The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 28

 

Allison Booth sat in her grandmother’s old rocking chair as she watched the local news. The top story was of a young couple, found brutally murdered in the woman’s home. Allison leaned forward in the chair as she listened to the news anchor report:

“Police have found two bodies in the back bedroom of a Bay Garden home. The bodies, a man and a woman, had been traumatized, but police are not releasing any details at this time. Both victims appear to be in their late 20’s or early 30’s. Investigators are still working the scene, and as yet, police have no known suspects. If you have any information about the murders, please call. . . .”

The names of the victims had not been released, pending notification of next of kin.

“I wish things could have been different,” Allison sighed as she flipped off the television.

She headed for the kitchen and reached into the cabinet, pulling out a blue flowered china cup. Allison took her coffee drinking seriously and never strayed from her method of preparation. Two sugars and a splash of cream in first. Then hot coffee, stirred in vigorously, up to the brim. Just as she dropped the spoon in the sink and raised the steaming liquid to her lips, the phone rang. Sipping as she went, she made her way over to the phone and tapped the speaker button.

“Hello,” she said.

“He’s headed your way,” a man’s muffled voice said on the line.

“I know,” Allison answered.

“Do you remember what to say?” the voice asked.

“Yes, I remember, I’m not senile,” she snapped.

Do not forget your place,” the voice sneered.

“Do not forget yours. I’m only doing this to help you, you know. Remember, if I go down, you go down, and you have a lot more to answer for than I do,” Allison reminded the caller.

“I’m warning you,” the voice said, growing stern.

Without another word, Allison ended the call. Walking over to the window, she raised the blind and watched, waiting for the inevitable. Five minutes passed before a long black Cadillac came down the street and pulled up into the driveway.

“Here he is,” Allison thought.

She drank the last of the coffee and placed the cup on a nearby table, her eyes still on the Cadillac outside as two men and a dog exited. Walking over to the front door, she paused, took a deep breath, and then reached for the door just as the knock came.

“Mr. Slats, a pleasure to finally meet you,” Allison greeted with a smile.

“You’ve heard of me?” Raymond Slats asked, confused.

“Yes. Your late wife, rest her soul, spoke very highly of you,” Allison said.

Ray relaxed a little at the remark.

Allison looked over at the other man.

“Tyler Clay, a face not easily forgotten,” she thought.

“Detective Clay,” she smiled.

“Former detective,” Tyler corrected.

“Please, have a seat,” Allison offered.

After Ray and Tyler sat down, Allison asked,

“So what can I do for you two gentlemen today?”

“I need to ask you about the ax man,” Ray said.

“Well, let’s see. He escaped from the prison and disappeared, up until recently. What more information can I give you?” she asked.

“You worked for the prison back during the riot when Stuart escaped. Is that right?” Ray asked.

“Yes. Yes I did,” Allison answered.

“That guard. Why do you suppose he killed Connors instead of arresting him?” Ray asked.

Allison paused before answering.

“A guard didn’t kill Connors,” she said.

Ray nodded and then continued,

“Why did you apologize to Herbert Hayes on the day his father died but not hang around to help out?”

“I was apologizing for not getting there sooner,” she explained.

“But why didn’t you stay and help?” Tyler asked.

“Because it wasn’t my place. I didn’t want to get involved with the ax man and his rampage,” Allison answered.

“Who’s Joseph Cook?” Ray asked.

Allison’s expression suddenly changed. For a moment, her face tightened, but then just as quickly, she relaxed.

“Joseph Cook was a disturbed little boy who believed the ax man was sending him messages through the television,” Allison answered.

“The television?” Tyler asked. “Really?”

“Sad case. Cook was completely out of his mind. He was obsessed with the ax man and wanted to be his apprentice, learn everything from him,” Allison said.

“I find that very hard to believe,” Tyler said.

“Why is that?” she asked.

“Ms. Booth,” Ray interrupted.

“Yes, Mr. Slats?”

“Where is the ax man now?”

Allison grew silent, looking out the window, then said,

“He’s out there somewhere.”

“Where?” Ray asked.

“How would I know?” she responded.

“Just a hunch,” Ray said.

“I think he’s been in the same place this entire time,” Allison added.

“Where would that be?” Ray pressed.

Allison Booth opened her mouth to answer but stopped, debating about what to say. Suddenly Tyler’s phone rang, letting her off the hook.

Tyler answered the call then turned to Ray.

“Pierce was just found murdered.”

“Where?” Ray asked.

“Found him in his apartment,” Tyler explained.

“John Pierce is dead?” Allison asked.

“Looks that way,” Ray said.

“How?” Allison asked.

“How do you think?” Ray scowled.

Tyler headed for the door. When Ray stood up to leave, Allison grabbed his arm.

“Mr. Slats,” Allison whispered, “the guard didn’t kill Connors.”

She hesitated, looking around nervously,

“But neither did Stuart.”

Ray walked back to the Cadillac but stopped at the door, his hand resting on the handle. Standing at his feet with his head tilted to one side, Pete looked up at his master.

“What’s wrong?” Tyler asked, giving voice to Pete’s inquiry.

“The ax man killed those two who found the van,” Ray said.

“Right. Murdered one then the other,” Tyler added.

“Then he murdered John Pierce,” Ray said.

“Yea. I think I see where you’re going with this,” Tyler said.

Ray looked up at Allison Booth’s house and saw her standing at the window, watching them.

“I’ll call Richard and see if he can send over a unit,” Tyler suggested.

“Get one over to Mayor Steven’s as well,” Ray said.

“Good idea. The former mayor did help up out. If the axe man shows up, we’ll have him,” Tyler said.

Ray looked back at the window and saw Allison Booth turn away just as the shade lowered.

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Published in: on May 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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