The Train: Episode 54

With downcast eyes, the sultry, haunting voice of Cynthia Cooper drew Michael in. Enthralled, he began to move toward her swaying body as though in a trance. But when something struck his leg, he shook himself free and glanced down to see a small boy. Michael guessed he wasn’t much older than eight. When the child looked up, Michael greeted,

“Hey, buddy.”

“I’m sorry, sir,” the child apologized.

Michael bent his knees, lowering his body to meet the boy’s eyes.

“It’s all right. My name’s Michael,” he said, reaching out to brush soft brown hair from the child’s freckled face.

“What’s your name,” he asked, drawing back his hand.

The boy didn’t answer, just shied at the question.

“It’s okay, sport,” Michael reassured.

After hesitating, the boy softly said, “Lincoln.”

“Lincoln’s a good name,” Michael smiled.

But when he took a second look into Lincoln’s eyes, he saw unhappiness and pain.

“Is everything okay?” Michael asked.

Before the child could answer, a man’s gruff voice snapped, “Lincoln!”

“I have to go,” Lincoln said with a tremble and turned away.

Michael stood and watched as the child slowly walked toward a tall, muscular man standing by the bar smoothing his slicked back hair and adjusting his blue tie.

When Lincoln was within reach, the man took a firm grip on the boy’s shoulder, causing the child to wince slightly, then leaned down to speak to him.

“Who was that?” Michael asked, as Dr. Ricer came up beside him.

“Lincoln Cooper,” Ricer replied.

Michael turned his head toward Ricer.

“Cynthia Cooper’s boy?” Michael asked.

“Yes,” Ricer replied.

“Polite boy, Doc, but I don’t think a happy one. His eyes are filled with despair.”

“Who is the guy with him?” Nicole asked.

“That’s Terry Herbert Wilson. He runs this club and he’s currently dating Cynthia Cooper,” Ricer answered.

“He’s a thug, a coward. Did you see how his fingers dug into that kid’s shoulder?” Nicole growled, tightening her jaw. “Probably the one who kills the mother and the kid. Get ready to leave. This won’t take but a second.”

When Nicole started to walk off, Michael reached out and caught her arm.

“Hold on,” he insisted.

Nicole spun and glared at Michael who quickly dropped her arm and raised both hands in apology.

“All I’m saying is, let’s be certain.”

“According to the original police reports,” Ricer explained, “he had an alibi for the time of the murders.”

“What’s that, Doc,” Michael asked.

“He was with another woman,” Ricer explained.

“A coward and a liar,” Nicole sneered.

“That may be, but instead of adding to the body count, let’s prove it,” Michael suggested. “Isn’t that what we’re here for?”

Nicole turned back to the man at the bar. She glared at him with such ferocity that Michael expected him to ignite suddenly.

“Fine,” Nicole said, her upper lip curled in disgust.

Michael took a second to catch his breath and said,

“Okay. Let’s start with who had the most motive to kill her.”

“Her and the boy,” Ricer corrected.

“Not to sound heartless, Doc, but the boy may have just gotten in the way. You know. Leave no witnesses. I think the murder was focused more on Cynthia here. We need to learn what we can about her and this club,” Michael said, looking around.

“Where does she live?”

“There’s a small second story apartment two blocks east of here, 2B. That’s where the bodies will be found,” Ricer replied.

“Got it. See what you can find out about this place. I’m going to search the apartment for anything that might help us.”

Michael paused then looked at Ricer.

“That is unless you already have answers to all the questions.”

Ricer shook his head.

“Sorry, no. Not everything is revealed to me. Usually I just get the known facts.”

“Cool,” Michael said, giving a thumbs up as he left.

As Michael walked out, Nicole continued to glare at the man at the bar.

“I know he’s the killer,” she fumed. “Just let me deal with him.”

“Even if he is, Nicole, and honestly he’s the most likely suspect right now, we still need to go about proving it. If he has a solid alibi, either he has involved a lot of people in his lie or the cop working the case is corrupt. Either way, we must tread carefully.”

 

 

*          *          *

 

 

When Michael walked out of the club into the cold night, the heavy wind almost knocked him over. As he stepped off the curb, a hat came rolling down the street. He quickly bent over and scooped it up. It was an old battered fedora, its band frayed at the edges. Brushing off the dirt from the street, he felt the fabric and looked inside the crown. Pleased that it exactly matched his suit, he shrugged and slipped it on.

“Perfect,” he said.

“I’m playing a detective in the forties, why not look the part?” he asked himself.

He lifted his bag, slipped it over his right shoulder and headed east towards Apartment 2B and the future murder scene.

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Published in: on November 19, 2015 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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