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Skeletons Without Halos 9

Updated on February 26, 2016
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Nightcat is a freelance writer who enjoys crafting short stories for her readers in the fantasy, mystery and horror genres.

Will It Be Daises For Our Nicky?

Welcome back! It certainly seemed like the end for Nicky in our last adventure, and maybe it was. Will she rejoin our cast of merry characters or will we be attending the biggest funereal a brokenhearted mob boss can throw? Naturally, you’ll have to read on to find out. And as always if you missed any of the thrilling chapters there are links below this night’s tale of mystery and mayhem. And a chance to give your feedback via polls and comments.

All writing and photography are my original work. If “borrowing” for Internet use a link back and credit where credit is due are appreciated. The video below is to enhance your reading pleasure. If you own the copyright and want additional credit and links or the video removed, please contact me.

Your Music For Tonight's Tale Of Mayhem And Mystery

Crime, Sin and Evil: Vintage Film Noir

From The Great Beyond, With Love

I came to in a hospital bed, wandering who had slipped me a mickey. My skull was pounding like a conga drum but as I felt it my flesh was still in place. Not that I would have minded being a skeleton, but I liked being just the way I was too. Chester walked into my room, a bouquet of flowers in his hand. “More lives than a cat.” He murmured as he leaned down to kiss me. “Thought I was going to loose my best girl.” He said softly.

“You should be so lucky.” I said dryly and from the hurt expression on his skeletal features I realized he was serious. “No fooling?” I asked.

“No fooling.” He agreed. A nurse came in and Chester snapped his fingers at her. She got the roses in water and I just shook my head. Which was a mistake. A big mistake. I groaned and Chester shifted his attention back to me.

“Hey, easy now.” He said, helping me lay back. The nurse came over with some pills which I gulped down with water, then she left as one of his men came in, carrying coffee for us both and I couldn’t restrain my smile. The man handed off the coffee and Chester dismissed him with a wave.

“You sure know how to treat a girl. How’d I pull through? Did I fail?” I asked.

“Nah. Your man works for me. I had him tinker a bit. All the living went but you I was keeping. Don’t worry. The street sweepers had a heck of a time cleaning up after your shindig. Not to mention all the apartments that will have to be repainted. What was that thing anyways?”

“Sonar. Same kind the Navy uses that can kill dolphins. Only this was much more powerful. Figured it would take out the living and leave the dead. None of you have got organs to fry.” I moved slightly as I took my coffee and instantly regretted it. Everything hurt.

“Well, it worked.” I knew he’d known all along what the boxes were and what they would do but for once I didn’t think he’d intentionally put me in danger. Chester had just worked behind the scenes to turn things to his advantage.

“You know, there’s every chance you could have still left us.” He said and I nodded, the pain lessened a little by the pills and coffee.

“I know, but you’re worth it and you know that. You and everyone else. It was my duty to protect you.”

“Good girl to the last, that’s what I’ve always liked about you.” Chester dug out a cigar and I didn’t bother telling him he couldn’t smoke in hospitals. Chester owned the town and could have set fire to the hospital if he’d felt like it. “You know,” he said around the cigar as he got it going, “You were out cold for two weeks straight.”

“Two weeks!” I asked, sitting up straighter. My body seemed to be healing quickly but I didn’t question my good fortune.

“Yeah, and while you were out there were surgeries, but you pulled through just fine.”

“Surgeries?” I asked and Chester’s skeletal face twisted in pain.

“You hit the deck the minute you pressed that button, Nicky. As soon as I was free I ran to you and picked you up. I held you in my arms and begged you not to leave me, but you were gone.” He looked at me, tears glistening at the edges of his eye sockets. “That thing, it took you away from me. They had to pull me away from you. The doctors managed to bring you back, but I just went crazy.”

I drew him into a kiss, and Chester wrapped his arms around me. I’d never seen the tough guy cry and that frightened me more than the news of my untimely demise had. I felt something slip around my finger and pulled back, startled to look down at the biggest rock I’d ever seen. “Chester.” I managed.

“Marry me, Nicky. Become my queen and the queen of this city. You know I’ll do right by you. You know that.” Chester said as he took my hands in his.

“I know you will, and I know you care about this town.” I said and Chester seemed to hold his breath. “And I know you love me now. You actually really do love me, don’t you?” He nodded. “I don’t know though, Chessie, maybe being queen isn’t good enough for me.” I teased and he smiled but waited for me to go on. “Maybe what I’ve always been meant to be is...” I paused and he looked ready to shake apart. “The partner you’ve always wanted by your side.”

“You mean it, Nicky? You’d become one of us? You’d be a boss?”

I shrugged. “Better than being a token cop or detective. Besides, I’d be a good boss. Provided you want to give-” I didn’t get to finish as Chester drew me into a kiss so hard I thought he’d put me in traction as his arms tightened around me and he left me breathless.

“You’ll be higher than any other boss in this town, except me, naturally.”

“Naturally.” I agreed.

The Unforgettable James Cagney

Skeletons Without Halos

Did Nicky's halo just slip, or start to shine a little brighter?
Did Nicky's halo just slip, or start to shine a little brighter?

Out To Lunch

I healed quickly and moved into the same apartment complex Chester ran his empire from. I was given new suits tailored to me and befitting a boss. A tailor, men, and a sizable chunk of territory under Chester’s command to oversee. My desk, just as big as his was, was in his office, and life was good. I was looking over the report on the restructured police force thoughtfully, one of my men awaiting my orders when there was a knock on the door. “Get me what you can on each of the cops, old and new.” I said handing him the report and he gave me a shark-like smile and left, eager to do his job.

Vicky entered and gave me a brief smile. “Cynthia sends her regards.” She said as I gestured her to a seat. “To you both, naturally.” She added with a respectful nod at Chester who was looking at her the way a cat looks at a juicy mouse. I hid my frown. “I was thinking maybe you’d like lunch at the café, if you aren’t too busy.” Vicky said and I knew she’d come to me for help.

“Go on, take a powder. I could use the time to catch up on my beauty sleep.” Chester said as he swung his feet up on his desk and tilted his fedora down to cover his eye sockets.

“All right. You want anything, Chessie?”

“Doughnuts, doughnuts and coffee. Have them sent up to me, would you, Nicky?” He sounded hopeful and I felt my heart melt. Boss or not I still had to answer to the boss of bosses and I liked it just fine.

“Yeah, I will.” I said fondly.

A Dangerous Charmer

There's something about a fellah like Chester.
There's something about a fellah like Chester.

The Nervous Detective

We took the elevator down and I knew Vicky was nervous. At the ground floor two of my men joined us and we took my Rolls. Vicky looked at me as we got in the back. “Armored. I’m not exactly popular with all the other bosses. It was risky of you to come see me, Vicky.”

“I know, but I was desperate. I can’t go on like this. I need your help.” She pleaded and I’d have been happy to take her under my protection, but I was cautious. She worked for Cynthia and I had to remember that.

He Owns The City

But he's a good boss in a bad world.
But he's a good boss in a bad world.

Doughnuts And Deceit

We arrived at the café and my men helped us out. I motioned the driver to join us and he did. “Yeah, Boss?” He asked as we stood in front of the café.

“What’s wrong with the engine? I heard it knocking.”

“Knocking? But I just got it checked, Boss, honest!” He said then we all jumped as an explosion rocked the Rolls over.

“Ticking, must have been ticking I heard.” I said, not even surprised at that point. “You boys know what to do.” I said and the driver, another one of my men, straightened his tie with a grin and went off to find out a few things while my men escorted us inside then sat a discrete distance away.

Vicky looked pale but I shrugged as Reba set out our usual. “Fifth attempt this week. The little fishes are trying to become big fishes.” I said and one of my men laughed.

“Going to have a fish fry, Boss?”

“More than likely.” I agreed. My mobile rang and I answered it.

“More lives than a cat. Any ideas?”

“I’ve got one of my men on it. I think the Rolls is a loss, though.”

“We’ll write it off. I’ll come for you myself. You know what to do. If she agrees, she works for you.”

“Right, Boss.” I agreed and hung up to look at Vicky.

“Well, if you need protection, you have it, but you’ll have to work for me.”

“Anything. Just get me away from Cynthia.” I nodded and agreed, knowing full well I was walking into a trap.

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Has Our Nicky Gone Bad?

Nicky a boss? Say it isn’t so, Nicky! And is Vicky now under a new employer or is she there to drag Nicky out into the open where Cynthia can have a clear shot at her? You’ll have to read on to find out!

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