(2018-12-05) How the mob stole Christmas.
Luke and Ethan spread Christmas cheer (i.e., tell Ginger about all the murders in town).

Old Spanish Fort

From the entrance, one files a mosaic cobble walkway between buildings to come out in a quaint open-air court. At its center is an old Spanish fountain with chairs and tables about it. This is lowered and accessed by steps from around this courtyard. It appears as a small inner courtyard of a Spanish fort. The buildings around the outside and against the wall are shops ranging from salons and boutiques to art galleries. Included is an old used book store, a music shop and a couple of pricey cafes or bistros.

The overhang of the buildings cover the walkways around the courtyard, each is orange brick lined maintaining that Spanish feel, along with colorful inlaid mosaic images sporadically around the outer edge of the courtyard. Each shop has a small wrought iron sign hanging over its entryway, with open doors and wooden shutters as if in an old Spanish village during the colonial era of Calaveras. It is a cozy, closed space despite seeming open. Desert plants line the inner courtyard, and other small water features keep the calming sound of trickling water alive for visitors.

Christmas lights twinkle all prettily between the buildings, and there's non-freaking-stop carols blasting out over the courtyard, and consumer whores gobble up all the sales. And Ethan and Luke are standing outside the police tape that keeps people from going into what's left of Trina's Trinkets, peering through the dark windows. "You didn't put it on layaway, did you? 'Cause I think you can kiss that money goodbye if you did," says Ethan, then takes a bite of mall-pretzel, failing to evince any actual empathy.

Luke's clutching an Orange Julius in one hand and a churro in the other, frowning into the dark windows. "Layaway? Really? Who does that anymore? This isn't K-Mart," he rolls his eyes over at Ethan, "I bought it outright. But now I'm sort of .. I don't know. Do I still give it to her?" There was a twitch of uncertainty. "Like, oh hey, I bought this from that guy.. that was murdered horribly.."

Ginger was peering at a receipt, murmuring something about being overcharged and debating if it was worth it or not to fight it. She decided, no. Looking up as she caught the police tape out of the corner of her eye, she slowed to a stop, raising a brow at the scene. "What on earth happened here? Someone was murdered?" Catching the tail end of Luke's words.

"She doesn't know you bought it from a corpse." Ethan pulls his sleeve over his hand, rubbing his foggy-breath off the window in an effort to see through the total and complete darkness inside that store. "Just don't tell her that part. 'Baby, I love you more than words on a napkin can say, and I bought this from a totally alive guy.' Then kiss." His breath fogs the window again, so he gives up and draws a heart. Lowering his finger guiltily, he side-eyes Ginger. "Four?" He glances at Luke to affirm that number. "Four someones were murdered."

"He wasn't a corpse when I bought it," Luke defends, before he narrows a look at Ethan. "Speaking of words on a napkin, you still have that, right?" Still, that heart in the fog.. it makes him chuckle, though the sound chokes off when Ginger appears behind him. "Uh. Yeah," he points a thumb at Ethan. "What he said. Some kind of robbery gone wrong?" He looks back into the darkened windows and breathes out a sigh. "I bet they're gonna move a Kays in here. Or Zales."

A fleeting, amused look, as she watched Ethan draw the heart, then tsked and shook her head at the number of people murdered. "Shame was degenerates will do for a quick buck." She took a step closer to the window to try and peer herself. "Nice artwork." She gave Ethan a wry smile before nodding at Luke. "Was this a jewelry store then? Possibly. Every mall needs a decent jewelry store."

Shrug. "Maybe I do, and maybe I left it under the windshield wiper of her car. The world may never know." Ethan got a compliment on his art, so he beams and finishes it with a quickly-added 'A + L 4 Ever' before passing his sleeve over the fading fog once more. "Yeah," it was a jewelry store. "I guess now it's a crime scene - that will probably become a Zales." He agrees with Luke, an oh-well shrug and the last bite of his pretzel scarfed down.

Luke takes a big bite out of his churro to soothe his paranoia about Ethan passing notes, giving his friend the side-eye with a grunt. "/I'll/ know, Ethan. I'll find out. And if she ever gets that note? Angela will never find your body," it's not the best threat, but whatever. He takes another bite out of his churro and casts another glance back to Ginger. "I heard the guy that ran this place was like, an ex-Navy seal or something? Kinda fucked up, what happened." Kind of really. "It doesn't make sense that they linked this to the pharmacy though. What kind of criminals knock over a pharmacy when they can knock over jewelry stores?"

"Prescription meds go for a fortune on the black market. Streets. Whatever you want to call it. I'd steal from a pharmacy before a jewelry store. Too much risk, obviously with 4 people being dead. Anyone die at this pharmacy thing?" Curious a touch. Not seeming to really feel sympathetic one way or the other for the dead people. "Ginger, by the way." She offered and thought it over a moment. "Ex-Navy? I wonder who the thieves are…"

With a short laugh, Ethan counters confidently, "She has all kinds of money, she'll find my body. It's pretty much her favorite thing." He swipes his pretzel-greasy fingers on the back of his pants, then shoves his hands into his pockets, reeling back from Luke at the Navy seal tidbit. "That sucks." He peers briefly back at the smudge that was a heart that he drew on the window of A MURDER SCENE, then turns his back on the window completely, stepping to cover that spot. "Hey, Ginger. What's up. Ethan," himself, "Luke, and yeah. Pharmacy was a bloodbath, too. Five people? Six? Pretty sure it's the mob."

"I can see why," Luke says as he pointedly watches Ethan smear his fingers down the backside of his pants (#nohomo) before he looks back to Ginger. "I dunno, this all seems a little much for Calaveras. Do we even /have/ a black market?" he takes another bite to finish off his churro while he considers this, taking a step back from the yellow police tape. He, too, smears his sugary laden fingers on the back of his jeans before he waves a hand at Ginger. "Nice to meet you," he offers. "And yeah, it was a lot of people in the pharmacy." When Ethan mentions the mob though, he swallows hard. "Fuck," he murmurs.

Ginger laughed softly, at exactly what was hard to tell - but something had amused her. Then she shrugged to Luke. "Everywhere has a black market. I grew up in a one horse down significantly smaller than Calaveras and there was plenty of illegal selling going on. Mainly because there wasn't shit to do." She brushed back a few strands of hair. "Nice to meet you both. Shame that the pharmacy was a blood bath too. Might be mob, but there are plenty of criminals who have killed for less."

Ethan pins an important look on Luke. Actual Luke, not Luke's ass. He's talking about the mob (still not Luke's ass). "Think about it for a second. It all adds up." He flashes a quick smile at Ginger, agreeing, "Likewise. Good luck with your shopping, Ginger. I gotta go figure out what to get my mom." And so he trudges away, heavy with the burden of consumerism. Until he runs across a sign advertising Lego sets at a deep discount; he veers off-course, announcing, "And K'nex? Luke, K'nex are on sale!" He'll be in here till they close now.

Luke /does/ think about it for a second. Not about Ethan's ass, but about the mob being in Calaveras. He thinks about it long and hard and then - "Oh /fuck/. You're right! It does add up!" He declares, breathing out a sigh. "I'm gonna be honest with you, Ginger, I've been about everywhere in this town and I haven't found the black market yet. But… maybe you're right," he takes a step backwards, towards where Ethan was going. "But I hope you find whatever you're looking for. Did you just say K'Nex were on sale?!" He flashes Ginger an apologetic smile before he turns to run after Ethan. They were going to be here forever.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License