Tuesday 9 April 2019

Episode 68 - Hell on earth

“So that’s what you’re up to, meeting another woman.  How many have you got on the go?”  Her constricted tone matched the wild-eyed fury.
Angela still didn;t have any idea who this woman was, but it was obvious Al knew her, and she was surprised at the severe expression on her face, one she had not seen on anyone since her old high school science teacher, a woman who kept such an expression for the benefit of dealing with her more annoying students of which Angela had been at the top of the list.
It was also clear that her the woman had not recognized her, but that might be easily explained.  Angela had changed a lot in the last few months, less weight, change in hairstyle and color, new clothes, a complete makeover in fact.
“This is not any other woman.”  Al had been equally furious.  “And what the hell are you doing here?” Al had suddenly become very angry, and Angela had seen flashes of his temper before.
Miriam surveyed Al with very cold eyes.  He was up to something, she thought.  And it must be a secret otherwise he would have told her.  “You didn’t come home, suspicious enough, but leaving a flight number and airport name on your pad made me more suspicious.  I was right to be so.  Who is she?”
Miriam sent a look of pure malevolence in Angela’s direction.  Jealousy, she thought, which made this woman one of Al’s mistresses.  This wasn’t what she came for, to be caught in the middle of a domestic.
Angela saw him hesitate for a few seconds, the look of a man trying to put together a story. It was clear this woman didn’t know who she was, and it looked like Al wanted to keep it that away.
“This is one of the three women that Cathy used to live with before she was murdered.  You and I know both know I didn’t do it, and she has information that will prove it.”
The woman grabbed onto Al’s arm for emphasis and both were standing in the middle of the walkway. Other arriving passengers were finding themselves caught in mid-stride, suddenly confronted by two angry combatants stopped in front of them instead of walking, and found themselves having to walk around, causing a minor disturbance.
Miriam glared at Angela.  “Who are you really?  Don't I recognize you from somewhere?”
“I have been in magazines, once, when I was a model.  Not so much these days.  Other than that, no.  I just have one of those faces.”
“What do you know about Cathy’s death?”
It needed a quick, and decisive answer, and back up Al’s lame excuse.  “You get nothing till I get fifty grand.  I assure you the information is legit.”  She had to do a little adlibbing of her own.  This woman with Al was a problem, a big problem.  She’d finally recognized her, taking into account the garish hair colors and a lot of facial rebuilding, some of it not so good.  Miriam Waters.  Her father had never trusted her and said she was one of Al’s former partners in crime.
Angela was surprised it was not his wife, Aunt Jennifer.  “Who are you, then,” she asked Miriam.
“That’s for me to know and you to find out.”  Her eyes shifted back to Al.  “This is a shakedown.  Time to walk away.  Now.”
Al looked at Angela and gave a little shrug.  “Sorry.”
Then he joined Miriam, obviously the best outcome for the pair of them, and the throng heading for the exit, leaving her standing, not necessarily open-mouthed watching them.
Very well orchestrated, she thought.  She had the piece of paper that had the hotel name and location on it, given to her just before Miriam arrived, so it off to the hotel, and wait for his call.
She had a million and one questions.

There had not been another meeting   She got a call from Al to meet him at Outtell, the finance company he owned with his brother Joseph, and their partner Brightwater.  That much she knew, but that was about all she knew about her father’s business.  Her mother never talked about it at home.
And, when she arrived, Al was dead, and some Private Detective by the name of Walthenson was tied up in the room with her uncle’s so-called dead body.   Everyone knew dead men didn't walk away, or walk anywhere for that matter.
And in the short period of time both of them had stepped out of that room, that body had disappeared.  She knew that wasn't possible and that something else was going on.
A month later, no one was closer to finding out the truth.
That was why she went to see Walthenson in hospital.  It had been a little disconcerting to see him being carried away by two men who didn’t look the friendly sort, and hoped it had nothing to do with the Jones’ murders.
Despite what he had told her, she still believed it did.
Now it was a case of finding out what her mother knew.

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

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