The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 20

David Gordon Garland stood at his desk filling out the last of his paperwork. His hand was cramping, and he was exhausted from having worked through the night. To his left sat a cold, half eaten cheese steak sandwich and a flat soft drink. He had pushed them away, opting for a strong cup of coffee to finish his shift. Now the steaming coffee stood vigilant waiting to serve.

Gordon looked up and smiled at the picture on his desk. He remembered when he took the shot. Doodle, a Manx calico, had kept wandering over and rubbing against the camera while Snicker, a snow white Persian sat perfectly still as though he were in a photo shoot.

“Almost done here, guys. Daddy will be home soon,” he said.

“You know they can’t hear you, right?” a voice laced with sarcasm asked from the office door.

Gordon, who was pushing fifty, lived alone, and his cats were the only family he had. At five foot eight, he was disappointed in his height and had aggravated his low self-esteem by packing on pounds in his frustration. As acid bubbled up in his throat, he nervously ran the fingers of one hand through his graying hair while he gripped a pen with the whitened knuckles of the other.

“No, please. No,” Gordon asked aloud.

There was a stretch of silence as Gordon closed his eyes and mouthed the words of his mantra. After a few minutes, he stopped as he felt his muscles relax.

“Good. Just a nightmare,” he thought as he confidently opened his eyes and expelled a deep breath.

When Gordon lifted his eyes, he jumped, suddenly clutching his chest.

In the doorway, stood Raymond Slats with Pete the Jack Russell terrier patiently resting by his foot, his tongue dangling out in a grin. Slats stared into Gordon’s face, a smile working its way across from ear to ear.

“What?” Gordon snapped. “What do you want?”

“Well—” Raymond began.

“And that can’t be in here!” Gordon exclaimed, pointing at the dog.

Ray followed the line of Gordon’s arm down to Pete.

“You try getting him to leave. He won’t listen to me,” Ray explained shrugging his shoulders.

Pete snorted his distain at such a notion.

“You can’t be in here! I lost my last job because of you,” Gordon barked.

“Gordon, Gordon, Gordon. You can’t blame all that on me. You were using your patients as serving trays. Now you know it’s not all my fault,” Ray said.

“That’s not true!” Gordon shouted.

“Lower your voice. You’ll wake someone,” Ray said, nodding to the seven corpses covered in sheets behind him.

“No. I’m not telling you anything,” Gordon snarled, turning away from Ray and grabbing his coffee.

“Come on, Gordon. Just a few questions?” Ray pleaded. “Pretty please?”

“I’m not telling you anything; I don’t have to,” Gordon said, spinning around to face Ray. “After I was let go from my last job,” he said, shaking a finger at Ray, “I looked you up. You’re nothing more than a retired cab driver who looks into things for people. You’re not even a licensed investigator, so I don’t have to tell you anything. But I can have you arrested for interfering with an investigation.”

Gordon quickly grabbed the phone and began calling the police. While the phone rang, Pete started to growl.

“You can’t threaten me,” Gordon fussed at Pete.

“Yes, he can, and right now, he’s just warning you,” Ray said. “Besides, he’s only tall enough to reach below your waist.”

When a man suddenly walked into the room, Gordon hung up the phone relieved.

“Thank you, Detective. Would you please arrest this man?” Gordon asked.

The detective raised his badge and said, “Answer his questions, Gordon.”

Gordon almost collapsed as his legs trembled. The detective walked over and helped him to a chair as Raymond Slats said,

“Thanks, Richard.”

As Gordon rested his hand on his chest to calm his racing heart, he looked up at Ray and asked,

“You know him?”

Ray smirked, that smile that haunted Gordon’s dream and said,

“Yea. He’s my son-in-law.”

*          *            *

Logan sat in his truck, the ac running low. The radio was blaring some country song as he sat at the traffic light, drumming his hands on the steering wheel. He had managed to arrange an extra long lunch break and was almost giddy at the thought of meeting Audrey at her place. Her golden brown hair fanned out across the pillow. Her soft skin warm and smooth. . .

“What is taking so long? Come on!” he shouted at the light, still red.

Suddenly Logan’s phone rang. He reached in his jacket pocket and pulled it out, checking the caller id before answering.

“Melissa. Hey, Babe. What’s up?” Logan asked his wife.

“Don’t forget to pick up Jimmy from school. I’ll be running late today,” she said over the speaker.

“No problem, Babe,” Logan answered.

“What’re you doing?” she asked, a seductive tease in her voice.

“I’m out on a job,” Logan lied.

“I can’t wait to see you tonight,” she giggled.

The light finally turned green, and Logan almost slammed the gas down, determined to make up for lost time.

“I can’t wait to see you either, Babe. I got to go. I’m pulling up to the site now,” Logan again lied as he turned onto Audrey’s street.

“All right, sweetie. I’ll see you later. Love you,” Melissa said.

“I love you, too,” Logan said before hanging up.

By the time Logan pulled into the driveway, his hands were shaking with excitement at seeing Audrey. He shut off the engine and hurried out of the truck, slamming the door behind him. When he reached the front door, he was surprised when Audrey didn’t open the door like she always had.

“Waiting inside with something for me, are you?” he thought, a wry smile coming to his lips.

He reached for his house key and opened the door. The smell of berries in a summer breeze filled his nostrils as he stepped inside.

“Audrey?” Logan called out.

He made his way through the house to the bedroom.

“Where are you, woman?”  he playfully asked.

When Logan opened the bedroom door, his stomach twisted into a knot. Lying on the bed, her beautiful hair spread across the pillow, was Audrey with two bullet holes in her chest and one in her forehead.

“Audrey?” Logan asked, fear and panic fighting for control.

Behind him he felt movement. When he spun around, Logan came face to face with a tall man, his face masked. In his left hand he held a pistol and in his right a large axe.

“I wish you hadn’t found that van,” the man said.

“What?” Logan asked, paralyzed with fear.

Before Logan could react, the man raised the pistol and fired. Logan never heard the gun go off. The only thing he saw was darkness.

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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