Thermopolis finished his glass of water and asked for a carry out box. The waitress disappeared into the back. Tomas shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He licked his lips and wiped his hands on his grey slacks.
“Konan, I’ m-” Konan stopped him from speaking by holding up his hand. He stared at Tomas for a long moment. The silence that grew between the two was awkward.
“You do not get to apologize, Tomas. I’m not a father. Any chance I may have had to step into that role has vanished from my life. There is only the case. If Smith has asked you manufacture evidence or frame a suspect, I better be the first person to know.”
“Yes, sir. You will be.”
The waitress appeared with the container, Konan boxed up his meal and stood. “Enjoy your meal, Tomas. It’s on me this time.” Konan tossed a 20 on the table as a tip and walked out of the restaurant. He boarded a bus and leaned back against the seat. “Who is killing these folks? There is minimal evidence left at the scenes. That screams intelligence, or knowledge of investigative techniques. Is it a cop?”
Konan got off the bus one stop from his usual drop off. He started for his house. Few lights stood along the path to his stoop. The quiet night air was humid, it hung about Konan like a wet blanket. This case caused him to fret. He had never been afraid to face human depravity, but this was something different.
He arrived at his door deep in thought. An envelope jutted out from the door frame. Konan unlocked his door and went in. He flicked on his light and realized who the letter was from. It was from Doctor Judith Waters, his psychologist of many years.
He opened the letter. It was handwritten on old parchment. Konan began to read.
It has been some time since we last spoke. Time, like all things, passes ever quickly. I read in the paper that you had taken on a job as a consultant for the police department. Are you okay? Does this have anything to do with your last case? I worry for you. You have exhibited an unrelenting tenacity to uncover killers. It is unhealthy for you to fall back into the trap of obsession. I am here if you need a sounding board, or if you would like to renew our friendship.
Konan sat the letter down on his desk. It had been years since he last saw Judith. Their friendship, if one could call the numerous ‘Netflix and chill’ hookups a friendship, had ended on a sour note. Judith wanted more out of their mini-adventures, Konan found her intellect to be frigid and unappealing. He had severed all ties with Judith over a voicemail.
This was the first time he had heard from her in eight years. Konan showered and dressed. He pulled bacon from his fridge, along with eggs, cheese, onion, bell pepper and jalapenos. He took down one of his many Yeti mugs and made coffee. Then, he began to construct his omelet. Konan’s brain worked better when his stomach was full.
As he sat in his recliner and ate, he considered who would do the killings. It had to be someone who knew him or knew of him. During his time on the force, Konan had been featured in the local paper on numerous occasions. Over time, Konan developed a reputation for doing what was necessary to uphold the law, even if it meant breaking the law.
Because Konan refused to grant interviews to journalists, the ‘journalists’ crafted an image of a hard man out to right the wrongs of the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. Still, it had made him out to be a folk hero of sorts. “It could be someone who followed my career. It could be a doctor.”
His thoughts turned to Judith. After all the time that had passed, she still thought of him. A small smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “I should renew our friendship. Just the friendship. She is cold, calculating, and sordid, but she is a great sounding board, and provides adequate feedback. I’ll touch base with her tomorrow.”
Konan stretched out on his couch and turned his television on. Tom and Jerry were on. The last thing he saw was Tom plotting the destruction of Jerry as he drifted off in dreamless slumber.