Saturday, April 24, 2010

THE PRINTS AND THE POPPER ~ ~ Epic*sode 8 ~ ~ "TOO COOL!" ~ By Absolutely*Kate and Harry B. Sanderford of Harbinger*33






Epic'sode 7: "Meet Virginia" ... Epic'sode 6: "I See the Light"...
Epic'sode 5: "Lucky Shot"... Epic'sode 4: "Hi Jinks"...
Epic'sode 3: "Groping Against Grope"...
Epic'sode 2: "The Clot Thickens"...
and the original mysterious start of it all ...

~ ~ EPIC*SODE 8 ~ ~
" Too Cool! "

~ By Absolutely*Kate 
Harry B. Sanderford

For years of her West-coast career climb, folks got rather used to saying, "In for a Penny, out for a gold nugget", in regards to the success ratio of ferret-mining greater truths from shady grey areas which Penelope Payne presented clearly and endearingly in synthesized black and white to the public's winking eye. They got it. They got it. And oh how they loved it. Far past a "My Oh My!", savvy folks cheered on her direct spit-in-the-eye approach as the thorough type of investigative reporter who researched, interpreted and then clearly communicated uncovered secrets some would prefer to keep low-down quiet. 

Born to a soft spoken family who ran a small but successful hotel outside of LA, Penelope grew and grew up her talents across the wide countryside, putting the kabosh on many a widespread crime scheme. Her signature style of deep digging entrenched her in readers' minds and memories across the Rockies into what detritus the Windy City blew around harsh streets. Chicago was tough but she gave that town her razzamatazz and made it boldly her own. Made herself some enemies too, some say spurring her eastward momentum a little quicker than her well-plotted plans would've had it. Penny stayed with the current along the Great Lakes, and having a fondness for slightly older men of fame, enjoyed Cleveland more than most while dating several inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, gathering insider info and rocking  rhythms as she continued her East Coast roll and role, to become the Hazeltown Holler's claim to international fame.
Penelope's beat into exposing limelight misappropriations from public officials, the corporate sector and special interest groups would've normally driven other staff reporters envy-green. Respect and admiration however, from both professional comrades and intellectual townsfolk carried so many to higher ground and opportunites with the clean-up batting she brought home, that she was a runaway hit in Hazeltown. The Holler became known in press syndicates for providing generous AP tips and Reuter whiffs of what-was-up on occasions where benefit rippled common good. Past normal broadcast channels, Payne developed a chain of in-the-know links generally never suspected in the breakdown of an open Pandora. 

Frances Jeanette Cheezum was just such an enriching link, living and loving harmony now in tony Hazeltown as hometown darling of the local theatre review. Penny knew plenty of "Frannie C's" past ~ as few would ever fathom. The leverage she used was kind and its need touched the humanity of Cheezum's mind. She'd been a willing player of dispense and stir for decades now. But she hadn't been in her usual row #9 for their weekly theatre exchange AT THE BIJOU earlier today. Payne feared a rat had got to Cheezum before they were able to spring their trap.

That's why she was at The Lucky Shot, hands down, best place in town for getting lucky with how loose lipped leaks and lackadaisical liquored bravado could pummel two and two way past a fourth round. Dan Stine she recognized as the still slightly miffed Sergeant passed over for a well deserved promotion within the regional crimestoppers force. Powers-that-be had eleventh hour opted for the charm and pomp of the Aussie Phillips, as everyone in a hundred mile radius knew Hazeltown was a breeding ground for cosmopolitans on the lam. Somehow, they blended past blur with the non-yokel locals. Perhaps that's why Payne had found here her best refrain. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Eddie peeked through the mahogany double doors to spy Misses Kate, Sugar, Zelda and his piano teacher Mrs. Poe all questioning Lieutenant Phillips at once.  The yellow tape had been stretched out front just as Mr. Leon had predicted and all of the other officers and firemen, except for one, were gone. The fireman remaining held the leash of a dog that had stretched to its far end and was simultaneously growling and beeping. Lieutenant Phillips raised his hands and instructed, “One at a time ladies, please!”

It was enough of a distraction Eddie thought, so he eased the door open and once again motioned for Leon to follow him. They went quickly and unnoticed past the candy counters and up the stairs to the projection booth.  
Eddie ducked under the yellow crime scene tape stretched across the doorway thinking, Coooool! Leon pulled the tape loose from one jam and let it dangle on the other before walking through. Eddie thought, Too Cooooool!  

The first thing that struck them was the chalk outline. Well, not just the chalk outline, where it seemed weeks and weeks ago Eddie and Sugar had first found poor Sparky. No, it was the perfect popcorn outline outside of the chalk and the way it had created a sort of Sparky constellation on the carpet that gave them pause.
“Mr. Leon do you see…”
“Yes son (there was just no breaking some habits) I do,” Leon cut him off. “That is truly a first for me too. Don’t step over there and try not to touch anything.”

“What are we looking for?” Eddie asked.
“We’ll know it when we see it.” shrugged Leon, and with that they began a slow inspection of the cramped projection quarters. The shelves were stacked with film reels and paperback westerns that Chester liked to read once he’d seen a movie a number of times. Leon disregarded his own admonition thumbing through a stack of cardboard cutouts leaning against a file cabinet. Luke Skywalker he thought wore a rather serious expression for a hero sandwiched between Elvira and Jessica Rabbit. He leaned them back and reaching behind a short stack of Zane Greys turned a magic 8 ball in his hand that revealed all signs point to yes. He wished he’d thought of a question first and then wondered if maybe he had. 
Eddie kept his hands in his pockets not trusting himself. He inventoried the individual components of clutter usually viewed as a whole in a naked glance. Three boxes of Sno-Caps stacked by a confiscated joy buzzer and a yoyo with no string. A hip pocket flask of sloe gin that Eddie had sneaked sips from, tucked behind them where it always was. Leon looked at a row of coffee mugs with people’s names on them. Seemed like one for everyone, Sugar, Kate, Harry, Eddie . . . ”Did Sparky have a regular coffee cup he used?” he asked the boy. 

“Miss Kate got those for all of us last year. Sparky usually got an orange soda from the fountain on his way in but when he had coffee he just used Chester’s,” Eddie replied. 
Leon used his handkerchief to lift the one with Chester on the front and took a sniff. He recoiled from the noxious odor and sat the cup back. “Junior, Partner, I think it’s time we break in your Super Spy Private Eye Fingerprinting Kit.", Leon winked. 

Eddie was too excited to correct his partner about his name this time. Partner was just fine.

* C * L * I * F * F * H * A * N * G * E * R * !


Please return to next Saturday's Matinee
for the next gut-gripping epic'sode!

" The Prints and The Popper "


Anonymous said...

Miss Kate now you’ve done told all my secrets. I bet Penelope Payne is going to give everyone a run for their money, or Sloe Gin. Is Jeanette still packing her holstered gun under that mini-skirt?
This matinee rolled swiftly through the grey matter and I have no idea what will happen next. Those private dicks have something up their sleeves.

Harry said...

Well I guess it's working now. You never know what might happen Jeanette. Heck, neither do I! Thanks for reading!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Oh Jeanette ~ No one can ever tell ALL your secrets. Sip slow your Sloe Gin, keep that steely look to your sassy eyes and we'll see if what you're packin' means biz'ness. Whattya mean Harry has No Idea what might happen next? Geeez, I was counting on his *flash* lighting the many trails we're unwinding.

Ahhhh, instinct shall be our mighty guide.
~ Absolutely*Kate

Pamila Payne said...

This series just keeps getting more intriguing. I loved that bit about the eight ball. Oh, and the new character is pretty cool, too.

Crybbe666 said...

Finally I can leave a comment...

LadyKate & Gent B.Cool, another fine trip down Mystery Lane. Those private dicks (as Jeanette so lovingly referred to them as...I would never call 'em that!) look like they are on the trail and the story is about to unfold when Penelope is on the hunt.

Loved this episode, as I have all the previous installments. Thanks for the ride...

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Why Lieutenant Phillips of "One question at a time ladies!" ... you can take the magical Mystery ride anytime you wish to trail and hunt and avoid those private dicks' tricks.

Always & ever, much thanks for the savoir faire you bring to our Matinee days. "Mystery Lane" was a 10-pointer, Paulie. ~ Absolutely*Kate

Wendy said...

Katie and Harry, I just consulted my speak the truth EightBall...and this epicsode most likely...definitely...I feel strongly the best ever. Oh...and thanks for making my coffee mug PINK! xoxo

Matthew S. Magda said...

You wanna know: What's the buzz? Penelope Payne will know. Ask her. But keep your hands off that joy buzzer. Something mighty significant about that pink coffe mug. But, of course, any real sleuth would know that the key to all is in a volume of the Zane Greys. How could it be otherwise? Ut-ooo, I've said too much.
Great job dynamic duo. The plot thickens,
--The Prof

Harry said...

Jeanette, Prof, Pamila, Paul & Sugar, I don't know if Katie*Girl has your ribbons ready yet, but all of you regular readers just passed 10,000 words!We do SO appreciate your support and we aim to make it worth your while.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Got the ribbons right here Har ~ You ready for the presentation ceremony? Anthony's, Carrie's Laurita's and a few others are here as well, for their seats are becoming so well worn I've asked for new tapestry in a wondrous weave to honour their patronage . . . as we honour and enjoy their great writes around WebTown (sprucing up the side'wall AT THE BIJOU this week too to send folks to find more of their fave authors' great reads).

But what was that I said? Oh yes, along the punsterism of your yarns to knit I bespoke *wondrous weave* ... sure seems what it's like writing with you Harry B Cool, and interknowing some of the ways of our author pals ... Hmmm, only 10,000 you say? We have so many plot turns and blood curdles and schmaltzy romance twists and inherent cut throat action to yet incise. STAY ATTUNED folks, our mystery is epic'soding well. Now what's that significance of the joy'buzzer again? Ahhhh yes, a future epic'sode's necessity to plot -- could it have been the ligher side of Penelope Payne at newspaper conventions? Hmmm, let's whoopee that cushion.

See ya next week folks, same BIJOU time, same BIJOU channeling. ~ Absolutely*Kate

Anonymous said...