The more Calder considered revealing himself to his pursuers, the more excited he became. The game had grown stale. Now that he had a plan, his vigor was renewed. “Thermopolis Konan and Lilly Thompson are the best Fredericksburg has to offer. So far, they’ve not impressed. Let’s hope they’re up for the challenge.”
He rubbed his hands together in a fit of glee, his grin maniacal. Calder walked over to his laptop and began to type:
“What is the hunter without prey? He is nothing. Furthermore, the hunter serves no purpose if there is no prey to defeat. Thus, on Monday, December the 17th, I will reveal myself to my prey. They will rise to the occasion, or they will fail my test. Either way, the time of Thermopolis Konan and his partner, Lilly Thompson, will end.
For I am unending will, a force of nature, an unquenchable wildfire that will consume the evil and corruption of this town. I am justice, and I will balance the scales one last time.”
Calder leaned back against his chair and smiled. “Let the games begin,” he muttered as he saved his writing. He powered off the laptop and walked to his recliner. “I am a force of unstoppable will, and I pity those two unsuspecting wastrels when I am done with them.”
Monday, 1031 hours:
Hank Calder walked into the police department with the assured air of a man out to accomplish his mission. As he crossed the threshold, he was met by Detective Lilly Thompson who crashed into him. “Sorry,” she muttered as she rushed toward the door.
“Call me, and let me know what is going on,” Konan yelled from the second-floor landing.
Calder picked himself up and followed Lilly out into the brisk Mississippi air. He watched as she boarded a small, white Camry and waited to pull into the downtown traffic. He flagged a taxi over and muttered “follow that white Camry.” The driver nodded and pulled in behind Lilly. She led them to Fredericksburg Memorial Hospital. Calder handed the driver two hundred dollars and told him to keep the change. Then, he got out and started toward the doorway.
Lilly rushed through the door and flashed her badge. Calder stood behind her. She pressed the button to the elevator, but it seemed to take forever. Calder walked over to her.
“Ma’am, are you okay?”
“My son…I was told to rush over here…something happened to my son…”
Calder pulled her into a hug, her hair blocked anyone’s view of his grin. “There, there,” he said calmly. “I’m sure everything is fine. Look, the elevator has arrived.” The bell dinged, and the doors opened. Calder led her into the elevator, Lilly pushed the button for the fifth floor.
“Thank you,” Lilly said. “I didn’t catch your name.”
“Hank, my name is Hank.”
“Well, thank you for the hug and kind words Hank.”
The lift dinged, and Lilly darted out. She rushed toward the nurse that stood in the hallway. Calder stepped out of the lift and watched. An evil smile crossed his face, as another plan formed in his mind.