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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Jack flexes his courage as well as his experience to beard The Vampire's boss in hi lair. Who he finds in that lair, flattens him with righteous disbelieving shock.

Chapter 8 (v.1) - PARADISE FOUND

Submitted: July 20, 2019

Reads: 17

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Submitted: July 20, 2019




A Novella

Nicholas Cochran

Chapter Seven


After jiggling Ms. Lemur’s remarks around in his craw, the smug assurance in her voice was what righteously burned his ass; the complete cocky hubris of the woman both impressed and slowly came to infuriate him.

Amanda had seen the ‘lost’ look in her husband’s eyes following his report on Percy’s case. Her words of encouragement and call to arms had been the correct stimuli to spring loose any bolts which were holding back her husband’s inner engines from roaring forth to beard the lion who was planning to skewer her bother and send him off to be destroyed.


After some deep breathing and a few neck twirls, Jack took the elevator to the fifth floor. He had not called for an appointment, but felt an inner confidence that he would catch Lemur’s boss alone and off guard.
Exactly what he would say to 'The Boss' had been rattling around his brain, written down in short hand, and partially rehearsed before the bathroom mirror.

He talked to himself  and reminded himself of all the demons he had conquered in his life; the killers he had stared down; the near-tragic results he had been able to reverse into victories; the number of occasions when he had placed first; other occasions when he had surprised—if not others—himself. Pep talks between halves; stirring musical music played during contests; every aspect of self assurance that he could muster. Jack Koak marshaled them all, stood up straight, and approached the desk of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Fifth Floor Division.

Instantly, Jack was confused. He could not remember ever being on this floor before. He had thought that he would be on the fourth floor where the felony case attorneys hung out. This floor was new to him and for a moment, his confidence faltered. Nevertheless, his legs kept moving and in five long strides, he reached the receptionist’s counter. On either side of the counter were brochures in stacked holders. A dozen or so were urging citizens to report and counter spousal abuse; child molestation; and fathers who were refusing to support their children.

Now Jack was positive he was on the wrong floor. Percy’s case fit none of the titled brochures. ‘Well, I might as well ask.’

A tall black woman in her thirties, with short perfectly-styled hair, smiled at him and lifted her finely-tweezed brows, “Can I help you?” warm tones.

“Hi; thanks, yes you certainly can; I am absolutely lost; I really need your help.”

Over the years, Jack discovered that pleading confusion and openly asking for help produced the best results: immediate cooperation and willingness to aid—most of the time. Anna Burbank was added to the list of ‘successfuls’. Anna operated the six-foot wide oak counter next to the locked doorway to some DA offices behind her. She wore perfect make-up and displayed a gleaming smile when she heard Jack’s request for help.

“Who are you here to see?” again; soft, mellow.

“Well, I’m looking for the DA who’s in charge of my client’s case; the client is Percy Dane.”

“Oh,” Anna’s smile retreated somewhat, while her brows knitted and her teeth appeared to lose their dazzle, “that’s BB’s case; are you the defense attorney?”

“Yes; is there a problem?” and Jack was thinking that perhaps his ‘shot in the dark’ was going to shoot himself in the  foot—maybe both feet.

“Well,” tentative, but more cautious than obstructing, “he’s a tough guy to get in to see. He usually requires a definite appointment; but if you’re the defense attorney . . . can I see your Bar card?” Now Anna was following procedure; but still not denying entry. Jack had kept his card out to show security. He gave it to Anna.

Jack jumped into Anna’s study of his Bar card. “If he’s not with someone; I just need to tell him something; won’t take long, Anna.”

“How did know my name?” cautious, curious.

Jack pointed to the bin of files sitting on a rolling cart behind her. The File label read Anna.

Anna turned back to him with her best smile. “Well, well; what big eyes you have,” quickly glimpsing at his card, “Jack,” and she released a merry laugh, “hey, just go on in; I’ll take any heat. He should be in a pretty good mood; just found a dead-beat dad in Maine; Friday afternoon and all . . . but you should be prepared for, well, an outburst . . . and a quick ‘get outta here’; but that’s BB. Anyway, good luck Jack. If I don’t see you come by after an hour, I’ll call the coroner.” This time her laugh was pure encouragement.

Jack flashed Anna his best smile and set off in the direction of her pointing arm. Her bracelets silently glimmered until she lowered her arm and turned back to her tasks.

Jack’s appointed task began down a long, dimly lit government-brown hallway. A couple of overhead bulbs, the last-a-millennium type, provided the sole source of illumination. Every fifteen feet along his path, there was a numbered and name-plated door. BB’s was 508.

While he walked between the widely-spaced lights, the walls morphed to a muddier brown, that became almost black when he reached the midpoint between the clearly insufficient lighting. Jack had the sudden sickening sensation of walking ‘the last mile’ in Q. He was a ‘dead man walking’. For a moment, he forgot that it was Percy’s carcass, not his, that was being greased for the roasting spit.


One more door to pass, before the gate to the lion’s den.

There it is.

It was closed.

Jack halted. “Bugger!”

He took to a few more steps before stopping again to hear and feel the musical shudder of We are the Champions.”  He took another step and stopped, paralyzed by both the volume of the music and the increasing shaking of the walls and the floor.

“Thank you. Goodbye, we love you” tore through the opening door of the lion’s den. A silhouette followed and stopped, framed by the dim light from the office like the subject of a Hopper painting.

“You looking for me?” low, querulous.

Jack’s knees buckled. He shot out his hand to the wall for support. The catch in his throat tightened.‘Jesus, man; you are losing it.’ And he was.

The silhouette asked again; “Hey, buddy, you looking for me?” This time, accusatory, almost menacing.

All Jack could manage was a squeaky, “I sure as hell am, man; if you are who I think you are."
The silhouette took a step toward Jack. The full force of the dim lighting of his office now threw a cape of sepulchral glow upon the figure of . . . Balding Bill Belkins. 

Jack gasped. He released himself from his wall-crutch and rushed Belkins.

“Belky! It’s you; Jesus, man . . . it’s you, Bill Belkins. You’re . . .you’re, BB?” wondering, relaxing, hoping, praying, “Christ,” and he rushed forward to meet his destiny from the past, his old pal, last seen fifteen years ago, seated between the two humps of a camel that was carrying him into a Sahara mirage. 

End of Chapter Seven

© Copyright 2019 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.


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