The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 33

With his eyes closed, Ray slowly slid his hand under the blanket toward the pillow on the right side of the bed, the pillow covering his weapon. He would grab the gun, roll off the bed, and shoot the ax man before the intruder’s gun fired.

As his hand drew closer to the pillow, Ray opened his eyes and tried to distract the ax man by commanding Pete.

“Pete,” Ray said.

Pete turned toward Ray but quickly looked back at the ax man.

“Pete,” Ray called again, his hand nearing the pillow.

When Pete once again turned, Ray ordered,

“Stay!”

His ears dropping back, Pete began to whimper.

“Stay!” Ray repeated.

A low growl rumbling in his throat, Pete turned and glared at the ax man.

The moment Ray’s hand slipped under the pillow, the ax man turned the pistol toward Ray’s hand.

“Well,” Ray thought as he slowly withdrew his hand, “there goes that plan.”

Just as the ax man aimed the pistol at Ray’s head, a shot rang out. Pete jumped and began a loud steady bark while Ray frantically checked his body for wounds. When he jerked his head up, he saw a bullet hole in the chest of the ax man just before the would be murderer collapsed to the floor.

It was then that Ray saw a man standing at the other end of the hall, a pistol gripped in his left hand. Pete stopped barking and began to growl, backing up toward Ray, as the man came closer. Ray saw that he was former Mayor Dylan Stevens, looking startled and scared.

“I. . .,” Stevens stammered. “I. . .I. . .I’ve never killed anyone before.”

His arms limp at his side, Stevens stared down at the body lying at his feet while Ray grabbed his cell phone from the nightstand and dialed 911.

“You were a prison warden, Stevens. How have you never killed anyone?” Ray asked.

“Never had to,” Stevens said. “Most of the time all I had to do was threaten.”

Ray had a lot of questions, but he asked only one.

“What are you doing here so late, Stevens?”

“I. . .,” Stevens began then trailed off. As he kept his eyes on the body, the color slowly drained from his face.

Ray snapped his fingers to get Stevens’ attention.

“Up here,” he barked.

When Stevens looked up, Ray asked his question again,

“What are you doing here so late?”

“At first, I was too scared to leave my house. But after a little brandy, I mustered enough courage to drive over here. You’ve had more success with the ax man than anyone. I thought that with everyone else dead, he’d be coming after me next. So I came over here to ask for your help. That’s when I saw him coming in your front door. I waited until he was inside and then followed. When I saw him holding a gun over you, I shot. Didn’t know what else to do.”

Outside, sirens were already beginning to sound.

Stevens carefully laid his pistol on the floor and tucked his right hand into his jacket pocket.

“I’ll go speak to the police. They’ll have questions for you too,” he said, heading for the front door.

Ray took a moment to clear his head then scrambled out of bed, stepping over the body as he went down the hall. Pete leapt down from the bed and growled at the body, sniffing it before running after Ray. When Ray stepped out onto the front walk, Deborah jumped out of Richard’s car and frantically ran over to him, throwing her arms around his waist.

“Daddy?” she called. “Daddy?”

Ray shook his head clear and looked at her.

“Yes?” he asked.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Yes, honey. I’m all right,” Ray answered.

“Did he hurt you?” Deborah asked, checking him up and down.

“No. I thought he was going to, but I was rescued,” Ray said still in shock.

“By whom?” Deborah wondered aloud.

“Probably by the worst possible person he could imagine,” Tyler Clay commented as he walked up.

“Who rescued you, Daddy?” Deborah asked.

“The very man he thought was the bad guy,” Tyler laughed.

“I’ll go get a straight answer from Richard. Could you take him inside?” Deborah asked Tyler.

“Of course,” Tyler responded.

Tyler took Ray inside and sat him down.

“How about some coffee?” Tyler suggested.

Thirty minutes later, Richard walked in with Deborah behind.

“Well, it’s done. That was Joseph Cook,” Richard said, motioning toward where the intruder fell. “It seems we were dealing with ax man’s sequel,” Richard said with a sigh.

Deborah looked at Richard and said,

“I’m going to stay here tonight with Daddy. Okay?”

“That’s fine,” Richard said. “I’ll probably be at the station most of the night anyway writing this up. I’ll let you know when I’m done.”

“Hey, son,” Tyler called out. “What about Stevens?”

“We sent him home. It’s been a traumatic experience, and he’s coming back in the morning to make his statement,” Richard answered.

*          *          *

An hour after Richard had left, Deborah and Pete were sound asleep on the couch while Ray and Tyler sat at the dining room table deep in discussion.

“It just confuses me is all,” Ray said.

“What does?” Tyler asked.

Before Ray could answer, Pete’s head popped up and his tail started wagging. Just as he started to growl, Ray put a finger to his lips then pointed to Deborah who was asleep. Pete looked at her and laid his head back down. When a knock came at the door, Pete bounded off the couch and ran to the door whimpering.  Ray got up and walked over to see who was there as Deborah sat up rubbing her eyes.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

Ray opened the door to Mavis and Tommy.

“What are you two doing here?” he asked.

“Ask him,” Mavis said, nodding toward Tommy. “Ninety-five minutes ago, he wakes me up. Says I need to bring him here.”

Ray invited them in with a stunned look on his face.

“That never fails to amaze me, Tommy,” Ray said closing the door.

“What?” Deborah asked through a yawn.

“Ninety-five minutes ago,” Tyler answered, “Ray was dialing 911.”

Deborah looked at Tommy and asked, “How did you know before the police?”

“It’s what I do,” Tommy answered.

“All right,” Ray said. “Then answer this one. Why did the ax man come after me?”

Tommy shrugged and Tyler said,

“It’s probably because you broke his hand.”

Ray turned to Tyler and asked, ‘What?”

“Back at the sanitarium when you hit his hand with a pipe. You remember. You said he grabbed the gun with his left and fled. That’s probably because you broke his wrist,” Tyler answered.

Ray’s face suddenly went blank.

In his mind’s eye, Ray remembered.

“The ax man had pushed him back, pressing his injured right hand to his chest. He had snatched up the pistol with his left hand, and in the bedroom earlier that night, the ax man had held the pistol in his right.”

“Daddy?” Deborah said, snapping Ray out of his thoughts

“I need to go,” Ray said suddenly.

“Right now?” Deborah asked.

“Oh yea,” Ray said smiling. “This can’t wait.”

Ray hurried into the bedroom and closed the door.

“What’s going on?” Deborah asked Tommy.

“I’ve seen him like this, sweetie,” Tommy said. “It’ll take an act of nature to stop him.”

Ray emerged from the bedroom with Pete at his heels.

“Tyler, let’s go,” Ray said. “You too, Tommy. You’ll want to see this.”

“Daddy,” Deborah said.

“I’ll be okay, honey,” Ray responded heading for the door.

“Daddy!” she snapped.

When Ray stopped and turned around, he saw a look of anger on Deborah’s face.

“What?” Ray asked.

“Call Richard and tell him. I’m not letting you out of this house! You almost died. I can’t let you risk your life again,” Deborah admonished.

“But—,” Ray began.

“No!” Deborah barked.

“But—,” Ray repeated.

“I said no!” Deborah interrupted.

“May I say one thing?” Ray asked.

Deborah crossed her arms and glared at Ray.

“Yes,” she said.

Ray looked down at Pete then up at Deborah.

“I’m sorry, honey—,” Ray began.

“It’s okay,” Deborah broke in.

“For this,” Ray added.

“Pete, get her!” Ray said suddenly.

Pete barked playfully and ran at Deborah, taking her pants leg in his teeth and pulling at it. Ray looked at Tommy and Tyler and said,

“Run!”

They bolted for the door as Deborah yelled, still fighting Pete pulling at her pants leg.

As they jumped into the Cadillac and pulled out of the driveway, Tyler asked,

“So why did you just get us in trouble?”

“Because I know who the ax man is,” Ray answered, the wind pushing through his gray hair.

“Of course you do, mate,” Tommy said. “He’s lying dead in the morgue.”

“Not him,” Ray said. “The real ax man.”

“What are you talking about?” Tyler asked.

Ray smiled and answered, “I broke his wrist.”

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Published in: on October 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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