Prohibition

by - May 20, 2013

      “Sorry boy, this bank's closed,” Marie uttered, as she spun away from her admirer, clasping her drink with a death-grip. She smiled to herself as she replayed the rejection again in her head. If men weren't always swarming her, she might have actually enjoyed the flattery. With her emerald eyes and her curly white hair, she was used to receiving constant male affection. She and her friends were the center of attention wherever they went, and this particular club was no exception.
      Marie quickly sipped her drink as the sound of sultry jazz began to fill the room. Everyone around her began to dance, so she threw the drink to the ground and locked arms with her friends. As they twirled around the large wooden floor, the whole club stopped to stare. The constant movement blurred their feathered headbands and short swinging dresses. The alcohol had kicked in, and Marie's mind began to lose focus; that is, until she spotted an unfamiliar face at the bar. He was uncomfortably leaning over the counter top, which only came up to his hip. Yet, despite his seemingly awkward stance, she was instantly drawn to him. His perfectly groomed dark hair fell in all the right places, and his blue tailored suit mirrored the color of his mysterious eyes. On top of his good looks and confident demeanor, he was by himself. 
     “Girls, I think it's time I introduced myself to our new friend over there,” Marie said, while raising an eyebrow.
      “You little hussy!” her friend screamed, while reaching over and swatting at the draping beads on Marie's dress.
      “Ouch!” she laughed. After composing herself, she smoothly walked over toward her desired target at the bar. He obviously didn't see her coming, because he wasn't drooling yet. “Hey swell,” she said, while twirling her white hair around her dainty finger. “What is it that makes a sheik like you, come over to my neck of the woods?”
      “If you wouldn't mind, miss, I would rather just keep to myself,” the man said, while intently
surveying the club.
      “Excuse me?” Marie scoffed. “Do you know who I am?”
      “No, and based on first impressions, I can't say that I want to,” he replied, while still looking away from her.
      “What did you just say to me?” Marie asked, while slamming her hand down on the counter like a child. “No one speaks to Marie Ellington that way!”
      “Marie, Ellington?” he asked, while quickly turning to look at her.
      “Yes, and any sap would go crazy in order to talk to me.”
      “Look, I feel real bad about the way I treated you,” the man said, while extending his long arm.     “Johnny Powell. I am very pleased to meet you, Marie Ellington.” Marie reluctantly reached out and shook his hand. “Would you like to dance?” 
     “Yes,” she stated, as she yanked his arm behind her toward the dance floor. She couldn't very well let him take the lead after the way he had treated her. When they reached the floor, Marie began to twirl around and seductively smile at Johnny, as if no one else was around. She wasn't used to working so hard, if at all, to capture a man's attention.
      “So I take it you come here often, Marie?” Johnny asked, while reaching out and pulling her closer toward him.
      “You could say that. My friends and I practically live here.”
      “So how does a doll your age find the means to live at a jazz club every night?”
      “Let's just say, I have friends in high places,” Marie winked, while turning away and walking toward the bar. She could sense him following, and began to feel her power coming back. Her heavy necklace began to strain her neck, so without giving it a second thought, she took it off and placed it on the bar-top. “Hooch?” she asked, pointing to her illegal drink. 
     “None for me, thanks.”
      “Oh come on. This club's never been busted,” Marie said, before taking a huge sip. “Pretty good for a speakeasy that's right in the middle of the city. You afraid a bull's gonna bust you?” Her eyes began to widen with confidence. “'Cause I'm not. Never been busted, and never will be.”
      “No, it's not that.” Johnny said, with a now softer tone. “I just wouldn't dare intoxicate myself to the point where going back to your place was no longer an option.”
      “Such a gentleman,” she smirked, while taking another sip. “Well if I'm what you're after, I'm afraid we'll have to go back to yours.”
      “Unfortunately that's not possible,” Johnny shouted over the loud music. “I'm here on business, and I'm staying with my folks.” Marie froze, and looked toward her friends who were still the center of attention on the dance floor. “Unless there's a reason you don't want us to go back to yours.”
      “No, no, it's fine,” she said, while placing her drink on the counter in exchange for his hand. “Let's go.”
      The two of them hiked up the tall San Franciscan hill from the bar toward Marie's apartment. She was so used to making the trek, that she was hardly affected by the steep incline. When they finally arrived at her apartment and made it inside, she realized that she had left her expensive necklace back at the bar.
      “Horse feathers!” Marie screamed, while explaining the situation to Johnny. “How did I forget to grab it off the counter? We have to go back. I cannot lose that necklace!”
      “I'll wait here,” Johnny said, while pretending to massage his sore legs. “I'm not used to these hills, and I don't know if I can take another trip up and down.”
      “Fine. Just don't go into the basement. It's not for guests,” she ordered, before leaving out the front door. After waiting a minute, Johnny pulled out a folded piece of paper from his suit pocket, along with Marie's necklace that he had snatched from the bar without her noticing. He quickly unfolded the piece of paper, and inside was a small picture. The picture was of a woman. That woman was Marie.
      “I've got you now Marie Ellington,” he muttered to himself, while taking out his police badge and pinning in onto his suit. He then turned his attention to the piece of paper. 


Criminal Profile
Marie Ellington
Alias: N/A
Birthday: 10/05/1905
Height: 5' 3” Hair: Blonde(white)
Weight: Unknown Eyes: Green
Sex: Female
Wanted For:
  • Illegal Production of Alcohol
  • Illegal Distribution of Alcohol
  • Illegal Financial Transactions
  • Aiding and Abetting Known Fugitives
  • Gang Affiliation
  • Gang Activity

     After reading it one last time, he slammed it down on the kitchen table next to the photo and necklace. Where are you hiding it?, he thought while adjusting his badge. He slowly made his way down the hallway, and thoroughly checked behind every door. For the most part, the apartment seemed fairly well-kept. After searching every room with no luck, Johnny started to think that Marie had shut down the whole operation. Maybe she knew this was gonna happen.
      “The basement!” he accidentally yelled out loud. Behind the curve of the hallway was a large staircase, illuminated by the light of the moon shining in from a window. Johnny cautiously made his way down the stairs, searching on the wall for a light-switch. After flicking it on, the whole room lit up. Before him, stood ten huge basins, filled with home-made red liquor. Jackpot. It appeared to be red wine, but the smell was unfamiliar to him. He started to walk closer.
      “Do you like what you see?” a woman's voice asked from the top of the stairs. When he turned around, he saw Marie. Her white hair was glowing blue in the moonlight.
      “Marie Ellington, you're under arrest for the illegal production and distribution of alcohol!”
      “Oh Johnny, I was really starting to like you,” Marie said, while slowly walking down the stairs. “I had big plans for you from the moment I laid eyes on you, but that was all starting to change. It's a shame we couldn't have just gotten to the fun stuff without this little mess you've created. You just had to turn out to be a lying, thieving, snooping, bull.”
      “For your information, we police officers really hate that term.”
      “Well Johnny, for your information, I think it fits you just fine,” she smirked, while pulling a pistol out of her purse.
      “I must admit Ms. Ellington, this is the first time I've ever busted someone who was illegally producing wine. It's quite unusual.”
      “Poor Johnny. So clueless. That isn't wine,” she smiled.
      “Then, what is it?”
      “It's moonshine. Best bang for the buck I've always said.”
      “That, that doesn't make sense,” he stuttered, while backing away from Marie. “Moonshine isn't red.”
      “Mine is,” Marie giggled, while continuing to walk toward him. “The red comes from my special ingredient. In fact, you could say that it's all thanks to guys like you, Johnny.”
      “Guys like me? What does that mean? What's the ingredient?”
      “Oh, I think you already know the answer to that,” Marie replied, aiming the pistol at Johnny's head. 



THE END






 - Octo

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