Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Single Handed Part 2


I was brought out of my thoughts by yet another bump in the road, accompanied by a high-pitched giggle from the man across from me. It was hard to decide which was more irritating. I didn’t bother guessing though, and instead turned my attention back to the small gold band wrapped snugly around my pinky. It was the only finger the ring fit comfortable on.

“Isn’t it odd,” the man across from me asked, his tone overly cheerful, “for the chief of Asgard police to escort a prisoner to a court hearing?”

I looked up. The man across from me was Elias Fenton, one of the gang leaders controlling the central Asgard areas. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, though, chained up hand to foot and sitting casually on the other side of the transport van. He was as tall as I was, at six-foot-four, but wiry and lean. His hair, once spiked and ragged, laid flat against his skull in uneven clumps. In his orange jump suit, he reeked of sweat and some kind of cheap aftershave they’d let him wear for his arraignment. It had helped a little, but the man stank and he refused to shower.

I lowered my eyes back to the ring and debated answering him. It was dumb not to. I had questions, but the one I had to ask myself, was whether or not the little psychopath would answer them. Fenton’s gang, the Wolves, was one of the most vicious in the city. Fenton’s rap sheet alone was as long as he was tall, and even that failed to really show what a nut job the man really was.

In the end I decided it couldn’t hurt to talk. “Not odd…just rare,” I growled, looking him in the eye, “Lt. Locke wanted to escort you, but I had other things for him to do.”

For a second, I thought I saw a subtle twitch of Fenton’s jaw, but it disappeared the moment he grinned. While Fenton’s childlike giggle was irritating, it was the grin that unnerved me the most. Rather than looking pleased, the grin made him look predatory…feral. It was the look a rabid dog gave before it bit your fingers off. “Good,” Fenton said, “I hate that fucker.”

“Oh?” I said, trying to seem casual, all the while my heart racing. I tried not to let too much of my thoughts show on my face as I wondered how I could get what I needed without tipping him off. “You know Lt. Locke? Alexander Locke?”

Fenton’s smile faltered a little, but he blustered through, “That’s his first name?
 Yeah, Lt. Locke. He runs the gang unit, right? I’ve had a few close calls with him. Finally caught me though, right?”

“Nope, that was me,” I said, and it was true enough. A few weeks back I’d been brought in on a case involving a local private detective and a family of scumbags. Three murders, all of them brutal, especially the sister who’d died worse than any of them. The best part had been the evidence: a single ring implicating a dirty cop. After that, I’d known I had to bring in Fenton. It had taken a lot of work, and a lot of palms had needed greasing, but in the end the net had finally caught Fenton. Now I just needed answers.

Once again, Fenton seemed to falter, but recovered quickly. “You’re an idiot, Tyler.”

“Excuse me?”

“You come off like some kinda peacock, strutting your stuff: moving officers around, claiming credit for an operation you probably only had a small part in, and for what? So I can be impressed? You’re nothing. You’re less than nothing. A glorified desk jockey in a shiny uniform.”

“I got you, though,” I said, smiling at him.

“Yippee!” Fenton said, twirling his hand in the cuffs. It was a little disturbing to watch. Fenton’s hand was viciously mangled: his ring and middle finger were missing, and the middle of his palm was gutted and hollow in the center so that you could see all the way through it. “You must feel so clever, Tyler. Well, don’t: I won’t stay locked up.”

“You’ve got at least three dozen murders on your record,” I said, “at least four of those were cops, one of them died during your arrest. You’re going into a cell so deep, you may forget what fresh air smells like.” I took a pointed sniff in his direction. “Not that you ever knew what that smelled like.”

Fenton just kept grinning, “If it were anyone but you, I might think I was, and maybe for a good reason. But I’ve had too many close calls to get caught now. I think you’re being played.”

“What do you mean, played? By who?”

“I mean that somebody probably wanted you, me and that ring you keep flashing in my face in this cage together, so -”

Fenton never finished his sentence. There was a crash of screaming metal behind me that sent me flying just as the whole world went sideways…then, black.

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