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 1 
 on: April 19, 2018, 01:00:27 PM 
Started by 1james - Last post by 1james
Hello since this is my first story I am hoping to get some serious critiquing
It is the only way I can improve PART 1 OF 4
thank you

  Kate didn't bother to look up when the lobby door closed with a bang, or when the cold December winds began biting into her skin. Instead, she pulled her sweater up over her shoulder, continued sipping her morning coffee and searching the web. Her granddaughter’s birthday was tomorrow, and she wanted to find a nice gift. She didn't even bother to look up when a man standing over her said: “I need to see your boss, Big Al”

 scrolling down to the toy section for 3 to 5 years old, she said. "Please have a seat, I'll be with you in a second." But she did look up when two large palms slammed down hard on her desk, and a loud voice repeated, “I said I want to see big Al!"

Standing there was a bony-faced man about five nine and wearing clothes that clearly belonged to someone twice his size. His hair and beard were matted with what looked like a combination of grease and dirt, and he emitted an odor that reminded her of a wet dog.

She guessed he was in his late 60s, only to find out later that he was actually in his mid-40s. Hoping to get rid of him as quickly as possible she politely said, “I'm sorry, but Mr. Coleman will be tied up all morning. If you would like to leave your name and number, I'll have him get back to you later."

He glanced up at the closed door a few feet behind her, then, giving her a suspicious look, folded his arms and said, "Just tell him Tony Styles wants to see him."

"Sir," she said, turning her head slightly to one side to avoid the overwhelming smell, "Mr. Coleman will only see you by appointment." She pretended to look at her screen then added, “and it doesn’t look like he'll have an opening for some time." 

He unfolded his arms, leaned over her desk again, and said, yelling, "I just called not too long ago and said I wanted to make an appointment. You told me that wouldn't be necessary, to just come on down. I'm not in a very good mood this morning, and the last thing I need is someone trying to screw me around. Now, do I get to see him or not?"

It wasn't until he said that she remembered talking to someone earlier, saying those exact words.  she stood up and snapped, "Just a moment sir."

Al Coleman, part-time investigator, full-time bookie, and loan shark, was on the speaker phone talking to one of his clients when Kate stepped into his office and closed the door behind her. Al held up a hand for her to wait, then continued with his conversation.

"Look, I don't tell you how to run your show. Don't tell me how to run mine. You want me to bust him up, I will, but if you want his legs broke, it will cost you another five hundred. Look, I got someone in my office. You know what my price is. Think about it and give me a call later. Maybe we can work out a package deal."

As soon as Al hung up the phone, Kate said, "There's someone in the lobby to see you. Says his name is Tony Styles."
Al lifted his six-foot, 300-pound mass out of the chair went to the door where he peered through the one-way mirror door. After studying Tony a few seconds, he turned to Kate, "Must be undercover. Tell ‘em I’m gone.”       

Kate waved her hands in front of her nose. “Trust me he’s not undercover, he seems truly upset.”
Going back to his chair,
 Al said, "I never heard of the guy get rid of him. I don't have time to be bothered."
After she explained what happen earlier

Al yelled “Kate!" “how many times do I have to tell you don't make any appointments until after I talked to them. I screen all my calls before setting up any appointments, you know that.

 I can't stop and talk to every joker off the streets. Now get rid of him,” he said, waving her out. As she got to the door, he said, "Never mind, I'll do it. Send him in and do a background check make sure he ain’t undercover

As soon as Tony opened the door,
Al grunted, "Yeah?"

Tony stood there for a second, looking around the office. He expected to see thick pile carpet and a fax machine busy receiving or sending messages, but what he saw sitting in the middle of a large empty room was a green metal desk with a piece of cardboard under one of the legs for balance.

 The ceiling was white acoustic with brown water stains. The only window on the left wall facing them was covered with a green blanket that hung down and met the hard, concrete floor. The room felt cold and damp. Moving closer, Tony said, "I want to hire you to find someone for me."

"Okay," he said, pointing to a chair, “no problem, Mr. Styles, that'll be a hundred and fifty dollars listening fee for the first hour."
Tony pointed his thumb over his shoulder, referring to the secretary, and said, squinting his eyes, "She didn't say anything about a listening fee."
 
"She didn't?” Al said, “well she must have forgotten. You see I get a lot of shall we say, undesirables who come in here off the streets with nothing better to do than waste my time. This way, when a man puts his money down I know he's serious I'm sure someone of your intellect can understand that. Now, Mr. Styles, that will be cash only.”
"What will fifty bucks get me?"
 Al repeated, "fifty bucks, huh? Usually, that'll get all of five minutes, but for you, I'll make an exception and give you ten. But I want cash up front."

Having said that, Al expected to see him turn and walk out,
instead, Tony reached into his pocket and began emptying the contents on the table. When he was done,
 he said: "There's at least fifty there, if not more."

 Al looked down at the pile of assorted coins mixed with crumpled bills, rubbed his chin and leaned back and stared up at Tony. It wasn't the money that convinced him that Tony was serious, but the murderous look in his eyes.

He had seen it too many times to be fooled. Sweeping the cash into his drawer, locking it, he said, “Okay, Mr. Styles, you got ten minutes."

Tony started out in a low murmur, running his hands through his hair as he paced back and forth after a few minutes, 
Tony sat down and for a moment was silent like a dormant volcano. Then, staring at the floor, he began again. "Fifteen years ago I owned three stores, one in California, the other in Florida, as well as an antique store here in Chicago with plans to go nationwide with  4 million in the bank I was unstoppable

“If I walked into a restaurant and didn't like my table all I had to do was,” Tony raised his hand and snapped his fingers twice, "and the waiter would come running. Not only would he give me the best seat in the house, but a bottle of his most expensive champagne on the house. Al stopped tony and said looking at his watch if I were you I’d get to the point”

Suddenly Tony stood up, and the color in his face began to change to a dark red. Then, he said, “About ten years ago I got a call from this lady named Sara. She said she had a business proposition for me and wanted to know if we could meet someplace to discuss it.

Usually, when I got calls like that, I would refer them to my attorney, just as a precaution, but she had such a lovely voice I decided it couldn't hurt just to talk. So, a few days later we met at a restaurant not too far from my store.
 I tell you I never believed in love at first sight, but when she walked up to my booth and introduced herself, I knew I wanted to be with her the rest of my life.

 She was wearing a light red suit with matching heels that made her appear to be 5'6 or 5'7. Her hair was dark brown. She wore it shoulder length, and even though she was thirty, she looked like a twenty-one-year-old model. 

“I just couldn't take my eyes off her. It wasn't just her beauty, but something about her warm, inviting smile that lit my heart up. But she was all business, so rather than chase her away, I decided not to say anything personal.

 But I'm sure she sensed something because every time she looked at me, I had to look away."
Just then Al’s cell phone buzzed a message that showed a 10-year-old article that read “multimillionaire Tony styles disappeared without a trace police suspect kidnapping.” 
"Hold it!" Al reached for his pad and pen, and after making several notes, he said, "Ok, Mr. Styles, you were saying."

 “She said her husband a bank president had died a few years earlier at the age of forty-eight in a car accident and had left her a large insurance policy. She wanted to know if I would help her invest it in an antique shop like mine. I told her I couldn't because I was opening a new store, and that took all my time, but I would be happy to make some good recommendations.

 She said she was sorry, but she heard a lot about me and would only consider investing if I would personally help her. I knew if I didn't I'd probably never see her again. So, I told her I would, hoping in the process we'd get to know each other better.
That's exactly what happened. The next day she dropped off a check to let me know she meant business. We went out to celebrate, and not long after that, we started seeing each other on a regular basis.

 At first, it was all business, but soon we were going to plays and movies, or she would invite me over for dinner, where we would sit and talk for hours. I couldn't believe how much we had in common, books, movies, we even liked the same wines. And she knew almost as much about antiques as I did. Well, somewhere along the line things got serious and the next thing I knew, we're off to Mexico to start our honeymoon.

We ended up in a small fishing village off the Gulf of Mexico where we rented a large boat that looked as good as some hotels I've stayed in. The first couple of days we went for long walks through the village, buying worthless souvenirs, laughing, singing, shopping and eating ourselves sick. The third day we took the boat out to sea.

We had planned to go out for dinner that night, but she said she was too tired, so she fixed some drinks, and we sat on the deck of the boat and watched the sunset over the ocean. It didn't matter what we did as long as I was with her. When I told her how much I loved her and that I was going to make her a very happy woman, she would just laugh and say I already had. It wasn’t until later I found out what she meant.

“A few days later what started out to be one of the best days of my life turned out to be the worst. She got up early to fix breakfast and brought it to me in bed, and when I asked what was going on she said she wanted this to be a special day, and for me to stay right where I was until she got back. So I waited. About a half hour later I heard someone top side walking around.

 When I went up to see who it was, I found two policemen. One was short and mean looking. The other was just a little taller and looked like he was too young to be a cop. I asked if I could help them. The short one asked if this was my boat and before I could answer, the tall one took off down below.

 When I asked what was going on, he said a man answering my description had been seen in town buying cocaine. I tried to explain that I was there on my honeymoon but he just kept apologizing, saying they wouldn't be long.

“A few minutes later his buddy called something up to him in Spanish. I don't know what he said, but he sounded pretty excited, so we headed below. When we got there, my suitcase was sitting on the bed half open I couldn’t see what was in it. Again they exchanged a few words in Spanish. Then the short one asked me if it was mine, I said yes. When he turned it around, I saw two plastic bags of white powder.

Right away I knew what it was, but I had no idea how it got there. The only thing I could think of was that they heard I had a little money, and put it there to shake me down, so I asked them how much they wanted to forget the whole thing. That's when I was arrested and charged with attempted bribery, possession of cocaine,

Two hours later Sara showed up. I explained what happened and told her she would have to hurry back to the states and get the money for my bail I gave my account number. Crying, she kissed me and said she would be back as soon as possible. That was the last time I saw her.

After a few days, I got worried that something had happened to her, so I talked a guard into letting me call my bank. I gave the teller my account number and asked if there had been a withdrawal in the last few days and if so on what day. She put me on hold. I was hoping when she came back she would say 'Oh yes, Mr. Styles, your wife was just here, I remember her because she was crying and seemed so upset about something.”
 

Tony paused, took a deep breath, and the veins in his neck began to swell. Fighting for control, he continued, "When she told me my account had been closed I thought there had been a mistake, so I asked her to check again. That's when the manager got on the phone. He said ‘There was no mistake. Your wife was here two days ago and transferred 4 million dollars to your account in Switzerland. I helped her personally.”

“I've never had a Swiss account in my life. It didn't take me long to figure out she had been conning me the whole time, from the time she first called me until she cleaned out my bank account.
Then Tony sank down in his chair as if all the anger had suddenly left his body. "But that's not the worst of it. From the time I was arrested.
 
Without any money or a way to get any, I didn't have a chance. I was sentenced to ten years." Raising his voice, he added, "But if I ever get my hands on that…..
Al interrupted, “I can understand how you feel but why didn’t you call your attorney?
"I found out later she got to the judge and made sure I was in solitary from the first day of my arrest.

Al looked down at his notes then said “I don’t know, we have a few problems here. First of all, if she took all your money and I decide to help you, how do you plan on paying?"
 
"Fortunately, in all this time the property I had was untouched. Last month when I got out I sold it. I'm just waiting for escrow to close."
"I don't know," Al said shaking his head, "ten years is a long time, and from what you told me about her I doubt if she's still alive.

 A woman like that will usually end up using her brains to stop a bullet. Even if she isn't dead, she could be anywhere in the world by now."
Tony shouted, "I don’t care how much it costs or how long it takes, I just want you to find her.”
 "Wait a second, let me finish,” Al said. “As much as I would like to help you, there's just no way I can drop everything here and go looking for someone that might take years to find, if not longer. That's if she's even alive.”
 
"Look, I'm getting my money in a few days, I'll pay you whatever you ask,
"Just exactly what am I supposed to do when I find her?"
"Nothing! Nothing at all!” Tony yelled. “Just call me and let me know where she is and I'll take it from there."
"And if she's dead?"
 
Tony smiled nodding his head, “Good. Just show me proof."
 
"Look, I'll tell you what I'll do. I happen to know a little something about the scam she pulled on you and how it works. Not that it matters now, but it started long before she called you.”

“Wait,” Tony said anxiously “I don't understand. What are you talking about?"
"I don't want to go into details now, but what I'm willing to do is make a few phone calls, put the word out, go back and do some checking around to see what I can come up with. Who knows, I just might get lucky. Why don't you meet me back here in three or four weeks? I should have something by then.

 Outside of that, there's nothing I can do for you. As far as money is concerned, don't worry about that. We’ll work something out, leave a number where I can reach you in case something comes up sooner.”
 
Tony stood up, shook Al's hand and said, "I'll be back in a few days and drop of a retainer. Until then I'll be staying at the shelter not too far from here. One last thing, I would appreciate it if you could get me a large handgun for maximum damage. Let's just say it's for my protection." 

 













 2 
 on: April 10, 2018, 02:12:21 AM 
Started by Bob Mueller - Last post by Bob Mueller
Welcome to MWF, Peggylou! Take a moment and introduce yourself. What do you write? Are you published? Who is your favorite author?

Enjoy your stay!

 3 
 on: March 31, 2018, 06:25:31 PM 
Started by Bob Mueller - Last post by Bob Mueller
Welcome to MWF, RMXStudio! Take a moment and introduce yourself. What do you write? Are you published? Who is your favorite author?

Enjoy your stay!

 4 
 on: March 29, 2018, 12:41:35 AM 
Started by Bob Mueller - Last post by Bob Mueller
Welcome to MWF, Redqueen12! Take a moment and introduce yourself. What do you write? Are you published? Who is your favorite author?

Enjoy your stay!

 5 
 on: March 20, 2018, 10:37:34 AM 
Started by Kathy Wendorff - Last post by Jeilos4oo
I have been watched this Program from so long time well I am not an Expert in science but I just love to watch Scientific Programs and also Sci-Fi Pictures. Its really great to see that some one also like this Program.

 6 
 on: March 20, 2018, 10:28:09 AM 
Started by Bob Mueller - Last post by Bob Mueller
Welcome to MWF, Jeilos4oo! Take a moment and introduce yourself. What do you write? Are you published? Who is your favorite author?

Enjoy your stay!

 7 
 on: March 18, 2018, 12:19:56 PM 
Started by Bob Mueller - Last post by coffee and ink
Hello all--

I've been writing and publishing romantic suspense in the small presses, but I have returned to my true love, mysteries and historical mysteries, so I thought I'd join some new forums and such. I'm currently working on the first novel of a series, hopefully, set about 5 years after the Civil War, in Brooklyn.

 8 
 on: March 18, 2018, 12:13:12 PM 
Started by Bob Mueller - Last post by Bob Mueller
Welcome to MWF, coffee and ink! Take a moment and introduce yourself. What do you write? Are you published? Who is your favorite author?

Enjoy your stay!

 9 
 on: March 15, 2018, 04:13:45 PM 
Started by Bob Mueller - Last post by Bob Mueller
Welcome to MWF, Naelyn! Take a moment and introduce yourself. What do you write? Are you published? Who is your favorite author?

Enjoy your stay!

 10 
 on: March 06, 2018, 08:27:05 AM 
Started by AidanMarsh - Last post by Old Bill
From my experiences at autopsies (many eons ago), usually the ME and his assistants have already examined and x-ray'd the body prior to the actual cutting. Photographs are taken of significant injuries and trauma before, during and after the post. If a police investigator is present (not always), the ME would point out such things pertinent to the case or cause of death. Handling and turning the body is usually done by the assistants if required. As I recall, it is not a murder until the ME declares it so. Any death scene belongs to the ME (at least in NY) but the actual investigation is deferred to the appropriate LE agency. (Just a side note: In one fire scene I had with multiple deaths, the ME did not feel comfortable with the local police department (so he said) and called upon our Sheriff's Dept. to take over the investigation. It was probably more political than a lack of confidence, but that is the way of the world sometimes.)

Hope this helps a little. I wonder just how much the turning of the body is important in the scene.

Good luck,

Old Bill

Something I always suggest to writers is "get it from the horse's mouth". Take a trip to a Medical Examiners office or police dept. and explain that you are/trying to be a writer and ask questions. Be professional in your demeanor and appearance. You'd be surprised how cooperative they can be. Doesn't hurt to develop lines of communication with personnel there for when you need future advice. Always offer to give credits in your book for the dept and individuals.

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