The Train: Episode 5

In a nearby shop, Lucy helped Nicole buy new clothes while Dr. Ricer sat on a city bench beside Michael.

“How in the world am I supposed to entrap a cop who committed a crime I can’t prove?” Michael asked.

“We could call the police,” Dr. Ricer suggested.

“And tell them what? That we witnessed one of their own execute a man in cold blood? Where’s the body? Oh and by the way, we can’t hang around to testify because we’re from the future,” Michael snapped.

“Good point,” Dr. Ricer agreed, a bit deflated.

Reaching into his pocket, Michael removed a pen and began twirling it between his fingers as he tried to work out a plan.

“We need to find out why he did it,” Michael said.

“Well the guy was a cop, so let’s start with the police station,” Dr. Ricer suggested.

“That won’t work,” Michael said.

“Why not?” Dr. Ricer asked.

“When you’re on that side of the blue line, you don’t go against one of your own.  The cops won’t be quick to help us once they know we’re asking around about him,” Michael explained.

“Then why don’t Lucy and I head over to city records and find out what we can about the building while you and Nicole try to figure out who it was that died,” Dr. Ricer suggested.

Michael closed his eyes and went back over the murder scene. The door into the room had been ajar, but he could read the number 413. He snapped out of the memory and said,

“413. The guy was murdered in room 413.”

Surprised, Dr. Ricer asked, “How did you remember that?”

Michael tapped his temple. After a moment, Dr. Ricer remembered.

“Oh yes. That’s right. You’ve got eidetic memory,” Dr. Ricer nodded. “What’s that like?”

Just then Lucy and Nicole came out of the store. Nicole was wearing a blue floral print dress and carrying a small handbag. Her long blonde hair was tied back with a ribbon.

“So?” Lucy asked excitedly.

“How do I look?” Nicole asked.

Michael was taken aback by the change. The way she had been dressed before. . .but now she looked like a lady. When Michael failed to answer, Nicole frowned and said,

“Lie if you have to.”

Michael’s face broke into a big grin.

“What?” Nicole asked self-consciously.

Slowly looking over at Dr. Ricer, Michael said,

“We have a witness.”

“Who?” Dr. Ricer asked.

*          *            *

Michael, hiding in the shadows of the street lamp, leaned against the brick wall and pulled on a cigarette as he watched two men hurrying down the sidewalk across the street.

He waited until the men had passed then threw down his cigarette, grinding it out under his foot, and tucked his cane under his right arm. When the men were up the street, Michael stepped out from the shadows and followed them. He had bought a new gray suit and matching fedora, which he kept low on his head to shield his eyes.

The men walked with their hands shoved deeply in their pockets. When they crossed a side street onto the next block, a bum staggered out of the alley and worked his way over to them. He held out a shaking, dirt-smeared hand.

“Money?” one of the men asked the bum.

Digging in his pockets, the bum pulled out two fistfuls of crumpled bills and held them out to the men. The man on the right removed a rolled up paper bag from inside his jacket and handed it to the bum while the other man took the money. He tucked the bills into his pocket, and the bum disappeared back into the alley with the paper bag while the two men continued on down the sidewalk.

As they walked, they kept leaning toward each other and whispering. When one of the men turned around, Michael ducked out of sight before he was spotted.

He followed the men to the end of the block where they stopped, looked around, and then stepped through a thick wooden door.

“Showtime,” Michael said, dropping his bag just out of sight. He removed the King and loaded it with rock salt rounds, dumping two more into his jacket pocket. Priscilla was fully loaded with hollow points and tucked into a shoulder holster under his coat.

He checked the knob of the wooden door and found it wasn’t locked. Slowly turning the knob, he opened the door and stepped inside. Standing still, he let his eyes adjust to the change in light.

Inside the old building, the threadbare carpet had once been a brilliant green. Just past the door was a kitchen where the two men sat at a table talking while they smoothed out the wrinkled bills.

“Not a bad night,” one of the men said as he added some money to the growing pile.

Michael took two steps closer to the table and tapped the King’s barrel against the wall.

“Excuse me,” he said.

One of the men looked stunned while his partner, a large scar across his cheek, leapt to his feet, sending his chair flying out from under him.

Michael took two steps closer, raising the King, and pulled the trigger. The shotgun barked as the rock salt rounds threw the man backwards to the floor, clutching his chest.

Michael pulled Priscilla from his holster and pointed the barrel at the stunned man, still sitting at the table.

“You really should clean under those nails. Not at all gentlemanly.”

“Do you know what you’ve just done?” the man asked.

“My name is Roth, and I’ve just shot your partner,” Michael said.

The man looked down at his partner, still on the floor, and then turned back to Michael. The barrel of the revolver was eight inches from his face.

“Don’t kill me,” he begged, pushing the money across the table.

“That depends,” Michael said.

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Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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