COOL JOE, Chapter 13

COOL JOE, Chapter 13

A Story by Betty Hermelee



COOL JOE, Chapter 13



Later, that night


OH my God, I got so much stuff in my head, it’s spinning! Just got frantic calls from Pete and Frankie. Now we got problems all over the place. I’m crossing myself and I have a freakin headache, gotta calm down and think this through. And to top it off I met a lovely woman who seems to be crazy about me and she’s calling me all the time. Whew!


So, Robbie is dead, we pretty much know, not 100 percent, but we don’t know where the body is. So, we gotta do some digging and pushing, I mean pushing those we think might be responsible. We all got some leads, but we really gotta use them. Assuming Robbie is dead, where is the most likely place they would dispose of him? Then, I just heard a few hours ago that Sylvia may have shot her body guard and then disappeared. I’m gonna call Pete to discuss all this.


“Hello Pete, it’s Danny; I’m freaking out about all this terrible news, buddy.”

“I know”, says Pete in a nervous voice. “I’m trying to deal with Robbie and Sylvia and Simone’s disappearance too. I believe Sylvia may have bought a gun, not only because she threatened to, but I found her bodyguard shot to death in front of her house. Police took his body away, searched the house, no evidence anywhere, and no Sylvia, so I have some digging to do with the boss about a few matters.”

“Does the whole family know by now?”

“Yes” says Pete in a quiet voice, “everyone knows as much as we know.”

“How about you dig for evidence on Sylvia and Simone, cause you got good relations with some of those bosses, and I’ll call Frankie about Robbie’s body, sound like a decent idea? Okay then.”

I hang up the phone, not really knowing where to begin.


I call Frankie, though it’s getting kinda late.


“Hey” Frankie, it’s Danny”, I could hear him yawning loud like he’s ready for the sack. “What’s up?

 “What’s up? A hell of a lot don’t ya think?” says Frankie, “I mean we have a murdered brother, a dead body guard and the disappearance of Sylvia and Simone; isn’t that enough?”

“Calm down”, says I. We’ll get it all sorted out.”

Frankie replies “I’m gonna take care of Robbie’s body, I hope, cause I expect to see one of the bosses tomorrow at my work. I think I know who to talk to, so hopefully we’ll have some information soon. Listen, I got my own problems too, you know. Anna is driving me crazy to get out of the house and find another place already. So, I got plenty of aggravation. I think I have a place, nearby, so I can see the kids pretty often. It isn’t the most beautiful, but the kids have their own room and we have to share a bath, not so terrible. Anyways, I gotta get some sleep, big day tomorrow. I’m thinking, gees, why doesn’t Anna give me some rope, I mean I’m getting out but hey, give the old man a break”


Next Day


I’m up early, cause it was hard to sleep, too much on my mind. The phone rings, I think it’s Pete or Frankie or Tommy or…but it is Anita, that lovely girl who is crazy for me. She always seems to call at the wrong time.


“Hello Danny, this is Anita, just calling to see if you’ve calmed down a little.”

“Well, Anita, the whole family is crazy right now with so many bad things going on, but I’d love to meet you for a drink sometime soon. Let me get things straightened out family wise, you know, and then I’ll call you back and we’ll meet for a drink. I have a nice place in mind.”

“Okay Danny, sounds good, looking forward to it, oh, by the way good luck with everything.”

“Yeah, it’s going be tough, and sad but we’ll all get through it, we’re strong


Next thing I know, phone rings again.


“Hey, it’s Pete, Danny; listen, are you free in about an hour to come with me and Frankie to the cement plant? We’re going to talk to a few of the managers there, connected to Johnnie.”

“Sure, I can meet you Pete, what time?”

“How about 11:00 AM? Meet us at the gate entrance.”


I find my way to the entrance of Panelli’s Cement. I wait for Pete and Frankie, pacing back and forth, then I light up a cigarette, bad habit but hey, I’m alone so it’s something to do.


Now I see Pete and Frankie walking towards me, traveling at a good pace.

“Hey guys, great to see you, hope we get some answers here.”

“I think we will, says Frankie, “let’s be positive.”

All three of us walk in the gates, and this guy walks towards us, maybe he’s the one.

“Hey Alex”, says Frankie, “Meet my two brothers, Danny and Pete; so, what’s the deal here?”

“Well, I’m the top manager here as you know Frankie; and after I spoke to you, I told you that only Johnnie knows about things; So, like a good family member I got a tip- off that perhaps Mr. Robbie’s body is buried in one of three new buildings under construction. He wouldn’t exactly tell me which one, but I can go with you to show you the buildings, then you could hunt for yourself, understand?”

Pete replies, “We understand, but we don’t know the motive for this vicious act, so somebody has to some explaining to do.”

“Well, that’s up to Johnnie, not me. My instructions are to take you to the three places, that’s it; if you want to know more, call the boss.”

“How far apart are these buildings?” Asks Pete, with a harsh voice.

“Three blocks each, about I think”, says Alex. “you guys can go in one car and follow me.”


We decide to use Frankie’s jalopy and follow Alex to the first building. It’s in Brooklyn, and it’s about five stories high, looks like a skeleton at the moment. We follow Alex around to one of the construction men, whose name is Freddie.

“Hey Freddie”, says Alex, “show these men where you poured the un-dried concrete.

He leads us to a place where he pours the stuff and has just finished smoothing it out.

“Hey” says Frankie, “You notice any dead bodies stuck in here while you’ve been pouring and smoothing?”

“Nope, but feel free to see for yourself, walk around, talk to some of the other cement people.”

So, we do walk around, inspecting different parts of the building and no sign of any body, or even a body part sticking out. We talk to several of the guys here and they say they haven’t seen anything like this.


We’re frustrated, to say the least. Alex leads us to the next building. We do the same thing here, talk to mixing guys and others involved in construction, and we even inspect it more carefully, just looking for more clues, anything, but no luck.


When we get to the third building, we’re tired, of walking, tired of seeing nothing and Pete is getting more frustrated by the minute, I can tell, like he’s almost giving up, but doesn’t say it yet.

“I the boss is trying hard to mislead us”, say Pete, head down, really depressed, I think.


‘What should we do now?” asks Frankie, in a desperate tone of voice. Pete says nothing but I know he’s thinking hard. After a minute or two, Pete looks up, a tear runs down his face.

“We need to speak to the boss now” he says, as he tries to compose himself.

“I got my flip phone with me” says Frankie, “lets call Johnnie now okay?”

Pete nods, takes the phone and tries to remember the number.

“I got it Pete, no worries”, so Pete dials and gets the butler (associate) on the phone.

“Yes? Mr. Chastain, what can I do for you?”

Pete says, “How did you know my last name?”

“Ah, the boss knows everything.”


After the conversation, the boss invites us to his residence. After waiting quite a while, we’re told to go into his office, as I said before a palatial place with old mobsters’ photos on the wall.


“AH, my dear family, what can I do for you today?”

“Boss Johnnie, we’ve come to ask you some questions”, says Pete. “Where is my brother Robbie’s body buried? Are you taking us on a wild goose chase?”

“No such thing”, replies the Boss.

“We were led to believe that he was buried in cement in one of your buildings, sir.”

“Nonsense”, says Johnnie. “if you do me a big favor, I will tell you.”

“What?” says Pete excitedly.

“Don’t look for his wife or there will be trouble.”

“What do you mean?” asks Pete, don’t tell me she’s dead too.

“Just what I said. Now, Robbie’s body is chopped up, and lays in a garbage dump.; you’ll never find him, so don’t look. Remember the favor, or else. You may go now.

There is complete silence as we leave the Boss’ office. We are dumb-founded and broken-hear-ted, so we lean on each other and pray.


© 2021 Betty Hermelee

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As is usual with this family saga, a different member narrates each chapter. This time it's Danny's turn. Robbie's body's whereabouts are still unknown, and now his wife and daughter have disappeared. The main emphasis is still on Robbie, though. Danny, Pete and Frankie go to a cement plant owned by Boss Johnnie, who is the main suspect in Robbie's death. The plant manager, Alex, invites the brothers to check out three of Johnnie's properties where cement has been freshly laid, and where Robbie may be entombed. They do so, questioning personnel there, but come up empty. Despairing, they arrange an appointment with Boss Johnnie, who advises them where Robbie's body is, but also tells them further search is hopeless, and also advises them to forget about looking for Robbie's wife and daughter. I am wondering why they didn't conclude this lowlife knew everything to begin with.

Posted 4 Weeks Ago

Betty Hermelee

4 Weeks Ago

This is too complicated and you don't mess around with the Mafia, they tend to play games with you a.. read more
Robbie's chopped up and getting used as manure. Sylvia's might have chopped up, but unless a favour is forthcoming we'll never know. Is the favour to wack some guy who's getting a bit uppity. Is ''uppity a word.''
Roll on chapter 14.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Betty Hermelee

1 Month Ago

You'll see! and yes uppity is a word! Stay tuned, I'll put up Chapter 14 very soon!!

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3 Reviews
Added on March 15, 2021
Last Updated on March 15, 2021


Betty Hermelee
Betty Hermelee

Black Mountain, NC

I have emerged as a poet ! I have written over 300 poems, mostly about slices of life, happy and sad, deep or light, sometimes tragic. I try to use vivid images in my poetry. I also write about my .. more..


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