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Anything Goes : Who Feels Creative Today?! by Deborah Weed

Deborah Weed

Who Feels Creative Today?!

So many amazing writers. So little time! Who wants to write a sentence/paragraph a day to create an amazing story. No one will know where it's going: a patchwork stitched with words. You just have to follow the sentence/paragraph before you. Any takers; writers; actors; producers, etc. If so... Here we go... "She stared in the mirror. Nothing stared back at her...

Donna M. Carbone

"I'm invisible," she thought. "How can I expect people to see the real me, if I don't know who I am?"

Charles Rule

The dark shadow hanging over her thoughts lightened with the question,"Must I be visible to know who am I?"

Donna M. Carbone

No sooner did she pose that question than the answer revealed itself.

Laurie Gabriel

I do not need to be visible only seen by myself said the waitress carrying a dead weight upon her shoulders.

Devon Volkel

She realized that the importance didn't lie within the fabrics of the reflection, but within the fabrics of her own soul.

Genevieve Thomas

I like the quilt analogy.

Deborah Weed

These fabrics were woven from life's chaos. Torn pieces of her heart.

Devon Volkel

And although these torn pieces of her heart fluttered on the outskirts and fences of her being, they did not consume her own self as a whole. "They are merely a single strand of who I really am," she said to the empty reflection. As she did, a woman began to appear before her.

Randall Thomasson

"Could this be the 'Immaculate Conception' she thought? "No! No! I am not worthy of her presence."

Charles Rule

"Are you not worthy of your own presence?" queried the voice from the apparition.

Sydney Cuthbert

Then she realized she hadn't put her contact lenses in yet...

Wayne White

Hello!

Charles Rule

And then began the quest, not for a needle in a stack of hay, but for that which gave her sight.

Michael J. Citak

Across the cluttered room she made her way towards the bathroom. One lid and then the next, her lashes opened up giving way to clear spherical spirits of sight.

Dita-Marina Obert

"I am indeed beautiful" , she sighed, viewing her reflection.

Phil Keys

"but I have to make the biggest decision of my life today and I am not looking forward to it."

Manina Lassen

"Then she shrieked, aware of the emptiness swallowing her face in the mirror... Again."

Deborah Weed

I'm only a waitress, with a loss that sits on my heart like a heavy boulder. How can I possibly raise this child alone?

Manina Lassen

The door bell rings and jolts her back to reality. Dizzy, she feels her way down the stairs, down towards the door, and freezes, as she sees the key being pushed out of the lock ever so slowly...

Michael J. Citak

"Who rings the door bell and then pushes the key out" she thought. "What kind of twisted home invasion is this?"

Michael J. Citak

Her blood pressure boiling with anticipation for the onslaught of dismemberment that she though awaited her, the brass key fell to the tile floor, echoing throughout the quiet house.

Charles Rule

The 'twist' was not an invasion, but an aversion for Tomas from next door, avoiding his wife as his drinking caused her to be combative.

Hodo

Then she awoke in a cold sweat screaming, "no no not again, why won't it stop?

Randall Thomasson

More and more she feared the night when sleep beckoned. "I wish I could control my dreams" she said frantically.

Dita-Marina Obert

Alas, that possibility was just beyond her grasp.

Michael J. Citak

Day passes into night, and night passes into day. The sleeplessness is taking it's toll. She walks towards the door, grabs her keys, and leaves the house. "BEEP, BEEP", the impatient car behind her honks, startling her awake at the wheel. She exits the library parking lot, confused how the time has past, how she got to the library, and more importantly how she didn't crack up the car on the way. Books on lucid dreaming and hypnosis sit in the passenger seat.

Dita-Marina Obert

They're stacked up almost to the height of the dashboard, beckoning to be read..

Wayne White

The last few days this has felt like a creative writing class.

Manina Lassen

As she stops at a red light, a knock on the window catapults her out of the haze. A police officer! Ohmygod, she thinks, what have I done wrong? She sticks her head out of the window. "Officer?" She gasps. "Get out of that car, Miss," he snaps.

Deborah Weed

White knuckled, she holds on to the steering wheel. "If I get out of the car, they'll know," she mumbles to herself.

Manina Lassen

On impulse she floors it, jumps the red light, almost bumps into a truck coming from the right, and speeds off. In the rear mirror she sees the police officer pull his gun, shouting "stop!!". But too late. She's already on the highway, sweat dripping from her face.

Hodo

She balls uncontrollablly, screaming, " why am I so out of my mind?" It is as if there is a tsu'nami slamming my thoughts aside where I can't control them.

Hodo

She slips away again to another. place. and time. She says, I. wish. he was here to kiss away the pain as he used to." She slams on the break barely missing cement truck dumping. a load of the thick pasty mixture into whole. she snap back to where & when she truly is.

Randall Thomasson

"How can I fall asleep in this terrible L.A. traffic?" she asked. "If the traffic doesn't kill me then the smog will!" "And I WILL not die in L.A.!"

Michael J. Citak

12am, she arrives home from an uneventful evening of lost connections and even less numbers than last weeks excursion into the depths of LA. Depression is a common thread strewn among her social circle, and its of no surprise that there's more pills than food on her daily diet. Not heeding her doctors warning of the side effects of her prescriptions, she takes a swig of wine and knocks back yet another sleeping pill.

Dita-Marina Obert

At last, she falls into a well-deserved slumber. Deep, deep into the darkness of unconsciousness.

Randall Thomasson

The craziness of dreams is soon upon her.

Manina Lassen

Ghosts haunt her, torture her. So finally she has arrived. In hell. So this is what it feels like to be damned. To be pushed and beaten and destroyed. Where did she see those images before? It all feels so crazily familiar. Tied on the wheel. Turning, turning. Hopeless crucifixion.

Donna M. Carbone

As dizziness overtakes her, she reaches for the wall to keep herself steady. With stumbling steps she makes her way to the bathroom. Leaning in close to the vanity mirror, she once again looks for her reflection and sees nothing. "This," she says aloud, "is what happens when you put your contact lenses in the wrong eyes."

Randall Thomasson

Suddenly she hears the cry of an infant. Turning around, she observes a scene right out of the 'Secret Garden.'

Dita-Marina Obert

"Am I awake or asleep?" she mutters to herself. "If I only knew!"

Randall Thomasson

A child's voice beckons: "Please come into our garden. It's so lovely here!"

Kevin Blair Norlin

A way with words

Dita-Marina Obert

The voice grows more intense, more inviting. She is drawn almost magnetically toward the direction of that voice.

Armando Alejandro

It's always about time...It's 4 am and then I realize I have to sleep right when I'm getting creative.

Dita-Marina Obert

Oh, but that voice. It's so enticing. I can't help but move wherever it leads me.

Michael J. Citak

Closer she walks towards the voice. "Over here," cries the child. The blinding fog so dense she can barely see in front of her. She trips, and stumbles down an embankment. "Keep going," the child cries, and she trudges on, through the marsh. "This garden is torturous" she says. "Ouch!," the woman screams, the thorn of a rose bush pierced her thigh.

Randall Thomasson

"You said it was lovely here. There was warm sunshine when I entered and now it's cold and foggy. I feel like I'm back in San Francisco!"

Dita-Marina Obert

Ah, the City by the Bay. I remember it so well. So many happy and sad memories intermingled in my mind. I shall not dwell on them anymore.

Deborah Weed

Vines, like snakes, twirl, climb, then squeeze her chest until her heart slows down. "You left me," the child whispers...

Michael J. Citak

Her worse fears coming to fruition, she wearily continues down the path unseen until she's halted by a giant tree, so big around that she can't see the edges from where she stands. The trunk covered in vines, the same vines that have ensnarled her. The vines constricting her breath, her thoughts race. "Where's my anxiety pills" she thought. "Where is this retched child," and "why are there spiders crawling down their prism like strands of web towards me! I hate spiders!"

Manina Lassen

And there it is again: the Image of hell, the feeling of enormous pressure, of being restricted by those vines, which climb up her body, squeeze the air of her lungs. Suffocating in blood, in slime, excrements. Oh what a torture, and no one to help her. And then, in a sudden flash, she realizes: she's reliving her own birth! How did she survive this ordeal!

Michael J. Citak

A few days lapse. She rolls out of bed, kneeding her eyes awake, the sleepless nights are taking their toll. The medication has run out, and so has the insurance. "Damn Obama Care" she says while tossing the empty bottle into the wastebasket. "If my dreams weren't a nightmare enough, navigating my way through the website will require far more courage than what my anxiety pills can afford!" She makes her way out the door, the noon day sun blinding her corneas, as the designer sunglasses go on to shield her eyes. Driving in LA traffic is nothing short of a marathon, between the traffic jams and enough cars to make you think that there was an evacuation from a tsunami, the excursion to the shrink's office each week parallels even the worst of disasters. "Get out of my way," she screams out of frustration, yet to no avail as the windows to her car are up, and the air conditioning is so loud that even if the windows were down, the volume of the radio would drown out her incessant noise of aggravation.

Dita-Marina Obert

"I have to get to a pharmacy soon or I'll go crazy!" , she mutters to herself, her hands gripping the steering wheel like a clam that does not want to release her pearl. "Will this traffic ever let up!"

Michael J. Citak

"Thank you for calling, please hold." the receptionist says with disdain in her voice as she hangs up the phone, "Take a picture it will last longer,".A tone unwarranted and not what the doctored ordered in the least. Deborah glances at the receptionist, her eyes like a viper ready to pounce. "Listen you ungrateful little shit, today is not your day, and so help me L.A. that I ever need to deal with you and your insubordination in my restaurant on my shift..", the doctor opens the door to the waiting room. "Just the lady I was hoping to see. The girl slinks back into her chair, as the other patients waiting in the room return their eyes to their magazines. The Doctor closes the door to his office, as Deborah lays down in the chaise lounge. "So tell me Deborah, did it feel good to fly off the handle at my receptionist?" The phone rings. The receptionist can be heard through the walls. "Are you fucking kidding me, That bitch got the part. I can just murder someone!" The phone slams, she packs her belongings and storms out the door. "Excuse me," says the doctor as he takes out his cell phone and dials the temp agency. "I told her today was not her day," said Deborah, as she takes a deep breath and relaxes.

Michael J. Citak

(This goes before my last post.) Deborah relieved that the battle of Route 10 gridlock was over, pulled into Doctor Benjamin's office complex. The parking lot was full as usual, as Benjamin Brimm was the best shrink in town. Everyone went to him, and everyone paid him dearly to keep their secrets. There was no such thing as patient confidentiality in L.A. If you were a doctor, you were a screenwriter too, and whose going to say it's their messed up story if the story ever gets made into a film.

Randall Thomasson

The doc/screenwriter contemplates how to shop his story. Having just watched 'The Player' he wasn't sure if he would have the nerve to make a pitch in person to any big time producer. "They can only say no and I know it's a crap shoot but what the hell, I'll call Paramount at lunch time!" Remembering his patient and Hippocratic oath, he turns a sympathetic ear towards her.

Dita-Marina Obert

"Let's get back to our session, shall we?" Dr. Brimm smiles warmly at Deborah, then realizes that she has nodded off on his chaise lounge. Exhaustion has temporarily taken its toll.

Big Mike

She doesn't realize she's been talking in her sleep, when she opens her eyes Dr. Brimm gently says to her, a mirrior is not only for reflection but a mirrior is also used for correction! And she has the Ahh Ha moment of her life.

Randall Thomasson

"What the fudge am I DOING here?" she thinks. "I'm paying $100 an hour and for what?? This is totally ridiculous and I'm pulling the plug on this right now! I am alright and I should be home where it's warm and cozy!"

Michael J. Citak

Walking out the door, Deborah has second thoughts, and turns back inside as she remembers her thrown out medication bottle. "What are you doing Deborah. You need this. This is a means to an end and if Dr. Brimm concludes that I'm fine, then I'll get to see Lizzy sooner." "I thought you checked out?," Dr. Brimm said while looking up from his glasses. "How can I check out, there is no receptionist remember." said Deborah with a laugh. "Right, Right, said Dr. Brimm walking over to his desk to get his pad and paper. "I think we're done for today anyways. Let me write you a prescription. Yours should be empty by now." "Yes it is." says Deborah. "Do you think I'm progressing any?" Considering your lucid dreaming, and talking in your sleep, it's pretty common place after a loss such as yours. A few more weeks and I think well be fine." Said Dr. Brimm. "Thank you Dr." Deborah said while taking the slip.

Big Mike

Deborah walks out of the office and says well i think i will get some ice cream to take home. As she steps into the shop she see's an old familar face, her ex boyfriend Alex.

Michael J. Citak

Alex was the boy who broke Deborah's heart. Crushed it really. He's the reason the depression has taken hold for so long and was the catalyst that stirred her pot of emotions to the point of explosion when he called that day after she got married to Brian. "Why was he wanting to come back to me?" she questioned in her mind, and why was she always bumping into him. "Hello Alex," Deborah says under clenched teeth. The sting of hurt still fresh on her mind. "Not much Deb," said Alex, "I was walking by Dr. Brimm's office on the way here and saw you walk in. Is everything okay." "Everything's fine for your information," Deborah exclaimed in a huff, "I was bringing him his change from the restaurant." "That's nice of you." said Alex. "What are you doing here for so long? I was in the office for at least an hour." Deborah questioned. "I know you were, I ate 2 ice-cream sandwiches, a slush drink and a banana split." Alex belched, "They wouldn't let me stay here without buying something." "You could have bought one item and been fine Alex. Deborah quipped. "An hour's an awful long time to give somebody their change.," Alex ribbed "What was he doing giving you the tip too?" "Knock it off Alex," said Deborah, punching him in the arm. "I'll have you know that I'm happily married, and I have a daughter now too." "Really?," Alex questioned, perplexed because he didn't see a little girl or a baby anywhere. "She's...she's..."Deborah stammered, "She's at her grandmother's house. I have to go." Deborah abruptly grabbed her ice-cream from the guy behind the counter and proceeded out the door. "Hey," the guy behind the counter yelled towards Deborah. "You can keep the change." Deborah yelled back as she rushed out the door. 'What happened?" questioned Alex. "She didn't pay for her ice-cream," said the guy. "Here," Alex took a few bucks out of his pocket and paid for Deborah's snack, Let me get a two scoop too please."

Hodo

Deborah freezes, & stares. at him. He doesn't notice her as he laughs & talks to another woman, while sitting at a table in the corner. Deborah drifts into a memory of them laying nude kissing on a secluded beach wrapped in a sleeping bag as the ocean waves slam against the wall of stone near the shoreline. They both laugh, then a quick jump to another memory. a harsh. memory. He grabs her & pushes her out of a door, screaming,"Go, get outta here!" "You. can't be seen here!".

Michael J. Citak

Hodo, I like your thought too.. I'm compiling the story into a word document, so when we're all done we'll have a finished story. We must have been writing at the same time. I'm going to put your part before mine... as a flash day dream.

Hodo

Deborah replies, "I can't let you!" He says, "shut up, I don't have time for this!", he then pushes her outside as she fights to get back in the door. With a final shove, she falls on the grass, then he slams the door shut. A hard rain falls as she lays there crying for about 10 seconds then she looks down at her hands where the rain starts to make the blood on her hands start to dilute & run. She stops crying all at once, gets up & starts to run wildly with fear on her face. She returns. to the present, gains her composure & starts to walk away when he sees her & stands up abruptly .

Michael J. Citak

Daydreaming is a common occurrence in Debora’s reality, and wishing that life turned out differently might have been the cause for her delusions. “Are you okay Deb?” Alex questioned Deborah with alarm. “Yes, Yes, I'm fine.” said Deborah shaking her head to get the cobwebs clear.

Michael J. Citak

i compiled the story so far into a Project.... follow it if you want to read the story without all our names etc https://www.stage32.com/profile/95342/Project/Anything-Goes-by-Us so far im entertained by all of our contributions. The saga of Deborah is taking shape, and I'm curious to see what kind of skeletons are in her closet. As you write, put some thought into it.. what have we learned so far, what can we add to her story, and where can we take her. What happened to Brian, why did Deborah leave abruptly when Alex questioned her about her daughter... what is she hiding. The story reads like a mystery, and I must say it's a pretty good one!

Randall Thomasson

Leaving the office, Deborah meanders down the busy sidewalk stopping to look into each shop window. "Wow!" she thinks. "Pawn shops! Shoe repair shops! Gun shops! Cafes! Junk Shops! Pet shops! Glass shops! Coin shops! Does it ever end?"

Dita-Marina Obert

Deborah abruptly stops in front of a Toy Shop. The colorful banner inside the window towers over the eclectic array of beautiful toys beneath. She marvels at the brightly lit display. "How I wished that Maggie-Ann was here with me right now." Deborah sighs deeply.

Big Mike

Maggie-Ann.... the child she lost and never told Alex about, which was Alex's child. After losing Maggie-Ann Deborah became deeply depressed so much so that her mind erased the image of herself.

Alisa Vernon

A cell phone rang. It was in her purse, so she rummaged through her purse and took out a small boxed pie from a fast-food place. She stared at it stupidly as the phone continued to ring. She opened the box and began eating the pie, not tasting it. The phone stopped ringing.

Annie Mac

Unseen to her, a tall dark stranger entered the fast-food joint. He silently tiptoed right up to her and put his large hands over her eyes. I thought you'd never come, she whispered.

Nadia Carmon

Who was the tall, dark stranger? In reality, she didn't know. For a moment, the hands felt so small and cold over her eyes that she thought..."Maggie Ann?" She knew she was being delusional. But encased in that darkness her mind was left wondering, sifting through a tessellation of endless possibilities. The "I thought you'd never come" was a bluff. She was good at it. She knew how to mask even fear when faced with uncertainty. The moment she felt those hands over her eyes, she caught a gasp inside her that literally almost stole her breath and made the heart skip a beat. Who was this stranger? It was such a childish gesture to place the hands over the eyes. It wasn't a greeting she was accustomed to. She took the hands of the unknown person into her own. She pulled them down away from her eyes. Then she looked behind her...

Annie Mac

He stood there. Though his face was blank, his gaze burned a hole in her already vulnerable mind. I knew her, he said calmly. a long time ago. But she's still there in my heart as in yours. The mystery was too much. She blinked, guessing this was another one of her fictitious fabrications. But the hands, felt too real ---

Nadia Carmon

^Ooh nice change of perspective ;).

Annie Mac

Thanks. Reminds me of a game we played as children - fun

Michael J. Citak

Back home, the house lay still. Remnants of fast food boxes and newspapers clippings strewn on the floor and coffee table. Deborah looked in the mirror in the hallway where she first looked at herself when she purchased the house, and placed the mirror in that spot. It was as a good a hiding spot as any for the painful memory that laid behind the cracked reflective lens. The cherry maple wood casing if the mirror slightly stained red from the accident that bore a sightly scar upon her fist. That was many moons ago. After Alex, but before Maggie- Ann. In fact it was the hole in the wall, while coked up that sent Deborah into the hospital to begin with. She wasn't showing signs of being pregnant, so the doctors didn't think anything of it that day in the ER. That day, changed Deborah's life, and that of Maggie- Ann. It was a miracle that even Deborah survived. The doctor said Maggie-Ann took the whole dose, which killed her fragile mind. A new meaning to still born. But this wasn't a day that Deborah wanted to be reminded of. The wound was reminder enough every day when serving food at the restaurant. It's been 8 years clean from hard drugs, but the pain never goes away. Maybe that's why Brian had the judge order the mandatory evaluations for his ill wife. Meanwhile, half a continent away- "I can't bare to see her like this." Brian said to the judge. "Look at her, she killed her unborn daughter by not being responsible, how can you think she'd be responsible for Lizzy after the massacre she caused." The judge took a swig from his beer bottle. "What about those Jets huh. Glad I didn't bet on those 'Niners."

Michael J. Citak

(Writing notes- Make these next paragraphs about Brian- lets learn more about who he really is. who is he, why is he at a bar talking to the judge. How old is Lizzy etc.. let's get creative!)

Dita-Marina Obert

"Where you listening to me at all? Brian puts his hand on the judges shoulder and shakes him as if he was trying to wake him from a dream. "I came here to meet you to discuss important matters; not to talk about football teams."

Michael J. Citak

"Brian, I'm talking to you as a friend here. I heard what you said, and quite frankly the only reason I favored you was because you at least HAD a better job." said Judge Mathews. "What's done is done, but if you don't shape up when it comes time for a re-visitation rights hearing I can't guarantee your cash cow anymore than you can guarantee me that the Jets are ever going to get to the Superbowl again." "Eric, the Jets haven't gotten to the Super Bowl since 1969." Brian quotes like he's a walking almanac. "And just like the Jets, heed my warning, friend or not, if you don't take care of your personal assets, as much as you took care to stockpile the cash from the settlement in your offshore account then i'll have no choice but to give custody to Deb." said Eric. "That's low Eric." Brian quips. "Business is business Brian, even you should know that." Eric states with conviction, "I want the money in my hands before all is said and done." "Enjoy the rest of your drink, I have to go pick up my cash cow." Brian says snarkly as he takes his wallet and leaves a tip for the bartender.

Deborah Weed

"Lizzy will be the death of me yet," mumbles Brian. Regret freezes his brain. The settlement from the infamous train accident was enough to allow him to buy anything... except freedom. Freedom from the clutches of an invalid just taking up space in his 10 bedroom mansion.

Michael J. Citak

Amid the lush landscape of manicured topiaries, and a labyrinth of floral design befitting a king, Brian's,sprawling palatial oasis, as he calls it, is bustling with action on this December day. Nine out of the ten bedrooms in the mansion are booked for the weekend, and his staff is busy catering to their occupants every need. The mansion, built in 1973 once belonged to the Lieman family, with whom Brian's mother, Elizabeth, became friendly with. Upon the heir's passing, he left the estate to Elizabeth. Their love story swept under the proverbial rug because it was improper in those days to besmirch a legacy's name. However, upon his death, when the will was opened at the estate, amid the press and dignitaries who came to pay their respects, it was Elizabeth's name which was read. It was she who would carry on the legacy and fulfill Leopold's wish to make the mansion a bed and breakfast, which Elizabeth ran until the accident which left her an invalid. Hearing of the horrific accident on the daily news in Los Angeles, Brian did his best to tie up loose ends in the city, quickly finding someone to sub-lease his apartment, the one he bought during his and Deb's separation, so Lizzy would have a stable place to live. Brian and Lizzy said goodbye to Deb and boarded the plane at LAX and arrived in Massachusetts a few hours later, to find that Elizabeth had hired a new General Manager to run the estate. A job that Brian had assumed would be his. Forced to live in the mansion had its benefits, except Brian wasn't afforded the lap of luxury, like Lizzy was. While Brian had to pave his own way with employment outside of the grounds, even if it mean't being a garbage man, now unemployed, Lizzy could do as she pleased, happily spending time at the area malls and shopping til her heart was content. Lizzy's therapist assured Brian that the shopping was part of the separation process. Brian's money was now tied up in the affairs of his mother, with whom he was beginning to resent as each day passed.

Dita-Marina Obert

Elizabeth got more difficult with each passing day, resenting her increasing dependency on other people, especially her son. Though she has remained a doting grandmother to Lizzy, spoiling her rotten and indulging her every whim.

Michael J. Citak

"BRIAN!", Elizabeth yelled from her bed. Brian comes running up the stairs, breathing heavy and holding a kitchen knife. "Yes Mommy Dearest?" Brian says jokingly. "I told you not to call me that." Elizabeth says sternly. Brian glares at Elizabeth with an evil twinkle in his eye, the knife behind his back. "Can I cut you up", Brian pauses before finishing his sentence, and raises the knife to show Elizabeth. Elizabeth's helpless body showing signs of unease as her eyes widen with horror. Brian walks closer to the bed, the blade of the knife glistening in his hand by his side. Elizabeth is frozen, her heartbeat is rapidly increasing as each step is taken by Brian. The heart monitor machine shes hooked up to is beeping faster and faster. "Is he going to kill me and make this suffering stop?" Elizabeth pondered in her mind. Brian stood beside the bed, raises the knife in his left hand, and grabs the window curtains, flinging them open with a sudden flourish, and finally finishes his sentence. "some fruit for lunch?" Elizabeth stares at Brian. "Yes Dear, please. No grapes with seeds this time. I almost choked." "Oh?" Brian exclaimed as if he hadn't a clue. "I'll be sure to get seedless next time."

Dita-Marina Obert

"In the meantime let me cut you up some of this delicious, seedless watermelon the housekeeper just dropped off." Brian heads for the tray on the large side table and proceeds to cut up the watermelon, bananas and apples and arranges them on a large plate, then he brings the fruit along with coffee and pastry to Elizabeth's bed. "Here you go, mother. I do hope you'll enjoy your lunch."

Dita-Marina Obert

He smiles wickedly.

Michael J. Citak

The double french doors of the main entrance fling open with a swift kick. "Daddy, I'm home", yells Lizzy from the foyer, her hands so full she forgets to close the door. A Chill fills the air. Brian, hearing Lizzy leaves Elizabeth's room and walks down the hallway towards the great stairs. Sunshine beams down into the foyer, cascading colors of the stained glass ceiling onto the marble floor. Lizzy walks into the coat room, her hands full of shopping bags, and in a fury of emotions, drops the bags on the floor, not even caring that the red sequenced shoes spilled out on the blood soaked floor. The gruesome scene before her renders her body motionless. Trembling, shaking and unable to fully process whats happening, she finds the courage to scream. Her voice while quaint at first builds with vibrato and pierces the crisp air of the mostly empty house. Birds outside flutter about because of the sound. Only Elizabeth, in bed, Brian in the Hallway, and one of the housekeepers are home. The rest of the guests went out for the afternoon for a sleigh ride around the grounds. Well, all but one. Mr. Melani, the Italian man who was staying in the second room to the left of the study, decided the sleigh ride was beneath him since he was a Roman and the sleigh wasn't up to his standards, but it was ironic that now the very heritage he was so proud of was now beneath him. Lizzy stumbled upon an accident that she wasn't meant to see. A mortally wounding hole was punctured into his slightly muscular frame from the back, piercing his heart. Brian comes running down the stairs. His steps echo though-out the acoustically sound room.

Nadia Carmon

Tick tock. Tick tock. Almost immediately she felt time slow down. It was the rhythmic beating of her heart counting every microsecond, beating in her lungs like a drum. All at once she felt breathless and cold. Or was she hot? So feverish and wired to perceive the minutest of changes like a paranoid junkie. A spasmodic chill ran through her body and she had the urge to run. But paralysis consumed her flight response. The irony was not lost upon her. So much cortisol and not enough fear. Brian burst through the door, knife still in hand. Lizzy turned to meet his gaze...

Michael J. Citak

The red sequenced shoes, she pawed over at the couture boutique inside the Burlington Mall, because they looked like Dorthy's ruby red slippers, now would for ever be tarnished. Blood from Mr. Melani's back drained out onto the one of a kind Persian carpet, and covered the shoes. Lizzy was hoping to wear them to the Christmas Masquerade that her friend Elisa was throwing at her parents mansion across the way. To click her heels and be whisked off her feet like a tornado to the dance floor by Paul, her love interest as of late, and fellow athlete. Paul and Lizzy were quickly becoming an item, much to Brian's disdain. The lapse of work giving Brian plenty of time to meddle in the affairs of his daughter, as well as to get under the skin of a certain someone who was at present time passing away. Brian rushes to the coat room, Lizzy is still screaming. Trembling, he puts his hand over Lizzy's mouth.

Dita-Marina Obert

Keep quiet", he hisses into her ear. "Will you please keep quiet", Brian commands. "You'll wake Mrs. Barsody". Suddenly he feels his daughter's knees buckling. Then he realizes that Lizzy has fainted into his arms. Brian quickly gathers her up and carries her into the closest parlor where he gently lowers her on the velvet fainting couch.

Michael J. Citak

"I can't believe she came home so soon." Brian thought to himself. "Now I really have a problem!" A problem was right, as bad luck would have it, Elizabeth in a panic pressed the button on her lifeline necklace for emergency help. Unsure of what was going on downstairs, and incapable of helping, she thought it best to request help from the police. Unaware of the forthcoming who-done-it, Brian left Lizzy on the couch and went across the foyer into the coat room. The stench of Mr. Melani was overbearing, causing Brian to gag. He has to do something with the body, the other house guests would be coming back to the house soon from their sleigh ride. The sunshine of the afternoon, now retreating behind the ridge of the mountain, was laying low on the horizon, casting a beautiful glow among the pines. The sleigh was rounding the final corner of the vast estate, as a police car came barreling down the driveway, sirens blaring. A disturbance in the air, the General Manager would sure hear about from the disgruntled guests when he returns from his day off. The police officer exits his car and makes his way up the steps to the double french doors. The officer draws his gun at the sight of the front doors being open, "This is the police, is everyone okay?" the officer yells into the house from the doorway. A brisk wind blows through the house and travels with it the foul odor of Mr. Melani. The officer too gags as the pungent aroma of excrement titillates his taste buds. "Mrs. Borden, are you here. we received your emergency responder unit message," the officer yells through the house. He sees Lizzy, she's sitting up, confused. "Are you alright, miss. What's your name?" the officer asks. "Elizabeth Borden, and yes I'm fine." says Lizzy, thinking that it wasn't necessary to distinguish herself from her grandmother. "10-33, 10-33" Officer Patrick's walkie-talkie breaks its silence. "Stand by, Emergency All units stand by, we have a 417 and a 211 and a possible 187" "Okay, Mrs. Borden." the officer replies, "I'm going to go now, now that you're fine. You might want to take care of the clogged toilet in here. it's really rancid." Officer Patrick leaves the house and closes the front door. "What the hell just happened?" Lizzy questions herself, still sitting on the couch in awe and bewilderment. "Mr. Melani's dead in the coat room, dad is who knows where, and the police just came here and left without even noticing that that smell is from Mr. Melani." "Hello, we're back!" the guests call out. They're back from the sleigh ride and make their way towards the coat room. Lizzy gets up and runs towards the coat room. "Wait!"

Dita-Marina Obert

Lizzy makes her way there just before the first few guests reach it. "You won't be able to use the coat room for some hours. There was a plumbing accident. Somehow the mess ended up all over the floor." She feels for the door knob behind her. The door has been locked from inside. "Daddy must be inside", Lizzy realizes. "Is there anything we can do?" One of the guests asked in a concerned voice. "My father has already called a plumber. Not to worry Everything's going to be taken care off", Lizzy replies in a calm voice which is so foreign to her.

Deborah Weed

Mrs. Melani, Mary, drops her winter coat on the nearest chair. "Sweetheart," she yells. Mary walks over to Lizzy. "Lizzy, you should have come with us. It was splendid. Have you seen my husband?" Mary asks. Lizzy lifts her head. She takes Lizzy by the elbow and leads her away from the coat room. Her only tell is eyes that blink back invisible tears...

Pamela Lubell

Mary's cell phone rings and there's a man on the other end of the phone with a French accent saying something that puts an alarming face on her. She then....

Jon Landers

She then realized it wasn't actually a mirror, but a window and the night light was reflecting another image she didn't expect.

Marietta Kosovsky Wilk

Had she disappeared, where was she, why wasn't she seeing herself, she panicked.............

Wes Wright

The image of her long, lost father. She always felt a kinship to Paris ;but couldn't put her finger on it. Her mother wouldn't say anything and died mysteriously last summer...

Michael J. Citak

Mrs. Barsody awakes from her cat nap, unaware of the transgressions that have transpired this afternoon, and leaves her living quarters to start the second half of her daily shift. Working diligently, Mrs. Barsody picks up her feather duster from the staff cabinet downstairs and begins the laborious task of cleaning all of Leopold's memorabilia, hand made relics from the turn of the 20th century, and the lavish silver ornaments that adorned the great Christmas tree in the foyer, which later would have to be polished. Even though Elizabeth couldn't walk on her own power to see the glimmering lights and ornaments upon the tree, she was still meticulous in their upkeep, a promise she made to Leopold many years ago, down in the foyer where they stood together, hand in hand under the mistletoe and kissed before parting for the night, that the shimmer of delight on the faces of her guests would be the lasting memory of his kiss on her thoughts. With the guests in the dining room, being attended to by the chef and maître d', Mrs. Barsody made quick work of dusting and goes into the closet across from the coat room to get the ladder. Now atop the ladder with polish and rag in hand, Mrs. Barsody reaches out towards a large silver ornament, shaped like a heart with an arrow pierced through it. Polishing it to a mirror finish, Mrs. Barsody sees the reflection of coats strewn about the foyer. A sight she certainly missed while distracted by dusting. Down the ladder Mrs. Barsody climbs, towards the jackets.

Bettye Zoller

says something into the phone In French (Mary couldn't understand) and slams down the phone angrily. "Almost daily, I threaten to get rid of this damned phone. It constantly interrupts my life!" Then, the expression on her face suddenly changed to a calm demeanor as she got out her makeup bag and gazed at herself in her blusher mirror, applying more rouge to her cheeks. "Whenever I'm depressed, I always just wear heavier makeup and no one but me can see my mood. Of course, I'm an excellent actress, everyone knows that...." So, what are your plans for today Lizzy? Shopping? Lunch? How about with me at that little place on Lexington Avenue?"

John Jack McGuire

Dinky Dolan awakens from his drunken stupor, checks around his cart and shout's to his young Black sidekick "Where's me jug Daniel, have ye stowed it away?

Mark Cabaroy

Sometimes when she was alone like this the feelings she had buried for so long came to the surface and she could be her true self.

Dita-Marina Obert

"Thank you kindly, Mary", Lizzy replies, "but it is way past my lunchtime. Anyway, Daddy has asked me to look in on Grandma Liz while he is busy doing other chores". As if on cue, Elizabeth is heard yelling from above.

John Jack McGuire

Aye,, I know me buckoe, but I need me jug to start the day. The bloody mules have me nose stuffed.

Merri Christi Pemberton

Dolan's young sidekick, a dashing young Brazilian gentleman named Cross de Souza, rolled his eyes at Dolan. "How can a man who used to rule the world in the oil business become such a stumbling drunk!"" he thought. Cross longed to fulfill his childhood dream of writing his first novel, but first he must set out to explore nations of the Middle East and Africa to capture the stories that will fill his book with adventure and thirst for a better life. His fascination with the Arab Spring that came upon parts of the Middle East and North Africa a few years prior raised his thirst for adventure. His soul within him shouted "This is the right time....the anger and hunger for a better life rose to a fever pitch and has spilled to the streets in protest!" There is so much in the world to see and regions changing in a dramatic way, like never before. Cross will have to break the news to Dolan, who has been a good friend in the past..almost like a brother, but Cross has to change his world before he misses out on the great adventure of his lifetime. Dolan grunts another silly command for Cross to get him his poison (alcohol). Cross shouts back "I have go and get some more for you....I'll be right back!" Cross hurries out the door, in the midst of Dolan's rant and grunts. Finally, Cross can tell his "sober" best friend Brian and his fiesty, yet always brilliant mother Elizabeth about his decision to set out on his travels just two days from today. They will be ecstatic. Elizabeth, a former explorer herself, always said, "The world waits for you to come to it, and it always shows you her best jewels when you do!". At the same time, Cross also worries about his dear friend Deborah, who he hasn't heard from in quite awhile. "I hope she is doing well."

John Jack McGuire

Daniel rustles through the cart,. finds the jug and shouts "I found yer jug Mister Dolan" and hustles to Dinky's side with his jug of Applejack.

John Jack McGuire

Well done Christi, but ye hijacked Dolan and hooked the bugger up with a Brazilian playboy.

Serita Stevens

And they danced the night away not knowing what the morning would bring for them.

Michael J. Citak

"Oh how I wish we weren't homeless," Dolan yawned towards De Souza who replied," Homeless! We live in the lap of luxury. If you took off your applejack goggles long enough to look around you'd realize that this pool house is huge!" The boys bicker back and forth, and can be heard from the open window of Mrs. Barsody's bedroom. The heat was radiating so much her room was stifling hot. The dawn of the new day afforded many things, although none of which were enjoyable for Brian.

John Jack McGuire

Dolan clicked sharply to his mules and they proceeded to pull the freighter down the road amidst a cloud of dust. Civilian carts mixed with military wagons headed towards the battlefields of the South.

Curtis J Lofgren

The large blood stain worked its way into Jackie's carpet with little or no effort.

Carolyn McDonald

Perched at the top of the chinaberry tree was the only place she could view hope. The only place she could dream, and see those dreams manifest in the infinite dimensions of her heart.

Fab Seb Caleffi D'Alistàl

A ghost is just a ghost, the fundamental things apply, as time goes by

Barry K. Pagel

And back to the mansion. Daniel is busy cleaning out the closet and getting ready to move the body. The large front doors suddenly swing open and we hear a women in a arrogant an over confident voice. "I'm here to take inventory of the house before you put it on the market. Daniel backs slowly out of the closet to see Marjorie Miller, the realtor and her staff of fifteen assistants standing with her, now in the foyer.

Shawn Bush

Mouth gaping, he wonders aloud, "where have you been all these years?" With a haughty laugh she turns toward the body without an answer. He realized, no matter how long Grandma disappeared, somehow she always seemed to know just when to surface.

Wes Wright

And surfaced she did. With the smell of decaying flesh and dried, sticky blood and rotting meat falling off her bones, she spoke in a ghostly whisper..."Whose hungry?"

Michael J. Citak

-------********There seems to be a mis communication of whats happening here. for those of you just joining us, thanks to "RB" email blast, This thread is where WE (Whoever wants to contribute to the story, has read the story up until this point) are positing. If you wish to contribute, and I hope you do, please read the entire story before posting. If you want to add new characters in the mix, please do so in context. Just to reiterate whats going on in case you wish not to read. -Deborah is a waitress living in LA, she's married to Brian and they have a daughter Lizzy. Brian took Deb to court to gain full custody of Lizzy due to Deb's mental illnesses. On a recent train trip, Brian's mother Elizabeth was seriously hurt to the point of being an invalid, and so Brian and Lizzy left LA and moved to Massachusetts in her 10 room mansion. From when we left off before the story became weird and not cohesive.... Brian had accidentally stabbed Mr. Melani in the back in the coat room, and is currently locked in the coat room trying to figure out what to do. The rest of the house guests including Mr. Melani's wife have returned from the sleigh ride throughout the estate and have just returned. Lizzy stops them from entering the coat room. One of the maids- Mrs. Barsody is just about to enter the coat room with the guests coats. AND THAT'S WHERE WE LEFT OFF. Moving forward, while its not overly necessary to read the entire story to get a grasp of what is going on... as writers, you should so you have a better understanding of the story and who the characters are and how you can move the story along. Up until this point it has been going good, I think the meaning of what were doing got lost because too many people were were writing into the story at the same time, or didn't read the "Anything goes" story that we're writing, and just added their thoughts blankly. - thanks again for participating, and lets continue the unfolding saga of ANYTHING GOES!

Michael J. Citak

This is where we left off: -------------------------------------------- Meanwhile across the mansion Mrs. Barsody awakes from her cat nap, unaware of the transgressions that have transpired this afternoon, and leaves her living quarters to start the second half of her daily shift. Working diligently, Mrs. Barsody picks up her feather duster from the staff cabinet downstairs and begins the laborious task of cleaning all of Leopold's memorabilia, hand made relics from the turn of the 20th century, and the lavish silver ornaments that adorned the great Christmas tree in the foyer, which later would have to be polished. Even though Elizabeth couldn't walk on her own power to see the glimmering lights and ornaments upon the tree, she was still meticulous in their upkeep, a promise she made to Leopold many years ago, down in the foyer where they stood together, hand in hand under the mistletoe and kissed before parting for the night, that the shimmer of delight on the faces of her guests would be the lasting memory of his kiss on her thoughts. With the guests in the dining room, being attended to by the chef and maître d', Mrs. Barsody made quick work of dusting and goes into the closet across from the coat room to get the ladder. Now atop the ladder with polish and rag in hand, Mrs. Barsody reaches out towards a large silver ornament, shaped like a heart with an arrow pierced through it. Polishing it to a mirror finish, Mrs. Barsody sees the reflection of coats strewn about the foyer. A sight she certainly missed while distracted by dusting. Down the ladder Mrs. Barsody climbs, towards the jackets.

Michael J. Citak

if you want to read the story up until this point more clearly... here's the link to it on my website http://bit.ly/JfxarP

Kate Callaghan

I love this idea. I used something similar to this with my students when I taught creative writing and they loved it so much they expanded it to their friends. Thanks to everyone who contributed and Deborah for the idea.

Antonia Jones-Hackley

She approaches the foyer, she catches the strong stench lingering in the air and a slight feeling of nausea flashes across her face as she draws closer. Meanwhile Brian is still hiding, croutched down in the right hand corner of the coat room near the door, steadily watching the space underneath the door for moving shadows and intently listening for approaching footsteps when...

Michael J. Citak

The door handle to the coat room jitters. Brian freezes. Mrs. Barsody knocks on the door. "Hello, is anybody in there?"

Antonia Jones-Hackley

Beads of sweat form on brian forehead as he cautiously looks at the handle. Mr.s Barsody then attempts to pull on the handle tyring to force the door open when Lizzy walks up behind her. "Is there a problem Mrs. Barsody? Lizzy questions. "I can't get the door open. someone must have locked it." Mrs. Barsody replies. "Why don't you see if the grounds keeper can help? says Lizzy. "Good idea." Mrs. Barsody dashes towards the front door. Lizzy, steps close to the coat room door. "Dad?" She whispers.

Randall Thomasson

After driving back to the precinct, the officer changes into his civilian clothes and heads on home but he keeps shaking his head with a nagging thought that possibly something else was amiss at that house. "What the hell!" he thought. "I just have a feeling about that call. Something is definitely wrong and I'll never make detective if I just let things slide like that."

Michael J. Citak

"What's going on? You know, my dress shoes are ruined thank you very much." Brian opens the door, the stench of death is in the air. "I have more to worry about then your shoes, Lizzy," her father whispers. "Go get me the box of baking soda, and be quick about it, and a big black trash bag." Brian closes the door again. A few minutes pass. There's a knock on the coat room door. Brian opens the door, thinking that it's Lizzy. To his shock, Mrs. Barsody and the Groundskeeper are standing before him, their hand is on Lizzy's shoulder.

Randall Thomasson

Remembering the address, officer Danforth decides to take a drive back to the house. He grabs a cup of Joe before getting there and parks just a ways down the street. "I'll just sit here for a bit and observe."

G. Simon

He had no logical reason to return though. Side-stepping the rights of an aristocratic family of this caliber could land him major troubles.

Randall Thomasson

"But then again, no one is above the law!" he thought.

Michael J. Citak

"Mr. Borden, what's going on in here?" Mrs. Borsody questions. "Rosey, it's not what it looks like, but I need you guys to trust me, and open that trash bag." Brian said sternly, his eyes glassed over. "esto es señor altamente ilegal." the ground keeper quipped. ""Jose," Brian pleaded, 'Usted trabaja aquí es ilegal, así que no veo cómo esto es un problema!" Jose nodded, and joined Lizzy and Rosey in helping Brian put Mr. Melani into the trash bag.

Dita-Marina Obert

"I'm so sorry Daddy", Lizzy blurts out. "I had to fill them in. We need their help to dispose of the body before anyone else finds out."

Dita-Marina Obert

Brian quickly recovers from his initial shock. "Mrs. Barsody, Mr. Mitchell, I swear it was a complete accident." He pauses. "But since you're already here, let's get this show on the road."

Michael J. Citak

While the group is tending to Mr. Melani, Mrs. Melani is tossing and turning in her bed. She sits up, puts her slippers on and ventures out the door, down the hallway, adorned with pictures of the Lieman family heritage, and comes walking gingerly down the great stairs to the foyer. The group is unaware that Mrs. Melani is watching intently with each step. "Excuse me," Mrs. Melani finally blurts out, a cocktail from her minibar is in her hand, "Have you seen my husband." The group, holding the trash bag filled with her husband, freezes in their steps, and drop the bag on the floor of the foyer. "Shit!," Brian exclaims. "Hi, Mrs. Melani," says Lizzy, "No, we haven't seen him. Did you check the library, you know how vast our collection is. Maybe he fell asleep." "Oh, it's unlike him to be out for so long. I hope everything's alright." says Mrs. Melani. "Well, since you're up, would you mind getting the front door for us." Lizzy asks. The group picks the bag up off the floor. "Dinner service was rather extensive tonight, the chef cooked too much." Brian says.

Michael J. Citak

"Oh sure Lizzy." said Mrs. Melani, downing her cocktail. "You know sometimes I just wish I could throw my husband out with the trash, the good for nothing dead weight he is!" Brian chimes in, "well if your husband smells as bad as this garbage does, I'd throw him out too!" Lizzy stares at her father in disbelief! "Mr. Borden, you are a riot." Mrs. Melani says with a smile. The cocktail clouding her judgment, Mrs. Melani says, "Here, let me kick it for good measure!". And with that she takes off her slipper and gives the trash bag a swift kick. "Eww, it's mushy!" "I think that's enough help, thank you Mrs. Melani. We can handle the rest from here." Brian says. Mrs. Melani walks back inside, as Brian and the group heave the bag into the trash compactor. Officer Danforth watches the entire process through his binoculars. "Something fishy is going on over there, I just know it." Back inside, Brian closes off the coat room, and bolts the door shut. "Nobody says a word, do you hear me." He says to the group. "This secret dies with the house. In the morning we need to rip up the carpet and get a new one, and hope to Christmas that there's a miracle and we don't get caught!" Rosey says, "Amen."

Dita-Marina Obert

In the meantime Officer Danforth is pondering if he should make another call to the Lieman-Borden Estate. It is getting quite chilly out on the grounds and the entire action he's been watching does strike him as more and more suspicious.

Michael J. Citak

Two hours go by. The blue hue of the clock reads 1am. Officer Danforth records his eye witness account into a tape recorder. "It's Tuesday, December 10th, 1am. At aprox 11pm, eastern standard time I witnessed what looks like four suspects carrying a heavy black trash bag out the front door, and an intoxicated woman kicking said bag. The older man, who looks like the ring leader tells the woman to go inside, and she stumbles back inside, as the four suspects dump the bag into the trash compactor. I witnessed the older man look around suspiciously after dumping the bag before entering the house. At this time the house is dark, and it is assumed that all parties are asleep. I will go home tonight and return tomorrow for further investigation." Officer Danforth turns off of the recorder, buckles his seatbeat and drives off into the night.

Dita-Marina Obert

Contrary to Officer Danforth's assumption, not everyone has gone to bed. In a rumpus room down in the cellar Brian, Lizzy, Mrs. Barsodi and Jose are meeting to discuss what they should do next.

Dita-Marina Obert

The four conspirators are trying to get their stories straight and come up with perfect alibis - if there is such a thing.

Deborah Weed

"Dad, did you take your medicine?" Lizzy asks. "You little shit. I did this for you, Lizzy," shouts Brian. Jose, shivers. Even though his bones creak with fear, he goes over and stands between father and daughter. Mrs. Barsodi, stares down Brian, aware that she may be next.

James David Sullivan

They stopped, dumbstruck. It's those Canaducks again. First, they export huge amounts of unsolicited cold weather to their southern neighbors. Now, they kidnap Santa Claus and hold him for hostage! Brian lamented, "I knew they were charter members of the Axis of Evil. And this proves it." Lizzy interjected, "I'm going to get my axe! I still have 40 left in me." Jose replied, "Calm down and drink your milk." "I can't. It's not my brand. It didn't come from Elsie."

Barry K. Pagel

Brian is near the back of the estate digging a whole for the body. He hears foot steps in the dry leaves. He turns and peaks through the forest of leafless trees to see Marjorie coming with her horde of assistants trailing behind. She is desperate for the sale of the mansion.

Wes Wright

So desperate that she is willing to do almost anything...including doing something she has couched for years, even centuries. She has wanted to use her "normal" abilities; but she is willing to use powers she has shelved so long ago. You see, she is an immortal one, a white witch. Turning to run to the East side of mansion, she...

Michael J. Citak

guys this story isnt syfi. save those storylines for another story please. keep this grounded.

Wes Wright

Sorry, It must have been the coffee.

Michael J. Citak

focus on the drama between Brian, Rosey, Lizzy, and Jose as they're in the cellar of the mansion. It's night time still, so having a horde of assistants with a white witch of a real estate agent makes no sense to the story we're telling. There is a plethora of other characters who we've established that exist... the 8 or so other guests in the mansion perhaps. create drama out of the actions and tension out of the dialogue, instead of padding the story with non essential plot twists and characters. Right now we have 21 pages of story written which are really good. lets stay on that path.

Michael J. Citak

---------also a little character development... Jose speaks spanish, and doesn't understand english. Lizzy doesnt speak spanish, Rosey and Brian do though. Keep that in mind when writing. Language barriers can cause drama too:)

Dita-Marina Obert

Brian, Lizzy, Mrs. Barsody and Jose start to talk all at the same time. They can't agree on the steps they should take next. Jose speaks excitedly in Spanish with Brian trying to calm him down. Rosey Barsody tries to translate to Lizzy some of what Jose and her father are saying.

Randall Thomasson

Thinking to himself, Brian wonders how they made Hoffa disappear. "Now THERE'S an unsolved mystery for the ages! I can't see using a wood chipper either. Too gruesome!"

Michael J. Citak

"Dad, it's getting late. It's not like somebody is going to pick though our trash and find Mr. Melani." Lizzy whines. "Can't we just let it be for now and deal with it the morning?"

Michael J. Citak

Unbeknownst to the group, at that very moment, a black bear was foraging by the trash and was lured to the very bag where Mr. Melani's corpse was laying. The very thing Brian, Lizzy, Rosey, and Jose were arguing about was about to be taken care of by the most perfect of alibi.

Randall Thomasson

Unfortunately, the bear wasn't interested in dead meat but the tossed out jelly jars instead. (I'm thinking of the bear on the news that rolled the dumpster away)

Michael J. Citak

The next morning, Elizabeth was up early, "Ding, Ding" the service bell rings. "Rosey," Elizabeth calls on the staff intercom," please come upstairs. Rosey faintly hearing her name turns off the carpet shampoo machine in the coat room and heads upstairs. Rosey enters Elizabeth's bedroom, to see the shock of her life. "What is this?" Elizabeth points to the black trash bag beside her bed. Rosey knows what's inside it, and hesitates. "You don't have to say anything. I know who it was, and he will be brought to justice." Elizabeth says justified in her tone. Rosey thinks before speaking, "Mrs. Borden, with all due respect." Elizabeth cuts Rosey off, "Dear dear Rosey, I may be fragile and an 'invalid'" Elizabeth uses air quotes, "but I'm no fool. This entire house is under my watchful eye every second of the day, if it's a communal room I can see and hear everything." Rosey stares in disbelief, now knowing full well that the group's plan is unraveling, and that possible jail time may be in her future. "I have more muscle in my right pinkie than half of this retched town, and If I want something or someone brushed under the rug and disposed of, I can make that happen. No questions asked. Do I make myself clear?" "Yes," Rosey replies. "And another thing," Elizabeth continues, "I take care of the ones who care for me, so before you and Jose get any further ideas about dealing with this mess with Brian and Lizzy, I suggest you finish cleaning up the blood in the coat room, before Officer Danforth returns." Rosey leaves the room, confused as to how an invalid could retrieve the heavy bag of Mr. Melani from the trash outside and up the flight of stairs without any help. Elizabeth calls on the staff intercom, "Jose, come to my chambers." She stares at the bag of trash, emotionless. Jose enters, and immediately eyes the bag. "I see you two are well acquainted." Elizabeth says with a grin. Jose nods. "This is whats going to happen, you're going to take the fall for the murder. Mr. Melani went out drinking and came home drunk, you were trimming the bushes out back when he slipped on the ice, and impailed himself on your sheers. Is that understood?" Jose nods. Officer Danforth is on his way over now to arrest you. If you for one instant change your story, I'll see to it that your daughter never comes to this country, do you hear me?" Jose nods, and leaves the bedroom. "Guards!" Elizabeth yells as two large men walk into the bedroom. "Take the body out of the bag and dump him in the back yard. Take the sheers that Jose uses and shove them in Mr. Melani's back, then take them out and drop them next to the body. Then burn the bag in the fireplace."

Michael J. Citak

-------------We're now on Chapter 3----------- focus on Deborah now, and how she discovers what happened at the house in Mass. Deborah is sitting at the kitchen table, a spoon in hand, and a bowl of cereal on the table. She's watching the morning news channel, as the national news comes on. "Good morning, I'm Diane Crane and this is Breaking News. Earlier today in Waltham Massachusetts, noted Italian tenor Maxwell Melani was found dead, apparently stabbed in the back by a pruning sheer. We'll have more on his tragic death at noon."

Michael J. Citak

----------------REMINDER--------------- Deborah is Lizzy's mom, and Brian's wife, although they're separated but not divorced. She's a waitress , living in Los Angeles, has delusions, is a recovering coke addict, abuses sleeping pills, drinks, and she sees a shrink. Refer to Chapter 1 to get Debs full character arc..http://bit.ly/1h4U8x1

Curtis J Lofgren

Deborah notices something sticky on the television screen. She leans over to touch it and her hand goes through the screen, just for a brief moment. When she pulls it out, it's got a Twinkie stuck to it.

Michael J. Citak

"Wow," Deborah exclaimed, "I really need to stop daydreaming!" She looks at the clock, and quickly finishes her breakfast, turns off the television, and goes to the bedroom. "Come on Deb, snap out of it." she says to herself.

Dita-Marina Obert

"Perhaps I should take another nap." Deborah opens the top drawer of her vanity, takes out a fancy box. After looking briefly at its contents, she pops two of the tiny pink pills in her mouth.

Dita-Marina Obert

Deborah is just starting to drift off to dreamland when her cell phone rings. Drowsily she looks at the name and number display. "Why would Lizzy call me? We have not spoken much since Brian was awarded custody." Deborah decides to answer. On the other end a long pause before a very serious Lizzy says; "Mom, I need to tell you something."

Deborah Weed

"I haven't slept in days," slurs Deborah. "Mom... Dad... well, he," Lizzy stops cold. "Don't start," Deborah says. "That bastard, he's the reason that I'm like... like... Lizzy, you're no better than him. I told you not to talk about that... wasted piece of shit!"

Michael J. Citak

Lizzy stands in silence, unsure of what to say. On the other end of the phone Deborah's passed out. Lizzy calls out, "MOM!", no answer. She tries again, "DEBORAH!", it's no use, Deb is dead to the world thanks to the sleeping pills. Lizzy hangs up the phone quickly, and walks back inside the house. At that moment General Manager Enrique was pulling into the parking lot. "What the hell is going on here," Enrique said to himself wile driving up the driveway of the Mansion. A swarm of news vans had been following him since he took the turn at Washington street.

Michael J. Citak

"You can do this, you're an actress!" Mrs. Melani says to herself in the bedroom mirror. "Just a few more days of tears and this whole mess will be over, and I can finally get the attention I deserve!" The sounds of car doors closing beckons Mrs. Melani to the window. "Show time" Mrs. Melani says confidently, as she squirts eye drops in her eyes and begins to sob uncontrollably, and walks out the bedroom door.

Michael J. Citak

"Enrique gets out of his car, and immediately makes a B-line for the front door. As he's fiddling with the handle, the swarm of newscasters and camera men bombard him. "Excuse me, Weston Media, Do you have any information on the death of Maxwell Melani?" Enrique turns around slowly. "What's your name?", "Fox News, rumors have it that Jose is being framed. Is there any truth to this?" Enrique turns back towards the door, speechless, and walks inside. The door slams. "BRIAN!" Enrique yells. Brian comes running down the stairs. "What in bloody Waltham is going on here, and when were any of you morons going to inform me of a death of a guest on our property!" Enrique screams enraged. "Enrique, I can explain." Brian answers. "Good!" says Enrique, as he takes Brian by the shoulders, opens the door and pushes Brian outside. The news teams pounce.

James David Sullivan

A dazed and confused Enrique quips, "Is Maxwell in the house?"

James David Sullivan

Hoping the news media will think he's off his rocker, Enrique continues with his babble-a-thon: "Lead us not into thinking, but rather deliver us from FedEx."

James David Sullivan

Brian catches on and pretends to look for his dog. "Fluffy? Wherefore are thou fluffy?

James David Sullivan

Enrique locks the door and walks up to a particularly good-looking reporter. He starts to drool, and then says, "My what big eyes you have, grandma!"

James David Sullivan

The reporter says, "You're not looking at my eyes!" and then rapidly retreats to her camera truck.

Michael J. Citak

The other reporters glance at each other. "Turn the cameras off," one reporter says to his camera man. With all the cameras off, the reporter speaks. "What the heck are you doing, you're making a mockery of yourselves and tarnishing the name of Lieman." "Lieman, shyman," Enrique says, "Have you ever heard of privacy?" "You lost your sense of privacy when you made this mansion a public place." states the reporter. Enrique realizes that the reporter is right. "Fine," says Enrique, "give us a few minutes, and we'll go inside, and come back out and issue a public statement." Brian finds Fluffy, who just so happened to come when she was called. Enrique unlocks the door, and Brian and him walk inside. Once inside Brian speaks while holding Fluffy. "I hope you know what you're doing, Enrique." "Of course I do." says Enrique. "How else would you handle a pack of blood-thirsty journalists?" "Give them what they want." says Brian. "Did you see that girl, retreating to her van. They didn't know what to do. You and I both know they'll never use that footage." Enrique stops. Mrs. Melani enters the foyer. "Are you the General Manager?" "Yes," Enrique answers. Mrs. Melani slaps Enrique across the face. "That's for Maxwell!" "Wait a minute miss Melani," Enrique interjects, "I wasn't here this weekend, and I'm sorry for your loss that I'm just finding out about, but to be fair if you should be slapping anyone, you should slap Brian." "What!" Brian chimes in. "I left him in charge." says Enrique. "Oh really?" Mrs. Melani replies, and then proceeds to slap Brian. "Stop slapping people!" Brian yells holding his face. "This isn't helping. Since I was here this weekend, I'll make the speech to the press. Mrs. Melani, do you feel alright to join me, or is all of this too soon?" Brian questions. "No, no, I can handle the pressure. After all, I am an actress!" Mrs. Melani says, wiping a tear from her eye with a tissue.

Sydney Cuthbert

Reply to "Is Maxwell in the house?" Maxwell House... Tee hee...

Michael J. Citak

"Enrique!" Elizabeth beckons through the intercom. 'Come up to see me." Enrique excuses himself. "Excuse me, both of you, I must go see Elizabeth. Ill be right back." Enrique ascends the staircase. Mrs. Melani's and Brian's chatter echo throughout the empty house. The rest of the guests checked out after hearing of the murder of Mr. Melani. Enrique enters Elizabeth's room, "Come here," Elizabeth waves her arm. "Yes Mum," Enrique says kindly. "In your absence, my son has made a fool of himself, and I have righted the wrongs. Do you understand?" Elizabeth pleads, clutching Enrique's hand. "Jose killed Mr. Melani, but it was a series of unfortunate accidents. He slipped on ice, and was stabbed in the back by Jose's pruning sheers." 'When did this happen?" Questions Enrique. "Sunday evening, while all of the guests were out on a sleigh ride. Mr. Melani went out drinking instead and when he came home though the back door as not to alarm anyone, he slipped." "But what about Jose? Why was he pruning in the middle of the night." Enrique questioned, puzzled. "Never mind that," Elizabeth continued on. "This is what you're to tell the press." Elizabeth goes on to tell Enrique what to say. "Mr. Melani suffered an unfortunate accident, and our estate is cooperating with police in their investigation. We are saddened by this shocking turn of events, and send our condolences to Mrs. Melani, with whom we will arrange a memorial right here on the ground of the estate in her late husband's memory. Details will be released soon. No further questions. Now go." Enrique leaves Elizabeth and rejoins Mrs. Melani and Brian downstairs in the foyer. 'Are you ready?" Brian questions Enrique. "Yes, let me do the talking." says Enrique. "But." Brian exclaims. 'I'm the General Manager, and your mother gave me explicit instructions. You've done enough damage for one weekend that will last us a lifetime." Says Enrique. The three exit the foyer, first Brian, then Mrs. Melani who has poured on the water works, and lastly Enrique. The news crews have set up microphones and a podium.

Michael J. Citak

The old man is Mr. Smithers, he use to be the janitor of Lizzy's highschool until he retired last year. He lives down the block and saw the commotion from his front porch, and decided to hobble on over.

Curtis J Lofgren

The old man removes his mask to reveal his true identity, an old man, but with a bigger nose. No one recognizes him. No one but his son, Garnood, who is wearing a mask also, that of a middle aged high school physics teacher. When he rips off his, the old man smiles and grabs his heart in horrible pain.

Michael J. Citak

"Enough of the theatrics!" Enrique speaks. "Somebody call Mr. Smithers an ambulance. We don't need another death on our property. A few of the news reporters chuckle.

Michael J. Citak

"Thank you all for coming," Enrique begins his planned speech. "As many of you are now aware, the Italian tenor Maxwell Melani is dead. Our hearts go out to his family and his surviving widow, Mrs. Melani." Enrique pauses and acknowledges Mrs. Melani who is standing next to Brian. Her hand grasping a tissue up against her face, she waves him on. "Our staff are working with police to," Enrique gets interrupted. "Is Jose being framed for the murder?" a reporter yells out. Brian coughs, and covers his mouth, clearing his throat. Enrique speaks, "I don't know where you are getting your sources from, but no, Jose was caught on property surveillance cameras and is being prosecuted." "When will that video be available for news coverage?" an eager reporter asks. "The video is being reviewed by police. Moving on. Later this week we at the Lieman Estate welcome everyone back for the memorial service that will be right here. No further questions." Enrique, Brian, and Mrs. Melani walk back inside the house.

Michael J. Citak

Brian knows there is no video of the murder, but keeps his mouth shut for fear of everything. Mrs. Melani, as soon as she hears the door shut behind Brian speaks, "What kind of moron are you?" Enrique looks out the window. The news crews are wrapping up their segments, and pack up to leave. "What's your problem? I said was I was told to." Enrique replies. "No, you idiot, there is no video." Mrs. Melani says. "This asshole killed my husband, and we're covering it up, and your blabbing of a video and that the police have it is going to cast suspicion on all of us!" "What is going on here, and why am I just being told of this." Enrique asks. "This is why we gave you the weekend off, Enrique. We needed your talk to be authentic, and you went ahead and ad-libbed." Mrs. Melani said, "Oh don't look so surprised. You and I both know this mansion needed money." "No I didn't know." Enrique said. "Enrique," Brian speaks up, "I'm sorry we put you through this."

Michael J. Citak

"You're sorry! I'm sorry." Enrique says still in shock. 'I'm sorry for Mr. Melani. Wait, why kill him off in the first place and frame Jose for the murder?" Enrique questions. Brian says, "It's a long story."

Michael J. Citak

"Oh Bless me father for I have sinned." Enrique drops to his knees and prays. "Don't be hard on yourself," Mrs. Melani says to Enrique, "I had to live with the bastard for thirty years to finally get the payday I deserve. With the money we'll make on his death, and the memorial concerts we can have in his name, he's worth more money to me dead than alive! And half of the insurance money goes right into Elizabeth's account to keep this place afloat! How do you like that for acting!"

Michael J. Citak

"But what about Jose?" Enrique questions. Brian answers, "He was the scape-goat, Elizabeth realized that he was trying to get his daughter into the country, and if he did then he would leave us, along with our secrets, so he's paying his dues. When he gets out, we'll pay for his daughter to come here and work with us." "What about Lizzy and Rosey?" Enrique questions. "They were in on it too. All of us are. Family that fights together, stays together."Brian says.

Michael J. Citak

-----------------------new chapter---------- Chapter 4 - The Backlash! focus on deb and her watching the news... possibly while at work etc. How will the story play out in the news. will there be an outpouring of mourners at the steps of the mansion? Will the family that kills together get caught? Will Jose keep his mouth shut about the cover up? So many questions..... Reminder- Deb is in Los Angeles, and is a waitress.

James David Sullivan

Editor's note (to be removed later) - @Mark Wellington- please change "their" to "there" - thanks!

Michael J. Citak

-------got it.... i already edited it in the compiled story:)

Michael J. Citak

"Table 35, Order's up!" the cook yells. Deborah, out back on a quick break, takes a drag of her cigarette and flicks it to the ground. It's the same couples food as last week, they're regulars; western omelet, toast and home-fries, and a steamed cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. Picking up the food she notices a piece of the chef's hair in the home-fries. "Hey Charlie, you scratching your head again? I got a hair." "The cook replies, "It ain't mine! Just serve the damn food." The cook is also the owner, and he'd be better off on the worse end of a Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares showdown then running a restaurant from behind the line. The stress of running the establishment clearly showing in his attitude and dishes. 'Make me another one Charlie. These are my regulars. I serve this and I ain't getting a tip!" Deborah replies. "Listen toots! You can shove the plate up your cooch for all I care, I ain't making another dish for those assholes." Says the cook. Deborah takes the hair out of the home-fries and proceeds to serve the plates to the table. "Table 36, Order up" the cook yells. Deborah and one other waitress are the only two working, even though the restaurant is packed. Lunch time is usually slow, but today was an exception. The Lakers were playing tonight at home so their fan-base were out and about supporting the local businesses before the event. "Excuse me," Deborah says to her table as she makes her way to the kitchen. The other waitress takes the TV remote off the counter and turns up the volume on one of the two TV's in the restaurant. "Coming up at 1, the murder of Italian Tenor Maxwell Melani is all fun and games for these two clowns." "Here Fluffy" Brian can be heard through the TV. Deborah hears Brian's voice and drops the plates on the floor. The ceramic dishes shatter to pieces upon impact with the tile, sending grits and scrambled eggs all over the shoes of the patrons. "I'm so sorry." Deborah pleads and apologizes to each of the guests as she cleans up the mess. Charlie comes out from the kitchen upon hearing the noise. "What the fuck is going on here!" The patrons all turn to look at Charlie. "What it's not like you never heard the word before. Just eat your fucking meals." The patrons are used to Charlies behavior, and if not they had all been warned upon entering of his hot head. Oddly enough nobody seemed to care about his behavior. In fact most people enjoyed it and came just for the show, although today was quite the exception, as it was the only day in recent memory that Deborah slipped up and dropped dishes. Usually it was Charlie himself who was cussing at his mistakes due to not paying attention. "Deborah!" Charlie calls, "Come here." Deborah enters the kitchen. "Yes Charlie?" Deborah questions. "You're fired." Charlie replies. "Now?" asks Deborah. "No, you fucking moron, when you finish with your tables. Yes now. Punch out and get the hell out. Your paycheck will be ready tomorrow." Deborah is stunned. She's been with Charlie since the beginning, helped build his patrons, and soothe the tensions when Charlie would go off on his usual tirades. If anybody was a candidate for a heart attack, it was Charlie. At 300 lbs, and 5'2", this round girth of a man wasn't anybody to mess with, because if you got on his bad side, he'd just sit on you. He did that once, the Police were called, and the customer finally paid his bill. All that for a measly ten dollar breakfast. But that was Charlie. The only difference now is that Deborah won't be there to pick up the pieces when he falls on his face. "I give that place a month." Deborah says to herself as she's walking to the bus stop, her car stolen a few days ago. Thankful that she has enough money stashed aside from tips to hold her over until she can get another job, and find another car.

Randall Thomasson

Sitting on the bus stop bench Deborah is still in shock that she's been fired. "This definitely SUCKS!" she says to herself. "But then again, I'll be so glad that I won't have to deal with that fat bastard anymore or look at his ugly face. How many times was I 'that close' to smacking him with a cast iron skillet? Son of a bitch deserves to drop dead from a heart attack anyways! I can only hope!"

Louisiana Dalton

lemon pie! Wish I'd taken one off the shelf on the way out. They owe me at least that much. On the other hand, if I added up how much they actually owe me . . . Oh, well . . . here comes the bus. Great! That old grouch of a bus driver is on today . . . what else can go wrong? Maybe I'll just get off . . .

Randall Thomasson

"Ah, the hell with it. I've had enough dealings with A-holes for one day. Think I'll just walk home!"

Michael J. Citak

On the way home cars fly by. Against the law to hitchhike or even walk on the side of the highway, Deborah is forced to take the back roads, which means face the underbelly of Los Angeles head on and without protection. Thankfully it was still light out. The thugs and hood rats liked the dark as a cloak for their dealings. Deborah walks past a convenience store. Alex, who was inside the store paying the cashier for his fuel and Red Bull, walks out and notices Deb. Deb continues walking. Alex gets in his car and drives up to Deb, rolls down the window and says, "hey baby, you want to make a few bucks?" Deb stops, makes eye contact with Alex and begins to walk up to his car window but stops short. A police officer in plain clothes was watching Alex for quite some time and was happy his persistence paid off. Alex gets arrested for attempted prostitution. Deborah keeps walking.

James David Sullivan

"There always watching! Somebody is always watching!" Deborah breaks out in song, "You better not vote! You better not speak! You better not try! I'm telling you why! You better not pray! You better not read! You better not try! I'm telling you why! The NSA is coming to town! They see you when you're sleeping! They know when you're awake! They know when you've been 'bad' or 'good'! So be 'good' for goodness sake! The NSA is coming to town!"

Curtis J Lofgren

correct your grammar...they get REAL mad at that....

Spike Lynn

Deborah, laughed to herself. The right corner of her mouth turned up a little. She had been with the NSA for six years and all her effort was finally starting to pay off. She adjusted her skirt and placed her left foot into the black pump laying by the side of the bed.

Michael J. Citak

Six years, the time before the coke addiction.

Corinne Bell

Her heart skipped, as she now realized this was a new beginning ,enough of coke , she thought , that's it, I am starting again from today no more coke, no cigarettes either and no drinking till she lost all thought and made a fool of herself, with that she nodded and smiled to herself grabbing her keys and jacket, she left the apartment with her head held high.

Spike Lynn

She was lucky she thought, as she walked to her car. Things could have gone so much worse for her. If it weren't for Edwards she would have lost everything.

Michael J. Citak

--------------hey everybody- just an editorial note... this is what the NSA does...(copied from their website) The NSA Mission: NSA is responsible for carrying out two of the country’s most important and sensitive intelligence activities – Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA). SIGINT involves intercepting, decrypting, and analyzing foreign adversaries’ communications to produce intelligence that gives the Nation an information advantage. We are also responsible for the protection of America’s U.S. government information systems, a discipline known as Information Assurance. Together the two missions promote a single goal: information superiority for America and its allies. By its very nature, gathering and protecting intelligence requires a high degree of confidentiality. So, while we can’t tell you exactly what you’ll be working on, we can say your intellect is sure to be challenged and the work you do is sure to be rewarding.- ------------I post this here, because we've been adding tidbits to Debs story that don't make sense in context. So just so everybody is on the same page....according to Spike Lynn, (and a note- i like the character development, it's just not fleshed out enough to make sense.) Deb was in the NSA for six years,(we're not sure time-frame though). This was before her coke addiction... which one could assume was the leading cause of her leaving the NSA. And now shes been clean of coke (hard drugs) for 8 years, and is trying to get custody of her daughter Lizzy back from her estranged husband Brian.---------------I can't urge enough to read the story we have all worked on so far, so as to get the mood and style of the piece. It really is turning out to be a wonderful work of art, and I'd hate for it to break down. Writing is an art that while fun, it shouldn't be taken lightly. I believe in this story and where it's going. For those of you who haven't read it yet, here's the link....http://bit.ly/1bcixve

Michael J. Citak

Edwards is the detective who was lucky enough to find her car that was stolen, thanks to low-jack.

Michael J. Citak

"Now if only I could get to my appointment on time." Deborah said looking at her watch by the curb. While her car was recovered, not so were the tires. Thankfully Triple A Tire Service was on their way over to replace them. "If they don't hurry up, I'm going to be late for Dr. Brimm. I better call him."

Troy P. Brown

“I know what I am doing!” I didn’t know how else to get Mike off my back as I worked on the sub dermal wiring harness, It was getting dangerous and there was little room for error!

Michael J. Citak

------------editors note-------- when adding new characters to the story, please develop them within your post. Same with dialogue. Quotations are fine, but not writing your posts in story format isn't. While this is a fun forum, this is a professional one, filled with professional writers. We're doing good but I know there's so much more potential in US, let's do great and keep this story moving!! Troy- welcome to the group, and thank you for writing in... take a read of our whole story so far... http://bit.ly/1bcixve , and see if you can't flesh out your idea on who Mike is, and what exactly are we reading about in your post.

Randall Thomasson

As time passed Deborah began to feel the effects of the coke withdrawal and her thoughts turned to the doubt of her even being able to kick the habit. After so many years of use she began to realize that she couldn't just turn it off and on like a light switch. "How the hell am I going to beat this?" she thought. "I know that many people HAVE beaten it but they must have some kinda damned strong assed will power. God, help me, please! SOMEONE help me!"

Michael J. Citak

Route 10 gridlock was once again a bane in Deborah's side, however a welcomed one after the ordeal it took to get her car off the cinder blocks and back onto the pavement. She turns on the radio expecting to hear Ryan Seacrest's top 40 countdown, but instead no matter what station she turns to, its the same thing. The death of Maxwell is all everybody can talk about, and the baboons at the mansion. The story was most poignant to Deborah because the longer the situation played out in the media, the more favorable she'd look in court when it came time for their custody hearing. If only Deborah knew of the Judge's backroom dealings with Brian, this fiasco would have played out perfectly like a magic apple to the evil queen's plan. However at this junction, our lovely Snow was far from perfect herself. Deborah arrives at Dr. Brimm's, and enters the office. The receptionist is reading People Magazine, the murder of Maxwell Melani is splashed across the front cover. She doesn't look up while greeting patients. What's is your name?", the Receptionist asks. Deborah looks around, dumbfounded at the incompetence before her. "Oh, me, my name is Deborah Borden, I have a 3 O'Clock appointment, I'm a few minutes early." "You're Deborah Borden?", the receptionist looks up from the magazine, then looks back down as turning the page, and then back at Deb. "You can have a seat. Dr. Brimm will see you shortly. Deborah takes a seat in the waiting room, and picks up a Times magazine. Maxwell Melani is again on the front cover, and the entire magazine is dedicated to him and his life, and subsequent death. Deb flips through the pages, and pauses, her jaw drops. Inside Time magazine is her picture, the one she, Brian and Lizzy took at Kmart before the coke addiction. Deb couldn't help the feeling as if she was being watched, she glanced up. The receptionist was staring at Deb, as if glaring a hole right through her. "Can I help you?" Deb asks rudely. The receptionist averts her eyes. Dr. Brimm opens the door. "Thanks for coming in Miss Hilton, we'll see you next week. Deborah, come on in." Deb stands up and takes the magazine with her. The receptionist stares at Deb until the door closes. "Take a seat Deb, let's have a chat." says the Doctor. "Tell me about Brian, what do you think happened?" "With all due respect Dr. Brimm, this session I'm not talking about my husband, or the murder of Mr. Melani, or the fact that my husband's face is all over the news acting like a flipping dog lady." Deborah sighs. "I was talking about why you think he took Lizzy away from you. I want to talk about that Brian." Says Dr. Brimm. "Oh," says Deborah.

Michael J. Citak

"How about we talk about the fact that I lost my job because of him." Deborah begins. "Go on," says Dr. Brimm. "I saw him on the news acting like a buffoon, and I lost it, I dropped the plates of food all over the floor and the patrons." Deborah continued. "Really, and how did seeing Brian make you feel?" Dr. Brimm questioned. "All I could think about was Lizzy, and how she is handling all this. She needs stability in her life." Deborah said. "And you think that you're more stable than Brian?" Dr, Brimm questioned. "No," Deborah was quick to answer, "I mean, yes. I am. At least I don't have celebrities dying around me." "Well, that's a hard point to argue, seeing as how we are in L.A. and the celebrity death toll is on the rise. Just take a look at Paul Walker. He recently died." Dr. Brimm says trying to break the ice with a little humor. "I'm serious, Dr. Brimm, I think I can handle Lizzy on my own." Deborah says. "I have enough money saved up to afford us any life we want." "But for how long, Deborah?" Dr. Brimm questioned. "You will need to show the Judge that you've changed, that you cleaned up your act." "I have," said Deborah. "I quit smoking, and I no longer do drugs, see I'm even gaining weight." The apparent cold turkey approach of smoking has put on the typical 15 lbs. "You're suppose to replace the smoking with exercise Deborah." "Well, I was walking for awhile." says Deborah. "Oh, good. On an treadmill inside a gym I hope." said Dr. Brimm. "No, outside, my car got stolen." said Deborah with a laugh. "The smog is no worse than smoking." Dr. Brimm replied. "I got my car back now anyways, besides the walking was only to nail my ex boyfriend." said Deborah. "So you're cheating on Brian?" Dr. Brimm questioned, repositioning himself in his seat. "No, no. I was helping the police nab him for trying to solicit prostitution." Oh, okay, well that makes perfect sense, I can see how you've been living a stable life." Dr. Brimm concluded. "You don't understand, Dr. I'm fine, I really am." Deborah pleads her case. "Have you had any recent mental attacks while sleeping?" questions Dr. Brimm. Deborah looks at him puzzled. "Have you been trying to lucid dream?" Dr. Brimm tries to rephrase the question. "Are you dreaming right now?" "No, I know where I am." says Deborah. "Good, good," Dr. Brimm replies, taking out his golden pocket watch. "We're going to try an exercise, okay?" "Yes, that's fine." Deborah replies. "Have you ever tried hypnosis?" Dr. Brimm questions. "Yes, I took out a few books from the library on the subject." Deborah says. "Did you try it on yourself?" Dr. Brimm replies, all the while swinging the pocket watch side to side in front of Deborah. "I want you to relax, and take a deep breath." Dr. Brimm continues, Deborah sits quiet and follows Dr. Brimm's directions.

Michael J. Citak

While Deborah was getting hypnotized, Brian was being visited by Judge Eric. 'Ding dong," Eric presses the doorbell to the mansion. Rosey answers. 'Hello may I help you?" "Yes, my name is Judge Eric. Brian is expecting me." Rosey says, "One moment." and closes the door. "Brian!" Rosey yells. The house is mostly quiet, besides Mrs. Melani playing the piano in the parlor. She's playing one of Maxwell's tunes. Brian comes walking out of his mother's bedroom, and walks downstairs. "I'll get the door Rosey, who is it?" He questions. "It's Judge Eric for you." Rosey comments as Brian makes his way to the door. Brian opens the door. A loud bang sound rattles the sky. Eric stares up at the birds who were just spooked by the gun shot, one bird flutters to the ground. "Can I help you?" Brian asks. "Yes, hello Brian, may I come in." "No," Brian says, "Let me get my coat, we'll go for a walk." The temperature was surprisingly warm for a December, plus Brian thought his mother wouldn't want to hear of her son's further dealings with death. While Brian and Eric set out on their stroll, Enrique can be seen by the woods with the riffle picking up the bird. "Do you have my money?" questions Eric. "You come here, to my house, to my land, and demand money?" Brian says sternly, visibly agitated by the question. "On the contrary, I'm not demanding anything. If you want this mishap to stay that way and Jose to stay in jail then what I'm asking isn't a demand, it's a simple formality." Judge Eric states. "We were in agreement about Lizzy, and that's it. I don't know what you're talking about?" Brian says. "The shakiness in your voice faults you Brian, I may not know the full truth, but I don't need to, I'm a judge, and who are they going to believe, you, a dead beat dad who can't even hold down a garbage man job, or me, a well to do officer of the court. All I have to do is raise one question, and Jose will be out of jail so fast you can say cover-up." Eric says matter of factually. "I told you I'd have your money soon." Brian said. "There's been some complications." Enrique aims and fires another shot, this time the target isn't a bird, but Judge Eric. Judge Eric goes down. He's been hit in the arm. "What the hell!" Eric yells. "I've been shot!" Brian, "I can see that. You're lucky." "Why in the fuck is he shooting at me?" Eric yells in frustration, blood is oozing out of the wound. "The bird must have crossed our paths and he didn't see us." said Brian. Brian knowing full well that Enrique didn't miss the bird. There was no bird. The shot was intended for Eric, and it found it's target. "Eric, why don't you leave and go get that taken care of." Brian said. "Why don't I do that." Eric said, holding his arm. "This isn't the last you've seen of me Brian. I still expect that money, or you can kiss your life as you know it goodbye." Enrique shoots another shot from the riffle, nearly missing Eric as he walks back towards the car. "Don't think I won't remember this!" Eric says, getting into the car. Little did Eric know, Enrique wasn't trying to hit Eric, in-fact Enrique had hit his intended target, Eric's back passenger side tire. The puncture slowly pissed out air as Eric drove away.

Michael J. Citak

"I told you he'd be spooked." Enrique says to Brian. "Yea, but I wasn't expecting you'd shoot him in the arm." said Brian. "Well," Enrique said, "I was really aiming for a bird. The tire however, that was intentional." "Eric better know what's good for him." Brian says. "I wouldn't count your chickens so fast, I mean we did put a hole in his tire." Enrique says. "Do you think he noticed?" Brian questioned. "I don't think so, he drove like a bat out of hell out of here." said Enrique. Down the road, Eric was having difficulty. Blood from his arm was still oozing through the makeshift tourniquet, his eyes beginning to glass over. Eric pressed down on the gas harder, determined to make it to the hospital. Eric shook off the cobwebs and continued on. A couple miles up the road his eyes were getting heavy. Eric was on the verge of passing out. The melting snow on the road ahead caused puddles to form, and with it enough water to cause hydroplaning if given the right circumstances. Eric was only a few miles from the hospital when he lost consciousness, his hands now limp at the wheel. Faster and faster the speed of the car escalates. Thankfully for everyone else but unthankfully for Eric, there's no other cars on the road. The car with an unconscious Eric inside drifts off the road, and crashes head on into the trees. The car immediately upon impact catches on fire. Eric is bound to die unless somebody comes to his rescue.

Dita-Marina Obert

As Brian's incredible luck would have it, Officer Dansforth happens to drive down the road just seconds after the crash. He sees the car being slowly engulfed in flames, drives his cruiser off the road and runs toward Brian's car. Officer Dansforth manages to open the stuck door. He drags unconscious Brian out of his seat and away from the car before it explodes. The two man are thrown twenty feet by the explosion, landing in a nearby snow bank. Officer Dansforth. temporarily passes out from the sheer force of the explosion. When he comes to a few minutes later, he immediately heads for his cruiser and radios for help. An ambulance arrives within half an hour. The paramedics hoist Brian into their van and rush him to the nearest hospital where his wounds are treated. He remains in an unconscious state, hooked up to monitoring machines. When he finally awakes after a few days, Brian seems to be suffering from some kind of amnesia.

Michael J. Citak

Editors note---- dita's post should be about judge Eric, not Brian. I love it though!! Great imagery!

Michael J. Citak

------Editors revision-------------As Eric's incredible luck would have it, Officer Dansforth happens to drive down the road just seconds after the crash. He sees the car being slowly engulfed in flames, drives his cruiser off the road and runs toward Eric's car. Officer Dansforth manages to open the stuck door. He drags unconscious Eric out of his seat and away from the car before it explodes. Too late, the two man are thrown twenty feet by the ruptured gas tank exploding, and land in a nearby snow bank. Officer Dansforth. temporarily passes out from the sheer force of the explosion. When he comes to a few minutes later, he immediately heads for his cruiser and radios for help. An ambulance arrives within a half an hour. The paramedics hoist Eric into their van, and administer morphine, and rush him to the nearest hospital where his wounds are treated. If the accident happened anytime other than the winter, Detective Dansforth would be writing a very different report. Thankfully the blast that sent the men twenty feet, also helped save their lives, as the snow helped cool Eric's charred body. At the hospital he remains in an unconscious state, hooked up to monitoring machines. A few days pass, and Eric shows signs of movement. “Mr. Mathews, welcome back. We though we lost you for a few days.” The nurse speaks enthusiastically. Eric a bit groggy tries to lift his arm to scratch his nose, but looks down to see it's in a full arm cast, that's unbend-able. “Where am I?” Eric asks. “You're at Mass General West. You were in an accident.” The nurse answers him. “Why are you calling me Mr. Mathews? And why cant I move my arm. I want to get out of here.” Eric protests. “Mr. Mathews, I'm sorry, you're safe, everything is okay, you seem to be suffering from post traumatic amnesia which is normal for the type of accident you sustained.” the nurse replies. “Did I kill anybody? Please tell me I didn't kill a child You would tell me wouldn't you?” Eric pleads in a panic. “Don't worry Mr. Mathews, nobody else was hurt. You were in the car alone. If it hadn't been for Officer Dansforth making a patrol of the neighborhood at the same time as your accident you would have died. I'm sure of it. You owe a great big humble pie to that man.” pointing to Detective Dansforth whose sitting in the chair across the room. “Detective Dansforth has a few questions for you, and then you can rest some more if you'd like.” the nurse says. Detective Dansforth gets up and walks over to Eric. “Since you seem to have amnesia, I can't ask you about the events leading up to the accident, so we'll save those for a later time. I just wanted to see if you were going to pull through. It's not every day I get to save a man from a burning car only to be propelled like a rocket and live to tell the tale.” “Thanks,” replies Eric. “Thanks for saving my life.” “Get some rest,” Detective Dansforth says, “Ill check in on you in a few days. Maybe then your memory will come back and we can discuss some things.” Back at the mansion, Elizabeth beckons from her bedside, "Brian!", he comes to her side. "Yes mother?" "Did you call the caterers for the memorial service and reception?" Elizabeth asks. "No, I thought Enrique was taking responsibility again since he's back?" Brian questions. "Have you found a job yet?" Elizabeth asks. "No, not yet." Brian says. "Well then, stop wasting time and help out around here. Pull your own weight. It's bad enough I had to clean up your bloody mess, I shouldn't have to micromanage you too!" Elizabeth quips. "Yes mother." Brian says reluctantly as he walks out the bedroom door. "And don't forget to hire the orchestra. I want the press and dignitaries to think we're still a prestigious bed and breakfast! This weekend should be a huge financial success for us if we don't fuck it up and kill another celebrity!" Elizabeth says. "Rosey!" Elizabeth beckons, Rosey comes upstairs. "Help Brian with the preparations."

Michael J. Citak

With the memorial just a few days away, Mrs. Melani is getting cold feet. "I don't know if I can do this!" She says to Elizabeth, whose eating her breakfast. "What if the mourners can tell that I'm faking it?" "Listen Mary, you've been married to the bastard for how long? I'm sure he never thought you were faking it!" Elizabeth comments. Mary taken back by her forwardness, having never heard this side of Elizabeth before. "Your father used to say, Lizzy, just because we can't be married, doesn't mean that we cant be family. It will take sacrifice, and it may even take death, but some way, some how you and I will be together." Mary looks back at Elizabeth trying to piece together the information. "my darling, I'm your biological mother. Nobody else knows this." Elizabeth continues. "It was brushed under the rug. The mother that you know, had ovarian cancer. The Liemans didn't want anybody to know about it, so your father hired me to conceive you, and bring you to term. When you were born, the medical bills were taken care of by the estate, and I gave you up." Mary tears up. "So I know all about sacrifice. I'm so proud of you for all that you've become, and this show, this parade of emotions that we all have to put on this weekend, is just another one of those sacrifices. You were destined for this, and it's no coincidence that you ended up here at the estate with your late husband." Mary looks on in disbelief. "Do you remember going to a shrink in L.A.?" Elizabeth asks Mary. "Yes, Dr. Brimm." Mary answers. "He is why you are here." said Elizabeth. "I don't get it?" Mary replies. "Your story, our story, hypnosis, it's all there, and it's all the makings of a glorious plot for our movie!" "This is ridiculous," Mary replies. "But as long as I get to play myself I'm in." "That's my girl." Elizabeth replies.

Michael J. Citak

At the hospital, Eric's just waking up from a nap. His wife, Carmella, sits in the chair by the side of the bed. "Good morning sleepy head." Carmella says with a yawn. She's been keeping watch of his monitors, as his condition took a sudden turn for the worse. Eric had flat-lined a few times in the middle of the night. Slight heart attacks to blame. The shock to Eric's system along with a high fever caused by the body trying to heal the new skin has taken it's toll on his weary body including multiple mini heart attacks. Despite his medical complications, Eric's mind, while foggy on a few details is starting to regain it's faculties. "How are you doing hunny?" Carmella asks Eric as he takes a deep breath through the ventilator. "I thought we lost you there for awhile." Carmella slaps Eric on the arm, his heart rate monitor escalates. "Don't you do that to me again! You flat-lined a few times and the doctor had to restart your heart. The first time I passed out from the stress and then you went ahead and did it again." "I need water." Eric gasps. "I feel parched." "Say you're sorry." Carmella says as she stands up and walks over to the sink with a paper cup. She fills the cup and walks back to the bed, standing there waiting for Eric to apologize for almost dying. "I'm waiting?" Carmella says, her had on her hip. "I'm sorry that I tried to leave you, and I won't do it again." Eric says, moving his ventilator and reaching out for the cup. Eric takes a sip of the water and then drops the cup to the floor, his eyes roll in the back of his head, as his body convulses. "NURSE!" Carmella yells, "NURSE, SOMEBODY!" Eric stops convulsing, opens his eyes and flashes the biggest smile. "You asshole!" Carmella yells at Eric. "Sorry, I'm feeling better." says Eric. "The doctor said he wants to watch you for a few more days, but we can move to a regular room, and out of the ER." Carmella said sitting back down. Two orderlies run into the room. "Don't worry, my husband's just being an ass. He's fine." The orderlies check Eric's vitals just in case, and unhook the ventilator. "I see the jump we gave you earlier worked wonders.” one of the orderlies says to Eric, checking his blood pressure. "How's the new skin looking?" The other orderly says. "Still a little bit yellow. But that's normal. A few more days and we should be out of the clear." The orderlies leave the room, and Carmella stands up, looks out the hospital window. "What happened to you out there? Carmella turns to Eric. "What were you thinking?" Detective Dansforth walks into the room, “How's Michael Bay doing?” “Who?” Carmella questions. “It's a joke, you know the whole the car explosion thing. It's okay. I'm sorry. I'm Detective Dansforth. Are you Eric's wife?” Carmella looks at Detective Dansforth for a moment, “Yes, I'm Carmella. You saved my husband's life. Thank you.” "He was just lucky I was passing by." Dansforth replies. "Really, it's a miracle." Carmella says. "Are you remembering anything Eric?" Dansforth asks. Eric clears his throat. "I had a few minor heart attacks earlier today and almost died again. Can we do this another time?" "Of course, of course." Dansforth replies, "I just wanted to talk to you about your car. Inside one of your tires we found a bullet. Your car was shot at, which probably led it to go flat. Do you remember if anybody wanted to harm you?" "I'm not feeling up to talking today. Come back in a few days, they're moving me to a regular room soon." "Okay, here's the deal, I'll leave you my card. When you're feeling up to it, just call me and we can talk." Dansforth hands his business card to Carmella, "Thank you Detective Dansforth." then heads out the door.

Michael J. Citak

"You were shot at? And your tire was shot!" Who did this to you Eric? Tell me! I'm going to kill them!" Carmella yells. "I don't remember." Eric says with a puzzled look on his face. "They're going to wish they killed me, because I'm going to come at them like Patrick Swayze in Ghost!" Carmella says, standing up and holding Eric's hands in hers. "Nobody puts Baby in the corner!" Carmella quotes, thinking the line was from 'Ghost'. Eric looks up at Carmella, "That's from 'Dirty Dancing'." "Oh, you can remember that but not who shot you?" Carmella drops his hands. "Unbelievable Eric. Unbelievable." "Selective Memory I guess." says Eric.

Michael J. Citak

Dr. Brimm finishes up his hypnosis with Deb. He's bringing her out of it slowly. “I'm going to count back from 10, and each time I count you will take a step in your mind up the ladder of success until you are awake. With each step you will be closer to feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.” Deborah inhales slowly. “10, You will feel confident that you are as intelligent as anyone else. You are nine steps away from being in control of your emotions.” Deborah exhales slowly. “9, You no longer have a dependency on alcohol or cigarettes. The steps to freedom are within your grasp.” Deborah inhales slowly. “8, The mere thought of taking drugs, drinking or smoking makes your conviction to quit stronger. You're feeling a heavy weight be lifted off your shoulders.” Deborah exhales slowly. “You're doing wonderful. 7, the steps are so easy now and drugs are a thing of your past.” Deborah inhales slowly. “6, you'll find it easy to find a job that you love. Breathing easier now.” Dr. Brimm sings a few modified lyrics from the 12 days of Christmas., "5 Golden rings of clarity!" “4 Calling Birds from your window.” Deborah exhales slowly “3 french hens are bad luck,” Deborah inhales slowly, her eyes are now darting back and forth in her head. Her eyelids still closed. “2 turtle doves in love” Dr. Brimm waves his hands as if conducting an invisible symphony. “And a Partridge Family!” “When I clap my hands you will wake up refreshed and alive, your spirits high and bright, and you will go to Massachusetts to surprise Lizzy at the mansion for Christmas." Dr. Brimm claps his hands, and Deborah wakes up. "Have we started yet?" Deb questions. "We just finished." said Dr. Brimm. "I've decided that I'm going to visit Lizzy for Christmas. I don't care if Brian wants me there or not. I need to see her!" Deb says. "Wonderful news." Dr. Brimm smiles. Deb exits the office. Dr. Brimm takes out his cell phone and calls Elizabeth. Elizabeth answers. "Hello?" Dr. Brimm speaks into the phone, "Marsha Marsha, ouch my nose!" and then hangs up.

Michael J. Citak

Editor's note----- hi everybody, so far our story is 50 pages formatted in book form!!! That's an Amazing feat in such a short time... I formatted the story in A5 for those who know what that is.

Michael J. Citak

Chapter 5-----------The Memorial Driving across town from the hospital, Detective Dansforth can't help but wonder about Eric and the tire. "Who would do such a thing?" Dansforth questioned to himself. The lights on the Christmas wreaths glimmering on the rain soaked streets. Pulling into the police station parking lot, Dansforth sees Jose being escorted, handcuffed behind his back, from the judicial system truck into the station. Jose looks up at Dansforth and recognizes him from that day he came to the mansion to check on Elizabeth. Jose mouths to Dansforth, "Help me. I'm innocent." Dansforth doesn't think anything of it and continues into the station. After pouring himself a cup of coffee and stirring in the sugar, Dansforth takes a seat at his desk. The tape recorder sits on top of a legal size pad of paper with scribble on it. To the right are photographs of Eric's accident, and on the wall to the right of that is a map of Waltham, with the Liemans mansion circled in red marker. "Hey Dansforth," The chief of police says, "I have the CD you were looking for." The chief hands Dansforth a burned DVD with FOX news written on it, and I'm going to need you on duty on the twenty-third, over at the Lieman Estate. They're having that memorial for Maxwell Melani." "But Sir," Dansforth says, "I got promoted to Detective, remember, I don't do Officer stuff anymore, I investigate now." "Who do I look like rookie, Barney Fife! I know you're a Detective. We're just short handed, that's all. Go investigate while you're there for all I care. We just need an officer on duty in case any more celebrities get stabbed, God forbid." "Yes Sir." Dansforth says. taking the DVD. Dansforth sips his coffee, and powers on his desktop. "There's something fishy about the Lieman house, and I have a gut feeling that there's more to the murder than what Jose plead guilty to." Dansforth speaks to himself while putting the DVD into the computer tower. The DVD starts on it's own, and is the on the scene press conference from the Lieman Estate. Enrique and Brian, along with Mrs. Melani walk out the front door and approach the podium. Enrique speaks, "Enough of the theatrics! Somebody call Mr. Smithers an ambulance. We don't need another death on our property." A few chuckles can be heard off camera. "Thank you all for coming. As many of you are now aware, the Italian tenor Maxwell Melani is dead. Our hearts go out to his family and his surviving widow, Mrs. Melani." Enrique pauses and acknowledges Mrs. Melani who is standing next to Brian. Her hand grasping a tissue up against her face, she waves him on. Dansforth pauses the video and rewinds the video as the camera cuts to Mrs. Melani. "She's faking it. Holy shit, She's full of shit and she's trying to cover it up. Her husband was just murdered, and shes this calm. That's just not right." Dansforth lets the video play again. Enrique is talking. "Our staff are working with police to," Enrique gets interrupted by a reproter. "Is Jose being framed for the murder?" a reporter yells out. Brian coughs, and covers his mouth, clearing his throat. Dansforth pauses the video. "Are you fucking kidding me, Dansforth says out loud. The chief yells, "Watch your mouth Rookie, we still have a business to run here." Dansforth hits play again. Enrique speaks, "I don't know where you are getting your sources from, but no, Jose was caught on property surveillance cameras and is being prosecuted." Dansforth writes down to get a warrant for the surveillance tape. "When will that video be available for news coverage?" an eager reporter asks. "The video is being reviewed by police." Dansforth pauses the video. Enrique face is on the screen. Dansforth taps his pen on the desk, then gets up in a hurry, grabs his coat and takes the piece of paper with his note about the warrant with him as he walks out the door.

Michael J. Citak

The next day, Dansforth visits with Judge Eric at the hospital. Carmella has left or the day. "Excuse me Eric?" Dansforth knocks on the door. "Yes?" Eric replies. "Sorry, I know you're still injured, but I need to ask you something." "Spit it out I'm dying over here." Eric jokes. "Sorry, yes, yes. Well you oversaw the Borden custody case." Dansforth questions. "What about it?" Eric asks. "Well, I have reason to believe that Brian may be responsible for the death of Maxwell Melani, and I need a warrant to prove it." Dansforth says with conviction. "Do you have the affidavits?" asks Eric. "Yes, right here." Dansforth takes out the paperwork. "Get me a pen." says Eric. Dansforth gives Eric a pen and a magazine to write on. I'm signing this on once condition, that if you find any evidence that incriminates Brian, I want to the be there when you arrest him." Says Eric. 'Okay." Dansforth agrees. And leaves the room. Eric sighs while looking out the window.

James David Sullivan

Danforth quipped, "Isn't 'A5' a capital offense? Eric, you will die one way or the other!"

Troy P. Brown

The glittering object brightens into a bright flash as it bring back a memory of when Eric was a rookie on the force. “ I thought that I was in the right!” Chief Warren O’ Connor angrily replies,”Well that is your problem you always thinking with your other head!” It was Eric’s only third week on the job and he was already been chewed out by the commander...

Michael J. Citak

Editors note....---just to clarify and embellish what was already written, so it flows better with some imagery.------- Back at the station, Detective Dansforth sits at his desk, the day's paperwork left to do, stacked beneath his coffee and daydreams out the window. Lost in thought he sees a glittering object off in the distance. As Dansforth watches in awe, the object expands with illumination as it grows closer and closer... The glittering object, now engulfs the window and as the room fills with white heavenly light, bringing back a memory of when Eric was a rookie on the force. “I thought that I was in the right!” Chief Warren O’ Connor angrily replies,”Well that is your problem, Eric. you're always thinking with your other head!” It was Dansforth's third week on the job and he was already been chewed out by the commander.

Michael J. Citak

Deborah opens her closet, moves a few boxes and takes out a suitcase and a coffee can. She flings the suitcase on the bed, and puts the coffee can on top of the dresser draws. Opening the suitcase, Deb fills it with enough clothes for a week, and then attempts to close it. Having trouble, she sits on the suitcase and finally gets it shut. Deb opens the coffee can, and reaches in to grab a wad of cash. There's a couple tightly rolled wads of bills in her hand. Deb stuffed one roll in her suitcase, and unrolls the other wad to reveal at least two thousand dollars in hundred dollar bills. Deb folds the money up and stores it in her bra, and then puts the coffee can back into the closet, behind the boxes, so that nobody could find it even if they were looking. Deb picks up the phone and calls information. "Hello, can I have the number for a hotel in Waltham Massachusetts?" The operator checks her computer. "I have a number for Best Western TLC, would you like me to connect you." Sure!" Deb replies. "Okay, one moment." The phone rings. "Hello Best Western TLC, This is Julie, how can I help you today?" "Yes Hi this is Deborah Borden, I'd like to reserve a room for a week." "Okay, Miss Borden, let me just take a look to see what we have available. Do you have any dates in mind?" Julie replies. "Um, yes, I'd like to stay the 23rd til the 30th of December." Deb says. "Oh, I'm very sorry, it looks like we're completely booked for this week. Are you trying to go to the Melani memorial?" Julie questions. "Yes, in-fact I am, My family runs the Lieman Estate, although they don't know that I'm coming up. It's a surprise." Deb says. "Well,, look on the bright side, the Lieman Estate is one of the best bed and breakfast's in the state, and you're family, they won't leave you out in the cold if you just show up, would they?" Julie questions, overstepping her bounds. "Thank you for the compliment. Okay, well thank you for your help. Have a wonderful holiday." "Thank you miss Borden, have a Merry Christmas to you as well." Julie replies and hangs up the phone. "Lizzy will be so ecstatic to see me, that I'm sure she won't mind if her old mom crashes on the couch." Deb takes one last look at herself in the mirror, and heads out the door. The taxi driver pulls up to her apartment building and she gets in and head towards LAX. When she arrives, there's so many people that there's a line out the terminal doors just to check in. Deb pays the taxi driver, and gets out of the car. Her suitcase is small enough to work as a carry on, so there's no need to check any bags. However she still needs to purchase a ticket.

Randall Thomasson

Standing to buy a ticket, Deborah is lost in thought as she is mesmerized by the baggage claim machine going round and round. "Funny, she thinks. Sometimes I feel like my whole life is just one endless circle and I feel as lost as someone's airline baggage!"

Michael J. Citak

People eager to get their luggage push Deborah from all sides, in a holiday induced frenzy. Deborah gets spun around and notices the ticket sales sign up ahead. Realizing that she's on the wrong floor of the airport, she finds the escalator and ventures upstairs.

Michael J. Citak

finally upstairs, Deb is overwhelmed by the amount of people traveling for the holidays. "Let's see if I can use this fiasco to cut the line." Deb says to herself. She reaches in her bag and pulls out the Time magazine with her picture in it. A TSA Officer walks by, Deb stops him. "Excuse me Officer," Deb says, holding up the Time Magazine. "I don't know if you recognize me or not, I'm Deborah.."She doesn't get to finish her name when the officer says, "Mrs. Borden it's great to see you, I loved the article, and am such a fan of your family's legacy." Obviously referring to Brian's relatives, twice removed, but still relevant to fans of the horror genre. Deb doesn't mind the confusion. "Here, come with me, I can get to the front of the line." The officer says. "Do you have your ticket already?" "No,' says Deb, "I still need to purchase one." "Alright, follow me." The officer takes Deb to the front of the ticket line, "Have a wonderful day Mrs. Borden." Deb wasn't expecting the stunt to work, but was overjoyed that her target just so happened to be a fan of iconic murderers. "Hello," Deb says talking to the woman behind the desk. "Destination?" "I'm going to Waltham Massachusetts." "One way or round trip?" the lady asks. "Is one way cheaper?" asks Deb, hoping for a price break. "No," replies the lady. "Fine I'll do round trip. Make it a week apart." "I'm going to need to see an ID and a credit card for the transaction. Do you have any baggage to check?" the lady asks. "Yes, well just one bag. I can use this as a carry on right?" Deb questions, holding up the suitcase. "Put the bag up on the scale." the lady asks. Deb places the bag on the scale. "It's too heavy for a carry on, you'll have to check it. That'l be an additional twenty-five dollars." "Can you waive the fee, I'm a celebrity." Deb says knowingly pressing her luck. She figured it worked once it could work again. The lady puts down her pen, pushes her glasses down on her nose to get a better look at Deb to see if she recognizes her and says, "I'm sorry Mrs. Borden, but no." The lady thinks to herself, "Who does this Madonna trash bag think she is trying to scam me." Deb waits for the lady to process her paperwork, and hands her the ticket. "Thank you." Deb says grabbing the tickets from the lady's hand. "Have a Merry Christmas Mrs. Borden." the lady says with a fake smile.

Sally T Pian

very cool idea.

Randall Thomasson

With the worries of her baggage whereabouts on her mind, Deborah is soon shuttled like cattle into the waiting jet. "Damn, I hate these closed-in, giant cigar tubes with wings!" she thought as she made her way to her seat. The take offs and landings always worried her as the jet throttled up and sped down the runway. After locking her seat belt she closed her eyes and gripped the arm rest trying to think of any happy thoughts to take her mind off the fierce acceleration of the plane. Soon, the jet leveled off and everything seemed to calm down as the flight attendant announced that all could unlock their seatbelts. "At least it won't be too long a flight" she thought. Glancing out the window she could see a great bird's eye view of the land. "Ah, birds are so lucky to be able to just take off and go where they want. They're so damned smart to head south in winter too!"

Marietta Kosovsky Wilk

I don't mean to be critical but the first sentence could be structured a little better, Michael. If that were a quote, fine, but I take it you are describing a scene?

Michael J. Citak

ah yes, thank you Marietta. I see where you see that. Offer a suggestion maybe. How would you reword it?

Michael J. Citak

How's this------ Touching down in Boston at the Logan Airport, the joyousness of the holidays were nauseating to Deb, probably caused by the turbulent landing and the splitting headache which was taking its toll on her tired head. The overabundant holiday cheer was too much for Deb to handle at this moment. The candy cane laced pillars of red and white garland and the giant glowing tree with obviously empty boxes wrapped like presents under the tree in the middle of the baggage claim daggers to her spirit, as her holiday is always under celebrated and less commercialized. "Do you see a giant fucking dradle spinning around?" Deb yells at a complete stranger who just fluffs her off, shaking his head. "Why do corporations feel the need to throw this pointless holiday down our throats. Do you see a Jewish holiday Disney movie? Where's our princess! Come on Walt, grow some chutzpah!” Deb seemingly yelling to herself in the crowded baggage claim area, yet nobody hears her. As time passes, more and more people get their bags and leave. Deb is left standing alone in the baggage claim area, the red light on top of the conveyor belt to signal that the bags are coming has stopped blinking. Deb storms off to the baggage recovery area to report her missing luggage.

Michael J. Citak

"I'm sorry Miss Borden, but there's nothing we can do at this point. If your bag does show up it probably wont be until after the holiday. Just give us your address of where you'll be staying and when it comes we can have it shipped to you." Said one of the customer service ladies. "No thank you, I can see how well your company takes care of somebodies belongings. If it shows up, just hold it for me, I'll be back in a few days regardless to pick it up." Deb says in a huff. "I need to call a taxi." "The phone is right over there Miss Borden." "Thank you." Deb replies as she walks to the phone. "Have a Merry Christmas" the lady calls out. Debs eyes burn with a fire so bright you can just feel the tension in her face. The taxi pulls up and Deb gets in, clutching her purse. "Waltham please, to the Lieman Estate." Deb tells the driver. The ride is twenty minutes long, which is plenty of time for Deb to figure out what to do. The memorial is just one day away. A fitting gesture to honor the legacy of one of Italy's loved tenors thought Mary, his widow. Maxwell just loved Christmas, and while unbeknownst to Deb, Brian and the rest of the estate were busy planning the event, commissioning elaborate Ice sculptures, and roping off a section of the property where a large tree is being cut down to size by Jesse Green of American Chainsaw fame. He's been hired to create a larger than life version of Maxwell that will be unveiled at the ceremony. "Thankfully Mother Nature has been kind to us," said Mary, "We can have the festivities outside on the lawn. The mansion will serve as a beautiful backdrop to our glorious achievement." "I'll call the tent company, we're still going to need heaters. After all this is New England our weather changes on the drop of a hat." Says Enrique. "Honey, Los Angeles is no different. If it's not raining, it's the smog, if it's not the smog, it's the heat." says Mary. While Deb is on her way into Waltham, the rest of the guests for the memorial are driving into the estate. "Rosey!" Enrique yells, "They're arriving!" Rosey comes downstairs from Elizabeth's room, the feather duster in her hand. "Yes Sir. All the rooms are clean and ready for guests." says Rosey. "How's Elizabeth feeling?" Enrique asks. Elizabeth had taken ill a few days ago with a small cold. "She's in good spirits." says Rosey. Lizzy walks through the front door with her father, they had just came from shopping. "Dad," Lizzy asks, 'Why can't we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. Why do we have to pick between them?" "Because," says Brian, "Your mother is the Jewish one, and you're not with her, so when you're with me, you're going to celebrate Christmas. If you're ever with your mother again, which you won't be, you can celebrate her silly holiday." "Dad, I'm half Jewish. I want to celebrate both." "Enough Lizzy," said Brian frustrated, "I don't want to hear it anymore. Enough already." "I wish Mom was here!" said Lizzy in a fit, storming upstairs to her room.

Sally T Pian

I like the scenario you have set up. I think many people can relate to this, especially those from Greater Boston. Just a few typo or spelling corrections here and there. Overall, I applaud you.

Michael J. Citak

thank you sally. yes, once the complete story is done, Ill do a glance over for typos etc. the complete story so far can be read here....http://bit.ly/1fWOg8T

Michael J. Citak

Enrique stands at the front door, hoping that this weekend would be vastly different from the last. While the blood stains are gone from the carpets, the stains of immoral behavior are fresh on his mind. Dignitaries from around the globe have landed in Waltham for what is to be a wondrous memorial, putting aside their personal Christmas plans to remember the life of one of the worlds greatest tenors. As the guests arrive and check into the mansion, a taxi pulls up to the entrance to the estate. "I'll get out right here." Deborah says to the driver. "Are you sure? Its a long driveway, I can bring you up to the door." said the driver. "No, that's alright, I want to walk." Said Deborah while paying the driver his fee and exiting the car. The taxi drives off. Deborah looks at the mansion from the road, "it's bigger than I imagined." Deborah walks along the driveway towards the mansion. She hears a car coming and turns to look. A 2013 Rolls Royce pull up along side her and stops. Deb stares at the car, her reflection staring back at her through the tinted windows. The rear passenger side window rolls down to reveal a handsome man, with silver hair, sitting alone. "Would you like a ride?" the man asks in a velvety voice. "Yes Please!" Deb says instinctively, smitten by his charming smile. The man opens the door and steps out of the car, offers his hand out to Deb, who gladly accepts, and lowers herself into the inviting luxurious tan leather. The driver presses the button to roll up the window as the car continues forward. "Who may I say is accompanying me this weekend?" the man asks forwardly. Deb blushes, as it's been a few years since any attractive man has shown an interest in her. "Deb, Deborah Borden" she says slightly stuttering. The man takes her hand and brings it up to kiss it. 'Well Miss Borden, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Timothy, Timothy Gunn." Timothy pauses and looks at her. "Where's your bags? Arn't you staying for the weekend?" "The airport lost my luggage." says Deb, still unsure of who she's sitting with. "Honey, don't worry about that." Says Tim. "Driver, turn around, we're going shopping." The driver turns the car around and exits the estate. "When I'm done, they won't even recognize you!" says Tim.

Michael J. Citak

Later in the evening, Timothy and Deb return to the mansion. Paying it forward, Tim bought Deb a completely new wardrobe for the week as well as pampered her with a color and style. They enter the mansion arm in arm. The driver in toe carrying their suitcases. Tim bought Deb a new suitcase for all her new clothes as well. Enrique greets them. "Hello, Mr. Gunn, we've been expecting you." Enrique has never met Deb before so is unaware who she is. "And who is this?" "This is my love Miss Deb, I'll need a larger room. Can you accommodate?" Asks Tim. "Tim, please this is too much." Says Deb. "You've been very kind." "I won't take no for an answer." Tim says to Deb. "Enrique make it two beds." "Yes Mr. Gunn. It'l just be a moment. Then Brian will see you to your room." Deb froze. She didn't tell anybody she was coming. Brian would be caught completely off guard. "All hell is going to break loose!" Deb thought.

Michael J. Citak

Deb rummages through her purse, and takes out the dark brown wide frame sunglasses that Tim splurged on from the Sunglass Hut, the ones that looked like Dame Edna Originals. She puts the sunglasses on, even though its night time, in addition to the wide brim Kentucky Derby couture hat that's on top of the white cashmere hooded scarf that Tim picked out. "You look like a star!" Tim says turning around. Deb essentially looked like a Joan Crawford body double. Rosey walks up to Deb and Tim and asks for their coats. Deb bursts out, "No!" 'Alright, keep the coat." Rosey says. Deb too cozy in her beautiful full length 1960's Vintage 100% Cashmere White Winter Coat to remove it takes the hat off her head and hands it to Rosey, the hooded scarf and glasses she though enough to conceal her identity from Brian. Tim removes his black leather gloves and hands them to Rosey who has Debs hat upside down. Then he removes his 100% Cashmere Black Full-length Coat ever so daintily and gently drapes it in Rosey's arms. Tim's impeccably tailored three piece silver pinstriped suit with matching pants glimmer in the light from the Christmas tree thanks to the shimmering silver fabric woven into the pinstripes. As Rosey takes Tim's coat and Debs hat to the coat room, Brian makes his way across the foyer. Deb adjusts her glasses and stays mum as Tim talks. "And you must be Brian." "Hello, and welcome to Lieman Estate." says Brian. "If I may take your bags you can follow me to your room." "That would be splendid. My lovely and I spent the afternoon shopping and are quite bushed." said Tim. Brian glances at Deb, but doesn't recognize her with the glasses and scarf on her head. "Certainly" says Brian picking up the bags. "This way." Brian leads the way up the grand staircase, past Mrs. Melani's room, whose door is open. Lizzy is sitting on the bed talking to Mary. Deb glances into the room as they walk past and catches a glimpse of Lizzy. "Here we are." Brian says stopping in front of room number 6. "The room is a bit tight since we had to rearrange the room to fit a second bed." Brian said while opening the door. Setting down the suitcases, Brian asks, "Is there anything else I can get for you two?" Deb looks at Tim and shakes her head. Tim glances back at Brian and replies, "Oh no thank you, we're fine. Just what time is the memorial tomorrow?" "Oh, I'm so sorry. Our itinerary for tomorrow starts off with 8am continental breakfast, followed by our Secret Santa presents opening party downstairs in the foyer for all of you. Then we'll have some time to ourselves as Mary, Maxwell's wife will be playing holiday music on the grand piano for anybody who wants to join in. At that point the press will arrive and set up in the tent and when all is set and the rest of the guests have arrived Enrique will come and get each of you and you'll exit the house as a group, and will then be introduced by myself who will be standing on stage along side the pastor and in front of the Boston Metropolitan Orchestra all under the big white tent. We'll have the first row of seats reserved for us. And then after the Pastor delivers a glorious sermon, the rest of the memorial festivities will follow." While Brian was talking, Deb walked into the bathroom and closed the door. Tim whose been listening intently says with a smirk. "We'll make it work! Thank you Brian." Brian closes the door to the room and walks down the hall. Deb opens the bathroom door. "I thought he'd never leave." Tim says, "Is that your husband?" "No, that's the asshole whose going to formerly be my husband." Deb says. 'If he really loved me, he'd have recognized me." "Forget him," says Tim, "it's Lizzy you came here for. Are you going to wait until tomorrow to surprise her?" "I don't know yet, but I think I have an idea." said Deb.

Michael J. Citak

While Tim gets up at 7am to start his day, Deb tosses and turns in her bed. One eye opens and glances at the alarm clock, blurry. Deb puts her glasses on to see clearly. Its 10am, and the sounds of Christmas music played on the piano fill the air. Deb missed breakfast as well as Secret Santa, but that was on purpose because her secret wasn't ready to be revealed. After a quick shower and insertion of contacts, Deb gets dressed in her ensemble for the day. The white hooded scarf wrapped around her curled hair, the fabric tied neatly around her neck, coupled with a red long sleeve fleece top and matching fleece bottoms that went perfectly with her vintage coat. She topped off the look with her Dame Edna style sunglasses and walked out into the hallway. Finding Tim downstairs by the piano with Mary, Deb glances about the room, seeing Lizzy standing by the fireplace. Deb walks over to Lizzy. "Merry Christmas Lizzy." Deb says with a smile, hoping that Lizzy would recognize her mother's voice. "Thanks." says Lizzy. Deb asks, "Did you get any Hanukkah gifts this year?" Lizzy replies, "No, my dad won't let me celebrate, He said I can only celebrate Hanukkah when I'm with my mom, but it's not like that would ever happen." "Do you believe that?" Deb asks Lizzy awaiting her answer. "No, I believe mom is going to do everything in her power to better herself and hopefully change for the better and then come and rescue me from this hell hole." Lizzy looks away at the crackling fire. Deb says, "I hope this makes up for the lost time." as she takes off her hooded scarf and sunglasses. Deb places her hand on Lizzy's shoulder, as Lizzy turns her head back towards Deb. "Mom?" Lizzy questions, shaking her head. "Oh my God it's really you!" "Yes darling it's me." Deb says hugging her daughter. "I'm sorry it's taken so long." "Does dad know." "No, I haven't told him yet. While I was back in L.A. I've had a lot of time to think, and I wanted to tell you first. I'm going to divorce your father. He doesn't love me." "Mom, go ahead. Dad has changed since coming here. It's like I don't even know him." says Lizzy. "Tim and I are in love, and he wants to be your step dad." Said Deb. "I don't know what to say." says Lizzy, glancing over at Tim. "He looks nice and all, but I don't think he's playing for our team Mom. I mean, do what ever makes you happy, but Mr. Tim seems really happy singing the tunes over there with Mrs. Melani." says Lizzy. Enrique comes into the foyer. "Alright everyone, the memorial service is about to start, everybody please line up by the door so we may proceed to the festivities." "We'll talk about this later." says Deb to Lizzy. Lizzy hugs Deb again. "Will you sit next to me at the service?" Lizzy asks. "Of course I will.", says Deb, as Lizzy and Deb meet up with Tim and Mary by the door along with the rest of the guests.

Michael J. Citak

In the tent, the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays one of Maxwell's pieces. With no vocals, the song is just as eloquent and is a fitting tribute to Maxwell and the legacy he leaves behind. Brian starts off the service by introducing the dignitaries and special guests to the crowd. "Thank you everyone for coming today and for tuning in live around the world as we mourn together and celebrate the life of Maxwell Melani, one of Italy's most beloved Tenors whose life was cut short. The Lieman Estate, myself and the rest of my family share in this loss with each of you and especially with Mary, Maxwell's wife. Mary has become a part of our family and we welcome her to stay with us for as long as she needs, as our home is now her home. Today at our service, dignitaries and special guests have been invited, who all share something in common, their love for music and for Maxwell Melani. His music has touched each of us, and he will live on in our hearts and in our prayers. Please welcome first, my daughter Lizzy, who was inspired by Maxwell to take up singing at a young age, and is now the youngest soprano in her high school's chorus to achieve a perfect score on the national solo acapella level." The crowd claps for Lizzy as she walks from the house into the tent. Brian smiles like a proud father as Lizzy takes seat. Our next guest is no stranger to the spotlight having inspired designers to create wondrous works of art on the hit Bravado show Runway Fashion, and then onto his own show Tim Gun's Guide to Fab-Style which lasted for two seasons. Tim can now be heard on the hit Box show Modern Guy, please welcome our fashion icon Mr. Timothy Gun and his guest." Tim and Deb walk from the house and into the tent, arm in arm, and when Brian sees Deb, the look on his face is udder shock. Trying to keep his composure, he introduces the next guest. Ladies and Gentleman, here as a representation of our collective nation, the Governor of our beloved state of Massachusetts, Deval L. Patrick. Deval enters the tent and takes his seat. Please welcome the patriarch of our family, my mother, Elizabeth Borden II." Enrique wheels Elizabeth in her wheelchair to the front of the stage, next to Lizzy, Deb and Tim. Elizabeth glares at Deb with a stern, stone cold stare. Governor Deval steps up the podium to introduce the next guest. "Firstly, thank you for inviting me to this memorial. I am truly honored. I'm here to introduce our next guest." Deval reads from the cue cards Brian hands him. "She's been by Maxwell's side as a loving wife and partner for more than 30 years, and today she's not alone as we join her in remembering and celebrating her love. Please welcome Mary Melani." The crowd stands up in unison, and gives Mary a standing ovation. Mary enters the tent, and smiles through emotional tears. Half way down the aisle she faints. The symphony goes silent, as Brian and others rush to her aid. During the commotion Elizabeth speaks up. "What are YOU doing here!" She says to Deb, who can feel the daggers of hatred in her voice. "I'm here to spend time with my daughter Lizzy, and to mourn Maxwell." says Deb feeling justified. "You're lucky I don't have your ass thrown out of here for trespassing." Elizabeth says with disdain. "You're lucky you haven't croaked yet." Deb says hoping the words would sting. "Mom, Grandma!" Lizzy says, "Please stop fighting." Lizzy looks at Elizabeth. 'Grams, I want Mom here." Elizabeth sighs and turns to face the orchestra. She sits the rest of the event in silence, ignoring Deb. Tim clutches Debs hand in comfort.

Sally T Pian

I like it. It keeps me reading !

Michael J. Citak

"Mary, Mary!" Brian calls her name, his hand holding hers as the rest of the group looks on. Mary darts her eyes back and forth with her eyelids closed. "She's responding!" Brian exclaims. "Mary, come on Mary, come back to us!" Brian pleads. Mary, whose doing her best Oscar winning performance slowly opens her eyes. "Maxwell!" Mary exclaims while still laying down. "I saw Maxwell. He told me he loved me and that we'd be together, but that I had to come back." Brian helps Mary sit up. "Mary, are you okay?" Brian asks. "Yes, I think so." Said Mary. "Help me up." says Mary. Brian and another guest helps Mary up, as the rest of the guests clap. Mary smiles as shes helped up to stage. Mary stands at the podium. The nation is glued to their tv screens, this real life drama unfolding with each passing minute. The news stations covering the event are outside the tent reporting on Mary's condition. "Wife of Late Italian Tenor Maxwell Melani, Mary has just regained consciousness. It's obvious the stress and the emotions of the day are taking their toll." Said a reporter. Charlie, watching the event on TV at the restaurant back in L.A. where Deb use to work yells to Clara, the other waitress. "Turn it up, I want to hear what this dingbat has to say." Mary addresses the crowd. "Ladies and Gentleman, Dignitaries, friends, and everyone watching across the nation, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for the outpouring of love you have shown me in my time of sorrow. While my husband Maxwell is no longer with us in body, his spirit lives on in each of us, and that makes the burden of not having him by my side bearable to me." Mary begins to cry, her mouth trembling. "These past few years have been a rough ride for me, having to put my emotions on hold and literally act like nothing was happening when we were out in public. You could say my acting career was on fire." Mary laughs a little through her tears. "Now that my love is gone, I can finally come clean, the way it should have been. Maxwell had cancer, so if it wasn't the knife at the hands of Brian, it would have been his own body eventually killing him." Brian is mortified. Mary said the wrong name. Jose killed Maxwell. That's what Mary was suppose to say. Mary continues, unfazed that she messed up the story. Meanwhile Detective Dansforth is watching the TV at the station intently, the gears clicking in place in his mind as the pieces to the puzzle are coming together. "Nobody knew about the cancer besides our doctors, that was how Maxwell wanted it. He loved each of you, his fans, and he wanted to be remembered as the Italian tenor with the thick black hair, not the tenor whose bald and dying." Mary pauses. "I'm sorry my love." Mary says towards the heavens. "I couldn't hold that burden any longer." The symphony sitting in silence takes their cue from the conductor, who taps his music stand. The symphony plays. Brian, still mortified, but holding his composure gets up and comforts Mary, as he helps her to her seat. The symphony continues to play as the pastor comes forth to the podium. "Let us reflect on this day, and remember Maxwell in our own special way. We will no conclude this portion of the memorial, and will rejoin together outside by the tree sculpture, where Governor Patrick will commence the ribbon cutting." Later that day at the police station, Detective Dansforth sits at his desk reviewing the TV coverage of the event. He fast forwards through the tape until he gets to the point to where Mary is talking. He presses play on the remote. "I can finally come clean, the way it should have been. Maxwell had cancer, so if it wasn't the knife at the hands of Brian, it would have been his own body eventually killing him." Eric replays the same part. He sits in silence, his thumb and index finger playing with his lower lip. "I can finally come clean, the way it should have been. Maxwell had cancer, so if it wasn't the knife at the hands of Brian, it would have been his own body eventually killing him." Eric stops the video. Grabs his coat, turns off the TV and leaves the station.

Michael J. Citak

Detective Dansforth arrives at the Lieman Estate, but doesn't pull into the driveway. He's awaiting backup for what is to be the first of hopefully two trips. This trip is to collect the surveillance video of the night that Maxwell was murdered by Jose, and the second trip which Eric feels is a shoe in, is to apprehend the entire group. The chief radios in. "Dansforth, skip the warrant, I looked over the footage we have enough to go on reasonable doubt. The evidence will come out during discovery. Bring them all in." Dansforth wasn't prepared for this, so soon, but with everyone asleep, this was the perfect time to strike, and the chief knew this. Eric sits in his car, the engine idling, with the heat on. In his rear view mirror he sees two cruisers, and a SWAT van. "This is really happening." Eric says to himself. The SWAT van pulls into the driveway first, followed by the cruisers and lastly Eric. The police lights are off, so as not to draw attention to the household. Eric gets out of the car and addresses the group. "Alright, there are three entrances to the mansion. I want SWAT to cover the back and left side, and I'll take the front. Once I enter the front door, I'll assess the situation and then call for backup. We're not taking the entire household, but only the people who were here leading up to when Maxwell was murdered. Mary Melani, Rosey the maid, Brian, Elizabeth, and Lizzy. The rest of the household we can question here and if necessary take them in, and we'll take Enrique when he comes in in the am. More than likely well have to just take the entire house." Eric signals for the team to move into position as he walks up the steps to the front door. Eric rings the door bell and waits. Lizzy looks through the window to the side of the door and then opens the door. "Hello Can I help you?" Lizzy asks. "Yes, Hi, I'm Detective Dansforth, Sorry for coming so late, Can I come in and ask you a few questions, It'l only take a minute?" Lizzy doesn't even hesitate before answering. "Yea, sure." Thanks." says Dansforth as Lizzy opens the door. dansforth walks into the foyer and looks around as Lizzy closes the door. "Lizzy, do you know why I'm here?" Dansforth asks. "Did one of our guests steal something? I don't know." Lizzy says. "I want to ask you about the night Maxwell was murdered. Do do remember that night?" asks Dansforth. "Yes, I was here, I saw..." Lizzy stops mid sentence. "You saw what?" Dansforth asks. By this time Brian has heard the commotion and is walking down the grand staircase. "Can I help you?" Brian asks descending the stairs. "Yes, Mr. Borden, I'm Detective Dansforth. I have a few questions." Brian says, "I'm sorry any questions will have to wait until the morning. Our lawyer handles issues with the police." "Fair enough." Dansforth says. "Move in." Dansforth radios for backup. "Brian, Lizzy, I'm sorry but I have to place you both under arrest." "What!" says Brian. "That's absurd. Under what grounds?" "For the murder of Maxwell Melani. I need to take in the entire house. SWAT is here and is entering the mansion as we speak, and I'm under orders from the Chief to take the entire house into custody." says Dansforth. "Lizzy, don't say another word. Just do as officer Dansforth says." Brian tells his daughter. "Detective Dansforth." Eric corrects him. Dansforth puts Brian and Lizzy in handcuffs as the SWAT Team moves into the house, and makes their way upstairs. "Who is home now?" questions Dansforth. "I'm not answering any questions." said Brian. "Search all the rooms boys, and lets bring them all in." says Dansforth.

Michael J. Citak

---------------Editors note- we're now on Chapter 6----- The Investigation----------------------

James David Sullivan

"I knew we would get indicted!" exclaims Jose!

Sally T Pian

Michael J. C., Keep it coming. I look forward to how the story unfolds.

Michael J. Citak

Thankfully nobody else in the station spoke Spanish, so Jose's remarks went unnoticed, but not for long. With the entire house now in lockup, alongside Jose, whose been moved out of prison and back in the station into a holding cell for the time being while the case is reopened. A FBI officer walks into the station. "Hello, I'm Micaela Rodriguez with the Boston FBI" showing her badge to the deputy at the front counter. "Hello Mica..' the deputy has trouble pronouncing her name. "Just call me Michelle." says Micaela. "Thank you," says the deputy. How can we help you today?" the deputy asks. "I got word that you reopened the Melani case and brought back Jose Rodriguez from the penitentiary." "Yes, that's correct." "This is now an FBI investigation, so I'll need to see all files and speak with the arresting officer before any of this goes any further." "Yes, Michelle, right away." the deputy says while calling Detective Dansforth. "Detective Dansforth please come to the front." Eric walks into the office. "What's up?" "What's up is that I don't know whose the judge you have in your back pocket that you can just bypass all sorts of legalities to bring Mr. Rodriguez back into this building!" says Micaela. "And who are you?" Dansforth asks impolitely, not realizing that Micaela is an FBI agent. "I'm your worst nightmare kid. I'm a Federal Agent, and this ain't my first rodeo, so if you want to ride with me, you better strap on your spurs because that bitch in there, she's a tough one." referring to Elizabeth. Eric is in awe. As Micaela speaks to him, he sees a her as a vision of a female Zorro, back lit by the scorching sun in the wild west. "Are you listening to me Detective?" Micaela asks, snapping Eric out of his euphoric oasis. "Yes, Yes." "Elizabeth Borden II is one of the most toughest SOB's this side of Boston. We've been trying to get something on her ever since she was given the Lieman Estate." "Oh okay." says Eric. "Lets go over to my office so we can talk." Eric shows Micaela to his office. "This is your office?" Micaela looks around at the crappy desk that's falling apart and being held together with scrap metal. "Yea, I was just promoted. We ran out of room and real desks." says Eric. "No, no. this isn't happening." Micaela says swirling her fingers and pointing to the entire space. She pulls the plug of the TV out of the wall along with the DVD recorder, plops the paperwork in Eric's hands, takes the TV and the DVD recorder and proceeds to walk over to the conference room. "Follow me." says Micaela. "Hey sugar tits." Micaela calls out to the deputy at the desk. The deputy, puts his sugar doughnut down on the desk and stands up. "Name calling is not tolerated here." the deputy says offendedly as he stands up and walks towards Micaela and Eric. 'You have sugar on your tits, it's not name calling if it's true. Hold this." Micaela pushes the TV and the DVD recorder into the deputy's hands. Micaela opens the door to the conference room and exclaims, "Now this is an office!"

Sally T Pian

I appreciate the bit of humor. Interesting character Michaela.

James David Sullivan

What about Michaelb and Michaelc? Don't they get any credit? ;-)

Randall Thomasson

Danforth thinks to himself: "Damned Feds! They think their shit don't stink. Must be nice to have an office with marble walls, shag carpet and mahogany furniture. Guess that proves that that's what it takes to make them 'elite' investigators. They must crank out '90 Day Wonders' by the bushel full! Well here's a Bronx Cheer to them all!" Danforth smiles at the investigator.

Michael J. Citak

------anybody else notice that I'm essentially writing Micaela to be the persona that the real Michelle Rodrigues plays in most of all her movies... the bad ass female character. Im also writing her to be Jose's sister.

Michael J. Citak

"You must have a good reason for reopening the case, or else my brother wouldn't be here, so let's get on with it. What do you know."Says Micaela. "Dansforth replies,"Your brother?" "Yes, Did I stutter. I didn't say I liked him." "Yes, yes, Jose. Got it. Well I think he's innocent. I mean I think he didn't kill Maxwell." "Oh now you think he's innocent, and before what you thought he was telling the truth?" "Well yes, I mean..." Dansforth struggles to reexplain himself. "It's fine detective. I've opened and shut cases before, and reopened them. We're human. Let's just bag the real killer this time okay." said Micaela. "I want to interrogate Rosey Barsody." "Fuck Rosey. I want to talk to the asshole." Micaela says. Dansforth looks at Micaela in silence. Micaela looks at Dansforth after a brief silence when she realizes he doesn't know who she means. "Jose. I want to interrogate my brother. The asshole. Keep up." Micaela yells. "Sugar tits!" "The door is closed, he can't hear you." says Dansforth. Micaela opens the conference room door and yells. "Hey Sugar tits. get me Jose." "I have to ask you to stop calling me names." What's your name then Sugar tits... wait, let me guess sprinkles?" "Very funny. It's Elroy." "Wow your parents must have loved you. Is your last name Jetson too because that'd just make my day. Are you getting Jose or not? We don't have space travel here.We can't magically beam him over." Elroy walks away. Dansforth is almost afraid to ask. "Are you always this authoritative and bossy?" Micaela replies, "Yes, does it bother you? Are you afraid of a female being superior to you? Do you need your mother to change your diaper? Man up man. This is how I work. It lures the perps into a false sense of reality. I joke and kid so much that they spill the beans without even knowing it. I close every case." Elroy returns with Jose. Jose sees his sister and tries to resist going into the room. Elroy finally pushes Jose into the room. "Sientense" (Sit) says Micaela to Jose. Elroy takes a seat. Micaela corrects herself, "Elroy get up, Jose, sientense!" Jose sits. "Thank you Mr. Sprinkles. You can go. Micaela closes the door behind Elroy as he leaves the room. She swiftly turns around and stares at Jose without saying a word. A minute goes by. The room is so silent you can hear Jose gulp. Another minute goes by in silence. Dansforth looks at Micaela as she's staring at Jose, her hands on her hips. Another minute goes by, Dansforth turns towards the door and looks out the window. While Dansforth is turned around, Micaela walks up to Jose and slaps him in the face, then goes back to standing with her hands on her hips. Dansforth turns around to investigate the noise. Jose is holding his face, and Micaela is just standing there. After a full three minutes Micaela finally says, "That was for mother. If she was alive she'd slap the shit out of you, so I'm doing it for her. Are you going to tell me the truth or does Madre have to slap you again." Jose looks at Dansforth and then back at his sister. "¿Comprendes mi hermano? (Do you comprehend my brother?) Quiero ver a mi sobrina con el tiempo, así que tienes que estar de pie en sus propios pies ahora y decir la verdad! Yo puedo ayudarte, pero tienes que ayudarme. (I want to see my niece eventually, so you have to stand on your own two feet now and tell the truth! I can help you, but you have to help me.)" In the holding cell Elizabeth and Brian are at their wits end with Deb. "What the hell are you doing here." says Brian. "What am I doing here, what are we doing here." Deb replies. Brian just stares at her. "Why is Lizzy here." Deb is searching for answers. 'Oh shut up already." Elizabeth yells out of frustration. "We're all in this together. Every one of us. Brian, Lizzy, Jose, Rosey, Enrique, Mary, you. They're going to take us in one by one and interrogate us until one of us talks." "What is going on!" Deb questions. Can anybody help me!!!" Micaela hears Deb from the conference room. She opens the door. "Elroy! Take my darling scapegoat back to holding,and bring me that fucking bird." Elroy comes in and takes Jose out. "Whose the bird?" Elroy asks. "Elizabeth, the old bird, come-on do I have to spell everything out." Micaela says shaking her head. Elroy exits and returns with Elizabeth, whose in a wheelchair. Micaela walks over to Elizabeth, stares at her, and then walks behind her, and lifts up the wheelchair, causing Elizabeth to fall to the ground. Dansforth and Elroy look at Micaela in disbelief. Elroy gasps. "If you're going to expel your doughnut breath in our air space you might want to consider peppermint." Micaela exclaims looking over at Elroy. Elroy walks out and closes the door. Elizabeth struggle, 'Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to help me back up." She says towards Dansforth. "Don't help this bitch." Micaela says. 'I'm not talking.' Elizabeth says through clinched teeth. "What's that? I'm sorry I cant hear you over Maxwell's dead body in a trash bag being carried by your son and granddaughter and staff. I'm sorry, did you say you weren't going to talk? You don't need to." Micaela turns to dansforth. "Can you pick her up and seat her down." "Now?" " Yes now, I envisioned this differently. Get your ass up granny." Dansforth helps Elizabeth up off the floor and seats her in the chair. Micaela continues. She slams her hands on the table in front of Elizabeth. "You don't need to because we have enough evidence to convict all of you stupid asses." Elizabeth takes her eyes off of Micaela's hands and stares directly into her face. Elizabeth spits into Micaela's face. "Oh that's rich. That's just one more charge. Assaulting a federal officer. Mark it down detective." Micaela stares at Elizabeth without brushing off the spit. "I don't care what you have or don't have." Elizabeth says. "I've bought people before and I'll buy people again." Micaela's face turns from pleasant to irate in a matter of milliseconds. The spit drips onto the table in-front of Elizabeth. "The last person to spit in my face was Jose, when he took that job with you. And look what you did to him. You scapegoat him to take the fall for Maxwell's death so you can protect your son. Real good that did Lizzy. Real good! Slicing and dicing your way though people is what your family's good at isn't it Borden?" Micaela pauses. "I'm well aware of your legacy, and I'll be damned if I'm going to stand by and watch you take down mi familia, so why don't you do us all a favor and tell us the truth, before you make your family suffer some more for your stupidity. We don't need a public trial. Right here right now. Spill it, before I go through each of those people in there." Micaela gestures to the holding cell on the other side of the conference room. "And maybe I'll tell the judge to go easy on Lizzy. Do you want to see her life ruined before it ever begins. Accomplices to murder, that's going to look really good on those college applications!"

Sally T Pian

Michael J.C. "...Are you going to tell me the truth or does Madre have to slap you again...." is my favorite part in this segment.

Evie Marie Warner

"Like Lizzy can write well enough to fill out a damn college application!" Elizabeth laugh. "All she got is her looks and one wink from her and that judge will swoon all over her! I only wish I had it that easy!"

Michael J. Citak

"She's a songstress, nothing more." said Elizabeth.

Evie Marie Warner

"Well, it doesn't matter what you say this point," Brian shrugs,"Lizzy saved her own neck and sold you ou." "You lying, little-" Elizabeth begins. "True story, missy!" Deb says,"I have her statement right here in this folder. She told us everything." "Pretty good for a young woman who can't write well enough to fill out a college application, don't you think?" Brian asks.

Sally T Pian

keep going, Evie. The readers want to know !

Michael J. Citak

-----editors note--------Deb is Lizzy's mother and all of them are in jail, so Deb wouldn't have a folder containing evidence. So in-order for what Evie wrote to make sense, then Deb would have to be Micaela. -----------------------Revised--------------- The group now all sitting together in the conference room, the family continues to breakdown. "Well, it doesn't matter what you say this point," Brian shrugs,"Lizzy saved her own neck and sold you out." Lizzy darts her eyes towards her father in disbelief. Her grandmother chimes in before Lizzy can open her mouth to defend herself. "You lying, little-" Elizabeth begins to say before getting interrupted by Micaela. "True story, missy!" Micaela says holding a folder containing sworn statements,"I have her statement right here in this folder. She told us everything, and after New Years when the courts are open again, shes going to testify in court to it. Arn't you Lizzy." Lizzy looks up at Micaela. Brian addresses the rest of the group, flabbergasted that his own daughter would do such a thing. "Pretty good for a young woman who can't write well enough to fill out a college application, don't you think?" Brian asks. "Dad, if you were half the parent that Mom was you wouldn't have done what you did, and you would have protected me from all this. And Grandma, I'm ashamed to even be called a Borden. I seriously hope you rot in jail for what you're doing to us. And Mrs Melani, or whoever you are, you have some serious problems, and if you ever get out you should really consider seeing a shrink." Mary speaks up. "I do see a shrink, well at least I did. Dr. Brimm for your information. Before we came out here to see Elizabeth." Deb sits in silence, she senses that there's something fishy about all of this. The door to the conference room opens. The Chief walks in and hands Micaela a paper. She smiles, "I just love when family bonds together." Elizabeth smiles. "Time to go everybody." Lizzy looks at Deb, her eyes fearful. Micaela confirms Elizabeth's thoughts, "She's right, your bonds were approved. If you're not back here and in court after the holiday, believe me the next time you see me I won't be so nice." The group gets up, and Detective Dansforth uncuffs everyone, as they file out the door to prepare to get released. Lizzy says to Deb, 'Mom, I don't feel safe going back home." Deb comforts her daughter, "It's okay Lizzy, Tim will let us stay with him until we have to go to court. And if anything happens Micaela is just a phone call away." Finally back home at the mansion, Elizabeth gets wheeled from the car by Enrique, followed by Brian and Mary. Rosey walks up ahead to get the front door. Jose's bail wasn't approved for the second time, even though now that the case is reopened and there's proof that he's the killer, or so Jose thought. Elizabeth turned the knife a little deeper by not even trying to pay for his release. "If he's going to walk free in a few days, and I'm going to spend the rest of my life behind bars then he can sit in there a little longer.' Elizabeth thought to herself. Detective Dansforth showed up to the mansion along with Lizzy and Deb to get a few belongings for the next few days. Tim and his driver stayed in the car outside with the heat on. The warmth of earlier in the week that melted the snow seemingly gone. The temperatures dropping ten degrees below freezing. Nobody is talking, the house is silent as each of the participants in the murder are left to their own devices. Deb says, "Do you have everything you need hunny." Lizzy replies, "Yes Mom, I'm just taking my tooth brush and a few clothes for now." "After all this is over, I'm sure I'll get full custody of you and we can go back to L.A." "But Mom," Lizzy says, "My life is here now, my boyfriend, music, school." "We'll see what options we have when the time comes." Deb replies as they walk out the door with Detective Dansforth. "Feels like a morgue in there." Dansforth says as they walk towards the cars. Tim opens the rear door for Lizzy and Deb as they get into the Rolls Royce. Tim waves to Dansforth whose already in his car. Tim gets back into the car, and the driver drives off.

Evie Marie Warner

Well, I think honestly, I was getting confused on who was who. I didn't have a lot of time to read the entire thing as carefully as what I should have. I appreciate Michael pointing out my mistake and writing a much more clearer outcome. :)

Michael J. Citak

------------No worries Evie.... I think we need to write a concise outline, of whose who and their connections to each other. This story is quite elaborate.

Michael J. Citak

-----------I'm heavily involved with the story, and have been compiling it on my website as we all add to it, so i have a pretty clear understanding of whose who. Just had an Idea... if somebody wants to sift through the story so far on my website... and write a log of all the characters.... that might help us. then send to me.

Sally T Pian

Michael J. C. I am glad you are keeping things organized. which website to see the whole story ?

Michael J. Citak

the entire story so far is on www.rusocial.net although the story cannot be seen on mobile yet. I'm working on it though.

Sally T Pian

Thank you - that's a big help.

Michael J. Citak

Tim and Deb decided once Deb and Tim were released that they'd stay away from the mansion for the time being. The betrayal inside that house too much to bare. Detective Dansforth felt it was safer for Lizzy to be with Deb as well, since she was one of the key witnesses and was cooperating with the investigation into the death of Maxwell Melani. "It will your testimony that will bring down this ring of destruction. said Dansforth to Lizzy. With the court date just a few days away, Deb has some time to think, and calls up Dansforth to discuss her thoughts on Dr. Brimm and how he's involved in this case.

Michael J. Citak

"Can I speak to Detective Dansforth" Deb says into the phone. "May I ask whose calling?" Replies Elroy. "Deborah Borden", Deb says. "Yes Ms. Borden one moment, I'll connect you." Elroy says, as he hangs up the phone and connects the line to Detective Dansforth. "This is Dansforth. Whose calling?" "Hi, this is Deborah Borden." "Oh hi Deborah, what can I do for you?" Dansforth asks. "I have some important news that might help your case against my mother-in-law and my husband."says Deb. Dansforth goes silent. "Hello?"Deb questions. "Sorry, I'm here. I have to notify Micaela. Give me one second. Wait, Can you come down to the station and give a statement. It'd be easier for us." Says Dansforth. "Yes I can do that, I'll come now." Says Deb. "Oh, good" says Dansforth, "I'll have Micaela meet us here. Thank you for your help in this." "No problem. I hope Elizabeth and Brian get what's coming to them." Says Deb. "The evidence is mounting so we'll see. I'll see you in an hour or so?" Dansforth questions. "I can be there in a half hour." Says Deb. "That works, see you then." Says Dansforth. Tim drops off Deb at the station. Deb gives Tim a kiss on the cheek. "You're doing the right thing." Says Tim. Deb nods, "I know," says Deb, "I'm just scared." Deb enters the station. Elroy greets Deb at the door. "Hello Deborah, Detective Dansforth is expecting you. You can go right in." Micaela and Eric are sitting at the conference table when Deb walks in. "Come on in and have a seat Deb," says Micaela calmly. Deb sits at the table. A piece of paper is in front of Deb at the table. "Before you write down your statement, lets talk." Micaela starts off. "I'm surprised that you're helping in this manner. While I can't advise you not to testify against your husband, you have the option to request not to." "No, I want to. I'll be divorcing Brian soon anyways, so there's nothing that I'm going to say that will hurt our marriage anymore that what has already transpired." Says Deb. "So, going forward, just so you know, this conversation is going to be recorded, if you agree to the recording please state your name, the date, and that you accept." Micaela says. "My name is Deborah Borden, it is Thursday, January 2nd, 2013, and I accept to be recorded." "This is FBI agent Micaela Rodriguez, and with me is Detective Eric Dansforth of the Waltham Mass police Department. Okay Deborah, you may go ahead." "Back in Los Angeles I see a shrink as part of my custody battle for Lizzy. His name is Dr. Benjamin Brimm. Mary, Maxwell's widow also saw Brimm. Having talked with Brimm extensively and after hearing Mary discuss her acting aspirations and such, I have reason to believe that Dr. Brimm may be partially responsible for Maxwell's death to further is screenwriting business." "I'm not following." Questions Micaela, "can you explain?" "I don't know why I decided to come here to Massachusetts to see Lizzy. The only thing I know is that I was at my appointment with Brimm and before I know it he had already hypnotized me, and the next thing I knew I was at the airport mesmerized and on a plane to see Lizzy." "So you think Dr. Brimm suggested to Mary to have her husband killed, and to have you go to Mass to see your daughter and estranged husband?" Questions Dansforth. "You're right Eric," says Micaela. "Thank you Deborah. We'll look into Dr. Brimm. If we can prove that he has a hand in this then we can prove that Elizabeth truly is the mastermind behind it all, and Brian, Enrique and the rest of you are all just caught in the middle of it." Says Micaela. "Dansforth, I want Brimm's phone records, and his tapes of Deb's and Mary's sessions. Deb, if you can write down what you just told us, I think we'll be good." Says Micaela.

Michael J. Citak

Micaela's assumptions are usually right, she helped bring down a high powered patent attorney in 2010 who swindled millions from desperate inventors eager to part with their hard earned money for help in dealing with the hundreds of papers needed to file a patent correctly. Had it not been for Micaela's gut instinct and slick undercover work as a would be inventor, the attorney's wrong doings would have gone unknown, but thanks to Micaela, the circuit court of Boston awarded every inventor the attorney wronged their money back plus damages totaling in the tens of thousands, and that attorney is now thrown off the bar and will probably be flipping burgers after he gets out of prison in 25 years or so. "I want this bitch to fry." Micaela says to Dansforth while she's on hold with the L.A.P.D. The chief answers after a brief moment. "Hello, thank you for holding, this is Chief Hernandez, how can I help you?" "Hello, Chief Hernandez, this is FBI agent Micaela Rodriguez, I'm investigating the murder of Maxwell Melani over here in Massachusetts, and I need your help." "Sure thing, what can we do for you?" says Chief Hernandez. "One of your citizens, Dr. Benjamin Brimm, he's a psychologist, we're in need of obtaining a warrant to confiscate tapes for two of his clients. Can you help with that?" "Yes, just forward me any info I need, and I can have my men work on it. If everything is in order, we can have the tapes over to you in a few days." "Excellent, I'll fax over the paperwork. Thank you." says Micaela. "No problem Micaela, have a great day." says the Chief as he hangs up the phone. Micaela and Dansforth work together to get the paperwork together and then Dansforth drops the paperwork off with Elroy who takes care of faxing them to L.A. A few days pass. Dansforth answers the phone in the conference room. "Hello?" The person on the other end of the phone is breathing heavy, but isn't talking. "Hello? This is Detective Dansforth, can I help you?" More heavy breaths from the person on the other end. Dansforth listens, puts the phone on mute, and attaches the recording device to the phone. "Elroy, we need a call traced. I'm going to stay on the line, see if you can get a trace on where its coming from. Dansforth un-mutes the phone. "Do you need help?" Unbeknownst to Dansforth, Benjamin Brimm is sitting in his office in L.A. with a barrel of a handgun in his mouth. The office is a mess with papers all over the floor and the door leading into the waiting room is open. Benjamin continues to breath heavy. A few seconds go by, Dansforth can be heard through the phone. "Benjamin is that you? We have your phone traced, we know it's you. What's the matter? Is everything okay?" Benjamin is trembling as he utters the words, "I'm sorry." Dansforth listens intently with his ear to the phone. A loud piercing gunshot is heard though the phone. Dansforth puts his hand over his mouth as he hears Benjamin's body slump to the floor. The phone goes silent. Dansforth hangs up and calls up the L.A. police's direct extension to the chief. "Hello?" "This is Detective Dansforth with the Waltham police department in Massachusetts. "Dansforth, how are you? My officers just left Benjamin's office. How can I help you?" the chief says. "Benjamin just killed himself." says Dansforth. "What! You're kidding me" says the chief. "I wish I was Chief, he called up the station here and was breathing heavy, then I heard a a gunshot and then silence. Have you officers swing back and check it out. If this is true, then I think we have something in those tapes worth looking at." says Dansforth. A few hours pass. Dansforth receives a phone call. "Hello?" "Dansforth, this is Chief Wiggin, at L.A.P.D." "What's the news. Did he kill himself?" asks Dansforth. The chief is standing in the waiting room of Dr. Brimm's office. "Worse than that, before he killed himself, he shot up the entire office, killing his receptionist and two patients before turning the gun on himself. It's bad, really bad. I'm here now." says Chief Wiggin. "Damn!" says Dansforth. "We'll be FedEx'ing the tapes over to you tonight. You should have them tomorrow afternoon." says the chief. "I have to go, we have a mess over here." The chief says. Through the phone Dansforth hears, "Get this place cleaned up boys, and call the morgue." Dansforth hangs up and calls Micaela. "Hello?" "Hi Micaela, it's Dansforth." "What can I do for you detective?" "Brimm killed himself and shot up his entire office before doing it. We'll have the tapes tomorrow." "I'm not surprised. Guys like him do that all the time. When the going gets tough, they check out in a blazing glory." says Micaela. "I'll see you tomorrow." says Dansforth as he hangs up the phone shaking his head is disappointment.

Sally T Pian

The plot thickens ...

Michael J. Citak

The next day at the station, FedEx arrives as Micaela is pouring herself a cup of coffee. "It's about time." Micaela says to the delivery driver. She walks over to the driver whose at the front desk with Elroy. "Hold this." Micaela says to the driver, handing him her coffee mug so she can sign for the package. The driver reluctantly takes the mug from Micaela, his eyes showing his distaste for her. " Micaela rips the electronic signing machine out of the drivers hands, scribbles her name, and then gives the machine back to the driver. Micaela take her coffee back as well as the package and walks off towards the conference room. The driver stares at her and then at Elroy. "You looked at her didn't you?" questions Elroy. "Never look Medusa in the eyes." he says shaking his head. The driver walks out of the station. In the conference room, Micaela opens the package as Dansforth sits patiently, the tape recorder in front of him. The package contains Dr. Brimm's notes as well as the tapes from Deb and Mary's numerous sessions. "Put this in." Micaela orders Dansforth as she slides a tape across the desk. Dansforth puts the tape into the machine and presses play. Dr Brimm's voice is heard. "You're having anxiety, that's a normal reaction to the stress.' says Brimm, "Do you feel as if your life would be less stressful if Maxwell wasn't famous?" questions Brimm. Mary replies, "I love sharing the spotlight with my husband, but I just wish he would just let me be his love interest in the music videos instead of that little hussy he always casts." "Maybe it's not your husband who has the final decision" says Brimm. "Oh I know for certain he does. I see the way he looks at her." Mary replies. "I see," says Dr. Brimm. "Tell me, how would you feel if your husband died?" Brimm asks. "I'd feel relieved, and saddened." Says Mary. "Interesting." Dr. Brimm says. Micaela stops the tape. "What Doctor says something like that!" "One whose fishing." Says Dansforth. "Fishing for a story is more like it." says Micaela. "I had my team dig a little on Dr. Brimm, and besides a PhD in psychology, Benjamin also has a few screenplays to his credit." says Micaela. "Are the screenplays based on fact or fiction?" asks Dansforth. 'Fiction," says Micaela, but you can tell after watching the movies that these works of fiction are too close to the truth to be fabricated. It's like he's lifting the ideas straight from his clients." "Well, since Benjamin went off and killed himself, why don't we confiscate his computer and see if there's a link." says Dansforth. Micaela slams her fist on the table, startling Dansforth. "Now you're thinking like an agent." says Micaela. "You work on that."

Michael J. Citak

-----Editors note---- were now at Chapter 7- The Case

Michael J. Citak

Outside the court room reporters keep the public abreast. "The jury are making their way to their seats, and we'll bring you inside in just a few minutes for the start of this historic and horrific case. The Melani Seven have all showed up except one, leaving this reporter to speculate..." the reporter sees a car pull up to the courthouse steps, "Wait a minute, Mary Melani, the now former wife of Maxwell and murder suspect is just arriving." Mary steps out of the Rolls Royce as Tim, her lawyer walks down the steps to greet her. "What are you doing!" Tim asks Mary with a tight lip so as not to be heard by the reporter, who has since had the camera man turn to catch the action. "Making an entrance!" Mary says to Tim giving his cheek a light tap with her gloved fingers. A brash reporter tries to ask Mary a question. "Mary, do you have any regrets?" Tim motions Mary not to reply, but she's drawn to the camera like a mosquito to a bulb. "Regrets are for the less fortunate, darling." says Mary wishing she hadn't said that for fear of coming off too bitchy, "I'm merely living life and pursuing happiness." The quick witted reporter responds, "Do you hold these truths to be self- evident or are you morally contradicting your heart, I mean you're being accused of essentially murdering your husband for money? You must at least have some regrets." Tim realizing that Mary has backed herself into a metaphysical debate steps in and gently grabs Mary by the arm, "No further questions." They walk up the steps and enter the court house. The reporter continues, "Day one is finally underway and regrets or not, this plot reads like a story right out of Hollywood, corruption, greed, dysfunctional families and betrayal are all tell tale signs that money will be the root of all evil. Can the Melani Seven overcome the mountains of evidence to prevail, or will Judge Mathews throw the book at this degenerate clan. Stay tuned as we bring you live coverage from inside the court room." Meanwhile inside the court room, Elizabeth, Lizzy, Brian, Jose, Rosey, and Enrique are sitting anxious, wondering where Tim went off to. Tim was gracious enough to offer his services for the entire group probono on behalf of Deb who asked if he could do this to help Lizzy. The double doors swing open as the court room livens up with chatter. Mary and Tim walk down the aisle towards the defendants table. Mary proceeds to take her gloves off as she walks, her mink coat drapes off one arm. "Order, Order!" Judge Mathews says to the crowd. "Just because I'm allowing media cameras into my court room doesn't mean I want this to degrade to a children's recital." The room quiets down. Judge Mathews addresses the elephant in the room. "Miss Melani, if this is how you plan on addressing the matter, as an excuse to parade your ass into my court room, we can skip the trial and I can just hold you in contempt. If this trial is to continue I expect that you and the rest of your cohorts adhere to the schedule. Do not take lightly the seriousness of your actions, my amnesia is perfectly cleared up and I remember quite well now." Tim opens the gate for Mary, who is now showing signs of remorse. She sits next to Brian. Deb sits nervously behind the defendants table, while her testimony isn't scheduled for today, just the thought of her daughter possibly going to prison for her participation in the crime is cause for her motherly concern. The Prosecutor, Martha Cockley, the Massachusetts Attorney General pushes her seat back and stands up to address the jury.

Michael J. Citak

Brian sits nervously having recollected his and Enrique's past encounters with Judge Mathews. The scars of the accident hidden under the Judge's robe, but not the memories. Those all came back, and with a vengeance. Although nobody will attest to the issues between the accused and the Judge, as that will only play out if need be. Tim was a smart lawyer, and he assured Deb that Lizzy was in good hands. "Not much can be said for the others," Tim candidly said to Deb that morning when he agreed to represent them. "They made their beds and now they're going to lie in it." Martha walks up to the jury box, "Ladies and Gentleman, like honorable Judge Mathews just said, don't take lightly the seriousness of your actions, the people you see before you, they're not innocent, but they each had a hand in how the story played out. The commonwealth of Massachusetts along with the rest of the world are still mourning the loss of Mr. Melani. His breaths of baritonic melody snuffed out because of greed. We intend to prove that each one of these individuals not only acted as a unit, but are arguing that they should be treated as one as well, which is why they are all here today. Judge Mathews has given us this opportunity to set the bar. This case is unprecedented. Seven people accused, one more killed himself and his patients because he didn't want to face the wrath that was coming." Martha points to the group. "Their actions are serious, and the consequences should be severe. The constitution was founded on the principals of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, and even though Mr. Melani wasn't a citizen of our great nation, the truths that we find self-evident are the same universal truths that we should expect to be granted." Martha pauses and lets the sentiment of the statement set in. She speaks again slowly, emphasizing each word, resting her hand on the jury box railing, "Life, Liberty," Martha articulates "The pursuit of Happiness, Mr. Melani was robbed of all of that by these people sitting before you today. Let your words speak louder than their actions and help me by bringing closure to the legacy of Maxwell Melani. Thank you." Martha returns to her seat, as Tim gets up and re-buttons his suit jacket.

Michael J. Citak

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Tim chuckles to himself, " It's funny because this is the second time today that I heard that argument." Tim walks up to the Jury Box, and addresses each member of the Jury as he talks. "Happiness is what Jose wanted. Jose's the man who was arrested and put in jail for the murder of Maxwell Melani. His name splashed across the world as the cold hard killer. He was innocent of the crime, and yet he plead guilty. The corruption was only exposed when my clients made remarks that contradicted our reality. Make no mistake about it, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the world have a right to be angry. They were used. You were used. I can't take back what my clients did, or what they said, but I can offer them to tell you in their words what happened, some of them are innocent, and some of them are guilty. I know it, you know it, and they know it. The outcome of this trial isn't going to bring Mr. Melani back, but the longer we wait, the more his legacy is tarnished. I set out to prove to each of you that what Mary did, she did out of love. Elizabeth, the patriarch of the Lieman estate, yea she's a cold hard old woman, but it was her life and her liberty to her family that spoiled her happiness. Rosey Barsody and Enrique were just doing what they were told. Hired goons. Lizzy, poor Lizzy. Taken from her mother, to be brought across the country by her father who himself refers to her as a meal ticket, is guilty. We know he is, but we plan to prove that his guilt was accidental. So you see, the parade of emotions before you, isn't just for jest, the calculated plan of one shouldn't be the downfall of the many. Happiness can be obtained for these individuals, and I hope that each of you can give it to them." Tim sits down at the table. Brian and Elizabeth glare at him with hatred in their eyes. Tim had seemingly just twisted the truth to the point of literally saying that they were all guilty, and painting them as a dysfunctional clan with Lizzy as the sheep among the wolves.

Sally T Pian

On your earlier posting, "...she's drawn to the camera like a mosquito to a bulb. " creates such a great image. I love reading that, especially in the warmth of winter in New England.

Michael J. Citak

thanks sally. I was trying to capture her essence, the childlike naiveness, yet evil bug that just wants to sting you and move on..

MJ Brewer

... past and future intertwined in a being with capabilities she was still trying to decipher."

Michael J. Citak

Judge Mathews says, "Alright, Who does the Commonwealth call as your first witness?" Martha stands up from her seat, "Your Honor, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts calls Detective Eric Dansforth to the stand." "Alright, Detective Dansforth" says the Judge. Dansforth leaves his seat and steps up to the witness stand, takes a seat. Martha walks from behind her table and addresses Dansforth, "Would you state your name for the record, please sir." Dansforth answers, clearing his throat, "Eric Dansforth, Waltham Massachusetts county police detective." Martha continues, "And Detective Dansforth, how long have you served Waltham as a detective?" Dansforth answers, "I graduated from the academy in May earlier this year, and took the position of officer not too long after that." Martha tries to get Eric to clarify for the court, "When did you become detective?" "Oh, I was promoted early December." 'Thank you." says Martha. "Detective Dansforth, do you recognize this house." Martha holds up a picture of the Lieman Estate. "Yes, that's the Lieman Estate." says Dansforth. "The Lieman Estate owned by Elizabeth Borden as seen here in this picture." says Martha. "Yes, that's the one." says Dansforth. "The Commonwealth submits this picture into evidence." Martha reiterates for the court. "The Commonwealth would like to enter exhibit B, Detective do you recognize this document." Martha places the paper in front of Dansforth. Eric recognizes his handwriting. "Yes, this is my police report." says Eric. "Can you read the highlighted parts for the court." Martha requests. Dansforth reads the parts aloud. "December, 10th, at 2pm, I, Detective Dansforth responded to a medical emergency alert at the Lieman Estate to check on Elizabeth who had initiated the distress call from her necklace. Upon entering the estate, I smelled a foul odor, but dismissed it as human gas. Elizabeth was sitting in the foyer when I arrived, and seemed in good spirits. I questioned her about her condition, and then left." Martha stops Dansforth. "That's enough Mr. Dansforth, thank you. Can you point out to the court who you spoke to on December 10th. Is Elizabeth is this room?" Martha questions. Dansforth points to Lizzy. Martha looks on. "Miss can you stand up?" Martha asks of Lizzy, whose sitting next to Brian at the defendants table. Lizzy stands. "Is this girl the woman you spoke to on December 10th?" Martha asks Eric. "Yes, that is Elizabeth." Dansforth says. "Are you aware that Eizabeth doesn't have an emergency medical signaling device." "Objection, Tim says in defiance. "On what grounds?" questions the Judge. "Where is this line of questioning going?" Tim questions. "He has a point Counselor, make your argument." Judge Mathews says. "Sorry your Honor," says Martha as she recollects her thoughts. "Detective Dansforth, could it be possible that on December 10th you mistaken Lizzy for her grandmother Elizabeth who does have an emergency medical signaling device?" "Yes, that's possible." Says Dansforth. "And can you now read the rest of the highlighted portions of your report." says Martha. Dansforth looks back down at his paper. "Later that night at aprox 10:50pm, eastern standard time I return to the Lieman Estate and witness through binoculars what looks like four shadows carrying a heavy black trash bag out of the front door. A fifth person visibly stumbling, kicks the bag before going back inside the house. The remaining four people hoist the bag into the estates trash compactor. I then see one of the men look around suspiciously before entering the house." "Thank you Detective, no further questions." says Martha as she takes the paper from Dansforth and gives it to the Judge. Martha sits down. Tim stands, ready to cross examine the detective.

Michael J. Citak

"Detective Dansforth, you can't be for certain that who you saw that night were my clients can you?" Tim asks, trying to discredit Eric's testimony. "That's correct." says Eric. "So by your testimony, the four people you saw could have easily been anyone from the house." says Tim, confidently. "That's correct." says Eric. "No further questions." Tim said as he takes his seat. "Detective Dansforth, you may step down." says Judge Mathews. "Counsel, you may call your next witness." Martha looks at her witness list. 'Your honor, I call Deborah Borden to the stand.” Deborah knowing that she was on the witness list, was still shocked to hear her name called. She stands and walks up to the witness booth. The jury stare on in silence. "Can you state your name for the record." Martha asks. "My name is Deborah Borden." "And where do you reside Miss Borden?" "I reside in Los Angeles, and had been visiting my daughter Lizzy here in Waltham.” says Deb. "Thank you Deborah. Can you recall the last day your daughter Lizzy called you?" Martha asks. Deb is silent, her eyes searching for what to say. "Let me remind you you're under oath Deborah." says Martha. Deb glances over at Lizzy, who smiles back at her mom, and nods in acceptance. Deb speaks. "I remember Lizzy calling me out of the blue. I hadn't spoke to her or seen her since Brian, my husband took her here to Waltham after our custody hearing with Judge Mathews." says Deb, having a case of word vomit. Tim stands up. "Objection." "What is it Counsel?" Judge Mathews questions. "With your prior involvement with my clients and the complexities of this case, I'm asking that your honor steps down and lets an unbiased Judge oversee this case, so as not to be a conflict of interests." Judge Mathews responds, "Counselor while I admire your candor, I will not step down from this case. My involvement with the prior proceedings will not have any bearing on this case, as it will be the jury who decides their fate. So sit down." Tim relinquishes and sits, as Martha continues. "Deborah, can you recall what your daughter said to you on the phone?" "No, I'm sorry I don't remember." says Deb. The nerves of the day causing acute memory impairment. "I understand this may be hard for you Deborah, but it's important for you to remember, for your daughter." says Martha, trying to pull at the emotional strings of Debs heart.

Sally T Pian

Michael C.J., I think you meant to type "Martha" instead of "Marsha", right ?

Michael J. Citak

yep i did... thank you sally for catching that!!

Michael J. Citak

"I'm sorry" says Deborah, "I don't recall." Martha says, "I have no further questions your honor. "Counsel, would you like to cross examine?" Judge Mathews asks Tim. Tim stands up, "No your Honor, not at this time." "Deborah you may step down." the Judge says to Deb. "Martha you may call your next witness." "Your Honor, instead of calling a witness, I'd like to play a video that we obtained this morning." says Martha. "Objection!" yells Tim. "The Defense hasn't been told of any video, and has had no time to prepare." "Over-ruled" says Judge Mathews, "Continue counselor." Martha puts a VHS tape into the tape deck of the VCR, and presses play on the remote. "The video you're seeing is a compilation of home surveillance tapes, confiscated from the trash at the Lieman House. They've been spliced together by my team. You'll see here that Brian Borden enters the coat check room shortly before Mr. Melani. You can clearly see Brian stab Mr. Melani in the back as he's seen reaching for his coat. In another tape, spliced here, you can see Mary, Maxwell's wife talking to Enrique, "What's your problem? I said what I was told to." Enrique replies. "No, you idiot, there is no video." Mrs. Melani says. "This asshole killed my husband, and we're covering it up, and your blabbing of a video and that the police have it is going to cast suspicion on all of us!" "What is going on here, and why am I just being told of this." Enrique asks. "This is why we gave you the weekend off, Enrique. We needed your talk to be authentic, and you went ahead and ad-libbed." Mrs. Melani said, "Oh don't look so surprised. You and I both know this mansion needed money." Martha stops the tape. Tim's head hangs low in his hands, his elbows resting on the table. Mary, Elizabeth and Brian sit facing forward, emotionless, as Lizzy, Rosey and Enrique's eyes swell up in tears. "Your Honor, based on the video evidence, I motion for verdict." says Martha. Tim is flabbergasted, unaware that the mansion even had surveillance and dumbfounded that Elizabeth would have the gall to try and throw it out, knowing that the house was under investigation. "Jury? Are you ready to discuss?" Judge Mathews asks. "Your Honor?" Tim questions, knowing that he's dangerously out of turn and possibly skirting on contempt. "What Timothy?" Judge Mathews says annoyed, having been interrupted. "My clients would like to enter a plea now in favor of a jury decision, if you and the Commonwealth are inclined." Tim says, knowing that it's a long shot. Judge Mathews ponders the thought. "Both of you approach." Judge Mathews says to Martha and Tim. Judge Mathews speaks quietly, "If we go ahead with this plea, I will rule as I see fit, and we will not have the jury deliberate. There will be no appeal, and my decisions are final. Do I make myself clear?" Martha speaks, "I have reservations about this, but the Commonwealth will ascertain the idea given that certain thresholds are met." "Agreed." says Tim. "Okay" says Judge Mathews, "Go back to your tables." Tim and Martha retreat to their respective tables. "Ladies and Gentleman, Jurors, thank you for your service, you are no longer needed. The defendants have waived their right to a trial by jury in favor of my sole decision." says Judge Mathews. "The remainder of this trial will be defendants pleas, and I will rule right after." The jury are escorted out of the court room. "Let's get on with it." says Judge Mathews. Enrique stands up. "Your Honor, My name is Enrique, I am the General manager of the Lieman Estate, and I am sorry for what has happened. As per my involvement, I was merely coming to work that day and was roped into the whole thing. I plead guilty to assisting in disposing of the body of Mr. Melani." "Mr. Enrique, I appreciate your candor, and I find you guilty of conspiracy to murder, and punish you to 5 years in prison." says Judge Mathews, as he strikes his hammer. "Take him away." Guards come and escort Enrique away. "Next." says Mathews. Rosey stands. "My name is Rosey Barsody, I work as the maid for the mansion, and I too was an accomplice to murder. I helped carry the bag of Mr. Melani to the trash, and then cleaned up the rug. Elizabeth made me do it. I was just doing what I was told." Rosey says through tears, her hands trembling." "Rosey Barsody, I find you not guilty of conspiracy to murder, however I am sentencing you to 5 years of probation with stipulations. You may sit down. Next!" Lizzy stands. "Hello your Honor. My name is Elizabeth, I'm 16 years old and I was following orders from my dad." Judge Mathews puts his hand up to stop Lizzy. "Elizabeth, I'm going to rule on two things today. First, I find you guilty of being a respectful daughter to your father and obeying his wishes. I find you guilty of not following your moral instincts, and I am sorry for putting you in his custody. You are hereby released from your fathers custody and I grant full custody to your mother. For your crimes, I hereby sentence you to five years probation with conditions. You may sit down." Lizzy is shocked, as is Deb. Brian stands up. "Your Honor, my name is Brian Borden, and I murdered Mr. Melani, my Mother told me to do it, as our family needed money to keep the mansion." Judge Mathews is fuming inside but keeps his composure. The accident and amnesia suffered by Mathews was caused by his past altercation with Brian and Enrique. "Brian Borden, I sentence you to life in prison with no parole. You are 45 years old and should have known not to listen to your mother when she told you to murder a stranger. For your stupidity and lack of humanity your punishment is deserved and fitting. Guards take him away." Brian puts up a fuss as he's being taken away and ends up getting tazzered by the officer. He is put into handcuffs and is escorted out. The news cameras capture the entire incident. "Miss Borden, you're next." says Judge Mathews. "How do you plead?" Elizabeth, who cannot stand due to her illness, speaks up from her wheelchair. "Your Honor, you're a heartless prick and I hope you rot in hell for what you're doing." Judge Mathews smiles. "Elizabeth Borden II, among the slew of charges against you, based on the certifiable evidence, and sworn testimony of your own family, you are hereby sentenced to life in prison." "Why don't you just kill me you prick." Elizabeth says in defiance. "Have it your way." says the Judge. "Elizabeth Borden II, you are hereby ordered to death for the orchestration and murder of Maxwell Melani." Elizabeth doesn't flinch or bat an eye at the Judges remarks, she sits in her wheelchair sternly. "Take her away." Judge Mathews orders to the guard. Mary stands up, tears roll down her face. "Save the act Miss Melani." Judge Mathews says. "You are here by found guilty by admission and are sentenced to 50 years in prison for the conspiring to murder of your husband." Mary breaks down for real and cries, as the guard takes her away as well. "Where's Jose?" Judge Mathews says to Martha. "He's sitting in the holding cell currently your Honor." says Martha. The guard returns to the court room as the Judge speaks. "Get me Jose." The guard leaves and returns with Jose. "Jose, I hereby grant your freedom. While I find you guilty of conspiracy to cover up murder, your sentence is for time served, however you must undergo counseling and are on probation for 5 years with conditions." Jose presses his cuffed hands together in prayer and thanks Judge Mathews. Mathews strikes his hammer down. "Case closed. Thank you all for coming." Deborah and Tim are still in shock over the sudden turn of events. Tim turns to Deb, "You wanna?" Deb says, "Yes." Tim speaks up to the Judge. "Your Honor, if I may have a moment of your time. I know this is unorthodox, but the entire day has been a wild ride, so this is just a fitting end." “Spit it out counselor!" says the judge. "Can you bring Brian back in here? Deb and I would like to get married, but to do so Deb needs to divorce Brian." "Guard, bring Brian back in here.” The guard leaves the court room and returns with Brian, in handcuffs. 'Brian," Judge Mathews asks, "do you love Debora?" Brian doesn't hesitate. "No." Judge Mathews responds. "By the power vested in my by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I hereby grant your divorce. You are no longer bound by marriage, and my rot in prison alone. Take him away." The crowd in the court room cheers. "Order in the court! We're not done. Deborah please step forward.” Deb stands up and walks forward into the defendants area. Lizzy stands up and hugs her mom, then holds her hand as she brings her to Tim, who is standing in front of the table. Judge Mathews continues. "Deborah Borden, do you take Timothy Gun to be your lofty wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward?" "I do" "And do you Timothy Gun..." Judge Mathews doesn't get to finish his sentence, as Timothy turns to Deb and gives her a huge kiss. "That works for me!" says Judge Mathews, "By the power vested in me by the bar association of America and by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I hereby name you Deborah and you Timothy husband and wife, you may continue kissing the bride." The entire court room including the judge clap as the news cameras turn off. In the blackness, Deb talks, "Surreal is the only word I can use to describe it. It's been two years since the craziness. My life with Tim hasn't been perfect but we have Lizzy, and with Brian in jail, and Elizabeth put to death, the scars of that emotional time in our lives are finally starting to heal. Deb and Tim watch as Lizzy crosses the stage at her high school graduation. "We ended up staying here in Waltham so Lizzy could finish school, And when we read Elizabeth's will, we were given the surprise of our lives. "It's mine!" Deb exclaims, looking up from the document at the lawyers office. Tim says, "What's Yours?" "The Estate!" says Deb, referring to the Lieman Estate. "That bitch gave it to Me." Deb pauses, "I thought she hated me." Tim replies, "She does hate you, the land is in foreclosure, and she owes back taxes in the millions." Deb undeterred smiles at Tim, "Well then I guess we'll just have to write our story and make a movie. Nobody would believe it anyways!" says Deb. Tim takes the paper out of Debs hand, turns it over and writes in big letters, 'Anything Goes' by Tim & Deborah Gun."

Michael J. Citak

--------the end----------------

Michael J. Citak

--------Editors note--------- Thanks everybody for sharing in this amazing journey. It started with a simple thought- 'Who feels creative" and in two months we've taken this story from start to finish. I'm now just finishing up a rough edit of the story, and will then send it to another editor to do one final proof. I'm planning on self-publishing the story for us, unless one of us knows of a publisher who'd want our story. It's been a heck of a ride, and we should all be proud of what we accomplished!

Sally T Pian

Michael, I can check your "whose" (who's) and "its" (it's) type of error.

Michael E. Wilson (Hawke Eye)

I am creative, but sometimes I get this feeling that I want to compose at that moment and I resist. Got to let if fly most days!

Randall Thomasson

Michael, you are the one who pretty much took the bull by the horns on this one. I am looking froward to reading the final draft. :^)

Antonia Jones-Hackley

I agree.

Michael J. Citak

thank you Randall & Antonia! I had a blast writing as much as I did. Once i get on a roll, the dialogue just flows!

Randall Thomasson

You are welcome and it really was amazing to see you work. :^)

Antonia Jones-Hackley

Encouragement and Dedication! Don't think you didn't have something to teach because you did.

Antonia Jones-Hackley

And Deborah, Thank You for helping some of us come out of our shells.

Randall Thomasson

:^)

Michael J. Citak

feeling inspired today! how about you?

Sally T Pian

Mike J. C. are you writing a new story ?

Michael J. Citak

well, i was working on the novel version of my screenplay 'Love's a Killer'. The screenplay can be read on my profile if you're interested in checking it out.

Michael J. Citak

how's everybody doing this week!? Hope you have all been creative.. this is what I've been up to... editing a teaser trailer that Ill use for crowdfunding. http://youtu.be/Xt3G6eWeVR0 What do you think of it?

Randall Thomasson

Looks very interesting. :^) Do you have a link to 'Anything Goes?' I'd like to read it in its full content. Thanks. We are still sending out query letters by the bushel full for our story. Lots of nibbles but no takers yet. :^)

Sally T Pian

"Love's a Killer" seems a bit too scary for my taste. I like ABC's "Castle" because of the romance and people angle. The university setting of your story should attract many young viewers.

Michael J. Citak

Yes randall... the full story is on my website www.rusocial.net, i can send you the rough draft if you want.

Michael J. Citak

In case anybody was wondering about the story- im working on getting the Anything Goes story self published.

Randall Thomasson

Thanks, Michael. Keep me posted. I'm still thinking about 'The Trial Of God.' :^)

Michael J. Citak

I had sent the story to a publisher for consideration but it was turned down cause it didn't fit their style... Although they said they'd be surprised if it isn't picked up soon.. The way I see it.. I'd rather jut self publish... That way I can design the cover and layout the story as needed. . For awhile It seems I was in a creative funk, and depressed... But now I feel energized again..

Michael J. Citak

Flesh it out Randal.. If we could create "anything goes" I don't see how we couldn't colab on the "Trial of God"... I had fun writing the court scene in AG... Who knows

Randall Thomasson

That's a great idea, Michael. I haven't put much thought into it except for maybe the beginning where the parallel universes come together to begin the trial. '12 Angry Universes?' :^) I've just been busy with my girlfriend on a script trying to get it out to producers via IMDBPRO and Inktip. Maybe 'The Trial Of God' could get you going again too. Oh yeah, that link to the 'Anything Goes' doesn't work. I'd like to bookmark and read it again if you can repost it. Thanks.

Michael J. Citak

For now my website is down. When it's back up I'll let ya know.

Randall Thomasson

Thanks.

Michael J. Citak

Updates- Anything Goes is in the hands of a new publisher who is considering it for publication. Maybe Mr. Melani isn't dead after all!!

Randall Thomasson

Thanks for the update Michael. Hope it takes off. :^)

Michael J. Citak

Me too!! The book publisher, whose a friend of mine really loves one of my large paintings, an wanted to pay me to use it as one of his upcoming book covers, as well as buy the original painting.. So in lue of him paying me for those, I said to him, how about I give you the rights, and the painting and in return you help me get this novel published!!! And to my surprise he said yes!!!! So it's in the works... I have a feeling that it will get a kindle book publishing thing first. But fingers crossed!!! Our baby isn't dead!!!

Randall Thomasson

Wow! That's awesome. Keep me posted. Very exciting and happy for you on the painting. :^)

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