Escapist Round-Robin! ~Noir Themed... so far XD

(9/16/2013 OP Note: I gave mParadox permission to necro this thread after showing interest. It's alive!!!)

In case you don't know, in the literary world a "round-robin" is a piece of fiction that has been crafted by multiple people. Essentially what I want to do with this thread is write a short story (or long depending on how far we stretch this thread) with all of you guys on the Escapist!

The rules are pretty simple:

- I will start the thread with a small intro
- Every time you post you are to continue the story with no more than a single paragraph at a time (or roughly 100-200 words depending on the formatting, dialogue, etc.)
- If you want to contribute to the story post a placeholder post so as to avoid writing out of turn (in the event someone may post a few moments before you do, rendering your contribution moot)
- If you see someone post a placeholder right before you do wait until they've posted their contribution
- Try to maintain consistent characterization and narrative voice. To make this a bit easier the story will be entirely in first person. You may shift character perspectives if you wish, but be clear which character we are following at any given time!
- As with the rules of improv try not to just throw random stuff into the story if at all possible. The more focused we keep the story the more sense it will make. Within reason, feel free to add any twists and elements to the story you wish! This is a group effort after all!
- When you post your contribution use the "quote" BBCode so we can tell the difference between it and any off-topic discussion

I will be keeping a list of character descriptions and important events bellow the OP so people can reference them and keep track of what's up.

This is my first Forum Game so go easy on me!

Here we go!

I was onto my last pill. A single vicodin tablet resting at the bottom of my purse. Staring back at me. Mocking me. I couldn't go back to my apartment for the rest. Jose and his men had likely torched the place by now. That was of course, the reason for my coming here.

Holding my arm up to shield my eyes from the heavy rain, I noticed a black cat cleaning itself on a windowsill nearby. Light shining out from the room behind it. Was it his cat? What was I doing here anyway? Could I really trust him?

"Is this what rock-bottom feels like?"

The sign on the front door read, "F. Mercer, Private Investigator". I sighed heavily, bit my lip and knocked on the door.

Characters:

- Fiona - A girl with a problem
- F. Mercer - A detective with a smoking habit
- Jose - Somekind of arsonist!
- Francis - Mercer's cat
- Frank - Jose's lackey

Events:

Just an intro so far!

One more cigarette can't hurt... can it? No, the doctor wasn't sure yet. No, I can still risk it. Yeah, there's a risk. No, there isn't. No no no no...

I lit the second last cigarette, knowing full well what would happen later, and started smoking. The weather really complimented the smoking. So dark and so gloomy... So dead...

*knock knock*

Someone at this time? My my, this city never sleeps. Which is a bad thing for today... "Eingeben!"

... Nothing.

"Oh for the love of... Enter!"

After a few moments of silence I started getting... annoyed. Knock on a man's door in the middle of the night and then expect him to get the door for you? Some people have no common courtesy.

I released an exasperated sigh as I placed my cigarette on the edge of the ashtray and started for the door. This had better not be one of those damned Jesus-freaks!

I opened the door to see a tall woman with long blonde hair and a trench coat leaving in a hurry. She must have lost her nerve, "Hey lady!"

She stopped dead in her tracks. Ankle deep in a puddle next to the sidewalk.

"You a client or what?"

She slowly turned her head towards me and met my gaze with these big... beautiful blue eyes. I felt something heavy stir in my gut. Neither of us moved a muscle. The moment was removed from time itself. Nothing but heavy rain to accompany the silence.

And then Francis hopped down from the windowsill delivering a meow that screamed, "Feed me!"

It was going to be one of those cases.

That door... this night... why did I come here again? Oh right. That little incident. The place is probably surrouded by fireman by now. Oh dear... I really wanted to take some... ah... souvenirs from that place. Oh pooh.

Oh just look at the man. He's intimidating... and ruggedly handsome. Must be the facial hair... Oh Lord, he's handsome. And his eyes, grey... I like grey.

Aaaaaaand he's standing right there. Nice. That's awkward. "Umm... hi. Can... can we talk inside? I'm so sorry for bothering you. Sorry, never mind what I said. I'll just go now...".

What was I thinking... stupid stupid stupid...

"HOLD IT.".

Oh what now...

"We'll talk... but not out here. For two reasons, A) It's bleeding cold out here and B) You look like you could use a pick-me-up. So what about it miss....?"

"Fiona."

"Miss Fiona. Kindly come in."

He's been in there for ten minutes....

The glass of scotch he gave me had been sitting empty on the coffee table for some time before I heard the toilet flush. His cat had even fallen asleep in my lap! My eyes had been glued to the clock the entire time. I wondered... if there was even anything left at this point.

"Sorry for the wait. Burritos."

"Lovely."

He was handsome for sure... buy his demeanor. His attitude...

"Se lets get down to business if you don't mind."

I nodded nervously.

"What brings a pretty little thing like you to this part of town?"

Fiona bites her lip a little before answering.

The crow...

--------------------------------

"She ain't home boss."

"Then light it up. Make it seem legit too. You fuck up, I fuck you up. Got it? The employer wants this job done clean. No roadbumps."

"But, why all the trouble for this one chick? Can't we just drop her in the pond with the fishes?"

Jose slowly looks toward his lackey, his face a stoic calm.

"Light up it up. You fuck up, I fuck you up. That's all you need to know Frank."

"Jeez what crawled up his arse this morning."

Oh look how tough I am. Frank the henchman; Mr Bigshot. Here I am standing inside a shit house pouring good gas over some dumb broads shit stuff......Hm nice lamp.

*Frank Takes the lamp*

All I ever wanted is to have lots of money and pay my way through life.

"Is that too much to ask!?"

Ah well sorry babe

"Your house is kindling now...."

*Frank lights a match and flicks it on to the puddle of gasoline gathering on the floor
As he walks out of the burning house he thinks to himself*

This lamp really is nice.

"Hey, Frank stop lollygagging! Good ole Mexican joe wants this job done pront... What are you doing? You can't take that without the boss's say so."

Nah I mean it! What the hell is that goober doing? Is he trying to reneg our pay as a bullet to the brain? I like my brain!

"Seriously Frank, drop the lamp."

Frank turns towards woodsy, exasperated.

"Look Woodsy, Jose's been giving me an earful today. I ain't gonna take shit from a nobody like you too. Who cares if I take stuff from this Broad's apartment. She ain't gonna use it."

"Damnit Frank. It's just a gaudy lamp... You know what? Nevermind just get to work."

This guy's gonna get me fired. Jose don't like people messin' with his plans. Fuckin' shot a guy for lifting cash from a contracts wallet. Crazy mother. He has so many stupid rules.

Woodsy....Heh what a putz! Jose don't like this he says, Jose would do this he says; The guy's a psychopath and choirboy here does whatever he says because 'He's the boss'.

"The job's done, the house is on fire Woodsy."

"Great now what are we going to do?"

"Oh I don't know pal; go on a holiday; pick some flowers; Wait for the cops to come? No we leave, report to the boss and then we find the broad!"

Woodsy can be a pain but all in all I like the guy. I mean I'd definitely go to his funeral....What a putz!

I saw it in his pained expression. He was about to fire back. Bad timing Woodsy. Jesus man, mind your surroundings.

Before he started shouting my ears off I pushed him up against the brick wall and put my hand over his mouth. He stopped struggling to break free when he noticed the old man walking past the alley towards to flaming apartment building.

"Sweet Mother Teresa! Margret, call the fire department!"

I reluctantly let Woodsy free and was met with a frustrated stare, "Let's get out of here."

***

"So you've got this... Jose was it?"

"Yes."

"So you've got Jose's goons torching your apartment and you think I'm the only one who can fix your problem for you?"

This isn't good. He's going to want an explanation.

"You know what I am right? The police are more equipped to handle this kind of situation. Or is it that..."

"I can't go to the police."

It had to be said I suppose. Point of no return.

Mercer took a sip of his scotch and grinned, "I hope you have a big wallet, honey."

Fiona bit her lip... "How much?"

"Depends, love. Exactly how do you want this problem solved? I'm not exactly picky myself but I do have a certain standard. Customer satisfaction and all that."

"I want it gone. There should be nothing linking me to Jose."

"Normally... I would be giddy for that order. But, you know, the fire and all that. It's a bit messy to clean up. And I'm sure you're not the type of person who wants moi to..."

"No... you will not harm the witness. I like the neighbours and they make such nice pie."

"Too much info miss. Anywho, so yeah, it'll be tough, dangerous and on top of that, I'll have to be neat. I hope you have a really deep pocket to burn."

This was a mistake; This guy is too smart for a back alley detective. He'll find out, go to the cops and then Jose can get to me....Or would he use it against me?

"Look, I need help and by the look of this office you need money. It's not complex; you've got to keep buying that cheap scotch and cigarettes somehow....."

That's right on the attack. I can't get rejected here.

"....Or maybe you can push trolleys for a living."

"Well look at you. I'd say that you've got balls if you weren't such a lovely lady."

"Heh what gave me away?"

"If I told you you'd slap me. Fine. I'll do it but you pay first."

 

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