Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chapter Two

I felt gutted.  I had no feelings for Susan save hate.  But I did not want her dead – she is, was Moira’s Mother.  Was.  Son of a bitch, my head spun.

I looked back at the suit, took another swig for the caffeine, then asked him “You figure I did it?”

“Nah, you didn’t leave the trailer park last night.”

“I’d ask how you know that, but for now I really don’t care.”

He shrugged shoulders, and then nodded his head at the dog.

“Tonka, here boy.”

Tonka looked back at me then turned and crawled beneath the table.  I broke off a piece of burrito and fed it to him.  His muzzle nosed my leg as he searched for more.  I pushed back with my knee.

“Whoever you are, tell me what you know.  Start at the beginning.”

He started to come over towards the table but a low growl from Tonka stopped him.  He settled back on his heels and put his hands in his pockets.  I dislike people who put their hands in their pockets.  I caught crap in the Rat Line at VMI for doing the same thing and paid that forward.  I nodded my head at him to begin.

“We were watching your ex-wife for the past few months.  Actually, we were watching her new husband, but you get the idea.  Well, we …”

I cut him off “Who is we?”

“Uh, well, it was me and my partner … he’s back in the …”

“No, you idiot, who is we?  As in, what shop do you work for?”

“Oh, I told you, FINCEN.”

“Never heard of it.”

He started to grin, caught himself from the apparent scowl on my face “We get that a lot.  Nobody knows who we are.  We are a government agency created by the Patriot Act to monitor financial flows to track terrorists, drug dealers and organized crime.  I was …”

“Are you saying my ex-wife was a drug dealer?”

“Uh, no … well, not exactly.  Maybe?”

“Which one is it Brain Surgeon?”

“Now listen!  I won’t ...” he wagged his finger at me.

“No, you listen.  You show up like some secret squirrel hiding behind cheap sunglasses, and then you drop a bomb on me telling me my ex-wife was killed.  Get your damn story straight.  No, scratch that.  Get your boss.  Roust his ass and get him over here if you squirrels at Fish Fins want to talk.  Now, beat it.” 

“It is FINCEN mister and …”

“Tonka!” as I nudged the dog.  Tonka bolted from beneath the table.  For a dog his size he moves fast.  Hell, he moves fast for a dog of any size.  He went right at numb nuts and stopped about four inches from his groin.  Tonka’s growl was subsonic.

The idiot made a move to reach for his concealed carry piece.

“I would not do that.  He’ll rip your throat out before you have halfway cleared your piece.  Back out slowly, and go crawl back to whatever hole you idiots live in and get your freaking boss.  We’re done here.”

He looked down at Tonka and slowly moved his hand back in front.  I’m not sure, but I think he pissed himself a little.  He didn’t stay around long enough for me to confirm that though.  Tonka stared around the trailer as he watched the idiot disappear then he walked back and sat down in front of me.  One of the things I really love about this dog is how he looks me in the eye

 “Good boy.”  I tossed him the rest of the burrito.  He did not even chew it, simply swallowed it whole.  There would be hell to pay tonight in the back of the trailer. I rubbed his ear until he fell down and crawled back beneath the table.

Sipping my drink I stared at the blue sky and few clouds above.  I could not quite finger the emotions I felt.  Susan’s death sucked.  I did not give a damn about her or the prick she married.  I scratched my left arm on the long scar and searched what I was really feeling.

It came down to Moira.  How was I going to tell her?  Moira had not seen her Mother in over two years.  Did she even remember her?  Susan did not move the needle for me, but Moira is everything.  Damn it, even in death Susan could still hurt my little girl.  I was angry, sad and scarred for Moira, and tired by the very thought.

For a long while I stared at clouds.  No shapes appeared to me.  Just clouds.  A gentle breeze moved the trees.  Glancing up I could see tips of yellow and orange on the maples.  The oak tree’s leaves were beginning to brown.  A jet on it’s final rumbled overhead to Dulles.  A pair of geese flew the other direction.

Did that tinhorn say anything about why they were watching her husband?  No, he had not.  Odd.  Maybe I had cut him off before he could.  Maybe not.  Susan’s husband was the rat bastard who had bought my business three years ago.  Selling to him was one of the few regrets I had in life. Was he murdered too?  Alive or no, he was pure evil. 

Tonka snored and brought me back.  I needed more time by myself to think this through.  On warm days like today I did not hurt as much nor was my head as clouded by fibromyalgia or drugs.  I still feel mentally sluggish compared to before. 

I looked down - my clip watch said it was Two Thirty-Five.  Moira would be home in twenty minutes or so.  I looked over at the entry to the trailer court for the Manager’s trailer.  Deb’s truck was there.  Maybe I could ask her to watch Moira after supper. 

Like magic Deb appeared from behind her trailer with a rake and tarp.  Her blond ponytail bounced back and fro as she strode to the center island of the Cul-de-sac where the Oak tree was shedding.  I pocketed my clip watch, nudged Tonka to get up and slid off my bench and walked towards the Cul-de-sac.

I owed Deb so many favors I felt guilty asking her for another.   I needed time though.  I needed to sort my thoughts and come up with a way to tell Moira.  Tonka galloped over to Deb when he saw her.  She dropped her rake and grabbed him when he loped at her.  She play wrestled with him, her laughing and him play growling.  Then she looked up at me and saw my look and her smile disappeared.

“Oh my God Jake, what is it?”

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