off the Paccio Family because Louisa Paccio doesn’t appreciate outsiders interfering in things “that didn’t concern them” as she puts it. However when Linda smells a story, she is like a Mississippi tick on a hound dog … difficult to deter.
After Louisa’s husband Victor disappeared over six months ago she and her oldest son Riccardo took over the family’s holdings: a deli, a day care center, and a spa. All three establishments Linda is sure mask the real profiteering … prostitution and drugs. Linda has an informant within the family who’s been giving her small tidbits of information in exchange for immunity when the family is “brought down.”
Although Jacques Paccio wants nothing to do with the family’s “dirty money”; (he is the youngest of the four Paccio children) he is still a top lieutenant in the organization. With that privileged goes exposure to all the information and he knows that Linda would like nothing more than put an end to the “family business.” Besides, he’s nursing a serious crush on the brave burnet.
Martino watches Linda as she pulls out of the driveway and witnesses a scene that resembles something from a Colombo episode. A long black limo slams into her Lexus, two husky looking gunmen jump out of the car and ushers her toward the limo. With lightning reflects Martino charges from his hiding perch and flies into the first man.
With fist of iron he makes repeated connections with the jaw of the first perpetrator drawing sprays of blood on his nicely pressed white shirt.
Linda’s stealthy left hand finds the “family jewels” of the other man and with a mighty jerk sends him sprawling to the concrete pavement hitting his head. With both men out of commission Martino surveys the area to insure that there is no back up.
“Damn Linda, you could have been killed.” Martino yells wiping perspiration from his cheeks and slicking back his coal black hair with a large tanned hand.
“There was never any danger of that Marty. I know that you’ll always be lurking around somewhere whether I need you or not.” Linda replies to her protector and best friend.
“One day Linda … you may not be so lucky.” Martino throws back at her.
”Yeah, well who needs luck when I’ve got you,” Linda purrs, touching her hand to his cheek. Then winking says, “Come on! We’ve got work to do!”
Linda takes Martino by the hand and almost drags him through the lot to his midnight blue Ford Explorer. As she reaches into his pocket for the keys, he slaps her hand and opens the door for her to slide in.
“I’ll drive!” he growls, as he starts the truck and quickly leaves the scene.
“Do you think Mama Paccio sent those boys to give me a nice little ride?” Linda begins the conversation looking back at the still sprawled men.
“Yeah, and I need to get Riley to take out the garbage.” Martino states as he grabs his phone to inform Inspector Riley of the pickup.
At headquarters Linda finds that the names of her “would be” kidnappers are Sandino Capernelle and Marcus Andretti. These gentlemen are known “hit men” and it becomes obvious to both Linda and Marty that this would have been Linda’s “last ride.”
“Now will you listen to reason, honey?” Marty begins knowing that he has delivered this monologue more times than police recite the Miranda Rights to suspects.
“Marty this is all the more reason why I have to blow the lid off the Paccio family. This is something out of the 1920s.” Linda remarks stubbornly. She has never been one to back down from a fight. Her father Lt. Frank Morgan was permanently disabled for getting too close to the Paccio secrets. A member of his elite team had been compromised and very strategically revealed. Eight men lost their lives including the double agent but still there is not enough info to link the incident with the Paccios.
So much for Subtlety
“You are definitely Frank Morgan’s little girl.” Marty says in a tone that almost resembles regret.
“You just don’t understand, do you? You have never been able to understand, Marty.” Linda has grown tired of hearing Martino’s constant badger about her obsession to nail the Paccios. “It is because of that family …my father …”
“That has not been proven. I admit that the evidence looks good but the jury didn’t think that it was good enough. Maybe if that double-crossing Pete Albright had lived we could have had them but well …” Marty lets his voice trail off.
Just then there is a commotion from outside Inspector Riley’s office. An array of bulletins fills the air and everyone is diving either under a table, a desk or behind a file cabinet. Four men in black with automatics blast anything that moves insuring that nothing escapes.
Linda is wedged between Inspector Riley and Marty; both men with guns drawn returning fire. Suddenly, the four men focus their attention on the two suspects and empty a round of ammo into each man. Before these men can target the main purpose of their visit, the SWAT team arrives and the 43rd Precinct becomes another Armageddon. When it’s over 18 men lie dead including the perpetrators, the hit men and 12 police officers.
“Son-of-a …” Starts Inspector Riley surveying the human carnage. “Linda, whatever it is that the Paccios think you have must really be a doozy. Has she shared anything with you, Marty?”
I can’t get a thing out of her. But I am beginning to think that this is bigger than the Paccio clan. They are just a tip of the glacier. This smells of the Sicilians.” Martino shakes his head and eyes Linda. “Honey … I think it’s time you come clean.”
“Marty, I’ve got the story of the century and I am going to sit on it until I string up every Paccio by their "Dancing Deli" shirts.” Linda says looking smug.
“You are in this way over your head, honey.” Martino cautions. “Have you looked around this room? If it hadn’t been for the SWAT boys we’d all be leaving in body bags!”
“Listen to your friend Miss Pulitzer Prize winner. The Middle East is one thing but the Sicilians are way, way out of your league. They have their hands in places even the angels won’t go.”
“That’s where my predatory instincts come into play.” Linda states matter-of-fact.
The Morgan Estate
Martino insists that Linda ride with one of the few remaining officers. The journey to her father’s mansion is pensive. Although Frank Morgan enjoys the birthright of a millionaire; his loyalties lie between his devotion to the city that accommodated his birth and his wife Peggy plus his only daughter Linda. The handsome silver-hair gentleman is extremely proud of his courageous daughter but Peggy is constantly worried. She has almost lost the love of her life ... her husband. She does not want to lose her daughter.
Peggy Morgan sits nervously facing the flames while her husband relishes the comfort of his favorite recliner and a glass of Dom Pérignon in his left hand. The massive recliner houses a portable bar, built-in DVD player, and reading section. Frank enjoys the relaxing massage and heat emanating from a special unit within the chair and is about to doze off when Linda strolls into the room.
The approach of rain always gives Frank cause to complain but on this night he is nursing a new wound. It is important however, to not reveal this information to either his lovely wife Peggy or his impetuous daughter Linda.
Peggy brushes aside her luscious blonde locks which are kept gray-free by the miracle of a solution concocted by her attentive salon stylist. Her satin and lace dressing gown caresses still youthful thighs. There is nothing about Peggy Morgan that reveals tale-tell signs of age 59 years!
With the grace of a gazelle she moves swiftly toward Linda displaying a small nervous twitch of disapproval.
“Linda …” Peggy begins her discussion portraying her deep Southern accent before being interrupted by her daughter.
“Mom, before you begin I guess it’s a safe bet to assume that the both of you have been informed of my little mishap.” Linda interrupts trying to make light of a very remarkable afternoon.
“I wouldn’t call it a mishap …” Peggy would have continued but notices the risen hand of her husband.
Frank then focuses his attention on Officer Collins, the policeman who has drven Linda to the mansion.
“And who do I have the pleasure of meeting? Do forgive me if I don’t rise to the occasion but sometimes these prostheses become cumbersome.” Frank is referring to his two artificial limbs; the results of his legendary encounter with the notorious Paccio Clan.
“No need to rise sir, the Chronicles of Lawmen is required reading at
the Academy. Your daughter’s account of your heroic encounter with the Paccio
Clan is expertly documented and makes fascinating reading on a cold winter’s
night. My name is Officer William "Bill" Collins, sir.” Collins extends a hand to shake
that of his greatest role model.
Frank decides that it will be prudent to speak to his daughter alone. He beckons Peggy and with a knowing nod she locks her arm into the open space of the policeman.
“Young man, Bill ... why don’t you follow me into the kitchen. I’m sure cook has a fresh batch of chocolate chips cookies just out the oven.” Peggy states as she chaperones him toward the hallway. Collins looks over his shoulder only briefly then allows his hostess to commandeer him in the direction of the kitchen.
The End of Part One.