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Authors: J. T. Lewis

Tags: #Mystery

Murder! Too Close To Home (24 page)

BOOK: Murder! Too Close To Home
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My heart was pounding as I clicked off the details in my head. With no electric going to the building and no lights showing from it in the twilight, it fit all of the clues I had been given in the dream.

“Damn, I think it is!” I said with unabashed excitement. “Back up a little and pull off the road,” I told Frank, who was already doing just that. Shutting off the car, we sat there gazing at our target.

“This is your storyline,” Frank exclaimed, excitement also in his voice. “What’s our next move?”

I was still dumbfounded at the notion that we might have found our house, so it took a few seconds for my mind to kick into the present and formulate a plan.

“It’s almost dark, I say we exit the car and work our way quietly to the side of the house, see if we can see anything through the window. See what happens from there I guess.”

Frank nodded his approval as we pulled out our weapons, chambering a round before putting the safety on. As quietly as we could, we exited the vehicle and crossed the deep roadside ditch, slowly approaching the house from the other side of the gully. We made our way to the side of an old shed with two large hinged doors on the front. The shed was well kept, with no cracks evident to ascertain if there was a vehicle inside.

We stayed there a few moments, intently listening for any sound or movement. Hearing none, we came around the corner of the shed and slowly made our way to the side of the house. Crouching down under the window, we again waited and listened before I slowly rose to the bottom corner of the window and took a peak inside.

It was very dark, but I could just barely make out an old plaster wall with wood lath showing in spots. It definitely was not the room I saw in my dream, but the fit was there as far as the condition.

Using hand signals, we decided that Frank would work his way to the back of the house, while I worked my way around the front.

As I made my way low to the ground, I noticed the scent of fresh paint. Reminding me of the dream, I thought of another clue from the vision and stopped where I was, looking up and confirming the canopy of the big tree above me with new spring growth on it.

Lifting myself up slowly to a window, I could see no light escaping from around the edge of the window, but by squinting my eyes, I could just make out the material covering the inside of the window. My heart skipped a beat as I finally confirmed that this was the house in my mind.

Glancing at my watch, I realized that I only had forty seconds before the pre-arranged time that Frank would be entering the building. Making my way now to the front door, I watched the watch as it counted down the seconds…8…7… 6…

“Rrr rrr rrr”

The noise now coming from my left scared the hell out of me as I stopped to listen. Deciding to check it out, I made my way back along the front of the house. As I rounded the corner, my ears were met with a “
Vroom
” as I finally recognized the sound of a car, turning over and finally starting. It was coming from the shed!

I released the safety on my Glock and started on a run toward the shed, seeing Frank doing the same out of the corner of my eye.

Suddenly there was an explosion as the two wooden doors of the shed flew off their hinges, sending splinters and pieces of broken board everywhere. Emerging out of the melee of wood shrapnel, a small car rocketed around us and started careening out the driveway.

Wesley’s car!

We watched the car make a hard right at the road, fishtailing as it sped past Frank’s car. We took off on a run to get to our car. Getting in, Frank gunned the engine and immediately shoved it in gear to turn around, having to pull up and into the driveway to accomplish the task as the road was so narrow.

As we pulled back into the road and took off, we could just make out the taillights of the car in the distance. Frank put the pedal to the floorboard in an attempt to catch up with our perp.

Ahead of us the lights disappeared. He must have either shut them off or made a turn ahead.

My heart sank at the thought of losing him after coming so close. Frank still had his foot buried in the floorboard as we made our way to his last location. We had to catch him… we
had
to catch him. 

 

Chapter 64

March 25, 1997

 

The Ghost stood stock still, the sound echoing in his ears sending shivers up his spine. His eye was fluttering like a thousand butterflies as he quickly doused the lantern, making his way to the blanketed window to look out.

The screech of tires had apparently come from the car sitting in the road in front of the house. As he watched, the car backed up and pulled to the side of the road, the occupants still sitting inside.

Not waiting another moment, the Ghost grabbed his gun off of the counter and made his way through the kitchen to the back door. Carefully looking out and seeing nothing, he made his way to the corner of the house and looked around it carefully.

The car was still there, the occupants now exiting and making their way across the ditch. When the men were temporarily out of sight, he quickly covered the distance between the house and the shed, carefully opening the sometimes creaky door.

Once inside, he leaned against the wall to catch his breath, holding the gun up at the ready. He heard movement and whispering at the far side of the shed, and then heard them move off toward the house. Finding a knot in a board, he spied them moving across the yard before crouching down below a window, the blonde guy sneaking a look into the old house.

He watched as they continued to crouch there for several moments more before splitting up and making their way around both the front and the back of the building.

“It’s now or never,”
the Ghost said to himself as he made his way to the car and slowly opened the door before getting in. Trying the key, the car started turning over before his hand slipped off of the key, his hands now wet with nervous sweat.

“Shit,” he said under his breath as he gripped the key again, the car now roaring to life with vigor. Immediately putting it in drive, he floored the accelerator and drove right through the old wooden doors. He caught a glimpse of the men running after him as he fishtailed out the driveway, making a right turn at the road, knowing that turning around on the old road would eat up their time.

Turning on his headlights on the now dark road, he kept the accelerator on the floor as the little car screamed down the straight and level country road. Noticing their headlights behind him after traveling about a mile, he got his bearings and turned off his own lights.

He was very familiar with the straight county road he was on, and trusted his senses to keep him straight until the next cross road. As he approached the turn and shifted the transmission to decelerate, slowing for the maneuver while trying to keep his foot off the brakes to keep the brake lights from showing.

Cranking the wheel quickly right, he skidded around the turn, almost losing his car as he hit the gravel by the ditch on the opposite side of the road. Hitting the pedal once again, he powered through the intersection, fishtailing two or three times before straightening out once more.

Traveling as fast as he dared in the dark, he saw his pursuer’s headlights pass the intersection behind him. A smile appeared on his face as he watched the headlights disappear from sight. Giving himself a few more seconds, he then flipped his lights back on, putting the pedal to the floor in an effort to put as much space between him and his hunters as possible.

The realization that he had nowhere to go didn’t seem to matter to the man at the moment. He was living in the now, enjoying the adrenaline rush of the chase.

“The “Ghost” strikes again!” he screamed, bouncing up and down in his seat as the rush of the chase hit him full tilt.

“Try and catch me now, you bastards!”

 

Chapter 65

March 25, 1997

 

“Go straight!” I had yelled, assuming that making the turn in the dark would be impossible. I was second guessing myself now as we flew over the old county road. Having not caught up to him yet, my eyes started scanning the countryside.

When we had started our pursuit, I had gotten on the horn and alerted dispatch to our location. After telling Frank to go straight, I had again touched base with them, telling them the three routes available, adding that we had taken the southern route in pursuit of the suspect. Dispatch had alerted all cars and had then made the call to Franklin County dispatch to bring them up to speed and to enlist their help.

As we came over a small rise I looked around behind us. The area was almost completely flat in this part of the country, and with it still being early spring the fields were all clear of any crops, leaving one with a view for miles. As we were starting to descend from the small rise in the road, I chanced to glimpse what looked like taillights behind us to the right, and they hadn’t been there a second ago.

“Take the next right,” I told Frank as I tried to see the lights again. Feeling the deceleration of the car I turned and caught a glimpse of the road sign as we made the turn. Picking up the radio once again, I called in our new heading as traveling west on East County Road 267 North.

Even after nearly two weeks of traveling these roads, I was still unable to discern the logic of their numbering system.

Catching a glimpse once again of taillights to our front right, I pointed them out to Frank as I grabbed the map to try to come up with a position to radio in. Catching the name of the next cross road, I discerned that he was approximately one mile ahead of us and one mile to the north. Calling in this guess as the suspect’s location, I was surprised to be pushed back in the seat as Frank found some additional speed from somewhere.

The radio was now alive with conversation as cars from two counties joined the hunt. I saw strobing red and blue off to our far right, seemingly heading to intercept the other car. The far-off taillights suddenly made a left, now heading south on an intercepting course with ours. I broke in and relayed the course change of the car, making an educated guess as to what road he was now on.

“If this isn’t Wesley,” I shouted to Frank, “this guy sure has a lot of explaining to do!”

The Honda whizzed past in front of us when we were fifty yards from the intersection. Frank downshifted quickly and maneuvered the car expertly so that we were actually sideways as we entered the intersection. I watched in horror as the ditch on the other side of the road approached me at blinding speed. At the last moment the tires found a purchase on the road and we started moving forward again. I wiped the sweat that had formed on my hands on my pant legs, thankful that was the only bodily fluid escaping at the moment.

We were now within fifty yards of the Honda, flashing red and blue approaching us from all sides. Traveling now at over one hundred miles per hour, I was both excited and nervous. The roads were straight and level, but with deep ditches on one or both sides of the road in most places.

Something else was bothering me though. Something else about this road I thought, but I couldn’t put a finger on it.

Grabbing the map and using the glove box light so as not to affect Franks driving, I tried to find our current location using the last cross road we had just passed. Finding the crossroad on the map, I followed it to the road we were on now, then turned my finger south to follow the route…”FRANK LOOK OUT!”

That was all I could get out before looking up and watching the car directly in front of us suddenly hit the berm of the ditch where the road made a sudden ninety degree turn.

I sat fascinated as I watched in slow motion the Honda ramp into the air and do a barrel roll before landing and rolling multiple times through the empty field.

I was also aware of Frank shoving both feet on the brake pedal and pulling back on the wheel as he vainly attempted to stop the car in time…which he didn’t.

We entered the curve sideways with my side skidding toward the berm; it was always my side for some reason. When we hit the berm the car literally jumped up fifteen feet off the ground, rolling and rolling in what seemed to be a never-ending slow-motion carnival ride from hell.

As I watched the ground approach us, I could only think of Betty…Betty and Fincastle Silt Loam. It was not lost on me that the strange sounding dirt, that had been such a revelation in our investigation, would now possibly be the final thing I felt in this life.

How I ever had enough time to think this all through was another thought I had before contact with the earth…strange.

As the final few inches disappeared between the rolling car and the ground, I called out to my love one last time.

“Betty! ...

 

Chapter 66

March 25, 1997

 

Blackness ensued…luxurious, silent blackness.

It enveloped me in its rich, cushy warmth, and I could only describe it as what it must feel like to be in the womb. I surely had a smile on my face, if indeed that is possible where I was at right now.

Where was I at right now?

I think I’m floating.

I try to open my eyes, to move my arms or legs but nothing works.

BOOK: Murder! Too Close To Home
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