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Stories 1 Spring 2020



The Gemini Room

     by Tom Sheehan


The secret data room of NYC Detective Bureau, The Gemini Room, was buried so deep underground it’s elevator ride was called “The Long Fall.” But it contained thousands upon thousands of boxes containing data and associated paraphernalia pertinent to a subject case in the circular structure of the room, boxes that could be requested by posted code directions to be delivered automatically to one of the hundred desks and study centers in the room suspended at mid-point of that circular room where case workers, active detectives, could study collected data and material as long as they wanted, or until leads developed totally under their full scope.


A first visit might blow the mind of the entrant at site, at the apparently unhinged, unconnected room, as though it floated underground with no joints, no rods or beams holding it in place. It was, as has been said continually, its own miracle, conceived by the inordinate, built by the inordinate, maintained by the inordinate; no names or concerns ever divulged.


Nothing else like it yet, anywhere north, south, east or west, like an island inland.


It could provide service, at one and the same time, to the 5 Michael McCarthy’s who worked for the NYPD, and who might be working on different cases, or indeed, the same case, for the instance. The code controls commanding such retrievals sat at each desk in a host of alpha designations and summary identifications of case, criminal, suspect, victim, conclusion where so evident, penal assignments, duration, status to this point of time. “It contained the goods on the bad,” as one would say.


At our moment of entry, we are drawn to one detective, Lieutenant Lionel Bolger, seeking any new data on his missing daughter, Maura Bolger Hennessey, NYPD secretary, whose husband, Harvey Hennessey, NYPD, was killed in the line of duty two years earlier. Reportedly, she was going on a blind date to a dance, at which she never showed.


The names of all Maura’s friends at the dance were listed in the box, with all required contact information. Bolger recognized names of some ladies, and recorded data of several of them known to be very close to his daughter. Secrets, he knew, hung loosely in the air twixt one and all, like common ground where they loitered, gathered, had their ups and downs, as he appropriately noted.


One of them, visually and sensually, stood out beyond the others, so Bolger, long widowed, decided she was the best one to contact, give or take, earn or learn, play or display. He’d make it the long ride.


As Bolger left the Gemini Room, he had the satisfied sense of being far more aware of all mysteries than when he first entered the room. It was, of course not, not a typical visit to a structure, such as an office building, a hotel, or a grandiose manse. It was like a visit to another world, this time developed and devoted to solving the mysteries of crime, the causes, the solutions.


And the most prominent name he came away with was Lulu Sans Cibelle, a gorgeous blonde in any manner of dress or undress, a spectacular knock-out in her established best of the lot of what she possessed.


She came on to him like Lady Gangsters of the ‘30’s, free and loose as a machine gun with a string from afar on the trigger, one with a ‘yanky’ spirit. Duties, he decided, have strange appreciations, opportunities, company.


“What would you like of me, Lieutenant of Arms and Laws?” she slipped smooth as a hot cream-sickle from her lips, a hip and a lip in synchronous motion, life on the incredible ooze.


Bolger laid it out clean as newness itself; “News of my daughter Maura missing now near a week, her plight, if it be so, has driven me here like it was a stick-shift.” His right hand in a short driving move, abrupt, trying to get on with it, to extract movement, ‘A` information, connections so recent they might have a scent or an odor left for the curious, the alert.


Lulu Sans Cibelle, bright-faced, smile of the ages, bed-worthy, said, “She was coming to the dance with Mickey Solomini, mouthpiece for certain undesirables, but a real hunk of manhood. That, dear sir, you can take it from me. I suggest he is the nearest recent contact and if Maura is with anybody right now, it is with him, 1130 Benton Avenue, 7th floor, Apartment 9, back room if he’s is being dishonorable, if she is not able to leave the confines of said site.” Her mouth twisted again, filled with precipitous danger; “Take caution, be alert, he has bodies of comrades, subordinates, at call.”


“You have been a sweet help to me, and I will make up for it sometime if the next few hours carry a pay-back, a fare-thee-hello on short order.”


“How did you come up with me in this investigation?” Her interest was serious for that flare of a moment.


“So mystifying, you wouldn’t believe me.”


“If this all works out well for you and Maura, try me on for size.”


“On a bet, Lulu Sans Cibelle, on a bet.”


“My favorite place sounds like that, it really does, in spades.”


Bolger, shortly after the receipt of such worthy information, at 1130 Benton Avenue, 7th floor, Apartment 9, shot two henchmen of Mickey Solomini, supposed student lawyers on employment or deployment, carrying weapons near big as themselves, both men spitting images of their boss, instructor, gun provider, both weapons accountable for other uses in new additions to Solomini’s drawer, concerning old cases. Fait complete.


On his next visit to the Gemini Room, Bolger noted the two pairs of slim. athletic-looking guards, at the start of the Long Fall, and again at the start of the High Rise, how they spent two-days on and the next four-days off, keeping the arrangements in place, security at the highest order. He thought they reminded him of a pair of live watchdogs, the kind that can breed fear on four legs with deep barks, sets of snarling teeth, and rendered flesh in that quick instance.


On that visit, he found full data, objects, implements on all his late connections, such as his daughter Maura’s rescue, 1130 Benson Avenue, Apartment 9, Mickey Solomini and cohorts, Lulu Sans Cibelle in all her glory and story, including her allusion to her bet-side, shortly tested to comforts and reaches of the principal confidants. She never once heard the word “Gemini,” never spoke it, would never or could never nod her head in belief  that she was aware NYCPD had something so secure, so deeply set below ground to the mind, so inordinate.


But for sure, her new partner in rolls and roles was the most mysterious man she had ever met.


“You are unbelievable, Lieutenant, absolutely unbelievable,” she muttered on many occasions. He was never sure which side or which end she spoke of, but thoroughly enjoyed the possibilities every time he entered the Gemini Room, for whatever reason, whatever case, whatever curiosity worked his mind up to a visit.


He might have called her, at those moments, its star boarder; in name only, of course.



Bio :Tom Sheehan, in his 92nd year, has published 45 books, latest being Alone, with the Good Graces, and Jock Poems and Reflections for Proper Bostonians (Pocol Press) and Small Victories for the Soul VII, (Wilderness House Literary Review), and The Grand Royal Stand-off at Darby’s Creek and Other storiesIn submission process are Beneath My Feet this Rare Earth Slips into the Far-side of Another’s TelescopeBack Home in Saugus, and Valor’s Commission. He has multiple works in RosebudLiterally StoriesLinnet’s Wings, Serving House Journal, Frontier Tales, Rope and Wire Magazine, Copperfield ReviewLiterary Orphans, etc. He was recently saluted in England for the first writer with 100 pieces on the site, Literally Stories. He has 16 Pushcart nominations, 6 Best of Net nominations with one winner, and other awards., He graduated from Boston College in 1956, served in Korea 1950-52 and retired from Raytheon Company in 1991.