Blankenship left, and Konan stood to his feet. “What just happened here? Am I insane?” He looked out the peep hole, but Blankenship was no where to be found. Konan walked to his coffee machine and put in another K-cup.
At 0730, Konan left for the prison. His father was housed at the state prison, people called it Parchman. According to many prisoners, it was hell on earth inside the walls of the prison. Konan felt zero sympathy for those incarcerated within. “They shouldn’t have committed a crime if they didn’t like the housing options.” Of course, Konan kept his opinion to himself.
Lilly stood at the gate when Konan pulled up. He hadn’t said when he would leave for the prison. Last night, their silence was awkward, and Konan hadn’t felt like arguing with his partner. Today, Lilly gave him a small smile and a wave as he approached.
“Morning,” she said.
“Hey,” he replied grumpily. She fell into step with him as he forced himself to move toward the door. A silence developed between the two. Both signed in at the desk and asked to speak to ‘Mad’ Michael.
They handed over their sidearms and was led to a quiet room. The entire space was white. Michael Konan was led into the room. He sat at the table; his hands remained handcuffed. He gave a small wave to Konan which caused the chain to rattle.
Konan sat across from him. They locked eyes with each other.
His dad laughed. Lilly stared at the two men. “Apparently the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in their case. Both of them are hardheaded.”
“I bet you’ve wondered why I asked you to come here,” Michael said. Konan shrugged.
“Okay, I’ll bite. Why did you ask me here?”
“I wanted to see you. You’re a popular name in here.”
“Mmhmm, I bet.”
“Thought I would see what the hype is all about.”
“Well, I am here, and you’ve seen me. Tell me about Blankenship and where I can find him.”
Michael laughed. He nodded at the guard and then at Konan as if to say, “get a load of this guy.” The guard chuckled.
“How’s your momma doing? We’ve lost touch since I moved here.”
Konan frowned. He locked eyes with his ‘dad’ and leaned forward and whispered, “she’s dead, has been for six years now. After she heard that you had killed that poor family, she had a heart attack and fell dead in the kitchen.”
Michael leaned back and shook his head. He slammed his hands down on the metal table repeatedly. The guard tried to calm him to no avail.
“You’re lying. She’s not dead.”
“Yeah, she is. I was at school when she died. There was no one there with her when she left this world.”
“You best not be lying to me, boy. So, help me God, if you’re lying…”
“You’ll what? Kill me? You’re not the sharpest tool in the shed, Mad Michael. Did Paddy not tell you that she passed?”
Michael forced himself to calm down. Konan watched Michael; Lilly watched Konan. Lilly bit her lip and shook her head. “Konan has seemed to enjoy making his father squirm.” She didn’t know what to make of this new side of Konan.
“William Blankenship is a killer for hire. He resided in a small-town south-east of Fredericksburg. Before I got sent here, he stayed with his mother. Nothing is in his own name; you can’t track him through your normal methods. He shows up, kills, and disappears. If he is still around, he has another target.”
Konan nodded and muttered, ‘figures.’ He glared at his father.
“How do people hire him if there is no contact information?” Michael chuckled. Konan’s glare intensified. He raised his eyebrows, and his mouth became a tight line.
“I said he stayed with his mother. She is his liaison. All contracts go through her.”
“And she is in the wind,” Lilly said. It was Michael’s turn to arch his eyebrows. He scoffed.
“Big B is in the wind? What have you two stepped into?”
“It’s none of your…”
Lilly patted Konan’s arm. He looked at her and she shook her head. Lilly smiled at Michael, he smiled back.
“We have a series of murders in town. Blankenship killed a woman, and made it look like an honor killing. There have been several more. The last one was a local politician’s wife.”
“Someone’s cleaning house,” Michael said.
“Yeah,” Lilly said. “And they’re using Blankenship to do it. The question is, who hired him?”
“You’re looking at it from the wrong angle, darling.”
“Oh,” Konan said. “Tell us how to look at it then.”
“Who would have the most to gain from all these deaths. To amass power, one must be prepared to sacrifice everything. So, who would kill everything they loved or hated, to garner favor with the most powerful?”
“Khalid,” Lilly whispered. Konan leaned back, shook his head and sighed.
“There you go. Power called his name, and he had everyone that stood in his path murdered. Sometimes, it’s that simple.”
“Was it for you,” Konan snarled.
“Yes,” Michael said. “I had a prime opportunity to be someone in this town. Then, I was betrayed. Now, here I am.”
Konan stood to leave, Lilly pushed away from the table and walked to the door. She gave Michael a small nod and a forced smile. Konan glared at his father.
“Yeah, here you are. Right where you belong.”
“Thanks for your help,” Lilly said. Konan turned and walked toward the door. When he got to the door, he turned and looked at his father. Michael still sat at the table. Tears wetted his eyes for just a moment, but he blinked them away.
“I am sorry about your mother, Konan. She wanted me to be a good man. I just never had the strength to be one.”
“Yeah. I hated to lose her.”
Konan and Lilly walked out from the prison and to the car. Michael stood at the large window and watched them go. His guard brought him a phone, and Michael punched in the number. A soft voice answered the phone.
“Get me, Paddy. Bring him here.”
The line clicked dead, Michael handed the phone back to the guard and sat down at the table. “Business is business, but Konan is my son. Whether he wants to be or not doesn’t matter. Blankenship must go.”