The Exile: Episode 15

As I rode in the back of the limo, I stared out the window, wondering how this would end. We had been driving out of the city for a good half hour in silence. Jackson was working on a new cigar, sipping a glass of champagne, while Mozart played over the speakers.

“Where are we going?” I finally asked.

Jackson raised his head from the back of the seat and eyed me as he exhaled a gray cloud of spent tobacco. “Is this where I explain my entire evil plan, pull back the veil clouding the mystery, and give you one piece

of the puzzle, so to speak?” he mocked.

“I just want to know why you murdered my family and have been trying to kill me for the last twenty-four hours,” I said.

Jackson took another long drag on his cigar and curled the smoke from his lips to his nostrils.

“A week ago, something landed on my desk. The coroner’s report on a Dorothy Edwards. Ring a bell?” Jackson asked.

I thought back, searching through my memory. Yes, I remembered her. Dorothy had once been married to my brother. She was a beautiful redhead, with dark green eyes, a nose that turned up just enough to be cute, and a smile that made you feel like you were misbehaving just by looking at her. After their divorce, she left town and fell out of contact.

“What happened to her?” I finally asked.

“Tragic thing. Doesn’t really matter right now,” Jackson said.

I saw that we were at the city limits, coming up to the last traffic light just as it changed to green.

“Turns out she left your brother because she was in love with another man,” Jackson said.

“Who?” I asked, trying to remember everyone in our life at the time.

Jackson finished off his champagne and leaning forward said,

“Her brother-in-law.”

I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. Dorothy had no sisters, and because I had one brother, that left only one option.

“Me?” I asked.

“Yep,” Jackson said. “Isn’t that a kick in the head?”

Jackson reached for the champagne and refilled his glass. As he slipped the bottle into the iced bucket, he took a sip from his glass and said,

“Before she died, she told us something real interesting.”

As we drove under the light, movement outside the window caught my attention. I turned to see a pickup truck with a push bar charging toward us. Instinctively I turned away and blocked my face just as the truck slammed into the limo, bending the frame and knocking it off to one side.

Stunned, my head spinning, I looked up at Jackson. I saw that he was unconscious but breathing. A man dressed in a red flannel shirt, blue jeans, and a red baseball cap hopped out of the truck’s passenger seat as the driver turned the truck around. The man in red flannel pulled open the door beside me, planted a brown scuffed boot on the door’s running board to brace himself, and grabbed my arm.

“Come on, buddy,” he said as he helped me out of the limo.

He walked me to the truck and pushed me into the seat. I noticed that except for the blue flannel he wore, the driver was identical to the man in the red flannel.

I watched as the man in red flannel removed a pistol from his belt, shot out the limo tires then put two in the radiator, sending out a cloud of steam.

He came back to the truck, motioned for me to slide over, then slipped inside and yelled to the driver,

“Go, man. Go!”

The tires screeched as the truck peeled away.

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Published in: on April 3, 2011 at 5:14 am  Leave a Comment  

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