The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 76

It was madness on the grounds of Jackson Kane’s estate. No officers down, but several had reported seeing Captain Bonkers moving through the area taking out gangsters and Kane’s hired security. Every time the police got close, Bonkers gave them the slip, disappearing in the chaos.

“It’s like playing off the cuff against someone who’s been making plans for years.”

Ray’s words came back to Richard as he grew increasingly frustrated at his lack of control.

“Any idea how many are still alive?” he yelled, firing his weapon.

His men were scattered all over the grounds, each in his own gun battle.

“Four gang and three security. Wait. Make that three gang,” one of the officers returned over the intercom.

“Drop it, pig,” a voice ordered behind him.

Richard cautiously bent over and placed his gun on the ground.

“Looks like I caught me a po-liceman,” the voice said.

Holding up his hands, Richard slowly stood, turning to face the man.

With his hair slicked back, the kid smirked, showing a pierced tongue resting between filthy yellowed teeth.

In his left hand turned sideways, he held a nickel-plated pistol aimed right at Richard’s forehead.

“I have the perfect place for your badge, po-po,” he said, patting his blue denim vest covered with patches.

“Look, son, I’m just here for the man who hired you. Help me get him, and I’ll talk to the District Attorney on your behalf,” Richard said.

Richard could feel his backup piece tucked in a holster pressing at the small of his back.

“Gotta sweeten the pot, old man. Else I get to kill me a cop,” he said with a sardonic smile.

“I have a wife,” Richard said, trying to appeal to the kid’s emotions and buy a little time.

“Where she live?” the kid asked. “Your wife a hottie?”

Before Richard could answer, the kid laughed,

“Never mind. I’ll find out for myself.”

When Deborah’s face flashed through Richard’s mind, he reached for his backup weapon.

Just then he felt the wind break near his right ear milliseconds before a bullet hit the kid in the head.

Blood poured from the wound as the boy fell backwards, a disbelieving look on his face. Richard whirled around and saw Captain Bonkers, his pistol raised, standing behind a row of hedges about thirty feet back.

Paralyzed with astonishment, Richard instinctively reached up and touched his right ear.

Bonkers stared at him for a moment then disappeared behind a six-foot wall.

 

 

*          *          *

 

 

Standing behind the bullet-resistant window in his safe room, Jackson Kane watched as the cops and Captain Bonkers wiped out his security team.

“Idiots!” he barked. “Can’t even manage to kill one guy in a clown mask!”

His eyes wandered across the grounds but stopped when he caught sight of Bonkers standing alone in a beam of moonlight breaking through the trees.

“Stare all you want, clown. You’re not getting in here.”

Someone yelled out and Kane looked away to see one of the cops bending over a gangster. The officer checked his pulse then rose and slipped a weapon behind his coat.

When Kane brought his gaze back to Bonkers, the clown was gone.

Suddenly, he heard a noise behind him and whirled around to come face to face with Captain Bonkers.

“How did you. . .?” he asked trailing off. “What are you?” he said.

Without a word, Bonkers raised his weapon and shot Kane once in each knee.

As he cried out, Kane fell to the floor writhing in pain. When he reached toward the wounds, Bonkers came closer, shoved the pistol in Kane’s mouth, and pulled the trigger. Then he stepped over Kane’s dead body and disappeared back into the closet where he had been hiding.

A few minutes later, a young woman with different colored eyes stepped out of the closet, threw a duffle bag over her shoulder, and tucked a long strand of red hair behind her ear. Setting a small MP3 player on the desk, she positioned the black rook on the device then hit ‘play’ and ‘repeat’. As she left the panic room, closing the door behind her, the 1970’s song “Goodbye Stranger” by Supertramp played over what remained of Jackson Kane.

 

 

*          *          *

 

Discouraged at having had no success stopping Captain Bonkers, Ray walked through the doors of the Horseshoe, his shoulders slumped in defeat. Mavis was on her phone behind the bar, but when she saw Ray, she said to the person on the other end of the line,

“Hold on, babe. Ray, what’s wrong?”

Ray walked up to the bar and eased onto one of the stools. Pete hopped up onto his stool and drew as close as he could to Ray, sensing his master’s mood.

“Six people have been killed that we know of, and I keep striking out. Now Richard has essentially taken me off the case. This is not the ending I was hoping for.”

“Ending?” Mavis asked.

“Yea. Lately, I’ve been thinking about settling back into retirement once this case is closed. Maybe teach a class or two. I’m starting to feel way past my prime.”

“You may feel that way, but it’s not true,” Mavis defended.

“What’s your boyfriend say?” Ray asked.

“What? Who?” Mavis asked, playing innocent.

“Come on, Mavis. I know you’re talking to him. I know he’s a patient at the Morris Greystone Institute, and I know he calls you every day. Shall I go on?” Ray asked.

“All right. Fine,” Mavis said.

She brought the phone up to her ear and asked,

“Babe, is Jack there? May I speak with him real quick.”

“Jack?” Ray asked confused.

Mavis held up her hand to indicate that Ray should wait a minute.

“Okay. Hold on,” she said into the phone.

Turning on the speaker, she placed the phone on the bar.

“Go ahead,” she said.

“Evening, Mr. Slats,” the voice said in a thick British accent.

Ray recognized the voice he had heard earlier.

“Hey, Jack,” he said.

“What seems to be the problem?” Jack asked.

“Despite my best efforts, Captain Bonkers is still ahead of me. I couldn’t save Ruben Ross, and I’m pretty certain Jackson Kane is already dead. I can’t seem to keep up with this guy,” Ray said.

Suddenly there was a scuffle on the other end of the phone and Jack began bickering with another voice.

“No! I will not let you speak with him!” Jack said.

“You’re the egghead. Right now, he needs a hunter, and that’s my area of expertise. Now go read a book or something,” the voice of a younger man insisted.

After a moment of silence, the younger man said in a slick Texas drawl,

“Howdy, Raymond. Look here. If you want to catch this mad clown, you’re going about it all wrong.”

“Who is this?” Ray asked.

“Name’s Eddie, and if you want to catch this nut, you’ll shut your lips and open your ears. Stop with the hunter and prey crap. You know where this train is headed. Quit chasing it and just wait for it at the last stop.”

Suddenly the line went dead.

Ray looked up at Mavis as she tried to hide her nerves behind a smile.

“We need to talk about him when this is over, Mavis,” Ray said just before his phone rang.

“Raymond Slats,” he answered.

The caller was Rebecca Conrad. Ray could hear her sobbing as she struggled to speak.

“Mr. Slats, I’ve seen the news. I know Bonkers is coming for me next. I know there’s no stopping him.”

After pausing to catch her breath, she continued.

“I have enough evidence on Bradford King to send him to jail. I handled all of his financial transactions. Meet me at Sandpark Carnival near the Shadow Serpent, the roller coaster. I’ll have everything there for you.”

“Ms. Conrad, what time should I be there?” Ray asked.

“Ms. Conrad?”

There was no response.

Ray looked up at Mavis and said,

“She’s gone.”

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