Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Bert Macklin, Mel/Johnny (Johnny does not appear in this chapter), Harold Rienecke, Carter Baum, Doc White, Charles/Doris (Doris does not appear in this chapter)
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, character death
General Summary: On Halloween, the Bankers Building becomes a literal House of Horrors.
Chapter Summary: Mel and Carter urge people to evacuate as Doc and Charles hunt the killer.
Date Of Completion: October 11, 2011
Date Of Posting: October 24, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 880
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.
Mind the innocent.
“But, Mr. Purvis, we have work to do.”
“And there is a dangerous killer roaming around the Bankers Building, suh.”
The short, balding, bespectacled office manager stared disapprovingly at Mel. The half-dozen women busy clacking away on typewriter keys were focused on their work but Mel could see their ears perked up.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Purvis, but…”
“And I’m sorry, Mr. Macklin, but this is not a request. Police Chief Patrick O’Reilly has ordered everyone out of the building.”
Macklin frowned. “I’ll have to get in touch with the home office.”
“Now, Mr. Macklin.” Mel took out his badge. “Ladies, gather your coats, hats, and purses and please leave the building.”
The women quickly obeyed, Carter advising them to say together as they exited. The oldest woman in the group nodded and took charge, herding the younger ones out of the office.
“You had best depart, Mr. Macklin. This killer has already struck more than once,” Mel said.
Still unhappy, Macklin grabbed his hat and coat and left in a huff.
“Some people are just naturally ungrateful,” Carter said with a smirk.
Mel chuckled. “We had better check the rest of the floor for more hold-outs.”
“It’s the Wolfman! The Wolfman!”
Startled, Mel and Carter ran out into the hall to see a terrified Harold Rienecke barrel into them.
“Oof! Harold, what’s going on? Where’s Will?” asked Mel.
The portly agent babbled, “It was the Wolfman!”
“Did the killer attack you and Will?”
“The Wolfman! Claws and fangs!”
“Where?” Mel shook Rienecke.
“The…the twelfth floor.”
“Carter, take Harold back to the squadroom. Coordinate the search from there.”
“And just where are you going?”
“I’ll be fine.”
“You can’t go up there alone!”
“And we can’t let Harold wander around alone. He’s in shock. I’ll find one of our teams and go with them.”
Slightly mollified, Carter drew Mel aside. “Mel, Rienecke said the Wolfman attacked them, and that other witness said the Mummy was roaming around! Either Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr. are in the house or…”
“…this killer has a sick sense of humor.” Mel put a hand on Carter’s shoulder. “Be careful.”
“That should be my line.” Carter put his hand over Mel’s. “Come with us, Mel. I don’t like this.”
“Neither do I, but Patrick and Detective Scanlon are on the next floor up.” Mel squeezed his old friend’s shoulder. “I have no intention of letting myself get killed, Carter. I’ll be down at the squadroom shortly, but I need to inform Patrick of the latest development.”
Carter sighed and squeezed Mel’s hand. “All right. But if you get killed I’ll never speak to you again!”
Mel chuckled and released Carter, who looked at Mel almost with desperation. He turned to Rienecke and said, “Let’s go.”
After Carter and Rienecke had disappeared into the elevator, Mel wavered for a moment, wondering if he had made a mistake sending Carter away. The silence seemed almost deafening, if that made sense. His nerves crawled along his skin but he shook it off, resolutely squaring his shoulders and taking the elevator up to the eleventh floor.
Doc White had no objection to his partner’s silence and occasional grunts for replies. As a fellow Texan and veteran of the roughest frontier in America for violence and lawlessness, he understood Charles Winstead’s state of mind. One of the men he had traveled with from Texas to Chicago had been brutally murdered. That required a reckoning.
He had to give someone like Dillinger credit. The man would not hesitate to shoot at police during a robbery, but it was out in the open and giving a man a chance to fight back instead of skulking around like some dirty sneak thief and viciously murdering innocent people.
Doc stopped and held out a hand, Charles squinting at him. Doc gestured to a shadow up ahead. Someone was around the corner.
Charles saw it, too, and nodded, hefting his shotgun. Doc carefully edged his way around the corner, stopping in shock.
The suave, aristocratic man clad in a black silk cape with a red lining and high collar bowed, his tuxedo impeccable. “At your service, sir,” said the thickly-accented voice.
The Mummy and now Count Dracula? What’s with all these refugees from Universal Studios?
“Hands up, Count.”
“Ah, but I vant to suck your blood.” Dracula smiled, white fangs gleaming as he moved so fast that Doc never had a chance to get off a shot before fangs sunk into his throat and ripped it out.
Mel disembarked from the elevator, quickly looking in both directions, relieved to see that the hall was empty. The doors lining the hall were locked, so the police must have already done a sweep of this floor. He hoped that Patrick and Scanlon were still here.
He walked carefully, listening for any sounds and kept a tight grip on his gun, wishing for one of Charles’ rifles.
He froze as he heard a sound. Carefully surveying the hall, his blood ran cold as he spotted a shadow around the corner. Swallowing hard, he called out, “Show yourself!” His heart nearly pounded out of his chest as the shadow began to move.