The Train: Episode 40

Rain pelted the window panes as Tommy lay sprawled on his bed, head thrown back and mouth agape. Deep in sleep, the rumbles and grunts of his snoring drowned out the ringing phone. But when a clap of thunder shook the room, Tommy sat bolt upright, falling to the thick carpet of the floor and cracking his head on the bedside table.

Rubbing the spot on his head, he struggled to stand on wobbly legs.

“Yeah, yeah,” he scolded the impatient caller.

With one eye open, Tommy braced himself on the table and groped around for the phone, all the while hoping the incessant ringing wasn’t in his head. As his vision began to clear, he bent down to retrieve the irritating instrument from underneath the pants he had peeled off and tossed aside the night before. Still woozy from last night’s binge, he lost his balance and stumbled to the floor. Cursing as he fumbled for the phone, he grabbed the receiver and held it to his ear.

“Yeah?” he answered, his voice gruff with sleep.

“Pull yourself together and come down to Dad’s bar. We got a problem,” Richard said before hanging up.

Tommy held the phone to his ear for a moment before he realized the call had ended. He dropped the phone in its cradle and held onto the bed as he pulled himself to his feet.

“Guess I’m going to Dad’s bar,” he said annoyed.

 

 

*          *          *

 

 

The rain picked up as Tommy left his apartment building and made his way down the three blocks to his dad’s old bar. Lowering his head, he pushed against the wind and rain, looking up now and then to be sure he was headed in the right direction. Up ahead he saw the bar and made his way across the side street to the bar’s parking lot. It was still early, and though the bar hadn’t opened yet, the lights were on inside the building. Just when he reached the front door, the rain suddenly stopped.

“Strange,” he thought.

Everything grew eerily quiet along the empty street, a solemn reminder of what had happened to his dad and Jonathan.

Suddenly the door swung open, startling Tommy.

“Get inside,” Richard ordered.

Without a word, Tommy followed his older brother into the empty bar, the smell of smoke, booze, and vomit still lingering in the air.

Wrinkling his nose, Tommy said, “I’d forgotten the smell of this place.”

“Get over it,” Richard snapped.

“What’s your problem?” Tommy asked indignantly.

But when he saw Detective Ronald Brewer seated at one of the tables, he stopped.

“Wait a minute. What’s he doing here?” Tommy complained

“Shut up and sit down!” Richard barked.

“Okay. Okay,” Tommy responded, slumping in a chair.

Richard took a deep breath and let it out.

“Dad’s dead, Jonathan’s dead, and now Matthew is missing.”

“Whoa. What are you talking about?” Tommy asked in confusion.

“According to the detective, Matthew never returned home last night.”

“So that means it’s just us?” Tommy asked, suddenly sitting up straight.

“Yes. You and me and whatever demon spawn you have enraged,” Richard said.

“If your idiot brother here screwed up, then why doesn’t whoever’s behind this just come after him?” Brewer asked Richard.

“I do not believe it’s that simple,” Richard suggested. “I think we’re being deliberately taken out one at a time. Whoever is doing this means to take over and wants us to believe that no matter what we do, we are going to die.”

Tommy shook his head and looked out the window as though the answer was out in the street. He watched as a city bus neared the intersection just outside the bar.

Turning back to Richard, he asked, “I know this sounds cowardly, but why don’t we just get out of town?”

“You’re suggesting we run away and leave Matthew to the wolves?” Richard asked.

“That’s what he’d do to us,” Tommy pointed out.

“No. We’re not giving up on him. If the killer is holding him, it’s because they need something. We still have a chance to save him.”

“So what’s the plan?” Tommy asked.

Richard looked at Tommy and said, “Detective Brewer here is going to arrest you and put you in jail where you should be safe while I see if I can find Matthew.”

“What? Wait a minute,” Tommy objected. “I’m not going to sit on my hands while you’re out there looking for Matthew. He’s my brother too, you know.”

“Think, Tommy. If the killer is targeting you, maybe I can watch them and follow them back to where they’re holding Matthew.”

“I hate that idea,” Tommy protested.

“I don’t care. With Matthew missing, leadership falls to me.”

Frustrated at Richard and not sure how to respond, Tommy looked out the window again. The bus had passed the intersection, and Tommy noticed that it was moving awfully fast.

He stood up for a better look, his eyes fixed on the approaching vehicle.

“What?” Richard asked.

“That bus. Is it going to slow down?” Tommy asked.

Sensing something was wrong, Richard and Brewer shot up out of their chairs to see.

“No! It’s speeding up!” Brewer said.

“Move!” Richard shouted.

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Published in: on September 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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