The Train: Episode 68

When Michael and Dr. Ricer finally joined Nicole, they found her sitting on a bench across the street from a burning building.

“Is that the rec center?” Michael asked, looking at the scene.

“Yep,” Nicole sighed.

“What happened?” Ricer asked.

“I know my ideas can be bad sometimes, but I don’t think burning down the building is going to stop a killer,” Michael said. Then looking at Ricer, he asked, “It didn’t, did it?”

Ricer shook his head but before he could say anything, Nicole said,

“No. By the time I got here, the building was already on fire. I don’t know what happened.”

“Let me get this straight. The building burned down, but James Nolan is still murdered?” Michael asked.

Ricer nodded.

“Well then we need to find him or at least stake out the place where he’s found,” Michael suggested.

“Where is he found this time?” Nicole asked.

“Still here,” Ricer said.

“What?” Michael and Nicole asked in unison.

Ricer just nodded.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Michael complained.

“Why would the killer bring him here in the first place?” Nicole asked. “There must be some significance to this building. Does Nolan volunteer here on weekends or did he maybe work here in his youth?”

Ricer shook his head and said,

“No. In fact, James Nolan didn’t move to New York until three months ago.”

“So it’s not Nolan himself but maybe something he did recently,” Michael suggested. “What do you think we should do, Nicole?”

Her brows furrowed, Nicole looked off in the distance then up at Michael and Ricer.

“All right, first we need to go and find James Nolan. Maybe we can warn him of what’s about to happen,” she proposed.

“That won’t do,” Ricer said, shaking his head. “James Nolan doesn’t come back into town until tonight. The estimated time of death is right after his arrival.”

“Then we’ll just catch him when he shows up,” Nicole said.


*          *          *


Later that night in the airport parking lot, they waited for Nolan’s plane to land.

“According to the original report, he leaves the airport and gets into a cab. That’s the last time he’s seen alive,” Ricer explained.

“Okay, so we wait. His plane should be coming in any minute now,” Nicole said.

Keeping their eyes on the airport doors, they watched for anyone matching the description Ricer had given them earlier.

Suddenly they heard a commotion a few parking spaces away. They turned their attention toward the noise and saw that a car two spaces down was on fire.

“What in the world?” Michael said.

Just then they heard the siren of approaching fire trucks.

Climbing out of the car, they watched as the emergency vehicles pulled up into the lot and fire fighters went to work, spraying the fire and moving everyone away.

“How did they get here so fast? It looks like the car just started burning,” Nicole asked.

“Perhaps they were already in the area,” Ricer suggested.

Michael looked back toward the airport doors and slowly scanned the crowd.

“There he is!” he exclaimed.

A man fitting James Nolan’s description came through the airport doors.

Michael struggled to reach Nolan but was blocked by the crowd of people who had gathered to watch the fire fighters.

By the time he pushed his way through, Nolan was already in a cab pulling away.

“We’re too late,” Ricer said.

“I don’t think this was an accident,” Nicole speculated. “This fire was clearly a distraction, but the fire department? What are the odds they would be in the area? That is unless someone called them ahead of time.”

Michael nodded. “I agree. Someone is changing things, and it’s not us.”

“You think Brody may have returned?” Ricer asked.

“Nope,” Elliot said, suddenly walking up behind them.

Ricer jumped in surprise.

“I can promise you Brody won’t be bothering you anymore,” Elliot informed.

“What’s going on?” Nicole asked.

“I can’t tell you. Against the rules. I’m only allowed to get involved if you’re in danger,” Elliot reminded them.

Michael threw up his hands.

“Is someone else from the train here?” Nicole asked.

“Nope,” Elliot replied.

“Wait what?” Michael asked.

“Tell you later,” Nicole said.

“I can say this much. If you’re going to make a difference, you had better hurry up and find a new ride,” Elliot said.

“We have a car,” Michael said.

“That car’s not going anywhere, not on those tires,” Elliot pointed out.

Looking back at the car they had borrowed, Michael saw that both rear tires were flat.

“Seriously? What do—” he began.

But when he turned, he saw that Elliot had disappeared.

“We have to find Nolan now!” Nicole announced.

“Well at least we know where he’s going to be. Maybe we can get there before it’s too late,” Michael said.


*          *          *


After they found another car, Michael drove them back to the burned-out rec center.

“You and Lucy wait here,” Nicole told Ricer as she and Michael hurried into the remains of the building.

Their hopes were dashed when they found the bloody body of James Nolan hanging from one of the blackened rafters. Nicole reached up and checked for a pulse.

“He’s dead,” she said.

Nicole saw that Michael was frozen in place, staring at something. She was about to ask him what was wrong but then she felt it too.

As she turned and followed Michael’s gaze, she saw at the back of the building someone in the shadows watching them.

Published in: on January 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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