The Widow Maker…new writing…the conclusion of Part X…unedited…

You know what they say about the best laid plans, right? They suck. So far, my plans to snare Tate hadn’t garnered any results. Why didn’t I do my research? I should just go up to him and say, “Hello. I’m sorry about Smith. Would you take a ride with me? I’ve got a few questions.” That would throw him off his game for sure.

I chuckled bitterly as I made my way back to the abandoned warehouse district. After spending the first part of the night out in the tree line in front of Tate’s house, I wanted to take a shower and catch a few winks myself.

There was no sleep for me. Janie’s bruised and swollen face and body kept playing in my mind. After tussling for the better part of three hours on my cot with my pillow, I got up. Screw this noise. Tate’s on the list, and it was high time he reaped what he sowed. I shoved a 4.5-pound hammer into a yellow tool bag, pliers, the darts from earlier, the tranquilizer gun, and military grade duct tape, along with several inch-thick zip ties.

I walked back to Tate’s home; it was 0316 when I rang the doorbell. In the house I could hear cursing, then warm yellow light illuminated the area around me. The squawk box squelched, and Tate’s voice snapped, “What?!”

“Um, a guy said bring you this CD.”

“What CD?”

I held the CD up, and I could hear Tate swearing under his breath.

“Wait a second.”

I heard the dead bolt unlock and then the doorknob locks released. Tate opened the door, and I could see the Glock 9mm shoved into the waistband of his blue-striped pajamas. He motioned for me to hand him the CD, so I did.

As he took it in hand, I kicked him in the crotch. He went down hard and landed on the sidearm. He tried to grab the gun, but I grabbed his wrist and twisted it. Bone snapped and I heard him let out a pained grunt. I dropped to one knee upon his chest, and the wind gushed out of his lungs. Tate went limp, and I rolled him over and secured his hands with a zip tie.

Tate got his breath back, and he began spewing curses at me. I didn’t mind, after all, I’d assaulted him in his own house. It was a natural part of feeling violated; I reckon. I pushed him out to his car and drove us back to the abandoned warehouse, where I’d worked on Smith.

“Get out,” I snapped, as I half-dragged him from his squad car. Tate struggled to break loose, so I slugged him in the jaw. “Don’t make me hobble you, Tate. If you continue to struggle, I’m going to break both of your ankles.”

Tate calmed down, and I shoved him inside after I unlocked the door. Again, I led my quarry to the last office and pushed Tate into the seat. Blood stained the floor and walls, and Tate began to perspire. I secured his lower legs to the legs of the chair with individual zip ties.

Then, I dragged my chair across from him.

“Do you know why you’re here, Tate?”

He glared at me and remained sullen. I smiled and shook my head, then I lifted my eyes to his and met his glare. We stared at each other like gladiators in the Coliseum in Rome, each of us sizing up the opponent and waiting for the first one to make a mistake.

“Somebody, three somebodies to be exact, raped and murdered my daughter. They kicked her face in, broke her ribs, and killed her. Her name was Janie, and she was the light in my very shadowy world.”

“I couldn’t care less,” Tate retorted. “Do you have any idea how many women Smith, Wilkins, and I ran through? How many we’ve beaten and killed? I remember your daughter, and I remember everything. We ruined her, and when we finished, we took our time and made sure she suffered,” Tate chuckled darkly. “Wilkins called it in. Send an ambulance right away,” he said. “The poor girl isn’t going to make it.”

He seemed so smug in his arrogance, so confident he would walk out of this soundproof room with his life. The arrogance of Tate made my blood boil. I wanted to take a cutting torch to his face and other unmentionable areas and listen to him scream. I even imagined it in my mind, but then I thought of Janie. She would not want me to kill them, so I decided to remind him of his friend.

“Wow,” I said softly. “Smith didn’t say anything.”

Tate clammed up, and I grinned. “Come on,” I said, motioning for him to continue with his speech, “You’re like butter, baby. You’re on a roll.”

He refused to talk, and I laughed at him. Tate licked his lips and glared at me, and I knew he hated being compared to the others. I wagged my finger at him and said, “You’re the talker. The guy who can’t keep a secret. You wouldn’t last in SERE school.”

“Screw you, old man.”

“Widow Maker. Mr. Widow Maker to you, clown.”

I brought over my tool bag and dropped it at his feet. The tools made a loud thunk, and Tate looked down at it. His sweat poured off his forehead, and I smiled. Again, I wagged my finger at Tate and asked, “Did the doctors tell you how I castrated your friend, Smith?”

Tate swallowed hard and kept his eyes on the bag. I reached into my right pocket and pulled out a Stanley box cutter and flicked out the blade. Blood stained it and for the first time, Tate felt something akin to remorse.

“I used this. What happened, Tate? A few minutes ago, you couldn’t shut up. You had diarrhea of the mouth, talking about how you and your boys ruined my daughter.”

His eyes wide and his lips began to tremble. Tears wet his eyes and he licked his lips again.

“I take it realization has set in. You’re not leaving here the same way you showed up. I’m not Jesus, nor am I a preacher here to tell you about salvation. You’re here to pay.”

Tate began to scream as I drew the dull razor down his leg, cutting flesh, muscle, and tendon alike. Crimson blood dripped to the floor as I hummed. Tate screamed “I’m sorry” but no part of me listened to his apology.

Two down, one to go.

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