The Missing…another revision…

As Konan drove toward the police department, he thought about his father. Mad Michael was a criminal, and he deserved the punishment he received. Still, Konan hated cancer. His grandfather had died of it. Friends of his had passed away from it. It was a painful way to leave this world. As much as Konan detested his father, he would not wish cancer upon anyone.


Halfway to the station, Konan turned around and drove to the jail. He would see his father. Seeing him now would allow Konan to kill two birds with one stone. He could talk to his father and try to squash his bitterness. Perhaps, he would find out if Mad Michael knew of someone who would kill in such a gruesome manner.


Konan signed in and flashed his ID. The desk sergeant took his sidearm and locked it up. Konan walked toward the visitation room. Mad Michael sat at the large window and gazed outside. He had shaved his head completely bald.


Konan sat next to him and looked out the window. Neither man said anything for a while. They sat together and watched the sun set.


“What brings you by, detective?”


“Esther told me…”


“I figured my new hairdo gave it away. You were here not long ago. Why did you leave?”


“Because my behavior would’ve disappointed my mother. I am bitter at you. You deserve to be in here for what you’ve done. Still…”


Mad Michael looked out the window. A silence grew between the two men. The years of absence made it difficult to be honest without inflicting pain upon one another.


“Your mother was the best thing to happen to me. I sacrificed her and you for more power. It’s too late to change it now, but if I could, I would go back and do things over.”


“Tell me about Ric Villers.”


“He’s a dealer, son. He’s richer, and more vicious, than most. Ric fancies himself a tough guy. You might have to prove your toughness to him.”


“Sounds easy enough…”


“Yeah, but don’t get too confident. He was a Gold Glove boxer, then he trained in that new-fangled MMA style fighting. Rumor is he’s not bad at it.”


“Well, thanks for the heads up. I’m sorry you’re sick.”


“Thanks. I know you hate me, but if you could make it over sometime, it would be nice to chat. We could play Blackjack or Rummy.”


“I’ll be by tomorrow. We can talk then. I’ve got to go see Richie Rich.”


“Be careful, Konan.”


“I will.”


Konan left for Ric Villers. “Michael knows I care that he is sick. If something should happen, at least I don’t have that weight to carry.” He punched in the number for the dispatcher into his cell. He started to press the button to call but thought better of it.


I’m getting paid to investigate. I’ll brief Lilly tomorrow.”


Konan pulled up in front of a large two-story mansion. Two Mercedes Benz sat in the driveway. Konan pulled up behind them. A large, bald white man stood on the steps. Konan stepped out of his truck and walked toward him.


“Hi, is Ric Villers in?”


“You’re not on the list, bud.”


“I need a few moments of his time. I’ll be quick, I promise.”


“Save your promises, wise guy. Get in your truck and leave.”


Konan pulled out a hundred-dollar bill. He handed it to the behemoth that blocked his way.


“Look, it’s all I’ve got on me. How about letting me pass?”


The guy shoved the money into his pocket and shook his head no.


“Thanks for the money, but no dice. Get lost. Don’t make me tell you anymore.”


Konan sighed. It was always the same thing. He took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly.


“Okay. I guess we will do it the hard way.”


The behemoth grinned. He was missing most of his front teeth. “Must’ve been a hockey player,” Konan thought as he stepped back into a defensive stance.


Most men who have size are slow. Muscle weighs more than fat, thus, 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 Villers 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 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 a consultant now. You’ve heard about the murders in town?”


“Yeah, so?”


“One of your customers are doing it.”


“So?”


“So, do your town a favor. Give me a name and let me stop him.”


“I’m no hero. The dude doesn’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 him come. I’m ready to throw down.”


Konan sighed. Ric Villers was your typical thug. Whatever braincells 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. Calder gave Jacob a brief interview and hired him straightway.


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 needed to interact with ‘shady’ characters; Calder sent Jacob.


“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 shoved an ice pick into his right ear.


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. Then, he took a hammer and broke the teeth in Jacob’s mouth. 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.


Hank Calder walked home in the dark. He liked the dark, it soothed the rage he kept hidden in his heart. His temporary home was a small house in the center of town. It was the perfect spot from which to notice the happenings of town, and to get to know the habits of the police.


Of course, this was only a temporary home. Every two weeks he would change locations. Then, he would move on to another small home and continue his reconnaissance.


His mission required extreme discipline. He could not waver in his steadfastness, or his mission would crumble into shambles. The world depended on Hank to correct the failures of the government.


Hank sat on his loveseat and kicked off his shoes. He leaned back into the soft cushions and closed his eyes. His house was dark, save for the one lamp that was in the corner by his desk. The soft glow of white light made for a nice contrast.


His desk was empty except for the MacBook that held his manifesto. If something untoward happened to Calder, he wanted the world to know why he’d done the things he did. It was necessary for the preservation of humanity. He walked from the sofa into the kitchen and made himself a cup of coffee. Then, he sat at the desk and powered on his laptop.


In the glow of the lamp, he began to type:
I was once like you. At the ripe age of 18 I joined the Armed Forces of my country. I swore an oath, and I meant every word, to defend this country from ALL enemies. The enemies are here, they’re in our own government, and they have corrupted the idea of what we stand for. You don’t negotiate with cancer, and you don’t negotiate with your enemies.


I was a member of an elite reconnaissance unit until they discovered the depths of my beliefs. They could not understand my level of devotion to this country. They gave me a general discharge and sent back into the world.


In hindsight, I thought their unfaithfulness to me was a personal slight. I was wrong. Their misunderstanding of my core beliefs was the green light for me to carry out my mission. I am sanctioned to remove the weak from the strong. To show the weakness of the policies enacted by those in power.


I am not a mere mortal; I am Judgement Day given purpose. Prepare yourself for the culling.”


Lilly sat at her desk and watched as Konan walked into the room. The homicide office, also known as the Murder Room, was on the second floor. Lilly waved her friend over to her corner office.


Konan noticed Lilly looked a bit peakish. Her face had a grey tint to it. The same tint it had at the pub earlier, and a brown paper bag lay on the corner of her desk. She reached for a bottle of pink nausea medication. Lilly motioned for Konan to sit in one of the free chairs in front of her desk.


“Thanks for coming in, Konan. Of course, if you would accept your badge back, this would be easier.”


“How bad is it, Lilly?”


“I haven’t been yet. My stomach has acted up.”


“Ok, I’ll go check it out, and I will brief you tomorrow.”


Lilly leaned forward and took Konan by the hands. She gazed into his eyes. Konan swallowed and looked away.


“Please, take your badge back. Come back to work with us. Konan, we need you, heck, I need you.”


The last bit made Lilly uncomfortable. She knew it was true, but it was a raw kind of truth. “That’s the problem with the truth. It makes you uncomfortable, and puts you in the most precarious positions…”


“You’re too kind, Lilly. I’ll think about it. Give me until tomorrow. I will let you know.”


“Ok. That’s all I can ask for.”

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