As they walked toward the car, the rain started to fall again. Konan turned and looked at the abandoned factory. It looked like something from an old black-an-white film. “What a horrible place to die in. It’s like being discarded like some unwanted thing.”
He knew a thing or two about unwanted things.
Lilly drove them back to the station. They said goodbye to each other, and Konan walked to the bus stop. It was a quiet night. Per usual, the rain brought out lots of drivers. The bus pulled up to the stop, Konan boarded it. He walked to the back and took a seat in the last row. Few people were on the bus. An elderly woman sat up front. A man wearing a hoodie, with the hood up, sat midway on the right.
Konan leaned back against the seat and shut his eyes. The day had tired him out. Air hissed when the driver tapped on the brakes. Konan opened his eyes. The old lady had got off the bus. Only he and the hooded man remained.
The driver started toward the next stop. A few moments later, the brakes hissed again. Konan stood and made his way down the aisle. As he passed the hooded man, he spoke.
“Have a nice evening, Konan.”
Konan muttered, ‘you too,’ and got off the bus. He started down the dirt road that led to his house. Long shadows cast by hanging branches played out on the road.
He made it to his mobile home and unlocked the door. Konan stepped in, shut the door, and reached for the light. He flicked it on. Light chased away the shadows.
After showering, he put on clean pajamas, socks, and a tee-shirt. He padded into the living room, sat in his recliner and went through the day’s events. “Someone went through a lot of trouble to make it look like Rasheed killed himself. Except they left trace evidence on the letter. Or was it intentional?”
Konan decided to turn in early. He stretched out on the couch and fell into a deep slumber. Whatever problems hatched during the night; he would take care of in the morning.
A couple hundred miles away, William Blankenship rode a bus like the one that dropped Konan off. He sat in the back. He always sat in the back, it allowed him to view every person who got on the bus. His phone dinged, he peeked at the screen.
“We need to talk,” the message read. ‘Deadeyes’ Blankenship got off the bus at the next stop. He walked six blocks and used a payphone to call the sender of the message.
“Double Time Solutions and Problem Solvers,” the electronic voice answered. Blankenship waited.
“Press one for a quick remedy to a time sensitive issue, press two for a private meeting with a consultant, press three for a connection with your handler.”
Blankenship pressed three. His call was routed through a series of buffers, various encryptions, and then answered.
“Have you seen the news,” a digital voice asked.
“No, I’ve just returned,” Blankenship said.
“Rasheed is dead. Someone killed him and tried to make it look like a suicide.”
Blankenship rubbed his forehead. ‘Freaking amateurs.’ The line grew silent. Blankenship waited for the next shoe to drop. ‘There’s always another shoe.’
“What should I do?”
“Go back to the site. Purge it.”
“Listen, I did the job. I got out clean. This ain’t my mess…”
“Go back and purge it,” the digital voice answered. “Your loyalty is appreciated.”
A click sounded as the line was disconnected. Blankenship muttered under his breath. ‘This ain’t right. There’s a fly in the ointment.’