Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Mel/Johnny (Johnny does not appear in this chapter), Sam Cowley, Clarence Hurt, Hugh Clegg, Ed White, Ben Lincoln, Charlie Woods, Charles/Doris, J. Edgar Hoover, Mike Cameron, Cal Schaefer
Fandom: Public Enemies
Genres: Challenge, Holiday, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction
Rating: (this chapter): R
Warnings: Please note that this story will contain gore, violence and character deaths. Each chapter will have their individual warnings. This chapter: Violence, mutilated body, character death
General Summary: On Halloween, the Bankers Building becomes a literal House of Horrors.
Chapter Summary: A grim discovery is made.
Date Of Completion: October 9, 2011
Date Of Posting: October 18, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 831
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2011 Guns_Fedoras Public Enemies Fic/Art Halloween Challenge. Option 1: (Elements of Halloween used set in or around Halloween: Pumpkins/Jack O’Lanterns, Black-And-Orange, Monsters).
All chapters can be found here.
A GRIM DISCOVERY
"The Moldavian Falcon"
Warner Brothers Pictures
Mel decided to go downstairs for coffee and pastry. He was too unsettled after his meeting with Patrick O’Reilly. He approved Sam’s field trip, warning him to be careful, and rode down in the elevator with Sam, Clarence and Hugh.
“Good luck, gentlemen.”
Sam waved and the trio headed for his car.
Mel had sincerely meant good luck. He had no compunctions about capturing Baby Face Nelson. It was John Dillinger whom he wanted free. He smiled at Ed, who served up his coffee and a raspberry Danish.
“One more coffee, please. Cream and sugar.”
“For that pretty secretary of yours?”
Ed chuckled. “Comin’ right up.”
Mel watched the flurry of people coming and going, the mail clerk rattling his cart toward the elevators to make his daily rounds. A middle-aged man in a sharp suit and fedora sat in one of the chairs circled around a coffee table reading a newspaper. The floors shone and the sandstone pillars were equally shiny, a counterpoint to the dark wood of the walls. Ben the janitor was hard at work keeping those floors shiny. It was mostly quiet, very little conversation going on except that a man was chatting with Charlie at the newsstand.
“Yeah, that was some tremor last week.”
Charlie handed him a paper. “Weird, huh?”
“Yeah, this isn’t Mexico, for cryin’ out loud!”
Mel took a bite of his Danish, pausing as the hair on the back of his neck prickled. He looked around quickly. The feeling of being watched was strong.
He scanned the lobby but everyone was going about their business, even the man with the newspaper too absorbed to pay him attention.
“Here’s your coffee with cream ‘n’ sugar,” said Ed cheerfully.
“Thanks, Ed.” I must be spooked after that meeting with Patrick.
Mel took the two coffee cups and pastry upstairs. Doris smiled as she accepted her coffee. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” Mel looked over at Charles. “Where’s Jerry?”
“I don’t know. I called his apartment but no answer.”
“Keep on it.”
Charles nodded, winking at Doris, who was looking pretty in an orange silk dress with black trim. She had drawn a smiling face on her pumpkin with a black Magic Marker and giggled at the cowboy’s flirtation.
Mel returned to his office, shaking his head with a smile and managed to finish his pastry just before the phone rang.
“Director Hoover, sir.”
“Put him through.”
“Melvin, good morning! What have you got for me?”
“Um, nothing much, sir. We did get a tip on Nelson this morning. Sam and a few men are checking it out.”
“Hmph. I’m here in Pittsburgh. I have to attend a Carnegie Institute dinner tonight but should be in Chicago tomorrow.”
Good, I’ll have tonight free.
“Keep up the good work, Melvin.” Hoover’s voice lowered to a purr. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Resigned to dodging grabby hands all day tomorrow, Mel said, “Very good, Director. See you then.” He hung up.
A knock on the door brought his head up. He saw a worried Head of Building Security, Mike Cameron, standing there.
Mike was a broad-shouldered man about six feet tall and with bright blue eyes in a craggy face. He wore a typical security guard’s uniform, his big hand tight on the doorknob. He looked ill, what Johnny would say was ‘green at the gills’.
“You need to see something one of my men found, sir.”
Puzzled but alerted by Mike’s grave tone, Mel rose from his chair and followed the other man into the squadroom. “Charles, would you come with us, please?”
Charles left his desk and joined Mel. He did not ask any questions, figuring that he would be informed when necessary. Mel appreciated the laconic cowboy’s patience.
He and Charles followed Mel into the stairwell and the lower they went, Mel’s stomach turned as a stench wafted up.
“What the hell?” Charles muttered.
A young guard was waiting on the landing, holding a handkerchief to his face. He looked as white as a sheet.
“Cal found ‘im,” Mike said.
“Him?” Mel asked faintly.
Mike nodded grimly. “Brace yourselves, gentlemen.”
Mel and Charles followed Mike around the curve of the landing, seeing bright blood spattered on the gray wall. It was still fresh.
Mel stopped dead, Charles nearly bumping into him. The Texan swore in a shaky voice.
Mel felt lightheaded as he gazed upon the remains of what once had been a human being. He looked away.
“We found this,” Cal said, holding out his hand. In the center of the second handkerchief was a bloody leather folder. Mel very carefully opened it with the tip of his finger, gasping as he saw the shiny badge and photo I.D. inside.
Charles took the handkerchief from Cal, his face ashen as he looked at the picture of his old friend and fellow agent Jerry Campbell.