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They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 5:41pm On Jul 29, 2016
All rights reserved.

I'd be sharing a crime thriller written by myself on this thread. All characters, places and events are strictly fictitious. Comments and criticisms are very much appreciated and welcome.

Let's have fun. Cheers!
Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 5:51pm On Jul 29, 2016
PROLOGUE

Vasco Millar strutted into the pub the way anyone would if they were heir to the Millar fortune. At first sight, he looked quite the sight. Standing at six feet and a few good inches with wavy coal black hair and a nearly dark tan, his expertly chiseled face was set in a sly, somewhat alluring smile that seldom failed to make any dame who had the fortunate misfortune of coming by him feel giddy in the legs. His well-built arms were permanently fixed at a slightly raised angle away from his body, giving him a "first class son of a gun" appearance that almost could be smelt from a mile off. He swaggered his way to the bar, tapping a blonde standing by a table glass-in-hand with an unimpressive young man, apparently bargaining with her on how much a night out would not cost him, on her rear end which seemed to make giggle excitedly while her companion yelled vituperations, the nicest of which would have made a priest bleed to hemorrhage from his ears.

Cisco, the negro bartender, smiled at him in an attempt to conceal his disgust. He never liked Vasco. All his life, Cisco had had to work his rear off to earn his keep and here was a no-good louse whose solitary moment of hard work had been finding his way out of the late Madame Millar's womb and the only things he had managed to do since then was drink a lot of booze, gamble and screw around. That way of life repulsed Cisco and he would rather have barred Vasco from drinking at his bar a long time ago. However, he always overpaid and gave the best tips. Money was important to Cisco as well as his boss and he had no option but to keep up with him. Besides, Vasco's drinking buddies had consuming liquor on his account for the better part of the last hour on his account and here was an opportunity to receive payment for it.

"Nice having you around, Sir. What will yo.."

"A double whiskey shot with a lot of ice and a lot less talk from you will be perfect", snapped Vasco as he set himself down on a stool by the bar. He exchanged crude pleasantries with his pals Matt and Jack, a libidinous pair of idiots who despite not being remotely related looked alike, had the mental acuity of a benighted teenager addicted to steroid injections and considered everything in female getup a potential bed-mate. He snapped at Cisco again while his drink was being whipped up and narrowly missed the mask of hatred that was set in his face. He downed his drink in a gulp and requested another one like it before returning his gaze to Matt.

"I lost two grand earlier today at the pool", Vasco half said to himself now staring across the pub at the blonde who, obviously weary of haggling with the young man had left him looking dejected and slowly but surely approched the bar giggling invitingly at Vasco. She interested him and would probably make a good proposition for the night if he couldn't find a better looking one.

"Awww..who cares? You never win and always go back there anyway. Besides, the pool table's got a lot of 'em eye-candy"

"I do care, Jack and one of these days, you're going to have to pay for your own drinks if you do not learn a lesson or two on when not to flap your gums", Vasco rebutted feeling slightly annoyed with Jack who picked the absolutely wrong time to talk as the giggling blonde, overhearing them, had now gotten to the bar and made to speak.

"Someone lose a hunk of money recently?"

Vasco sighed to himself. A blonde who couldn't keep her gob shut was no use to him.

"Only your Pa. He should have spent the measly cash used for your upbringing at pool. It would have been put to better use".

The blonde scowled at him and walked away from them and the bar, leaving behind a trail of unprintables that left Matt gaping open-mouthedly at her, his hair standing on their end.

"Why that..such..good ol' days, that sort of language would have gotten a dame a beaten to remember" Matt said, still looking scandalized.

"No blonde deserves to be spoken to in such a manner, remarked Jack before Vasco made a noise like a car engine on the verge of pinking.

"Aww..there's no need to be upset, Vasco. I was only making a joke", said Jack as he went a bit pink in the face. Vasco meant a lot to him. Free drinks, free rides in luxury cars, occasional cash, a lot of blondes and respect on the streets were all perks of being associated with Vasco and he couldn't help but feel sorry for himself if Vasco was mad at him. It wouldn't do at all...
The mood lightened as a few minutes passed on in silence after that. Then, they began talking and boy, could they talk!? They talked about blondes, about the town, about soccer, about pool and then they talked about blondes some more. Then they began to talk and drink until they ran out of blonde talking points.

"You know, we could do with some adventure", Vasco said after some trash talk.

"Blondes are all the adventure a man needs in this clime. A nice, dishy blonde on a night like this one is a lot of adventure, given the right blonde and the right man"

"The problem with you, Jack, is that you think of the world as a big, ripe blonde plantation waiting to be harvested." Vasco snorted and continued. "It's a wild circus. You come and have all the fun. Or you don't. Then, you go. That's all there is to the world. People like to attach importance to the little-big things like ambition and love and a lot of money. The truth is, they come and go. There's only fun in between and I intend to have as much of it as I can."

Matt knew this was a lot of drunk talking and also knew it was someway true. Vasco only existed to have fun. Gamble, gorge on booze and screw. Life for him was those three things or something more fun. He knew Vasco was growing restless from the boredom of that routine and needed something different. That worried him. It wouldn't do to have an unstable Vasco on his hands. Then, the idea came to him in such a flash that he nearly jumped off his stool.

"Say, Vasco, how about I bet you hadn't enough balls to sleep over in that Aldor room."

Vasco frowned a little as he considered the proposition. He knew the Aldor room alright. It was a former gambling room that had closed down when it became home to the only suicide had in recent memory. The victim, a traveling gambler who had run into heavy debt was found that fateful morning in the room with his head in pieces, a pistol with a silencer to fit and a name tag that simply identified him as "Aldor". Rumors had somehow spread that his ghost still resided in the room and no one could spend the night there and live to talk about the sweet dreams they had. Vasco, of course, did not believe such nonsense.

Encouraged by booze and a lust for adventure, Vasco agreed to the bet. Nothing in it, of course. Matt and Jack could barely take care of themselves and drank too much to have had any cash to bet with. Besides, he always had more money than he could spend. His father made sure of that. So, he decided to do it just for the hell of it.

They left a little after an hour before midnight. The bar was nearly empty and Cisco was certainly glad to see the back of them. He had been overpaid again but his hatred for Vasco had just about managed to increase by a notch. The thought of it..


Vasco thought nothing of it when he entered room and bid his friends goodnight. They probably were too drunk to hear and he was too drunk to care. He surveyed the room. It certainly was dusty and smelt of abandonment. He cast a look at the couch in front of what used to be an active gambling table and sneered. Haunted? What nonsense! It certainly was going to cause a lot of ruckus in the town the next day when word got out that he had spent the night there. The more he thought about it, the more he realized it was going to put him at the centre of attention more than ever. Then, he grew tired of thinking and fell fast asleep.

Matt rang for Jack the next morning and they both left for the Aldor room. Vasco had not gotten in touch with either man and they both strongly suspected that he had overslept or was devising a way to publicize his feat to the town in a "forget-me-not" manner. They both wanted to take a chunk of the ruction the sleep over was bound to cause. They walked the streets till they got to the groove opposite the room and crossed the road to enter. They had bare entered when the sight that greeted their eyes stopped them in their tracks.

Vasco lay on the floor. The mess that remained of his head was a mass of congealed blood, a cracked skull and a spilled brain. They did not need to touch him to know that he was cold..and dead. Very dead.

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Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Aadetola1(m): 6:59pm On Jul 29, 2016
Ftc... Space booked!

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Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Busayorafael(m): 5:41am On Jul 30, 2016
This is beautiful.
#Waiting for the next episode.
Well done, Zikdik.

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Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 2:11pm On Jul 30, 2016
Busayorafael:
This is beautiful.

#Waiting for the next episode.

Well done, Zikdik.
Thanks Boss.
Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 2:15pm On Jul 30, 2016
CHAPTER ONE

Chase Langley thirty-five, struggled to get out from under his blankets and yawned loudly as he sat up to check the time. He hated waking up or doing anything else for that matter. By appearance, he certainly looked big. Six-three, two-thirty and arms that looked like they had been transplanted from an adult chimp made him look like a bodybuilder on steroids. The only way to have suspected that his excellent body was a product of genetics and chase was his acute lack of interest in anything that would involve exerting himself with some level of hard work. Nonetheless, he certainly could take care of himself. More than expertly trained and skilled in Karate, Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing, he acquired acclaim as a deadshot who seldom shot and simply never missed He also possessed an uncanny ability to meticulously plan and prepare for eventualities as well as see through situational happenstances. While all these on the surface would have made him a meritorious special agent for the army from which he was dishonorably discharged without benefits or an excellent detective but the truth was that he was fit for neither. He had a weakness for the fairer sex, an sense of humor that only appealed to himself and a laziness that made the sloth look like a mine worker.

He strolled lazily over to the window of the Hotel complex he had lodged in after his most recent dud job. He had been accosted by a rich jew who wanted to get some dirt on his wife so he could get a strong enough ground for divorce and marry a younger one. Chase, of course, had no desire in tailing a fat, middle-aged woman and spared no time in making away with the Jew's money as soon as he made the first installment. But that had been months ago and now Chase, though calm as he ever had been, was starting to get a little tense. His standard of living was not very cost-effective and in a few days, he'd be home and dry. Somehow, whatever it might require, he'd have to come up with something within a few days.

He thought of Little Tyke. L.T, as he was fondly called by his kit and kin from the underworld, always had a job for anyone willing or daring enough to take it, from running dope to importing fugitives to just about anything else. He also gave recommendations to intending clients, though after taking the Jew on the last job for a ride, Chase doubted that his credentials were as sterling as they used to be. The choice between a tongue-lashing and starvation was east enough but as he reached for the telephone to put a call across to L.T, it began to ring.

He picked up the receiver and before he could say a word the caller, male with a rich baritone, spoke:

"Mr Langley, I must beg your pardon but it would be preferred that you do not speak. I speak on behalf of a man who wishes to engage you services in loosening a rather unpleasant knot. He wishes to meet you at once and has arranged for your transportation if you indeed wish to come. All you need say at this point is either yes or no."

"Yes", he replied without much consideration.

"Excellent. You need only step out of the Hotel complex. You have fifteen minutes" and the caller hung up before he could think of a reply.

The nerve of it, he thought. He had never been pushed around and ordered about like this since the army and that was the reason he left..that and a little indiscretion. He cautiously stepped over to the window and peered out to see if the caller was not bluffing or setting a clever trap but in truth, a chauffeur, likely Filipino, stood anxiously by a black Rolls Royce waiting as though it were for the verdict of his own execution appeal. Obviously, whoever it was that the caller represented had a whale of money. That was all the encouragement Langley needed. Preparing for an event like this usually took less than three minutes since he was always on the run.

He dropped his medical kit and cigarette lighter in a small knapsack and wore a tweed suit with three inner pockets; two for .25 automatic pistols, that were not necessarily loaded and usually served the purpose of bluffing, and the other for a pack of cigarettes. He then pulled a small suitcase which contained his other clothing and an assortment of other items towards him. With the remaining cash he had in his pocket, he made out of the room and towards the elevator as quietly as possible. The whole business had unnerved him a bit and he was eagle-eyed till he reached the basement reception and made to check out of the complex. The receptionist, a slightly skinny girl who had a nice set of upper complements and a pair of knockout legs to go with but not so much of a face, looked sad to see him leave. He was sad to leave her as well. That dame redefined his room service experience.

He stepped out of the hotel and made straight for the Rolls. The chauffeur was Filipino alright. He was short, with silky and thick black hair, brown eyes, a dark tan skin and thick mustache. As for the car, it certainly was a ride. From the outside it's black colour, shiny wheels and dark tinted (and bulletproof, Chase suspected) passenger-seat glasses smelt like money and if anyone had a nose for smelling a whale-fat load of cash as Chase did, they certainly would have covered their noses getting near that ride. Waving his identity card in the face of the Filipino who responded with a curt nod, he eased himself into the passenger seat.

The journey was uneventful and extremely long, save for the fact that the glasses were tinted on both sides but Chase did not mind the fact. He was convinced that the setup was not a phony. Whoever was smart or dumb enough to set him up in a trap would not convey him to it with a nervous, possibly defenceless man. He half slept and availed himself of the comforts of the snacks and water in the glove compartment of the vehicle, only taking a pee break once when the chauffeur had decided to take one as well. It was not until the car came to a stop that Chase tried to converse with the chauffeur but he just politely smiled and alighted to open the door for Chase. It was a very extensive amount of self-control that prevented the view that met his eyes from making him gasp with excitement.

It was fairly dark by that time. A glance at his pocket watch told him that it was ten minutes past the seventh hour after noon meaning that the journey had lasted more than seven hours since it was not yet noon when they had left the hotel complex. In front of him stood a defiant mansion, sturdy and castle-like in appearance. The gates protecting the home were made of shiny black stone and the mansion made of polished white rock. Marble statues stood tall and mighty by the entrance and he could not seem to take his eyes from the brilliant details on them. He forced himself to look away but, as they walked up the steps and into the building, he marveled at the opulence in display. Ivy crawled up on one side, and rose bushes and other scented flower grew around it's edge. Intricate stained glass adorned nearly every window, and there were spirals coming out of it, just like a castle.

It dawned on him that he was handling the setup wrong. It would not do for him to be perceived as overwhelmed by the wealth of his client, whoever he was. He had to appear confident and able to address whatever situation he had been brought in to address. Not that he planned to address the situation anyway, he only wanted the pre-payment but he would have to look and act the part to get it. He knew L.T had recommended him to and amusedly wondered if the recommendations had included warnings of a potential dupe.

He was ushered into the home by a tall, slender elderly-looking man, slightly round in the middle with long, effeminate fingers and a wheezing voice that identified him as the earlier caller. The man was wearing a black trouser, a six-button double-breasted tailcoat, and a gray vest. He had a crest on his shirt cuffs and tie. He was also sporting white gloves, a wristwatch, and a chained silver lapel pin bearing the same crest that read something along the lines of "MILLION" or something of the sort. At first sight, Chase perceived a fleeting look of mockery on his face that disappeared so quickly that Chase nearly wondered if he had imagined it. He did not have to wait long before he was ushered up the stairs to a reading room of sorts to finally discuss his hire.

Lorenzo Millar, as he later found was his client's name, was a sixty-five years old businessman who had inherited a fortune from his own father and by combined strokes of great acumen and fortune had turned it into a mega fortune. He had only a son, Vasco, with his late wife just like his father had fathered only himself. After the death of his wife, Lorenzo had retired from active business, relocated to this mansion in the peace of a small town and had quietly remarried. He seldom traveled out of town and only did so on important business occasions.

Lorenzo was seated behind a richly furnished desk nearly covered with different books that Chase suspected were from a bookshelf that stood singly close to the wall of the room to his right. He, though seated, looked tall with an handsomely chiseled face that would have torn hearts apart at a younger age. His eyes were piercingly intelligent, striking and would have normally been alive with some alluringly boyish charm but on this ocaasion, they looked deep-set and filled with suppressed grief. He beckoned Chase to sit by waving his right hand in the direction of a medium-sized sofa directly opposite where he was seated, smiled despite himself and spoke, as soon as Chase was seated, with a voice as soothing and calming as a drink of chilled water in a desert.

"Mr. Langley, I apologize for the abrupt nature of this matter but it is the very nature of it that calls for such. You have been highly recommended and I suggest that you listen to me carefully first before you comment. I have suffered a great loss. This morning, my only son and heir was found dead, shot in the head by a pistol, by two of his friends in a supposedly haunted room after he had been dared by both young men to spend the night there. I have no belief in ghosts and have no doubt that there is some foul play involved in this matter. The boy was not exceptional in personality but that perhaps is my parental failing. However, he was my son, a Millar by birth and no one hurts a Millar without bearing the brunt of their actions.

My assignment for you is simple: find the killer and bring him or her to me. Whoever they are, you certainly must bring them to me within ten days. Your fee shall be a hundred thousand, ten thousand for every day of work which shall be paid whether you finish the work under ten days or not, but certainly, not more than ten days from now. You will have the full cooperation of the local authorities and a free hand to investigate however you see fit. Whatever you do, however you do it, you must find the killer within ten days and bring them to me."

Chase kept his face expressionless and only picked a cigarette from his pack and lighted it up and quietly began to smoke and think. He needed no encouragement. The man in front of him was a ruthless, embittered, cornered reptile ready to pounce at a moment's notice. Gyping him out of his money was out of the question. Since the pay was excellent, he had no reason to bargain either.

There was no question of murder, that much was certain. His job was to find out who perpetrated it and their motive and bring them to Millar. He suddenly felt a surge of adrenaline considering the prospects. He had been given a free hand and the assurance that he would not be hindered by the local police. Not many jobs came with such cushioning. Besides, ten days was just enough time for him to bust any murder case wide open.

"I accept your proposition, Mr Millar", he said and continued "Let me tell you something, when a fellow approaches me with a job like you have, I gyp him of his money and.."

"I assure you, Mr Langley, that I have been informed of your little disappearing act. I also assure you that you will not get away with it if you try", Millar cut in, smiling a little.

"Then I will assure you that you have a deal. When I make a promise, I deliver on it. Living or dead, your son's killer will be delivered to you within ten days from now. You have only my word for it and I encourage you not to believe it until I deliver. But I will. I have only one question."

"Go on", Millar said.

"What will you do when I deliver the killer to you?"

Millar smiled again and a chill and a sweat ran down the spine of Chase. This man was as dangerous as a rattlesnake nest.

"That need not concern you, Mr Millar. But if you must know, I have made a special proposition for the killer. Do you know anything about rats, Mr Langley? They hate excessive heat. One of the most effective of all torture techniques involves having a cage with one open side strapped against the victim’s body. It would then be filled with large rodents and a heating element which would be placed on the other side of the cage. The rodents’ natural instinct led them to flee the intense heat. In order to escape, they would burrow through the victim’s body with fatal results. That, is my proposition"

Chase was stunned beyond words.

"Brutus will escort you out of the house and Tim, I believe you have met, will drop you off at a comfortable lodging, Mr Langley. Your work will commence tomorrow. Good luck and good night."

Chase was still in shock when he walked out of the room. Brutus, the wheezing butler, was outside waiting to accompany him to the gates. He stopped at the door and whispered good night. As Chase steadied himself and walked into the night to waiting chauffeur, Tim, he saw a red Bentley drive into the mansion and park recklessly.

Out came the most sensationally beautiful lady Chase had ever seen. She could not have been more than twenty-one. She had flaming red hair, her face looked delicately carved as though she had modified it by surgery with bright scarlet coloured eyes and a pointy nose under which lay thin yet full lips of crimson red. Describing her shape to a stranger without making extensive curves in mid-air would be the height of civilization. She had beautifully shaped long legs that stuck out from her dex armless mini black gown like a slice of heaven, each. Since Millar hadn't a daughter, there was no doubt about it: that lady was Mrs Millar.

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Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 8:10am On Jul 31, 2016
CHAPTER TWO

It was unfortunate that room service was not the same everywhere, thought Chase, as he prepared to leave the room of the hotel he had lodged in. The receptionist in this one was a fat, puffy-faced busybody with such large ears that Chase was sure had developed from constantly eavesdropping on the various rooms; wrecking homes, friendships and well-defined plans in the process. He'd have to watch out for her.

He turned over the details of the case in his mind. The victim was the only son of a twisted business mogul who probably lived like hell. The prime suspects on the surface were his not-so-smart pals who challenged him to a sleep-over in a haunted room, whatever that meant. The boy had no close relatives and his immediate household, excluding his father, consisted of a spineless chauffeur, an old butler and a ravishing stepmother who was probably younger than himself.

The stepmother. Chase had not been able to put her out of his mind since the previous night. She was in his veins..in his blood. Her face preyed on his mind like a virus. He wanted some of that beautiful body. A taste of those blood-red lips.

He knew that he was headed for trouble. He was an investigator and he was letting an external factor cloud his sense and prejudice his judgement. Until he found the killer everyone in the scene, including Lorenzo Millar himself, was a potential suspect. It would not do to get affectionately personal with anyone but somehow, he did not seem to care.

There was also the matter of Lorenzo. He wondered what sort of a mess he'd be in if he failed to deliver the killer to Lorenzo or if Lorenzo found out he was trying to fool with his wife. The rat execution talk had scared the living daylight out of him. He was certain that the death of his only son had screwed Lorenzo up in the head.

He had earlier received a small package by means of messenger delivery. It was tagged "Anonymous" contained details of the case, including the names and addresses of nearly everyone involved in it. Chase knew it was Lorenzo's "wake-up-to,work" present and felt scandalized, only for a second before he remembered the hundred thousand he had been promised. He thought a bit more about Lorenzo. The man was smart. Tagging the package anonymous and including his name and address in it was an excellent guise, should the package had been intercepted. It occurred to Chase that Lorenzo had taken care up until that moment so Chase could not be identified. The only persons who knew Chase had anything at all to do with Lorenzo were his butler and the Filipino chauffeur.

The explanation would be that Lorenzo was being discreet. That theory made sense just as what it was, a theory. Practically, it sucked. A guy as smart as Lorenzo would make a lot of noise about hiring an ex-serviceman city detective. That would invariably cause the killer to try to cover up their tracks and in turn, overplay their hand. But he was doing the exact opposite. It did not make sense.

Chase had no fear for his own life. He knew for a certainty that the kind of life he led would come to an abrupt end someday. He also was more than capable of taking care of himself. He only feared torture and prolonged pain and that sounded like just the thing a guy like Lorenzo would have in store for someone who tried to screw with him. All the same, he might as well avoid the girl and do the job altogether, he thought, knowing for a fact that he was kidding himself.

He left the hotel and made for the address of Matt, who by a stroke of hard luck was twisted in the whole setup. Naturally, Chase would not have bothered. His lazy demeanour left him usually taking the shortest route to fixing most problems and talking to dunce who sent his pal to a haunted room for a wager probably looked a lot like a waste of time. But since he was one of the last persons in contact with the murdered and a pal of his, it would probably serve a good purpose to source some personal information from him.

He had felt he would chance on taxi in transit since he was trying to avoid contact and conversation as much as possible with the meddlesome receptionist. But after walking for nearly two minutes, he had not found any and was just a good five more minutes away from his location. The realization of how small the town was amused him and he was still brooding over it when he caught the sound of very soft footfalls behind him.

It then occured to him that the sound had been persistent in his subconscious for quite sometime. He kept walking as though he had not noticed, slightly decreasing the sound of his own footfalls. The footsteps became minutely more audible, coming in stops and starts and with considerably speed and stealth, confirming that he was indeed been followed by an expert tailer. He smiled to himself, paused to lit a cigarette and continued to walk a little slower than he originally was. Then, he pulled a witty stunt.

He turned around sharply in a split-second, drawing his pistol in the process and pretending to aim. The sudden movement caused the tailer, whoever they were, to give their away by scurrying for cover as a natural protective response. Chase felt pleased with himself. However that was, he had put a scare in them and that was enough in the meantime. He had a feeling, though, that he had not heard the last from whoever was tailing him. As he got to the porch of Matt's domicile, he made a mental note to watch out for himself in the future.

He knocked on the door and waited a few seconds before knocking again with some element of violence. The door soon opened, revealing a man who looked like he was approaching his mid-thirties, standing at average height, slightly overweight and stinking with whiskey. Chase was disgusted and needed no confirmation to deduce that the muddle of humanity in front of him was Matt. He walked in without pausing to acknowledge Matt's queries and when Matt tried to stop him from gaining further entry, he hit him with a punch that sent him reeling and rolling across the room.

Chase picked him up and nearly felt sorry for him. The death of Vasco had made quite a mess of him.

"Hi drinkey", Chase started as he sat, feeling more sorry Matt the more he saw of him. He really was a wreck.

"Oh, go away", Matt replied. "I cannot make promises but you shall have your money soon".

Chase had no time for drunk talk.

"I hope you're used to pain, drinkey" Chase said, lighting a cigarette before he continued. "Your face could be my ash tray."

"You wouldn't do that", Matt said half in horror and half in hope, "I don't know you are and you have no right to come in here and act like this. Get out", he continued, feeling slightly stupid.

"Go easy on your blood vessels, drinkey. I have always loved the smell of burning flesh. It's a hereditary thing. Everyone in my family tree loves a nice, good barbecue. So, yes, I would. Or, you could start talking smart and we both can get ourselves some nice barbecue after our little romance."

Matt sighed and then resigned to respond, acknowledging the fact with a feeble nod.

"Alright drinkey. Let's be pally. I have been hired to find Vasco's killer. I need you to tell me as much you can about the circumstances around it and whatever else you know that might help. Are you going to help me?"

At that point, Matt reacted as though a jolt of electricity had passed through him. He sat up straight, wide-eyed and began:

"You're a shamus!? Blimey! I thought you had come from the creditors. They have been sending toughs after me since Vasco died, the bloody scums! They would not have dared to come for me if he had been alive, but he is not and I owe a lot."

He sighed and made to pick a bottle of whiskey lying beside him but a glance at the look on Chase's face warned him that it was probably a bad idea. He gulped the considerable amount of spittle that had accumulated in his mouth. The look of excitement jumped into his eyes again and he almost started yammering excitedly but then paused as though he had remembered something.

"I'm Matt. I don't like drinkey much but I don't mind it. You did not tell me your name."

"I don't intend to, drinkey. Save your name for someone who cares. Now, quit flapping your gob and tell me all you know about Vasco's murder", said Chase, feeling pleased with himself. He thought that was funny, only, Matt was not laughing. He looked hurt.

"Vasco was a good guy. A little youthful but he was not hurting anyone. He had a stream of girlfriends so there is none to pinpoint, really.
The night he died, we had downed a drink or two at the local pub. You know how these things are. There wasn't really anyone out there when we got talking save for a blonde and the bartender. Boy! We talked and kept talking, with a drink or two, of course. I brought up the sleepover idea, a terrible one it turned out to be. Ruined my life, has it not? Jack always said my trap will be the end of me. He might have diviner blood. I should ask about it. Am I talking rubbish? I suppose not. I remember it all clearly. Vasco! Yes, Vasco! Rest his sweet soul! He was dead when we checked up on him the next morning. Blasted a wide hole in his head, whoever killed him. Never seen anything like it. Still gives me the jeepers. I suppose that is all, mister."

Chase nearly hit Matt again. He was now lying on the floor, his eyes out of focus. Looking at him, Chase realized what a waste of time it was to have come there. He had not much life and fight in him anymore. It was only a matter of time. He would probably be in jail the next morning for bad debts. Jack would probably be worse.

Chase stood up to leave when an idea suddenly struck him. He considered it and decided to try. Pulling Matt up, Chase shook him and asked if he knew anything about Mrs Millar. Matt had not opened his mouth to talk when something peculiar happened.

Chase heard a click that sounded very much like a safety catch being released. He fell flat on his face instinctively, a habit he picked up in the military. A second later Matt, who was still sitted opposite where Chase had been, in a drunk daze, was the recipient of steady, rapid gunfire.

Chase drew his gun and fired once, directly at the window from which the shooting had taken place. Whoever the assailant was, they had been listening at the window for sometime and had intended for Chase not to have heard Matt's response to the Mrs Millar question. Chase suspected that it was the same person who had been tailing him. Well, he would take care of the situation.

He slowly approached the door, gun in hand. The killer had not left, probably waiting for a confrontation or trying to spring a surprise. Chase was still in approach when he heard what sounded like footsteps descending in energetic haste down the porch at front door. He rushed mindlessly and pulled the door open before stopping a second too late to realize that he had fallen for the oldest trick in the book; the assailant had rolled a round stone down the wooden porch, mimicking the sound of footsteps and fooling an already agitated Chase. He only caught a glimpse of the tall, lean man before a very hard object hit the back of his head with a crushing force and his world faded to black.

1 Like 1 Share

Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Busayorafael(m): 6:33am On Aug 02, 2016
A job welldone, Zikdik.
Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Essyprity(f): 10:35am On Aug 05, 2016
Ok
Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 5:13pm On Aug 05, 2016
I stopped sharing here because I was doubtful about the follwership. Thanks guys.
Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 5:23pm On Aug 05, 2016
CHAPTER TWO

It was unfortunate that room service was not the same everywhere, thought Chase, as he prepared to leave the room of the hotel he had lodged in. The receptionist in this one was a fat, puffy-faced busybody with such large ears that Chase was sure had developed from constantly eavesdropping on the various rooms; wrecking homes, friendships and well-defined plans in the process. He'd have to watch out for her.

He turned over the details of the case in his mind. The victim was the only son of a twisted business mogul who probably lived like hell. The prime suspects on the surface were his not-so-smart pals who challenged him to a sleep-over in a haunted room, whatever that meant. The boy had no close relatives and his immediate household, excluding his father, consisted of a spineless chauffeur, an old butler and a ravishing stepmother who was probably younger than himself.

The stepmother. Chase had not been able to put her out of his mind since the previous night. She was in his veins..in his blood. Her face preyed on his mind like a virus. He wanted some of that beautiful body. A taste of those blood-red lips.

He knew that he was headed for trouble. He was an investigator and he was letting an external factor cloud his sense and prejudice his judgement. Until he found the killer everyone in the scene, including Lorenzo Millar himself, was a potential suspect. It would not do to get affectionately personal with anyone but somehow, he did not seem to care.

There was also the matter of Lorenzo. He wondered what sort of a mess he'd be in if he failed to deliver the killer to Lorenzo or if Lorenzo found out he was trying to fool with his wife. The rat execution talk had scared the living daylight out of him. He was certain that the death of his only son had screwed Lorenzo up in the head.

He had earlier received a small package by means of messenger delivery. It was tagged "Anonymous" and contained the details of the case, including the names and addresses of nearly everyone involved in it. Chase knew it was Lorenzo's "wake-up-to,work" present and felt scandalized, only for a second before he remembered the hundred thousand he had been promised. He thought a bit more about Lorenzo. The man was smart. Tagging the package anonymous and including his name and address in it was an excellent guise, should the package had been intercepted. It occurred to Chase that Lorenzo had taken care up until that moment so Chase could not be identified. The only persons who knew Chase had anything at all to do with Lorenzo were his butler and the Filipino chauffeur.

The explanation would be that Lorenzo was being discreet. That theory made sense just as what it was, a theory. Practically, it sucked. A guy as smart as Lorenzo would make a lot of noise about hiring an ex-serviceman city detective. That would invariably cause the killer to try to cover up their tracks and in turn, overplay their hand. But he was doing the exact opposite. It did not make sense.

Chase had no fear for his own life. He knew for a certainty that the kind of life he led would come to an abrupt end someday. He also was more than capable of taking care of himself. He only feared torture and prolonged pain and that sounded like just the thing a guy like Lorenzo would have in store for someone who tried to screw with him. All the same, he might as well avoid the girl and do the job altogether, he thought, knowing for a fact that he was kidding himself.

He left the hotel and made for the address of Matt, who by a stroke of hard luck was twisted in the whole setup. Naturally, Chase would not have bothered. His lazy demeanour left him usually taking the shortest route to fixing most problems and talking to dunce who sent his pal to a haunted room for a wager probably looked a lot like a waste of time. But since he was one of the last persons in contact with the murdered and a pal of his, it would probably serve a good purpose to source some personal information from him.

He had felt he would chance on taxi in transit since he was trying to avoid contact and conversation as much as possible with the meddlesome receptionist. But after walking for nearly two minutes, he had not found any and was just a good five more minutes away from his location. The realization of how small the town was amused him and he was still brooding over it when he caught the sound of very soft footfalls behind him.

It then occured to him that the sound had been persistent in his subconscious for quite sometime. He kept walking as though he had not noticed, slightly decreasing the sound of his own footfalls. The footsteps became minutely more audible, coming in stops and starts and with considerably speed and stealth, confirming that he was indeed been followed by an expert tailer. He smiled to himself, paused to lit a cigarette and continued to walk a little slower than he originally was. Then, he pulled a witty stunt.

He turned around sharply in a split-second, drawing his pistol in the process and pretending to aim. The sudden movement caused the tailer, whoever they were, to give their away by scurrying for cover as a natural protective response. Chase felt pleased with himself. However that was, he had put a scare in them and that was enough in the meantime. He had a feeling, though, that he had not heard the last from whoever was tailing him. As he got to the porch of Matt's domicile, he made a mental note to watch out for himself in the future.

He knocked on the door and waited a few seconds before knocking again with some element of violence. The door soon opened, revealing a man who looked like he was approaching his mid-thirties, standing at average height, slightly overweight and stinking with whiskey. Chase was disgusted and needed no confirmation to deduce that the muddle of humanity in front of him was Matt. He walked in without pausing to acknowledge Matt's queries and when Matt tried to stop him from gaining further entry, he hit him with a punch that sent him reeling and rolling across the room.

Chase picked him up and nearly felt sorry for him. The death of Vasco had made quite a mess of him.

"Hi drinkey", Chase started as he sat, feeling more sorry Matt the more he saw of him. He really was a wreck.

"Oh, go away", Matt replied. "I cannot make promises but you shall have your money soon".

Chase had no time for drunk talk.

"I hope you're used to pain, drinkey" Chase said, lighting a cigarette before he continued. "Your face could be my ash tray."

"You wouldn't do that", Matt said half in horror and half in hope, "I don't know you are and you have no right to come in here and act like this. Get out", he continued, feeling slightly stupid.

"Go easy on your blood vessels, drinkey. I have always loved the smell of burning flesh. It's a hereditary thing. Everyone in my family tree loves a nice, good barbecue. So, yes, I would. Or, you could start talking smart and we both can get ourselves some nice barbecue after our little romance."

Matt sighed and then resigned to respond, acknowledging the fact with a feeble nod.

"Alright drinkey. Let's be pally. I have been hired to find Vasco's killer. I need you to tell me as much you can about the circumstances around it and whatever else you know that might help. Are you going to help me?"

At that point, Matt reacted as though a jolt of electricity had passed through him. He sat up straight, wide-eyed and began:

"You're a shamus!? Blimey! I thought you had come from the creditors. They have been sending toughs after me since Vasco died, the bloody scums! They would not have dared to come for me if he had been alive, but he is not and I owe a lot."

He sighed and made to pick a bottle of whiskey lying beside him but a glance at the look on Chase's face warned him that it was probably a bad idea. He gulped the considerable amount of spittle that had accumulated in his mouth. The look of excitement jumped into his eyes again and he almost started yammering excitedly but then paused as though he had remembered something.

"I'm Matt. I don't like drinkey much but I don't mind it. You did not tell me your name."

"I don't intend to, drinkey. Save your name for your momma. Now, quit flapping your gob and tell me all you know about Vasco's murder", said Chase, feeling pleased with himself. He thought that was funny, only, Matt was not laughing. He looked hurt.

"Vasco was a good guy. A little youthful but he was not hurting anyone. He had a stream of girlfriends so there is none to pinpoint, really.
The night he died, we had downed a drink or two at the local pub. You know how these things are. There wasn't really anyone out there when we got talking save for a blonde and the bartender. Boy! We talked and kept talking, with a drink or two, of course. I brought up the sleepover idea, a terrible one it turned out to be. Ruined my life, has it not? Jack always said my trap will be the end of me. He might have diviner blood. I should ask about it. Am I talking rubbish? I suppose not. I remember it all clearly. Vasco! Yes, Vasco! Rest his sweet soul! He was dead when we checked up on him the next morning. Blasted a wide hole in his head, whoever killed him. Never seen anything like it. Still gives me the jeepers. I suppose that is all, mister."

Chase nearly hit Matt again. He was now lying on the floor, his eyes out of focus. Looking at him, Chase realized what a waste of time it was to have come there. He had not much life and fight in him anymore. It was only a matter of time. He would probably be in jail the next morning for bad debts. Jack would probably be worse.

Chase stood up to leave when an idea suddenly struck him. He considered it and decided to try. Pulling Matt up, Chase shook him and asked if he knew anything about Mrs Millar. Matt had not opened his mouth to talk when something peculiar happened.

Chase heard a click that sounded very much like a safety catch being released. He fell flat on his face instinctively, a habit he picked up in the military. A second later Matt, who was still sitted opposite where Chase had been, in a drunk daze, was the recipient of steady, rapid gunfire.

Chase drew his gun and fired once, directly at the window from which the shooting had taken place. Whoever the assailant was, they had been listening at the window for sometime and had intended for Chase not to have heard Matt's response to the Mrs Millar question. Chase suspected that it was the same person who had been tailing him. Well, he would take care of the situation.

He slowly approached the door, gun in hand. The killer had not left, probably waiting for a confrontation or trying to spring a surprise. Chase was still in approach when he heard what sounded like footsteps descending in energetic haste down the porch at front door. He rushed mindlessly and pulled the door open before stopping a second too late to realize that he had fallen for the oldest trick in the book; the assailant had rolled a round stone down the wooden porch, mimicking the sound of footsteps and fooling an already agitated Chase. He only caught a glimpse of the tall, lean man before a very hard object hit the back of his head with a crushing force and his world faded to black.
Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 8:55pm On Oct 10, 2016
CHAPTER THREE

Chase had not been out for more than twenty minutes when he stirred and became aware of himself again. His head hurt like hell. He made no attempt to move yet, uncertain about what the assailant might have done to his unconscious body and not wanting to move anything broken. He felt around his body with his hands, trying to note any region that would elicit pain on touch but he felt fine; nearly fine anyway, his head was throbbing with pain. He reached for the back of his head with his fingers and felt a soft, small lump there as well as a jolt of white-hot pain that filled his mouth with a lot of words his mother would not have been proud of. He took a deep breath and helped himself to his feet. He made a quick study of the environment and in less than three seconds, he realized that something had gone very, very wrong.
He was back in the room, lying on the floor of it. The room had been cleared and cleaned of vomit and blood and more shockingly, the body of Matt had been moved. In fact, the room looked as though Matt had strolled in to take a nap and was just about waking up from it.
Matt dying was not an issue. He owed creditors, was a wreck and probably would not last long if he was thrown in jail. Lorenzo had assured him of the total cooperation of the police. It would have been a matter of getting in touch with the local police chief and reporting the details of the incident and leaving the police force to take care of the body. But there was no body and that could very well be the principal ingredient in the recipe for a number of very awkward scenarios that the police might not be able to ignore, no matter how deep they were in Lorenzo's fat pocket.
He decided to return to the hotel. He walked gingerly out of the room, taking good care so he did not move his head too much. It was still hurting like a lash of the devil's whip. He walked down the road and hailed a cab that nearly went past him at the speed of light. The driver was an albino who did not reply in speech or action except for a curt nod when Chase instructed him to drive to the hotel and climbed in into the cab. Chase could not be bothered. He relaxed a little as the cab tore through the nearly empty road and felt a whole lot better for it. The cab raced past the point where he had earlier put a scare in whoever was tailing him and he managed a little smile and reaching for a cigarette in his inner pocket, he tried to ponder on the details of what had happened. Then, as sudden as could possibly be, he experienced another shock so powerful that he strained his already pain-laden neck in reaction.
One of his pistols was missing. He remembered that he had drawn the pistol from his right inner pocket, released the safety catch and had fired once. The pocket was empty now. Since his initials were carved on the gun butt, there was no mistaking the intent behind the disappearances. Along with the missing body, the gun held him in responsibility for murder. Obviously, someone wanted the police on his coattails, to limit his freedom.
The cab dropped him off at the hotel and he returned to his room. He ordered a stiff shot of whiskey with a reasonable amount of ice and lit a cigarette, his brain working furiously to iron out the details and consequences of what had happened, searing with agonizing pain as a result. The receptionist who also doubled as the singular member of the hotel's room service department the whiskey and brought a small, brown, paper envelope as well. It had been delivered earlier and was addressed to him. It contained a check for 10,000 in Chase's name signed by Lorenzo himself.
Excitement overwhelmed Chase as he held the check up as though he could not believe his own eyes. One look was enough to assure him that it was as real as himself. He was ten thousand richer. He sat down and put some calm into himself.
He considered it and saw that he had been too soft so far. Here he was without a clue and with a check for ten grand that he did not deserve. Well, that was about to change.
He opened his first-aid box and gently applied a ointment on the sight of the swelling on his head and chewed a couple tablets of aspirin to relieve the pain. He loaded the other .25 automatic pistol, changed his clothing and was about to reach for the telephone when it rang. Lorenzo's voice was unmistakable.
"My home. Urgent" and the line went off before Chase could react.
Chase reacted just fine. He knew instinctively that whatever use Matt's body and his gun had been put to was already beginning to yield sweet fruits and that it would not be a fanciful thing for him. He braced himself and left for the home of Lorenzo, brimming with apprehension and a rising anger. An anger like a rising tidal wave with the intensity of a volcano on the verge of eruption.

*************************************

"Welcome, Mr. Chase"
Chase replied with a nod. He had no patience for pleasantries in his present mood and was certain that Lorenzo had not called him up with such haste and urgency for a nice, little tea-party.
"You have been highly recommended and are being well-paid but you have made a grave mistake in this course of your duty. I assured you of the cooperation of the local authorities because I assumed that it would enhance your work and give you a certain leverage".
Lorenzo paused and met the gaze of Chase; intense, as though each man was intent on staring into the soul of the other.
"I have a cordial relationship with the Sheriff and he has informed me that his men have found the body of a man, shot to death by appearance, and a fireman bearing your initials beside it. It turns out to be that the man in question is a friend of my murdered son, Matt. One of the two men who were in his company in the last hours of his life. Do you see the catch?"
"I do", Chase replied, his anger reaching boiling point. The police wouldn't leave him be now that he had been implicated in a murder in the course of his investigation. It was a lucky thing that Lorenzo had the Sheriff on his payroll, for all the good things in life, Chase might have been behind bars by the time. A freshly fired gun with his prints and initials beside a corpse killed with the same weapon was enough evidence for a jury to slip a nice, strong noose around his neck.
"The other friend has been taken into custody for protection sake. Perhaps you have misinterpreted your assignment, Mr Chase, but I'll have you know that I am very disappointed in you. I am inclined to tell you that you will earn every single dime I am paying you to undertake this matter. Had you not been highly recommended..."
"Let me tell you something, Mr wiseguy", Chase interrupted as Lorenzo's eyes glared at him in angered surprise as though he was not used to being cut short, "I'm not in the mood for a talking-to. If you were not so much of a sucker to pay me as much as a hundred thousand for a job I would sweetly do for a ton less, you would be in a world of agony right now for yammering at me like that. But you are and I'm not so much of a sucker to think you would keep paying up after I give you a nice kicking in the lady-parts. Still, there is a border to my money lust and you are on the edge of it. If you're smart, take my advice and stop flapping your gum.
In the past few hours, I've been shot at, knocked out and framed for murder. Someone is gunning for me in a big way because of this investigation and quite frankly, I could refund your money and hop on the next bus out of town. Tell you what, I could. I won't.
When a guy shoots at me, it creeps me out and I would have you know that I hate being creeped out. I hate it more than I hate anything I've ever hated and the list is huge. I hate it so badly and when I hate something, I deal with it. So I'm going to deal with your problem because it has become my problem. In ten days or less, I will deliver the killer to you and if I don't, you have a complete refund and I get out of here and never come back. If that is all, I would like to leave now."
Chase stood up slowly, his eyes not leaving Lorenzo's for a fraction of a second and it was a dejected man who had resigned to fate and Chase to give him justice that stood up to meet his handshake. But immediately they locked hands, something extraordinary happened.
Lorenzo's grip tightened so fixedly that it was nearly vice. A grim, vicious half-smile spread across his face that did not reach his eyes. He nodded once, slowly raising his chin up in the direction of the door of the room like a snake rearing its head to strike. He then suddenly released his grip and returned to his normal state of gloom as though the man who had been in his place the previous second was a polar mirror-image of himself. Chase knew for a certain that moment that Lorenzo had lost his sanity or at the very best, some of it.
Chase walked out of the room on the verge of tremors. His strong fingers had not been crushed by the pressure of the grip but it was a near thing. He knew Lorenzo was mentally disturbed and the thought was not very encouraging. But Chase was in his own element and had an anger stewing up inside of him, equalling whatever insanity Lorenzo had. He met the Fillpino chauffeur on his way out and simply waved. He had had his fill of Lorenzo and his house and everything that came with it or so he thought, until he lifted his eyes as he was nearly exiting the front door.
Right there stood Mrs Millar, her scarlet eyes smiling at him invitingly. It was hypnotic, breaking down the walls of his resistance and recently acquired anger and drawing him to her in a way that befuddled his understanding and left him carelessly helpless. All the images of her that he had painted in his head since he first saw progressively seemed like rubbish now that he was seeing the real thing up close. She had such compelling eyes and a luscious figure that would have made the best sculptor green with envy. Without signaling him or saying it, she was calling him and he helplessly walked towards her as though unaware of himself and only stopped when he was in her arms.
Anyone could have walked in on them in that awkward position and it would have spent doom for him but he did not care at all. The only thing that mattered was the feel of the warmth of her skin on his. The scent of her hair that pervaded his nostrils as her long, slender fingers snaked through his hair and pulled him closer and tighter around her bosom. She was taming him and possessing him and he was loving every second of it, not wanting it to end. Her hands strayed to the back of his head and she pulled his face so close to hers that the tip of their noses touched.
Suddenly, she tightened her grip on his head and whispered in his ears,
"Go away. You're not wanted here."
The next few seconds passed very quickly. She suddenly jerked away from him, looking as white and pale as though she had seen an apparition. Chase tried to turn around to determine the cause of the reaction but before he could do so, a jolt of white-hot pain shot through his head stemming from the site of his earlier assault and he blacked out again.
Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 8:58pm On Oct 10, 2016
Chase Langley woke up. He had no idea how long he had been out. The room looked neat and different. In reality, it didn’t look like a room. It looked like heaven. A heaven without the halo-wearing angels and the great throne of God. There was a serenity that pervaded the atmosphere. Everything looked white and calmingly sweet. Comfortable. A little too comfortable than he was used to.

He felt a strangely familiar sensation of freedom and touched his head. He was bald now. All his hair had been shaved. His clothing was also markedly different. He now wore a blue, round-necked shirt and a trouser of the same shade and color. He felt refreshingly empty. Free. Light. He instinctively had a strong hunch as to where he was. What he was. A sanitorium. A madhouse. A sanitorium. He was being treated for a mental illness..or a perceived appearance of it.

The realization did not shock him. He felt very calm indeed, calm enough to hear the thunderous silence in his head. He examined the room. It was empty, save for a feeding table and chair and his bed. He was cuffed to the metal bedpost and securely so. He tasked his memory with remembrance and found it equally clear and foggy..

He remembered blacking out in Lorenzo’s home. He had vague memories of waking up in this same room with different settings to it. Someone had once sent him flowers, or so he thought. He had memories of waking and feeling groggy and clammy, as though he were alive yet dead. He had memories of himself fighting to gain a sense of self-awareness before a recently familiar needle constantly snuffed the struggle out of him. He had memories of being fed constantly in his conscious unconsciousness. He particularly hated the scent some spice constantly added to his meals and how it always made him nearly puke every time but his vomit attempts eventually ended in bigger swallows.

He knew he was being held here against his own will. The handcuff said that expressly enough. He also knew whoever or whatever system was in the habit of keeping him as unconscious as possible had suffered a momentary setback; that there had been an unplanned lapse in the process that was constantly snuffing the air out of him. Big misstep, he thought to himself.

He knew had to get out wherever he was being held. Somehow, he didn’t think that getting out would be a problem. Soon enough, something or someone who knew their way around the place would attempt to put him to sleep again. They would fail and inadvertently be his exit ticket.

Feeling a little smug and content with himself, albeit alert and sensitively conscious, he lay down and waited.



*****************************************



Josh Riddle, 28, glanced at his wristwatch and nearly spat in disgust. He hated his job. He had missed his shift, again. Not that it mattered. He had missed it sometimes before. Never this late though. Doing the same thing over time and again, for the past three months, had to get dreary at some point. It had gotten dreary before now. But, he was exceptionally late for his shift this time. He was eight hours late. In reality, he had completely missed his shift.

He looked across from where he was lying and smiled at the sight beside him. Karen, his fiance, had sprawled out on the bed and was drawing in her breath in soft, barely audible snores that sounded just like an angelic choral to his hearing. She was just pretty, nothing like a T.V glamour girl or like an over-photoshopped prototypical model. She was pretty in the average, comfortable way. The way he liked. She loved him. Sometimes, it scared him the way she loved. It was fierce, passionate and left him drained with every dose yet craving for more of it. Just like whenever they made love. The waves of passion that swept through them both could probably generate electricity. The last sessions were particularly vociferous and had left him so drained that he had overslept and consequently missed his shift. He didn’t mind. He would probably miss a lot more shifts in the future if they stayed engaged and that suited him just fine.

“Morning Brahma”

She was awake and smiling up at him, the sweetest thing walking God’s green earth. He reached out and kissed her forehead, watching her face break into a dimpled blush.

“Morning sweets. Slept well?”

“Sound as a baby. You’re up already. Bundle of positive energy, aren’t you”, she playfully enquired, teasing the tip of his nose with her little finger.

“Oh, yea. I need to get on the road as soon as I can. I missed last night’s shift”

She frowned.

“But I shan’t be long, sweets. I need sort out a thing or two and I shall be back before you know it.”

“It’s just a little past the fourth hour of the morning. Be safe, will you?”

“Sure”, Josh said, half yawning. He was already getting into his things while taking a pause every few seconds to stare at Karen. She looked disturbed. He did not blame her, he was disturbed himself. But his work was sensitive and things could look awkward come daylight if he did not do the needful.

He gently brushed Karen’s lips with his and made for the door, whispering a soft “love you” to her before assuming a sense of businesslike urgency in his exit.

“Your work..I suppose it is important that you do not miss a beat?”

“Yes”, slightly raising his shoulders and giving himself an air of importance before speaking again. “Mr Millar is an important and a wealthy client. He likes to think that his business is handled as seriously as is humanly possible.”

Karen’s eyes fluttered a little. She shifted uneasily and reconditioned her voice to a something of a mild, firm throaty bass as though she intended to soothe him with it.

“But why does Millar keep that psychopath at Crystal Santorium? It is already common knowledge that he is unstable and that he murdered Vasco and two of his friends. It is a small town and we all would sleep a little more soundly at night knowing that horrible person was as far away from us as possible.”

“You slept fine last night”, Josh quipped, flashing a sneering smile across his face and then wiping it off at the speed of light with a glance at the look on Karen’s face.

“It’s nothing, really. I doubt that Mr. Millar would like the bad publicity that would ensue from the whole affair it went public with court proceedings and all. Even if the murders are prosecuted, the court would only do what he is doing now, send the Chase guy to a sanitorium. Millar isn’t exactly young anymore. Losing his wife and only child is enough grief without having to deal with the prying eyes of the press. I believe the situation is best kept as it is for now.”

“But he could escape.”

“He’s chained and asleep nearly all the time. The guards at the sanitorium have rifles for any emergency. Unless he is released, no, I do not suppose that he can escape.”

Karen attempted to speak again but Josh quickly put a finger to her lips and kissed her forehead. He hated working at a sanitorium. He wanted to make enough money, get married to Karen and fund himself through medical school at some point. As he walked out of the room, the silence that followed was heavy enough for him to detect the slightest of auditory vibrations and he heard it clearly when she whispered under her breath,

“Be safe.”



**********************************************



Chase kept as still as he could in the hours that followed his initial awakening but he started to get a little restless as time passed. He knew for a certainty that there had been an incident resulting in him not being sedated and it was starting to worry him a little.

He wondered about Lorenzo. It was likely that he knew he was being held as a prisoner in a madhouse wherever he was in and was already making plans to secure his release. There was also the possibility that he was very far away from Lorenzo and his business. He had made so many enemies he could not be sure who was coming for his head. Maybe one of the men he had conned in the past had decided to fix him. But the more he considered that possibility, the less sense it made. Anyone who wanted to get even with him would do so quickly and make a good job of it. But, he had not been killed yet; neither had he suffered any form of torture up until that time. In truth, asides from being cuffed and caged, he had been kept in a perfectly normal condition.

He was still brooding over the thought when he heard voices, one, male and the other, female. He knew the moment he had been waiting for was finally upon him. He sat up without much consideration, he swung into action…



************************************



Josh flashed his identification tag at the sleepy-eyed security guard on duty who saluted him as he opened the door and walked into the sanitorium’s reception hall. There were usually a lot more than one security personnel on guard duty during the day but there was only one at night. All of the patients were put to sleep at night and it was hard to find any security personnel willing to handle night shifts in such a small town. Most were tucked up in bed with their family or stone-drunk in a pub or holed up with a dame or something of the sort.

Pamela, the sanitorium receptionist flashed a knowing wink at him as he walked in. Josh fascinated her. Anything in trouser pants fascinated her actually, but Josh was a special case. Men, married and otherwise, went for her in a big way the moment she flashed a little skin at them. But Josh was different. It amused her, his indifference to her constant advances, even irritated her somewhat. However, it did not sweat her at all. She constantly reassured herself that someday, somehow, she would get him.

Josh strolled up to Pamela as she winked at him and exchanged pleasantries with her. Walking away, he heaved a little sigh. She was everyone’s screw and more importantly, she was the boss’ screw. It would not do for her to have him set up in a perfect position for blackmail. He hated his job but needed the money that came with it and the fact that she knew that he had missed his shift made him uneasy indeed.

He entered his cubicle and drew a mild sedative dosage into a disposable syringe, fitted a needle cap on its bore and picked up a bunch of keys. Then, he walked down the adjacent corridor until he got to the room where the patient he had been managing for the past three months resided. It was not much of a management though. His job was to moderately sedate at reasonable time intervals.

The scene that greeted his eyes stopped him in his strides and drew an instinctive, impulsive reaction..



********************************



Chase heard the door open and slightly adjusted his focus to see a man of average height stop at the door and then run into the room. He was lying on the floor of the room, his right limb hanging from the handcuff attached to the bed rails. As the man came rushing at him, he swung a punch aiming at his jaw and it connected like clockwork. The man went down as though he had been pole-axed.

He searched him with his free hand and found a bunch of keys, one of which looked like cuff lock. He tried it and the cuff came off with a click. Rubbing his wrists, he quietly sneaked out of the room. It did not take him a long time to locate the entrance but doing so presented a slight complication. There was no way of getting to it without passing through a reception where a lady who look like she was at a loss for what to do was seated.

He damned the consequences and made straight for the door. The lady glanced at him and winked but other than that, she showed no sign that she knew he was on the escape. He got to the door and opened it; breathing in the cold, damp air. He stepped out of the building and threw a glance at security man who was having a nap just by the door.

He was free again..for the present.



************************************

Pamela entered the room where the patient who had escaped the sanitorium had been held. Josh lay on the floor, apparently knocked out cold. She shrugged in indifference and made for the door. But just as she reached to open the door, a thought flashed through her mind and she afforded herself a smile that sent warmth and wild passion gushing through her.

She fastened the door shut, returned to Josh and set about amusing herself.
Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 7:38am On Oct 11, 2016
A visitor to the headquarters that morning would have noticed a few remarkable things. He would have noticed that the lawn had been left untrimmed for a while. He would have noticed that the cops that were on duty that morning had not the slightest bit of punctuality in their makeup, save for two desk officers who looked like they would rather be at the headquarters than anywhere else in that town. He would definitely have noticed a fit looking biker cop drive into the parking lot, pause to stare at the untrimmed lawn in poorly concealed indignation and then proceed to walk down to the headquarters building itself.

Police deputy, Chet Baker, walked smartly to his cubicle at the police headquarters and began to arrange his desk for the day. He looked immaculately clean, dressed in a stripped, sapphire blue, crisp uniform and had a air around him that commanded immense respect.

He was of average height, with an average, straight-nosed cop face and average black, well-trimmed hair. His boots were squeaky clean and would have been considered new by anyone not on the force. Even if he was not an excellent cop, he certainly looked the part. But he was an excellent cop with an ambition to becoming Police Chief that nearly rivaled his skill.

He had an uncanny knack for unraveling crime, no matter how difficult the case was. It was common knowledge around the force and out of it that most of the cases solved by the Chief of Police were dropped at his feet by Detective Chet, as he was polarizingly referred to. The petty cases were overblown in the local media as part of the anti-crime facade of the corrupt police chief. The not-so-petty cases died a natural death. Just like the Millar case.

When Vasco Millar had been shot dead, Chet had worked himself into a right uptight state. He had gone over every little, whimsical detail of the case in his mind and was starting to piece the puzzle together when the Chief had ordered him in no uncertain terms to cease and desist. Chet strongly suspected that the order was a directive from Millar himself, which was all the more disconcerting in two ways.

The first was that it meant that the force was strongly influenced by him, strongly influenced enough that it would hurriedly hush up a very rare murder case of an influential personality. The second was that it was extremely unusual that Millar would put a hold on to investigations about the murder of his heir.

Nonetheless, he did stop probing into the case officially. But he never stopped investigating it personally. Even when that Langley person had been “convicted” of the murder and then locked up in a sanitorium after being declared mentally unfit by the sanitorium’s resident hack.

The shrill ringing of the desk telephone brought his mind that had been preoccupied with perusing different matters back to the reality of his office and its surroundings. He sighed a little and then frowned a little.

It was very unusual indeed that the desk at the headquarters received a call, moreso early in the morning. The townsfolk preferred to come directly to the headquarters to lodge their complaints about broken windows, a lousy neighbor, a threatening louse or other things that could have been taken care of domestically in an attempt to service their ego and ascribe an air of importance to themselves.

Within a minute, Kent and Rudd sprinted into his office without knocking, apprehension written in bold letters on the creases of their forehead. Kent and Rudd were the youngest in the force and were alike in many ways. They both had looked strangely alike, took immense pleasure in their job as desk officers and had no ambition asides being exactly what they were.

They also were not corrupted by the rot in the force or appealed to by a glut for money and that coupled with their unlimited access to vital information as desk officers made them a perfect fit as informants for Chet.

“Sir, I’m afraid we have a big problem” Kent said, speeding through his words as though anxious to say more.

“Chase Langley has broken out of the Sanitorium”.

Chet reacted has though he had accidentally sat on naked wiring. This was an unexpected twist that meant a lot of things. It was a thing to have a murder suspect locked up in a sanitorium and investigation into the murder hushed up. But when that suspect breaks out, that is an entirely different matter.

The whole town would be turned inside out in a thorough manhunt that would probably locate a sperm cell in an ejaculate. The hunt would last three days and if the suspect was still at large, the state troopers would move in. It was a situation alright.

“When was it reported? Give me the specifics.”

“The incident was reported a few minutes ago by the Sanitorium’s receptionist. The breakout occurred an hour ago. It makes you wonder why she’s just reporting it, doesn’t it? The breakout was successful anyway and there were no casualties. The medical attendant on duty was roughed up a little.”

Well, Chet thought, this was it. His one chance to bust this case wide open and seal his promotion. In the end, the state troopers would get involved inevitably. The trick was to present to them a nice and tidy solved case. He had three days.

“Listen to me carefully officers. We must find him. I repeat for the benefit of emphasis that he must be found. I do not care how you do it, what you do or do not do. I want that man found within forty-eight hours. Sew this town tight as a surgeon’s stitch and turn it inside out. He has an hour’s headstart. That is not enough for him to escape the town already. You have the entire force at your disposal. I’d see to it that the Chief does not restrict you. By all means, bring in Langley within forty-eight hours.”

“Very well, sir”

“You’re dismissed”

Chet drew a deep breath in a useful attempt to keep calm. He knew Langley. They had both served in the same platoon in the army before he had been redeployed to this town after the dissolution of their regiment..before Chase had been dishonorably dismissed and if Chase did not want to be found, he would not be found.

That did not worry him. He had no interest in finding Chase anyway. He was sure that Chase was at best a pawn in a grand scheme that had cost Vasco his life. The only worry he had was that Chase was at large and if he had the slightest interest in pursuing his involvement in the case to a logical conclusion, it was a big complication indeed. However, this was his big break and no one, not even Chase Langley, would stop him and if he tried to get involved in the investigation, well, that would be too bad for him.

For all purposes and intents, he needed to begin the investigation from where he should have a long time ago. He had to examine Vasco’s body. The body of a murder victim often offered the trained eye a logical explanation regarding who committed the murder and how it was committed. Yes indeed, he thought, that was a good start.

Reaching for his desk phone, he cleared his throat loudly and dialled the Chief of Police.



*********************************

The one orchestrated the murder of Vasco Millar woke up to a start after having had the same nightmare for the third time that week. But it was to the sound of his private phone that he did awake which meant that the caller had an access to the number and was aware that he would still be in bed.

“Yes?”, he questioned, feeling slightly annoyed yet maintaining an unruffled, expressionless look that would have passed for a parishioner receiving communion on a perfect, sunny Sunday morning.

“I’m afraid we have a problem”, the caller whispered in a muffled voice that revealed, in crystal clear terms, the identity of the caller to his receiver.

“With you, there always is a problem. What is it this time?”

“Langley has escaped”

The silence that followed was solid enough to butter up a toast.

“The police?”

“Well, they are making one heck of an effort to find him. The town is in an uproar.”

“Right. Listen carefully to me. You know better than I do that the police are going to try to find him within three days before the troopers move in. I’m clearing out before then. I want you to fix it so I have no problems. The first instruction you have from me is to handle the Langley situation. I have no doubt he is still in town. Don’t underestimate him. He’s a tough cookie that is smarter than he is tough.”

“Understood.”

“I’ll be in touch with further instructions”, the receiver said with a note of finality and hung up.

He considered his plans as he replaced the phone. Well, they would have to be fastracked. He was running out of patience with the delay anyway. The scheming and plotting and strategizing excited him more than anything..anything except the money and everything that came with it.

Now was his big break. Within three days, he would have more money than most people in the world and all of it to himself. All that money and the other incentive. Well, he was going to have it and no one would stand in his way. Not Langley, not even that hyperactive detective nor anyone else. Three days.



***************************



An old man walked into the pub and ordered a pint of beer. He was bald and wore a white moustache with a thin white scar at the end of it. He walked with a slight limp and wore a loosely fitting piece of white elderly clothing. He sat by the bar and nearly drank the beer at a gulp.

That man was Chase Langley. He had come into the pub to reflect and find accommodation. He had a job on his hands.

“Say, my dear young man”, he asked Cisco the Negro bartender in a groggy voice, “have you got a room to spare for an old fella to lay his head?”

Cisco liked the old man. He looked like a wandering war veteran who had breezed into town and was in search of accommodation. Well, he was going to get it. The streets were a mess and no place for any man, old or young, because of the manhunt for the escaped murderer. It was bad for business, folks had not come out to drink or eat.

“Fifty bucks a week with breakfast and dinner”, Cisco said, smiling at the old man. The man’s arms were quite muscular for his age; they were evident despite his loose outfit.

The old man paid up and Cisco walked him to one of the rooms, took his order for breakfast, handed him the keys and quietly shut the door behind him as he left the room.

Once alone, Chase sat on the bed in the room and went over his plan. If it worked, he would bust the case wide open whether Millar or the police wanted him to or not. He now knew Millar had shut him up in the sanitorium and accused him of the murder of his son. The first step was to find out why. He would, he owed himself that one.

He knew that he had three days before the state troopers would be called in. Before then, he had to solved the case, get paid for it and leave the town. His days at the Sanitorium had been an harrowing experience for him. He had no interest in petty crime and booze and women anymore. That kind of life had lost its appeal for him. He wanted to establish his own private detective agency and lead a responsible life for a change. He had three days to make that happen.

Whistling a tune under his breath uninterestedly, he began to consider his plan again as he patiently awaited breakfast.



******THE END OF BOOK ONE



Author’s Note: “I tell you, Isaac. You have a criminal mind. You should write crime sometime. The results would definitely surprise you.” – Adebanji Ogunlanwo (Rest in Peace. I miss you, man.)



I began writing “They come and go” without a clear idea of how the story would turn out. I just wanted to fulfill Banji’s lifelong dream of reading crime fiction that I wrote. Sadly, he never did.



I still do not know how this story will end. We have hit the 12000+ mark and Book 2 is just beginning. It would be around 12000+ too, bringing us to around 25000 words. I intend to complete it before the end of the year. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have so far. The real fun is just about to begin.



– Abraham Isaac Oluwatimilehin
Re: They Come And Go (A Crime Thriller) by Zikdik(m): 4:26pm On Mar 14, 2017
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