Most men who possess size are slow. Muscle weighs more than fat, and given that fact, muscle-bound behemoths should move like molasses. This mountain of flesh and sinew moved like a cat.
Konan ducked a haymaker right, but completely missed the follow-up to the body. The air in his lungs exploded outwards in one long gasp. Konan backed up.
Mad Michael had said he was trained in boxing and MMA style fighting. Konan held up his hands and feigned surrender.
“Hold on, Ric. I need to ask you some questions, that’s all.”
Ric Villers smiled a nasty smile and started toward Konan. His massive fists were still clenched.
“Who sent you cop?”
“I’m not a cop. I’m a consultant.”
Ric launched a sneaky left back toward Konan’s body. Konan sidestepped and kept his hands up.
“Who sent you here?”
“My father, Mad Michael.”
Ric stopped his advance and stared at Konan. He turned and walked back toward the stairs. Konan trailed after him.
“You are a cop.”
“Not anymore. I’m just a consultant now. You’ve heard about the murders in town?”
“I think one of your customers is doing it.”
“So, do your town a favor. Give me a name and let me stop him.”
“I’m no hero. The dude don’t bother me, and I make plenty of money off ‘em. Why would I stop my gravy train?”
“Because, when he gets tired of the sheep, he is going to come after those who could ID him.”
“Let ‘em come. I’m ready to throw down.”
Konan sighed. Ric Villers was your typical thug. Whatever brain cells were still functional convinced him that he was immortal.
“Look, Ric. You know my father’s rep. I’ll put in a word with him and see if he can’t swing some business your way.”
Ric Villers licked his lips and pondered Konan’s words. Having Konan owe him a favor was huge. Even if things went south with Mad Michael, Konan had connections with the po-po. It was a win-win for Ric.
“Deal, but you better not screw with me. That little bout was nothing compared to what I do to those who mess with me.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. The guy I’m looking for buys a boatload of Oxy.”
“Yeah. I know who you want. Dude’s name is Jacob Walton. He comes in once a month and buys. He’s due in a few days.”
“Alright. Sounds good. Can we nab him in the buy?”
“Nah man. That’d ruin my business. I’ll call when he buys the stuff. Y’all can make up a reason to stop him. Remember what I said about screwing with me.”
“Yeah, I heard you.”
Jacob Walton came home after dark. He worked two jobs to make ends meet. His third job was to afford his very expensive hobby of train collecting. His meeting with Hank Calder was nerve wracking. “The guy gives me the creeps.” Still, Calder paid him well. Jacob had noticed an unusual ad in the local paper asking for a part-time assistant. He had called the following morning. After a brief interview with Calder, Jacob was hired.
The job was nothing like Jacob had expected. He wasn’t an assistant per se. Calder used him as his ‘face’ If a meeting needed to be set up, Jacob handled it. If Calder wanted to interact with ‘shady’ characters, Jacob was sent to do the interaction.
“I’m an expendable asset,” Jacob thought as he entered his dark house. He pushed through the doorway, when a gloved hand covered his mouth, and an ice pick was shoved into his right ear. His last thought was prophetic. Jacob went limp and his world went black.
Hank Calder wiped the ice pick off and put it in his coat pocket. He used a rag and closed the door. Calder dragged Jacob into the den and shoved Jacob’s body onto the couch. He doused the couch and the body with gasoline. He struck a match and tossed it onto the body. The fire made a whoosh. Hank Calder never looked back. He walked out the back door and slipped into the long shadows of night.
Konan was halfway home when his phone rang. It was Lilly.
“Hey,” Konan answered the phone.
“Hey, are you home?”
“Headed that way now.”
“You should come by the station. We’ve got another one.”
“You’re kidding me. All I want is five minutes to take off my shoes.”
“No. It’s another burner. The neighbors called it in.”
“Jesus. Any witnesses?”
“No. The neighbor said he was going in the house the last they saw him.”
“I’m on my way.”
His desire to kick off his shoes and lay about in his pajamas would have to wait. The killer was piling up bodies faster than the police could come up with leads.
So it goes in the murder business.