The Quiet Things


Last time on Dead Money: &

The spicy vanilla of her chardonnay washed the inside of her mouth as Millicent’s dark eyes followed the movements of Kip’s fidgety hands and Pauley’s new confidence. Pauley seemed comfortable with her seductive gestures of stroking Niles Morganstern’s arms and delivering sly smiles. Millicent felt like a proud teacher watching her student graduate.

Kip delivered the second drink and the plan was executed. Millicent drank the last of her wine and left her bar stool at the same moment Niles soon to be dead body thudded the casino floor.

Concluding that Pauley’s boss, Butch, was far from reliable, she decided to play her own stacked deck of cards. As security and medical personnel attended to the hopeless fate of Niles Morgenstern, she caught the stunned reaction of Pauley and her lost body language. Millicent walked with measure and style to a diner next to the casino. She pulled her phone from her handbag and let it ring until her father answered.

“Hey sweetheart. I was going to call you later.”

Millicent didn’t bother rolling her eyes or being offending. Her father’s lies weren’t as bad as Pauley’s dad’s, she reasoned.

“Dad, I need for you to tell me everything you know about Butch Torre and Paul Mateo.”

The immediate silence angered Millicent. Her face tensed and she muttered “damn you” away from the phone. She ordered two coffees and after her father’s third sigh, she pounced.

“Damn it Arthur! I just did something you don’t like for me to do because you’re in deep with that stain, Butch Torre. You want this scandal to vanish from our family then talk to me!”

Millicent discovered several sets of eyes upon her after the shouts. She calmed and sat in a booth next to the large store front window so she could see Pauley escaping the previous scene. Arthur spoke.

“Okay, sweetie, here’s I know.”

Within four minutes, Millicent’s instincts were confirmed and her minimum knowledge of the life of Paulette Mateo becoming more than enough to change the score of the game Butch was winning.

She saw Pauley stumble from the casino. The young assassin, ill-suited for the shoes and dress she had to wear for two hours, was now emotionally off-kilter. Millicent smiled at the mess of her partner in crime. When Pauley walked into the diner and sat at a table neat the rear of the place, Millicent delivered more than coffee to Pauley. She jumped as Millicent joined her table.

“We need to talk,” Millicent said. “There are a few things Butch obviously hasn’t told you.”

Pauley’s face was pale. As if she were ill or suffering from shock. Millicent pushed the small cup of black coffee to Pauley’s trembling right hand.

“Our fathers are liars. More than that, I think you know my old babysitter, Gail. In fact, you look a lot like her.”

Pauley sank in her seat and stared at the smoking darkness inside her cup.

*****blogger’s note****

These are two new chapters of a summer blog series I’m writing with my friend and partner, Tara aka @Tara_R from Thin Spiral Notebook  Read her chapter first then dive into mine _

Today’s song is from aone hit wonder of the 2000s, Brand New. Their song The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows is perfect for my part of the story. Play it loud.


18 thoughts on “The Quiet Things

    • me too. My hope is people will look past the killers and killing and see how people are led or their minds are shaped that lead to their paths in life.

  1. I enjoyed this step back from the action as we got a bit of back story…but not enough to feel as if it was an info dump. You wove the discovery of this information well into this chapter.

    A few things: you mention Millie watching Pauley exit the casino and wander into the diner at the very beginning and then repeat that same observation later in the piece. One needs to be dropped or changed so it flows with the timeline better.

    I think this line could be so much more: “The immediate silence angered Millicent.” It seems too basic. I’d love to be shown her anger. Is a vein throbbing, are her teeth clenching, are her knuckles wrapped around the phone turning white? So much this line could be to paint the picture, especially since it seems to be a long pause of nothing happening as Millie waits for Dad to spill.

    Love how Millie calls her father by name BUT I think to make her words stronger, ditch the “dad” tagged onto the end. Just leave it at “You want this scandal to vanish from our family then talk to me!”

    I think these two sentences need to be joined, right? We need a comma or something here, not a period. “When Pauley walked into the diner and sat at a table neat the rear of the place. Millicent delivered more than coffee to Pauley.”

    Can’t wait for the next installment 🙂

  2. “No, NO, no, dammit” (sighs) That’s just not enough information, it’s just not. I know ya wanna keep us all hangin’ on, I get that, it’s what a good screenplay writer does, but I wanna know more! I wanna know how Pauley could have been “Gail the babysitter” when they appeared to be the same age… I wanna know how Pauley and Millicent’s father’s know each other, and how Butch plays into that… I wanna know who heard what Niles said to Pauley as they were hauling him off to the parking lot… (stomps her feet like a good little brat) I wanna know!

    (grinZ like a Cheshire)

    What I meant to say is, “More please.” 😉

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