The Reason (Chapter 34 Old Money)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


He dangled from a chain ended by a hook, cuffs dug into his skin being a disciplined soldier he focused on a thought, he did not complain.  Salvatore approached Hinn holding his cane as he stood in front of him they made eye contact though Hinn was upside down.  “You know what you did” Hinn did not speak.  Arthur Wall walked up to the two of them he pushed the confined Hinn causing him to sway as his body swung it was met by Arthur’s brogue boot against Hinn’s nose causing it to break, blood spattered  dripping on the floor Salvatore remained motionless, he leaned against his cane.  Hinn knew that his perdicanent would be his end, he was without option, “Sif killed my brother, your daughter was not the target” Salvatore picked up his cane he swung it connecting solidly with the side of Hinn’s head, “No one asked you to speak” Hinn hung without words, blood rushed to his head, his nose was broken and he was in considerable pain.  Salvatore flicked a hand for his nurse to give him his butcher apron.  He hooped it around his neck and his nurse tied it around his waist.  Anticipation filled the slaughter house, the sound of the power generator revved and the dimly lit lights flickered Salvatore sharpened the blades against the handled stone in preparation for what he was going to do.  Out of desperation of necessity Hinn gave an admission, “Michelle is pregnant with my child!”  That caught Salvatore’s attention.  He was not sure if he had heard correctly, “What was that?” Salvatore slowly crouched low nearly meeting with Hinn eye to eye, “Your daughter is pregnant with my child” Salvatore stood up he looked to Arthur, “Flip him” Several men grabbed Hinn taking him off of the hook flipping him upright.  Pressure released from his head as the pain of pressure transferred from Hinn’s ankles to his wrist.  Salvatore wanted to look eye to eye with the man that he was facing.  Hinn wore silk pajama’s as he was sleeping when he was abducted.  The back doors of the Slaughterhouse opened two men walked in with three pit bulls each restrained by leashes.  Hinn felt their presence forming an instant connection, “Attack” Hinn gave the order.  The Pitt bull snarled and growled at the two men that owned them.  As the two men pulled on the leashes familiar with their pets, it was not enough to stop the six dogs from attacking the two men in unison biting the jugular’s and faces of their owners.  In the slaughterhouse were ten men in total including the two that had walked in with the pit bulls.  “Didn’t I tell you no dogs?”  Arthur yelled.  With leashes still attached the pit bulls left the bodies of their owners running toward the old man that stood in front of Hinn.  As they neared they lept in unison “Shoot Them” Arthur commanded knowing that if the dogs attacked him it would be his own end, Salvatore held his knife stabbing one of the Pit bulls in the ribs as it bit his arm.  Another was about to attack Salvatore’s nurse grabbed the leash of the Pitt bull that neared him, it attacked her instead.  As it bit her face Arthur shot the pit bull in the back.  In orderly procession several guns went off the six pit bulls were dead along with two of Arthur’s men.  Salvatore had been bit in the arm, it throbbed from the clamping pressure but no bones were broken nor did he bleed.  His nurse on the other hand had been bit on one side of her cheek it was open part of it clean from her face.  Salvatore held his calm unsurprisingly, “Get her to a hospital” he picked up his boning knife he looked to Hinn, “I will not forgive what she and my daughter will not forget” Following his words keeping eye contact with Hinn whom did not speak he plunged the tip of the boning knife into the throat of Hinn and tore upward.  Blood flowed freely Hinn gasped for air and bubbled formed from his throat and then he was dead.  

 

A moment later Salvatore walked to the two men Arthur walked to the side of Salvatore smoking a cigarette.  Having not smoked a cigarette in Forty One years Salvatore asked for a cigarette.  “These two men that did not follow orders did they have children?”  Arthur pointed to the first, “He did not but the other one had two”  Salvatore’s hands were covered in blood.  “Sorry about the nurse” Arthur confided Salvatore nodded he took a drag from the cigarette, “Nellie’s a tough bitch she’ll be fine.” He dropped the cigarette then he walked back to Hinn whom was dead on the hook.  Angered with the quick death that he did not deserve Salvatore picked up his boning knife cleaned the blade on his apron, took it off, then wrapped his knives in the apron.  “I will pay you the agreed upon price, but I want those two families to be compensated a greater share.  I want photographs of the body and I need one of your men to drive me home.”  Salvatore gave one last look at the slaughterhouse that filled so many of his childhood memories before he exited the building.  It began to rain as he stood outside breathing in fresh air feeling much better about getting vengeance.

 

****

 

The engine to the Husqvarna 450 purred as it idled Craig refilled the bar and chain oil along with the mixed gas and two stroke oil.  In total he had cut six fifteen feet long boards that were each two and a half inches thick.  They were scarred heavily as milling with a chainsaw does.  Typically milled boards are spaced and left to dry in a shed or under a pitched tarp but while he had the fight to do something to show he decided to process the milled boards.He shut off the chain saw and walked to the shed.  Fetching a tape measure, skill saw, 2x4’s and screw-gun with screws he made a couple of saw horses.  If there was the difficult part it was with transporting the fifteen feet two and a half inch boards.  The wood was maple not as heavy as oak but the wood was still of considerable weight.  He knew that he would cut the milled boards down eventually.  Craig made the cuts to the studs making an A connected by boards both high and low.  When the sawhorses were complete he set them up in front of the house then he walked back to the milled boards and brought a wheel barrel with him.  Yes, he knew that he was doing things the hard way but he didn’t care.  He was a stubborn man that was set on accomplishing a goal.  Tilting milled board by board on top of the wheel barrel he let the weight of each board teeter the wheel barrel just enough where it would roll without being stopped by its metal legs and when the destination was reached he dropped them.  After the first board he stopped checking his arm, it was tight and the scar tissue ball was stiff but he was without pain, so he continued.  Out of breath and strength he had to stop and take a rest after he was done.  It had been two days since his last cigarette and he had promised himself that he would stop smoking, like most cigarette smokers he broke his promise.  Walking to his car he pulled out a pack of Marlboro Menthol Lights from the console along with a lighter.  He lit a cigarette and smoked as he made way to his shed fetching a wood planer, belt sander, palm sander, and table saw.  Pride filled work while labor intensive had the intention of being made to last.  It took most of the strength that he had in him to lift one side of the two and half inch plank placing it on top of the sawhorse then the other side.  Looking at the milled board resting on two sawhorses tree bark covered both sides and the flat of the wood held chainsaw markings. His injured arm throbbed from fighting the weight of the board eventually getting it up on the sawhorse, one side at a time.  He lit another cigarette then he plugged in the extension chord into the electric wood planer he set it to three sixty forths of an inch, then he started to plane the heavy scarring that had taken place when he milled the wood with the chain saw.  Wood chips flew scattering over the green lawn that needed mowing, with each pass of the wood planer the wood became more smooth and the semblance of a wood board started to take shape.  As it became smooth with many passes of the wood planer the scarring that remained resembled skin as if it had been burned by a lighter leaving an impression of its transgressor.  The remaining blemishes along with fully smoothing the boards would be left up to the belt and palm sander.  The bark of the wood that was still on both sides and well over a foot wide would be cut off by a circular saw later.  Even with out the bark he was impressed that Faith had cut down such a large tree.  Caught up in his work he hadn’t heard or seen a car park in front of the house.  Of course he was in the back yard and when a slim woman with short black cropped hair walked up to him from behind he turned around only based on instinct rather than actually seeing or hearing anything.  Craig left the wood planer on top of the board and he took off the goggles that he wore.  “What are you doing?” Arianne asked him.  “Making a table” She nodded, “From a tree?”  Craig breathed in, “Where’s Sif?”  She noticed Craig’s cigarettes on a nearby picnic table.  Now the last time that she saw him smoking cigarette she tossed out the pack.  She remembered reprimanding him this time she took out a cigarette and placed it in her mouth, “Got a light?” Craig didn’t ask questions he flicked the lighter and lit her cigarette, “I deserve a cigarette after putting up with all of Sif’s whining” Craig smiled, “Michelle Moonshine’s current state doesn’t bother you?”  Arianne nodded no, “She cost me a lot of money and ruined my reputation with many important contacts that took me many years to get over.  I don’t wish her dead but I don’t feel remorse.”  Arianne walked to the wood noting the progress that he had made with the first board, he was currently working on his second.  “Country tables can sell for 2-4 grand if they are made well” Craig nodded in recognition it wasn’t the money he wanted the achievement.  “The boards will sit under a tarp through the winter to dry and then I will finish, but I need to keep my mind still.”  Arianne walked close to Craig she took a moment to analyze him she took off the baseball cap with the insignia reading Rhode Island College off of his head, “I can see that your dry” he took the hat from her hands, “I water myself down with my own sweat” Arianne put out the cigarette that she lit after she smoked it half way, “You know how to survive.”  Craig wore a new pair of Dan Post Scoop cowboy boots he pointed to them, “I fight for freedom and industry" Arianne nodded, "What were you fighting for when you met me?"  Their positions became serious neither looked the other way, "Myself!  I was a thorn in the foot of giants that took me for a ride."  She took a step forward, "Is that what I was to you?"  Slightly nodding his head, "We're like the west, we do things and form bonds that will never be equalled" Arianne squinted then she nodded, “Horse cock!” Craig walked around her, “And when I met you how was it?” Arianne laughed, “I’ve seen you” He lifted a hand, “And?” She looked him in the eyes, “Bigger than a horse” She walked up to him, “You get me” he told her.  “It’s the matter not the mind” she leaned in to kiss him he turned his head.  “Upon our conception I’ve always been about the matter” Opening up the gates to the back yard was Debbie-Sue with Craigs children.  The kids ran ahead of Debbie-Sue to see what their father had been working on along with greeting Arianne.  As Debbie-Sue walked up to the adults Arianne looked to Craig, “Tomorrow lunch my house at noon, Sif will be relieved to see someone that she’s not related to” Arianne made eye contact with Debbie-Sue she did not greet her however; she did reach into her pocket she had a small bundle of mixed ten and twenty dollar bills, “Children” she caught their attention she tossed up the money scattering it on the lawn.  As the kids scrambled to pick up the money Craig watched Debbie-Sue’s angry reaction as Arianne drove away.  

 

****

 

Nidhogg found himself in a very unfamiliar place after speaking with his ex wife Sif.  No he was not complacent.  The discontentedness in his demeanor grew as he waited by his sister’s side.  She was in a condition that she might not come out of.   Olaf and Bjorn were not allowed in this area, Nidhogg held on to his sister’s hand.  He promised revenge.  The door to Sif’s hospital room opened as he turned around there stood Tomas.  Tears filled Tomas' eyes as he immediately knelt by his wife’s side.  Nidhogg stood, regardless of the consequences standing by the side of her husband gave him a feeling of disgust.  If he were stuck in mud, Nidhogg would offer a foot to keep him down instead of a hand to help him up.  Nidhogg exited the room without acknowledging him, Pablo stood outside of the room alongside of Olaf and Bjorn catching the attention of all that they passed by he left the hospital.  Admittedly he was in a fog, he recognized his current state being very keen with analyzing himself.  He was scheduled to meet with his wife Vega at a Spanish restaurant.  When he arrived at the hotel he stayed in sending Olaf and Bjorn in his place.  Spending time by himself he felt comfort, the lack of thought was welcoming.  Vega was not pleasant when she returned to the hotel room and Nidhogg did not pander to her anguish.  Sleeping on the couch did not displease him, the space helped him to sleep without having to pretend that he was not without angst.  Soundly he slept well into the morning hours as Vega tossed and turned, storming throughout the hotel room passive aggressively trying to wake Nidhogg from his slumber, it didn’t work.

 

For someone who cherished moderate temperatures and dry living, he acclimated to the heat of the summer.  Being one to act slowly when his clear judgement was needed Nidhogg decided to visit the beach.  The previous day he sat by his sister’s side until her husband arrived.  Because he needed clarity he kept his distance from Vega whom felt that he might blame her for her nephews actions.  He sat on a beach wearing a suit without a jacket he held a pad and pen.  What he liked about New England was old money.  What is meant by old money is the people that were established in the area that have had generations that have ‘had’.  Some of their status comes with having a formal education knowing proper words and etiquettes, with them he felt at home.  It was the standards of the people that created the class of individuals that made their consistency.  While the have to's had the means others of their likeness followed the same rules, it was the predictability and sembiance that formed the commonality.  Sketching roughly on the note pad Nidhogg made little progress.  No there was not a purpose for him to be doing this thing, a very untypical action for a man that always held a purpose.  Several swimmers were in the water and beach goers were scattered throughout Scarborough beach but he felt alone and he liked it that way, all up until an old eastern European looking man wearing 1960’s style clothing holding a tarnished looking newspaper and an index card sat beside him.  Without speaking or making notice of Nidhogg the man rested his hand holding the newspaper inbetween the two of them briefly.  He opened up the newspaper Nidhogg caught the headline, it was a Providence Journal from 1968.  The old man moaned he flicked the newspaper, “God damned amateurs”  Nidhogg caught the hint of a German accent.  “East German” Nidhogg spoke in English.  “West Scandinavian” the man with the newspaper replied noting Nidhogg’s accent.  He was very familiar with the Russian, East German relationship as well as his own involvment with political and business affairs throughout Eastern Europe “Are you former KGB or BND?” Nidhogg asked finding it conspicuous that an East German would sit on the side of him.  The man laughed showing the metal fillings in his teeth, “No young man, I was a college professor in Dresden.  However; I am retired.” He pointed to the newspaper, “Now imagine being a college professor in East Germany under Russian rule, visiting America amidst their own cultural revolution including the assassination of its leaders.”  Nidhogg looked at his notepad he had lost track of where he was.  Oddly he did not mind the conversation, “God damned amateurs” Nidhogg recited.  The old man pointed to Nidhogg, “Exactly! I believe in a national security that protects its leaders even local leaders, I kept the newspaper to remind me of that anguish.” He stood up from the bench, “Pardon my intrusion, I was reliving my past” the old man smiled.  Nidhogg stared at the man that walked away after the short conversation.  The old man dropped something on the bench Nidhogg picked it up, it was an index card with the word, “Falcon” written on it.  His cell phone rang it was his father he answered, “Father” Salvatore took his time to speak, “It is completed” Nidhogg exhaled a long sight of relief, “Was there a struggle?  Is the line safe to speak openly?”  Salvatore answered directly, “Yes the line is safe.  Hinn possessed canines, they killed two of Arthur Wall’s men and bit my nurse in the face, I cut his throat.  There was however; a revelation” Nidhogg did not speak especially since the matters were serious.  “Your sister is pregnant with his child” Nidhogg dropped his cell phone on top of his note pad, he picked it back up, “Tomas must never know that it is not his” On the other line Salvatore lit up a cigar his nurse walked into the room she wore a patch over her face to cover the stitches that she had received from the dog attack.  “If she survives” Salvatore told his son catching the interest of his nurse. “I have business matters that needs to be tended to notify me should your sister’s condition change.”  As Nidhogg got off of the phone with his father the old German man walked by him Nidhogg held out the index card that he had left behind with the word “Falcon” written on it, he took the card “Vielen Dank” Thank you very much in German.  Nidhogg did not respond.

 

He received a phone call it was Freyja.  The second phone call in recent times less than 10 minutes after speaking with his father, he wanted to question her intent but she was forthright she invited him to the ground breaking of a location into her new endeavor.  Familiarity for Nidhogg was a thing to give him grip and potentially profiting with the world of business, thereby clenching a victory from the clutches of defeat.  He accepted her invitation.  Vega called as he walked to the car where Olaf and Bjorn were waiting.  He told her of his plans for the afternoon with meeting with Freyja Sullivan and her business partner but he did not tell her what had happened to her nephew.  Nor did he ever intend to.


Submitted: December 29, 2020

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