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| Category: || Mystery and Crime Fiction |
Posted:|| May 6, 2014 Views: 553|
Chapter 22 of the book The Bard of Bel Air
Tension mounts in the Blackwell mansion.
"Dancing On Thin Ice"
Blackwell is thought to be dead. A homeless mentally ill man knows more than people think. Billions of dollars, National Security, and many lives are at stake.
Previously, The Blackwell mansion had visitors. Winston showed up out of the blue followed by Diamond Dancer and her daughter Ruby. Lucy had her hands full as the tension level reached feverish levels. A drunken Lilith only added to the situation. Tenaya, in the meantime, had the Bard and Harpster secure finally. For the moment, it was decided that Harpster would remain presumed dead for everyone's safety. Only Winston and Lucy knew that he was indeed alive. As far as Winston knew, he was the only one that knew. We continue on now, as Lucy continues to monitor the situation and come up with a way to difuse things.
Lucy felt relieved to feel the vibration in her pocket. She could use an extra opinion right about now. Tenaya usually had the extra insight that put everything into perspective for her. Lucy didn't bother with a polite exit. She left the room and went out to the front of the property. She had two reasons. Number one was to take the call. Number too was a casual surveillance of the perimeter of the Blackwell mansion. She wanted to see for herself if there might be backup for Winston as she suspected.
"Tenaya. It's a nut house here. I swear that jackass can't wait to kill someone…anyone. Its written all over his face. What the hell is the business with this girl's freaky toes? Junior looked at them like he'd seen a ghost. Christ, girl, I didn't think he could get any whiter. I half expected morticians to start knocking on the door."
"It's genetic. A Blackwell trait. Senior has the same thing. Six toes on his right foot. That's his daughter. He is delighted about it. That is their real names too. Diamond Dancer, I heard the song he wrote. That's Harpster's true love, I kid you not."
"Well, she's a woman after our heart. But, that could get her killed around here. I think I should get them out of here." Lucy paused and listened. She cracked the bathroom door to see if anyone was out there. "She's not the kind of woman that is going to buy into any bullshit. I think I should risk telling them the truth. She's a loose cannon. She isn't the shy retiring type. She had no problem staring Lilith down into a ball on the floor. Winston's armed to the teeth. I don't want her tangling with him and I have no doubt she isn't afraid of him." Lucy felt something in the air. She had great instinct.
"I trust your gut completely, you know that. Sounds like Diamond wouldn't mind mixing it up with the rich folks that think they're all that. If you can get them out of there without revealing anything or blowing your cover, it's a go from my end. You need me…I'm there. I'm heading that way, just in case. I'll be down the street in five minutes. You call, I come." Tenaya hung up and challenged the speed limit a bit more.
Tenaya had a feeling that things might heat up at the mansion. She was already on her way long before she called to check in on her partner. She took a moment to smile as she recalled Lucy walking in to the Chief's office that first day as a detective. She looked so nervous and out of place. Yet, she had the presence to look her in the eye and say, "You're safe now". Tenaya let a little laugh out. She spoke softly, out loud. "You're safe too, partner, you're safe too."
The tension that Lucy had stepped out of moments before had escalated into an argument. As Lucy had feared, Diamond Dancer was at the center of it. Lucy didn't know what Junior had said to Diamond, but she would now hear what Diamond's response was.
"You keep talkin' record deal, recording contract and million dollars on the table. Do you really think I came here to apply for a job as your maid? I know the tone you're using with me. Am I supposed to retire into the woodwork with that fool and keep my big black mouth shut?" She gestured at Lincoln, who was actually stooped over near the wall.
She continued, "My daughter has manners…raised that way. I was raised in the wild, Blackwell. I'm feral. Back me in a corner, I scratch my way out. You ain't buyin' the ignint colored girls off and sendin' em back to pickin' cotton. Be a gentleman now and fetch me a vodka tonic." She looked at Ruby, who didn't look the least bit surprised by her mother's outburst. "What you haven' darlin'?"
"I'm good, momma." Ruby smiled and looked angelic.
Winston started laughing. It was the kind of laugh that a ten-year-old future spree killer might emote before tying his first two cat tails together. He looked at Junior with a look that demanded immediate action.
Junior took out his cell phone and dialed. A couple of tense moments passed. "Chief? I have a couple of trespassers here. Could you send a squad car by and remove them from my property? Okay. Yep. Just crackpots. Ha! Heirs to the estate. Get this…these ones are black. Yeah. I guess they didn't teach that in the ninth grade. Okay then, thank you."
Junior looked Diamond in the eye now. "It seems I made a mistake thinking you would be professional enough to handle a record deal in the big time. So, your ride to obscurity is on the way. If you're smart, you'll leave before it gets here."
Winston stepped forward, "I'll give you a ride where ever you wish to go ma'am. I'm not mixed up in the whole will thing. My Humvee's outside." He looked at Ruby like she was a blue plate special and he was a starving overweight trucker.
Lucy stepped up, "I'm off in a few minutes. I'd be glad to take you anywhere you'd wish to go. I hear the Bel Air police aren't the friendliest."
Diamond smiled. "You think you're the first Blackwell that screwed me over? I can tell you this Junior. This ain't gonna look good on your report card. I don't need a ride. You want me out of my daughters own house, you're gonna have to throw me out. But, know this, punk, it won't be forgotten."
Winston didn't care for her tone apparently. "I've had enough of this crap. Let me give you a ride. It would be my pleasure. I insist. He had his hand inside his jacket as he walked towards Diamond and Ruby."
Lucy jumped up like a cat with her hand in her open purse and her eyes on Winston. "I offered them a ride already. That offer stands unless they want to spend the night in jail." She looked at Ruby, having decided that she might listen to reason. "Do you have anything to prove to the officers that are on their way that this is your house?"
"No. We have nothing yet." Ruby stood up.
"I can't see any point to you two spending time in jail. There is plenty of time to make your claim. You can't do it from a jail cell." Lucy looked into Ruby's eyes imploringly.
Ruby seemed to sense that Lucy was on their side. "Let’s go mother. I don't want to spend the night with these people. Let's accept this kind woman's offer. We'll be back soon enough."
Diamond could hear the sound of sirens in the distance now, as could everyone else in the room. She jumped up with her bag in hand and headed towards the front door. Ruby and Lucy followed. Lucy could feel Winston's eyes on her back and swore she could hear the sound of his fingers caressing the cold steel of his weapon.
As soon as they pulled out of the driveway and made it halfway down the block, two squad cars passed them on the left heading towards the mansion.
"Crap, Chief Sandoval." Lucy said softly, but loud enough to hear.
Diamond said, "Okay, why are you helping us? We don't know you and you work for them."
Lucy smiled, "Detective Lucy Smaldino, Ms. Dancer. I'm working undercover investigating the alleged murder of Johnathon Blackwell Senior."
Diamond Dancer wasn't at a complete loss for words, but they weren't flowing with their usual panache. "Murder? Alleged? I read that he had a heart attack or something. They put him in deep freeze, right, Detective?"
"Call me Lucy."
"Okay. Lucy. Call me Diamond. I read that he was cryogenically frozen upon his death. How do you investigate when his body is frozen in some tube somewhere?"
"That's a great question, Diamond. It's a long story. I've got coffee, cheap wine, vodka and apple pucker at my place. It isn't fancy, but the company is friendlier. My apple martinis are felonies in the mid-west."
Will it be revealed that Blackwell is alive? Maybe it is better if everyone thinks he is dead. We'll see. Suggestions and input always listened to and sought. Every little bit helps. Wonderful thoughts and input so far. Thank you kindly.
Johnathon Blackwell Senior-Harpster, presumed deceased former owner of a music conglomerate.
Johnathon Blackwell Junior- Senior's son and heir apparent to the family fortune.
Lilith Blackwell- Widow of Blackwell Senior and claimant to the estate.
The Bard-Stewart Slater, homeless, writer, musician, mentally ill. witness to the death of Harpster amongst other things.
Detective Tenaya Adrian- lead is there is a murder to investigate.
Detective Lucy Smaldino, Tenaya's partner
Lincoln- The Blackwell family butler.
Ruby Dancer- singer and Daughter of Harpster though she doesn't know anything about it.
Diamond Dancer- mother of Ruby and former mistress of Harpster. Refuses to tell Ruby anything about her father.
Dr. Khin- The Blackwell personal family physcian
"Q & A"-- Q Aubrey Langstan--"Q" The Blackwell family attorney.
Daniel- Blackwell Senior's Deaf brother.
Esmeralda "Emma" Blackwell- Blackwell Seniors Mother
Winston- Blackwell Senior's son. War hero turned mercenary. Kidnapped father and the Bard.
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