Lt. Wilkins stood in the hallway outside of the emergency room. Well, for now, he stood in the hallway. He strolled the halls, sometimes apathetically but at other times in a purposeful manner.
Smith, now Tate, was off the table. Wilkin envisioned himself as a Lesser Caesar. He made the rules, Smith and Tate enforced them. For years, this was the way it was done. No one dared to cross them, except for now.
Both men had lost their tongues and other parts in their questioning, but one thing befuddled Wilkin.
“Why didn’t the perp kill them outright?”
It made no sense to Wilkin. Why not kill them and remove them from the board? Why risk so much for nothing?
The mutilation itself, while gritty, served no purpose as far as Wilkin could see. All Wilkin knew was that whomever the offender was, they would come after him next.
His thoughts troubled him as he stood in the stark white hallway, a lone vestige of corruption awaiting his punishment from this avenging angel of light.
Heather Elena McAndrews left her apartment at first light. She’d heard the news about Detective Tate and knew that the Widow Maker had struck again.
She ran out of her house. Her brown calfskin bag was tossed over her left shoulder, as she tried to unlock the door of her Camry as she rushed down the sidewalk.
Heather had her iPhone XR in her left hand, up to her ear, and opened her car door.
“Harry, call me back. I have the story of a lifetime.”
She tossed her bag into the passenger seat and herself into the driver’s seat. Heather looked in the rear-view mirror, and I met her eyes.
“Do not scream, Ms. Heather. Did you watch the disc?”
“Mmhmm,” she muttered. She nodded her head to clarify what she meant.
“I’m Janie’s father. I need your help.”
“Okay,” Heather said, as she started the car. “What do you need? Come in with me, and we can tell your story.”
“I need you to call this lawyer and tell her what you know. Tell her I will call on her services soon. Ah, if she gives you any grief, tell her ATM told me to call her.”
“Okay,” Heather replied. “Where will you go? What will you do next?”
“I have to see a man about a horse.”
Heather watched as I got out of her vehicle and disappeared into the early morning shadows. Then, she set out to find her boss.
This story was the one she’d been waiting on for years. Heather had no doubts this story would make her career. Goodbye, Small Time. Hello, Big Leagues.
Of the three, Wilkin would present the greatest challenge. If, for no other reason, Wilkins had witnessed the savagery I had unleashed upon his buddies.
A blind man could see the writing on the wall. I figured he had my name, or at least a description. I’d removed the tongues of both men, so they could not tell what they knew.
However, I’d left them use of their hands. They both had lost their sight, but I tried to keep the torture to a minimum.
Janie would want me to show restraint.
Two homeless individuals waited for me in the shadows. The homeless made the perfect partner for such actions. They passed through the streets unseen by those who crowded the sidewalks and scorned by those who crossed their paths.
Bob and Joe, or so they claimed their names were, waited for me, and we walked back to the abandoned train depot. Neither said anything, and I joined them in their silence.
Bob was a Caucasian, Joe was a black man. Both had served in Vietnam, with Joe serving in the Army Rangers.
“We grabbing Wilkin tonight, boss?”
“I don’t know guys. What do y’all think?”
Bob grunted and said, “You should go into the precinct with a shotgun and rock salt. Blast him right in the face with it.”
“He’s gonna be expecting you. So, you’re gonna need some help, boss man.”
“Give me what you got, Joe. How do we take him down?”
“Well, we need a shotgun and some rock salt to start with, and then…”