The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 48

Lex Tallionis

Part 1:

Send in the clown

 

 

 

In a dank apartment in a rundown part of town, Porter Daniels sat back on an old sofa, its stuffing working through the torn fabric. Lost in thought, he stared at the faded wallpaper. But when the voice of a female television news anchor caught his attention, he turned to the screen and greedily watched the woman’s every gesture.

“When the King lets me out of here, I’ll have to pay a little visit to that one,” he thought. “Maybe take some of that long blond hair.”

Daniels kicked his feet up onto the water stained coffee table and took a long drink from his beer, now little more than backwash. When the anchor offered up an alluring smile, Daniels watched with lustful eyes.

“I’ll make sure you keep that smile, honey,” he said with a grin.

Reaching out blindly to put down his beer, he missed the table. When the bottle hit the floor, the neck broke, sending out shards of glass and spilling the last of the stale brew onto the cracked linoleum floor.

Daniels cursed at the table and slowly rose to get another beer.

“Can’t survive in this hole sober,” he muttered.

Since blowing up Raymond Slats’ car about a month ago, Daniels was under orders to stay put. Slats was hospitalized in a coma. He wouldn’t be talking anytime soon.

As he headed for the kitchen and another beer, Daniels stepped on a piece of the broken glass. Cursing, he hopped on his good foot and fell back onto the couch to pull out the brown glass.

Dodging the other shards of glass, Daniels carefully made his way to the kitchen. Roaches scattered when he opened the empty cabinets searching for something to stop the bleeding. He found half a roll of cheap paper towels and made a makeshift bandage for his foot.

“I have to get out of this place! I deserve better than this!” he snapped.

Hobbling over to the refrigerator, Daniels opened the moldy door and grabbed a fresh bottle of beer. Looking for something to eat, he saw that the iced up freezer and sticky shelves were empty.

When his stomach growled from hunger, Daniels responded,

“Shut up!”

He slammed the refrigerator door shut and popped off the beer cap.

“I need to call out for food. Things are running dry here,” Daniels complained to himself.

Suddenly he heard someone banging on a door in the hallway. He limped over to the apartment door and peeked through the spy hole.

A curvaceous red head, about five foot ten or so he guessed, stood in the hallway knocking on the door of the apartment just across the hall. She wore what looked like the uniform of a local pizza parlor, red shirt and tight khaki pants, and flicked her ponytail as she balanced two pizza boxes in her other hand. Daniels was conflicted. His eyes wanted to keep watching her but his stomach wanted pizza. Finally his hunger won out and he opened the door.

“Hello?” the girl called out. “Pizza delivery.”

“No one lives there,” Daniels lied.

He really had no idea if anyone lived there but he didn’t care. He wanted those pizzas. The girl wouldn’t be bad either.

At his voice, the girl turned around and faced Daniels. The first thing he noticed about her face was her eyes. They were different colors, one blue and one green.

“Please tell me this is a prank,” she pleaded.

“Afraid not,” Daniels lied again.

“My boss is going to kill me if I go back there with these pizzas. I’ll have to pay for them plus work the night shift alongside him. He’s a little too friendly, all hands if you know what I mean,” she frowned.

“Tell you what,” Daniels said. “I’ll buy them off you. I was in the mood for pizza anyway.”

“Seriously?” she exclaimed, her face brightening.

“Seriously,” Daniels responded, matching her enthusiasm.

“Thank you so much,” she said. “You’re a lifesaver!”

When she handed over the pizzas, she announced the price.

“All right one minute,” Daniels said.

He stepped over to the coffee table and put down the pizza boxes and his beer. Then he returned to the door, reaching in his pocket for his wallet.

“Here you go,” he said handing her the money.

“Thank you so much,” she repeated. “Looks like you’ve hurt your foot.”

“Oh it’s nothing. Say, you want to stay? I can’t eat all of this,” Daniels asked.

She hesitated then said, “Sorry. I can’t.”

“Got cold beer,” Daniels tempted.

“Sorry,” she repeated.

Daniels felt a bit disappointed but quickly made a mental note of the pizza shop’s logo on her shirt. He would have to pay a little visit to her later, after the King let him out.

“However,” she said, interrupting his thoughts, “I get off at nine. I could come back.”

“Really?” Daniels asked surprised. He gave her the once over and said, “I’ll be right here.”

“Cool,” she smiled and bounced away.

Daniels watched her walk toward the elevator and press the button. When the doors opened, she glanced back at him, giggled and slipped inside.

“This may be a good day after all,” Daniels said with a grin. “A real good day.”

He closed the door, locked it and walked back to the couch. Sitting down, he took a swig of his beer and reached for a slice of pizza. Resting on top of the box was an envelope.

“What the heck?” Daniels said confused.

The moment he opened the envelope, he felt the barrel of a gun press against the back of his neck. Freezing, he watched as a leather gloved hand reached around and handed him a phone. A number, already entered, was on the screen and a note was attached to the bottom of the phone. The note read ‘Hit send and read the paper.’

“Who are you?” Daniels asked.

At his question, the assailant pressed the gun harder into Daniels’ neck.

“All right. Take it easy,” Daniels said, trying to buy time till he could turn the tables on this guy.

Daniels hit send then opened the paper. When he heard the voice on the other end of the phone, his blood ran cold. It was his boss the King.

“Who is this?”

“It-it ‘s me, sir. Daniels,” he stammered.

“Why are you calling me?” King insisted.

Daniels felt the gun barrel press harder into his neck.

“I n-need to r-read something for you s-sir,” he said.

“What’s going on?” King insisted.

Daniels looked down at the note and began to read it aloud:

“Chessboard King, I have been watching you overpower your competitors, buy them up, eliminate them. Slowly you rise above all others, standing on their backs. Immune to law enforcement and the chains of government, you grow more powerful, like a weed choking out all other life until only you survive. Your movements have not gone unnoticed for I have watched and waited for you to make recompense for your sins. But your refusal has made your intentions clear to me. You will not stop until all bow before you or lie dead at your feet. The time has come, Chessboard King, for your destruction, starting with the pillars that support your corrupt business. One by one they will be removed, and when you have nothing left to stand on, you will kneel. You will pay for your sins. You cannot stop what is coming. Look down from your tower and see the blood of your people fill the streets. Run and hide, if you wish, but I will walk across the bodies of your followers to you and send you to answer for those who have died by your hand. You can run, but I will catch you. You can hide, but I will find you. I am your judge; I am your jury; I am your executioner. I will end your reign of terror and give you over to the people you have killed who will drag you down into the abyss where your pleas for mercy and forgiveness will be silent.” 

“Is this some sort of sick joke?” King asked.

At the bottom of the note were the words ‘Say goodbye.’

Daniels felt his throat constrict as he choked out,

“Goodbye.”

As soon as the word left his mouth, the gun fired, pushing a bullet through Daniels’ throat. Choking on his own blood, Daniels watched as the assailant moved around to face him. His last moments filled with fear, he looked up to see a man dressed in a suit with a long black coat and a black top hat resting on a clown mask. Just before everything went dark, the man in the clown mask raised a hand and waved bye.

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Published in: on April 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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