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Detergent Opera
Written by Hildi Borkowski   
Monday, 15 February 2010 21:18
Scene I
Scene II
Scene III

Scene IV


Grant Street is a crime scene.  Officer Byron Tuttle is the first policeman to respond to the telephone call Lucille made advising of the man in the car.   His black and white patrol car speeds to the parked car with the siren screaming.
Mable Gannon lives in the first floor apartment of the building where Lucille lives.  She is a busybody by nature and into everyone’s business.  
“Yoohoo!  You there, what is going on?” she shouts to the policemen waving her white lace handkerchief for attention.  She gets no response to her question.
Moments later, three other police cars arrive.  An ambulance and the Coroner’s van surround the car and a crowd of onlookers form around in an effort to catch a glimpse of the goings on.  The other apartment dwellers are stretching their bodies out their windows to see.
“Oooh, this is so exciting!” coos Mable as she sees Margo pop out of  the  window upstairs. “Nothing like this has ever happened on our street before!”
“Mable, what is it?  Can you see anything?”
“No, but I intend to find out!!!”
Officer Tuttle approaches the apartment building with his note pad in hand.  He sees Mable waving her hankie feverishly.
“Excuse me, Ma’am. Did you see or hear anything pertaining to this incident?”
“Oh, Officer..” giggles Mable, “I think that is Lucille’s car.  She lives right upstairs.  Do you want me to run up and get her for you?”
“No, Ma’am.  That will not be necessary.  What apartment does...Lucille, right?  What apartment is she in?”
“Yes, Lucille D’Amato…she lives up on the third floor…apartment 3C.  I’ll get her for you.” Answers Mable, all to eagerly.
“No, Ma’am...thank you.”
Officer Tuttle makes his way up the five stairs and through the front door.  There, in the vestibule, he finds a row of mailboxes.  He searches for the one with Lucille’s name on it.  The buzzer below the box summons Lucille to the intercom.
“Yes?”
“Police, Ma’am.  Please open the door.”
Lucille pushes the release buzzer and frees the lock on the inside door for Officer Tuttle to enter.  She opens the door to her apartment and meets the Officer on the stairs.
“Are you Lucille D’Amato?”
“Yes. I am so glad you arrived!” she said through her tears.
“Officer Byron Tuttle…I would like to ask you a few questions, if you don’t mind.”
“No, of course not.  Please come in the apartment.” stutters Lucille.
“Is that your ’56 Chevy convertible on the street?”
“Yes.  I found my brother behind the wheel.”
“Will you come with me, please?” said the policeman in a monotone voice.
“Where?  I don’t understand.” asks Lucille.
“To the car, Ma’am.”
“I can’t see him again…not like that.  Please, Officer, don’t take me there.”  Lucille pleads with her white hanky in her fist.
“Can you give me a minute, please?  I am late for work.  I’d like to call  my boss, if you don’t mind.”
“Certainly, take your time..”
Lucille excused herself and went to the bedroom.  Officer Tuttle made himself comfortable on the chair by the window.
Noah and Alfred have been friends since childhood.  Now, in their early thirties, the men get together every Friday night for their weekly poker game in Bud’s Pub.  There is a back room where the friends meet and Duff, the bar tender, directs newcomers to the game.   It is Duff’s job to find easy marks.  These games usually run late and always prove to be very profitable for Noah and Alfred.
Noah is a tall man, about 5’11 with a muscular build.  His brown, curly hair is uncombed.  His strong, chiseled chin is unshaven. He has just finished his breakfast and is sitting in his favorite green leather chair by the fireplace in the den.  The black telephone on the side table rings and interrupts Noah’s concentration from The Sunday Paper.
“Zark”, he says as he raises the phone to his ear.
‘Noah?”  whispers Lucille in the phone.  Her voice is quivering nervously with every word she utters.
“Noah, this is going to shock you….Alfred is dead.”
“For heaven’s sake, Lucy, I just left him a few hours ago.  He was fine.”
“Noah, believe me. I just found him in my car.  He is dead.  His shirt is bloodstained and he was slumped over the wheel.  What should I do?”
“Lucy, calm down.  Where is he now?”
“He’s still in the car!  Noah, there’s more.  Someone else knows he’s there.  I got a phone call just as I was getting dressed for work.  It was a man.  All he said was that I should check my car. So, I did.  There was Alfred!  I thought he was drunk again, but when I saw all that blood…..I called the police.   I guess I should have called you first, but I panicked.   Noah, what do I do???”
“Are you home?”
“Yes, and the police are here, too.   I told them I had to call the diner.  They want me to go to the car.  I ran back inside and called you.  Noah… what happened?”
“Lucy, any number of things could have happened.  You know that.  Stay where you are…don’t answer any questions, I will be right there.  Have you called Laura?”
“No. I didn’t, not yet. ”
“Call the diner…tell them something came up and you will call them later. Say as little as possible.  Then get in touch with Laura. Oh, and Lucy, be careful when you tell her.”
“I know, Noah.  You don’t have to tell me that.  I do have some compassion for the girl.”
Laura Doyle is a short woman with long, silky red hair and a fair complexion.    Alfred has always loved the way her hair glistens in sun and creates a golden aura around her head. He has said on many occasions that Laura is his “angel from heaven”.  They have been together for several years.  Laura’s love for Alfred is strong, but she will not marry him.  Lucille has never liked Laura.  Both women are headstrong and opinionated, and their personalities have never meshed well.
Laura’s lives alone in a second floor apartment of a Brownstone building on Maple Avenue.   The breakfast dishes are still in the sink as she puts her apron and rubber gloves on in preparation to wash them.
After Lucille ends the conversation with Noah, she dials Laura on the phone.  Through her tears, she is able to speak the unthinkable words.
The telephone on the wall in the kitchen rings and interrupts Laura’s chore.  She takes the receiver from the cradle in cheerful anticipation of Alfred’s call.
“Laura?  This is Lucille.”
“Good morning Lucille, how are you?  I though you would be Alfred, we are going to spend the day together.”
“Laura, I don’t think you are.”
“Why do you say that?  Lucille, for once, will you just mind your own affairs?”
“Laura, please calm down….there’s been, well, an accident.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Laura, please, let me finish.  Alfred is not going to be meeting you today.  As a matter of fact, he will not be meeting anyone.  I can barely get the words out.”
“Lucille, what are you saying?  Is Alfred all right?” said Laura in a panic.
“Perhaps you had better sit down…you see, Alfred is…I found him in my car this morning, and…”
“Is he drunk again?  I swear that man is too much.  I have begged him to stop drin….”
“No, Laura, listen.  Al is dead.”
“Oh, please, Lucille.  Don’t toy with me.  Really….”
“It’s true.  I found him.”
The rest of the Lucille’s words just ran into each other.  Laura did not hear anything after Lucille convinced her that what she was saying was true.  She hung up the phone and dissolved in tears.
“Well, that certainly puts a damper on my day.”  She thought.
 


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Mean Dean - 02-19-2010 02:21

This is a great episode, as I tend to love longer ones with more detailed information. :woohoo:
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Last Updated on Sunday, 28 February 2010 12:52