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Authors: J. T. Lewis

Tags: #Mystery

Murder! Too Close To Home (7 page)

BOOK: Murder! Too Close To Home
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“Come on; let’s start looking for that back door.”

 

Chapter 16

February 21, 1997

 

“How is your progress on the preparations?” the raspy whisper asked the man as soon as he lifted the phone’s receiver to his ear. Having not been expecting the call so soon, he was momentarily taken aback, but he recovered within seconds and verbally checked off his list from memory.

“I have everything except the last item, but it will be tough to get, at least one that looks like the real deal.”

A moaning sound traveled to his ears over the phone line. “That item has been taken care of,” Jasmine whispered quickly.

“You can pick it up at the second drop-off. Look for a black garbage bag, the package will have everything you need.”

Upon finishing the statement, the mentor abruptly hung up, leaving the man staring at the receiver.

Hanging up the phone, the man grabbed his coat and keys and headed for the door. He had been tired when Jasmine had called, even thinking about going to bed early. Now he was recharged and ready for action. Starting his car, he headed for the drop-off within a minute of hanging up the phone, in a hurry to see what she had for him.

The second location was along the levy walk that surrounded the town. Parking in the public lot, the man got out of the car and pulled up the collar of his coat. The wind was strong here, and there was snow in the air. He could smell the water of the river from where he stood, the scent growing stronger as he mounted the steps that would take him to the path on top of the levy.

As he approached the third light post from the flood gate, he realized that the package would probably be off the path, the light level being too high up on the path.

Arriving at the light, he walked a few feet toward the river, looking intently for the garbage bag. Seeing what he thought was his target about thirty feet farther downhill, he started walking down the embankment.

After but a few feet his foot slipped on the snow and he tumbled on down past the garbage bag. Letting out a string of cuss words, he got himself stopped and crawled his way back to the package.

Untying the bag, he stuck his hand in blindly, feeling what felt like crumbled newspaper. Working his way past that, his hand found a paper bundle, appearing to be neatly taped and folded.

Removing his hand, he retied the bag and limped back to the path, having bruised and scraped his leg badly on a rock during his fall. Looking both directions to make sure he was alone, he slowly proceeded back to his car, the trip taking twice as long as he limped along like an old man on his way to the store.

His teeth were chattering by the time he approached his vehicle, his fingers so numb that he dropped his keys twice before finally finding the hole and unlatching his door.

Once inside, he threw the bag into the back seat and started the car, turning the heat up full blast as he waited for the warmth to seep into his body. After a few minutes, he felt warm enough to start home and backed out of the slot, taking his time on the drive so as not to draw any unwanted attention.

Arriving back at his apartment, he immediately went to the couch and extracted the package from the garbage bag. Tearing open the paper, he was surprised to see what was inside, the detail of the items marking them as the real thing.

“How did she get a hold of these?” he thought to himself as he let his fingers caress the fabric. The thought of this next project brought a thrill to his racing mind. As his heartbeat increased in his chest, his eye started to flutter as a film of sweat formed on his lip and forehead.

Pulling out the necklace and stroking it with his fingers, he finally calmed himself down, gathering up the package and taking it to his old footlocker. Grabbing the key for the lock from under the yellow ceramic ashtray he had made while in grade school, he gingerly opened the faded green trunk he had obtained from a surplus store a few years before.

Religiously placing the contents of the package on top of other of his treasures, he closed the lid and relocked the padlock, eyes lingering on the pink flowers on the ashtray as he replaced the key.

He had made the ceramic for his mother while in the fifth grade, and although a smoker, she had merely grunted at the sight of his gift, shoving it to the back of one of the kitchen cabinets, out of sight. She had been killed later that year by one of the
‘uncles’
she entertained nearly nightly.

After her death, he had been passed around to a few of her distant relatives, but eventually had ended up spending his youth in a string of foster homes.

After attaining adulthood, he had visited his mom’s killer in his prison home, not letting on his true identity to the convicted felon.

The jailed man’s name was Mark Jason Lee, and he had actually been convicted of three murders, the man’s mother having been the second. After an initial awkward period, the man had finally drawn out the killer by telling him that he admired his talent and would like to write a book about his exploits.

After that the Ghost had visited often under the pretext of gathering information for the “book”, learning both how the man had committed the three murders…as well as two more that the authorities didn’t know about.

Since Mr. Lee didn’t want anything published until after his death by lethal injection the next year, the
author’s
inability to actually write a book was never brought to question. And of course, the subject of royalties being sent to his family after the book was sold, well that just wouldn’t happen would it.

At the end of his last visit with Mark Jason Lee, the man leaned forward and told the convicted murderer his real identity. After the initial confusion cleared from his head, Lee looked scared for a few seconds, then angry. Leaning forward quickly and banging his fists on the Plexiglas window, he let fly a stream of expletives that would have embarrassed a sailor.

The future Ghost waited out the anger, calmly sitting there with a small smile on his face.

After the prisoner had calmed down, the man finally spoke.

“I’m sorry for the deception, but I needed to know what made you tick. I needed to know why you killed my mother, not because she was my mother, but just because I needed to know. Thinking about it now, I probably would have killed her myself at some point. I did what I did because I admire you and wanted to learn from you.”

Confused, the prisoner stared at the man for a minute, and then called the guard to take him back to his cell. Mr. Lee was executed two weeks later, taking his secrets, and the man’s, to the grave with him.

The man had learned a lot from Mark Jason Lee. He had learned almost everything he needed.

The executed murderer had been the master for his greatest student, the “Ghost”.

 

***

 

Jasmine had taken the opportunity to call her student as Wong was getting ready. Although he was small in
every
way, Wong had two things that Jasmine absolutely craved, money and an amazing sexual stamina.

“How is the progress on the preparations?” she’d asked her minion in the whisper she always used with the idiot. As she listened to his rambling, yet amazingly complete listing, she felt the small but strong hands of her lover move around her chest.

Coming to rest on her breasts, Wong proceeded to manipulate her nipples through the thin silk cloth of her lingerie. They in turn responded rapidly as he pulled his body close and she felt the bulge of his erection.

Leaning her blonde head back into his, she let herself go, releasing a low moan that rumbled up from the center of her being. Suddenly remembering her phone call, she quickly rattled off the information to her student before clicking off the phone.

Dropping the cell to the floor, she turned rapidly and kissed Wong with full tongue as her hands expertly worked his manhood.

This will be a night for him to remember,”
she thought to herself as another moan rumbled in her throat.

“And I believe a bonus will be in order,”
she happily contemplated as she pushed him down on the bed and, starting at his toes, flicked her skilled tongue up his hairless skin as she worked her way along his body on her hands and knees.


Definitely a bonus night!”

 

Chapter 17

March 9, 1997

 

Entering the room again from who knows where, I headed to my chair and parked it, grabbing my coffee and taking a large swallow of the hot brew. It is very hot, yet it didn’t burn, rolling instead down my throat like a life-giving elixir.

Refreshed, I leaned forward and fixed my eyes on at the chess board, determined to win the ongoing game with my unseen opponent.

Something seemingly was not as it should be however. There was something about the placement of the pieces that was tugging at my meager brain.

Finally I saw it!

A series of moves had happened that would have me in check in three turns if I don’t alter course.

Excitedly, I mulled over the alternatives and finally settled on a strategy that got me out of the dog house…for the moment.

The overconfidence that had enveloped me earlier had been trimmed down a bit. The whole process seemed to have taken about a half an hour, although time was different in the room. The fact that I had not taken a sip of coffee the whole time had left me feeling slightly deficient.

Sitting back and taking a long draw of the heavenly brew, I had the sudden feeling I was being watched, by whom and from where I could not determine. I tried to ignore my paranoid reaction and continued sipping from my cup, savoring the magnificent taste that I never seemed to tire of.

Bringing the cup to my lips once more, I was halted by a slight noise seeming to come from behind me. Staying stock still as I listened intently, I heard no other sound except the crackling of the fire in the fire place.

Setting the cup down, I leaned my head back into the chair, letting out a long breath as I closed my eyes to relax. The slightest of sounds reached my ears once again, sounding much like what I would guess a mouse might sound like crossing the floor.

I opened my eyes, leaning forward slightly and turning my head slowly to see what the source of the noise was.

I jerked awake in my bed, the sound of soft breathing next to me the only noise apparent. Rolling over and squinting at the alarm clock revealed the time to be 5:30 AM…as usual. My body has been on the same schedule for years, jolting awake at this early hour whether it was a weekend, workday or vacation.

Rolling onto my back and staring at the ceiling, I thought back to my dreams, wondering for the thousandth time what they meant and why I had them. Yielding no new revelations this time, it had made me wonder if I had just missed something.

Of course having always been alone in the room on previous occasions, the feeling that I was in the presence of someone this time certainly put a new spin on things.

Thinking on this for a few more minutes and coming to no good explanation, I quietly rolled out of bed so as not to wake Betty. At least she could sleep in on the weekends.

As I made my way downstairs I was met by Lucy. The sound of my footsteps had always sent her into her morning dance of rising up off of her front legs and doing circles around me until I opened the back door and let her out. She pushes through the partially opened door and took off on her rounds, smelling the corners of the yard and taking care of her bodily functions.

I crossed the kitchen and got the coffee going, then headed to the front porch to look for the paper. Being a detective had never seemed to help me in my morning search for the news that my paper boy delivered. He seemed to take pride in finding new places to throw it each day. Finally finding it under one of the boxwoods off the side of the porch, I headed back to the door, shaking my head in wonderment at the consistency of the boy’s inconsistency.

After entering the house, I headed to the back door where Lucy was anxiously waiting to be let back in, her patrol done for the morning. She scampered in and headed to her bed where she would catch some more shuteye before the day got rolling. I filled a mug and walked over to the table to enjoy my first cup and peruse the paper.

Unfolding the newsprint, my eyes landed on the article that I knew would be the day’s headline.

The word had gotten out!

The cover story about the “accidental death” of the couple had been revealed to be a murder.

News of the leak of the details of the murder had reached us yesterday, and the people of our normally quiet community had come to life in response.

Sales of plywood, lumber, and locks were up, as well as the sales and applications for firearms. Betty had informed me last night that they had responded to multiple calls of fights breaking out in stores that had run out of these items. People were frantic in an effort to protect themselves from the unknown assailant.

Citizens quoted in the article described their feelings over the murders as anywhere from ‘
scared to death’
to
‘slightly concerned’
, with one brave fellow saying he would start patrolling the road himself with his shotgun.

BOOK: Murder! Too Close To Home
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