This is my psychiatrist's couch. Take from it what you will.
But do leave a note.
I still am a late middle aged former government worker killing time.
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Sleep was futile.Energy bounced through him and then back out again. He was more alive
than he had ever been. Rushing blood and breathing were the white noise on
which he worked. Carefully, he attached the last of the metal threads to their
connectors. It has to be just right.
What was the guy’s name the priest mentioned the other night,
John? Yeah, wandered the wilderness for the 40 days, with locusts and honey and
desperation was his lot. He escaped only to bow to something greater. It was a concept he was both familiar with and
hated. HE was the greatest.They will
bow to me, not the other way around.
Lucifer Light was what they called him in the hospital. Keep the light away from him, he’ll burn
you! Maybe. But they weren’t the pigs. They were their keepers and
servants. Not worth the time.
Who needs a loin cloth or a tunic to prove greatness?Expanding gases and shrapnel will voice his arrival out of the wilderness, and it will make his way straight.
The highball glass sat on table about half full. Silhouetted with the square bottle and row of crackers, it was a Still Life
waiting to be painted. The gray and black with tinges of amber. Absently sipping the warm liquid, Murray
became lost in his thoughts. Carol would nag him tomorrow, pointing out the
liquor made him half of himself, closed up and stoic. Not the fun loving man
locked up in its prison. She was right, she always was. He wasn’t a mean drunk,
just needed to be alone. But putting it aside would have to wait until the axe
falls, hopefully somewhere other than this house.
Beezelbub was going to lash out. But without a little more
information, there was no probable cause for a search warrant. Since that drug
raid that left the old lady dead, the process had been tightened up and you
needed a real conspiracy. The where and how was what the Psychic couldn’t
provide them, only that there would be no unfinished business. It wasn’t a dead
end lead, just one without a hook to go forward. No method or a place, it would be a fishing expedition.
The Lawyers would love that.
Was this personal? It sure seemed like it. Allen was the
right personality to blame anyone but himself for the fire, or for any other
misery that might have befallen him. An fuzzy image of him jumping over the
table bubbled up.Pain flowed in his cheek as the broken teeth clamped
down. Killing the messenger? In that twisted mind, surely that was what was happening.Smacking the Hound of Hell in the head with a pair cuffs got him off. Allen was screaming
that he would avenge his cousin’s death. The last image of the hogtied form being
carted off faded away.
Yeah, that grudge no amount of drugs would have erased and
he had twelve years to hone it.
Atlanta PD had been as a courtesy. If something did turn up
on Allen, they would be the ones doing the searching. The call had actually been
fruitful, though. They had been tipped
by a worker at a coffee shop about Allen’s behavior. He would come in with his
laptop and spend hours fiddling with his settings before seeming to do real
work. It confirmed in Murray’s mind that a direct IP trace wasn’t going to
work.But it was a small piece of the
puzzle. There just wasn’t quite enough to justify either a warrant or
continuous surveillance to glue those pieces together.
The amber liquid twinkled in the moonlight, beckoning at
least the escape from the reality of his thoughts. Picking it up, the cold blue
eyes stared intently to see if this crystal ball might give a light in the fog.
The interior silence gave up nothing and no one. There would be no snitching
from inside his mind. Chiding himself on thinking it would, he slugged the
The picture was a whim. Monkey Dirty Harry just struck him
funny and he just had to share. Kicking a hornet’s nest was fun. He had learned
to run in a zig zag pattern to confuse the lead insects.The lead pigs would be looking for him like
the hornets. And maybe they would find
him before show time, but he didn’t think so. The trail to him was muddy and
obscure and the bush that he hides in is not visible to the naked eye.
Absently, he packed the remaining pipes and fittings into a
storage container. Exhilaration tinged with a bit of dread filled him. Sarah
would be avenged and those pig bastards that had ruined his life would be dead.
Had he gotten all the wire?
Surveying the apartment one last time, it appeared like it
had never been occupied. Good. It would soon be all over and he would not be coming back.
left the small house, he thought to himself. The woman was an enigma. She would interesting to him if he had been single.The psychic crap never
did much for him, but her energy was unmistakable.
interview went well enough. Ms. Walker described how Allen had called for an
appointment. She had worked with him when he first got out of Georgia Regional,
but it had been about a year since she had last seen him. She had some errands
to run, so set the appointment for after dinner.She was finishing up her Moo Goo Gai Pan when
he got there. She cleaned up and went out to meet him.
earlier sessions, she knew he was schizophrenic.That wasn't uncommon among her clients. But th figure that met her had given pause. The face reminded her of
Hercules after slaying the Hydra. His scent, sweat, exhaustion combined with the drivers
of Hades, filled the room. The purpose of the meeting was to slow everything to
focus, she knew that. Tea and small talk made him comfortable and relaxed where they could
work. She went on to explain that most of the benefit from alternate
spirituality is in participant’s head.
Psychiatry by another name still smelled like
bullshit, to Murray. But, who was he to judge?
had gone pretty smoothly until she noticed him looking the picture of the
Castle. What had she called it? The Shiver of the Scythe? A Grim Reaper
reference, Murray knew. Allen kept
talking about unfinished business and how Vlad the Impaler never used cheap
tricks on his enemies, ones that didn’t last. No, tricks and events he used were
permanent and so were the ones Allen planned. She quickly ran through the
reading to get him out of there. Afterward he left; she saw case file online
and couldn’t sleep.
When he got
back to headquarters, he was met with a mini conference that had congregated at
his desk. Gomez, Jackson, Cap and two other detectives with frowns and crossed
arms were waiting. What now? Jackson
waived him over, pointing at his computer screen.
Has a friend
He wants to play
Today is your day.
words floating across the screen under the picture of a small chimp pointing a
Glock at an unknown target. Murray’s eyes grew wide at the image.
did THAT come in?” Murray asked.
fifteen minutes ago.” Jackson took a slug out a water bottle. “We all got a
who might have…” Murray broke off. “Never mind, I can guess.”
Hudgins broke in “He’s upping his game. Allen must think we are stupid.”
“But, can we
tie this to him?” Murray, turned to one of the other detectives. “See if
Computer Forensics can to an IP search on this. Allen isn’t dumb, he probably
knows how to hide his tracks, but it would be worth it to see if he originating
computer was local.”
Moonlike, the face reflected the glow from the screen.
“..and now my Brothers
and Sisters as we begin the quadragesimal journey into the personal wilderness that is Lent, we strive for a
plan ofexamination for our souls…”
The white clad figure droned on.
“Yeah, right.” Jeremy spoke at the screen. “I’m tired of
being in the wilderness.”
Ever impatient, he pressed the remote button.
“..I’m feeling like a
bad boy, mmm just like a bad boy. I’m ripping up a rag doll…”
The singer’s curls looked almost three dimensional on the
little screen. Jeremy smiled at the cute
figure, knowing what was to come.
Blackness replaced the glow. There was a lot of data to
process, and like the Priest said, a lot to plan. The forty days for him was
And yes, he was going to be very, very bad boy.
Pigs think they are smart, don’t they? They were too obvious
rooting around those cars. They were in the wrong place for the hit. Who cares?
It wasn’t time, yet. Two packages were safely tucked in the trunk and they didn’t
know. Just put on a song and dance out the back seat and let them wonder.
The crimson taillights of rush hour snaked slowly up the
freeway. Outlines of warehouses and cheap stores were lit by scarlet remains of the day.
Silence in the car was broken only by random squawks, routing units to small
dramas around the county. The oppressive tension, as each man
pondered what they had seen.
Gomez broke the silence
“So, what were we watching back there?”
“Not really sure. Maybe a rehearsal for something?” Murray
jerked the wheel to get around a particularly slow sedan.
“Yeah, that was kind of what I was thinking, a waltz with an
“More like the Masochism Tango.”
Laughter broke the tension.
“Yeah, he looks like that four-eyed geek.” Gomez took a sip
of his soda. “I used to listen to him when I was a kid.”
“Do you think he saw us?” Murray scratched along the edge of
his bald spot.
“I doubt it. He looked like he was possessed.” Gomez turned
down the radio. “Like that old show, ‘Outer Limits.’ Remember how it used to come
on and say that they controlled your TV? I think our boy there was controlled
by some outside force.”
Traffic slowed as they approached the 316 exit. Two cruisers
were on the shoulder. Three cars were lined up like ducklings in various stages
of damage. Just a simple damage claim and everyone had to watch.
“Yeah, kind of like what we have now. ‘Oooh, look at the pretty blue
and red lights.’”
Murray tapped the horn and went around the car in front of
him. The other driver responded with his middle finger.He opened his mouth to say something, but was
interrupted with the ring of his phone.
“Lt. Murray…Yeah?” He motioned to Gomez for a pen.
the name” He wrote while keeping one eye on the car in front of him. “Sandra
Walker... Address?...Where is that?... Atlanta? OK… Yeah, Cap, we just saw Allen
as we were leaving the Torres notification...No, I still don’t think he’s
involved in the hookers, but I am wondering if he isn’t planning something to
piggyback on them...We’re on our way back, we’ll call her and see if it is worth
pursuing. See ya in a few.” He clicked
“What was that about?”
“Some Psychic lady down in the City just called in to
Crimestoppers. Said our boy Jeremy was planning some kind of revenge.”