Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter One
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible
New Living Testament, copyright ©1996, 2004
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishing, Inc.
Quotations used by permission from Bartleby.com ©1993-2004
For the most part, Montie, is nothing more than your average mid-size town, pleasing to the eye, a wonderful place to vacation, that is, if you have never been there before, you wouldn’t have a clue what has happened in the last year or so.
But more surprises await Baker, Ed, and the Twenty-Second.
The saga continues where Internet conversations become deadly. An unexpected windfall for Baker and Stevie. Stevie relearns how to walk, and he gets to meet his favorite writer under duress; and throw in a presidential assassination attempt in the mix. Mother Nature makes her presence known.
Of course, no day in Montie would be complete without Freddy somewhere in the shadows to make his presence unbearable.
Top it all off with a wedding, and ask yourself, “What could go wrong?”
“It’s no big deal, mom. It’s over.”
“It’s over when I say it’s over. Tell me what happened.”
“I got into a fight with a senior. He said some stuff to me, and honest, I didn’t say anything back, but he kept it up. Then he pushed me and wanted me to do his ‘thing,’ like he said my dad did to me and any other guys.
“I blew up, mom! I just started hitting him. He got me a couple times, but I made him take the words back.”
It never dawned on Baker that there might be haters in school. She reached out and pulled Stevie to her. Tears were falling on her shoulders.
“Mom, we knew dad was gay, but honest, he never did anything to me sexually, ever.”
“Stevie, honey, I know that. Mark was gay, true; but you were his son. I know now as I knew then, he would never try anything sexual with you.
“There are times where people have a desire, a real need to be cruel, but long as you and I know the truth; that’s all that matters.
“Let’s get you home and cleaned up. I’m cooking tonight.”
“What are we having?”
“Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.”
More is thy due than more than all can pay.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) Macbeth. Act i. Sc. 4.
The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 1 Corinthians 12:21
Death for those due, is all that is required. I think of it as a debt repaid. They bring pain, and I return the favor. If it means taking an eye or a foot, so be it. Me? I’m partial to the eyes. They see everything one last time before death.”
On Chatterbox.com, for $50.00 a month, you can have your own private space to communicate privately with one person about anything, with no worries about any information being sent or received, or any messages being accessed by anyone other than you. No worries about being hacked by an outside source. The cost was well worth the information one could store there; be it family photos, pictures of where you went or what you did; to videos of dope parties or perhaps the wild sex you had.
Chatterbox.com also had more firewalls to block out anyone from accessing any data sent between two people. And the website guaranteed total and absolute privacy; to where they would never discuss or divulge any of your information to outside sources; unless you were or were about to commit an act of terrorism. Beyond that, if you robbed or killed someone, the website could care less.
With over seventy-five million paying members worldwide, they could easily afford to give each person the best privacy available.
But let’s quickly visit on a few conversation going on now.
blueyedbaby6: how’s it goin
ridinthewaves: I’m fine. u
blueyedbaby6: bored out of my effing mind
ridinthewaves: lol! we all get that way at times
blueyedbaby6: we still hooking up at the beach
kiakat: hi mason. I finished the graphics.
mason: great! They’re scanned and ready 2 send.
kiakat: Yes. And they are my best work.
mason: U always do excellent work.
kiakat: u r 2 kind to me.
mason: I might fly to Helsinki and buy u a drink
kiakat: that would be nice. A long way for a drink
mason: u r worth it.
Then there was this one.
downmythroat: make me do it! Force me
bigasscock4u: do it you cock sucking bitch! I’m gonna shove the whole thing down your throat. Open that mouth wider!
downmythroat: mmm … YES! DO IT! CUMM…
But as we move around, it is this conversation you will come back to more than once.
Missle01: I did mine last night. What about you
Missle02: I did but it took some time
Missle02: not like u. this was my first time
Missle01: show me the target’s body
Missle02: hold on. need a second to pull it up
Missle01: how did you feel afterward
Missle02: scared at first. Afraid I’d mess up
Missle02: with my gun in hand, target in my sight
Missle01: it’s loading. We have 90 days left
Missle02: I felt calm and in control
Missle01: good. i still need you to practice more
Missle02: I know. I will
Missle01: ground zero 90 days to actual target
Missle02: I feel better than before. not as nervous
Missle01: only the careless are caught. don’t be one
Missle02: be one what
Missle01: one of the careless
Missle02: I won’t
Missle01: so far you haven’t been. Good thing
Missle01: yw. sending u next target. we are stepping it up a little. city official. Well-known and respected. do it within 4 days. nice pic btw, clean headshot. 4 a first timer, not bad.
Missle02: ty again. I will start on this when I log off
Missle02: Ur pic is sensational!!!
Missle01: fine. both targets are 2 go down precisely at the same time. This is how I want this to go. U will ….
Yes, chatterbox.com does have a wide array of customers; don’t you think?
West Park Sport’s & Rehab Clinic
Wednesday – August 22nd – 2:45 p.m.
Stevie walked through the twin front doors that opened electronically. He was still adapting to his new artificial leg, which was one reason he was using crutches to brace himself until he was strong enough to do away with them.
The two hours of physical therapy were rough hours for him. Stevie was still trying to master a leg without flesh and blood, bone, and muscle. It was a big challenge for a fifteen-year-old boy, but he refused to give up. One day, his new leg would just be there, moving without pre-thought without worrying if he would walk five feet and fall.
He wasn’t going to let the accident get in the way of his future. Besides, he knew if he quit, he would be letting mom down, and tarnishing the memory of his father.
At his age, he couldn’t, and wouldn’t ever do that.
As he made his way to the sidewalk, he could see his mom’s car, with her behind the wheel waiting patiently.
In his first week of rehab, she would always be at the passenger’s side door; helping him in, making certain he was safe. Two weeks ago, he talked to her on the way home about that.
“Mom? Promise not to get mad if I tell you something?”
“I promise. Cross my heart, even. What’s up, bub?”
“I’ve been telling my therapist, Mrs. Peterson, some stuff. You know, like what I do at home, how I’m getting around and stuff.” He looked at her to get acknowledgement.
“Okay, and then,” Baker led for him.
“Well, I was telling her how you help me get around the house sometimes, and how you are always helping me get in and out of the car; and she said I need to start doing that on my own. And you know what, mom?”
“What, Stevie?” Though she believed she already knew.
“She’s right. It’s the only way to help myself get adjusted. So, I’m asking, short of me nose-diving headfirst on my face, or breaking an arm or leg; you have to start letting me get in and out of the car on my own.”
No fuss. No muss. No problem.
Focusing on the here and now, Stevie asked, “Anything exciting happen today?”
“I broke a nail.”
They both broke out laughing as she pulled into a Sonic and ordered a late lunch.
While munching on a foot-long, Baker couldn’t help but marvel over Stevie’s determination to bounce back from such a near-fatal travesty; and so recently; yet every day she watched his progress, and were it not for Mark, and his inbred hindsight; Stevie would probably still be one leg short today.
She thought back to that one day when the specialist, Dr. Marie Lambert, spoke to her in her office.
Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter Two
Dr. Lambert’s Office
Monday – June 11th – 9:45 a.m.
“Lieutenant Baker, I can tell you we have made remarkable advances in medicine and human anatomy. Decades ago, it was pretty much a wooden arm or leg with no give, or nothing at all. Then came the flexible flesh-like prosthesis which aided patients to walk much easier, but even that was uncomfortable and burdensome.
In the last eight to ten years, modern science allows us to attach an arm or leg with synthetic nerve endings. These are first attached to the remaining nerve endings in the portion of your son’s remaining thigh. In essence, your son would have the equivalent of a bionic leg. Once the nerve endings are attached to the thigh, they are then reattached to specific area of component sections in the upper part of his new leg, and then strapped on to insure a snug, but not overly tight fit.
“The component acts like a reader and assesses the neural movement of your son’s thigh and acts accordingly as if it were really his leg.
“Once he has gained full use of it without any awkwardness, general about four to six months; anyone other than those who are close to him would never know his leg isn’t real. As he grows and matures, a replacement leg would be available for him. The components in the computer sensors will act like a springboard when he walks, whereby he will not have any awkwardness or limp. He won’t be able to run but walking as if we were using two real legs won’t be a problem for him.”
“This is all well and good, Dr. Lambert, but I live on a cop’s salary. I don’t have the kind of money I think you’re talking about to chunk down for something like this. Don’t get me wrong, I will do what I can for my son; but you’re talking thousands of dollars here.”
"In truth, Lieutenant Baker, with surgery, the bionic leg and therapy, about $300,000.
“But I’m sure the bank in town would graciously give you a loan, especially with your record and background.”
“Maybe. It will be something I will have to look in to.”
“You may want to check quickly, then.”
“Why is that?”
“The nerve endings in your son’s thigh will recede within the next ten to fourteen days and will no longer be available for use for what I described. By this, I mean the nerve endings will die.
“But with the apparatus attached, it will continually send out what we refer to as reminders, or electrical stimuli to keep the nerve endings functioning as he grows.
“In truth, Lieutenant Baker, you really have less than two weeks to decide. We can go bionic or with a regular prosthesis.”
Baker realized at once it was all or nothing for Stevie. She wanted him to have the best opportunity possible. She thanked Dr. Lambert and left.
Going out to her car, to drive to the bank and see if in fact the bank would give her a loan; her cell phone rang.
“Is this Janis Baker?”
“Yes. Who’s calling?”
“My name is Daniel Watson. I’m an insurance agent for All-State.”
“Sorry. I don’t need insurance.”
She was about to close the call.
“No, please, wait one moment. I’m not calling to sell you insurance, Ms. Baker.”
“Then just why are you calling, Mr. Watson?”
“Our office only just received word, yesterday, of your friend’s death,” Daniel wasn’t sure enough to say ex-husband, “and he left behind an insurance policy in three names in the event of his death. One, was a Donald Jensen, whom I understand is also deceased. Would that be correct?”
“Yes. Could you please hurry this along?”
“Sorry. The other two beneficiaries are namely you, in the amount of one million, and also, a Steven Aiden Baker in the amount of five million dollars. But it also states….”
Baker was stunned. She didn’t catch on to Donald’s last name right away, but then she knew Mark well enough that in matters such as these, he never thought small.
“…. that you will oversee the financial estate of Steven Aiden Baker until he graduates from high school, and or he decides to go to college, which upon graduation, the remaining funds would revert over to him completely and fully.”
“Daniel Watson, correct?
“Let me ask you, Daniel; how long would it take to set up the transfer or wiring of the money into my account?”
“Hardly anytime at all. We can fax the necessary paperwork to you that is required by law, whereby you will have to show proof of identification, and say, within thirty days, everything would be in order.”
“Is there a way I can get an advance from my portion, say within the next few days?” She explained why.
Once she was off the phone, she called Dr. Lambert post haste. She had two words for her.
Not only would Stevie’s financial and educational future be assured, but also his physical well-being.
She was certain from where Mark was now; he heard her simple words.
“Thank you, Mark, for looking out for him.”
Those first few days in the hospital were rough ones for Stevie. He was still healing from the injuries he sustained, and he had no choice but to miss his father’s funeral, and Donald’s as well.
Under the medication given to him every night before bedtime would take effect, he and his mom would talk and talk. Stevie, always asking the how and whys of everything. Baker would do her best to give the best answers she could. Those answers that were hard to put into words but had to be said.
Monday – June 18th – 10:00 a.m.
The time and day finally arrived. After listening to Dr. Lambert tell Stevie the procedure that was going to happen, he was in an operating room with a nervous mother in the wings.
Ed was by her side, and stayed close to her the entire time, and throughout the rest of that morning into early afternoon, other officers, and members of her team, and Captain Todd, dropped by with well wishes. Even the new Bishop, Father Larry Millen, stopped by to say a prayer.
By 1:55, Dr. Lambert stepped into the waiting room and gave Baker the news she wanted to hear. The surgery was a success, and the nerve endings took hold of the wiring connected to his new leg.
The next step was plenty of rest, and then therapy.
Everything came in steps. One at a time.
By the end of June, Stevie was coming home to Baker’s townhouse; her home, which was now every bit as much his, for as long as he wanted to stay.
One of Stevie’s first comments when he left the hospital was, “Some guys wear glasses, and we call them four eyes. Me? I have one real fake leg and a pair of crutches. What do they call me? Table leg?”
Baker hugged him to her side.
“No, Bub. They call that being a man.”
As they were leaving the hospital, Stevie asked to see their gravesites.
Since Mark and Donald were buried in McCandless, she took a drive to the memorial.
For the better part of an hour, a mother, and her son, sat by a headstone and talked.
And they cried.
July brought on the therapy. Relearning how to walk with his new leg.
The biggest problem was getting the neural nerve endings to respond properly when he moved forward or backward and side-to-side. Sitting down or standing wasn’t much of a problem, and neither was lying down to sleep or getting up.
Both Dr. Lambert, and Stevie’s physical therapist, Mrs. Arlene Robertson told Baker and Stevie the same thing.
“It’s quite all right to detach the micro-wiring from the leg. Especially in the beginning so it doesn’t feel so cumbersome or awkward.”
Stevie refused removing it other than taking showers.
“The way I see it, mom, the only way I’ll ever get the hang of it, is to just keep it on and use it as normally as I can. Other than taking it off to shower or clean the sweat build up to keep my thigh clean, I’m wearing it all the time.”
Of course, Baker wasn’t always close by him as she still had a job to do. She also has a relationship she had yet to explain to Stevie. A full, to half-time relationship with Ed Manning.
But considering with what happened, things were quiet and without further incident, and she knew, eventually, Stevie would have to know.
Wednesday – August 22nd – 3:35 p.m.
“Mom. Earth calling mom? Yoo-hoo, mom!”
His words brought her back to the half-eaten foot-long hot dog.
“Sorry, bub. I was in the zone for a bit.”
No longer hungry, she slipped the remainder of her lunch in a bag, grabbed up everything else, stepped out of the car and walked over to a trash can and dumped the contents inside. Then she retraced her steps back into the car, turned the engine over, and they were on their way home.
“Today’s the twenty-second, right?”
“Last I checked. Why? Oh wait, I remember. You wanted to go to Sallie’s Emporium this afternoon.”
“Yeah! That cool writer, Edward Carter is there, autographing his new book. You did remember to bring my copy of his book with us, didn’t you?”
“Yes. It’s on the back seat.”
Stevie turned and saw the hardback cover facing him. ‘The Devil in Shadows’.
“Sweet. He writes some of the best horror stuff, ever.”
Baker just shook her head and continued west another two blocks before turning on the corner at Ralston and Mackay. Sallie’s was the first building around the corner on the right.
Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter Three
Sallie’s Emporium – 3:42 p.m.
“Listen up and no one gets hurt. My partner here has a bag, and in that bag, you are all gonna drop your wallets, purses, and any cash in your pockets, along with the cash in the register.
“Don’t get stupid and try to be a hero. This ain’t a movie. I’m holding the hero-stopper in my hand. Be a hero if you want, but you’ll die like a fool.”
His partner was already going around to the fifteen people in the store counting the cashier and writer.
Edward Carter sat in his seat. To his right were a few dozen books with his name on them, waiting to be purchased and autographed. Carter wasn’t really a fan of book signings, but it helped to promote his sales. Already today, he had signed nearly a hundred copies.
The Devil in Shadows.
It was his fourth in a series of books about a super-sleuth, Aiden Devil, who creates creative ways to thwart criminals. Sometimes it isn’t very pretty what he does. By night, a hero. By day, a federal prosecutor.
“You! So, you’re Carter? You don’t look much like your picture.”
Carter looked up at the very tall, but very skinny man holding a gun.
“Yes, I’m Edward Carter.”
The man grabbed one of his books, then grabbed a second one.
“Sign these. Make the first one out to read: to my very best friend, A.J., and then make the other one read: friends to the end, best of luck, Andy.”
He slapped the books on the table in front of Carter and said firmly, “Do it.”
Without thinking, Carter went into signing mode. He kept thinking that if they didn’t kill him, he would have another Devil story.
Carter’s books always made the best seller lists. Currently, he’s number nine and rising on the New York Times list. After this episode, it may even propel his sales even more. He would check with his agent on how to spin this to the media.
When finished, he handed both signed copies to the skinny man.
“Which one’s mine?”
“Who are you?”
“The one on top is yours.”
By that time, his partner, very possibly A.J., came up to him saying he got all he could get. Andy threw the books in the bag, and both were on their way out the door to their car.
Baker had pulled up just two minutes before Andy and A.J. were ready to leave.
She got on her cell phone, pressed 17, informing Ed to get a team together and meet her at Sallie’s, ASAP. She was about to work on an arrest. In the process, she told Stevie to stay down and out of sight until told to do otherwise.
Then she slowly slid out of her car and crept along the front wall and stood to the right about four feet from the entry doors. She held her service revolver raised level with her right shoulder, waiting for both men to exit.
Sallie’s has a large plate-glass window, and if she hadn’t seen the man fumbling with a couple books and still holding onto a gun, she, along with Stevie, may have walked right into a trap she wouldn’t have been able to get out from.
She waited another minute when they came outside.
Both men turned right and were facing Baker. Their guns were lowered to their sides as Baker squarely aimed hers at them.
“Party is over, fellas. Drop’em and get face down on the sidewalk.”
The one who had Carter sign the books, Andy, was thinking about trying to outshoot her when three other cars pulled up from out of nowhere and had completely blocked the street off from any cars going anywhere.
The party was indeed over.
After being handcuffed and taken away, it was later found out that both Andy Rivers, and A.J. Duncan (Andrew James), were responsible for a rash of small-time heists all over the county. That wouldn’t happen any longer. They were found guilty, and each man received a ten-year prison sentence.
As they were hauled away, each customer inside Sallie’s were given their personal property back, including Sallie’s register receipts.
After everyone was questioned, and the area cleared, a young boy on crutches approached Edward Carter, who, at that moment, was about to pack up everything and get out of the store, and the city. He had had enough real-life action for one day.
“I just want to tell you that Adrian Devlin ranks up there with Alex Cross and Scarpetta. You are an awesome writer, Mr. Carter.”
After finishing the last of the initial paperwork at the scene she would later file at her office, Baker stood next to her son.
Carter looked up.
“Thank you for your kind words young man.” Then he looked at Baker.
“I also want to express my gratitude and thanks for what you did out there, Miss …”
“It’s Lieutenant Baker. But it’s all right, Mr. Carter. Just a case of being in the right place at the right time. If you would, please sign my son’s copy of your new book. That’s all the reward I want.”
And he did.
Baker and Stevie turned to walk out of Sallie’s and go back to her car. Edward Carter then continued to pack up his remaining materials he brought with him and walked up to the day manager and thanked her for having him on hand.
Outside and in the car, Stevie said, “Hey, mom. Check out what he wrote.” He handed her the book.
“To Stevie, an exceptional son, blessed with an exceptional mother. May you both live in the light of love for all time.
“That was very nice of him, Stevie.”
After the adventure, as Stevie put it had died down, and they were once again on their way home, he couldn’t help but proud of his mom.
Baker was just grateful no one was injured or killed. There had already been enough bloodshed too last Montie for a long time to come.
The Phone Call – 9:10 p.m.
“Thanks for asking, Ed. He’s doing just great. It’s like every day he gets a little bit better and a little stronger. He really is coming along far better than I expected. His therapist has said the same thing.”
“Is, or has he come to grips with Mark’s death? I mean, he was every bit as close to him as he is with you.”
“I know. We went to one psych session a week after he was out of the hospital. Stevie is fine, and the counselor said that for fifteen, he carried an abundance of maturity inside himself.
“Every day that passes, he amazes me, Ed. I always thought raising a child would be difficult to an extent, but Stevie makes my being a mother; a piece of cake.”
“He is a treasure, that’s for certain. But Jan, let me ask you ….”
“I know, I know, Ed. I don’t know when I’ll tell him. Even though the counselor says he’s mature, I can’t help feeling if I tell him our wedding plans now; it might set him off in a bad way. He starts school next week. Let me see how that goes first.”
“I can sit on this as long as needed. But one day, Stevie and I will have that man-to-man talk.”
“Give me until after the first full week after Labor Day. Then we can both sit down and explain things to him.”
“Can do. Will do.
“I love you, Jan.”
Without being heard, a door silently closed.
Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter Four
Monday – August 27th
missle01: u there?
missle01: I have done my part like u asked, this time with video. I was rather pleased with the look of fear on his face before i shot him. and frankly, i am enjoying myself. Since u r not here I will upload the vid 2 ur stand-by mail. Hope 2 hear from u soon.
Missle02: i am here but cannot stay long. ur stand-
by mail will have instructions for the next target by 8/29 and if everything goes well after next target we are on the move.
Missle02: be ready.
Court of Order – Helsinki
August 31st – 5:05 G.M.T.
Alexandria Jorgensen waited outside in the governmental parking lot and waited for the owner of the BMW in Space 13 to appear.
According to Ronald (missle02), this would be the final practice run in their (his really) plan to set the world right once more.
And, as she lived and breathed, she found so much wrong with the world, and it was all because of that pig running the country. His party ideas and affiliations had to end. It was time to raise the level and end the so-called society most, if not all humans lived in. Poverty, hunger, homelessness, unemployed, under-educated, and the list could go on. She just knew it time for it to all come to a screeching halt. Until she met Ronald (missle02), she had been at odds with her way of thinking and what she wanted to do with her life, but he has the plan, and she wants to see it through to the very end.
She can see the man she is waiting for, coming toward his flashy BMW. The Lord Judgeship, Cowell Potterdame.’ He is one of five executive judges presiding over the providence of beloved Helsinki. He must go.
She stepped from her small electronic car and walked over to him, feigning that she has a problem with her vehicle. As she gets him to walk away from his BMW, and before he can fathom the reasons why; she turns on him. A camera in one hand, a Luger in the other; a 22 caliber semi-automatic Beretta, silencer attached.
His eyes widen at first in surprise, then shock, to finally, outrage.
“You dare do this to me, young lady. Have you any idea who I am?”
“I have known of you for a long time. That is why today, you die. She pulled back the hammer, the click louder than a bomb going off or at least that's how it felt to Cowell Potterdame.’ It was at that precise moment his face went from indignation to stark cold fear.
No one heard the faint ping as the silencer muted the explosion that erupted the left side of his face.
Alexandria bent down, retrieved the shell casing that ejected from her gun, then she walked over to her car, glided her small frame into it and went home as if nothing had happened.
Cowell Potterdame’ would make the front pages of the newspaper and would be talked about for days.
August 31st – 5:05 G.M.T
Ronald Ambercorn waited patiently. Patience in his business is a necessary evil. He was always paid well for extracting as much patience as possible to make certain a job was well-executed.
In three minutes, he would make another $200,000 for a single bullet to the brain.
Oh, how he loved his work. But he loved the money even more. Ronald had no lover, no one single friend. In his line of work, they are a liability he can do without.
Here comes Bryan Matterhorn, Junior Judicial official for the attorneys of record in and around Perth. He was responsible for all trial cases to be evenly sorted out by state-owned lawyers. Today, they would need someone to replace him. Why? No reason. Just a target for a client.
A client that will pay even bigger bucks for a future hit.
As with all his contract hits, Ronald videos each one as proof for payment. As always, half up front, the rest upon delivery.
Bryant Matterhorn had no reaction time. He died suddenly, quickly, with a look of certain perplexity.
It is the kind of look Ronald explains thusly. “Surely you are mistaken.”
Now, if that woman has finished her part, and it seems apparent she thinks she is doing this for all the right reasons to “right the wrongs of a nation,” she once told him online, she will prove quite perfect for the next big score. That one is a hundred-million dollars.
Too bad Alexandria won’t see a penny of it
Friday Evening – August 31st
missle01: that was impressive. he was almost laughing at u before he realized it was going 2 be over b4 he knew it.
missle02: ty. Ur vid was impressive as well.
missle02: now pay close attention. in the next 3 minutes i will be closing my page for good. get a pen or pencil and paper. once u have the info down, u will follow suit and close ur page as well. There will be a plane ticket waiting 4 u at the airport. it leaves in 2 hours. b on it. meet me at this address.
missle01: 2 hours? i won’t have a lot of time to pack things.
missle02: pack very little or pack nothing. just be on that plane. this is the moment u have waited 4.
missle01: ok. what is the address.
missle02: 2356 cranston way, montie, new york. i will meet you there in 2 days’ time. It is america’s holiday. we will hardly be noticed. u have all ur paperwork in order, correct.
missle01: yes. i have the address written down.
missle02: i will c u in 2 days’ time. Goodbye.
She hit send and it came back as, “Undeliverable. User no longer exists.”
That quickly he erased his tracks.
She did the same.
Labor Day Weekend
As in years past, this year being no different, the city park became a place where young and old alike turned out for the festivities of hamburgers and hot dog; pretzels and cotton candy, sodas, and shakes, corn dogs on a stick, handmade ice-cream in a variety of flavors; t-shirts, caps, and even fake tinsel hair in red, white, and blue to wear were available.
Three local bands played throughout each of the three days, each taking a four-hour turn on the grandstand backdrop by the manmade lake.
Police roamed the park, but as with years past, they hadn’t expected any violence or destruction of property. It would be a weekend like those past; noisy, and uneventful. People would go home each of the next three nights and have nothing but good things to say.
On the beginning of the holiday weekend, Father Larry Millen gave the opening and closing prayers and wished that the weekend to be an enormous success and boon to the community.
Both the Mayor and Captain Raymond Todd, followed Father Millen in the opening statements, wishing everyone to have a wonderful time but to be safe and careful, and mindful of the law.
This Labor Day and there would be no crime. No one would be injured in any kind of way. It would be the eleventh straight Labor Day, trouble free.
Stevie, his mom, and Ed were walking around, buying a souvenir of some sort just to say they were part of the ongoing festivities.
They played the games, rode the rides, and Stevie even managed to win a large white stuffed panda bear for his mom. All he had to do was knock twelve sets of three metal bottles off a table with a single pitch of a baseball. He did it four times in a row.
Stevie handed her the panda and said, “Mom, you can call him, bub, when I’m not around.”
“Deal, Bub.” She hugged him.
At one point, Baker had to find a restroom, and spied a port-a-potty. That left Stevie and Ed alone on one of the park benches.
“I’m proud of how you have handled things over the last few months, Stevie. I know of grown men who couldn’t have done half of what you’ve accomplished.”
“Thanks, Ed. To be honest. I did most of this for my mom. I didn’t want her to think I would have to have her wait on me hand and foot. I didn’t want her to think of me as a cripple or invalid, you know?”
Ed nodded his head.
“Are you sure you aren’t thirty in a little guy’s body?”
They both sort of laughed when Stevie asked, “You love my mom, don’t you?”
Ed inhaled, and thought, here goes.
“Yes, I do. We never started in that direction. I mean, in the beginning, we were simply partners with a job to do. As partners, we can sometimes become close, and as it happened in our case; remarkably close.
“But it didn’t start until the end of the Christmas holidays last year. I don’t think either one of us felt it would amount to too much more than what it was.”
“You mean the sex stuff, huh?”
Blushing slightly, Ed nodded, then continued.
“Then, things became scary with the cop-killers and stuff going on, and the next thing either of us knew, it wasn’t about the sex any longer, it was about us having a future together.
“And I do want a future with your mom, Stevie. But I would also like to be able to keep our friendship and be able to do things together with you like I did when you were here before everything that happened, happened.
“I’m not out to replace you father. I know that can’t happen, and I wouldn’t even try. I’m perfectly happy just being the best friend to you I can be.”
Stevie looked at him without changing his facial expression which held neither a smile nor frown. He listened to every word Ed said before he looked into his eyes and said, “So then, maybe this fall, you could teach me how to shoot at the Brewster Gun Club?”
“Can do, will do, if your mom says it’s okay.”
“Cool. I have another question for you.”
“Bring it on.”
“Well, it’s not really a question, more like something I just want to say. I know you love mom, and that’s great. She’s been needing someone to love her besides me, for a long time, and you are really a great guy. So, what I’m saying is, if you and mom want to get married, go for it. I just have one request.”
“What would that be, bub,” interjected Baker.
“Oh, hi mom. Gee, how long have you been standing there?”
“Long enough to say you are so full of surprises, and that you constantly amaze me. So, what’s the request?”
And for the first time in Stevie’s presence, both Baker and Ed, held hands.
“Well, I know my grandparents, your mom and dad, died in that house fire years back, long before I was ever thought about. But I read books and have seen movies all the time where the father walks the bride down the altar to the groom. And, well, mom, since your dad can’t do that for you, I’d like to be the one to give you away, to Ed. That’s if it’s okay with you.”
Baker felt a new sense of admiration and added respect for his thought, and she felt a rush of tears about to overflow and drown her in this moment of absolute joy.
She stood away from Ed, throwing her arms around Stevie, hugging him tightly, and whispered in his ear, “Stevie, you have always been my best man, and always will be. And Bub, I would be proud to walk down the aisle with you.”
She didn’t have the heart to tell Stevie the truth about her parents and how they really died. And why would she? It all happened many years ago. Better to leave sleeping dogs lie.
Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter Five
Labor Day Weekend – Sunday Night
Two different cabs, from two different companies arrived at 2356 Cranston Way. A rather attractive blond with a sexy accent, and a tall, heavyset man with an Aussie accent arrived as scheduled.
That first night after settling in, and making initial small talk, the obvious happened.
They went to bed. She called it making love. He looked at it as purely releasing energy. He had to make sure she would follow everything he said.
Come Monday, he would go into greater detail as to how things would go down.
Baker’s Townhouse – 9:31 p.m.
It was, perhaps for Baker, the most memorable Labor Day weekend of her life. The two men she loved most would be in and around her life for many years to come.
It was by far an even more romantic moment than it had been when she first met Mark.
And it was that same night she made a silent prayer and vow before sleep took her away.
“Dear God, please keep us safe always, watch over my son, and please continue to keep him safe and out of harm’s way. Please bless our marriage when the time comes and watch over everyone I know and care for.
“And Mark, if you’re listening, a part of me never stopped loving you, but you know it is time I moved on. Stevie loves you, and I guess a part of me always will. Watch over him as well, Mark. He won’t say it out loud, but he misses you. Amen.”
The rest of this night, if you looked from well above the clouds down onto Montie; the lights were slowly winking shut as families found sleep after such a great weekend. What lights stayed awake, twinkled like stars that came to rest on the earth.
One more night to go. Monday night.
Fireworks. A grand time was to be had by all just as with times past.
Monday Morning – September 3rd
The Squad Room – 8:29 a.m.
“… and finally, tonight will mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of our traditional fireworks display. All I’m asking, be you on duty or not, be extra watchful and careful, and be on the lookout for pranksters. We’ve not had anyone injured since I’ve been on the force, and that’s close to fourteen years. Let’s work to keep that record intact. Montie: 75. Accidents:0.
“On that note, get out there and stay safe and keep our streets safe.”
“I hear tell something else is in the wind.”
“What would that be?”
“A little birdie called a little while ago and told us something pretty incredible.”
“Satch, just spit it out why don’t you?”
“Word’s out that you and Manning, are going to tie the knot.”
The team let out a roar of whoops, whistles, and hollers.
Baker looked to Ed, and he shrugged his shoulders as if to say it wasn’t him that let the cat out of the bag. Then she knew. Stevie had called.
She broke into a grin and received hugs from her team, as Ed was slapped on the back, shaking hands so much he later remarked, “If I had been milking a cow for as much as I shook hands, we wouldn’t need milk or cheese for a year.”
But what they both had planned for, a civil ceremony, didn’t get out. As it stood, Captain Todd made that clear in his office right after the meeting.
“Baker, Manning, sit down. I have something to say and when I’m finished, there will be no room for discussion. Are we clear on this?”
Both nodded, knowing when Captain Todd made up his mind on something, it was set in stone. His voice sounded gravelly than before; but when you have a bullet pierce your lung, you would sound different as well.
“I just checked our police emergency funds, and I’m happy to say we’ve spent almost two thousand less, since this time last year, and that’s a good thing.
“Have you two set a wedding date yet?”
Ed spoke up.
“We had been thinking September twenty-second. This September that is. Since we work here at the Twenty-Second, we thought it was rather fitting.”
“Captain,” jumped in Baker, “what’s going on?”
“It’s simple, Baker. The Twenty-Second is paying for your wedding, as well as for all the food and reception later. It’s our gift to two of the finest cops I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
“And if you decline, you’ll be suspended without pay.”
Before Baker or Ed could respond, Captain Todd added, “Just kidding on the last part. I don’t know what to say, other than thank you.
“And thank you both for your outstanding loyalty and service. You run an effective team, Baker, the best in the county. Between you and Ed, you two have the best arrest and conviction ratio in the entire state per capita. That’s another reason we’re paying for your wedding.
“Then, there is one other thing.” Captain Todd’s voice became serious.
“January of next year, I’m retiring. It’s a promise I made to Elaine. I don’t break my promises to her. Come January, the Twenty-Second will need a new Captain, and I would rather see one of our own get the nod than someone from another station, or from out of state that hasn’t a clue about the men and women that work here.
“To be fair, I’m throwing both of your names in the hat to replace me. Come November, the Selectmen of the City Council, along with the mayor, will review all the files submitted, and will make a fair and impartial decision.
“If the nod goes to you, Baker, then Ed will become Chief of Detectives. Lieutenant Manning, but I’ll still call you Manning, Ed.” Captain Todd grinned.
“And that is that. If you have any questions, save’em. What I just explained is all the answers you are going to get. There are four others in line along with you two.
“Now get out of my office and do what you do best. Get out there and be safe, and it is still my city. Keep it safe.”
Without a word said, Baker and Ed stood up to leave. As Ed opened the door, Captain Todd caught their attention once more.
“Congratulations to the both of you, and thanks for everything you did in my absence. Especially you, Baker. Elaine was quite taken with you. Again, thank you both very much.”
They walked out of his office, out of the building to their cars to do the job they are paid to do.
But not before they hugged and kissed each other first.
Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter Six
2356 Cranston Way
UPS Special Delivery – 2:44 p.m.
The doorbell rang.
Alexandria peeked out from behind a lace curtain and saw a large truck with the letters, UPS, on it.
She saw a young man, perhaps early twenties, standing at the front door with a crate on a small carry all.
She turned to call for Ronald.
When she explained to him who it was, he simply said, “Open the blasted door and sign for the package, girl.”
The young man wanted to know where she wanted him to drop off the crate, when Ronald entered the room and said, “Follow me.”
Straight through the living room, then to the right of the overly large kitchen that led into a back room, where just to the inside right, was a screened patio room attached. He told the driver to drop it off inside the patio room.
“If you like sir, I have the tools available in the truck to cut and remove the bands for you, and jack open the boards as well.”
“No, that isn’t necessary. I can do that myself. Thank you.”
He reached out to shake the deliveryman’s hand, and when he pulled away, he left a folded fifty-dollar bill in the young man’s hand.
“Sorry, sir, but I’m not allowed to receive tips.”
“Tips? What tips? Alexandria? Do you see any tips running around in here?”
To be somewhat brazen for a moment, her hands casually fell across both of her breasts to rest seductively on each nipple.
“Oh, I’m sorry. You said tips. My mistake. No, I don’t see any tips in here at all.”
As Ronald walked the young man to the door, he said, “Have a wonderful holiday, and good day to you.”
As the young man got back in his truck to head for his next delivery, with only six more to follow, he spoke quietly while backing the truck onto the street.
“Hell, that was easy enough. He ain’t gonna call the company, and I’m not about to come clean on the fifty. That guy in there sure seemed like a strange enough bird, but I’m not gonna complain. That guy’s old lady, man, what a stacked chick she is. Lucky dude.”
In the next minute, he was down the street and around the corner and out of sight.
Inside the house, Ronald brought out his own cutting tool, along with a hammer to peel back the nailed boards.
Once fully opened, he pulled away all the packing material before he spied what he was after. All the essentials they would need to complete their mission as Alexandria saw it. It was a contract hit as Ronald saw it. Payday.
Two especially designed, high-powered .451 Magnum-Plum Spencer rifles. Both were molded from the original Spencer from over a hundred-fifty years ago, but with far more incredible accuracy. Only ten of these rifles even exist.
Maximum range: 4,000 yards. But for complete accuracy, 3,000 was ideal. For what their task entailed, 1,500 would be more than enough for Alexandria. Ronald would make the kill shot at around 3,000 yards.
Tomorrow, they would begin the assembly and disassembly of the Spencer, until they could do it in their sleep. Ronald already could. But Ronald (really Timothy Braden), always plays out his plans close to the vest.
He almost felt bad for what was going to happen to Alexandria.
She knew the alternate plan.
Twenty-one days to countdown.
The day, like the weekend, went without incident.
The park was crowded as people watched and waited for the first of the fireworks to appear as if by magic in the night sky.
Cars were lined up and down the city streets, and people could be found sitting or standing on the hoods waiting for the first flash of brilliant light to appear and light up the night.
A few of the older folks would sit on their front porches with what they considered to be the best view of all. Others just opened their windows and peered out into a black sky with billions and billions of small twinkling stars and a somewhat out of focus half-moon, and then 9:30 came.
The first barrage of colored lights burst in wide arcs blocking the view of the stars.
One of the bands on stage started playing, ‘America the Beautiful,’ as rocket after rocket were fired into the air and thunderous explosions in reds and greens, blues, yellows, and oranges; or they would explode all at once, fanning outward as if to cover the entire city.
Then came the multiply firings, up to ten at a time, and when they went off, the entire downtown was covered in light for a good twenty seconds.
The Star-Spangled Banner could be heard playing as more fireworks pummeled the evening sky, but an amazing thing happened.
Everyone took up the song and began to sing. By the time they finished, “o’er the land and of the free, and the home, of the, brave,” every bit of remaining rockets and shooters available assailed the night sky, and with a resounding reverberation never felt before; it left you in awe of perhaps a rare and incredibly special moment.
Of course, the following Tuesday would mark the eleventh anniversary of 911.
Most people that Labor Day night would tell you they remembered the families and friends, and those unsung heroes that fell on that tragic day.
One older man was heard to say as the crowd broke up and people headed home, “Eleven years. Seems like it just happened.”
Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter Seven
Tuesday – September 4th
Captain Todd’s Office – 8:01 a.m.
“Baker, Manning, you both know the Mayor, Brian Larson.” Turning to the Mayor he said, “They are two of my very best.”
“Yes, I know. I have read their service records. Impressive.
“But what I have discussed with Todd here, is far more impressive.
“Monday, September 24th, at 11:00 a.m. sharp; there is going to be a political fundraiser at the Montie Arena. I’m sure you have already been briefed on this.”
“We have,” stated Baker. “Senator Warren Samuels is running for a third term and is touring the state.”
“Correct. But there has been an unexpected wrench thrown into the mix. There will be added security as the FBI and Secret Service will be in town as well.”
Manning, who was semi-reclining in a plush leather chair, suddenly became erect.
“Oh-my-mother-of-heaven. That would mean the president’s coming here.”
“Correct again. All I am asking of you and your team, as well as the rest of the Twenty-Second, is to keep the outer perimeters clear, and let the big boys handle the rest. Basically, I want an area of five to seven blocks swept constantly until the President leaves.
“He’s expected to make a brief speech and put his full support for Samuels. As it stands, he’s only supposed to be in Montie no longer than thirty minutes. His plane arrives at 10:30 and he’s scheduled to leave at 11:10.
“From here, he goes to Albany, Buffalo, New York City, then further north into Providence and Boston, but my concern is here, and only here.
“I am instructing you to implement a course of action that will both assure me and the FBI and the Secret Service, that, well, putting it bluntly; that we have our shit together,
“I hope I have made things clear. You have until the fourteenth to submit the scope of our protection that I can fax to Washington. I trust that will give you ample time.”
Baker nodded that she understood.
“In our meeting this morning, I’ll address this to my team, but I’m sure we can implement something acceptable, even if it means overtime for everyone, no matter the shift. I might even come up with something even more formidable than even they could think up.”
“Good enough, then.” Mayor Larson stood, shook hands with everyone and left Captain Todd’s office.
“Do you think you can pull this off without a hitch, Baker?”
“Captain, if my team and I can’t, personally, no one can. It will either be in the frying pan cooking like crazy, or in the fire burned to a crisp.”
Rim Road Pass – 10:18 a.m.
11 miles from Montie
Both Ronald and Alexandria set up practice targets from varying distances. The furthest being 4,000 yards away, and the nearest, 1,500 yards, with two other targets in between.
The first hour was spent assembling their weapons, loading, and placing the stationery lay tracks to get more stability to the weapons range and accuracy. The most compelling designed added to this rather unique rifle, was the site. It was a side mail with a dial arm and zoom lens. The site was ten inches around. The dial would focus to within cross hairs, and the zoom could magnify the target up to fifty times its size based on distance.
The only thing it couldn’t account for was mother nature. Rain and wind.
Both brought one hundred rounds each and had twenty targets disbursed randomly from 4,000, 3,000, 2,500, and then 1,500 yards. Two hundred spent cartridges lay in disarray at their feet.
They both checked all their targets. At the long range, Alexandria didn’t fare so well. Ronald: nineteen, Alexandria: thirteen. She showed modest improvement the further they checked, and Ronald was almost certain she would excel at the lower level. He was correct.
Both he and Alexandria were a perfect twenty.
This was something they would do every day until they would take up their final stationery point the day the American president made his appearance.
They would, or rather, he would, have but two opportunities before the president was rushed inside the building and back outside to a waiting bulletproof car. Twelve seconds going in. Eight seconds coming out. He opted for the eight seconds.
He enjoyed Alexandria’s company, but business was business.
West Park Sports & Rehab Clinic – 6:05 p.m.
Baker, once again, sat in her car in the parking lot, waiting for Stevie to emerge from this therapy session.
Since school started, she had changes made to their free time which wasn’t a problem. Mrs. Peterson wasn’t bothered a bit with change.
She remembered her saying, “Lieutenant Baker, it just does my heart good to see the progress he’s making. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day he doesn’t try out for track and field, or maybe football. Stevie is a determined young man.”
How well she knew.
Her eyes went to the front doors where Stevie stepped out into a semi-lit evening. His crutches underneath him, as he made his way down two sets of four steps.
When he came to the second set; he stopped, waved at her, and then pitched the crutches to the side and walked the rest of the way to the car.
He was halfway when Baker jumped from the driver seat and started toward him. All he said to her was, “Don’t help me, mom.”
She backed off to as Stevie walked the remaining fifty feet unaided by human hands and metal crutches.
Baker couldn’t help herself. She smiled, as she watched a boy fast becoming a man.
Oh, and the crutches; Baker retrieved them and put them in the back seat of the car and would later put them in her storage area. Neither her, Ed, and especially Stevie, would look at them again, or at least they hoped they wouldn’t.
The two had a nice quiet dinner together. Ed would have joined them, but he was at the station house filling out paperwork on an arrest he made an hour before. A speeder in a Honda Civic, with Florida tags, headed north, with 60 kilos of that wacky tabacky, as Ed put it.
The rest of the night was just her and Stevie, watching an Adam Sandler movie and munching popcorn before she heard the faint sound of Stevie’s breathing change.
He fell asleep against her arm.
She didn’t move him, and before long, she was in slumber land right along with him.
Wednesday – September 5th
The Squad Room – 8:36 a.m.
“Now that you all know what’s going to happen come the twenty-fourth, I want as many viable options as possible and suggestions on how we will operate this thing when the president shows. So I need ideas for you, by the tenth.
“More than likely nothing will happen, but when I think back in the last two years alone; any damn thing could come up to put a wrench in the works. And I don’t want that to happen.
“By the tenth, suggestions made, except it or not; I will begin to set a plan in motion for all of this; but start brainstorming, guys.
“Now, I know this is two days after the wedding,” and she looked at Ed, “but I’ve decided to put the wedding on hold until the following Saturday, the twenty-ninth.” She looked dead serious, and Ed nodded and smiled, meaning it was fine with him.
“Oh, and for all you beer-drinking, cowboy-loving, god’s-gift-to-women guys; the reception and food will be at Benny’s Pub. So, bring your lady friend or wife, boyfriend, or husband. Just try to be on your best behavior if you can remember how.”
Someone from the rear said, “Oh yeah, there you go already. Just ruin all our fun, why don’t you.”
That brought on a few laughs.
“Anyway guys, it’s our day to shine, with or without the president’s recognition on Monday the twenty-fourth.
“If I see any of you guys on the twenty-fifth, which means we still have our jobs. Now, get out there and be safe, and keep our streets safe.”
As everyone left the room, Ed looked at her and said, “Glad you mentioned that date. I was going to ask if you wanted to up it a week because of what’s coming.”
“Figured you might,” she smiled.
“Something else, too.”
“And what would that be?”
“Come next summer, I’m quitting the force. I’m going to go after that piece of paper that says I will be a lawyer. I have enough in savings, stocks, and other mutual funds, plus I’ll get a portion of my pension. If we end up with a cash-flow problem, I can always sell a few shares here and there along the way.”
“Ed, do me a favor?”
“Just shut up and don’t worry about it. But as to money, have you forgotten? Mark left Stevie and I well off, and since you’ll soon be a part of this family, don’t worry about finances. I’m sure we will manage fine with things.
“I had a thought just now.”
“Uh-oh. What thought, Jan?”
“I could write a book and call it ‘The Cop and the Lawyer.’ I arrest, you defend. Two different blue suits clash in a courtroom, and at night, in the bedroom; then they really clash.” Baker’s grin widened.
“Uh, you might want to keep that one undercover and out of sight.”
“Undercover, certainly, but I’ll never let you out of my sight.” She winked, grabbed him quickly below the belt, released him and turned to walk out the door, when her cell phone rang.
Ed was almost directly behind her when she stopped and said, “Baker.”
Hello, sweet Janis, it is wonderful to hear your voice again. I promise not to keep you long. I wanted to express my deepest regrets. I heard what happened with your ex-husband and your son. As to the other trash that died, who cares. I do hope your son is managing well.
“He isn’t your concern, Eddie. Wait, I forgot, you like it when I call you Freddy, right? Are you in town? Watching me again? Why the call?”
My, my, my, sweet Janis, Janis, Janis; stalling for time to trace this call won’t do you any good. Besides, I’m not anywhere even remotely close to you. Try Central Europe, my dear. And I’m really making a name for myself here; or I should say the authorities and the media are. They have given me a name from an old television show, but without the s on the end. they call me the Dark Shadow. You should keep up with foreign affairs more. sweet Janis I now have over eighty-three body counts that have gone straight to hell, sweet Janis. And when I decide to return; you will join them.
“News flash, Fredrick. I know something about you I shouldn’t.”
Interesting, and exactly what would that be, sweet Janis?
“Though you have aged since your parents died, and though we have nothing on file to determine exactly what you look like; you may not want to ever remove what makeup is on your face right now. I know that you and your brother, Peter, were identical twins.”
What? WHAT! You, you bitch! How did you find that out? Oh, I will so fuck you up when I come back. And you know what? I think I’ll do all three of you! First, that cocksucker, Manning. I know that puke has been doing you! You can watch me carve his ass to pieces.
Then, your kid! Cut off his other fucking leg, so he’ll be the right size to bounce across a room before I cut off his head and put it in you fucking lap! Do you hear me? DO YOU!
“Loud and clear, Fredrick. I’ll be waiting. Oh, Ed says hello and he misses you terribly. And remember, Eddie-Freddy-Fredrick-Dark Shadow, or whatever the hell you call yourself; you touch my son, you shallow mindless-pit of a human being, and I will blow your fucking ass to another world.”
That’s my girl. Violence and anger; fits you well. And violence will be your end. Enjoy your life while you can sweet Janis. I’ll be back to take it all away from you.
One last thing, sweet Janis. When you do get to see the real me, it will be one more surprise you will have never seen coming.
He hung up.
Baker immediately dialed up her phone provider and told the operator to patch her into 1961-APN. It’s a security police code to trace the last three incoming calls.
A live operator came on and said, “I will be able to have that information for you within two to three minutes. Please hold.”
The operator lied. She was back within a minute.
The last three calls did her no good. Two calls came from Ed’s cell phone. The last call, from Fredrick, came from a street phone in Brussels.
Technology these days is incredible.
Even though Baker put up a good front on the phone, she still pressed herself against Ed.
She was scared. Not just for herself, but for the two men she loved most in the world.
The Second Call – 12:45 p.m.
“Hi, mom. Guess what?”
“Hi, Bub. I give already. What’s what?”
“I made it on the basketball team.”
“You, you what?”
“I’m part of the team. I keep track of the individual player scores, and Coach says he’s going to teach me certain play calls, so it’s like I’ll be either the offensive or defensive coordinator.”
“Well, look at you. Not even a full week and you’re already in like gold.”
Baker squeezed her eyes shut for a moment. In like gold, was one of Mark’s sayings when he would land a big contract for the firm, he used to work for in Montie. If Stevie caught on, he didn’t let on.
“Nah. More like brass, but it’s all good. See you this afternoon. Love you, mom.”
“Love you, bub.”
Lord knows she wants him to grow into a fine man, but sometimes she feels he’s growing too fast for her to keep up with.
She glanced up and said, “You know, Mark, I think we created a tornado and not a son.”
Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter Eight
Rim Road Pass – 6:30 p.m.
Not that it was necessary, but Ronald used this time of day to simulate cloud cover.
Both he and Alexandria fired the same distances as before. He scored two nineteens’ and a twenty. She scored a sixteen, seventeen and a twenty. She improved on the first two targets and maintained on the last.
She has proved herself to excel in the bedroom and slowly getting better in the field.
If Ronald had a conscience, he would have felt bad for setting her up.
But he had none.
Baker’s Townhouse – 7:45 p.m.
The doorbell rang, and Stevie went to the door and saw Ed standing there with a plastic bag in one hand, and three pizzas in the other.
Ed promised a movie night, even if it was in the middle of the week.
Tonight, would be different from most. There wouldn’t be any school until Monday due to teacher meetings, though there would be the first home game Friday night for the Montie Pythoners against the Jason Bearcats.
Tonight, is triple-play night. Ed promised Stevie he would bring the movies he watched when he was Stevie’s age. Stevie was curious as to what they were.
As the night began, with Baker in the middle, Stevie to her left, and Ed to her right, the first movie they watched, ‘History of the World: Part One.’ By the time the second one started, the laughter had pretty much died down. Then came ‘Night of the Living Dead.’
Stevie found it neither frightening nor funny. He thought it was about as b-o-r-i-n-g as it could get. But he liked Ed a lot and didn’t want to hurt his feelings. When the third one was halfway finished, two slices of pepperoni and one slice of mushroom pizza was all that remained; and three bodies were dead asleep. The movie: ‘Carrie.’
It was close to three in the morning when Baker awoke to two bodies pressed up against her and her neck, stiff to the point of being sore.
What woke her was a nightmare. They were torn apart, and Fredrick was eating them.
Rubbing her eyes and never missing a beat, she rousted a half-asleep boy long enough for him to find his own bed, kissed his forehead, returned to the front room, picked a pair of legs off the floor, pulled off his tennis shoes, put the legs on the couch, found a blanket and covered Ed, and kissed his cheek goodnight.
Then she went into her bedroom and tried to sleep.
Her nightmare kept coming back to her. In vivid color.
Sollie’s Fruit Stand – Hwy. 40
Thursday – September 6th – 2:17 p.m.
Satchell and Andre Devon responded to a hit and run. Rescue Services were notified and arrived on scene moments after Satchell and Devon showed up.
Sollie was still alive and that was surprising, especially since he was eighty-three.
Looking around, Satchell made the determination that this was deliberate. The fruit stand was cut in half by whatever type of vehicle hit it.
With Sollie breathing, his breath shallow, his words came out in a raspy breath.
“Pretty blonde. Had an accent. Bought stuff. She drove … away. Came back. Straight at me. No, no … time, to react.”
Devon followed the tire tracks, and they led back to the highway, and it appeared they turned in the direction of Montie.
A lot of good that would do them. Sollie couldn’t remember the make or model of the car other than to say it was big and dark.
Satchell was thinking if the car was big, it might have been a Cadillac and most likely black. Even so, without a license plate number, it would take weeks, maybe even months before they might find it, if even then.
2356 Cranston Way - 6:12 p.m.
Alexandria was preparing dinner for Ronald and herself; preparing a spinach salad and roasted leg of lamb, with a red wine sauce with a trace of honey, along with curried rice, and of course fresh fruit for afterward.
Ronald was in the living room catching up on the local news. He was waiting to hear what he already knew. The last thing he wanted to hear was a change in plans.
“In other news, this afternoon, on Highway forty, a familiar, if not an almost local historic site was torn to pieces. Sollie’s Fruit Stand, a mainstay since 1961 was destroyed, and Sollie himself, seriously injured.
“What we have learned from the authorities so far; a blond, possibly twenty-five to thirty, with a foreign accent, driving a large possibly dark blue or black Cadillac.
“Sollie Jetson’s injuries include two broken legs, and a ruptured spleen. He is listed in serious but stable condition. He is eighty-three and has no known family. His wife Margaret died four years ago and lives alone.
“We’ll be right back with the weather, and find out from Martin’s Weather Picker, if we’ll have another warm weekend ahead, or if we are looking at….”
Ronald sat straight in the recliner. Steaming.
Coming around the corner from the kitchen she said, “Dinner will be ready in a few more minutes. Patience, please.”
“The hell with dinner and the hell with patience!” He stood up. “Come here.”
She walked within an arm’s length of him.
“I have just heard some disturbing news. Did you take the Buick out today?”
“Yes, I did. I bought fresh fruit from…."
Like a rattlesnake, his right hand shot out and slapped her face, knocking her back into an ottoman where she lost her balance and fell to the floor.
“You, stupid, stupid bitch. Why did you run the old man over? Are you trying to get us caught before we even get started?”
“I, I, I thought he was dead when I left. No one saw me. But how did you know it was me?”
“The police, according to the news, are looking for a cute blond with an accent that drives a big car! Your car that happens to be a dark blue. That’s how I know it is you! Just what possessed you to do such a thing?”
Staring up at him, rubbing her cheek that still stung from the slap, she smiled and said, “You.”
“Me! What about me?”
“You brought out of me all my repressed hates and angers. You taught me how to express my anger by ending the lives of people that had no reason to live. I was bored. The old man looked like it was near time for him to die anyway. The rush came over me, that desire to help him along. And, like the others; it felt good. And I have it on video.”
“Destroy it, then. And do not leave this house again unless I tell you to leave. Because of you, I need to go to the hospital, and finish what you started. He knows what you look like. Once he opens his eyes and regains his strength, he will be able to describe you, which means your picture will be everywhere. I am going there to fix your fuck-up.
“You cannot afford another mistake like this again.’
Alexandria had finally stood up from the floor to go back into the kitchen, fully understanding what he was saying.
Her name would fit on a headstone just like anyone else’s.
Dinner that night was wasted. She picked at the spinach salad. Ronald didn’t touch a thing.
A few tense, but quiet minutes passed, before Ronald got into his Lebaron and drove to the hospital.
Alexandria threw the fruit away.
Johnson County Memorial Hospital – 7:23 p.m.
After convincing two duty station nurses he was Sollie’s nephew, convincing them he just heard what happened to the dear man, they allowed him to visit Sollie, but only briefly.
Alone in the hospital room with Sollie, he stared down at the old man, sleeping away in part by machines, in part on his own. He mentally remembered the machines Sollie was attached to and knew what must be done.
He left the hospital twenty minutes later.
Sollie was still sleeping.
Ronald returned, and this time without being noticed as the nurse’s station was empty. He figured they were in a break room or on their rounds.
He quietly entered Sollie’s room.
Standing next to him, he reached out with both hands encased his leather gloves, grabbed Sollie’s chin with one hand and braced his other hand behind the old man’s neck, and gave a hard-sharp twist to the right and broke his neck. He then straightened Sollie’s head into a sleeping position and left the room.
The moment he left his room, the machine Sollie was connected to flatlined and a warning alarm emitted throughout the halls.
Ronald was just entering the elevator, and as it was about to close, he saw nurse’s running in Sollie’s direction.
He looked at his watch. Thirty seconds from start to finish.
Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter Nine
Friday – September 7th
The Squad Room – 8:24 a.m.
“This is all we have on the hit and run for now. Carl’s team is looking into any paint fragments that may have attached itself to the stand during the collision, as well as the plaster cast made from the tire tracks.
“Preliminary reports suggest the vehicle to be either an Escalade, Cadillac, or Oldsmobile. Even that is speculation.”
Captain Todd stuck his head inside the room and motioned for Baker. She excused herself a moment, walked over, and he spoke to her in a low tone before he left. She then walked back to the front of the room and stared at her team.
“It isn’t just a hit and run any longer. It’s vehicular manslaughter. Sollie died in his sleep last night.
“Sometime between this afternoon and Monday, I’ll have the autopsy report which will give me a complete list of his injuries. I will also see if I can contact any relatives he may have.
“Just be on the lookout for a blond that talks funny.”
Most of the guys laughed.
“All right, you guys, get out there and be safe, and keep our streets safe.”
As Baker was grabbing up files and sorting them from oldest too newest, Ed walked over to her.
“One way to look at this; Sollie’s the first person to die in several months, and not from any sick, perverted deviant’s either.”
“I know, Ed, but someone meant to kill him straight off. And I intend to find out who, and why.
“I need to scoot. I need to get these files sorted out, and I have a meeting with the Mayor and City Council at eleven. And that’s going to take up most of my day.”
“Want me to pick Stevie up after school for you?”
“Would you, please? That would solve my having split personalities today.”
They smiled at one another, then started in on their day.
The Weekend in Montie
Baker, Stevie, and Ed spent almost the entire weekend in Montie. On Sunday, Ed had a surprise for Stevie.
Two tickets to the Jets and Steelers game. Baker explained to Ed that she’d rather stay home and begin her outline for the plan to cover the city to protect the president when he arrived. As far as she was concerned; the Sunday drive and the game was just the thing for the boys. Male bonding. Such a wonderful thing.
That weekend also found Satchell at a cemetery paying respects to both his parents, and a little further down, the woman he married seventeen years ago, who died of ovarian cancer, five years ago, and the one woman who captured his heart for good.
Only those close to him know what Satchell feels inside himself. The rest see him two ways: good natured, and one tough son-of-a-bitch.
Elaine and Captain Raymond Todd held an outdoor barbecue party for friends, and public officials. Privately, Elaine couldn’t wait for Ray’s retirement to begin.
Ronald and Alexandria continued their daily and sometimes, nightly target practice sessions. Windy days proved difficult for her. Her ratio of hits was terrible, even at 1,500 yards.
But when the day would arrive, it wouldn’t matter.
When Stevie and Ed arrived home Sunday night; Stevie went into great detail about the game. He took pictures with Ed’s Nikon 360 Digital with zoom lens, and even managed to get a couple autographs. Jets won: 28-10.
Later, after Stevie went to bed, to wake up to a new week and another school day, Baker held Ed in her arms before he headed home and said, “You didn’t tell him you were a Steeler fan, did you?”
“Nope. But it’s okay. He enjoyed himself and that was all that mattered.”
They kissed each other goodnight, and she watched from her open doorway as he got in his car and drove away.
She felt tonight, she would sleep peacefully.
And as sleep catches up with us all; if you gazed down from afar, you would see random lights throughout, shut off, and the quiet settled in as if a blanket covered Montie.
Another weekend went into the history books.
Book 2 - Part 4: Binding Evil - Chapter Ten
Monday Morning – September 10th
Twenty-Second Precinct – 9:30 a.m.
Baker sat at her desk going over all her notes and suggestions handed her from her team, ideas for the president’s arrival. Each one held promise, and she knew she might be able to implement practically every idea within her layout.
Thus, the next two hours would be spent at her desk, typing up her plan into the computer then printing it off. In doing so, she took sections of the area around the Arena, and broke them down into a five-point star. A radius of two to six blocks out. It was obvious to everyone, the inner circle, or the primary block would be crawling with Fibbies, as well as the SS (that sounded ever so wrong in her head).
Intertwining the separate images with each part of the plan, and by 10:45 she had the outlined finished and ready to take to the meeting. Twenty-seven pages.
As she was on her way out the door, her cell phone rang, and saw where the call came from.
“Nope. Try again.”
“Hi, Ed. I take it you took today off.”
“Not really. I did stop by for a quick lunch, but I wanted to let you know Stevie has practice tonight. I’ll pick him up afterward. All I know is that he has schedules and plays to learn.”
“Let him know I’ll be there tonight. I’m on my way to the meeting now.”
“Can do. Will do.”
With paperwork under her arm in a folder, she was in the car park and behind the steering wheel of her car, when another officer called out her name, and as she turned her head in the direction of the voice, the driver’s side window shattered.
Both her and the officer took cover, with Baker managing to roll under her car and her service revolver in hand. Each one scanned the area with their eyes and saw nothing or no one moving.
The officer, Al Martin, radioed it in, and within seconds, another dozen blue uniforms were entrenched in the lot. Faster still, another unit of twelve men, that raced to different
buildings in two-man teams with exits fully covered. This had been part of a new plan put in place in the event of snipers since what happened several months ago. The “Ready Plan” could be set up and in place within two minutes depending on location, eight minutes’ maximum, making it virtually impossible for any shooter to escape.
There should have been no way a shooter could have gotten away that quickly.
Getting out from under her car, Baker scanned the area once again and then looked at the damage done to it. She did a low whistle.
At least they did have one piece of evidence that left a gaping hole through the front seat and imbedded in the back seat. One slug, measuring 1.25 inches and weighing roughly three ounces.
It would later be identified as a .451 Magnum-Plus.
Al Martin came up to Baker and handed her a message.
The first thing she did was thank him for distracting her. He saved her life. Then she read the note. It was from Carl.
Prelim on Sollie. He didn’t die because of his injuries. Neck was snapped. He was murdered. No fingerprints either.
And I almost was, she thought.
As it stood, she called and asked to have the meeting rescheduled for Wednesday. No problem.
She had her car towed to a repair shop for new seats and windshield and had one of the officer’s take her home for the day. She decided it would allow her extra time to go over the plan and tweak it if necessary. On the way, she called Ed, explained what happened, and asked if he could pick her up at the house so that she could see the game with Stevie being one of the coaches.
Dammit, she muttered. I had her. I know I had her! What caused her to turn at the last second?
She looked angrily at Ronald.
“That wasn’t my fault. She moved at the last possible second. Otherwise, she was dead!”
“The thing is, Alexandria,” he said in a toneless way, “when you are sighting in to hit a target, you only get one chance from this distance to connect.
“Had you been in one of those buildings nearby, you would be in jail by now. That is the beauty of the Spencer. When the shot is fired, they will look where you aren’t.
“And it is just as well you missed. I don’t know who that was, nor do I care, but I have decided one thing. Your shooting range is best at 1,500 to 2,000 yards. It’s from that range, I will find a location for you to fire from when the time comes.”
Baker’s Townhouse - 9:58 p.m.
“Ed, in all my years, I have never seen a slug like that before that could do the damage it did. Puts me in mind of bullets used for hunting elephants. If that damn thing had connected with my head, it wouldn’t be here to tell you all this.”
“I hate to agree, but after I saw the extent of the damage as well that it did to the interior, it could have probably taken out three heads.
“You don’t suppose it was Freddy, do you?”
“No. This isn’t his style. Besides, he’s still in Europe some damn where fine-tuning his craft. I spend a few minutes online during the week to check his progress based on the name the media over there gave him. So far, he’s left a nice trail of dead bodies behind him. Some kills were professional people, others just ordinary people trying to make a living, or so it would seem. No, this isn’t him.
“But whoever fired that bullet did it from more than a couple hundred feet away. How else could he get away so ….”
“Or she,” Ed threw in.
“… or she, escape so quickly. Unreal. Want to know something else, Ed?
“I might have been target practice for something much bigger and better.”
“The president, maybe?”
“At least the night ended well. I got to see my boy in action. He called what, about fourteen plays, huh?”
“That he did. The game coming up to start the home season Friday night will tell the tale, but at least they won their first one.”
“Like you said, at least they won, and I’d like to think Stevie had a little something to do with it. I guess I will have to start going to more games to get a handle on this now that Stevie’s involved.”
They snuggled together on the couch, with Ed holding her tightly as they both fell asleep.
Baker’s Townhouse – 10:17 a.m.
Tuesday – September 11th
Taking Ed’s suggestion, Baker took a paid sick day and stayed home. It allowed her some quiet time to fine tune the plan she would submit tomorrow. Satchell had called to let her know the repair bill on her car would be taken care of by the city. It was one of the few good perks that come with being a cop. It also meant Baker would have her car back as good as new by the end of the day. Another perk. Priority.
With Ed taking on her duties for the day, and with Stevie in school, and later at his therapy class, she was enjoying the quiet. It allowed her to put the package she labeled ‘President’s protection,’ into a more concise and simplistic order.
While she was touching up page nine, and enjoying a cup of hot green tea, her cell phone rang. Looking at it, she saw the number: 42. Carl.
“Hey, Carl. What have you got for me.”
“Hey, JB. I have to tell you; this is the damndest thing. First off, the slug is a .451 Magnum-Plus. Specially made for the Spencer Rifle that was remade from the early days of the Old West.
“It looks and feels like the original, except it’s been modified to take a full magazine clip of twenty rounds, and the bore has a spiral inside, which when fired, actually causes the bullet to turn at a high rate of speed and practically demolish anything in its path within a maximum range of 4,500 yards, with the best range being 1,500.”
“Wait. 4,500 yards? With a Spencer carbine. That’s impossible.”
“Like I said, JB, it looks like the original Spencer, but the mechanics are far different after that. First off, it has a firing range like I explained. The damage from that distance is guess work. But if I were a sniper; ideal range, 1,500 to 2,000 yards. Shoot a man, unseen from anywhere and be gone before you know it. It also has a zoom sight, so it can narrow in on its target a hundred times better than a normal sight.”
“Thanks, Carl. Anything else?”
“Actually, yes. We have a partial print on the slug we retrieved from your car. Whoever fired that shot wasn’t too worried about how they loaded their weapon. Once I can locate an Ident, I’ll let you know first thing.”
“Okay, that’s good news at least. Thanks again, Carl.”
“Just be careful, JB. Last thing we need is you in the hospital on your wedding day.”
After she hung up, she thought to herself: or in the city morgue either.