Was there something else you wanted me to see, uncle?
Was there something I had missed? Where were you to tell me the truth? I remember looking at the sky and seeing it fall. The moonlight played tricks on the road. And there it came, a massive beacon of light. Surveyed the world, a peerless eye. From the crease of night from which it came, it vanished. And like that, all else became nothing.
Uncle. What else can you give me? What knowledge on those pages from where you drew your wealth of wisdom. What else is left….I can only tell you of so many dreams, but the ones I kept for myself, from fear of the absurd, those are now the most important.
Clawing at the wood work. Complete darkness.
I should have told you everything.
Sudden light, rain falling in and around her.
"Detective?" No immediate response. "Sir?"
"Yes. Yes. I'm sorry." They stood under the veranda. Rain sinking across the night like running mascara.
"It's odd sir. This whole thing reeks of the downright bizarre.
"Have the lab results come back?"
"About the substances, sir?"
"No sir, no word." The deputy said, walking back inside.
"Get me a coffee would you?"
Woken up in the middle of the night. Strange night, he thought.
You know, I'm as confused as you are.
There are three dead blacks; two with gunshot wounds and one virtually spotless. You're trying to tell me you didn't have anything to do with this?
Look here. There's a problem, I have to send Jessie Shultz out to the condos where these kids grew up, have him work up the courage to tell those single mothers that the last person they ever thought they'd care about is now dead.
Silence. I could tell them.
That's mighty nice of you, but, it doesn't work that way. And hey, listen, probably their fault anyway and you might've stopped at the wrong time, just as our patrolman was pulling up. But…
I can't let you go, as far as those 'up' are concerned, we just nabbed a crazy man wearing what seems like authentic Haitian tribal gear, with a knife in his hand. Would you like some coffee?
I can see where we are misunderstanding each other.
Good. He hit the dial on the table. Margaret, can you bring us two cups of coffee?
Honestly, the detective couldn't remember the last time he had dealt with a man who was as obviously lost as he was as to why both of them were sitting in the same room. Nothing about this case made any sense. Overhead he could hear the murmur of a federal helicopter.
So tell me what happened.
You would not believe me.
Linda pressed her feet against Hank's back. "God damn it, move you mongrel!"
The abhorrent creature reached about and licked the tips of her toes.
"You're just a bastard aren't you."
The phone rang.
"Linda Harks speaking."
"Linda, this is David."
"Oh, you at the bars? Sounds like a racket on your end." She kicked the mutt off the bed.
"Linda, you best go look outside."
"Meteor shower, we got it David. You know Marge told me…."
"No, Linda, you need to see this."
"Hold the line." When she entered the parlor all she could see was light beckoning through the windows. "I thought it was nighttime out here."
"Go outside, Linda."
She exited the doors to the light outside. In the sky, the moon eradiated the world in its glory.
"What is it?"
"Guy here says it's a 'supermoon.'"
"I'm calling bullshit on that one." From the moon various shapes, darker than the night, pressed up against the sky, falling without abandon. One of them becoming a match's tip, flowing madly out of control, illuminating suddenly then in a flash descending into the tree grove far off the property. "David, I'll have to call you back." The sound startled her, a resounding boom, something loud and heavy breaking the sound barrier.
"Is everything okay Linda?"
"I'll call you back."
"Come on Scotty!" The dog followed her into the truck and they set off. From a great distance those trees sparking with bolts of fire. The oddest damned thing she had ever seen. "Should we call the fire marshal, Scotty?" She neared, all the trees bowed at their side, pointing in a common center. She drove her truck to where the burning trees could permit her vehicle no longer. "Stay Scotty." She leapt from the truck and continued forward. Smoke billowed from the tree stumps that were now gone and all things radiated with intense heat. She opted out, and began to turn back to the Toyota, only until she heard the rattling of his voice.
"Who's up top?" The detective asked, pointing to the roof.
"I'm not sure, we were just told to lock down the building."
The detective pressed the button to the top floor. The doors closed quietly. "What in God's name is going on, Riley?"
"I'm…I'm not sure sir."
"You ever see something so bizarre?"
The doors opened. Two men entered the helideck entry passage; they were of course suited up and without hesitation entered the elevator.
"Detective Mitchel, I'm Agent…"
"You gotta' be fucking kidding me. Riley, punch me real hard would you?"
"We're taking your inmate."
"The one with the ridiculous outfit." The doors opened. Detective Mitchel followed the two suits closely.
"What for? There's an investigation."
"For God's sakes…"
"What can you tell us about him?"
"Him? Oh him, I don't know, he's part of a goddamn investigation."
"We will update your supervisors when something new becomes readily available."
"Bullshit. This is the same stunt you pulled at Miami Central—damn near ruined the prosecution!"
"If you are speaking of the string of murders in Weston, those were never solved. They booked Mr. Wyatt on smuggling of narcotics."
"Sure they did."
"Where is this man?"
The deputy opened the security clearance door and into it they went.
"We will also be taking anything found on Mr…."
"He never gave us a name."
"Tell us everything."
"Officer Kent pulled up to 168th and Wilson, at approximately o-two-hundred hours. Said suspect was standing at cargo gate, with knife in hand. Officer Kent told him to put down knife, suspect cooperated. Officer Kent arrested suspect, radioed in for backup, and found three dead bodies in an open cargo chute, nearest the gate."
"And what was on him?"
There was an abrupt silence. Detective Mitchel spoke first. "You better take a look at this before we hand over our suspect."
Inside an adjacent room, laid neatly across the table: a long, tubular pipe; a crooked knife that's length was comparable to a machete; vials of brightly colored liquids; a misshapen, remarkably twisted doll, with thorns draped about its body, hanging by its arms to a bundle of 3mm chains; and a mask, with green ferns pressing outwards from the top, and horns that adorned the sides and twisted about and onto the table.
She watched as the incredibly large man, seemingly motionless, lay on the hospital bed, with various tubes wired to the veins of his body. His breathing shallow and timid.
"Will he be okay doctor?"
"Yes. He should be. Where did you find this man?"
She lied. It was all she knew how to do. "On the side of the road, he was hunched over." There was no stopping it. She paused in length. "He, uh, he didn't speak. I told him I was going to take him here."
"How did you get him into your truck? He's at least three hundred pounds."
"He helped himself in." That was true. She had neared him in the thicket, and when he stirred he was mad with fright. The white of his eyes an inescapable snapshot burned into her memory. The fire had melted from his arms some flesh, and when he stood he had become a large beast, skittish in the dark wild. She thought herself, at first, dead. She had stepped back to retrace her steps, and he, caught in lethargy, a daydream, followed her to the car. Hobbling on injured feet, completely naked. Everything about his being grotesquely massive in the shadow of her small form. When she could handle the heat no longer, and the smoke that drenched her lungs, she raced back to the car and he followed in her wake. Scotty began to bark and threaten with low growls at the giant behind her.
"He's all bark, no bite. Please get inside."
The way the man looked at her truck, at her, at Scotty, frightened her. He was lost. If he had any energy to run, he would have, scared at any thought of something that seemed to set his entire body tense. She pleaded to him. As he entered the bed of the truck, Scotty out of wild abandon snapped and barked and threw bile in all directions. The man in return roared.
She smirked now, thinking that she and Scotty had both lost control of their bladders at that moment.
"I think he'll be okay. You said you found him like this?"
"Yes. Thank you." She took the water from the nurse and drank it in one sitting.
"As for you, you have minor smoke damage and you are sunburnt."
"Didn't see that one coming." Linda said.
"You should go home and get some rest."
"Okay. Can I be contacted if he wakes?"
"Since you're not family, we cannot let you come back and visit him when he wakes. We'll let you know when he's recovered enough to leave."
For a split second, she couldn't believe her eyes. A man thrown against the wall, like a ragdoll. The sound resounded in the hall for some time. The doctor and nurse left her company. Within the room, the man lashed out at all those around him. He wretched from his arms bandage and fluid lines alike, without dissent. He continued to make short work of the doctors. Linda snapped out of her abrupt wake and entered the room. His large fingers wrapped about the neck of the nurse, and he lifted her without much trouble off her feet. The redness of her face leaving, the eyes pressing into the tops of their sockets, her lips pale and her legs buckling beneath her.
His voice grated the ears. "Where is he? Where is he!"
"Where is who, my friend?" Linda said, conjuring up the most of her elegant southern drawl that had caused two ex-husbands.
"Where is he? The Archangel?"
"I don't know what the hell you're talking about, but please let her go."
"Where is he? Where is he?"
Linda was terrified for the girl. No older than twenty, young and vibrant. "Please. She won't hurt you."
The great behemoth's eyes eased, like an animal sedated. He began to wobble at the knees, took one step forward, and fell with the girl. All else was a blur as Linda was rushed from the room, a stream of nurses and doctors going to their aid.'
Zandi did not know where he was. His hands chained at the wrists, clothed now in what his captives called 'civilian wear'. He knew not what it was; only that it was uncomfortable and in it he felt constricted. A man sat across from him, wielding some truncheon of power, draped across his arms like a child. Zandi paid no heed to it.
"Where are we going?"
The man across knocked on the front of the cabin. A sliding door prompted speech from the other side. "Ten minutes. We have a 'hawk waiting for us at the airport."
"A hawk, sir?"
The man across from Zandi made a shushing gesture in front of his mouth.
"What is that you carry on you?"
The man would not answer.
"I did not harm anyone. Where are you taking me?"
"Holding facility," said the voice at the front of the moving cabin. "We'll let you know then." The speaking-gate closed.
To the left of Zandi a large metallic box, holstered shut by revolving pegs. He had watched them load some of his things into that walled basin. The cabin halted, quickly. The sliding gate opened. "There's a roadblock ahead."
A man nearest the back door exited, leaving it open behind him. He was also carrying one of those sacred torches. Zandi had seen one work already, but could do nothing to stop its carnage.
Outside an explosion, Zandi knew it well.
"What's going on?"
"Hurry get out!"
He knew the next sound just as well: swift and flowing like the ebb of water. It reached into the car window and killed both the driver and the passenger. Then another, from the back of the cabin, that struck through Kevlar like glass and impaled Zandi's guard.
"You know, Luci, you did not have to kill these men."
She pressed something up against the metal chest at the back of the truck, and moved to remove Zandi's bindings. "They would have killed you."
"These were innocent men."
She pulled the cuffs from the locking receiver and tossed them to the ground. "Grab your things." She leapt from the exit.
A blinding pop filled the cabin, and when it settled and darkness came back, the locker lay open.
"Did you get everything?"
"No. They took some of my things in another of these." He pointed to the ransacked vehicle.
"Will that get you by?" She asked.
"Of course. How did you know to find me?"
"They told me so. On their 'moving screens'. They told me of a man in voodoo dress walking around. And you're smell's not easy to forget."
"I'm not sure that's really a complement."
"Ah yes, I know that song well. It means trouble." Across the city streets, a wailing of approach began.