COOL JOE, Chapter 14

COOL JOE, Chapter 14

A Story by Betty Hermelee

COOL JOE, Chapter 14




Oh my God, we are all mourning Robbie’s death, a ghastly way to die, it’s really hard to believe. Then, we learn that Sylvia may have shot the new bodyguard and escaped with Simone and is nowhere to be found. As I believe it, Boss Johnnie has it our for Pete, meaning that he’s been ordered (they call it a favor), to not try find her, or else, and we know what that means. to sum it up, it’s mess and I don’t know what Pete has in mind. I wonder why Pete is not allowed to look for her? I think there is something else going on.


Poor Pete, I feel for him, and his wife Viv, who never really talks about it. She’s shy and doesn’t particularly like the life Pete lives, so Viv kinda stays in the background, doing her artwork, which she loves, and has talent. Viv doesn’t yap like the rest of us, so it’s almost like having a ghost around, but Pete’s happy so, there you go.


Pete said that me and Jim should meet at his house tonight with the rest of the family to discuss funeral arrangements for Robbie, even though there’s his body hasn’t been found.

I guess most of us will be there, but I just can’t imagine how ugly things have turned out and we’ll all try to agree on what to do about Robbie and Sylvia and Simone.


Me and Jim arrive at Pete’s house about 7:00 PM and the only ones missing are Frankie and Anna. But I think she’s out of the picture now since she basically kicked Frankie out of the house.

“Are we still waiting for Frankie? And, is Anna coming?”

Pete gets up from his couch and comes to give me a hug. Viv is not with him. She must be in her studio.

“We’re still waiting for Frankie,” Pete says with a little annoyance, “but he’s dropping the kids back at Anna’s place, so he’ll be here any moment now. How about some nice Italian wedding cookies anyone?”

“I’ll have one or two or maybe more”, says Tommy with a big smile on his face. Angela takes one, too.

“I’ll have one, too”, says Margaret, “they look delicious, who made them?”

“I picked them up at the bakery around the corner, all home made.”

Just as he says that Frankie enters the house.

“Well look whose here, we all say.

“Welcome bro” says Pete, I’ll give you some wedding cookies and, I know, a scotch and soda for the old man, right?”

“You got it”, says Frankie.

We all have our booze and munchies and now we talk. Pete stands up and begins:

“It’s so good to see many family members here, though it’s a very sad occasion.

We have two tragedies to deal with and I need your help in solving both. As we all have learned in the last day or so, Robbie is dead, though I haven’t seen his body yet. So, we have to decide on our next step. I have seen the Boss and he has told me, after a merry-go-round visit to the cement factory with Frankie and Danny yesterday, that Robbie is not disposed of there. He told us, as you probably know, that he was dismembered and put in a garbage truck and taken to the dump, and he didn’t say which one. Now, one thing we could do is go to the manager of the garbage company that Robbie worked for, and dig for some information there. I think the big guy is Rudy Garcia, he may know something. Or, if we think this is a lost cause, and we just want to have a nice ceremony for Robbie, we can do that too. Does anyone want to say something about Robbie, other than we miss and love him, and we hope his soul goes to heaven, may he rest in peace.”

“I know we’re talking about what to do about Robbie now”, says Tommy, “so don’t you think it might be good to confirm with this guy Garcia, that, in fact, he was disposed of there?”

“I think that makes sense, I mean why close the book now when we still have some leads”, says Margaret.

“I agree” says Frankie, “I think we should see this guy Garcia and hopefully get some answers.”

“How about the rest of you? Maria and Ted, you cool with it?” asks Pete.

“I think you, Pete, should be the one to go since you seem to have more clout with these turkeys”, says Danny.

I don’t mind doing this, but maybe Frankie should come with me. Now I’m not favoring any of my sibs, I just think Frankie might be a good companion and knows how to talk to these guys. Does everyone else agree?  Show of hands? Okay then, I’ll set up the appointment, maybe for tomorrow afternoon; would that work for you Frankie?”

“Yeah, if it’s not my turn to take the kids. I’ll call Anna (if she’ll talk to me)

 and check; in fact, I’ll give her a buzz now. Excuse me folks, we never know how this conversation will go, so I think I’ll take my phone to the kitchen.”


“Hello Anna? It’s me, listen I’m calling to find out the schedule with the kids for tomorrow, cause I got an important appointment.”

“Well, if you really want to know, tomorrow is your day, but I’ll be a good egg and we can switch so you can go to your very important date.”

“It’s not a date, Anna, like with a woman, (boy is she nosy).  It has to do with finding Robbie’s body, geez!”

“Well, have a good time, and remember you’re taking them the next day, and don’t be late.”

“I got it, bye.”


“All set, so Pete if you can call and get an appointment with this Garcia guy, that works for me.”

“I think it might be too late to call him now, if I can find the number, so why don’t we all retire for the night and I’ll let all of you know in the morning.”


So, one by one, or two by two we all leave and go home. I ask Ted what he really thinks and he says that he thinks it’s a run-around but he’ll go along with it, same for me.








Ted and me are up early, awaiting Pete’s call for clearance to go see Garcia at the garbage dump. A few minutes later, as we’re drinking our usual strong coffee, we get a phone call, probably Pete.

“Hello, yes Pete; oh, you got an appointment? Great, what time? Is there any chance I could join my brothers? I’ll just listen, is that okay?”

“Not really”, says Pete with a sigh, “but I’ll say yes this time, but not Ted, too many people.”

“Ted has to work anyways, so no problem there.”

“Okay then” says Pete, “We’ll pick you up in an hour, can you be ready?”

“Of course, bro, just knock on the door.”


So, I’m the lucky sib, I hope it’s not another run-around. I go back to the kitchen to tell Ted the good news.

“Honey, Pete is allowing me to go with him to the garbage company office.”

“That’s great Maria, Pete is such a cool guy, isn’t he?”

“Yup, that’s my oldest brother, he’s the one who has the most contacts and speaks so eloquently, just kidding.”

“Well, I’m going to fix my face and get ready to go, so I’ll kiss you goodbye now, and I’ll be in touch; have a great day my love.

“You too, but be careful, just listen.”

“Okay I will.”


A while later, Pete knocks on the door. Frankie is in the car waiting. The ride to the Waste Management office isn’t too far. They have their own parking lot so very easy.

We walk to the entrance and ring the bell. A tall brunette meets us and takes us to Garcia’s office.

“What can I do for you lovely people?”

“Let’s not joke around” says Pete with a forceful tone.

“I’m not joking, what do you really want?”

“I want to know if my brother Robbie’s body is in your junk pile?”

“I can’t say for sure, but I can drive you there if you want to rummage through garbage.”

“You have ties to Boss Johnnie, you must know more than you’re telling us”, say Pete.

“Well to be honest the boss did tell me to dispose of him there, but exactly where I can’t tell you; I don’t go up there, I’m in the office, a manager.”

“Can you lead us to the dump?” queries Pete.

“Sure, just follow me, it’s about a ten-minute drive; it smells pretty bad there so just warning you.”

So, we follow Garcia to the dump. He drives quite a way up, cause it’s like a big mountain.

We get out and Garcia tells us it might be around this part. We start looking for body parts, ugh, what a horror, and it does it stink, of course it’s a garbage dump. Pete and Frankie are looking very carefully, but to me it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. We spend about an hour there, nothing resembling a leg, an arm, nothing. Pete decides he’s going to call the Boss.


“Hello, It’s Pete, is the Boss around?”


Pete waits fidgeting with his cross necklace, then takes out a cigarette and lights it.

It’s taking long time to get the Boss on the phone. Finally.

“Hey Pete, what’s up?” says Johnnie

“You know what’s up, chief!”

“Ah, still looking for Robbie?”

“You know it”, says Pete in a frustrating voice.

“Listen Pete, Robbie was dumped in the East River in a weighted bag, so now pal, he’s at the bottom, don’t bother looking for him.”

“You lied to me and sent me on a wild goose chase.”

“Don’t fool with me Pete”, says Johnnie.

Pete hangs up, furious, goes to Garcia who is waiting in his car, and says “you’ll get yours!”












© 2021 Betty Hermelee

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Poor Pete is getting the runaround, and even by his standards he must realise the futility of his actions.
It's time to stop talking and start shooting. I would start with Garcia just to get the ball rolling.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago

Betty Hermelee

2 Weeks Ago

The ball will roll very soon! Thanks so much Paul for reading! Out of town be back to read yours end.. read more
Well, now it's Maria's turn. This chapter seems to be part of a buildup to something bigger. The family members are still searching for Robbie's remains, and the search takes them to a garbage dump run by a man named Garcia. He tries to pass himself off as being cooperative, and takes them to the part of the dump where's Robbie's body might be. The search proves fruitless, however, and Pete calls Boss Johnnie, who now tells them Robbie was dumped in the East River. Pete is furious at the runaround, but there is nothing he can do at this point. I feel somehow that violence is in the offing.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

Betty Hermelee

3 Weeks Ago

John, you are a true trooper, keeping up with my “book”... I so appreciate your loyalty and your.. read more
John the Baptist

3 Weeks Ago

The tale does snag one's interest.
Betty Hermelee

3 Weeks Ago

Hope so!!!! Thanks again

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2 Reviews
Added on March 29, 2021
Last Updated on March 29, 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..