Near 500 words: TW makes a decision

Episode # 29 of The Writer

TW (aka The Writer) locked the Dr. Baxter’s door behind him, then he heard footsteps coming down the hall. “That’s them,” he whispered to Dr. Christine Baxter.

“What do you think they want?” Christine asked.

“I don’t know. And they’ve been after me for the last twenty-four hours.”

“Why don’t I talk to them?”

“They killed my cat and Buddy Grady. They’d kill you too. We have to get out of here.”

“Why would they kill me?”

“Maybe because they thought you were in their way. Of getting to me.”

Christine stood up and opened the window behind her. “We can get out this way.”

“We’re three stories above ground.”

“There’s a tree. Follow me.”

Christine climbed up on the ledge and out the window. She reached over and grabbed a branch of the oak and followed the branch.

TW was right behind her.

She went down the tree, stepping from branch to branch until she reached the ground.

TW made the final jump and joined her. “What now?”

“Let’s head over to Jack Reed’s office. He’s the expert on the K’lggsh.”

Above them, they heard the two men crash into her office.

Christine started to run. TW looked up to see the two men at the window. Then he was off after Christine. They came to a second building. They dashed inside and down the hall. Christine went out the back door and grabbed TW’s arm and pulled him inside. She opened a janitorial closet door.

“Wait. I think I know what they want,” TW said. “They want the postcard.”

“You think?”

“Yes. And I’m not going to let them have it.”

“How can we keep it from them?”

“We can’t. That’s why I have to destroy it. Do you have a match or a cigarette lighter?”

“No. Why don’t you just rip it up?”

“I don’t think that would be enough.”

Footsteps passed the closet and down the hall. They heard the building door slam shut.

Christine took TW by the arm, opened the door and slipped into the hallway. “Let’s go.”

The two of them were out of the building. They hurried toward a red brick, three story structure. Breathing hard, they entered the property.

“Jack’s office is in here.”

TW let go of her hand. “No. I have to go. Otherwise you and Dr. Reed will be in danger.”

“We can help you.”

“No, you can’t. Your lives will just be in danger.” Then TW went out the door and across the campus. He saw a student smoking a cigarette about ten yards ahead of him. He looked behind him and the two men were coming.

TW dashed toward the student. He felt the two men getting closer and closer. He reached the student. “I need a light.”

The student laughed, then handed over his lighter.

TW pulled the postcard out of his rear pocket. He clicked the lighter. It didn’t light.

“No,” the two men yelled. The two men were almost on top of him. The first grabbed for the postcard. But he missed.

TW clicked the lighter a second time. It lit. He set the light against the postcard. The postcard caught fire.

The other of the two men reached out and grasped for the card. TW managed to keep the burning card away from him as the second of the two went for him.

The student stepped in and knocked the smaller man off his feet.

The curl of the fire burned the tips of TW’s fingers. TW dropped what was left. The card was ashes when it touched the ground. A robin, then a butterfly rose from the ashes.

He knew that this was Sylvia. This was the last he would ever see of her.

He looked around. Like Sylvia, the two men and the student were gone.

Advertisements

Near 500 words: TW and the Two Men

Episode #28 of The Writer.

As TW (aka The Writer) sped away, he looked in the rear view mirror. The police car blew up. But the two men walked away from the disaster. Their police uniforms were gone and they now wore black suits.

“Unbelievable.”

He saw that the speed limit was 30 mph, so he slowed down to make sure the real cops didn’t stop him. That was all he needed. Every chance he had he whipped down a left street, then a right one. He tried to come up with a strategy to keep him safe from the two goons who had killed his friend and his cat.

Before he knew it, he was at the University and pulling up into one of the many parking garages. Since it was still early, he easily found parking spots. But he wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to make things easy for the two men. So he pulled up between two other cars in such a way that only a drive-by could spot his car.

He looked at the time on the dashboard clock. It was eight o’clock.

He had made up his mind. Dr. Baxter was the only one who might be able to help him figure out what to do next. Otherwise he was on his own. For one thing, no one else, not even the police, would believe he was being chased by what he had decided were immortals.

“What do they want?”

He slid out of the car and locked it. He was famished. He decided he would go by the college cafeteria and get a breakfast, then head on over to Dr. Baxter’s office.

The scrambled eggs and bacon were a little too greasy for his liking, but still, they would do. He finished the food, then drank what was left of his coffee. He stood up to take his tray over to trash the paper plate and stack the tray. The two walked through the cafeteria door.

Before they could see him, he ducked and made his way to the kitchen, then out the back door. The nearest building was the gym. He ran inside the building and found himself on the basketball court, then through the men’s locker room and out the back hall.

He hurried into the library and past the check-out desk and down the hall. He turned and went downstairs. He was in the archives when he heard the two men’s footsteps. How did they know where he was?

He dropped onto his knees and stilled his body, breathing heavy. They passed him one book shelf over. Then they were out the back door.

TW went the way he came. Once outside the library, he checked out both directions and made a quick decision. He had to make it to Dr. Baxter’s office without being seen. Maybe the two of them could decide what to do.

He went around to the back of her office building, then slipped inside and headed up the stairs. He opened the third floor door. From the other end of the building, he saw the two men. They were closing in on him.

He hurried down a side hall and found Dr. Baxter’s office and opened the door. She looked with surprise up from her desk. For a moment, he felt like he was going to pass out. “You gotta help me,” he said.

“What?”

“Two men are after me. I think they are K’lggsh.”

Near 500 words: TW and the Cops

Episode # 27 of The Writer.

“Can you give me a minute? I have to get something out of the bathroom,” TW (aka The Writer) said to the two cops.

“Sure,” said the one who had spoken earlier. “Just make it quick. Don’t want to make the sergeant wait.”

TW slipped into the bathroom and closed the door behind him. The first thing that came to his mind was that these two were not cops. It had been a lieutenant who was in charge of Buddy’s case. Also, there was something weird about the two. Then he realized that these might be the two who had murdered Buddy.

He opened the door, took one look at the two cops, grabbed his cellphone and ran toward the two men. He rammed into the big one. The force of his body sent the first against the second and both out the motel door and onto the second floor walkway and over the guard rail.

The two hit the pavement below. They jumped up and went for the stairs. Normally cops would have pulled their guns. These two did not. Which meant they wanted something that only TW could provide.

TW darted back into his room, scooped up his keys and headed outside and down the walkway, making a speedy attempt to escape the two. He jumped three steps at a time down the stairway and hit the ground running for his car. Clicking his car remote, he opened the doors and jumped in, started the car and headed to the highway and off down the road.

Behind him, the police car was making chase. If these were real cops, TW surmised, they will have their buddies join them. And if these were real cops, he would be in a heap of trouble.

As far as he could tell, no buddies were joining them.

He took a look at his gas gauge. He was almost full. At least, that’s not something I have to worry about.

TW had an idea. He’d seen a certain maneuver in a James Bond movie. So here went nothing. He swerved and turned the car around. Then he hit the gas and accelerated. If this worked, they wouldn’t know what hit them. He turned on his headlights and hit bright. Just as he was about to hit the police car, he veered to the left and onto the shoulder.

Then he heard the police car crash into a tree. Smoke was coming out of its tail pipe.

The driver got out of his car and went to pull his gun.

TW put his car in reverse and sped toward the driver. The driver aimed and TW made a quick move to the left. The bullet missed him and his car struck the driver. The driver flew through the air. The passenger from the police car was climbing out and trying to get his orientation.

TW went into drive and took off. Where he was going he wasn’t sure but he wasn’t sticking around to let those two do their business on him.

Near 500 words: Buddy’s dead, now what?

Episode #26 of The Writer

It was almost midnight when the police finished questioning TW (aka The Writer). He told the police what Buddy had told him. That there were two men leaving his house and one had slugged him. And now he was dead.

Sitting in the Denny’s, picking over his eggs, nothing made since to him. Two of the closest creatures in his life, Cat, then Buddy, were dead. And it was possible that their deaths were connected. But why? And why would two men be going through his house.

He lifted his coffee cup to his lips and drank, then set it back down on the table. He asked himself a question. If I were a character in a novel, what would I suspect was going on? And what would I do next?

If this was the plot of a novel he was writing, the two deaths definitely would be connected. That meant that the two men had been in his house before. They had let Cat out and sliced her with a blade. Maybe they had taken her with them and she escaped. Yes, that’s what happened. The thought sickened him.

And Buddy had surprised them. They were not expecting Buddy to drive up to his house. That also meant they knew where he was. Probably because they had someone watching him. So they had plenty of time to search my house.

But what were they looking for?

It was becoming obvious that the two men took the postcards and the two wooden carvings. What was it about the postcards? Why did they want them? And were they watching him right now?

Of course, they were.

Okay, knowing all this, what could he do about it?

TW was tired. He drove the several blocks to the motel the police had sent him to, almost falling asleep at the wheel. He pulled into the motel parking lot. The police had decided that he was not going to go back to the house since it was a crime scene.

He got out of the car and went into the manager’s office. The manager gave him a key. “It’s one of the rooms around the back.”

The second floor room was sparse. Two beds and two dressers, a TV and a lamp.

He locked the door behind him and slid the chain into place. Then he turned off the lamp and dropped onto the bed.

He woke up with a pounding in his head. After a minute or so, he realized that it wasn’t in his head. It was at the door. He pulled back the curtains to see two uniformed police officers outside.

He opened the door and the two men stepped inside. “We need you to come with us. The sergeant has some more questions.”

Near 500 words: TW and His Friend

Episode #25 of The Writer

TW (aka The Writer) left Christine Baxter’s office late. He looked at his watch. It said 6 p.m. As he got into his car, he realized that he was starving. When had that happened?

The time he had spent in Dr. Baxter’s office had passed way too fast. As they discussed the postcard and what it revealed, the two of them came to the conclusion that they had to get together the next day in the library to continue their research. Where it would lead neither knew. But they knew it would lead somewhere unbelievable. They were on the edge of a major discovery. All because of a postcard.

There was a steak in the freezer. He’d thaw it out and throw it on the grill. This was the first time he’d wanted to eat since Cat died. What had she gotten herself into and what had happened to the postcards?

He veered to the right, barely missing a pedestrian. Get your mind on your driving. You can think about Cat and the postcards and Dr. Baxter’s information after you get home, he told himself.

He turned into his street and saw Buddy’s car parked in his driveway. Good. He would have a chance to discuss the recent events with Buddy. He pulled over and parked on the side of the road because there was no room in the driveway behind Buddy’s car.

Then he saw the body. It was Buddy.

He jumped out of his car and ran over to see Buddy lying on the grass. Buddy was shaking his head.

TW kneeled down to see if Buddy was okay.

“Give me a hand,” Buddy said.

As TW lifted Buddy off the grass, he asked, “What happened?”

“Damned if I know.”

TW waited till Buddy cleared his head, then he helped his friend inside. Buddy sat down on one of the dining room chairs. TW went into the kitchen and poured water onto a washcloth and took a bottle of water out of the refrigerator.

Sitting across from Buddy at the table, he listened as his friend gave him the story. “I had some papers to give you. They’re from Dr. Hollings. As I got out of my car, I saw two men leaving your house. I dialed 9-1-1. When the dispatcher picked up, one of the s.o.b.s slugged me. Where’s my phone anyway?”

“I’ll get it.”

A minute or so later, TW laid the pieces of Buddy’s phone onto the table.

“Shit,” Buddy said. “I just got that phone too.”

“Why don’t I take you to the hospital, then I can call the cops.”

“Guess that’s best. I sure have one hell of a headache.”

A half hour later, TW was talking to the doctor. “Is he going to be all right?”

“I think so. But it’s best he stay overnight, and we do some x-rays in the morning.”

“Can I see him?”

TW walked into Buddy’s room. “You’re going to be alright. I just saw the nurse who’ll be taking care of you. Maybe I could get hit over the head and she’d take care of me.”

“You’re not going to steal–Damn this head.”

Buddy’s chin dropped to his chest.

TW rushed out into the hall, yelling, “Nurse, nurse. Someone.”