Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fixer [Interim Title] Chapter 7 Part 1

Chapter 1 Part 1 Chapter 1 Part 2 Chapter 2 Part 1 Chapter 2 Part 2
Chapter 3 Part 1 Chapter 3 Part 2 Chapter 4 Part 1 Chapter 4 Part 2
Chapter 5 Part 1 Chapter 5 Part 2 Chapter 6 Part 1 Chapter 6 Part 2

Chapter 7

There was mixed gore and brains splattered against the wall. My masked buddy's ski mask was now fragments mixed with the gore. The smell of blood and urine and feces filled the air, the smell of death. Dr. Feelgood had arrived and was taking pictures, humming a happy tune. Officer Jackson looked a bit green about the gills again.

"Hi Marvin," I said, intercepting Dr. Feingold and kissing him on the bottom of his chin again.

"Hi Kathy. You look hungry. Want a sandwich?" He pulled a sandwich out of one of the pockets on his lab coat. Tuna salad. Yum. I grabbed it and took a bite, realizing just how hungry I was. I'd missed lunch getting patched up at the doc-in-box. Officer Jackson was making gagging noises and holding his hand over his mouth. Dr. Feingold handed him a barf bag out of another of his pockets.

I pointed at the dead man. "What killed him?" I wolfed down another quarter of the sandwich, eating like I meant it.

Dr. Feingold pointed at the wall behind the dead man. "The bullet went in there. We'll know more when I get it out, but it looks like a .357 magnum hollow point. Massive destruction."

"I shoot 9mm, full-jacketed."

He nodded. "I know." He pointed to the shoulder and leg wounds. "Those are 9mm bullet holes. Bullet went clean through except where it tumbled in the leg after hitting the bone. Odd angle, though. Almost like someone was shooting from the ceiling?"

I held up my wrists. "I was tied to the rafters. Rope burns."

"Ah." He examined the bandages on my wrists, then produced an evidence bag with frayed rope in it. "Already got that. Your blood on this?"

"Yeah." I stuffed the rest of the sandwich in my mouth. Officer Jackson was shaking his head. He still looked green.

He consulted his notebook, walked to where he'd found the rope, and looked upward. "How'd you work it?", he asked.

"I baited him into getting close, kicked him in the balls, and swung up into the rafters. The rest was easy."

"Not easy," he said. "Not easy at all." He patted me on the shoulder, and looked wistful. "You take care," he said. I was suddenly very interested in my shoes.

Officer Jackson cleared his throat. Dr. Feingold turned his attention to him. "She doesn't shoot a .357. Too much kick. She's too light, can't control it. She didn't have anything to do with this man's death. Send her home."

"She shot a man."

Dr. Feingold sighed, and shook his head. "Even if she did, it was self defense. There isn't a jury in this county that would convict a tiny little thing like her for shooting some goon who tied her up and hurt her. What's the point?"

"Thanks," I muttered.

Dr. Feingold gently put his hand on my shoulder, and said softly to me, "I know you think you're tough. And you are. But that doesn't turn you into a 250 pound linebacker. You've had a hard day. Go home. Get some rest. Go."

"Thanks, Marvin," I said, and leaned my head against his shoulder for a moment, and closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. Then I shook my head and headed for the door.

"Hey," Officer Jackson said, catching up with me. "What's with you and Doctor Feingold?"

"He's been with the coroner's office a long time," I said. "He was there when they brought my mother in."


Fourteen years old. Fourteen years old, and a knowledge deep inside that it wasn't right, wasn't fair. Saying to her father, "I have to see her. I have to know." And a young Doctor Feingold, hands on that girl's shoulders, saying "You don't want to see this, it's not a good idea" but I had to. I had to.

The image of my mother's dead and shattered body on that lonely table remains with me to this day. And the look on young Doctor Feingold's face, as that girl pulled the sheet down, looked, nodded, and said "Now I know she's dead," turned and walked out. I remember that, too.

I rubbed my eyes. The sunlight was making them water. Yeah, that was it.

"You okay?" Officer Jackson asked.

"Yeah. Just tired." I stopped. "What about the Beemer?"

"Leased to an import/export company. America Import/Export."

I closed my eyes, shook my head, and smiled. I knew who the guy in the Beemer worked for, anyhow. I doubted that he was shooting anybody with a .357 Magnum, unless he'd bought it himself, which was unlikely given that his issue weapon was a Glock 23 .40 caliber pistol which for his purposes was preferable to the .357 Magnum. Of course, Doc could be wrong about the .357, but it wasn't likely. He'd seen a lot of bullet holes in his time. A .40 jacketed government load shot from an automatic didn't make the same kind of hole as a .357 Magnum soft lead hollow point shot from a revolver.

"Forget about him," I said. "He's got nothing to do with this. What about the house?"

Officer Jackson shook his head. "Still waiting on the warrant."

I nodded. "It's been a long day. I'm going home."

It was 2PM.

Not much happening here, but still one of my favorite scenes. Got that whole hard-boiled softy thing going, between gobbling down a sandwich amidst the smell of blood and shit, and getting a bit bleary-eyed during the backstory flashback. Kathy is someone who might let her guard slip a bit from time to time, but never much, for reasons that should be starting to come clear now and will be crystal clear by the end. Too bad. There's people who care for her and could be good for her, if she'd let them.

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