Originally, I wanted an entire book much like this.
Then I realized that it would suck even more for Tommy if I just kept upping the stakes of what came after him.
But it’s going to end … fun.
normally. The schedule was normal: Church, breakfast, parish activity
early dinner, and Jeremy goes to play with his friends, while Mariel
and I play with each other…
Mariel became pregnant?
recently found fame that allowed for Mariel’s current condition.
After facing down a serial killer and being kidnapped by a deranged
death cult, Jeremy had become a source of fascination for his
classmates. This led to a lot of busy weekends of fun for Jeremy, and
lots of privacy for us.
married, part of the marriage contract is to contribute to the gene
pool as much as possible.
nine o’clock that evening, we were all ready to sleep.
words of every angel in the Bible tend to be “Be not afraid.”
is because angels of the Lord are totally terrifying.
fire. The wings looked like butterfly wings, taller and wider than
the main body. And it looked like a Kaiju that would make Godzilla
crawl back into the sea and ask directions for the Marianas Trench.
Its sword was a cross between a big broadsword and a lightsaber, and
big enough to cleave the world in half.
it sounded musical and lyrical, and at total odds with the creature
in front of me.
“Thomas Nolan! Judge and
Prophet of the Lord! Awake and smite the agents of Satan!”
with a gun in my hand before I knew I was awake.
Mariel awake. Her eyes snapped open and she reached for her side
table, then hesitated when she recognized me. At least she hadn’t
shanked me with the flip knife at her side.
It was the plan for her to hunker down and wait in Jeremy’s
room—mostly because his room’s door opened almost straight into
the staircase. Anyone who came up the stairs would get to the second
landing, turn left, and go up four more steps.
next to her side table. She slung the strap over her head, then
grabbed the shotgun, next to the rifle. Then she grabbed her pistol,
and held it in her other hand. I did the same, mostly to horde the
weapons as they hunkered down.
preppers. Mostly because after the first two home invasions by
supernatural and demonic forces, we came prepared.
the weapons behind her. I waited until she was in Jeremy’s room,
then handed her the shotgun. I left the rifle slung over my shoulder,
and carried the pistol in hand. It was a Browning Hi-Powered. It
wasn’t exactly department issue, but I had started a collection of
larger caliber guns since the death cult came for us.
quietly. I took one step down from the top landing when the door
crashed in. I dropped to a crouch and waited. I didn’t scream out a
warning, since I didn’t want to give away my position. And since
the front door was made of metal, just kicking the door in wasn’t
an option, so they weren’t simple home invaders.
I was told to smite
the agents of Satan,
so I could only conclude that these dirt bags weren’t here to play.
machine, a snake-like line of men carrying body armor and rifles. The
first one looked up at me—directly at me, I’m certain—and
see the tail end of this serpent. There were only six of them.
the living room and broke to their left (heading towards our dining
room), the fourth one stepped into the living room and moved for the
first bullet slammed into the armored helmet, slamming the man’s
head into the wall. The second round punched through the man’s
neck. He collapsed without a sound, but I had already moved onto the
next man in order. I took a step back, onto the landing, as I fired
again. Both bullets found their mark, though not the way I wanted.
One bullet merely collided with the Kevlar vest—but the force of
the round cracked the collar bone. The next one punched under the
arm, into the armpit, and pinballed around through the ribcage, caged
inside by Kevlar.
attention to me, and I triple-tapped him. Three rounds from the
Hi-Power knocked him back, and he involuntarily opened fire with a
string of bullets that cut right above my head. I dove up the stairs,
getting out of the line of sight and line of fire.
scrambled up the stairs. I swung around the wall at the top of the
stairs. I dropped back to a crouch. The were well armed, and had good
tactics. The first thing I could think of was: We’re
screwed. Dear Lord. We’ll need some help here.
charged up the stairs. I was ready to intercept them as soon as they
appeared. But after only eight steps, they stopped. I couldn’t
figure out why for a second.
metallic scrape of a pin being pulled out of a grenade.
leaned over in order to aim, I fired twice. His arm had been up and
ready to hurl his device. The helmet’s visor cracked and his head
snapped back with the bullet. The second bullet punched into his
wrist, shattering it. He fell back with a scream, and so did his
grenade. There were a few gasps from down below once they realized
what had happened.
ears. Which was a good idea, because the explosion was bright and
loud enough to make your eyes and ears bleed if you were too close.
flash bang, not a fragmentation or incendiary.
left, I placed my handgun on the ground, then unslung my rifle. I
grabbed the pistol and darted across Mariel’s line of fire for the
little room leading up to the attic. We hadn’t decided what else to
do with it yet, so it was still filled with boxes of random stuff we
still hadn’t unpacked yet.
listening intently. The next one up came up quietly. Mariel hadn’t
waited for the gunman to notice her. His helmet appeared, and she
fired three times. His helmet snapped to one side. His head crashed
into the window on the second landing.
rounds of blind fire in automatic bursts. Mariel rolled out of the
way of the gunfire. This fifth gunman fired off a few rounds every
step, keeping Mariel back.
at a time, one burst at a time. I pressed myself against the wall, I
almost felt him coming closer.
empty magazine ejecting from the gun and thumping on the floor.
before the gunman had even had a chance to grab a fresh magazine. I
jammed the muzzle of my Browning underneath the man’s chin and
pulled the trigger twice. The brain and bone spattered out of the
right behind him.
up my rifle. It collided with the rifle of the other gunman, and he
smashed into me. He drove me into the room of junk, slamming me into
the door. The gunman reared back with his right fist. I jerked my
head to one side, and he punched the wall. He cursed.
counter-clockwise as I twisted my body the same way. The butt of my
AR-15 cracked against the gunman’s helmet while I slipped out of
the way. I shoved off of the gunman and raised my rifle.
muzzle of my rifle off line as he raised his own. I raised my knee as
high as I could, then kicked down at the muzzle of his gun, shoving
it to the floor. As my foot came down, I reared forward, shoving my
left forearm into his throat.
boot of the gunman, then fired. He screamed. My left forearm was
still in his throat. I drove my elbow into the helmet, forcing him to
look to my left. My fingers found the back of his helmet, hooking
underneath it. I spun to my left and dragged the gunman down by his
helmet, throwing him off the wall. He didn’t go far, so I didn’t
raise my rifle level with him. I raised the muzzle just enough to
shoot him in the back of the knee. He screamed and fell forward, away
didn’t even count the bullets I fired into him. I only stopped
pulling the trigger when he went down.
shoot. I’m crossing your field of fire.”
the stairs. I cleared the house in less than a minute. I lowered my
gun about the time that the sirens rang outside. I placed the gun
down and started turning on the lights, keeping at least one hand up
at all times. I knew the uniforms that arrived, one of them was Sgt.
between the enclosed front porch and the living room, stopping before
the first body. She looked down at the body, then at me. She
considered me, then shrugged. “Nice boxers.”
and holstered her gun. She looked over the bodies. “Dang, Wyatt.
Don’t you have quiet days?”
narrowed my eyes. “It’s been quiet for months.”
“Twice in one day, though? At least you’re making up for lost
and I did as well. The Kevlar was strange, mainly because there was
black masking tape on it… and the helmet. I glanced to the other
corpses in the room and on the stairs. The masking tape was on all of
down by the nearest corpse. I reached over to the edge of the masking
tape, gently teasing the tape over. I only needed a corner to come
off. It revealed the upper corner of a letter: S.
way up the stairs. “I’m getting dressed. Call the LT. Call the
Captain. Then call Statler and Waldorf over at IA.”
she called after me.
around the corpse under the window. “Tell them that the people who
tried to kill me are members of a SWAT team.”
“Congratulations. I guess you’re a cop killer.”
at two in the morning. By 2:30, the neighbors were awake, and it
looked like my station house was having a block party on my street.
The SWAT van the team had arrived in was parked around the corner, so
the entire intersection would be blocked off until the scene was
processed. Ten patrol cars were used just to secure the area. CSU was
already there in record time, and they weren’t happy that Mariel,
Jeremy, and I had already walked all over the crime scene, since it
was mostly on our staircase.
then confiscated our sleepwear. They collected rug fibers from the
front of Mariel’s night shirt to prove that she had been on the
floor. They took my clothing since I had blood spatter on it. We were
already informed that parts of the carpet on our staircase would be
taken away because of the burns from the flash bang. We were
processed before the rest of the crime scene, and we needed to get
dressed for the day.
except in making the 911 call, and another call to the station. He
was already asleep on the couch. After being threatened at knife
point by a serial killer, and kidnapped by a cult with it’s own
Voodoo man, this was relatively boring. I was half afraid that when
puberty hit my son, he was going to turn into a thrill-seeking
adrenaline junkie. I could see a lot of ER visits in our future.
after CSU finished with us. My Lieutenant barely beat him to it. Both
were in full dress uniforms, as though they were showing up to a
full-court press conference, or to a funeral. I didn’t relish
either prospect. They sat at the opposite end of the table while
Mariel sat at the other. She had been making coffee since the coast
was clear. They were all disposable cups, purchased after one of the
last CSU guys broke a cup the last time the house had been a crime
partner burst in through the front door barely dressed. He wore
loafers with no socks. His gray slacks were buckled, the fly only
half up. The buttons on his shirt were misaligned, but he’d given
up on the top two buttons, so it didn’t matter. His bright yellow
tie was draped over his neck, untied. What was left of his hair stuck
up at all sorts of odd angles.
“Tommy! Don’t say a thing!”
Alex called. “I’m your PBA rep, and I insist—”
raving for a moment as he stopped at the dining room table. He
grabbed the edge, and panted heavily. “Sorry. I ran. I lot. Gotta
never do that again.”
my eyes. “Now that you’re here, we can start.”
next to me. It was normally Jeremy’s, which is why the case was
black with an Alex Ross rendering of The
on the back. I tapped into the house WiFi, then turned it around to
my superiors and my partner.
She’d been here for the next part.
entire attack. The cameras on the front porch, the stairs, and the
upper hallway caught every last moment. Not once did anyone hear the
word “Police!” or “Freeze!” The only verbal communication was
between me and Mariel. Everything between the officers was
communicated purely in hand gestures.
of my superiors looked pissed off. They said nothing, and I didn’t
blame them. Officially, Internal Affairs should be the one to talk to
me right now, not them.
awkward position. On the one hand, among fellow cops, there was
nothing more despised by the rank and file than a “traitor”—but
then, there is no one in the world more despised than someone who
turns on “his own.”
a corrupt officer, most of my brothers in blue would probably prefer
to handle it internally.
going to take this drug money off of you as punishment for you being
stupid enough to deal in front of me,” most citizens would find
that illegal and corrupt. Many cops would dismiss it as being more
harmful to the dealer than the minimal jail time the dealer might
eventually be given, eventually. If it grows to be an institution of
extortion, that’s when most cops start getting uncomfortable. They
start splitting hairs with the question, “Is he extorting a citizen
or a career criminal?” If a cop starts abusing his authority to the
extent where the law-abiding are abused, other cops would much rather
take him into a dark alley and beat the crap out of him before
turning him in.
authority extends to sexual favors, that’s more or less the point
where my fellow cops would rather throw him down a flight of stairs
before turning in said officer.
a traitor is a cop killer.
would be given a police officer who tried to kill a fellow officer.
right idea. It’s one of the many reasons why even the most corrupt
cops would rather eat their service weapon than shoot at fellow cops.
If a cop killed another cop, the killer might risk having an
“accident” akin to falling into a wood chipper, feet first.
facing a nightmare scenario, and doing the math on which was worse.
MURDERS SIX COPS.” This is the headline that wins a cold shoulder
from everyone in the department, and even future backup to “arrive
too late” to a full shootout.
SAINTLY COP.” This headline gets every cop in the department to buy
me beers for getting them before they got me. Meanwhile, this also
puts every cop in the city under a magnifying glass, especially the
department out of which SWAT operated.
EVERYONE WINS.” This makes for a police department that closes
ranks and act amazingly cranky to the entire population.
“Hizzonor” the Mayor, Ricardo Hoynes, would do.
in general, and me in particular. Given that his Deputy Mayor for
Social Justice Programs was a zombie-raising Voodoo Bokor who had
tried to murder me a few months back, I could count on hearing a few
tasteful sound bites from the mayor during this entire ordeal.
or not Deputy Mayor Bokor Baracus (yes, this particular demonic
presence was that subtle) was just using the Mayor to further a
Satanic agenda, or if the Mayor was the greater darkness, was
unknown. Even my ability to smell evil was useless around City
Hall—there was so much evil in the air, it was impossible to get
directionality on its source. Alex dismissed it as being the usual
scent of politicians. I wasn’t so certain. The only bright side of
a Mayor Hoynes character assassination would be that everyone who
hated him (i.e.: every cop in the city) would be buying me drinks
until the press died down or until Hoynes found a new target.
have a conversation about who just tried to assassinate you,” my LT
said, taking the lead. “The patrol guys outside already ran the
SWAT truck and the IDs inside. The team lying dead on your stairs are
out of the Bronx. They’ve had a high casualty count, but then,
they’re SWAT, so that’s expected.”
I’m happy I can even find
Bronx. I’m just as happy to forget that the Bronx even exists. If I
want to go the mainland, I go through Staten Island.”
Captain. “What’s the joke?” he asked.
my face. There was always at least one person who never got the joke.
“I mean except for the Bronx, the entire city is on an island.”
with a mug of coffee so large, I could put my fist in it. She slid it
in front of Alex. He muttered, “Bless you,” and took a healthy
drag from it.
held up my hands to refocus us back on the matter that brought
everyone into my living room. “Back to the primary topic: Why try
to kill me? I don’t
even know these people. Better yet, I don’t even know any of their
friends, relatives, or passing acquaintances.”
the mug. “But they know you. You’ve been in the news a lot.
Curran? The Women’s Health Corps? The death cult? The Mayor?”
everything in terms that wouldn’t get the three of us thrown into a
padded cell. What he really meant was Curran,
that serial kill possessed by a demon,
Moloch-Worshiping cultists who brought home sacrifices from their
abortion clinic day jobs
and … okay, in the case of Mayor Hoynes, everyone knew that the man
hated my guts. Hoynes probably hated me even more since I had leaked
some especially damaging insults about his constituents that he
boasted about to me and to Alex … and to our body cameras.
Seriously, for a politician, he wasn’t that smart. I wish there was
a good reason that he had been elected Mayor, but he was merely a
supposed libertarian who ran on the Democrat ticket.
questions, I rolled my eyes. “That was months ago. Why didn’t
they come after me back then? I wasn’t exactly in hiding. Hell, I
had reporters stalking Mariel and Jeremy for months.
I’d think a few SWAT guys could come and find me. The shooter at
the church this morning? He and his friends could have been random
EDPs from the internet who hated my guts. But them and
deeply from the coffee mug. “Well, I don’t have any better idea.
How about you, L.T.?”
like he was being threatened with an armed weapon. “Don’t look at
out slowly. I’d gotten nearly five hours of sleep, but the
adrenaline letdown was getting to me. “We may have to table this
for tomorrow. Maybe someone can look into the SWAT team and maybe we
can piece together what their problem was? Preferably before one of
their friends on the force takes issue with how they tried to kill
me, and I got them first? I think—”
by a phone call. I hesitated for a moment. The ring tone was the
“Imperial March” by John Williams—Darth Vader’s tune. It was
the ringtone for “D,” the self-proclaimed “gangster” Daniel
David DiLeo. I knew
he was a criminal,
but I’d never seen him do
so I’d never had to arrest him. And he wasn’t evil, I would have
smelled it on him. Crime
was his business, not “thug life”—his and his associates’
business uniforms were black leather jackets, black button-down
shirts, button-down collars with the top button undone.
can’t think you’re gangster if you can’t pull up your damn
jeans, and they wore their pants belted around their waists.
short version was that D
was a work acquaintance. Very much like the cartoon with Sam the
sheepdog and Ralph the coyote, who punch in and punch out of the
sheep meadow at either end of the Warner Brothers cartoon. Only D and
I were far more cordial when we were both on the clock.
informant, so I didn’t hesitate long before answering the phone. I
held it up and explained to the others at the table, “This is my
CI, Mister DiLeo. I presume he knows something… I can’t think of
another reason for him to call.”
“Don’t you hey
me, Detective. Someone just tried to whack me because of you.”
raise his voice. It was even more rare for D to yell in my general
direction. But given what he just said, I understood. “Would you
care to elaborate on that?”
I’ll happily elaborate,”
D roared. “I nearly got shot by the damn gang
squad. The gang
I am a white
criminal, man. The freaking gang
Just because I’m black. This is insulting. I should’ve known
you’d be a pain in the ass.”
has to do with me?”
“Don’t you pay attention to
what happens in your own station? There’s a hit out on you on the
Dark Web. It’s $10 million for your head. They don’t even want
you alive. It’s dead all the way.”
Powered by WPeMatico