July 2nd, 1947
We did not expect, three days ago, that hell would descend upon Cobb house the way that it did. That a single door bell ringing “ding dong” could start it all. A simple man rings our bell, asking to use the house to film the movie “The unfaithful” by Vincent Sherman. Staring Anne Sheredan, Lew Aries, and Zachery Scott. They stake out the kitchen, and the back garden.
Madame Cobb is smitten when she learns that the main actors will be there. The Starlettes are giddy. The film crew was supposed to be there for just a day, but they liked the kitchen, then the rooms upstairs, then the garden – and so forth. They are there for 3 weeks, always asking to use a room; so we have to move out, albeit temporarily.
The Starlettes are very happy. Samuel was forcefully kicked out for a few weeks. The movie people refused to let Samuel spout his commie nonsense on the set. They made it part of the contract with Madame Cobb. Mrs. Maria Montoya starts catering for the teamsters who are mostly spanish.
Today is the day that Anne Sheredan is supposed to appear for filming. It was to be in the garden, but Mr. Kano Hiroji lost it when the crew tried to place cameras in the garden.
Everyone is dressed up and Madame Cobb’s room is set up to be Ms. Sheredan’s dressing room.
Ms. Sheredan arrives in a big black car. She seems to float out, and smiles and waves to the assembled crowd of neighbors. She is accompanied by an agent from Warner Brothers. She thanks Madame Cobb for the use of her house. “It’s so authentic.” She asks Madame Cobb if she’s a divorcee, but seems sad that she’s a widow. She’d love to meet a divorcee. She shakes a few hands.
She is introduced to Mrs. Redford and they shake hands. They speak briefly.
About an hour later she comes out of the “dressing room”. She’s wearing “working-class clothes” that most working-class folk would call their Sunday best. She goes into the kitchen and they rehearse the scene. She doesn’t do anything crazy, and seems nice enough. Almost normal-like.
Bess (one of the Starlettes) shows up and tells us that the art director for the movie has come: Jack Gurtsmen. He’s looking for women extras. There were grisly murders on set of another movie. One of the teamsters told Bess that three people were found sacrificially murdered on set of another movie that Mr. Gurtsmen is working on.
Stacey suggests Bess get us all parts. Bess and Gloria have decided to go. The third decided to try her luck on joining the film in Cobb house. We “audition”, and Mr. Gurtsmen talks to us all in turn. Naturally, we’re all hired. And he hires Mark Marden and Jorges and Emilio Montoya as well.
July 3rd, 1947
The next day we take the yellow line down toward Sunset Boulevard. We enter Hollywood. We spot a few well known faces in the crowd. It’s a beautiful sunny day.
We disembark in front of the Warner Brother’s lot. There’s a lot of activity; cars, trucks, people going in and out – the armies required to make movies.
From the security guard we learn that Mr. Weaton, the studio detective is on the case. There have been three murders so far – the victims had hearts ripped out. We follow the security guard’s advice and catch a local train to lot 24; where they’re filming Bride of Babelyon by Mr. R. Thorp.
When we go in, there’s a crowd around a man who’s giving a speech. It’s the producer. The speech is one of those typical “the show must go one” things, and is well received.
Rosie goes looking for the costume department, and Mark goes looking for the welders.
The extras (including Emilio & Jorges) get to wait around.
Stacey goes to meet Mr. Aries. He’s wearing a costume; some sort of ancient babylonian warrior king sort of thing (or at least the Hollywood version of the thing). Stacey spends the afternoon talking out a trick. Eventually they bring in a prop-master.
We hear a scream. A woman runs out through a doorway. She ducks, and something flies past her. The scream is as much hers as Ms. Williams’s anger. Surprisingly, everyone ignores the woman and the screaming once they identify it as something normal.
Rosie is drafted and follows Ms. Williams back into her dressing room. It seems that the previous seamstress pricked Ms. Williams. She learns from Ms. Williams the gossip that two men and a woman were stabbed through the heart and their hearts were ripped out.
Mark is making swords in the prop department. He’s recognized by a man there. They chat a bit. Henry Grace knew Mark from the navy. He’s not too talkative about the “accidents” going on. Henry is a set-decorator/painter on the set.
Emilio and Jorge are sent to fitting. After learning his lines, Emilio explores the set. Jorge spots an ancient giant mask. While it’s stored among the props, it heavy and real. It’s dedicated to Nergul, god of the dead. He also finds a piece of cloth that looks really old too. He moves the mysterious mask to somewhere else for safe keeping.
During the lunch break, Rosie slips into a shadowy place and slips on the mask. She stays invisible and looks around, especially in areas that she felt herself being watched. Noh doesn’t like this place; not just this lot, but the studio. There’s lots of women abused in this place. She follows a feeling and comes to an empty dressing room. As she looks down she sees a shape form – a woman is lying on her back with her chest stabbed repeatedly. And then, in reverse, she sees the wound close and her hands go up above her head, and her hands take on the motion of being bound, and she struggles as the stab marks disappear. Her clothing wraps around her and her face changes as she straightens up and the fear becomes surprise, then languorous affection, then the image fades.
Mark goes out for a smoke-break and talks to the steel-workers. He pays a few nickles and sees the set’s photographer’s pictures of two of the dead. There’s something carved on the edges of the ribs. The woman was found in an empty dressing room on the 28th. The men were killed on the 19th and 26th. They were found on one of the sets done up as a temple.
Stacey and Emilio go to talk to Mr. Weaton. He’s a thin man, around 50, and wearing a suit that’s a touch too big for him. He’s trying to light a cigarette. Stacey lights it for him and learns a lot about his “case”.
Virginia Gregg was the last victim. Her boyfriend is one of the the camera guys on the set (Wally Hagland). They were arguing the day before she died. Many folk on set heard them. Joe, the first victim. was a painter on the set; rumor had it that he and another painter (Henry) were “buddies” – war buddies too. And Al, the second victim was an actor with no friends or enemies in the crew.
The bodies of the victims are at the county morgue. The police have been paid to look the other way for now and the families of the victims are none the wiser.
Emilio sees someone grab the lead woman, ripping her suit, she covers herself as Lew calls for a coat and for someone to stop that guy.
The attacker runs into the crowd. He’s a scruffy white man in overalls. Emilio trips him. Security catches up with him, pulls him up to his feet and lugs him away. Ms. Williams calls for her seamstress, and Rosie comes running up.
Ms. Williams is wearing a gold star of David on a chain. She covers it up before she hides her neckline.
At the supper break, the party regroups and shares information. Looks like we’ll be staying the night. Stacey finds a few convenient bunks and signs them up to stay the night.
After supper, its the shooting of the pool scene. It’s slightly delayed as her costume has to be repaired. Rosie excels at sewing, re-making the costume so well that Ms. Williams can’t tell where it was ripped. During the scene (Emilio says his line), Mark notices that Mr. Aries is wearing a heavy golden pectoral. It looks high-quality. It has the same squiggles that were on the rib bones of the victim’s chest. Emilio notices that it’s the same marks as on the mask.
The scene takes a few tries, but it works well. The party stays overnight on set. Emilio runs home for dinner and is a bit late sneaking out from home. We gear up and patrol.
Noh is flitting from shadow to shadow when she hears crying. The mask is not touched by it. It’s a man crying; one of the painters.
Mark finds a real bronze sword amid a lot of fakes. Stacey find uncut gems set in gold. Mark tests the gold of the setting and Stacey’s gold cross have the same electrical properties. A lot of these things are from Levant props company on Piccolo boulevard.
Emilio sees two pairs of glowing red eyes. They move every time he blinks. A brief moment before they disappear he sees two humanoids, hunched over. They’re not winged but they do have tails. One has scales and crocodile head. The other looks like a donkey or a small horse with curved horns. It’s thin boned and very jittery. They disappear. Everyone hears a deep growl.