The Exile: Episode 48

We sped away from Spartans Casino and headed for the industrial part of town. At Lorelei’s instructions, I pulled up outside an abandoned warehouse and eased into a spot beside the loading dock.

A few minutes later, Lorelei and I stood inside a darkened empty office watching through a large window as Heckle and Jeckle held an unconscious Montgomery Miles. Cazonetti tied Miles’ feet then climbed up into the rafters to secure the other end of the rope. When he finished, he slipped down onto the balcony beside Heckle and Jeckle and said,

“All right. Let’s wake him up.”

“Can he see us?” I asked Lorelei.

“Don’t worry,” she assured me. “As long as the lights are off in this room, they can’t see in here.”

“Feels strange interrogating someone like this for information,” I said.

“Remember why you’re here, Wesley. Remember what they did to you,” Lorelei said.

I nodded, “How could I forget? I had a family—a brother, a niece, a sister-in-law, a mother and father. All of them, every one, were killed when that bomb went off in the house. Somehow I got out.”

“Sorry for your loss,” Lorelei said as she put her arm around me.

Suddenly I laughed.

“What?” Lorelei asked in confusion.

“I was remembering back when I was a kid in junior high. My brother and I looked so much alike. We were born a year apart, but everyone joked that we were twins and I was just born late. One time this bully said he’d get me after class. I was so scared, but my brother went in my place. Bully didn’t even notice the difference.”

Fighting back tears, I added, “He was always looking out for me.”

In the balcony, Cazonetti watched as Heckle and Jeckle shook Miles awake.

“What’s going on?” Miles mumbled.

As he came to, he looked around in bewilderment and demanded, “Where am I? Answer me!”

“Stop talking—” Heckle began.

“And we will,” Jeckle finished.

“We want to know—” Jeckle said.

“Who it is you work for,” Heckle finished.

“Those two finish each other’s sentences when they’re interrogating someone,” Lorelei explained. “Creeps me out every time.”

“I’m no rat,” Miles said. “I’m not telling you anything!”

Heckle and Jeckle looked at each other then said,

“Well then—” Heckle began.

“So be it,” Jeckle finished with a shrug.

When they reached out and pushed Miles, he fell backwards screaming before the rope around his feet caught and stopped his fall. Swinging through the air, Miles grew quiet as he realized what had happened. Reaching out to still the rope, Cazonetti told Miles,

“That was plan A.”

Pulling a knife out of his pocket, he held it up and said,

“Now for Plan B.”

“You may want to turn the volume down a little,” Lorelei advised. “There’s a control knob over there by the light switch.”

With my eyes on Cazonetti, I blindly reached out for the knob.

Suddenly the lights came on in the room.

Out in the warehouse, Cazonetti and Miles turned to see me staring in shock as Lorelei quickly pushed past me scrambling for the light switch. When the room went dark again, Cazonetti turned back to Miles to begin his threat.

“First—” he said.

“I’ll talk!” Miles suddenly interrupted.


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