Mystery and Crime Fiction posted October 10, 2021 Chapters: -1- 2... 


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Vito Moretti puts his evil plan in motion

A chapter in the book Revenge

In The Heat of Revenge

by Begin Again




Background
A member of the crime team is drawn into a diabolical scheme by an ex-con, Vito Moretti, who spent eight years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Upon his release, he devised a plan of payback.










Savannah, Georgia
St. Simons Island
Friday Night
 
 
 
Cars over-flowing with college students and friends crammed the beach highway, parking in every available space in the East Beach lot and all the grassy areas along the road. Savvy residents roped off their yards and blocked their driveways. Before the Savannah Bulldogs met their football rivals in Jacksonville, Florida, the traditional Frat Beach Party served as the kickoff to a crazy, wild weekend.
 
The black Lincoln Town Car eased through the congestion, and uncontrolled pedestrians ran wildly between moving cars as they crossed the highway. Vito Moretti, an ex-con, impatiently strummed his fingers against the steering wheel. His passenger, a lifelong friend, Charles Dubois, fidgeted with the radio.
 
Vito sighed, “Oh, to be their age again. Wild and carefree.”

“You were wild, Vito, so much so, you spent eighteen months in the county jail.”

“Yeah, I started down the wrong road at nineteen, and I’m stilling traveling it. Spending eight years in Georgia’s State Prison gave me an education I won’t ever forget. What about you?”

“Me? I couldn’t afford college, so I fought a war I never understood. I learned a few skills that came in handy, and, fortunately, I served with Jimmy Carrington. Trying to save his life landed me the cushy job of caring for his wife at the manor.”

Both men laughed at their private joke as Vito maneuvered the car down a narrow blacktop drive marked Private Property. A gate blocked the entrance. Vito opened the car window, punched in a code, and waited for access to the property. As the gate opened, he laughed, “Luckily, the old folks never change their passcodes.”

A thick forest of oaks draped in Spanish moss separated the residential property from East Beach. The heavily laden tree branches cast shadows across the expansive lawn, covering the Town Car and its occupants. Vito climbed out of the driver’s seat and popped the trunk, exposing their cargo. Charlie joined him and took a deep breath, shivered, and slowly released the air. The dim cargo light played across the woman’s lifeless face.
 
Vito’s gruff voice broke the silence. “Let’s get this done.” He tossed one of two backpacks to Charlie. “Grab the other one, and I’ll carry our star.”

Charlie was skeptical. “We going to dump her in the trees?”

Vito shook his head. “Nope, we’re going to the beach party. A giant bonfire sounds perfect right about now.”

“You’re taking a dead woman into all those people? Have you lost your mind?”

“It’s perfect, my friend. They’re so drunk, nobody will notice us. The bonfires are already roaring. We drop a blanket, booze, her stuff, and it looks like a party gone wrong. We’re in and out.”

All those days working out in prison were paying off as Vito tossed the woman over his shoulder and disappeared beyond the tree line, with Charlie following close behind.
 
********************************
 
“Henry!” Tina shrieked. “You can’t shoot them. Have you gone mad?” The gray-haired woman’s eyes were wide with fright.
 
Eighty-two-year-old Henry Pagani and his wife, Tina, were fourth-generation residents of St. Simon Island, near Savannah, Georgia. The quaint villages and winding streets lined with charming shops and breathtaking beaches played host to thousands of tourists during the summer season. The serene, family-friendly atmosphere offered the residents an income plus a fairytale setting to call home except during the annual college beach party.
 
Tina’s shrill voice startled her husband, hidden behind a four-foot clump of Crinum Lilies. He jerked and stepped back to catch his balance, bumping into a moss-covered oak.
 
“What’s the matter with you, woman?” Henry snarled. “Get your glasses if you can’t tell the difference between a gun and a Nikon camera.” He waved his camera toward her.
 
Tina shook her finger at her husband and scowled. “Henry Pagani, if you are taking pictures of those half-naked, drunk-crazed girls on the beach, you’re going to be sorry.” She turned to return inside but added, “I hope you’ll enjoy sleeping in the hammock.”

“It’s the annual Frat Night Party, Tina. Look at all the garbage; we’ll have a big mess to clean up tomorrow. Those dang kids have no respect. Bonfires, booze, and babes are all that’s on their minds. It’s a blend of Girls Gone Wild, Spring Break, and Football Frenzy. These kids are out of control, and someone needs to stop them. Listen to them, screaming, shouting, and smashing things. And the music, if that’s what it’s supposed to be, is deafening.”

Tina scoffed. “You think your pictures are going to make a difference? It’s not going to happen.”

“Maybe.” Henry pointed toward two men staggering from the edge of the trees onto the beach, dragging a woman between them, toward the last of the many burning bonfires. “What do you think those idiots were doing with that girl in the woods? She’s so drunk she can’t walk.” Henry adjusted his telescopic lens, and the camera clicked, clicked, clicked, snapping a series of photos. “This camera is awesome.”

“Come on, Henry. Come inside before you get some crazy ideas from those college boys.”

“You go in, Tina. I’m going to snap a few more pictures.” Tina shrugged, leaving her husband to snap useless photos of wild young people destroying their beautiful beach. The income generated in the small shops this weekend would trump any of her husband’s outcries.
 
Henry snapped photos of a group funnel drinking, a naked volleyball game, and groups of scantily clad people wildly dancing around campfires. His attention drifted back to the last bonfire. The men appeared to be emptying large liquor bottles over the woman on the blanket. One man was spraying cans of something on her.
 
A delicious smile adorned Henry’s face, and he murmured to himself, “Hmmm. Whip cream–sweet!”

Ashamed of his thoughts, Henry chastised his momentary fantasy and then chuckled. “Get real, old man! Your days of wild sex-- who am I kidding, any sex, are long gone.”

One of the revelers scattered a bag of trash on the ground, angering Henry. He snapped their picture and two more shots of the raging bonfire and the sparks shooting into the night.
 
Shaking his head, he aimed his camera and snapped one last picture.
 
“Boom! Boom! Boom!” The loud explosions ripped through the air. Panic surged across the beach. The drunk, hysteric party-revelers screamed and ran for cover, grabbing random clothes as they disappeared from the beach. Henry hastily collapsed to the ground, continuing to snap pictures of the chaos, including the two men racing toward the trees without the woman.
 
Standing in the doorway, Tina screamed, “Get in here, Henry. Who’s shooting?”

Henry’s legs shook, barely holding him up, as he stumbled to the doorway. “Something exploded. Probably aerosol cans. I told you those kids were dangerous.”

Tina scowled, “Aerosol cans?”

“Yeah, I think those idiots were spraying whipping cream on the woman. Probably tossed the cans in the bonfire.”

The couple went inside and locked the patio door behind them, drawing the drapes closed to block out the night and the frightful scene unfolding on their lovely beach.
 
“Let’s go to bed, Tina. That was too much excitement for one night.” Henry hugged his wife of sixty years. “My heart can’t handle the genuine stuff anymore.”

Tina chuckled, “We’ve got the memories, Henry. And some outstanding ones, too.” Tina hugged her husband and kissed him goodnight.
 
**************
 
Vito turned the Town Car toward Carrington Manor, leaving the body burning on the beach. After years of considering how to pay back the journalist responsible for exposing the evidence that sent him to prison, Vito was satisfied that the first step of his plan was underway.
 
On the other hand, Charles hadn’t expected to be involved in a murder and shuddered over Vito’s plans for revenge. Regardless, he was indebted to Moretti, and it prevented him from backing out now.

 



Recognized

#10
October
2021


Welcome! Thank you for reading the beginning of "Revenge," a follow-up to Book Three - Secrets in the Wind. I hope you find enjoyment in the story. Allie Shelton is an Investigative Journalist. One of her first assignments resulted in the wrongful arrest and imprisonment of Vito Moretti.

Characters:
Vito Moretti - a black-hearted ex-con with vengeance in his blood
Charles (Charlie) Dubois - a childhood friend who enjoys living luxuriously
Marion Carrington - a star in her own mind and suffers from dementia
Henry and Tina Pagani - an elderly couple living on St. Simon Island

Alyssa Shelton (Allie)- Investigative Journalist and unofficial FBI Agent
Jasmine Shelton (Jaz) - wanna-be-movie star and living on the edge of life
Garth Woodman - FBI Agent and Allie's love interest
Hank and Emmy Armato - retired detectives and current Private Investigators
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