Important Note To Old And New Stoned Fans
This episode was the very first one “written” on May 28-29, 2018.
“Ghost Town” is somewhat of an origin story that was to be aired (posted) as the first of 13 episodes, but somehow ended up as the last episode.
All Season 1 1970’s episodes of The Stoned Private Eye have been posted one every month for the past year on this site.
In 2018, 00individual resurrected his 1970’s LSD writing experiment with his good friend and writing partner on the east coast, only without the LSD. His friend would write a few paragraphs or page and then 00individual would do the same. Neither knew where the plot / storyline was going or of the characters that emerged, yet they wrote a very cohesive and fantastic 40-50 page story full of action, dialogue, and fun.
00individual decided to try to do the same technique but by himself. He had the title “The Stoned Private Eye”, a Noir Vibe, and the 1970s decade as inspirations, and as he began to write something truly amazing happened – the story wrote itself!
Tonight’s episode, “Ghost Town” is the first evidence of this phenomenon.
Other than grammatical corrections, and a tad of clean-up, these words were laid out as the sentences unfolded, dialogue came about when needed, action as well, all written spontaneously.
Each episode was completed well within a normal workday, with an average of eight pages including the intro, and around 3,500 words which equaled about a fifteen minute read.
There was absolutely no planning of story, characters, plot, or dialogue; all of these episodes developed as they were written. There were no rewrites; that would be sacrilegious.
Although he did not know where the story was going, his protagonist, the Stoned Private Eye did.
He just wrote as the plot unfolded with plot twists and endings unknown until they were revealed and in most cases not until the last paragraphs were written. Tribal Truth.
00individual has had many special cosmic transcendent meaning-of-life experiences; but never has he experienced an ongoing Connection / Gift like this.
Introduction To The Stoned Private Eye
The 1960’s were a historic era of cultural and political upheaval worldwide; and in the U.S., Los Angeles along with San Francisco were at the west coast epicenters.
The 1970s amped the Vibe; from the grit of L.A, and glitz of Hollywood, to the sunny beach-lined communities north and south of the Los Angeles International Airport.
There was a thriving evolution of new ways to live, to expand one’s mind, and new ways to do business. And one of the rising big businesses was within the Drug Culture.
The times were ripe for anyone to grab the reins and take hold of whatever they could. All ideas, trends, and concepts if not new, were brought forward from the past to be celebrated. With these near daily new enterprises and concepts came great ideas implemented for the good and some for the bad.
William Trent, a young private investigator, maintained his office and living space above the garages of an adjacent apartment building in the “Ghost Town” area of Venice, California. His office was open for anyone who needed his services.
Will was experienced in both deductive reasoning and altered states of consciousness. He had taken nearly every drug, hallucinogen, and psychotropic known, and used those experience’s benefits to become successful enough to hold down his own one man investigation business.
There was much to be said for certain stoners’ abilities to use their clouded stoned appearance or reputation to actually gain detailed insight on those who momentarily let their guard down due to thinking that they were dealing with just another stoned hippie.
Tonight’s 1970 Episode: “GHOST TOWN”
Venice was a notorious crime area with an ongoing “difference of opinion” between the Blacks and the Mexicans, particularly in the Oakwood area of Venice known as “Ghost Town.” Although it was the second highest crime area in L.A., it was known for its racial diversity.
Between paid cases Will sold quality weed, usually Maui Wowee, to friends through his connection in Torrance via the Hawaiian Islands. As a white guy in Ghost Town, and fellow stoner, Will was allowed to deal to friends by the local rival gangs who saw his insights sometimes advantageous for their needs and not a threat to business. He was able to maintain that level of acceptance – more than likely because of his minority status and congenial personality.
Over on a street off of the Venice boardwalk Will was meeting with possible clients in their cottage home. The man, Mr. Martinez, was the older brother of one of Will’s old high school friends who knew of Will’s abilities of perception and deduction. Back in his teens Will could figure out TV series’ plot lines before they unfolded, and walked out of several movies early because he solved the entire plot and ending.
The older brother said that his wife’s younger sister Deborah was acting strange over the past few weeks and hadn’t been seen in a couple days and they think she may be in with a bad crowd. Will knew the limits to which a “bad crowd” could encompass, but agreed to take them on as clients.
Back at his office/home Will lit up a joint. For Will getting and being stoned was not only a way of life but a strong motivating force. Marijuana had been a psychic friend since he was fifteen and was the only entity that he could rely on.
He pondered the situation. The immediate scenarios came to mind; one was that this was typical late teen behavior and considering the times not far from normal, or another that she was an independent runaway, and then there was the possibility that she may be in with a bad crowd and may actually be in over her head, or worse. If the later was the case, then time was of the essence so the first place to go for information on the missing girl was straight to those who he maintained a civil alliance by minding his own business. This was something he did not want to do.
Will went to a bar on the southside of Main street where a known gang affiliated with the Mexican Mafia hung out. He entered and scanned the bar’s interior clientele surreptitiously.
He saw a couple familiar faces and a few unfamiliar as he approached the bar and ordered a beer. The TV set was on and an old movie was playing but the volume was down. Will allowed his Marijuana high to assist in engaging those at the bar.
He began to improvise for the voices of the characters on the TV screen; high voices for the women, and gruff voices for the men. At first the patrons questioned his intrusion but then watched in somewhat amazement as he actually made them laugh with his witty dialogue.
At one point his quips had one patron laugh so hard he spit beer out his nose. Fortunately a commercial broke the spell, and Will could take a rest to sip his beer.
His ploy worked and a serious-looking gang member approached him at the bar and with a firm but reserved slap on Will’s back: “Thanks for the entertainment“.
Then he sat down next to him: “I’m Viper, what d’ya want?”
Will came right to the point: “I’m looking for a local girl, seventeen, her name is Deborah Morales, she goes by Debs, been missing for a couple days.”
Viper looks at him hard: “I know you, you’re that Dick above the garages.”
Will admits that he is the private investigator with his office above car garages.
Viper: “You helped out my cousin Cobra a while back when I was out of town, you knew him as Carlos.”
Will nods in acknowledgement.
Viper: “You saved him money and helped him avoid harm, thanks.” “You’ll hear from me soon, one way or another.”
Will nods thanks and leaves to a smattering of applause from the bar’s patrons and gang members for his previous entertaining performance.
Back at his office and at his desk, Will packs a bowl and lights up, taking in a long drag, holding it, then letting it billow out and up into a perfect French inhale as he gazes from his heightened level at the Pacific Ocean’s setting sun.
As he takes in the initial wave of cosmic interaction he notices a figure ascending the stairs via his perfectly positioned mirror at the top of the stairs.
As his “Open, Come In” sign says, someone did, a Mexican female gang member, with a message. Will stood up and took the piece of paper she handed him. She was young maybe twenty, was she a Deborah once? She turned, approached the door, looked back at him with a sly sexy smile, and left. Through the mirror’s voyeuristic lens he watched her walk down the stairs and into the darkness.
Will turned on the desk light and unfolded the paper, it said “tomorrow noon at the pier” – he folded it back up and put it in his pocket.
The next day as Will walked the Santa Monica Pier he began to notice Black gang members scattered at distances on the pier, and as he walked they began to meld with those walking along with the group Will was among.
It was 11:55. Who was he to meet in five minutes?
As he walked he could sense being outnumbered by those following behind. Sure there was always a trap element to just about anything, but the Blacks knew nothing of this, or did they?
In these instances Will found it best to turn tides, alter perceptions, create a reality that no one is ready for. At three minutes till noon Will stopped, turned, and began a quick decent Elvis impersonation. As people stopped to see his impromptu street performance he could pinpoint the gang members and size them up. And just before he wound-up his abreviated version of “Blue Suede Shoes” he saw Debs, standing between two Black gang members who were giving him the evil eye.
As the small crowd clapped, then dispersed on their way, Will was left standing with a half dozen gang members – and Debs.
One of the two gang members to her side: ”You wanted to know where she was? Now you know, she’s with us.”
Will could tell that the far away look in Debs eyes were from drugs. Unable to do anything physical, Will was ready to resort to an attempt of psychological intimidation when they turned away and took Debs with them.
One gang member remained: “Tell Maestro Martinez if he wants what’s left of his neice to meet our demands. He’s got ’til midnight tomorrow night and after that, its his wife.”
Will stood there, he could do nothing. Then when the bottom fell out of his desperation for action, the reality of who was behind all of this was Martinez, he felt wholly betrayed and angry, but only for a moment as he needed to direct the energy at its rightful time and place.
Back in Venice he confronted Martinez and his wife. After many apologies, they explained that Deborah was seeing one of the Black gang “royalty”, an eighteen year old decent young man whose involvement with the common Mexican girl was forbidden. The Martinez family was warned, but when the two were caught together once again, the Blacks kidnapped her and isolated the boy.
Martinez laments: “I have no gang affiliation so I have no force to combat this. I thought that you might find out something, anything, to Deborah’s whereabouts, and you have.”
Will shook his head: “You need to get the Police in on this. This is kidnapping – out of my league. They said you’ve got ‘til midnight tomorrow – or your wife is next.”
Martinez stops him: Wait, what will it take. I’ve got money.”
Will stops, he’s heard that before, where money’s offered, it’s either plentiful or stolen. He turns. “What?” “You’ve got money?”
Will scans Martinez’ face for clues, and even before Martinez can reply: “Money. Stolen money?”
Martinez need not answer, as it was written all over his face.
Will: “Let me guess, you “somehow” came across gang money and thought that you’d never get caught, right?’
Martinez’ wife is horrified at this revelation.
As Will makes for the door: “You better make this right Man, return the money.”
And just as Will reaches for the doorknob . . .
Martinez: “I can’t, I don’t have it, I was robbed.”
Will stays to listen to Martinez’ story of being robbed at gunpoint just after making off with a briefcase full of “found” money.
Martinez: “It was in the back seat of my car. I swear. I didn’t know whose it was.”
Will senses that part of the story is true, but doubts that Martinez is telling all he knows.
Will: “If you got robbed how can you offer me money?”
Martinez: “I took some out of the briefcase.”
Will: How much was in the briefcase?”
Martinez turns visibly pale, “I don’t know, a lot.”
Will: “And how much did you pull out?”
Martinez: “About half.”
Will: “Look Man, give it all back or get the Police in on this – or some bad stuff is going to happen.”
Will again turns to the front door to leave.
Martinez: “I’ll pay you, of my own money, if you will make the exchange. I know you know these people, they’ll trust you. Please?
Martinez’ wife: “Yes, please, I want my sister back.”
Will is conflicted, one scenario is the exchange goes well, he’s done this before and all everyone involved wanted was what was theirs, and the other scenario is unknown, but possibly bad in varying degrees.
Without turning from the door Will asks: “Where’s the money?”
Martinez: “It’s in the trunk of my car.”
Will retrieved, counted the money from Martinez’s car trunk, and stashed the cash, then returned to his place only to see his lights on and movement beyond the windows – someone was in his office.
Will had a gun stashed in his car and one in a big empty coffee can in the kitchen, but opted to wait and identify the intruder when they left.
A few minutes later someone came down the stairs – it was the female gang member, the messenger. It would be of no use to confront her and following her would only lead into dangerous ground so Will waited til she left and went upstairs to get clues.
His place had been tossed, but without damage. What could Will have that, . . . the money, . . . they thought that he might have the money, but she was a Mexican, why would she, they, . . .
Then it all fell into place.
This wasn’t about money, kidnapping, or gangland feuds, this was about the “Romeo and Juliet” affair between two rival gangs – and that wasn’t Debs on the pier, and this wasn’t stolen money this was ransom money.
Will wanted no more part in this, his existence was based on remaining on equal terms with both factions and the stakes were too high.
But there was still something bothering him, something not right beyond all of the drama, and that was, if it was ransom then why not come right out and ask for his services?
No, Martinez was deeply involved, there was much more to this, but Will’s inquisitiveness heightened by a joint on the road won out against his better judgement. Will figured that if he got the final truth from Martinez he could maybe put an end to it all and get Deborah back to her parents safely. And solve the case – it’s all about solving the case.
Will parked a few blocks away, and once at Martinez’ Venice cottage he found the front door open with no one there.
He was about to leave when he heard a groan come from behind the couch. As he moved the couch aside, there was Deborah, lying on the floor, the real Deborah, like the family pictures on the walls.
Will helped her to her feet and just before he said the words “Are you alright?” he senses that all is not right, he turned and for the split second before he’s knocked unconscious he saw a late teen Black man with sorrow in his eyes.
Will came to, feeling groggier than usual, and focused on a gun barrel pointed at him from just a few feet away.
Will to gun-wielding Romeo and tough-as-nails Juliet: “This was never about ransom, but a stake for the future. Right? You two stage fake double kidnappings of each other as each faction scurry for a couple hundred grand. Only it was really a cool million, but by the time the ruse price tag was revealed it became a real ransom / trade with each faction holding the others’ teen.”
Will pauses as Romeo and Debs glance at each other knowing Will speaks Tribal Truth.
Will: “Somehow you two lovebirds broke free and came back for the money, your “sister” cleared my place and his “brother” did the same here. You robbed your own father of the ransom money only he took some, so with your parents either bound and gagged or behind it all, it remains for me to be the obvious one to question, but you won’t have to because I will tell you where the money is, all of it, but first, may I have a light?
Will stands and holds out a joint between his thumb and forefinger.
Romeo: “I don’t smoke, there’s a matchbook on the table next to you.”
Will picks up the matches and with the gun trained on him he places the joint between his lips, and as he strikes the opened book and lights the joint he thumbs the still lit half burnt match between the others and waves it like he’s putting it out but “accidently” catches the whole book on fire simultaneously tossing it in Romeo’s face immediately followed by a classic take-down move by his “bladed” hand striking Romeo in the throat followed by a quick forward head butt lunge to the sternum with continued forward motion grabbing him behind the lower thighs causing him to fall back and hitting his head on the ground causing unconsciousness.
Will retrieves the gun before Debs could and motions for her to go care for Romeo.
Will: “Where’s the money?” “I can easily break his ankle right now and then you and he will not be going anywhere.”
Debs: “All Right!” “It’s in a locker at the Santa Monica bus station.”
Will, looking impatiently bored: “No, it’s not, its nearby, you wouldn’t let it out of your sight – although peeling off two hundred grand to throw off the scent of the big take was novel. This whole con was novel.”
Will continues: “So are you gonna make me have to get ugly, or can we just end this and go back to me doing my job and you being a lovestruck teen – how’s that?”
Will adds: ‘You two are on very borrowed time, both sides will be all over you very soon.”
Debs: “It’s right there.”
She points to the briefcase on end in a bookcase with the same color as the wood trim. Clever, hiding in plain sight.
Will opened the briefcase as Romeo came to and tossed a few packs of hundreds to them – around twenty grand – and told them to get outta town, faraway, now.
They scrambled, got in their car, and took off.
Will put the briefcase back, made a few preparations, sat down on the sofa, lit up a joint, and waited for the show.
He could see through the slits in the opened blinds as cars approached, parked, and turned of their lights.
Will took a meaningful drag and as the first of the gang members approached the porch he exhaled. The door was open and the first words from a Black gang member was: “Where’s the money and the boy?”
Car headlights lit the room from oncoming cars as the Mexican faction arrived for their money and the girl. The leader of the Mexican gang is allowed access as he approaches the cottage. As the various gang members move to the side it is Maestro Martinez: “Where’s the money and the girl?”
Will: Well, Martinez, I really wished this would have been a surprise, but as you see, sadly it’s not, so if any of you want answers I‘d suggest you look to the informative pages in this newly released book.”
Will spins “The Anarchist Cookbook” around on the wood coffee table between them so that it could be easily read.
Will: “The chapters under homemade deadly explosives and deadly gases make for a very interesting and useful read.”
Then, just before slipping on a gas mask he advised everyone to leave slowly, avoid trip wires at any level, and to hold their breath.
Martinez: “I think you’re bluffing!”
Will: “Then breathe deep.”
Will secured his gas mask.
Knowing human psychology, and unless having a death wish, most people will choose not to challenge possible death. Will knew this and banked on it.
Martinez, pissed off, left.
Will set off a couple smoke bombs and stink bombs, fanned them to spread the effect, grabbed the briefcase, ducked out the back, and stealthily hopped several neighborhood fences into a back alley and ran to his car a few blocks away.
He drove to a perfect spot in Los Angeles and “buried” the briefcase, and knowing his office/home would be monitored, slept in his car.
The next day he knew what he had to do and drove straight into the heart of Ghost Town.
No one had a beef with him except for those from last night, they would come forward. And they did.
There was no need for violence at this point and Will used that to his advantage.
Will: “So, you want money, I got it – Romeo and Juliet I don’t, and I don’t know where they are.”
He pulled two nicely folded aerodynamically-designed paper airplanes from his inner pocket: “I’ll give both sides directions, but you’ll have to divvy it up amongst yourselves, and remember that there was a nominal finders/handling fee.”
Will ambidextrously sails the two planes to the nearest Black and Mexican gang members.
Will: “Both have identical instructions and directions to the briefcase and the money.”
The place cleared-out as Will stood watching them already jockeying for position over one another as they got in cars and raced on.
Will got back in his car but was startled to see a woman sitting shotgun, it was the Mexican gang member/messenger.
Woman: “I’m Amber. I’m supposed to watch you, ‘cuz if you’re lyin’ . . .”
Will smiles: “Well I’m not, but I am hungry though. How about you?”
After lunch and fun interaction, they found out that they were attracted to each other and she spent the night.
The next morning on TV the news was all about the shootout between two rival gangs and the L.A.P.D. over some mystery briefcase full of money. Apparently there were some deaths, many wounded and many arrested, some of those arrested were gang bosses like the elusive Juan Flores, alias Maestro Martinez. News sources called this the biggest gang bust in ten years.
While standing and watching the TV news it suddenly dawned on him, anyone of them could have been Amber’s brother or friend, and as he slowly turned and looked at her kneeling nude on the bed.
Amber, as if a psychic mind-reader: ”Don’t worry, I’m an out-of-towner on loan, I’ve got no skin in the game.”
Will, smiling: “The Hell you don’t.” And he playfully tackled her back into bed.
Copyright 2018 00individual TLL
Written spontaneously over a few hours on May 28-29, 2018 with only The Stoned Private Eye, The 1970s, Ghost Town, and a Noir Vibe as inspiration.
“The Stoned Private Eye” has been renewed for a second season of 13 new episodes!
Titles of Completed Season 2 Episodes:
“Out Of Body, Out Of Mind”
“Chasing The Synchronistic Dragon”
“The Endless Night”
“The Endless Night Returns”
“The Treasure Chest”
“At The Movies”
“The Halloween Party”
“To Trip And Die In L.A.”
“Evil Doctors And Mad Scientists”
The Endless Night Ends
Season 2 of The Stoned Private Eye will premiere next month with the 1974 episode
“The Halloween Party”.
ALL 13 EPISODES OF THE STONED PRIVATE EYE SEASON ONE