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Thread: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

  1. #21
    Au revoir and adieu, Les Expos
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    Effingwoods NH

    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    Chapter Three - Eyes on The Prize

    Unaware of the events unfolding at the McBain estate up in Icewater, his old pal Richie had soldiered down to the big city to meet up Pat Pauley, an old coaching pal from his time down in Providence with McBain. Pauley had a stern demeanor and countenance, and had followed in McBain's footsteps down south, and had already experienced some early success in his time in charge, but he lacked the charm and dynamic personality of his predecessors. Richie - who suffered by comparison in much the same way a few years earlier before moving up north to run his own program at his alma mater - could relate. So when he drew his bobsleigh up to the curb outside of Boston's historic-yet-dilapidated South Station, and caught a glimpse of his pal heading hi his direction, he got out of the sleigh to greet him and also to welcome aboard Pauley's traveling companion Lamorella, who was a regular in these here parts at this time of the season.

    Make no mistake, Lamorella was a stunning beauty, one whose mere presence could reduce grown men to tears, while younger men couldn't keep their hands off of her. As the object of affection for many, Lamorella always had the pick of the best suitors, and was not hesitant or shy to cynically switch allegiances with her affections when the circumstances dictated. Richie himself was shaken to the ground in her presence, and tried to engage Lamorella in small talk, reminiscing about times and places where they had been in each other's circle. But Lamorella - not easily impressed as it was, and used to constant incursions from undeserving plebes - paid him no heed, and curiously enough was barely paying attention to her traveling companion, with whom she'd openly had a "thing" going not all that long ago. It had ended quickly enough, at least for Lamorella, but it was clear that the fires she'd extinguished for him, still burned quite brightly for Pauley So it was an awkward trio of travelers who set out from the big city, as Lamorella pined for a return to her newest beau McBain, whom she expected would be eagerly awaiting her arrival at the depot in White River Junction.

    All of the travelers had spent considerable time on the road in what had turned into an untimely March snowstorm, so as they wound their way out of town along the River Charles, Richie veered off when saw a somewhat familiar site where he knew he and his traveling companions could get some refreshments to gird them for the remainder of their trek to the Far North. Lamorella openly blanched as she spied the tacky signage of the dive bar, which brought up some sordid memories of her brief time in the company of a large Polish man who'd courted her before his downfall and eventual retirement a year or two ago. Coach Pauley and Coach Richie - neither of whom had connected those dots before - disembarked and stumbled into the bar, while Lamorella was much more hesitant, waiting a good five minutes before deciding she too should get some refreshments for the long journey.

    The coaches were already seated at their own table, and motioned Lamorella over to join them. But in the dimly lit atmosphere, she paid them no heed, and approached the barkeep, who looked thunderstruck by what had just virtually landed in his lap. The mook had started to chat up the gal, finding some common interests, and just as the barkeep was inquiring as to whether his newfound friend had ever worked for NESN before, their tenuous connection was interrupted by some undetermined mayhem going on outside the bar in the Cleveland Circle neighborhood. The travelers weren't looking for any trouble but it seemed like trouble had somehow found them

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  2. #22
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    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    Chapter Three - The Disruptor* Enters The Fray (conclusion)

    The atmosphere in the bar was already pretty rough and tumble, with a boatload of Fitzies and Sullys testing their sloppy moves out on the distaff clientele. But the eruption outside caught everyone's attention, as the otherwise genteel, collars-up crowd was caught by surprise by the entrance of a hard-scrabble outsider with abundant facial hair, having left a collection of his captors in a steaming heap outside the main entry. The Disruptor* staggered warily past scads of disbelieving onlookers, towards the main bar where both Richie and Pat shrank quietly aside. As for Lamorella … well, this man from the north was another of her past suitors, and he casually tipped his hat knowingly in her direction, as he asked the barkeep for some moonshine. The mook - having had his amorous advances with Lamorella perhaps temporarily halted - reached under the bar and produced a crude looking jug, and The Disruptor* - having been on the road against his will for days now - grabbed it quickly and took a parched swig, and in doing so exposed the manacles still restricting his hand movements. But just as things were beginning to settle down for the interloper, a strange sound emanated from the rear of the bar. That strange kazoo sound again, from the depot earlier, and coming from the shrouded figure of The Prodigal, nursing a wound and a glass of chocolate milk in the shadows at the far end of the bar.

    The former captive put the jug down and eased past the gawking crowd of yuppies towards the strange man and his kazoo at the back of the room. In doing so, he was stalking past the withdrawn figure of Pauley to his right, who was starting to reach for his pistol when The Disruptor* caught the movement out of the corner of his eye, spun and drew his own pistol, and pointed it right between Pauley's eyes. Busted and flushed, Pat dropped his hands by his side, and a puddle quickly formed at the base of his boots. The Disruptor* quickly hatched a plan - he was very nimble and quick on his feet with thinking outside of the box ideas - and realizing he was still one gun short of a safe road to his total freedom, he made eye contact with the strange wounded figure at the back, who surprisingly slid his own pistol down the bar to the ominous visitor.

    The Disruptor* turned towards Pauley, and demanded that he reach for the gun currently tucked under the interloper's belt. As he did, Pauley was slowly confronted by the focus of his tormentor's own gun, which for collateral purposes was shifted towards Pat's temple as Pat took the gun from The Disruptor's belt. The man from the north motioned the fading man from the south to point the borrowed gun towards the chain connecting the former captive's manacles, and slowly the purpose of this dance became clear to Pauley, who steadied his nerves momentarily to blast the chain in half.

    The Disruptor* - now freed from captivity, except for two residual "bracelets" around his wrists - abruptly grabbed back the gun, shot Pauley in the foot for his troubles, and made his way back towards the front of the bar, where Lamorella looked on in disdain, and Richie was frozen in place, after having nipped at the jug of moonshine left behind by the former captive moments ago. Once again, there was a loud sound outside of the bar, and a group of men again clad in waist length hooded caribou skin parkas were next to stumble into the bar, as The Disruptor* again reached for his pistol. False alarm, as the leader of this group spoke …

    GS: Hey Orono - we thought we'd never make it. Compliance officers thick on the ground, all around …
    SW: It's OK, you're just in time … to bury my escort. If I waited for you, I'd be in Kansas by now.

    The man called Orono* took one final swig from the jug of moonshine, belched quietly, leering dismissively towards Lamorella as he sized her up from head to toe, and turned towards his posse, while the leader draped Orono's* own parka around his now-free arms. But quietly, from the rear of the bar, The Prodigal had approached the area vacated by Orono*. put down his now-empty glass of chocolate milk, and spoke to the departing group from the north, who had something that belonged to him …

    JY: Hey (motioning to Orono) … the gun.

    Orono* smiled wanly and remembered the good turn this stranger had done for him … and gave the gun to his first-in-command, who handed the gun back to the wounded Prodigal. The Prodigal in turn grabbed loosely at the man's parka after the exchange, which seemed unusual. Orono* felt the need to engage …

    SW: So … you interested in fashion, Kazoo?
    JY: I saw twee of these pahkas at the depot the othah day … inside the pahkas were twee men.
    SW: (shrugging) … and?
    JY: Inside the twee men wuz twee buwwets.

    Orono looked at his crew, who re-assured their leader no such event was known to them.

    SW: That's a crazy story, Kazoo, for two reasons. One … no one else has got the guts to wear these parkas than Orono Little League. Two … Orono and his OLL posse don't get killed. Surprise you?
    JY: Yeah, it does. (turns to play his kazoo)

    Rather than engage their strange collaborator further, Orono beckoned his posse outside and they headed north for parts unknown, while the bar scene returned to normal in the aftermath. This would not be the last meeting of these two men, and only set the tenor for future engagements.

    Last edited by Chuck Murray; 09-19-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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  3. #23
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    Effingwoods NH

    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    Chapter Four - Meanwhile, Back At The (Icewater) Ranch

    With the departure of Orono* and his posse, The Prodigal returned to his perch at the back of the bar to nurse a Shirley Temple, while the mook behind the bar chased his Downeast visitors out to the parking lot to give Orono* directions to the nearby NESN studios, where he was due for a visit to publicize his return to the helm, now that his business with the folks in Overland Park had been unceremoniously wrapped up. Returning to his station behind the bar afterwards, the barkeep made his last futile attempts to make some inroads into the dazzling Lamorella's affections, but that proved to no avail.

    Lamorella gradually made her way to the door and out to the bobsleigh with Richie, and the two turned due north for the long trip back to Icewater, sharing some light conversation about the events back at the bar, while Richie tried to bring the smalltalk back towards the topic of their mutual pal McBain, and the purpose for his traveling guest's visit to his old coaching colleague ...

    DU: So, you and Mark, how did youze guys get togethah?
    LM: (curtly) We've known each other since way back when he was in Providence.
    DU: (squeakily) Before I worked with Mark down there? Y'know, we were college teammates once …
    LM: (quickly) I have no idea who you are, driver. Nor do I care.
    DU: (sheepishly) I didn't mean to annoy you, ma'am ...
    LM: Mark and I were married last week on the QT in Providence. He is a terrific man, a winner.
    DU: (shocked) I didn't know that … wow, congrats, I just assumed youze guys were dating …
    LM: You are not to repeat that to anyone, this is supposed to be a surprise for all upon my arrival.
    DU: Of course, I'll nevah say a word to anyone. Mark and me, we are paisan
    LM: Good. If you want to impress me, win something. Until then, just get me to Icewater.

    That put the kibosh on the small talk for most of the rest of the trip to White River Junction, although on the final leg of the trip over the Quechee Gorge towards Icewater, Lamorella and Richie exchanged their thoughts about the showdown between Orono* and the quiet funny-sounding stranger at the bar earlier in the evening. Richie shared first …

    DU: Yeah, that Orono* he is a character, that's for sure. Did you know he did a commercial with me once?
    LM: Oh, please do share those fascinating details, little squeaky man with the funny turtleneck …
    DU: Sure … yeah, this dealership up near the state line, Tri-City something or another, I got the punch line …
    LM: Spare me the details. I spent enough time with that man in the past. Then he cheated on me.
    DU: I guess that cheating stuff wasn't just limited to his coaching stuff then. Sorry to hear that …
    LM: The man is a legend in his own mind. But he knows how to win, so I suspect he'll be back for me …

    Knowing the purpose of the trip now, Richie was looking forward to seeing his old pal McBain and some of his colleagues around the bend, and as the bobsleigh made the final turn towards the ranch, the travelers could see a long line of guests waiting on their arrival. But rather than seeing a happy and colorful party welcoming their approach as Lamorella had expected … all she could see was a line of locals and mutual acquaintances, dressed in black and appearing somber and in mourning.

    Lamorella's eyes scanned the horizon of the property for any sight of her beloved McBain and his hockey pals, to no avail … until reaching the end of what was increasingly looking like the reception line at a wake, when she was confronted with the shocking sight of McBain and his pals prone and quite dead, placed atop their pre-burial coffins. The public announcement and celebration of the McBain's nuptials had tragically transformed into a nightmare for Lamorella, who now took on the unexpected role of the widow. The shock of this tragedy shook Lamorella to her core … but she was a strong woman, and as the leader of the funeral party approached her to offer his condolences, Lamorella cut past the niceties and went right to the heart of the matter …

    LC: Ma'am, I'm so sorry for your loss. McBain was due back in town at noon, he never showed …
    LM: What has happened here?!? Who has done this foul deed to my beloved and his friends?!?!?
    LC: … we were to transport the catering for the wedding celebration. And now, miss, you are left alone …
    LM: (defiantly) I'm not "miss" … I am Mrs. Mark McBain.
    LC: but … but I thought … that would be today …
    LM: McBain and I were married last week in Providence. This was to be a surprise for his friends …

    At that moment, two incoming riders came over the crest of the nearby hill, and turned towards the party. They went directly to the undertaker, and shared important news … a discovery, perhaps with clues to explain who had perpetrated this ghastly event upon the McBains and the lower echelons of Hockey East ...

    Last edited by Chuck Murray; 09-24-2019 at 11:04 AM.
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  4. #24
    Au revoir and adieu, Les Expos
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    Effingwoods NH

    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    Chapter Four (Conclusion) - The Search for Justice Begins

    As the impromptu burial ceremonies were wrapping up, a pair of incoming riders both wearing vertical striped jerseys - and one with a prominent eyepatch - came over the crest of the snowdrifts at the edge of the McBain estate, and turned directly towards the small group of mourners. The gentleman who was running the interments of the lower tier, now ex-coaches dusted off his windbreaker and, knowing the riders by name, asked them for their purpose of their apparently urgent visit to Icewater …

    LC: (urgently) Fitzy, McBride - where have youze guys been? Have you figured anything out??
    Fitzy: Luce, we've been scouring the area to figure out who's done this horrendous deed …
    McBride: … we've kept an eye out << groan >> for every possible clue. Look what Fitzy found …

    Fitzy brandished an apparently abandoned caribou-skinned parka. The mourning party gasped

    Fitzy: You might not know this, Mrs. McBain … but this parka is as good as a calling card …
    LC: Orono* and his men from the OLL
    LM: Yes, I know the man … but, why?
    McBride: Don't worry, Mrs. McBain … we'll make sure he tells us before we hang him.

    The riders turned to ride back into town to organize a posse to chase down the would-be culprits, while Luce and the rest of the mourners paid their respects to the widow Lamorella, and then turned en masse to wander back to their towns and ranches, and Luce returned to his funeral parlor business, after failing to convince the widow of the benefits of more expensive final rites for her beloved deceased. This left only Lamorella with Richie, who approached the widow sympathetically.

    DU: Let's head back to the Junction, OK?
    LM: No Richie - you go back to White River Junction. I'll stay here.
    DU: But why? You want to stay out here in the wild, all alone?
    LM: Why not? This is now my home.

    Having been dismissed, Richie sadly turned and walked towards his bobsleigh, boarding and then heading out slowly back East, almost waiting for Lamorella to change her mind and come to her senses. But Lamorella had other ideas, as she walked towards the large ranch estate building she'd only heard about through her former beau during their magical nights together in Providence.


    As Luce returned to his place of business - a dying business, if ever there was one - the lantern that lit the entry to his laundry room was unexpectedly blown out as he stepped foot inside, and in his momentary confusion, the wormy operator was struck on the temple by an unwelcomed visitor, stunning him and causing him to drop to the ground. As he attempted to struggle back to his feet, the interloper struck a match to re-light the lantern, and grabbed Luce by the skinny mock-preacher tie, and commenced to thrash him from pillar to post in the confines of his downstairs workspace. Luce was eventually able to discern the identity of his attacker - surprisingly, someone who was in his circle of influence - but before he got a chance to ask the reason behind his pal's decidedly unfriendly mood, his attacker had pushed the tie into the wringer of Luce's old-fashioned washing machine, and began to pull the tie through the wringer, cutting off Luce's breathing as the not-so-stranger voiced his displeasure …

    JY: Y'know, Wuce … I'm kinda mad at you (pulling tighter) … Jack wasn't there ...
    LC: (gasping) I don't know. I set it up (ack) … like you asked … I swear …
    JY: He sent twee fwiends instead (pulling the crank further) ...
    LC: (gasping again) … I don't know why (ack) … Jack wasn't there …
    JY: Because Jack was at the McBain estate …
    LC: (eyes bulging) No, that's not true. That was Orono* … (ack) everyone knows that …
    JY: That was ahways Jack's ting … intimidating officios to see it his way …
    LC: (almost expiring as the wringer tightens even more) … I swear (ack) … I don't know …

    Satisfied that he'd achieved his purpose, The Prodigal eased off on the wringer's crank, and left his fair-weather double-dealing colleague to recover his senses, as the man with the mission set off on the next step of his Quest. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Lamorella had stumbled onto an interesting and curious discovery among her betrothed's personal belongings. Hidden under his bank papers, she found a most curious collection of rectangle-shaped devices, some with hinges, others without, and all with a collection of numbered buttons and clear screen coverings. The items were nothing at all familiar with anything she'd seen before, and felt as if they'd dropped in from some unknown world of the future. She quietly placed them back where she had discovered them, kissed the bedside photo of her late husband, and went to sleep for the evening, no wiser than before on what it was that ultimately had lured her or her dear departed McBain to the desolated Icewater location she now found herself in. It had been an eventful and traumatic day, to say the least. Tomorrow couldn't be worse … or maybe it could …

    Last edited by Chuck Murray; 09-29-2019 at 02:57 PM.
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  5. #25
    Say, this is nice. Jon's Avatar
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    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    I was incredulous until I read JY's speech. hoo boy.

    "I have come up with a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel. ."
    "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here. "
    "They could maybe hire another officer to catch the illegal immigrant drug dealers breast feeding at Dunkin' Donuts or whatever it is! Thank you!"
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  6. #26
    Au revoir and adieu, Les Expos
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    Effingwoods NH

    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    Chapter Five - The Aftermath, and Alliances Begin to Emerge

    After a fitful and restless evening in her hand-me-down estate's digs, Lamorella rose before the sunrise with added clarity of purpose. She was a resourceful and inquisitive sort by trade, but an evening's worth of exhaustive exploration of Chez McBain hadn't turned up any of the expected treasure that he'd vaguely referenced in their passionate moments together. Being alone in a remote and isolated setting, with no apparent upside, and having survived an evening's worth of howls and other strange ambient sounds unfamiliar to a city girl like her, she'd made up her mind to pack things up and belatedly accept the advice of her widow's pal Richie, and return to civilization immediately. Having packed her bags, and readied one of the small handful of bobsleighs that McBain had kept fueled up in the rear of the Icewater estate, Lamorella approached the front door to depart … but upon opening the door, she was stunned to see a somewhat familiar face looking back at her … Orono* backed by his traveling OLL posse, including first-in-command Garth Smalltime, three talented sharpshooting brothers from the Pacific Rim, and two goons named Benjie and Ek. Orono* entered, leaving the others behind, and closed the door ...

    SW: (scanning the interior curiously, then winking at his ex ) Did you make coffee?
    LM: What do you want with me, here and now? I have no time for you …
    SW: Just make some coffee, OK … we've been on the run all night. Bunch of vertical striped turds been chasing us all night … but we ditched them down in Brattleboro at midnight. They won't be back for days.
    LM: I don't care, I hope they catch you, after what you've done … how dare you!!!
    SW: (calmly) Listen, I know you and me didn't end well last time around … but I got no issue with you, and I definitely got no issues with those guys pushing up daisies on Boot Hill over there. I mean, I'll kill anyone who goes after me … but hit another coach? Those guys are kin to me. Yeah, they're enemies on the ice, and sometimes on the road … but (noticing Lamorella struggling with the fireplace) … here, let me help you with that.

    Lamorella ceded the coffee-making chore to The Disruptor*, and went to locate some sugar, but as she opened the drawer, she discovered some large knives and cleavers that offered self-defense options if needed. Orono*, however, perhaps not seeing the emerging threat, sensed the same with his ex's sudden quietness, and went on …

    SW: Y'see … I'm not the mean bast!d lots of folks think I am, despite our issues, I think you'd remember that, hon … but if someone decides to take a shot at me, I'm up for the battle.

    Lamorella pauses briefly to consider her options, and then closed the drawer with only sugar in hand, as Orono" realizes the threat has now passed. He turned over the coffee making duties, and began to scan the interior of the Icewater mansion more closely …

    SW: I guess I can understand someone else dressing up like me and the OLL, wanting to tag these killings on me … I don't like it, mind you, but I can at least understand it. What I don't get is "the why"? This place (still scanning) … it doesn't look like it's worth a crap. But it looks like you spent a lot of time yourself looking around for the "whys" last night …
    LM: Well, I didn't find anything worthwhile, if that's what you want. Look for yourself.


    As The Disruptor and The Prize continued to spar over their past and the future back at Icewater, it was The Incumbent who had returned to the private train of The Visionary, an Ivy-educated businessman from the Big City named Joey Burton, sometimes known as "Buttons". Burton ran the whole Hockey East enterprise, and had been battling a rare, debilitating case of tubercular scoliosis that had been eroding his spine as he tried to exert his influence over the college hockey world and beyond. The men were meeting in the aftermath of The Incumbent's recent Icewater raid, and the elimination of the bottom half of the league's head coaches in the furtherance of The Visionary's push further westward. As Burton pulled himself across the room on an elaborate set of trolley straps lined across the length and breath of the Pullman car's ceiling, The Incumbent slid into his boss' oversized leather desk chair, looking very comfortable indeed, as the discussion turned to recent events …

    JB: Was it necessary to kill everyone at Icewater, Jack? I just wanted you to scare them.
    JP: (lighting a cigar from the desk box) Buttons, I've always found people scare better when they're dying.
    JB: Whatever you think, we're now stuck with the idea there is now a Mrs. McBain in the picture.
    JP: Well, that was an unplanned development, as we say in the business …
    JB: (curtly) I have no time for your surprises, Jack. You and your striped friends are here to help …
    JP: Yes … to remove small obstacles along the way, you said. And there have been plenty of those.
    JB: There have been many, indeed. This information superhighway work hasn't been easy … so, how does it feel to be sitting behind that desk, Jack?
    JP: Just like holding a gun … except way more powerful.

    At that point, Buttons shifted over to resume his place on the throne The Incumbent had taken for a test drive, as the latter spied an oncoming pair of vertically-striped riders coming in from the North - Fitzy and the eye-patched McBride - both of whom he motioned to sidle up to the window. Before turning to his men, though, he continued with his increasingly disabled boss …

    JP: This whole McBain thing has got me thinking, Mr. Burton ...
    JB: This all works much better for both of us when you let me do the thinking, and you follow orders.
    JP: … I prefer to think of us more and more as partners these days, Mr. Burton …
    JB: You've changed … you used to take care of things personally when we started to make our way west … now you hide in the background, and give orders to your men to take care of the dirty work …
    JP: It's because I need to stay here with you, you need me around more and more every day.
    JB: I feel sorry for you, Jack … you try your best, but you'll never be a true businessman …
    JP: (annoyed) … and why is that, Buttons?

    Mr. Burton reached into the front top drawer of his desk at that moment, causing The Incumbent to whirl around on a dime, with his gun drawn and pointed squarely at Burton. Burton chuckled …

    JB: … you see, Jack … the only thing more powerful than that gun … is this (producing a large roll of bills).

    Having made his point, Joey put the large pile of bills back in the desk drawer, while Jack turned to issue directions to Fitzy and McBride to take care of unfinished business back at Icewater. As the riders turned to leave, Jack and Joey continued to reflect on their roles, and to joust about their plans for the future …

    JP: My tools may seem primitive to you … but they're still good enough to shoot holes in our problems.
    JB: (pointing to a large map on the wall behind his desk) When I started this quest, I could see the sparkling waters of Lake Quannapowitt and the Charles … and before my eyes rot, I plan to see the blue waters of Lake Champlain and maybe the St. Joe.
    JP: I suppose Long Island Sound or the East River just don't make sense to a genius like you …
    JB: You just don't get it, Jack, do you. I'll do the thinking part. You do the coaching and the muscle, OK?
    JP: Jeezus, Buttons - don't be a sap, chasing leprechauns and dirty hippies. Just tell me, I'll walk up to the engineer, and we'll turn this baby around, and head south down the Connecticut River Valley towards some real dough and a real payoff.


    As The Visionary and The Incumbent continued with their back-and-forth on future destinations for league expansion, like a Hockey East version of Dr. Evil and Scott Evil ... back at the Icewater ranch, discussions between The Prize and The Disruptor continued along a more collegial route …

    SW: I swear … McBain must be hiding something here of value for him to live in this wasteland.
    LM: If you can find it, it's yours. As of today, Mrs. McBain heads back to civilization. I'm outta here.
    SW: Well, happy travels, and I expect our paths will cross again. Someday again, you will be mine.
    LM: (smiling wanly) All of the hockey boys believe that to their core. I wish you luck, Orono*
    SW: Y'know, Lamorella … you remind me of my mother … she was the biggest ho in the Downeast, the greatest woman I ever knew. Whoever my father was, for a week or a month … he must have been a happy man.

    With that memorable "compliment", Orono* tipped his hat, rejoined his posse outside of the mansion, and rode off due East to parts unknown. Lamorella extinguished the flame in the fireplace, continued her packing as if uninterrupted, and turned to walk back to the bobsleigh at the rear of the building. At that point, she heard the strange sound of the kazoo wafting through the air, as she'd recently heard it back at that curious bar Richie had stopped at on the fringes of Cleveland Circle the other day …

    Last edited by Chuck Murray; 10-05-2019 at 07:35 PM.
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  7. #27
    Au revoir and adieu, Les Expos
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    Effingwoods NH

    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    Chapter Five (Conclusion) - The Prodigal Makes His Move on The Prize

    No sooner than The Disruptor* and his OLL posse had left the ranch, Lamorella's attention was drawn to the barn at the rear of the property, from which she'd heard a kazoo wafting eerily from the loft area, just as she was planning to depart for the greener pastures of Southeast New England. Upon closer inspection, she noticed the sight of the curious-sounding man she'd seen recently back at that dive bar off Cleveland Circle. She froze unknowingly as he walked down the ladder, grasped her forearm, and sized her up as her sense of trepidation about the true intentions of the stranger grew …

    LM: Who are you? What do you want here, with me??
    JY: Now's not the time to weave heah …
    LM: Why stay? There is nothing for me here. Let me go!!
    JY: You and me ah gonna get to know each othah vewy good someday, Wamowewwa
    LM: How do you know my name, stranger?!?
    JY: (looking outside over the snowbanks at the edge of the property). Evwyone knows you …
    LM: Pig!! Let me go, you animal!!!!!!!!
    JY: (easing his grip) No need to be wude. Now, be a good host, go get me some miwk.
    LM: (cooling down, turning towards the icebox) Regular or chocolate, stranger?
    JY: (pulling her towards the barn door, pointing to the cows outside) I wike my miwk fwesh.

    As Lamorella shuffled outside towards the cows, wondering what the heck was going on in the mind of her newest suitor, The Prodigal had noticed two figures just over the crest of a remote snowbank on the edge of the property … two men with vertically striped jerseys astride snowmobiles, casing the joint, so to speak. He ambled out slowly behind Lamorella towards the cows, as she set up shop to presumably begin milking one of them to meet her guest's request for fresh dairy. He was careful to conceal his pistol so as not to alarm his officiating friends, and lure them further into his deadly trap. The men exchanged glances and quick comments as they remained poised in wait for their target …

    Fitzy: Here she comes … not sure who her friend is though.
    McBride: (puzzled) He looks kinda familiar, from way back … I can't put my finger on it though …
    Fitzy: Me neither, but I know what you mean. See anything we need to worry about with the guy?
    McBride: (annoyed, pointing at his eyepatch) Jeezus, Fitzy … you're gonna hafta make that call.
    Fitzy: D'oh … no kidding, sorry. (tossing a rifle to his cohort) Looks clear to me, let's do this …

    With that, the pair kickstarted their rides, and with the wind blowing in the opposite direction, they quietly and stealthily made their way towards their prey, in the vicinity of the milking cows. Or so they thought, as The Prodigal had long ago noticed them, and finally brought his host in on the plot …

    JY: When you heah a stwange sound, just dwop wight behind the cow.
    LM: Strange sound? Like your voice, or that GD kazoo thing??
    JY: No … something diffewent, wike a motah …

    And at that very moment, the hunting party crested their snowmobiles over the nearest of the series of endless snowbanks, with the sound of their machines making the danger apparent. Lamorella dove for cover behind one of the resting cows, and as the vertically-striped intruders reached for their rifles, The Prodigal pulled his pistol out from its place in his omnipresent gear bag, and with a single shot, he dispatched both of the officials to eternity, as their snowmobiles veered off and crashed into the snowbanks over which they'd just crested. Lamorella looked up at her new-found protector with a mix of shock, awe and a touch of lust.

    Meanwhile, as The Prodigal re-holstered his pistol and walked back to the ranch estate with his host, others had seen this all play out too. Further in the distance, at a slightly elevated position on the edge of the forest, Orono* and his men also holstered their firearms, which had been poised and ready to intervene if necessary. Orono's tone was one of admiration as well …

    SW: (shaking his head) Jeezus, Garth, you see that sharp-shootin??
    GS: Couldn't have happened to two "nicer" guys, effin' homers.
    SW: Good riddance, never liked those guys anyway. Always in Jack's pocket.
    GS: (quiet smile creasing his lips) … Boss, I'd say we got competition on our hands now.
    SW: Yeah, no ***** Sherlock … not only can he play that kazoo - he can flat out shoot, too.

    With that, The Disruptor* and his men withdrew further into the woods to set up camp. Their decision to track the participants in the Cleveland Circle bar to Icewater had paid off. They were onto something here … something big. And Orono* always liked it best when he was getting the attention that "big things" created. *

    Last edited by Chuck Murray; 10-13-2019 at 12:08 PM.
    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
    Montreal Expos Forever ...

  8. #28
    Au revoir and adieu, Les Expos
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Effingwoods NH

    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    Chapter Six - The Prodigal Closes the Gap on the Incumbent

    After their latest encounter with The Incumbent's hired hands, The Prodigal escorted Lamorella back to White River Junction under cover of the moonlight, checking in under assumed names at a nondescript hotel on the square in the center of town. Lamorella had some business to take care of in town, and as it turned out, that business overlapped with advancing The Prodigal's agenda, which was to finally cross paths with the old rival, who at this point had no reason yet to even consider he was being tracked by his dark and shadowy past. But when you're the king of the hill, there's always a bounty on your head, and you never know where the next wanna-be cowboy is coming from anyway. And that's pretty much where this situation still stood, despite The Prodigal's efforts to narrow that gap.

    The next morning, the newly-minted widow Lamorella had already shed her mourning garb, and set out for Canaan Crematorium down the street from the railyard to set things in motion for her new-found "bodyguard". As she entered, the proprietor shoo'ed away his front desk person, and stepped forth to provide his condolences …

    LC: Good morning, ma'am. What can I do for you today?
    LM: (wincing) This place smells like death. Have you heard of air fresheners?
    LC: Sorry, ma'am. Occupational hazard. Can we help you today - I was out at your …
    LM: (snottily) I know who you are, I know you were there …
    LC: Can we help you with any of the … uh, arrangements?
    LM: No, you can't. We'll deal with that ourselves once the ground thaws. We have an ice plant.
    LC: Sure, OK I suppose. If you change your mind, I'm here to help …
    LM: (sharply) Yes, I know one way you can help, you small nondescript peon.
    LC: Whatever your pleasure, ma'am. I'm at your service in your time of need …
    LM: Go see Jack. Tell him I know everything. I want to negotiate with him … personally!!!
    LC: What is it with this guy Jack? I don't know him, what do you want with me?

    Having laid the bait in the mouth of the trap, Lamorella hastily turned and walked out the door, across the square to the hotel that they'd taken a room in. The Prodigal, slightly obscured behind a post supporting the porches for the upstairs levels, watched on while Lamorella walked by and returned to their room upstairs. He waited patiently for what he suspected would follow … and 15 minutes later, his suspicions were proven accurate, as the undertaker slithered his way back across the square and past the hotel, and out towards the railyard. The Prodigal allowed the bait some space, and slowly and quietly fell in behind him, as the toady shuffled past several lines of rail traffic to a stationary Pullman car on a private spur on the edge of the junction's right of way. While Luce entered the car to discuss recent developments with his bosses, The Ptodigal slowly but surely took better positions closer to the exchange that followed, within earshot. but still out of sight, eventually atop the palatial private car, where he found access to the following conversation through a friendly roof vent …

    JB: I've told you never to conduct your business with Jack on this car. Take it elsewhere.
    LC: So sorry, Mr. Buttons. However, when the woman told me this, I thought it best to come right away.
    JP: (dismissively) You know better than to think, Luce. What if it was a trap, you dumb-*****??
    LC: I was mighty careful, Mr. Jack Sir. Like you say, keep your friends close, and enemies closer …
    JB: Why don't you just take your business elsewhere. Get out of here, go back to the morgue. Or Storrs.
    LC: C'mon, guys. You know me … you know you can always trust me to do the right thing.
    JP: (distracted) How can I trust anyone who wears both a belt and suspenders. Man can't trust his own pants.

    After curtly snapping his toady's suspenders as if to emphasize his point, the suspicious-by-nature Incumbent noticed there were some curious shadows on the ground outside the Pullman car, which seemed to indicate Luce had indeed been followed. Hastily and without warning to his fellow occupants, the Incimbent signaled the engineer to start the train forward out from the spur, and in the same motion chucked a handy water bottle off the side of the guest mortician's skull. Up top, The Prodigal himself was surprised by the sudden forward motion of the train out of the yard, and away from town. But instead of jumping off, he stayed crouched in his position atop the car, and decided to see what else he might be able to deduce about his target's operations. He was not only unaware that his presence had been "made" by his target a few moments earlier … and he also did not realize he wasn't the only stowaway on the train as if pulled out of White River Junction towards parts unknown to the north …

    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
    Montreal Expos Forever ...

  9. #29
    Au revoir and adieu, Les Expos
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Effingwoods NH

    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    Chapter Six Continues - After Many Years, The Prodigal Meets The Incumbent

    With The Prodigal still furtively perched atop Mr. Burton's private green Pullman car as it approached the sleepy town of Norwich, the engineer has spotted an incoming posse of Jack's vertically-striped lackeys coming over the horizon from a distance. Having made it this far out without apparently being detected, The Prodigal also noticed this approaching danger to his secrecy, and tried to shuffle slowly back off the top of the car to the end of the caboose, where he hoped to escape detection from The Incumbent and his toadies. But as he started to shuttle down the ladder from atop the caboose, the approaching horde was nearly there, and as he hit the final rung, he faced forward - straight into the cold-blue eyes of his long-separated rival, who also had a loaded gun pointed directly into The Prodigal's weathered face. Both men paused, as the chaser finally realized he'd caught up with his prey, but the terms were not quite to his liking, as The Prodigal's mind flashed back briefly to an instant frozen in time from their last meeting, so many year and so many, many miles away …

    JP: (unknowingly smirking) End of the line, pardner.
    JY: Yeah, I guess so.
    JP: (to one of his men) Go ahead, bring him on board.

    The Incumbent was certainly annoyed with this intruder, who seemed to strike some distant sense of recognition in his mind, but one that had long ago faded from familiarity. After instructing his striped colleagues to tie up the intruder inside the car, The Incumbent made his way to the back of the land baron's office in the rail car, took another cigar from the boss' humidor and struck a light, holding the still-burning match in his fingers as he turned malevolently towards the now-terrified Luce, towards whom he flicked the match as he began to vent his barely-concealed rage …

    JP: So … this is how I can trust you?
    LC: (stuttering) No, Jack, it's not like that …
    JP: No one followed you to the car, right …
    LC: (backpedaling away) … no, let me explain please …
    JP: Get out of my sight!
    LC: No Jack, please ...

    But The Incumbent wasn't listening to any explanations or excuses - you don't make it as long and as far in this business as Jack had by putting up with undependable help, and the strange intruder's presence was enough to convince the man in charge that Luce wasn't going to be of any further use. So as Luce continued to stutter and plead for a chance to explain, another one of The Incumbent's lackeys opened the door behind Luce on the side of the car opposite where the strange intruder had been tied up, and The Incumbent launched into a full-on drop kick, with the aid of the lattice work on the ceiling of the stricken baron's office car.

    Luce flew backwards and hit the ground several feet below, which knocked the air out of him for a moment. Jack still loomed over him from the opening in the car, as Luce gradually crawled over in an attempt to regain his feet, hoping to continue to plead with The Incumbent to restore the man's trust in his intentions. And as he slowly turned to look back at the car, suddenly it seemed as if Fate was smiling at him, as he noticed yet another intruder was hanging precariously in the undercarriage of the train car, as it appeared that Orono* had also joined the traveling party headed north from the Junction. Now, Luce had a chance to show "The Man" he really could be trusted, and redeem himself, as this latest stranger put a finger to his pursed lips …

    SW: Ssshhh … ssshhh … quiet, pardner …
    LC: (eagerly standing up to alert of the danger) Jack, there's …

    But quick unexpected movements were probably not a great idea, with The Incumbent's trust levels being at ebb tide, and with Luce's unexpectedly quick "recovery" to his feet, Jack was not taking any chances, and he pulled his gun again, shot out both of Luce's suspenders with a single shot apiece, and then tilted the pistol a few feet lower dead-center and took aim with the kill shot to the funeral director's belt buckle, serving as the coup de grace as the former confidante fell forward in stages, stone dead. Beneath the rail car, the still-secret stowaway shook his head and bemoaned his untaken advice, and the catastrophic result.

    SW: Jeezus, I told him to be quiet ...

    With that bit of nasty business now taken care of, The Incumbent turned to his striped crew, having returned from the long day's details of other assignments being undertaken for the head office. At the top of the to-do list was the expectedly messy business of dealing with the widow McBain, and he turned to ask the striped man named Gravel for news of the outcome of that task …

    JP: So … did Fitzy and McBride take care of the widow out at Icewater, Gravel?
    JG: No, Jack … someone took care of them. We went out to Icewater when they didn't return … found them both stone dead, and the widow was gone too.
    JY: (speaking up from his point of restraint). Yoh fwiends have a high mohtawity wate, Jack … twee dead fihst, now two moah.

    The Incumbent turned sharply to size up his unexpected guest, still restrained across from the exit Luce had just flew out of, and started to put the pieces together in his mind, still not knowing who or why his guest had taken such a personal interest in these affairs. But he could start the process anyway ...

    JP: So … you're the guy who makes appointments, eh?
    JY: … and yoah the one who doesn't keep 'em.
    JP: (looking closer at his guest) … what do you want with me? Who are you??
    JY: Snooks Kewwey
    JP: (stunned) Snooks Kelley's dead, a long time ago.
    JY: Bob Kuwwen
    JP: (shaking his head) What's your name? Kullen's dead, too.
    JY: You otta know moah than anyone, Jack … you kiwwed 'em.
    JP: (angrily slapping his accuser's face, hauling back to punch him) WHO ARE YOU?!?!?!?
    JB: (interceding forcefully) JACK … the woman … we're only losing time …

    With Burton finally putting an end to The Incumbent's interrogation of The Prodigal, Jack pulled back and took Buttons' advice, grabbing his jacket, and leaving things to resume at a later date, after the more urgent business of ridding themselves of the impediment at the key Icewater location had been completed …

    JP: OK then, this time I'll take care of her myself, personally.
    JY: (sarcastically) Yeah, that otta be easy foah you …
    JP: (now really annoyed) Guys, keep this stiff warm, if he gives you trouble, hit him. But not in the mouth - he's gotta talk. And he's gotta talk plenty.

    With that, The Incumbent's first encounter with The Prodigal came to a close, as the latter remained behind, still restrained in the interior of Mr. Burton's personal Pullman car, while the former conferred with Gravel, telling him to "keep an eye" on Burton, and to meet him up near the Rock Of Ages Quarry further up the line after Jack had completed his next task. The situation seemingly had been defused, at least for now, with some follow-up work to be done on at least two fronts. But it would be the third front, which at the time was still concealed in the car's undercarriage below, which would further complicate The Incumbent's long-term goals.

    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
    Montreal Expos Forever ...

  10. #30
    Au revoir and adieu, Les Expos
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Effingwoods NH

    Re: WIS Productions Presents ... Once Upon a Time in Hockey East

    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
    Montreal Expos Forever ...

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