The Coal Bin Synopsis
Ever since Tom Fitch was a teenager, he always dreamed of being wealthy and now that he was in his mid-forties, he was well on his way to achieving his goal. He was married to Jean, the only offspring of Valerie and John Harrison and sole heir to the Harrison Estate and their prosperous business. This was TomÕs second marriage. The only talent Tom ever had was getting people to fall for his bullshit, especially women; otherwise heÕd never have a pot to piss in. The guy was so smooth he could sell sand to the Arabs, but his energies and money always went in the wrong directions. He and his first wife, Liz went through most of her money because of his bad gambling habits and bad investments. A few of his other habits included smoking and drinking, and of course, he was a notable womanizer.
Tom had a very magnetic personality. He had a great sense of humor and was always laughing. He always made you feel at ease, but he was a conniver, a con man that always wanted to scam someone. He was so good that youÕd still like the guy even after heÕd taken your money. When confronted, he would sweet talk the person, having them convinced everything was fine and not to worry.
Tom met Jean at a company Christmas party. She was single and never married, but fell for TomÕs charisma. He knew the family background and he also knew that sheÕd be one hell of a catch. Within a year, Tom divorced Liz and married Jean. Jean wasnÕt stupid; she had Tom sign a prenuptial agreement in case they divorced. As far as Tom was concerned, this was ok with him because he never had it so good. He figured that he and Jean would eventually end up with everything as her parents passed on. Jean couldnÕt see beyond his phony charm and had no idea that she was married to a psychopath.
Valerie and John Harrison were well respected citizens of the town. They owned Harrison Technology, a successful software and design company located at the Beverly Business Center in Beverly, Massachusetts and employing a staff of fifteen. They also owned a fabulous brick mansion with four acres of land situated on the ocean. It was one of the finest properties on the Atlantic coast. The estate was passed down to John by his father John Sr. along with a trust fund so he would never have to worry about money. John and Valerie were smart investors. They knew how to make their money work by running the company.
Some of the HarrisonÕs favorite pastimes were sailing, golfing and John was particularly keen on collecting wine. He had one the finest collections on the North Shore. Every year, John and Valerie would sail to Bermuda in their yacht, the Genie II, to meet friends for a week of golf and relaxation. Jean usually went with them as sheÕd been doing for years. The first year she and Tom were married, Tom had gone with them, but didnÕt care for it. He claimed it was too ŌslowÕ. His idea of a vacation was Vegas where the action was. The following years, he would stay in Beverly and run the company while the others sailed to Bermuda. He liked the idea of his independence and power while they were away or when heÕd meet up with his Sicilian mob buddy Carmen for a week in Vegas or Tahoe.
In the basement of the mansion were two large temperature controlled wine vaults containing their vast collection that numbered over four hundred bottles. Wines and champagnes from all over the world, especially two from France that were JohnÕs proudest acquisitions. He purchased them thirty-eight years ago directly from the St. Simiens Vineyards. That year, they produced a limited edition that was only sold at the vineyard with a two bottle limit per person. John was lucky to be there to buy two of the last remaining bottles. In todayÕs market, the St. Simiens special edition for that year is considered extremely rare and could easily fetch a minimum of eighty thousand dollars each at auction.
After marrying Jean, John gave Tom an account managerÕs position. It was perfect for him, being the natural born salesman that he was. Tom took an interest in wine and would sometimes ask John about different kinds and their value. John would always be happy to answer any question regarding the subject, but could tell that TomÕs mind was somewhere else. One place in particular was on Nancy, John HarrisonÕs secretary. Nancy was TomÕs kind of woman, always wearing sexy clothes and a lot of makeup. There was a mutual attraction between them soon after they met. Tom had to be careful around Nancy, seeing that Jean was a very jealous woman who didnÕt care for NancyÕs ŌsluttyÕ appearance, as she once put it. Jean never cared for Nancy but was civil to her for the sake of her dad. Nancy had worked for John for years and he really liked her and her efficiency at the office.
Within a few years, TomÕs life changed dramatically. Jean and her parents were lost in a storm on the way back from Bermuda. It appeared they may have struck Halfway Rock and capsized right in Beverly Harbor. JeanÕs body was found on the shore on BakerÕs Island and the yacht was found on Cat Island. Authorities never found the bodies of her parents, so it was ruled an accident leaving Tom to inherit the entire estate and business. Now he was president and owner instead of an account manager. Now he was living the way he always dreamed about and loved every minute of it.
Since the loss of his wife and in-laws, it didnÕt take him long to bounce back. He took down the pictures of family members from his new office. When his pushy accountant asked him about it he claimed it brought back bad memories. After he took over JohnÕs office, he went out and traded in the HarrisonÕs prized Mercedes and their Cooper on a brand new, custom Dodge Viper to bomb around town in. He was thinking about getting two of them just in case one was out being waxed.
One of TomÕs employees, his web page designer, gave his notice that he and his wife were moving out west. Tom had Nancy start a search for a replacement.
Daniel and Jillian Joyce is a middle aged couple that lived in Manhattan. Dan was a web page designer working for a major magazine. Jill is an interior decorator. They loved their jobs because they had the freedom to create. The happy, childless couple kept mostly to themselves. After twenty years of dealing with the rat race, they decided to make a move to the village of Annisquam, next to Gloucester, Massachusetts. JillÕs Aunt Karen helped them find a cottage. It was a beautifully restored antique right on the Annisquam River.
Dan is a very talented page designer winning a few awards over the years. He had another talent that only a few people knew about. He had psychic dreams that were accurate most of the time, but couldnÕt tell if they were in the future or the past. They started when he was about ten years old. It wasnÕt until he was in his twenties when he started to realize that he had a unique gift. He didnÕt think of it as a gift, but a hindrance, because sometimes he didnÕt like what he had seen.
When Dan was a boy, he had the same terrible nightmare that went on for several years. He was about twelve when he learned from relatives that something bad happened to him when he was two years old. His Uncle Lenny had taken Dan and his older brother to the playground. The uncle was pushing the older boy on a swing at full tilt when the younger Dan ran into the swings path, nailing him square in the face and throwing him up in the air. He was rushed to the hospital by police escort. He couldnÕt remember the incident because he was too young, but could remember the nightmares, possibly brought on by trauma that day at the park. Wanting to know more, he questioned his mother about the incident years later. She wouldnÕt talk about it.
Five weeks after Dan and Jill moved to their cottage in Annisquam, Dan spotted the ad for a web page designer in the morning paper and within a week, Dan was employed at Harrison Technology. Jill had already gotten a job with an interior design shop in Rockport that also sold beautiful antiques.
Tom moved Harrison Tech to the mansion to be more economical. He moved his living quarters into the brick carriage house that was located toward the entrance of the property. The employees were thrilled to have their offices in one of the most beautiful properties on the ocean. Tom gave Dan the room with the alcove on the second floor. The view was magnificent, overlooking the harbor and islands.
Sometimes Dan would work late because of deadlines, but never minded because it was the nature of his job. He would sometimes look forward to staying because he could look out to see the early evening sailboat races in Salem and Beverly harbors. He could concentrate better when there were no distractions from other people.
Soon after Harrison Tech moved to the mansion, Dan sensed something bad happened there. His suspicions deepened one night when he found the hand operated elevator that he dreamt about months before the company even moved there. The only thing he could remember was something being lowered into the darkness below and knew it was the same one. A few days later during an electrical storm, all the computers shut down, so he went to the basement to check the mainframe. While he was down there, he took the opportunity to carefully look around and find the place almost spotless. The hallways and rooms had been painted grey within the last year and a half and still smelled like fresh paint. He walked to an area and happened to stumble upon a small piece of physical evidence that could put Tom in prison for the rest of his life. Dan and Jill now had a heavy cross to bear. What should they do with that evidence that could possibly close the company and put the employees out of work, or did they need to do anything at all?