September 10, 2015 at 2:38 pm #4195
From Miz and the 8/24-8/25 2013 thread:
Working Title: “Illegal Procedures: The Dark Side of a Football Dynasty”, as excerpted in the Boston Globe in a 12 part front page series.
Plot Synopsis: Don Burgess, a private investigator and former disgraced sportswriter, gets mixed up in the seedy world of big time football. Burgess must put his journalistic skills and contacts to the test to penetrate a nigh-impenetrable dome of secrecy to get at the shocking, ugly truth at the core of a football team.
I knew she was trouble the moment she walked into my office. She had an All-Pro Tight End and the nicest set of Lombardis this side of Canton. Blondie was the coach’s gal, and everyone knew it. Why she needed Walpole’s most affordable private dick was anyone’s guess.
“What are you doing?”
“Adjusting your breasts. You fainted and they… shifted all outta whack. There.”
“They told me if I was smart, I’d be quiet…but you know that’s impossible!”
Did I ever. I was meeting my newest source at a nondescript motel somewhere on Route 1. He was tall, dark and at best, endearingly dim. I figured Burton was too dumb to be scared, but he was agitated, as upset as he would be had he gotten ‘agitate’ as a word in a spelling bee. He was alternatively pacing, and sitting on the corner of the bed, which had been stripped down to the mattress. I looked to sit on the couch, but the cushions had been removed and reconfigured into a rudimentary fortress. I stood.
They’re trying to ‘gas-fright’ me into shutting up…little things, rearranging my desk at work, tying the laces of all my shoes together, why the other day they locked me in my car for an hour!” My left hand went to my forehead and I winced ever so slightly. “Who’s doing this to you, Burton?”
“Who else, Mister Big, that’s who! I didn’t think they could find me here, but his goons sent a message-this!”
He rummaged around in the pile of sheets by his feet, and came up with a limp reptile.
“They put a dead alligator in my bed! That’s why I called you!”
Now, the room AC had been set at ‘suburban housewife’, so that gator may have been torpid, but when one double-lidded eye opened as Burton jostled the critter in his arms and fixed its baleful gaze at me, I knew this was a game changer. “Burton, that alligator’s still alive.” For a moment, his expression was one of indescribable confusion, like he was trying to multiply by thirteens, or recall the capital of South Dakota.
“Alive? THAT’S EVEN WORSE!”
“I hear tell ‘Hills’ Holliday hired you” hissed a familiar voice behind me. “Could be bad for your health.” Before I could say Jeff Tarpinian, I discovered there were two saps in that Attleboro alley; me, and the one that knocked me out like I was David Patten.
“Stop right there!” a weaselly voice shouted out from the darkness. I knew I met my anonymous source.
“‘Buckeye’, I presume?” I said. “I hope your scoop is worth me traipsing out into this dark alley in the dead of night.”
“I always deliver,” he said, in a voice that could only be described as “Punchable”. “You see, this Gronkowski kid won’t be back for another week.”
“That’s it?” I said.
“Yeah!” said Buckeye. “Didn’t you hear what I said?”
“Your pal Schefter told me the same thing fifteen minutes ago, and he didn’t make me run all over town for the privilege.”
“Yes, but…” Buckeye’s voice dropped to what I think he’d consider a dramatic tone. “I can confirm it.”
I turned to walk away but an odd noise forced me to stop. It was a tinkling noise that was familiar, but so out of place.
This old gumshoe didn’t like much but I liked what I saw. She had murder on her mind and a story to tell but nobody was listening.
“Well Dollface, I’m listening.”
“Hernadez has killed somebody and they are covering it up.”
“That’s quite a story. Who is covering it up and why?
“It goes right to the top, they think they can get away with anything. As long as he catches passes they will look the other way. They have $41 milion reasons to cover it up.”
I thought for a minute and leaned over to stamp out my Lucky and let her story sit in the air for a while. I felt like a 20 yard out from Tebow, a lame duck. When just then a saw a shadow on my door, trying not to be noticed but being as effective as the Pats defense. Not very.
“Any idea who that might be, Dollface.”
She spun around on a great set of pins to get a look.
“Oh my God, it’s Ernie. They know. They know and Ernie is here to bury me deeper than any non Rutgers guy on the roster. You have to help, you’re only hope.”
It was fourth and long with time running down. The next move was to call a friend at the Globe who owed me a favor. I knew they would have sympathetic ear…..
The license plate on the black limousine read “NO 1 SON”. I chuckled to myself and thought what Mom and Dad would have put on mine. Of course with so many mouths to feed and Dad working two jobs, we were lucky if we got anything. A cupcake with a single candle indicated it was your birthday. Even then, my older brother Tim had a birthday two days before mine and I’m pretty sure my cupcake was a week old before I got to eat it. The driver gave me the high sign and I entered the car.
Jonathan was wearing a business suit. He had headphones plugged in to a jack in the limo and was singing along to “Too Much” by Dave Matthews at a pitch only a dog could love. I sat patiently as he seemingly was oblivious to my presence. NO 8 INGRATE? Too many letters for those years. He was fingering his iPad furiously when he noticed I had arrived.
“I hear from Robert that you’re skilled at investigating players.”
“I investigate all kinds.”
“I have someone I want you to take a look at.” He made a few flourishes with his iPad and showed me a picture of a man in a green jersey holding a football.
I whipped my pad out. “What’s his name?”
“He’s new to your organization I presume?”
“Oh no. He plays for Philadelphia.”
“Yes. He’s one of my keepers. Well, I should say he might be one of my keepers if he checks out with you. He had a concussion last year and I’m trying to decide whether to keep him.”
“Keep him where?”
“On my fantasy football team. Where did you think I wanted to keep him? At some flophouse?” He guffawed audibly at that.
“I think I have enough on my plate here.”
“Hey, it’s easy work. You hop on the Amtrak, grab a cheesesteak on me when you get there and just let me know if this guy’s bell is still ringing. I’ll pay your usual rate.”
He’s trying to get me out of town. What is he hiding? Whatever it is, he’s pretty good because I can’t read an ulterior motive on him.
“Sorry, I have to take a pass.”
“BUT THE DRAFT IS IN THREE DAYS!!!!!!”
The silence after his roar pierced the limo and he looked like he was going to start crying.
“It’s my favorite day of the year – the day the Patriot Missiles are formed. I came in seventh last year you know. I would have been sixth and in the playoffs if…..hey!”
I slammed the door shut and quickly got back to my car before I heard anymore. My gut was telling me what I needed to do is stay right here in Foxboro if I wanted answers, and the mention of a certain flophouse told me where I was headed next.
So I hear you got some information for me.”
Sully took a seat across from me. It wasn’t often that a hotshot at a respected newspaper would be caught dead in a dive like this, but Sully wanted the results of my investigation bad.
“Make yourself comfortable, Joe.”
“Cut the small talk. I’m paying for your information, not your sparkling conversation.”
“Alright, then. Nice to see you, too. Well, it turns out that Hernandez wasn’t on any ordinary kick. Not no weed or blow or even heroin. Mr. Football gets down to Angel Dust.”
Sully grunted and gave a tiny little pump of his meaty fist.
“Hot damn! I knew there was something there! We are gonna have coach’s head on a stake for this! Now tell me, do you know where he got the junk? Who was the supplier?”
“I got a name. It’s kind of interesting.”
“I need to know it.”
I took a sip on my whiskey before I let the name go. A good private eye knows how to use the proper level of suspense.
Sully’s face sank.
“@!&%ing ****!” he said. He sank his pudgy self back into his chair. “I thought we had a story for a moment there.”
Come back, Sydjack.
My agenda is truth.
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