Under The Pier

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 27 (v.1)

Submitted: July 31, 2015

Reads: 183

Comments: 1

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Submitted: July 31, 2015

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"I'm sorry. I was frightened! What did I do wrong?" Lyn called after him.

 

Penny caught her by the shoulder. "Let him grieve. He just needs some space. It's not your fault. Alister paid someone to take his fiance and cut her heart out."

 

Lyn put her hand to her mouth to stifle a gasp. "That monster! How terrible. How has he not gone to the authorities about this? Now, I understand why he seems so grumpy all the time."

 

"Because I told him not to. We can't trust the police, or anyone for that matter. They would have had him killed as well."

Scott heard the scream too and came running up to see what had happened. His gun was drawn. When he realized everything was alright, he returned it to his holster.

 

"This is like a nightmare we can't wake up from," Lyn said.

 

"Except that we are together. I'm just glad I'm no longer alone in this. In a dream, no one has your back," Scott said. Penny and Lyn agreed.

 

"Are we ready to go? I'm itching to get moving," Henry asked.

 

By now, all four of them were standing in the hallway outside Antonio's room.

 

"We're waiting for Antonio," Scott said.

 

"Maybe we should give him some more time," Lyn suggested.

 

Antonio stepped out of the room and shook his head. "No, I'm ready. Let's end this dream now. You do realize I could hear everything that was being said, right? I was just down the hall. I'm sorry Lyn. I shouldn't have snapped at you."

 

"No, I understand. You're just upset. I'd be the same way if I had been through what you have gone through." Lyn looked at him sympathetically.

 

Antonio was wearing a bulletproof vest and toting a shotgun. He passed Scott one as well. "For us mortals." He directed this at Henry, who nodded.

Lyn rode with Scott in his Corvette, and Penny went with Antonio to see if she could make him feel better. Henry insisted on bringing the truck. Chill seemed to love riding in the bed and it would give them more storage for their weapons.

 

Antonio kept his gold Jaguar XK much too cold for her taste. Goose bumps ran up and down her exposed arms. Penny rubbed them and turned the vents off her.

 

"Are you cold?" Antonio asked.

 

"It's a little chilly, yes."

 

"Sorry, I'm hot natured. I'll adjust the temperature," Antonio offered.

 

He reached out and twisted a knob on the dash.

 

"Thanks," Penny said.

 

"No problem."

 

Penny studied his face out of the corner of her eye. She could tell he was working hard to hold it together, but she could see the turmoil in his eyes.

He gripped the steering wheel tightly, and squinted in the sun's beam peeking in through the visor.

 

"When this is all over, I'll restore Marie to you. Just the way you remember her. Her heart will beat in her chest again, and this will all be like a bad dream," Penny promised.

 

"I would be forever in your debt." His face brightened.

 

"You don't owe me anything. I hate death, so I want to eradicate as much of it as possible. Seeing other people sad makes me sad," Penny consoled.

 

"That's a heavy burden off my mind. I was trying to work up the courage to ask you, waiting for the right time." Antonio breathed a sigh of relief.

 

"Where is her body?" Penny asked.

 

"I assume at the morgue by now. Scott told me the police showed up and found her under the pier," Antonio answered.

 

"Speaking of a morgue, what died in here? Did we just pass an animal carcass on the side of the road or something?" Penny held her nose. The smell had grown worse when she averted the fan from her face so it couldn't have been from outside.

 

Antonio looked nervous, and did not respond. Even though he had placed an air freshener on the rear view mirror, the pine tree just couldn't mask the stench of death. He was losing sight of Scott's Corvette, because he was driving way too fast. Lyn knew where the hospital was, so they were all following her lead.

 

"Well that's just great, Scott. Leave us behind," Antonio said.

 

Antonio grumbled and stepped down harder on the accelerator. The car zoomed forward and out of nowhere, a police car pulled out of the bushes. Quickly, he glanced down at his speedometer. He was going ninety and the speed limit was seventy.

 

The cruiser flashed its lights and sounded the siren. Antonio had tried to slam on the brakes and slow down when he noticed him but it was too late. Decision time. Stop, or run.

 

Please be an honest cop.

Then, he thought about what was still in his trunk. That may not be such a good thing after all. If he gave the officer any reason to search the vehicle, they were screwed. His heart was racing out of control. Penny frowned at him.

 

"Just stop. I'll make sure he doesn't give you a ticket. We can always use the GPS to find the hospital. No need to rush," Penny said.

 

"I can't pull over, I've got a dead body in the trunk! It's the man who handed Marie over to her killer. He was supposed to be taking care of her!" Antonio screamed. He hit the gas and swerved in and out of traffic.

 

"That's what the smell was. I can't believe you tried to cover up a rotting corpse with new car scent!" Penny shook her head incredulously.

 

"I was in hurry, and I wasn't exactly expecting company." Antonio switched gears.

 

Penny's skin started to glow and she closed her eyes to meditate. Antonio's head snapped back and forth from looking at her to back at the road. If they didn't run into something and wreck, he was going to have a heart attack and crash anyway. She turned around and released a deep breath into the backseat. The lights flickered and the car stalled. Antonio lost control of the wheel. They were going way too fast and the brakes would not work. The cop was catching up with them. It tapped the side of the bumper, and his car broke into a spin.

 

Antonio threw his arms up in front of his face defensively. Penny made a fist and pulled her arm back. The tires whined in protest, but they obeyed and the car finally began to slow. Dust billowed up and pebbles were propelled like a blast from a shotgun. They were headed straight for a sign, but Penny swiped her hand and it bent until it was flat against the road. The car rumbled to a stop. Antonio was clenching the armrest in a death grip and he was pressed as far back against the seat as his body would go. His teeth were chattering.

 

He could hear shuffling and kicking coming from behind them. Antonio's eyes widened, and he held in his breath.

 

"You didn't. Please, just lie to me and tell me did not just do what I think you did. I can't take you anywhere! No, Penny some people should stay dead. Now, he's going to look in the trunk for sure."

 

The squad car casually drifted to a stop behind them, and a voice boomed from a loudspeaker. It told them to remain in their vehicle and keep their hands where they could be seen. Penny complied, with a smile of her face. Antonio gazed at her utterly perplexed by her actions, but he reluctantly did the same. He beat the back of his head against the rest, until the voice told him not to make any more sudden movements.

 

Penny grabbed his arm and made him relax. "Calm down and trust me. I've got this."

 

The officer ordered Antonio to the exit the vehicle and back toward the sound of his voice. Once he had him cuffed, he started toward the cruiser. On the way there, the car rocked and they heard what sounded like someone desperately beating on the lid of the trunk. The cop halted immediately and pulled his gun.

 

"What's in trunk?" He demanded.

 

Antonio just ignored him and looked at the sky, praying for a miracle.

 

"Passenger, exit the vehicle and come open the trunk," he instructed.

 

Penny gladly grabbed the keys and walked around to the back of the car. She inserted the key and turned it. Then she stood back and pressed the button. The lid was slammed back and Felix tumbled out and fell to the gravel. He threw up at their feet. Antonio couldn't wait to see what happened next. The officer turned to him for an explanation.

 

"Don't look at me. I'm not the brains of this operation. Ask the girl," Antonio said.

 

He stepped over to cuff Penny, but as soon as his skin made contact with hers, he froze. It was as if he had just stuck his finger in an outlet.

 

"Is there a problem officer?"  As Penny spoke, her words hypnotized him.

 

"No ma'am. If you'll just explain who this man is, I'm sure we can clear this up," he said.

 

"That man abducted and tortured me, arrest him!" Felix shouted.

 

He was still blabbering, but Penny closed his mouth and made him bite down on his tongue. He shook his head wildly and tried to pry his mouth open with his hands.

 

"It was my turn to talk. You don't interrupt a lady. That's just rude. This man is a cop killer. He murdered a man named Holmes, and abandoned his cruiser. He confessed to us so we did the noble thing and performed a citizen's arrest. Release Antonio and cuff that men. Call it in. You just brought in someone who killed one of your own. You'll be a hero at the station." Listening to Penny tell the story Antonio was even starting to believe it himself. Her voice had a way of convincing you of anything.

 

"Sorry to inconvenience you two. I can't thank you enough for this public service." The policeman undid Antonio's cuffs and slapped them on Felix. He hauled him off and put him the back of his car. Felix gave them the most confused and horrified expression Antonio had ever seen.

 

They got back in the Jaguar and he tried to settle down. "Remind me to never go on another road trip with you again."

 

Penny laughed and cranked up the radio.

Scott drove like a bat out of hell. Lyn was surprised Henry was able to keep up at all. She rode in an awkward silence until she could stand it no longer. Lyn enjoyed human communication almost as much as she did working with plants. The lack thereof made her uncomfortable.

 

"Carmen was a very intelligent, and  innovative woman. I was impressed and still am with her findings. She was developing a cure for Jolt's side effects using the

sunflower," Lyn explained.

 

"She was working on a cure? That changes everything! We have to find her research so you can continue it. The city's future depends on it. Maybe even the world, if Phoenix has their way." Scott spoke with excitement evident in his voice.

 

"Is that not why she was attacked? It must have been hard on you to see her everyday, but never be able to converse with her." Lyn felt so sorry for him.

 

"My wife was the smartest person I've ever met. She was full of a zest for life that is unmatched. Without her, I feel lost, like I have no identity in the world. I'm a man without a face. So, I clung to her to feel like I was still alive." Scott steeled himself as not to let his voice crack.

 

"I knew her pretty well and I agree. She talked about you often, and her reason for starting at the institute. Her father. We had that in common. Both her and I had family members who had battled cancer and lost," Lyn recalled.

 

"Your husband is still alive though, so why do you say he lost?" Scott inquired.

 

"My husband just hasn't been buried yet. He died months ago. His existence is not what I would call living at all." Lyn looked down at the floorboard.

 

"What's his name?" Scott asked.

 

"Paul," Lyn answered.

 

"What kind of cancer does he have?"

 

"Pancreatic. They claim there is nothing they can do." Lyn wrinkled her brows and adjusted her seat belt.

 

"That sounds very convenient. Two scientists desperate to find a cure for cancer, and they both get recruited. I'd be suspicious if I were you. Someone may have needed you to be properly motivated," Scott said.

 

"I'm not big on conspiracies,." Lynn looked disgusted.

 

"After everything you've seen, is that really all that crazy a notion?"

 

"I guess not."

 

The Corvette was low on gas, so Scott motioned for Henry to pull off with him at the nearest gas station. He veered off into a Chevron station.Most of the pumps had the nozzles wrapped in a plastic bag, indicating that they were empty. The tank opened on the driver's side, so Scott pulled to a stop right in front of the convenience store entrance.

 

Scott could sense that something wasn't right inside. The mannerisms of the men at the front desk and the distressed look on the attendant's face told him everything he needed to know. He was finished pumping and had plenty of time, so he could just get in the car and leave.

 

Looters. They're just kids.

 

It was three teenage boys with long ponytails and scruffy beards. They didn't appear stable, and the person behind the counter was a heavy set older lady with bleached blond hair. He had to do something fast before they did something they would regret the rest of their lives.

 

Parked to the side of the store in the corner of the lot was an old jeep that looked to Scott like something they would drive. He told Henry to puncture their gas tank with his machete, so they couldn't drive away. Scott removed the nozzle from the pump and sprayed the concrete surrounding the door until he made a nice wide puddle.

 

Scott walked up, knocked on, then creaked open one of the double glass doors He leaned his head in. "Excuse me, I hate to interrupt, but my pump is having issues."

 

"Get lost punk, before I fill you full of buckshot." One of the teens aimed a sawed off shotgun at him. Scott didn’t flinch.

 

"Of course. I don't want to stick my nose in your business. Ma'am if you would check on that for me. It's the one by the Corvette right outside the door here." Scott gestured by throwing his thumb behind his shoulder.

 

The lady nodded nervously, her eyes pleading with him. She obviously didn't understand, but didn't want to argue either.

 

"Wow, look at that sweet ride. Yo man we done hit the jackpot now!" They pushed past him and ran up to his car.

 

Scott gave a thumbs up to the woman and motioned for her to call the police. He stepped back outside. He felt the splash of the gasoline under his shoe.

 

"Toss me your keys, now." The kid commanded.

 

Scott did as he asked. "One more thing before you go. Is that you car over there? If so, it's leaking gas."

 

He had his hands in his pockets, and when they looked away he pulled out a lighter and flicked it open. Scott placed his thumb on the igniter. "Can't you idiots smell what you're standing in? If you shoot me, I'll drop this lighter and roast us all. Now, put your guns and my keys down slowly."

 

Once they complied, Scott picked up the shotgun and pocketed his lighter. Suddenly, they heard growling coming from behind the store. The boys cowered back in terror when they saw a man wide-eyed and snarling. He was coming right for them.

 

"It's a Jeeper!" The man hefted a newspaper dispenser like it was a bag of tissue paper.

 

"It might be a good idea to run now," Scott suggested.

 

They took off and Henry chased them as far as the lot's entrance, then turned back.

 

"Nice performance. Very convincing." Scott praised.

 

"I didn't have to to do much acting. You were the one risking your life." Henry showed him a tiny sample bottle of Jolt.

 

"You dosed yourself? Why are you in control when the others aren't?" Scott signaled to Lyn that it was safe to come out of the bushes.

 

"I don't know. Maybe because I'm related to Penny. Yes, I give myself small amounts to keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay."  Henry confessed.

 

"As long as you don't turn on us, I don't see any problem with it." Scott said.

 

"You don't have to worry about that." He assured.

 

"What happened to Antonio and Penny? I haven't seen them pass by. Why didn't they pull off with us?" Scott asked.

 

"I have no idea. I lost track of them a few miles back. I had to drive like a maniac to keep up with you myself. Were you trying to outrun a nuclear blast or what?" Henry rebuked.

 

"I guess I was just was lost in thought and didn't realize how fast I was going. I'm anxious to get this over with." Scott sighed.

 

"Let's get back on the road, then. We're burning daylight." Henry suggested.

 

Lyn came sprinting up and hopped in the passenger seat. Scott looked at his total on the meter. It was over seventy dollars. He sure hoped Chevron appreciated his donation. Scott waited a couple more minutes for the Jaguar, but they never saw it. They continued their journey to the hospital.

 


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