The Cadillac Diaries: Episode Four

Ray abruptly stopped in the hallway just outside the morgue. Snapping his fingers, he turned around and headed back. As he stuck his head just inside the door, he called,
“Hey doc.”
Dropping his burrito to the floor, the startled mortician said, “Huh?”
“What’s that female cop’s name?” Ray asked.
“Carrie Waters,” the doctor said.
“Thanks,” Ray answered, then pointing to the burrito said, “Ten second rule.”
Ray turned away from the morgue headed back to the elevator. When he reached the elevator, he slipped inside and punched the button for the first floor. Leaning back against the wall, Ray caught himself humming the tune playing over the speakers.
When the doors opened, he exited the elevator and walked about twelve feet before he spotted his doctor.
“Mr. Slats!” the doctor yelled at him.
“Yow!” Ray said running off.
“Mr. Slats!” continued the doctor.
Ray ran the length of the hall and slid a few feet, trying desperately to hold his balance. Pressing his hand against the wall, he turned down another corridor and began to slow down. He ducked inside the nearest door and quickly closed it behind him. As he waited, Ray could hear the doctor moving down the hall calling for him. After a few minutes, Ray realized he wasn’t in the room alone. He turned and saw an elderly man sitting on the bed, his wife beside him. They blinked and stared at Ray in confusion. Ray noticed a bright red rash spreading across the old man’s arm.
“Wow!” Ray said. “Looks infected. You should see a doctor!”
Ray slowly slipped out of the room and headed down the hall toward the exit. When he turned the corner, he ran right into the doctor.
“Mr. Slats, someone in your condition shouldn’t be running around.”
“Define running,” Ray said.
The doctor continued, “Someone of your age…”
“Seventeen?” Ray asked.
The doctor hesitated and said, “Seventy-one.”
“Right. I get that mixed up,” Ray said.
“Mr. Slats, you need to return to your bed,” the doctor said turning and heading towards the elevator.
Ray nodded and started following but dashed down another hall just before they reached the elevator. He needed to get outside to the parking lot and find Tommy.
As he worked his way toward the exit, Ray tried to catch his breath.
“Whew,” Ray said between breaths. “Can’t make that a habit.”
Once out in the hospital parking lot, Ray heard barking and saw a Jack Russell terrier break through the bushes. The small dog ran towards him at full speed. When it reached Ray, it excitedly jumped at Ray’s legs and began barking again.
“I’m sorry, Pete,” Ray said.
When just a puppy, Pete had been abandoned by his mother. Ray brought him home, and he soon attached himself. The only other person Pete relaxed around was Deborah. Like Deborah, Pete took care of Ray, tearing up his cigars and barking up a storm whenever Ray came home with chicken. He was only a year old and already he had more opinions than the doctor about how Ray should live his life.
Pete ran in circles, barking continuously.
“Look, do you think I had a choice? My heart gave out,” Ray explained.
The dog stopped, cocked its head to one side, and began barking again.
“Don’t take that tone with me,” Ray said.
“There you are,” said a thin man with a British accent as he approached Ray.
“That little bugger won’t stay still. I’ve been chasing him around the lot all night,” the man said.
“Sorry, Tommy,” Ray apologized. “Pete gets a little headstrong sometimes.”
Thomas Kelly was the closest thing Ray had to an old friend. He was at Ray’s wedding and at the gravesite when Ray buried his wife Margret. Thomas was a retired seventy-six-year-old thief. His second best talent was finding information and keeping his nose clear of trouble.
“Are you wearing a hospital gown?” Tommy asked.
“Yes,” Ray said, “I am. Did you bring my Cadillac?”
“Sure enough. It’s just over there,” Tommy said.
Ray’s Cadillac was a 1976 Eldorado, jet black and in mint condition.
“It hasn’t run in five years. I was afraid it wouldn’t start,” Tommy said.
“A back up car is like a parachute. You always keep it up hoping you never have to use it,” Ray said.
“Very deep,” Tommy replied.
“Really?” Ray asked.
“Yea,” Tommy nodded.
“Just made it up,” Ray said.
When they reached the Cadillac, Ray opened the trunk and removed a bundle of clothes. While he dressed, he told Tommy,
“I’m anchored here till the doctor clears me. Deborah is being a bit of a Nazi on this one.”
“She’s only trying to take care of you,” Tommy explained.
“That’s true, but still I have a murder to solve,” Ray said.
“Really?” Tommy asked “Whose?”
“That’s what I need you to find out. Get me everything you can about a police officer Carrie Waters. I think her partner shot her. Just have his last name—Chambers,” Ray said.
“I don’t really like investigating cops, Ray,” Tommy reminded him.
“I know that but you’re my only hope. I’d ask Deborah, but I don’t want her or Richard involved,” Ray said.
“But my life you don’t mind risking,” Tommy said.
Ray smiled, knowing that Tommy would help him out.

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Published in: on February 2, 2010 at 4:49 am  Leave a Comment  

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