Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 136

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 136

…Cupcake my ass, you—you Mr. Big Stuff…

cupcake

…do I need to convince you further? And you can toss in that phantom building in Rome and those ghost headquarters on top of that LaSalle Street address,” Daniels states authoritatively.

“Okay I get your point, but what can we do going forward?” Ace, the veteran of many an aerial dogfight wants to be prepared for a battle of the uncharted sort.

“Pentateuch is mad as hell and he is back on the move. As far as I know, he cannot directly harm anyone who is not under his control; he has to use surrogates to do that dirty work.”

“Where does that leave you, didn’t you work for him?”

“Not in the strictest sense, Mr. Ace. I have had special mind-control-defeating-training, should I be captured during an operation and all, so I am immune from his personal attacks. So for immediate purposes, it’s the Chicago Police Department I need to get around.”

“Good ol’ Connie here knows how to deal with cops, don’t you cupcake?” he slaps her on the backside.

“Cupcake my ass! You can make fun of me, you—you Mr. Big Stuff, but I may have the best plan EVER in mind.”

“If it involves me, you do know about that flack shrapnel I have in my gluteus maximus?”

what he wants“Yes you can be a pain in the posterior, but I am talking about giving Penty exactly what he thinks he wants most.”

“I think I know, but for the sport of it, what does he want?” asks the single most informed human being in present company.

“I’ve heard you refer to it as the Great Deception.”

“Yes this whole ordeal revolves around protecting it. He is every bit a roaring lion.”Agent Daniels-001

“All we have to do is have Martin sign off on a paper that concludes that all of Libby’s findings were skewed, he poo-poos it, thereby preserving his precious evolution ruse.”

It gets the Agent Daniels stamp of approval, “After all, what’s the big deal? They think Willard his dead, right? And Old Martin here, didn’t have the courage to see it through.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Mr. Bigstuff

Forever Mastadon


page 119

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 38

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 38

Chapter Four

 REVELATION

…There is no 39th floor lady, see?…

The ground floor, good old Mother Earth, terra firma has never felt so comforting to one Constance Caraway. The elevator at 33 LaSalle has stopped one floor shy of the basement parking garage. Out on the street, automobiles provide a background for a sidewalk filled with pedestrians, so unexpectedly reassuring.

An added bonus: not one related relative story from one Eddie Dombroski on the way down..

You would think that having just experienced something inexplicable, that the leader of this expedition would guide them out of harm’s way. Instead of following Eddie back out to their car, she stops at the front desk to speak with the doorman. So should have Eddie stopped 20 feet away.

“What’s with the 39th floor? Do you know anyone from WORLD AGNOSTICA?” She hands him their card.

The polite professional Negro employee of many years, judging from his gracious interaction with the comers and goers, stares at Constance as if she had a single blue eye in the middle of her bang covered forehead, saying nothing.

“Isn’t that the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?” she rewords.

Without a response, she becomes annoyed.

“Have I become invisible?”

“There are only 38 floors in this building Miss.”

Now it is she who falls is mute.

“The Penthouse Suite is occupied by the Foreman State National Bank.”

“Excuse me, but we were on the top floor, the 39th, you know World Agnostica!”

“Who are “we”,” he inquires to the woman standing alone in front of the desk.

“Me and ………Ed……. well, he was with me.” The 20 foot rule has bolted out the lobby doors.

“This is not at all funny,” she proclaims while dashing to the right of five elevators, the one she had taken up. “Look, number 39 is right here.”

The lone person who, is patiently waiting to begin his ascent, is snickering at the crazed woman who is chasing phantoms.

There is no 39 lady, see?” states the doorman.

No odd numbered 39 on the top of row of 8 with 5 to each row. Most buildings are designed without that anomalous odd final story.

“I’ve been here since they opened her up in ’29, know her better than I know my wife. If there is a 39, I’ll quit right now and ask for a devorce!”

Leaving a job of 21 years is as inadvisable as it is for Constance to carry this conversation any further. She just shakes her head and blends into the bustling crowd outside.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 37

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 37

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 37

…Instead of empty, #39666 is a castle adorned in gleaming gold, sparkling silver and precious gems…

“I’ll take your word for it. Can we leave?” Eddie D. pleads.

“No, I have one more office to check.” Constance insists.

This suite has a different feel from the outside. The door knob for one is freezing. None of the others were colder than the unoccupied ambient temperature of 55 degrees. She uses the hem of her sweater to tolerate the icy handle. One easy counterclockwise turn and the door swings open, “Eddie!” she summons her timid pal.

Their jaws drop with unadulterated amazement. Instead of empty, #39666 is a castle adorned in gleaming gold, sparkling silver and precious gems. It is not arranged at all like an office, rather a chamber of unknown purpose. The temperature beyond the door, matches that of the knob.

“This feels like a meat locker, Con.”

“We have the golden calves, and golden rams, silver falcons and wolves?” Everything is arranged like a diorama, each piece purposely placed. “And what about this, she points at one particular golden statue. Aren’t those the three smokestacks from Argonne?”

“Yeah and look at these. They look like real people to me?” Eddie is shivering on multiple levels.

Constance knows there may be clues in this glistening fantasyland, but she expedites their stay in the room for the time being, leaving the door ajar.

The haunting phantom voices have hushed, but the dead heavy air around them is beating down her chest, making it hard to breathe.

Let’s get out of here before the owner returns. I don’t think he would be pleased to see us.”

She presses the lone down arrow and the middle elevator responds to take them down,

“Who exactly is the tenant of a place like this?”

“I’ll be damned if I know. We can come back later… with reinforcements.”

Once a safe distance away, Constance is getting warm, or at least warmer, on the inside.  The castles she has visited lately do not seem like welcoming places to be.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Burg Scharfenberg at Night by Ernst Ferdinand Oehme, 1827

Forever Mastadon


page 36 (end Ch. 3)

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 36

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 Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 36

It’s like a half-dozen people are talking all at once, but I can’t pick out a single word they’re saying

The right elevator takes Constance up to the #39 she had pushed, noticing that that the lighted button wasn’t as worn as all of the others. After several stops and starts on the way, for the other comers and goers, she alone disembarks at the final floor of the building. She steps out into an incomplete level, without form or function; no carpeting, no paint, no lighting and not a single soul to be seen.

“Wasn’t expecting this,” her words are swallowed up.

She begins looking into each of the six doors on the floor, every one as pristine as the next, starting with 39660. Empty.

39661, empty.

662, 663, 664 + 665 all empty, yet spotless, floor to ceiling.

Before she attempts to gain access to the remaining 39666, an impatient Eddie pops out of the same lift and of course he adds his commentary, “They sure skimped on the furniture, Con!”

“Nothing much here, yet I feel like we are not alone.” She looks back at where she’s been. “Look at my footprints, they last for two or three seconds then disappear.”

“Footprints? Do you see the steam coming out of your pretty little mouth?” Eddie is getting the creeps. He watches his own breath leave a trail, “It’s cold, but not that cold in here.”

“Do you hear that?” she asks, reacting to the sound of whispers.

“Hear what? I had a grenade go off inside a bombed out building at the Battle of Verdun, Verdun France in the Big War, didn’t see that lousy kraut hiding behind a wall. My buddy shot him before he could throw it, but it did go off… my ears still ring some to this day…”

It’s like a half-dozen people are talking all at once. The chatter is non-stop, but I can’t pick out a single word they’re saying, like babbling.”

“I’ll take your word for it. Can we leave?”

“No, I have one more office to check.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 35

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 35

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 35

…I may need the back-up, but stay 20 feet behind me and let’s pretend we’re not together…

Once the initial shock of discovering Fanny safe ‘n sound has set in and the requisite debriefing is out of the way, Constance leaves her in Martin’s care for the remainder of the day. The excitement meter needle has been redlining for the last day. It needs to return to normal levels.

33 North LaSalle

Eddie is re-gathered for the task of taking his employer to 33 N. LaSalle Street. She is going to see what she can find out about World Agnostica, at the address listed on that fortuitous business card. What is their deal?

“That building at 33 LaSalle is one of the last skyscrapers built before The Depression. I don’t get many fares from there… bankers are cheapskates and their secretaries are heavy smokers. I pretend not to see ‘em.”

“That’s a bank building, interesting?”

“I don’t know if you know, being an out-of-towner, but 39-blank, blank, blank means you’ll be going to the 39th floor?”

“Thanks for the tip in higher arithmetic Eddie,” she looks up at the top of the building. “If I’m not back in 30 minutes, call the Coast Guard.”

“The Coast Guard is another name for the sissy’s navy. I don’t think they have guns on their boats… my Uncle Fred (not a cousin?) rescues ducks or something…”

“I was only kidding. On second thought, instead of waiting, let’s park the car and you come in with me. I may need the back-up, but stay 20 feet behind me and let’s pretend we’re not together.”

“If anyone asks me what I’m doing, I’ll tell them I’m here for a mortgage on my house.”

“Meet me on the 39th floor and don’t talk to anyone,”

He visually zips his mouth shut.

“You’ll need a lock for that Eddie!” the out-of-town sleuth quips.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 34

33 North LaSalle, a Devil of an Address (Ch 3 pgs 45)

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33 North LaSalle, Chicago

Eddie, for his part, escorts his road warrior brother back out to his truck, “My cousin Jimmy drives for England Trucking, part of the million mile club, but he drives forth and back to New York twice a week. Do you drive in Ohio? Make sure you watch out for the speed traps……”

Once the initial shock of discovering Fanny safe and sound, the requisite debriefing are out-of-the-way, Constance leaves her in Martin’s care for the remainder of the day. The excitement meter needle needs to return to normal levels.

Eddie is re-gathered for the task of taking her to 33 N. LaSalle St. She is going to see what she can find out about World Agnostica. What is their deal?

“That building at 33 LaSalle is one of the last skyscrapers built before The Depression. I don’t get many fares from there, bankers are cheapskates.”

“That’s a bank building, interesting?”

“I don’t know if you know, being an outsider, but 39-whatever means you’ll be going to the 39th floor?”

“Thanks for the tip Eddie,” she looks up at the top of the building. “If I’m not back in 30 minutes, call the Coast Guard.”

“The Coast Guard is another name for the sissy’s navy. I don’t think they have guns on their boats……..”

“I was only kidding. Instead of waiting, let’s park the car and you come in with me. I may need the back-up, but stay 20 feet behind me.”

“If anyone asks me what I’m doing, I’ll tell them I’m here for a mortgage on my house.”

“Meet me on the 38th floor and don’t talk to anyone.”

He visually zips his mouth shut.

“You’ll need a lock for that.”

The right elevator takes Constance up to the #39 she had pushed, noticing that it wasn’t as worn as most of the others. After several stops and starts on the way, she alone disembarks at the final floor of the building. She steps out into an incomplete level, without form or function; no carpeting, no paint, no lighting and not a single non-believing soul to be seen.

She begins looking into each of the six doors on the floor starting with 39660. Empty. 39661, empty. 39662, 39663, 39664 + 39665 all empty, yet spotless, floor to ceiling. Before she gains access to the last, Eddie pops out the left lift. “They saved on furniture!”

“Nothing here, but I feel like I’m being watched.” She looks back at where she’s been. “Look at my footprints, they last for three seconds then disappear.”

“Footprints, do you see the water vapor coming out when you speak?” Eddie is getting the creeps.

“Do you hear that,” she asks reacting to the sound of whispering?

“Hear what? I had a grenade go off inside a building at the Battle of Verdun. Didn’t see the kraut who tossed it, but it bounced into another room, my ears still ring some.”

“It’s like a half-dozen people came up with you. The chatter is non stop, but I can’t pick out any single words. It’s babbling.”

“I’ll take your word for it. Can we leave?”

“I have one more office to check.”

“With Fanny safe at Martin’s house, Constance & Eddie D. tackles a building that may give up some clues……or something else???? The Devil?”

Gwenny