The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 52

As Richard raced to the hospital, everything seemed to move in slow motion.

“Hurry up! Hurry up!” he scolded.

Flying into the hospital parking lot, he slid into a space, cut off his engine and fled from the car.

Deborah had been with her father Raymond Slats since the explosion in the hospital parking lot that left him comatose. When Tommy, Ray’s oldest friend, called Richard at Judge Conrad Matthews’ murder scene, he had only said,

“Get to the hospital. It’s Ray,” before ending the call.

Not knowing if Ray was dead or awake, Richard had fled from the crime scene with no explanation for a surprised and confused David Crandall.

The short distance from Richard’s car to the emergency room seemed to stretch on for days. Breaking through the front doors, Richard pushed past startled doctors and nurses as he zipped through the halls toward the elevator.

Beating on the elevator button, he waited, drumming his nervous fingers on the panel. When the car opened, he jumped inside, punched the button for Ray’s floor and grumbled impatiently while the elevator crawled its way up the shaft. As the doors slowly opened with the help of a push, Richard turned and ran for Ray’s room. Suddenly Deborah stepped out in front of him, a cup of coffee in her hand.

Sliding to a stop, Richard barely missed knocking her to the floor.

“What are you doing here?” Deborah questioned, shocked by Richard’s sudden appearance.

“I got a call about Ray. Is he all right?” Richard asked.

“The doctor’s looking at him now,” Deborah answered.

“The doctor?” What’s wrong? Is he awake?” Richard asked.

“Nothing’s wrong, and no,” Deborah said, “he’s not awake yet.”

When Richard’s shoulders slumped in disappointment, Deborah slipped her hand in his and smiled up at him.

“Don’t worry, Richard. Daddy’s strong. He won’t give up,” Deborah reassured him.

Reaching Ray’s room, Deborah grabbed the door handle then asked,

“Who called you?”

When she pushed the door open, she was thrilled to see Ray awake, sitting up and talking to the doctor.

“Daddy!” she exclaimed.

Shoving her cup of coffee into Richard’s hand, she ran forward to hug her father.

“He just woke up,” the doctor said, “and he seems fine. I want to run a few more tests, but I’d say the worst is over.”

“Thank you so much,” Deborah said, smiling at the doctor.

Then looking back at Richard, Deborah repeated her question, “Who called you?”

Richard took a sip of Deborah’s coffee and answered, “Tommy.”

Ray shook his head and said, “One of these days, I’m going to figure out how he does that.”

 

 

*          *            *

 

 

Richard watched with pleasure as Deborah fussed over her father.

Finally, Ray looked at Richard and asked,

“So what’s this I hear about you letting people die while I was out?”

Richard shrugged, “No cause for concern. Just some weirdo in a clown mask. Nothing we can’t handle.”

Ray’s face went dead serious.

“The same guy who gassed the police station and let me out?” Ray asked.

Richard nodded, “Yea. Calls himself Captain Bonkers.”

“He mentioned someone he called the king and the horseman,” Ray remembered.

Richard nodded but was interrupted by Deborah before he could respond.

“Enough of that.”

Turning to face Ray, she scolded,

“Daddy, it’s this very thing that got you into trouble again. If I have to, I will declare you mentally unfit and force you to stay home.”

Ray laughed but after meeting Deborah’s eyes, he said,

“All right, sweetie. You win. I won’t follow this one. You have my word.”

Deborah smiled and patted Ray’s arm.

“Good,” she said. “Now I’m going to check with the doctor and see how long you have to stay before I can take you home.”

As she left the room, she paused at the door and pointed to Richard.

“You watch him, Richard.”

Richard nodded, “Yes ma’am.”

When Deborah was gone, Ray quickly looked at Richard and asked,

“All right, what’s going on?”

“Oh no, old man. I’d rather be on your bad side than hers,” Richard insisted.

Suddenly, a woman’s voice screamed, “Help! He’s got a gun!”

Richard snapped to the door and ran off in the direction of the woman’s cries.

Just as Ray swung his feet over the bed and started to stand, Tommy popped in the door.

“Get moving, you old fart! We’re busting out of here, and we don’t have much time.”

“What’d you do?” Ray asked as he stood.

“I paid a friend fifty bucks to walk down the hall waving a gun,” Tommy explained.

“A gun?! Are you crazy?” Ray exclaimed looking for his clothes.

“Not a real one. Of course not. It’s a BB gun, but it looks real enough. Now come on!”

“I can’t find my clothes,” Ray complained.

“Forget about them. I’ve got a change downstairs. Let’s move!” Tommy snapped.

 

 

*          *            *

 

 

Scowling in frustration at the stacks of paperwork, Police Chief Myron Hooper settled himself in his office chair then scooted closer to the desk.

“Barely space for an elbow,” he complained.

As much as he hated paperwork, he knew it was part of the job. Two men had been murdered by this Captain Bonkers, whoever he was, and not only was the mayor breathing down his neck but Bradford King was certain to be calling soon.

Taking a sip of his morning coffee, Hooper took a moment to glance out the window toward the park across the street. He enjoyed starting his day with an eyeful of young moms and college girls jogging in skimpy outfits as they soaked up the sun’s rays and worked their luscious limbs. But instead of his usual entertainment, Hooper saw that the park was empty except for a man sitting on a bench wearing a long black coat and a top hat, his head bent down. At sight of the man, Hooper felt his hands begin to shake.

“Chief Hooper?” a woman’s voice called.

Hooper looked up to see a strikingly beautiful girl with flowing red hair. As she reached out to him with an envelope, she smiled and he saw that her eyes were different colors.

“Sorry, sir, but someone dropped this off for you. They said it was urgent,” she explained.

With his hands still shaking, Hooper reached out and took the envelope.

The girl quickly turned and left his office, closing the door behind her. Holding the envelope in midair, Hooper looked back out the window and saw that the man in the park had not moved. With fingers that refused to cooperate, he struggled to open the envelope. Reaching inside, he pulled out a folded note.

Chief Myron Hooper, you are corrupted and foul. You sit atop the throne of justice dispensing out not justice for the guilty but punishment for the innocent enslaved by your master the Chessboard King. Yet another pawn in his foul game, you had but one chance to confess your sins to man before I removed you from the board. Your time is up. Prepare your soul for judgment.

As he dropped the note to the desk, Hooper slowly turned to the window. The man was gone. Overcome with fear, Hooper reached for the trash basket as nausea washed over him.

Suddenly the door swung open and Bradley, one of the young cadets, leaned in.

“Chief, you all right?” Bradley asked. “You look pale.”

Fighting to compose himself, Hooper rose abruptly and said,

“I’m going home. Don’t feel well.”

Without waiting for a response, Hooper fled the building and ran for his car.

But when he reached the parking lot, he stopped. He saw that the section where he had left his car was now dark and eerily quiet. A slight breeze blew past stirring a candy wrapper someone had thoughtlessly tossed to the pavement.

“Just get to the car, Hooper,” he told himself.

Despite the sharp pain in his chest, he ran for his car and quickly turned the key in the lock. As he scrambled inside, he cursed when his shaking hands dropped the keys to the parking lot floor. Reaching over, he snatched up the keys then slammed the door shut.

“Whew,” he let out a sigh of relief.

Resting his head on the headrest, he waited for his heartbeat to slow.

After a moment, he slipped the key in the ignition and started the car. Just then he noticed a chess piece, a pawn, resting on the dashboard. His heart once again raced as he slowly looked up into the rearview mirror.

Looking back at him from the back seat was Captain Bonkers.

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Published in: on August 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Enjoyed this.

  2. Thank you.


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