The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 15

Ray woke up in a hospital bed with a pounding headache and a bandaged head. He groaned, gingerly placing a hand over the back of his head.

“Easy there,” Richard advised, suddenly coming to the side of the bed.

“What happened?” Ray asked.

“You were kidnapped but managed to escape. When you came into the station, you had been beaten and probably tortured. The doctor said you were in very good condition, considering what you had been through,” Richard explained.

Ray tried to ignore his throbbing head as he struggled to sit up.

“I’ve got to get moving. The people who did this will be mobilizing,” he said.

“No chance,” Richard protested. “Deborah went to get something to eat, and she gave me strict orders to keep you in that bed. If I let you go, she’ll kill me.”

Ray fell back on the pillow and sighed, “All right.”

Glancing around the room, he asked, “Where’s Pete?”

“He’s waiting out in the Cadillac. Deborah drove your car here from the station. We’ve been watching him. Don’t worry; he’s fine. I’m sure there’ll be more than enough time for him to chew you out later,” Richard replied.

“I guarantee you he has plenty stored up,” Ray said, trying to smile.

After a few minutes of lying still and staring up at the ceiling, Ray looked over at Richard and said,

“Hey, do me a favor. My head is killing me. Could you go grab a nurse?”

“Sure thing. Be right back,” Richard said.



*          *            *



When Deborah stepped off the elevator, she saw Richard standing at the nurses’ desk. At once she rushed up to him and asked,

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, hon. Everything’s fine,” Richard assured her.

“Then who’s watching Daddy?” she asked.

“It’s all right. He agreed to stay put. He said he just needed to see a nurse,” Richard explained.

“And you left him alone!” Deborah exclaimed.

Before he could defend himself, Deborah turned and ran for Ray’s room. When she reached the door, her worst fears were realized. As Richard caught up to her, he said,

“Relax. He’s right. . . .”

Richard trailed off when he saw the empty hospital bed, the sheets pulled to the floor.

“Oh that dirty old man,” Richard groaned.

“I told you not to trust him!” Deborah snapped. “We’ve got to hurry.”

“Come on. He couldn’t have gotten far,” Richard replied, hands out and palms up as he trailed behind Deborah.



*          *            *



“See,” Ray exclaimed looking over at Pete. “This is completely your fault.”

Ray tried to relax as he checked the wound on the back of his head. He had just slipped out of the hospital with Pete and the Cadillac only to have somebody in a truck taking shots at him.

Pete barked as his ears perked up.

“Sure. Try telling that to the cop,” Ray said pointing a thumb back at the police car now following them.

Ray spied an empty parking lot and raised his arm, giving the cop a thumbs up, then pointed over to the parking lot before pulling in. He cut off the engine and told Pete,

“This ticket is coming out of your allowance.”

When Pete barked his disagreement, Ray said, “And don’t think about peeing on the seat. You do, and it’s no more after dinner snacks for you.”

“You know every time you argue with that dog, you sound crazy.”

Ray turned around and saw Tommy standing there.

“You?” Ray asked, looking back at the patrol car.

“Borrowed it from a friend, and I need to get it back,” Tommy said.

“How?” Ray asked.

“Better you didn’t ask,” Tommy said.

“What are you doing here?” Ray asked.

“I thought they might try again, so I parked nearby and listened to the radio in case something happened,” Tommy said.

“We’re nowhere near the hospital. How did you know I would come this way?” Ray asked.

“I’m just that good,” Tommy said smiling.

Ray laughed and said, “Thanks, man.”

“Look, I’ve got just the thing you need to wrap up this ugly business and get back to golf or whatever it is you do in your free time. But you’ve got to promise me something first,” Tommy said.

Ray groaned, “You’re not going to tell me to slow down, are you? I’ve already had this discussion with my angry daughter, and I don’t need to hear it from you as well. You know I’m still suffering from a head wound.”

“I couldn’t care less what you do. But you have to tell Mavis to stop watering down my drinks. I’m part Irish. I’ve got a reputation to uphold,” Tommy said.

“Your mom was Scottish, and your dad was from Liverpool,” Ray retorted.

“Deal?” Tommy asked.

“Fine,” Ray surrendered. “I’ll talk to her. Now what have you got?”

Tommy smiled, “You’re going to love this.”



*          *            *



Relaxing in his personal sitting room carpeted in deep red, Top Hat poured a drink from the wet bar and leaned back in a thick, red velvet chair in front of the television that filled one wall. His signature top hat rested on a coat rack near the door. He breathed deeply, slowly exhaling, while a nervous young man stood before him, shaking like a wet dog in the snow.

“Let me get this straight,” Top Hat spat, each word filled with disgust. “Not only did you fail to secure photos linking me to two murders, but also the one man who may have them has escaped.”

“Yes, sir,” the young man stammered.

Top Hat carefully placed his drink on the table and regarded the pistol resting beside the phone.

“Kill this incompetent or simply call someone else to do it for me? Blood on my carpet? Brain matter on my television?”

Top Hat reached for the phone. Before he could lift the receiver, the phone rang. He hesitated, not wanting to hear more bad news, then reluctantly lifted the phone to his ear.

“Hello?” he answered.

“What a situation we find ourselves in,” a man’s voice said, with none of the respect that Top Hat deserved.

“Who is this?” Top Hat demanded.

“Raymond Slats, the old man you’re having a hard time holding on to.”

Top Hat ground his teeth as he reached for the pistol.

“Where are you?” he growled.

“Does that line actually work?” Ray asked. “In this case, it did. There’s a sports bar down the corner from you. Come on down and have a beer. We’ll talk this out. Anyone other than you shows up, I go to the cops.”

The line went dead.

Top Hat felt his pulse rise as a sea of rage washed over him. He threw the phone against the wall, smashing it, then grabbed the pistol and shot the young man in front of him until the pistol clicked.

Guards charged in, weapons raised.

“Sir?” one of them asked.

“Deal with that!” Top Hat yelled, pointing to the dead man. “I’ve got a meeting to attend.”

He grabbed his top hat, coat and cane and stormed out yelling,

“And get me a new television!”

Published in: on April 3, 2011 at 5:13 am  Leave a Comment  

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