The ride home was silent. Konan’s mind was plagued by the day’s events. He felt as if he betrayed Ashley, now Wiggins and Tomas informed him that the case was shut by Mayor Smith. It was a day of betrayal and bad news. ‘I should call myself Benedict Arnold.’
Konan got off the bus and walked into his mobile home. He was alone with his thoughts and a twice-closed case. Since he sent the text to the mysterious caller, his phone had remained silent. Every so often, he would check to see if he had missed something.
There was nothing on the screen. There was no clear picture of the antagonist. There was a knock at his door.
Konan walked to the door and flicked on his outside light. Mayor Smith’s secretary stood at the base of his steps.
“Yeah,” Konan called out. The woman turned her head left and right furtively.
“Detective Sergeant Konan? I need to speak with you.” Konan waited before he responded. The woman shifted from one foot to the other and rubbed her hands together. She kept looking around as if she expected to be mauled at any moment.
“May I please come in?”
Konan shoved one of his sidearms into his waistband and unlocked the door. He held open the screen door, and she walked into the foyer. Konan shut the door and motioned for her to sit on the couch.
“Lady, it’s late and you aren’t high on my ‘nice person’ list. What do you want?”
She wringed her hands again and wiped at her mouth. She looked at Konan with the saddest eyes.
“I think Mayor Smith has gone nuts.”
“Okay. What does that have to do with me?”
“After you left, he went on a rage-filled spree. He threw lamps, computers, and cursed like a madman. He screamed until his voice was hoarse. Then, he had me call Chief Janko to his office. That’s when things got weird.”
“Look, that’s all very interesting but it’s late. You should go to the police in the morning and tell them this story.” Konan got up and started for the door.
“He called someone and told them to kill you.”
Konan stopped short of the door and turned around. The secretary stood behind him with a blade in her hand. Konan forced a smile. She returned it.
“Well, that escalated quickly.”
She motioned with her free hand and said in her usual clipped voice, “it’s nothing personal.” Konan chuckled.
“Well, excuse me if I don’t take your word for it. It feels rather personal.” She nodded and began her approach.
“I’m sure it does.”
She plunged the blade straight at Konan. At the last moment she brought the blade up and across his torso. Konan tried to dodge the blade but it caught him across the left pectoral and shoulder. He winced from the pain.
“Look, I don’t want to kill you. Put the blade down and let’s talk.”
She smiled and boy, was it a brilliant smile. Konan shook his head and backtracked toward the kitchen. She followed him with the blade.
“Look, we can talk about this, okay. I mean, you didn’t kill Lilly, right?”
“Lilly,” she snickered, “was killed to get you back into the game. A chess piece sacrificed to get you on board. You were such a disappointment. What happened to the great mind you once possessed?”
She lunged at Konan and nicked his right side with a quick flash of the blade. To his left, his coffee machine sat on his bar. She drew close, her eyes filled with thrill of the impending kill. She faked going left and dashed right. Konan waited until he could feel her breath on his cheek and smashed the coffee machine into her skull.
She crumpled to the ground. The blade slid underneath the bar out of reach. Konan looked at his wounds. They weren’t deep enough to puncture any organs, but they were deep enough to get an infection. Konan reached down and grabbed her by the throat and dragged her to a chair. He duct-taped her ankles together and handcuffed her at the wrists.
He went to his closet and pulled out his ‘bug-out’ bag. Konan had been out of the military for over a decade but kept a bag filled with various items in it. He cleaned his wounds and bandaged them the best he could. Then, he went in to check on his uninvited houseguest. She was still unconscious.
He walked to his utility closet and pulled out an extension cord. He twisted it into a formidable knot and splashed cold water on her face. She stirred. Her eyes blinked several times as she focused on her surroundings. When she saw Konan she glared at him.
“Howdy, cupcake. How was your nap?”
“You’re not getting anything from me.” Konan smiled.
“I haven’t asked you anything yet, darling.”
“Do your worst. I can take it.”
“Who sent you to kill me?”
She spit at him. Konan smiled and backhanded her. Blood dribbled out of the corner of her mouth. She spit and cursed at him but said nothing.
“Come on, man. Don’t make me hit you. Who sent you?” She said nothing. Konan picked up the extension cord.
“I really don’t want to hurt you, but you broke my coffee machine.”
“Come on and do it. You ain’t got the guts, tough guy.” She giggled, Konan slammed the extension cord across her thighs. Tears welled up in her eyes, but she said nothing. Tears streamed down her face.
“Let me tell you what is going to happen here. The longer you hold out, the worse pain I will inflict upon you. The extension cord left a welt. Blood will rush to it and cause you great pain. I will continue to beat your legs until you suffocate from the pain. Now, who sent you?”
Konan slammed the extension cord over her thighs again. Her tears rolled down her cheeks freely. She sobbed and her breath caught in her throat. She said nothing. He slammed the cord over her thighs again and again. Still, she said nothing.
“You’re going to die a miserable death you piece of garbage. I can’t wait for you to die,” she screamed. Konan kicked the chair over, and she landed with a thud. She wore heavy steel-toed boots. Konan pulled them off along with her socks.
“I really didn’t want to hurt you….” She laughed., and leaned up to spit at him.
“This is nothing compared to what he did to your friend, Lilly. She screamed your name for hours. He bled her and made her beg for death. When he could extract no more screams from her, he granted her wish.”
Konan smiled and nodded. His temper caused his hands to shake. He thought of Lilly suffering at the hands of this lunatic and whoever her partner was. He gripped the cord in his right and lifted her legs into the air.
He lashed the bottom of her feet until there was no skin left. She screamed and thrashed as the cord ripped the flesh. Konan put his boot on her chest and held her down as he beat her mercilessly. She sobbed and wailed.
“You came to my house to kill me, and look at you. Tied up like a Christmas turkey, beaten like a punk. Did Lilly sound like you?”
She laughed through her tears. She leaned up and whispered, “you best kill me, pig.” Konan nodded his head.
Blood made the cord slick and difficult to grasp. Konan laid it to the side. He pulled out his fighting knife from his days in the military. He pulled her toes apart and drew the sharpened edge between them. She screamed. Konan walked into the kitchen and picked up his salt shaker. Her eyes grew large.
“I’ll tell you, don’t…”
Konan grabbed her by the face and stared into her eyes. Terror filled her eyes, and Konan smiled.
“Now you want to cooperate.” She nodded her head yes and sobbed. “But it’s too late for you, hon. I gave you a chance which is more than you punks gave Lilly.” Without another word he poured salt into her fresh wounds.
She thrashed on the floor and screamed. She began to shake and it was not long until she swallowed her tongue and died. Konan dropped to the floor beside her. His felt inhuman at the brutality he inflicted upon his attacker. He was exhausted. He stared at the damage he had caused. He shook his head. “God, I can’t even imagine what they did to Lilly.” The thought of his friend suffering was almost unbearable. After all this woman endured she had the last word. Konan still did not have proof Mayor Smith was behind it.
Konan gathered his strength and walked outside. No one lived near him, but he checked the grounds to make sure no one was there. He walked back in and bagged up the body. He loaded it into his vehicle and drove it down to the waterway.
He wrapped the body with a heavy logging chain and kicked it into the water. He waited for an hour to make sure the body did not resurface. It didn’t. Konan walked back to his vehicle and drove home.
There was still much to do. He bleached his entire house and got rid of his knife and extension cord. Konan wiped down every part of the house the woman had touched. Satisfied that there was no evidence to be discovered, he dropped onto the couch.
Tom and Jerry was on. Konan watched as Jerry turned the tables on Tom. He thought of the woman who attacked him and her invisible partner. Apparently, they underestimated his will to live.
“What a maroon…”