Sunday 16 June 2019

Episode 90 – A visit by an enigmatic father

Kids are always scared of their parents, no matter how nice they seem or act.  Harry was told once by his aunt it was a parent’s job to be mean and scary.  Harry would be the first to attest that his father took the job very seriously.

Another angry rap on the door and he took a deep breath and opened it.

“Where have you been?”  Not so much as a how are you, or how glad he was to see his son.
“Here, as always, unless I’m out on a case.  Except of course, if I have to spend some time in the hospital recovering from nearly being killed, but I’m fine by the way, thanks for asking.”

Harry’s father gave him a long measured look. “You don't look like anything is wrong with you.”
“Appearances can be deceptive Dad, you taught me that.  Come in.”

Harry stepped to one side, let him pass, and then closed the door behind him.  His father stopped several steps in and looked at the room.  There were still signs of the break-in, but you had to be looking for them.  Another thing about his father, he never missed anything.

“What happened?”

“Not only did I get turned inside out, so did my office.”

“What were they looking for?”

Yep, that’s his Dad.  More interested in what was missing and not how Harry was feeling.
“I have no idea what they were after.  Do you?”

It was tossed in as a joke.  To his father, no doubt it was anything but.  “What?”

“I said ...”

“I know what you said.  Why do you think I might know?”

“It was a joke, Dad.”

“It’s not something I would joke about.”

Harry sighed inwardly.  This was going to go from bad to worse very quickly.

“Follow me.  My office is slightly more liveable, and there’s a chair you can sit on.  Then you can tell me why you came.”

He looked at the sofa, Harry had no idea why, but it seemed to capture the attention of everyone who came to the office, another glance around, then towards the door, which worried him, and satisfied, followed him in.

They sat.

His father didn’t take off his coat or hat.  It was not going to be a long visit.

His look of contempt, disapproval, or more likely, disdain, didn’t lessen when he walked into the office.  A cursory glance around the room before his eyes returned to Harry.  As always, it made him uncomfortable.

“What have you got yourself mixed up in?”

“Nothing I can’t handle.”

“You almost got killed.”

So he was aware of Harry’s circumstances.  That was probably due to Sykes.

“I’m surprised you had time in your schedule to find out what happened to me.”

“Some policeman by the name of Sykes called on your mother.  Said you’d been in an accident.”

Good for Sykes.  He’d have to thank him for not making the details of what happened available to anyone, including his parents.  Not until he could talk to them personally.

“In a manner of speaking.”

“Were you careless or at fault?”

Always considering how much trouble Harry could cause the family.  He’d once referred to Harry as a ‘black sheep’.  Harry doubted he was joking then.

“Nothing to worry about.  It won’t reflect on the family.”

An interesting change in expression.  Maybe his father thought it would.

“Where’s your sister?”

Harry looked around the room.  “Unless she’s hiding in the cupboard, she’s not here.”

“Don’t be flippant with me.”

“Then, she’s not here.”

“Is she working with you?”

“No.  She came to see me because she also heard from Sykes about my accident, and then visited here.  She seemed surprised I could have a life outside the house.”

“This isn’t having a life.  What do you investigate?  Missing cats and dogs.”

So he’d been keeping up with my work, and this after telling his son he didn’t care one jot what he did with his life.

“And a few other cases involving people.  I’m working on three currently, and, no, they were not the cause of the accident.”

“Are you sure?  Because my information is the Jones brothers are not the sort of people you want to be dealing with.  They are very dangerous.”

OK, that came out of left field.  Harry tried to keep the shock out of his tone. “And you know this because?”

“Before one was murdered and the other disappeared presumed dead, I was an intermediary between my client and them for a rather large loan.”

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Saturday 15 June 2019

Episode 89 - Harry and the Jones’ file

There were only two people who might have cleaned up the Jones files and left it sitting on a clean part of the desk.

Either Corinne or more than likely, Felicity.

As for the other files, some were still on the desk, but the rest were in the filing cabinet, some looking as though they’d been thrown there.  An indication either or both had left in a hurry?

Stop analysing, Harry told himself.

Of  course, there was no doubt both of them had a tidy streak in them and had rearranged the file in a different order than he had left it.  That, he guessed, had more to do with the fact it had probably been scattered amongst the other paper still on the floor, and she had assembled in much the same methodical way in which her mind worked.

Whoever it had been, they were far more organised, and more importantly intuitive than he had ever been, one only had to look at the way Corinne, it had been her, filed her schoolwork.

He could also see that they had attempted to put other files back together but clearly, for them, it was a lost cause.  Looking at the mess now, he agreed and simply shrugged.

It was a moot point whether he’d clean the office up properly before his father arrived.  His father was the one person Harry knew who would look very disdainfully at the office, and more likely than not to blame him for the mess rather than the true culprits.

Somehow his father always managed to turn an argument around and dump the blame on his son.  Perhaps he should not have tried to strike out on his own, and, in his father’s eyes, fail.  And that in itself was an interesting question.  When the going got tough, did Harry get going, or stall?

Would he be any further with the Jones case if he had not been attacked?  It seemed from what Corinne said after her meeting with Sykes, that even the detective was no further advanced.
Had Sykes interviewed Angela yet?

It was a mistake on her part to come and pick him up from the hospital, and a worse mistake on his part to agree to be taken to her place.  Harry was not sure if she felt sorry for him, or it was a case of keeping an enemy close.  At this point, he was more inclined to believe the latter.

Corinne was right, and he should start talking to Sykes, and even more so now that he had a lot more information.  For one thing, Sykes needed to know that Angela was in the building the same time as he was, and she had seen the body.  Sykes had been sceptical at the time, but Al had not shown up and was still listed officially as a missing person.

But, as a little voice in the back of the head kept telling him, Angela was not going to tell the truth unless it suited whatever game she was playing.

Harry went through the reconstructed file, and as he was reading it, he saw different possibilities and conclusions, including one noted at the bottom of the last page, left by Corinne.

“Al is still alive?????”

It was a reasonable assumption.

An impatient rapping on the outside door interrupted that thought.

Harry put the file away, stacking several others on top of it, and went out to the front door.
No mistaking the figure outlined through the window.

His father.

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Thursday 13 June 2019

Episode 88 – Harry returns to the office

Harry was not surprised when he opened the door to the office and saw the lack of mess in front of him.  He was surprised to see that it was not as bad as it could have been and that he assumed was because of either Corinne or Felicity had cleaned it up.

More than Corinne ever did at home, he thought, remembering the old days when he lived at home and the bribery involved to clean their own rooms, all of them except Corinne.

Her mother gave up asking just closed the door and pretended it didn't exist.

He went in, closed the door behind him, and then took a quick look at the extent of the damage.  Little to the furniture, books back in the wrong places, files likewise in the cabinet, it appeared whoever paid his office a visit was looking for something specific.

In his office, it didn’t take long to realise the paper he had stuck to the bottom of the drawer had been removed.  The edges of the tape were still there, so it was safe to assume the visitor had found what they were looking for.  Everything else had been to convince the police it was a random robbery.
So the break-in was solely about the address.


It was just an empty block.

Was there something special about it?

It was down on an area of the docks that was slated to be turned into a number of possible projects, an entertainment centre, a five-star hotel and shopping mall, luxury apartments.  He remembered reading about it in the paper some months ago, but couldn't remember the details.  He would have to find the paper or look it up on the internet.

Another look showed his computer was missing, presumably taken by the thieves.  It was a good thing he had everything backed up in the cloud.  Or it could be locked away.  The thief hadn’t taken a few other items that would net him or her quite a tidy sum.  There was nothing on the computer that would be useful to them.  He never kept notes on there, but intangible files with handwritten notes. 

Old style.

Another question; had Corinne or Felicity called the police about the break-in?

He sat down, putting his cell phone on the desktop.  He was going to call Felicity, he just needed to consider what questions to ask.

The phone rang, vibrating loudly on the desktop, waking him.  He hadn't realised he'd drifted off.
He looked at the screen.


He answered the call putting it on the speakerphone.  “Corinne.  Where are you?”

“At Uni for the moment, got an assignment to finish.  Just wanted to know how you are.  The hospital said you discharged yourself despite their advice.”

“I had to get back to work.  I can’t justify you doing anything considering the danger”.

“And I told you I can take care of myself.”

“I disagree but I'm not going to argue with you now.  A couple of questions.  You've been to my office, did you call the police?”

“Apparently Felicity did.  She told Sykes.  I think he’s annoyed that you were poking your nose into matters that don’t concern you.  You know the standard police warning for civilians.”

Harry thought that amusing considering he had no idea which case had provoked the kidnapping, torture and attempted murder.

And aside from that, it was best, he thought, not to tell her it was about that empty block, something both, as far as he was aware, neither she nor Sykes was aware of.

For the moment.

He knew he needed more information before he could go to Sykes with it.

“Something, I think, you should also take heed of.  Anything else I should know?”

“Yes.  Dad is coming to see you.  He managed to wring your office address out of me.  Sorry.”
And before he could comment she disconnected the call.

Damn.  His father was the last person he wanted to see.

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Monday 10 June 2019

Episode 87 - Food for thought

Harry woke up in unfamiliar surroundings an for a moment or two felt disoriented.  It was not the hospital and thinking long and hard he finally remembered it was Angela who met him at the hospital and brought him to her apartment.

It was an offer, at the time; he could hardly decline since he now doubted he would have lasted very long if he had gone to the office.  Here the bed was comfortable and warm.  He turned his head to look at the room and discovered he was not alone.  It was a long time since he had woken up in the same bed as a woman.

But it was hardly what it looked like.  He could hardly expect Angela to sleep on the sofa in her own apartment.

He thought about getting out of the bed then realised it might wake her so he lay still and waited.  A half hour passed before she stirred and rolled over to face him.

“Been awake long?”

It was not necessarily the first question he would have asked.

“A half hour.”  He was going to lie but he had a feeling she already knew the answer to her question.
“I don’t do this for every stray private investigator I hired to work for me.”

“Has there been more than one?”

A rather interesting look from her, bordering somewhere between annoyed and bemused, but no direct answer.  Instead, she said, “You should have stayed in the hospital.”

“And as I said yesterday I have to get back to work.  I have your case to work on and I’ve lost enough time with this other problem.  The trail is getting colder by the day.”

“According to Sykes, it’s dead and his boss has told him to spend less time on it.  To me, it looks like he’s all but given up.  He still doesn’t think Brightwater was murdered.”

Not quite what Corinne had told him, and understandable from Sykes point of view.  He didn’t want to give too much away in his investigation.  Especially if his suspicions were falling on her.  “And you do?”

“Of course.”


“Perhaps he knew something he shouldn’t, something to do with one or other of the Jones brothers, or even both of them.”

“Or maybe he was a co-conspirator with their murderer for all we know.  I never really got the chance of asking him any questions.  But other than that, do you have a theory on who killed them?”

“No.  But I suspect Joe was killed because he had something to do with my cousin’s death.”

“That murder case that Al went to jail for?”

“He wasn’t responsible, and most likely framed.”

“By whom?”

“I think it was Joseph.”

No doubt if Al thought that, it would make him angry, but was it angry enough to kill his brother or have him killed.  Al didn’t seem to be all that concerned in anything else beyond thinking Joseph was having an affair with his wife.  To me, it was a straight forward case of sibling rivalry over women.”

Time to ask the question that had been in the back of his mind for quite some time.  “Was the gun you handed me in that room at Outtel’s office, Al’s murder weapon?”

“How should I know?  I found the gun on the floor in another room that was empty.”

“When you said you were looking for Al.”

“He called me.”

“How did you get into the office?”

It was another aspect of her appearance, as in out of thin air.

“Al said he left a door at the rear of the building which he did.  What are you implying?”

“I’m trying to get figure out what happened that night you turned up.  Al was there, he was dead, you turned up, gave me the gun, and then disappeared, as did Al’s body.  Then the police turned up like someone expected them to catch me red-handed with the murder weapon.”

“It’s an interesting premise, but I didn’t do it to you.”

No, he thought, maybe or maybe not but he had a bad feeling it was possible Al was still alive somewhere, using everyone as pawns in a much larger game.  And, what was worse, he had a bad feeling she was lying about her involvement.

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Episode 86 - Discharged

There was too much going on to remain on the sidelines, not that he was able to do very much.  He could understand why the doctor was reticent about letting him go.

Nearly a month, a lot of the time in an induced coma, and little exercise since.  He was weak, and his legs felt rubbery, but he had to put all of that to one side.

A taxi pulled up in front of him and the back door opened. 


“What are you doing,” she asked, still seated in the rear seat.

“Going back to work.”

“You're kidding.  After what happened to you?  I thought the doctors said you'd be out of action for at least three months.”

“Needs must.”  He didn't feel like explaining his actions to her, or to anyone.

“Then let me take you home.”  She got out of the car and stood to one side holding the door.

Nagging at the back of his mind was a suspicion that this was a trap of some sort, particular after Corinne had voiced her opinion of her.  Perhaps he had too much time to think about the players, and Angela was still the one who had been holding the smoking gun, and had passed it to him.

Could he trust her?

He shrugged, and after giving her a long hard look, got in and slid over to the other side of the seat.
The taxi seemed real, as did the driver who Harry could see was slightly amused as if he was observing a tiff between an old married couple.

She got in after him and closed the door.

The driver turned to look at him not her.  “Where to?”

Harry gave him the office address.

The first mile was in silence.  Neither looked at the other and it was as if they were deliberately keeping distance between them.  It didn't feel like a wall of ice but it was close.

“You should go home and rest.”  Angela broke the silence between them.

He gave her a measured look.

“Oh, you don't have a home.  You live in that office.”

He chose not to answer, realising it was as good as admitting to it.  He couldn't afford an office and an apartment.

“I have an apartment.  It's not much but you can stay with me until you're better.”

“I am better.”  He didn't feel it but he was not sure he could trust her.  The problem was, he was now starting to feel quite ill, and the jostling of the cab was causing him to feel nauseous.

Perhaps she could see it.  He was hot and could feel the sweat running down the side of his face.
She told the driver to go to her apartment, which was closer than his office.  Whether he could trust her or not he had to get out of the cab and wasn’t up to arguing with her.

He heard a phone, not his because it made a different sound, just as the cab stopped outside a brownstone.  By now he was very ill and barely able to stand. Angela came around to help him out of the cab, closed the door, and they headed inside.

It had been her phone and she was talking.  “Yes, he is with me and everything is fine.  I'll see you tomorrow.”

As they went up the stairs he asked, “Who was that?”

“Nothing for you to worry about.  I'll explain everything tomorrow.”

He didn't like the sound of that but that was the least of his problems.  The doctor had been right.  It was too soon.

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Saturday 8 June 2019

Episode 85 - A woman on a mission

Hospitals were not places to get rest or proper recovery.  There always seemed to be something happening, and just as he managed to close his eyes, a nurse or a doctor would come and wake him.
This time it was a visitor, his sister Corinne, and he recognised the expression on her face and it spelled trouble.  Mischievous.  That same expression when they were children spelled trouble, particularly for him, because he was supposed to be older and know better.
Despite Felicity’s warning not to return to the office, she had, and found that Felicity had sorted out the mess, and resorted the files, particularly the one she was most interested in, the Jones cases.  Corinne had also made notes of her own, aside from those Felicity had, in her very clear, but distinctive writing.  She was, Corinne thought, thorough, but she was not the sort who could think outside the box.
“What have you been up to?” he asked her as she sat beside the bed.  He saw the file sticking out of her voluminous handbag, a sign she had taken him seriously.
“Doing what you asked me to do.”
His memory was momentarily hazy and he had to think what that was.  Perhaps he should put his foot down and tell her to go away and not get involved.
“Don't tell me you don't remember.”
“I was almost killed and left for dead, this week’s medical miracle.  You could cut me some slack.”
She smiled, one that would strike fear into any other man's heart.  “You asked me to get the information from Sykes on the Jones brother’s cases.  Sneaky on your part, you didn't quite give me all the necessary details.”
“You were not expected to succeed.  I was hoping to keep you out of this mess.  The last thing I want is for anything to happen to you.  I'm in enough trouble with our parents as it is.”
“I can look after myself.”
“Oddly enough I thought that too until I finished up in the rubbish dump.  It’s the bullet you don't see that kills you, Corinne.  That’s why I asked Felicity to keep an eye on you.”
“If that’s the case, where is she?  I don’t think you should put any trust of faith in her.  Where on earth did you find her, or was it the other way around?”
“Her father is a private investigator, a good one, and so is she.  We met at a convention.”
“That sounds interesting.  I’ve heard what goes on at those conventions.”
“From where?”
“Mother.  She said our father goes to many more than is necessary, and she thinks it had more to do with something else than just work.”
Harry got the inference and the cure from their mother about their father.  She always pulled out the affair card when she couldn’t explain his absences.  But, to Harry, his father was the last person to have an affair.  He was not that sort of man.
“You don’t want to believe everything you hear.  Besides, I did a surveillance operation on him a couple of months back, and the only people I saw him with were some characters that looked like they’d be better accommodated in a prison cell, but we’re talking lawyers here, so no surprised there.”
“Well, like it or not you are stuck with me.  You are basically out of action and, even if this Felicity character is working with you, both of you still need someone like me to do the leg work.  Sykes likes me by the way.”
He sighed.  This was not an argument he was going to win.  When she made up her mind there was no changing it.  He would simply have to find a way of limiting the damage.  But, she was stubborn, like Harry himself, and with more backbone and spirit than any of his bothers.
“Tell me the news.”
“In a nutshell, he all but told me his investigation has hit a brick wall and he's been reassigned to a new case or cases.  He had his money on Brightwater but when he was murdered, they are calling it murder, by the way, that was his whole case derailed.”
“Who are the current suspects?  Does he have a suspect list?”
“Yes, he does.  The wives, and everyone at Outtel basically.  It seems that Brightwater had a sometime partner, a model by the name of Angelina something or other but she has an ironclad alibi too.  The others also have alibis but Sykes said he needed more evidence and time to shake the trees.”
Quaint expression Harry thought, but if he needed more time, it was likely it was not one of them, but likely to be someone else, someone they didn’t know about.
But, he thought, at least there was a new person to investigate.  No one had mentioned Brightwater had a girlfriend.  It made no difference to him if she had an ironclad alibi. It was a question, perhaps, for Angela when he saw her next.
If he saw her again.
“Everyone in the company apparently has a watertight alibi, but some of them are not the sort of people you would want working for you.  You know that Al went to jail back in the day, and when he was there he made some friends, some of whom now work in the company headquarters.  The list just keep getting longer.”
No surprises there, Harry thought, and they would be the sort of friends that would watch his back rather than stick a knife in it.  That reason alone made it unlikely it was anyone in the office.  That just left everyone else not employed by Outtel, a rather large suspect pool.
“Sykes is convinced that some or one of them knows something and they're not talking.  Yet.  As for the women in the director’s lives, they all alibi each other which Sykes thinks there will be something he can investigate if he’s allowed to interrogate them further.”
After so long, it might not be possible.  The department might just throw the cases in the cold case but.  After so long, and nothing concrete to work with...
“No mention of an Angela?”
He noticed the change in her expression and instantly knew the two had met.  There was always something going on between Corinne and the women he knew.
It wasn't a look of hatred, but it looked like there was going to be strained relations between them.  The last thing he needed was a battleground where he had no control.  And if there were going to be problems they would be caused by Corinne.  Her expression changed to sulky as she said quietly, “She's not very high on his list, no.”
“I take it you've met her.”
“At your office.  I thought she was your girlfriend.  She said she'd hired you to do a job for her.”
“Yes, she did.  That makes her a client, not a girlfriend Corinne.”
“Your tone suggests otherwise, and looking at her, she could charm a rattlesnake.  Don’t you think she might be trying to use you to clear her own name by pointing the blame somewhere else.”
A rather interesting question in the light of his own circumstances.  Corinne could be a good judge of character sometimes while other times it had led to trouble.
“She might be trouble but I don't think she's a murderer.”
“Or she might be the perfect assassin and she has you under her spell.  You never were very good at understanding women.”
“But I am an excellent judge of character.’
She looked at him with arched eyebrows.  Her brother was a lot of things but not when it came to a pretty girl.  One day, she thought, he might get lucky.  But in the case of Angela, no.  She was trouble.
“Let's just stick to the facts,” she said, conveniently ignoring that statement.  “We need to know more about her.  That will be my priority.  Sykes will be coming to see you.  I suggest you try and be helpful.  It would be useful for you to have a proper liaison with the police.”
“You really should leave this alone.”
“I should but we need to find who did this to you and put them behind bars.”
“It's not that simple.”
“You know who did this to you?”
Well, he thought, not exactly a no.  Whoever ‘they’ were, they were somehow attached to that address he visited and when he was finally released from the hospital he was going to find out who owned it, or who were connected to it.
“Then we will find out, and I will be careful.  I promise.”

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Thursday 6 June 2019

Episode 84 – Saving a fool from herself

Felicity didn’t trust Corinne.  It was almost as if she could see Corinne’s fingers crossed behind her back when she said she wouldn’t do anything when they both instinctively knew she would.

That address would be burning a hole in her pocket, and like Felicity, she wanted to know what significance the address had in her brother’s near death experience.

The difference between Felicity and Corinne was that Felicity knew it was going to cause trouble and was ready for it.  Corinne was not.

And, as she expected, Corinne had gone home, pottered until it was dark, and then made her move.  She was easy enough to follow, the car she drove was a distinctive yellow, and slow enough to drive anyone stuck behind her crazy.

In a sense, it was a good thing because she nearly gave Felicity the slip on two occasions, but, not knowing she was being followed, and her slow driving meant Felicity couldn’t lose her even if she tried.

Felicity had entered the address into her GPS, and guessed Corinne had done the same, because Corinne was following the exact same route the GPS was displaying.

About 100 yards from the address, Corinne drove her car into an alley and made sure she was facing out towards the road, as if she was expecting trouble.  Good idea, Felicity thought.  She parked in a lay-by just before the alley and has switched off both the headlights and engine by the time Corinne emerged from the alley onto the street.

From where Felicity was standing, the street was empty, or it looked empty.  It was not exactly anywhere near a busy thoroughfare, so it was unlikely they would be disturbed by passing traffic.
Felicity watched her cross the road and head up along the fence line towards the block in question.  It did not seem to have a building on it.  On the other side of the street were old buildings, and a multitude of places for an assailant to hide.

She brought her night binoculars with her, and scanned the building side of the street for any movement, or, if she was lucky enough, any surveillance.

Nothing so far.

Back to Corinne who was now standing outside the fence, or what looked to be a gate, and she was shaking it.  Locks didn’t come apart by shaking them.

She returned her binoculars to the other side of the street, and saw a shadow barely protruding from the building behind it.  Whatever was at that address must be relatively important if there was 24/7 surveillance on it.

By the time the shadow retreated, she guessed Corinne was coming back, and Felicity watched her all the way back to her car.  So, it was surveillance and report, not apprehend and torture, at least not this time.

This was what caused Harry to be kidnapped.

Something about this block at this address.

And the shadow was most likely the same person who had reported on Harry.

When Corinne had driven past, on her way back home, Felicity headed towards where she saw the shadow, keeping very close to the walls of the buildings.  She was hoping the shadow would not realize there were two people who’d come to check the block, and that she might catch him or her unaware.

She arrived just in time to hear the shadow say, “I'll see to it myself.”

She had brought her gun and raised it, then stepped out of the shadow.

“What will you see to yourself?”

The man saw her, moved, then stopped when he saw the gun.  Then relaxed.

“You’re a little young to be running around with a gun, missy.  This is private land and you’re trespassing.”

“This is an open thoroughfare.  I’ll ask again, what will you be seeing to?”

“That’s none of your business.  I suggest you go home and forget what you think you’ve seen.”

Her hand began to shake and she was beginning to lose her nerve.  The man noticed it and lunged.
A loud bang pierced the night and silence, so loud it rang in her ears.  She saw the man’s face and the look of utter surprise on it as it slid past her on the way to the ground.

Her first shot in the field and it hit the target.

By accident.

She had no intention of shooting him, but he had lunged, frighten her making her pull the trigger.  What did her father say, never have your finger wrapped around the trigger unless you meant to shoot?

Seconds later he was on the ground and blood leaking from his stomach area.  It looked bad.  He was not dead, but he didn’t look all that good.

“You shot me.”  Indignation mingled with pain.

“You made me.  All you had to do was answer the question.  Instead, you startled me.”

“A goddamn girl shot me.  Christ, how am I supposed to explain this?  Who the hell are you?”

“A friend of Harry Walthenson.  I’m sure he came here too, and you took care of him.”

“I did nothing of the kind.  I just report to the boss who comes here.  What he does with it is his business.  This is ridiculous.”  He tried to get up but couldn’t.  He glared up at her.  “Call an ambulance and the police.  I’d like to see you explain this.”

“Not until you tell me who the boss is?”

“No.  He’ll kill you for this.  Call an ambulance and get the hell out of here.”

“So you can come after me later.  No.  Answers first.”

He grimaced.  The pain was getting worse.  “OK.  Florenz, the man’s name is Florenz.  Now call me a goddamn ambulance and get out of here.”

She dialled the number and reported the address, but not the exact details of the injury then got in her car and drove off.  Two minutes later she passed the ambulance going in the other direction, followed by a police car.

She had a name, not that it meant anything at the moment, but that was surpassed by the dreaded feeling that if the man survived, he was definitely going to come after her.

© Charles Heath 2016-2019