The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 34

Tyler and Tommy looked confused as Ray drove up the long winding driveway of the two-story house.

“Ray, what are we doing here?” Tyler asked.

“Just need to finish something,” Ray said as he pulled up to the front door and shut off the engine.

“Raymond,” Tommy said nervously.

“It’s okay, man,” Ray assured him. “Come on.”

Tommy hesitated then slipped out of the Cadillac and followed the two men to the front door.

After a few quick hits on the doorbell, the front door opened and Dylan Stevens stood in front of them, his right hand tucked into the pocket of a black smoking jacket.

“Gentlemen. What an unexpected pleasure. To what do I owe this honor?”

“Just wanted to ask you a few questions, Stevens,” Ray said.

“Well please come in,” Stevens said, stepping to the side. Ray walked right in followed by Tyler and a hesitant Tommy. Once inside the house, Stevens closed the door and Ray said,

“Stevens, I want to thank you for saving my life.”

Ray extended his right hand.

Stevens looked down at Ray’s hand but didn’t accept it.

“Something wrong with your right hand?” Ray asked.

Stevens paused for a moment then laughed.

“Please, Detective, follow me,” Steven said, turning and walking down the hall.

“What about Ray?” Tyler asked.

Stevens stopped and said,

“I was referring to Mr. Slats. But you and Tommy are welcome to join.”

“Ray, what’s going on?” Tyler asked as they followed Stevens down the hall.

“Joseph Cook wasn’t the original ax man; he was just an apprentice,” Ray explained in a low voice.

“Apprentice?” Tyler asked.

“Yea,” Ray said. “We’ve been chasing the second version of the ax man.”

“What?” Tommy said, a little too loudly.

The hall opened into a large study, richly furnished in leather, mahogany, and stone. Stevens walked over to the bar and with his left hand grabbed a glass. Removing his right hand from his pocket, he held the glass while he opened a bottle of whiskey and poured a drink with his left.

Ray noticed that the right hand was wrapped in a cast. With his left hand, Stevens corked the bottle and reached under the counter to return it to its place then lifted the glass to his lips with his right.

“I didn’t think you would fall for that,” Stevens told Ray.

“What happened?” Ray said, approaching the bar.

When Stevens drained the glass, he set it on the bar and said,

“All right, Detective. I’ll tell you the truth this time.”

Tyler reached for his cell phone.

“No. There will be no one else coming, Tyler,” Stevens said as his left hand appeared from behind the bar holding a detonator.

“This is a remote detonator, gentlemen, on a dead man’s switch. Only you three will hear me tell this story or the explosives I placed will bring the building down on us,” Stevens warned.

Tyler slipped the phone back into his pocket and held up his hands.

“The truth is, Detective, I did what I had to do to cover up my past. At first I just took care of anyone whose information might lead back to me. But then that young couple found the van where I had dumped it, so I had to revive the legend one more time to clean up things. Once you got involved, I knew it was only a matter of time. Joseph Cook was unexpected, but he turned out to be an asset. I had to clear my record, and there was only one way to do it.”

“Kill everyone involved,” Ray said.

“Involved with what?” Tyler asked.

“With what really happened that night at the prison,” Stevens said.

 

 

(30 years earlier)

 

 

With the death house generator fire catching the building, Stevens paused at the front door then stepped inside. The lights flickered as lightning flashed intermittently in the dark sky. Down the long hallway he moved forward just a few yards to make room for the guards to slip in.

He could sense their fear as they nervously gathered around him. The death house was a small building with only one entrance.

“Pierce, I want your men to guard the outside. You and I will go in,” Stevens ordered.

“But sir?” John Pierce protested.

“Do it!” Stevens barked. “They won’t hurt me, and they won’t be getting out.”

Pierce gave the order, and the guards waited outside in the rain. Closing the door, Pierce drew his gun and asked,

“Sir, are you sure about this?”

“Yes,” Stevens said as he stepped forward into the hallway.

Turning the corner, Stevens and Pierce made their way back to the cells. In the open cells were Ashton Connors and Christopher Stuart. Connors was lying down holding his right ankle. Stuart sat motionless on his cot.

“Warden, help,” Connors pleaded. “When the cells opened, I did try to escape; I admit it. But I slipped and twisted my ankle. You’ve got to help get me out of here, please.”

Connors coughed and looked at the ceiling as flames began to crawl up around the edges, lacing the air with smoke.

“What about Stuart?” Stevens asked, looking down at the two men.

“I don’t know, sir. He just sits there staring off into nothing. He’s useless. Help me out of here. I don’t care what happens to him,” Connors said.

Stevens looked at Pierce and said,

“Officer, give me your gun.”

Pierce handed Stevens his weapon. Mechanically, Stevens took the pistol and shot Stuart through the head. Both Pierce and Connors jumped as the gun went off and the bullet tore through Stuart’s head, snapping it to the side and spraying the cot with blood.

“Whoa!” Connors snapped.

“What’d you do that for?” Pierce asked.

Stevens turned the weapon on Connors and shot him in the left leg.

Then he looked at Pierce and said,

“Go tell your men that Stuart escaped.”

“But—” Pierce began.

“Go!” Stevens ordered. “Or join them. Your choice.”

Frightened, Pierce quickly headed back down the hall toward his waiting men.

“Why’d you shoot me?” Connors yelled out.

“Because even though you and this degenerate deserve to die, the bleeding hearts insist you be given a second chance. Well I was raised to seize an opportunity when one presents itself. You will die this day, and that bullet wound will guarantee it. Stuart? He didn’t even know where he was,” Stevens said pointing to Stuart’s dead body. “But you? You’ll burn for the crimes you’ve committed.”

 

 

(Present day)

 

 

As he finished the story of that night, Stevens took a sip from his second whiskey and said,

“We got rid of Stuart’s body, of course. After that, Pierce and I spread the story that Stuart had killed Connors and escaped. We needed Allison Booth to help sell the story. Everything started to settle down. Two monsters were dead and buried, never to torment the public again. I put the events of that night behind me and moved on.”

“Until you decided to run for mayor,” Ray interjected.

Stevens nodded.

“I knew my past mistakes would come out, so I used the legend of the ax man to eliminate anyone who might know what happened. Tommy there was the only one who escaped, thanks to you.”

Ray nodded as he listened.

“And when the van was found?” Ray asked.

“I knew it was starting up again. I needed to take out Pierce and Booth. The risk was too great that they’d fold after years of hiding the secret. I arranged for Joseph Cook to come after you so I would look innocent. I was surprised you didn’t call me out there.”

Ray nodded and said,

“I was taken by surprise, and you did have me fooled for a while.”

Stevens finished off his second whiskey and put down the glass. With his right hand, he held up the detonator and said,

“It’s time to retire, gentleman. I would appreciate it if you left me now.”

Ray looked at the detonator then back to Stevens.

“You know we’re going to call the police once we’re outside,” he said.

With tired eyes, Stevens said,

“I know. Tell them whatever you wish. But I won’t be going down for this.”

Ray paused and said,

“There’s another way, Stevens.”

“Not for me. I’m not letting this ruin any more lives,” Stevens insisted.

When Ray saw the determination in Stevens’ eyes, he said,

“All right; we’ll go.”

Ray turned and left the study with Tyler protesting and Tommy silently following.

“Come on, Tyler,” Ray insisted.

Tyler looked at Stevens.

“Former detective,” Stevens said.

Frustrated, Tyler spun around and marched down the hall.

 

 

*          *            *

 

 

Outside by the Cadillac, Ray stood with his back facing the house as Tyler and Tommy stared at the building in confusion.

“What did he mean about not letting this ruin any more lives?” Tyler asked.

“He thinks he’s cursed,” Tommy answered.

“Cursed?” Tyler said.

“He’s convinced that the ax man cursed Stuart then somehow transferred to him like a sort of vengeful spirit,” Tommy replied.

“He thinks he’s cursed? That’s why he did all this?” Tyler asked.

Tommy just shrugged his shoulders.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Tyler protested.

“Doesn’t have to make sense to us,” Tommy explained. “Sometimes the only person who understands is oneself.”

“Why did he let us go?” Tyler asked. “Does he honestly think we’ll forgive him?’

“I have no idea there,” Tommy said.

“He said he wasn’t going down for this,” Ray reminded them.

“What?” Tyler said turning to Ray.

Suddenly multiple explosions tore through the house, blowing out windows. Ray closed his eyes as the building went up and then collapsed in on itself.

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Published in: on December 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

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