The read the first and second part of this story:
The house was nothing like Henry’s. Whilst his was small with just the one bedroom, a tiny kitchenette and washroom; Bobby’s was well lit with a lobby that led to several small rooms and a large winding staircase that led to unknown chambers. They walked across the foyer with the large paintings and high-end cabinets to a room just beneath the stairs. Henry had a feeling this was the secret room – where all the exchange happened. Bobby was seated in the middle of gruff looking men wearing a sunflower shirt like he had just gotten back from the beach. There was white powder in white transparent wraps stacked high on the table, guns in a black briefcase and of course – money. More money than Henry could count with his eyes. Bobby smiled when he saw Henry. Henry smiled back at the familiar gold tooth and chubby face.
“Henry! Been a long time man! I was blown when I heard you came calling with smokes from Crawford!” he greeted excitedly, waving off a black man sited at the far end so he could stand for Henry to sit. Henry didn’t take the offer.
“Want a drink? Make yourself comfortable”
“Ai Bobby! I’m not hear for long. Will be leaving in a minute” Henry said politely. His eyes scanned the group. There were three Caucasian men, two black men and a woman in small room. Henry watched the woman; she had puffy eyes that reminded him of salamanders.
“So what have you got?” There was a hint of impatience in Bobby’s voice so quickly, Henry pulled the little photograph of Mary out of his pocket. Bobby took a glance and stared at Henry.
“That’s my little girl, Mary. You looking for her?”
“No Bobby. She turned up dead at the morgue today.” he said, then quickly added “She’s my friend and I just want to know if you knew her?”
A cold hand touched Henry’s and he turned to Mary. She was holding him too tight; sending cold shivers down his spine. He followed her gaze to see she was staring at one of the two black men – the one that had stood for him to sit. He had a cross tattoo on his bicep and a black sleeveless tee. He also seemed quite uncomfortable – stealing glances at the woman and then at Bobby.
“Mary’s dead!? You sure? Cause it could be any jojo”
“I’m sure of a friend Bobby. She’s the one”.
If Bobby ever had remorse, Henry would’ve never guessed until now. His face was red like the color of chili and small tears formed in his tiny eyes.
“Who could’v…my little girl”, he cried, “Anyone could’ve done it. Was it Crawford? I mean I did tell her to tell Crawford she was leaving…but…no. Crawford would never or would he?”
Bobby was ranting now, but Henry had someone else he watched. The black guy was so uneasy. Beads of sweat formed on his brows and he kept exchanging glances with the woman. What was going on? His gut told him the culprit was in the room.
“Its alright Bobby. I’d leave now. I was checking if you knew her”
“I’d track down who did this! I never thought I’d defend a jojo but Mary’s special. She’s my little girl!” he croaked as Henry turned to leave.
It was while they were out the of the City’s Center and on the road leading to the morgue that Mary finally spoke.
“That black guy. I…felt something”
Henry stared at her – brows were creased as she tried to remember. Henry guessed the culprit grabbed her from behind and hit her hard so she didn’t see him.
“You think he did this to you”
She nodded. They walked the curb, turning left into a side street when Henry heard it.
Tap! Tap! With each step they made. He slowed his pace and the footstep slowed too. They were being followed. Henry made to turn but unknown hands grabbed him from behind. He tried to gain his balance, but the hands sent two gut wrenching punch to his midriff and he doubled over in pain. He struggled to his feet and caught the hand mid-punch. His eyes met brown ones. They saw the scar across the side of his face and the beads of sweat dripping – as if in slow motion – down his temple. The black guy picked Henry by the neck with his free hand and flung him against the wall.
“Henry!” Mary yelled. He heard his bones crack with the impact. Something warm was dripping from his nose. Henry wiped it to see a red smudge in the sleeve of his shirt.
“It was you. Wasn’t it?” Henry said, gasping under the pain. The black guy sneered.
“So what?….that little dirt was thinking she was going to play me. Save all that money so she could ride a train out of Sanday?” He said, crouching low to stare Henry in the eye “Guess what…I battered her so bad she didn’t even know when she screamed where the money was. Finished her real good and now I’m about to finish yo-“
“Aaaaah!” He screamed
Henry struggled to his feet with the crow bar he had picked from the trash can where he’d slumped. Call it convenience or luck but he hit the guy so hard, blood sputtered from his brow. Henry caught sight of Mary – her one eye soft; her face a clear blanket of fear. She nodded to Henry and he knew what he had to do. Henry raised the crowbar above his head.
“No, no, no, Please” the guy begged.
Blood gushed from every blunt blow Henry delivered to his face. There was a whizzing sound in his ears and it didn’t stop until the man stilled and stopped screaming. Henry dropped the crow bar in the drain and painfully trudged down the alley.
“What do we have here?” he asked, perusing the card of the latest body in the room.
Features: Ebony, 6’9, 196.0lb
Statements: Victim was badly battered in the face.
Delivery Officer: Officer Barnes, Sanday Police.