The Train: Episode 42

The moon was just coming out as Richard sat back in the Italian leather armchair tucked against a wall of his living room. He was proud of this room. Its furnishings were tasteful, tidy, and strategically placed. No door hidden from sight. No corner bathed in shadow. No place for someone to hide. No window directly pointed at his chair. Well-placed mirrors gave him a perfect view of the street below. This was his safe spot. His watchtower. With a glass of warmed brandy and a silenced nine-millimeter pistol, he rested his head against the buttery-soft leather and waited.

“I am not the prey. I am the predator,” Richard told himself. “I am not the hunted. I am the hunter. I am a creature of the night, darkness incarnate. No one hides from me. No one runs from me. I am the beginning and the end.”

He breathed deeply and let it out slowly then took another sip of the brandy. Moonlight streaming through the window, spilling across the silk rug, gave the only light in the room as Richard waited.

Once Tommy was in the questionably capable hands of Detective Ronald Brewer, Richard had walked the streets to clear his head and make a plan. He dropped by the club for a quick trim and light supper then went home, showered, and dressed in his hand-tailored suit to wait for the killer he knew would soon arrive. He was next to the oldest son of Russell Carpenter, and if this assassin stuck to his pattern, Richard was his next target.

“I will not allow that imbecile brother of mine to be left in charge,” Richard said aloud, taking another sip of brandy.

When the elevator doors to his apartment opened, he gripped the pistol and watched. After a moment, a figure stepped out of the car, a figure veiled by shadows.

Richard sneered.

“I knew you’d come eventually. My father was old. Jonathan had a mind for business, not war. Matthew was a rabid dog. But me? I’m the tin man, the heartless one. I’m the killer in this family. Like you, I’m not afraid to do what must be done. If this night is my last, I’ll be sure and   save you a place in hell.”

The figure listened, lingering in the shadows.

“Step forward and face me, that is unless you’re a coward!” Richard demanded.

Douglas Chase stepped into the shaft of moonlight and said,

“That was an awesome speech. May I quote you?”

Relieved, Richard’s muscles loosened then tightened in anger.

“Chase what are you doing here?” he asked.

“Just got a few questions,” Chase said. “Seems your brother Matthew is dead and Tommy has been shot. That about right?”

But when he caught the flash of steel in the moonlight, Chase saw the pistol tucked in Richard’s hand and stumbled a bit as he nervously backed up.

Richard slowly smiled, enjoying the upper hand.

“And why does this concern me. . .,” Richard paused, letting the suspense hang in the air, “. . .Douglas?”

“Well, he’s your brother. . .,” Chase trailed off.

For a moment, Richard enjoyed himself watching the reporter sweat like an insect that had wandered into the spider’s lair. But remembering who was coming that night, he inwardly chastised himself for allowing this distraction. He would get rid of this pest later. Maybe nice and slow so as to enjoy every moment.

Suddenly Richard stood and leaving the pistol and brandy on the table, he walked over to Chase.

“I am expecting someone this evening. You must go now. I will contact you tomorrow,” Richard said.

He planted his hand on the reporter’s back, whipped him around, and pushed him toward the elevator.

“Leave,” he ordered.

“But—,” Chase began in protest.

“Now!” Richard said, shoving him into the elevator.

As the doors closed, Chase started to protest again.

“Till next time,” Richard smiled, “which will be your last time.”

As the elevator car worked its way down to the lobby, Richard took a deep breath and turned on his heel only to freeze when he saw the barrel of his silenced pistol pointing at his face.

“Well played,” he said.



*          *            *



Dr. Ricer paced in the hospital room while the late night news replayed the report of a city bus slamming into a downtown bar.

He stopped and turned to face Elliot, leaning in the bathroom doorway, his eyes held steady on the comatose Michael.

“How much more are you going to let her get away with?” Ricer barked in astonishment.

“It’s not my place to interfere unless one of you is in danger,” Elliot drawled.

“She’s in trouble! Everyone’s looking for her,” Ricer protested.

Lucy stopped flipping the pages of her magazine to watch the two men arguing back and forth as a commercial for acid indigestion relief played in the background.

“Technically, the only one in any trouble right now is that boy who hit Michael,” Elliot said.

“I have to go find her,” Ricer complained.

“Doc, I would take a second and clear my head before doing that. She’s far more skilled at this kind of thing than you are, and even though she wouldn’t hurt you, she might be hurt. You would be a distraction for her. Trust me, she’s fine. She has to go through this alone.”

Frustrated at the argument he had heard before, Ricer looked at Michael and asked Elliot,

“Do you think he’s getting any better?”

Without waiting for a reply, Ricer headed for the door.

“I’m going to talk to the nurse. Come on, sweetheart,” Ricer said, holding out his hand to Lucy.

“How much longer will Mr. Michael be asleep, Mr. Elliot?” she asked as they were leaving the room.

“I’m not sure, Miss Lucy. Why don’t you go on with your grandpa?”

Elliot waited a few moments after the door closed then said,

“They’re gone.”

Michael suddenly sat straight up in bed and asked,

“Yea. How much longer will Mr. Michael be asleep, Mr. Elliot?”

Published in: on November 15, 2014 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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