The reconstructing/rewriting of A Hot Day Down South continues…unedited…

Lilly watched as Konan walked toward the car that brought him to the scene. She nodded to the officer when he looked her way, as if to ask permission to take Konan home. She nodded for him to take Konan home, and she walked to her car.

At home, Konan tried to get the young girl’s face out of his mind by sleeping, but sleep refused to visit him. He sat in his maroon recliner and leaned back. He turned his television on and tuned in to Tom and Jerry. Hours later, he finally dozed off into restless slumber.

At 0330 the following morning, a knock came from his front door. Konan cracked his eyes open and reached for his sidearm. Quietly, he sneaked to the front door and peeped out. The two patrol officers from the other night stood on the porch.

“Yeah? What do you want now?”

“Thermopolis Konan?”

“What, man?”

“Lilly Thompson requests your presence.”

“Now what? Jesus, y’all need to take a hint.”

“There has been another murder, sir. This time it’s a cop.”

“Look, I told Lilly….”

“Sir, we need to go right now.”

Konan shoved the door open and stormed out onto the porch bare chested and in his underwear. He knife-handed the man and snapped, “Listen…”

“Sir, it’s LT. Daniels.”

“I don’t know who that is, son.”

“She’s Captain Thompson’s second-in-command. This murder’s in the same manner as the one from yesterday.” 

“I’m undressed. Give me a moment.” 

Konan threw on jeans, his boots, and a T-shirt. Then he shoved his keys into his pocket and walked out. He slid into the back seat of the vehicle.

“I don’t know a Lt. Daniels.” The officer started the car, checked his mirrors, and shrugged.

“She was Lilly’s partner, um, after…”

“After the council fired me.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, tell me about her.”

“Um, I didn’t know her real well, but she was a good cop. Always friendly, and people said she was competent at her job. Someone said she took the detective exam and passed it.”

“Okay, I get the picture. Thank you.”

They rode in silence until they reached the warehouse portion of town where the cops had discovered the last body. Like the previous victim, Daniels was naked. Ashley Wilkinson knelt beside the body. Long cuts scarred Daniel’s face. Konan blinked back his tears and shook his head. 

“Ashley, did the killer rape her?”

“No, there’s no sign of rape.”

“Thank God,” Konan whispered. 

Carved into Daniel’s chest was the word “PIG.” In the same vein as the other body, the killer nailed her to the floor. Konan stood and walked out the door. He wanted to rage, to hit something or someone, instead he looked into the window of the patrol car and stared at his image until he calmed down. 

He realized he looked old, outdated, a relic from times best forgotten. Time had led to his baldness, his hazel eyes looked tired-regardless if he slept well or not, and wrinkles lined his face. Konan still carried muscle on his 5’7 frame, but he ached constantly. Now, here he stood at another murder scene, the dead expected justice, and Konan unable to help himself much less those who had died so violently.

Lilly walked to where Konan stood. She put her hand on his shoulder. Konan turned and looked at her. She gave him a sad smile.

“It’s not your fault, Konan.”

“I know, Lilly. I worried about you, and I hate you lost your partner.” 

“Me too. Daniels wasn’t the brightest tool in the shed, but she did her job. She didn’t deserve to die in this manner.”

“I asked the rookies about her, but they didn’t give me much. Fill in the blanks for me, please.”

Lilly shrugged and said, “Uh, Daniels moved here from Texas, lived her for a decade, been a cop for nine years. She loved you, was a huge fan of Detective Sergeant Thermopolis Konan. She met you on the day you were fired. Daniels said you had a ‘go get ‘em’ look in your eye when you brushed past her. She never believed you were the bad guy. I thought she was a deer in the headlights, naive, but she worked hard and studied hard. The higher ups were going to send her to the 112th.” Konan sighed and asked, “Why am I here, Lilly?”

“The killer stapled a note to her chest. They addressed it to you.”

She handed him the evidence bag, and inside it was the note. In black ink on an old piece of faded parchment, the killer had written: “Hello, Thermopolis. Let’s see you ignore this.”

Konan’s breath caught in his throat. He struggled to breathe. Lilly waited for him to gain his composure. “He’s back, dear God in Heaven, nine years have passed, but he’s back killing women and nailing them to the floor.”

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