The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 30

Copyright 2015 Millieanne Lowe, Orange County, California

“Hey you guys,” said a teenage boy to his friends sitting on the outside bench. “I just heard that a man’s hurt over behind this cable car and that there’s blood all over the place.” He paused, then added, “The man might be dead!”

Several women who overheard what he said, gasped. A few young children began to cry as the news traveled through the crowd.

“Get down from there, you fool!” said an old man rushing toward him with his arms outstretched. He pulled the kid off the cable car and turned the kid to face him. “The people who raised you, raised a fool. You’re scaring people!”

Questions floated among the adults, “What’s happened? Is that true? Are we safe? Should we get off the cable car? Where’s your brother?”

The group of young people Steele had been walking with stopped when they heard the screams.

“Jannie, Jannie!” a young boy yelled as he ran down the path and crashed into her. He pulled on her coat sleeve. “Mom says you need to come back, now! Someone’s dead,” he said and paused to catch his breath. “We heard there’s blood all over the place!”

“Oh Nicky, don’t exaggerate,” Jannie said as her shoulders slumped and her smile disappeared. “I don’t want to go back. I’ve been looking forward to dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf. You, Mom, and Dad are okay, right?”

“Yeah, but Mom’s real scared!” said Nicky still out of breath.

The two teenage girls eyed Steele, and then looked back at each other. The one with the longer hair said, “Jannie, let’s go back. I’ve never seen a dead body before.”

“No way, Katie. I’ll go back because my mom worries about me. I have no desire to see a dead body.”

“I do!” interjected Nicky pulling on her coat. “Let’s get back quick or I might miss it.”

“Okay. Let’s go back now,” said Katie. “Seafood doesn’t sound so good to me anymore.”

Without a word of apology to anyone, the young blondes grabbed Nicky by the shoulders and ran back toward the turnaround.

Squeezing through a maze of people, Jannie found her parents on tiptoes scanning the crowd.

“There they are, Henry,” When the girls came up closer she wrapped her arms around them. “Oh thank God you girls came back!”

She cuffed Nicky’s ear. “And you, Nicky. You weren’t suppose to run off like that!” scolded his mother.

“Yeah,” agreed Henry as he put his arm over his son’s shoulder.

“Dad, Dad! Take me over to see the dead body!” urged Nicky.

“Son, listen to me,” he bent over and said in a low voice, “A dead body is terrible to look at. This man might be a murder victim.”

“But I’ve never seen a real dead body before, Dad. Just on TV.”

“We’ve got to respect the dead, son. They are not objects for us to get thrills. Once you see a dead person, you’ll never forget the awful feeling.”

Gee, Dad. You take all the fun out of this. I could be sharing the details with my friends back at school!” Nicky crossed his arms and pouted.

Henry patted Nicky’s head and pulled him close. Whispering in his son’s ear, he said, “I don’t want to scare mother and the girls, Nicky. But, that serial killer we heard about on the radio might still be around here watching us. Stay here next to me, and if this cable car doesn’t leave soon, you can help me hail a taxi cab back to the hotel.”

Nicky’s eyes went wide in awe as he stared up into his dad’s face.  He nodded to his dad that he understood now. They moved closer to where mother and the girls were standing.

The news of a suspicious death spread into the Buena Vista Cafe. When Allen, the owner heard about it, he ran outside to where the grip man and his staff were holding people back. “Michael,” he called out to the grip man, “Is it anyone we know?”

“Can’t tell, right now, Allen,” the muscular black man said in a low and husky voice. “There’s too much blood and my men are working hard to protect the public. Do you see all the women and children here tonight? It’s not an easy job without the police here. We don’t want any tourists or their children to get a glimpse.”

“Got’cha. That’s the right thing to do,” said Allen. “You know what? There was a cop and his friend eating dinner at my place tonight, and I heard from one of my waitresses that a group of FBI guys were here as well. I wonder where they all are now.”

“If they’re still nearby, I think they would have heard the news and be here by now,” said Michael as he moved to hold back some teenage boys. “Sorry boys, there’s nothing good to see. Make way for the ambulance, okay?”

“Aww, can’t we just take a quick peek?”

“No. And that’s final. Now get on home where you belong,” said Michael.

“Michael, you may think I’m joshin’ you so I can get a peek, but I’ve got this weird feeling that it might be someone I know. You know the feeling I’m talking about?” said Allen.

“I hear you, man,” Michael said, and he shook his head up and down in agreement. “I’ve had that same weird feeling.” Michael moved over and let Allen pass through.

“Oh, man. Where’s the police with their yellow crime tape? My arms are gettin’ tired.”

Copyright 2015 Millieanne Lowe, Orange County, California

The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 29

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

Stetson fired his gun and the sound of it echoed across the park. If anyone had heard or spotted the tiny flash, it would have been hard to see the two men fighting at the far end of the pier as they were on the dead end side of the round house. Stetson had felt his gun firing high. If only he had cat eyes and been able to see in the dark, he would have seen Steele’s leg coming to knock the gun out of his hand. Then the Serial Killer would be dead now. Stetson swore as he felt Steele coming at him again. A fist hit his jaw and he felt as if his teeth were about to fall out. Still, nothing was more important than living long enough to kill Steele.

Bending down Stetson scrambled for his gun as it slid across the cement ground toward the opening in the pier wall. The gun hit the foot of the slot and slid backwards to the underside of a fisherman’s bench instead. A kick in the ribs brought blinding pain. “I don’t do business with losers,” jeered Steele.

As Steele’s leg swung toward him again, Stetson grabbed  his ankle and twisted his foot. That brought his opponent down to the ground. They rolled on the ground behind the bench, each man trying to beat the other to death.

Stetson’s fist struck out for Steele’s face but Steele saw it coming and moved. Stetson’s knuckles scraped against the ground and he swore as the pain radiated through his hand and up his arm. He put his weight on top of Steele and leaned on his left arm across the killer’s chest as he reached for the gun tucked in the back of his waist. Steele crossed his legs like a pretzel, did a sit-up and then rolled backwards up to his shoulders, throwing Stetson off to the side. Steele sprang to his feet, and drew out a flashing switchblade. Before Stetson could back off, Steele lunged forward and stabbed Stetson under his ribs and twisted the blade. “See if you can stand the pain, you looser!”

 

Steele watched as Stetson, looking stunned, buckle at the knees. Steele stabbed him a second time. “Just making sure you make it to hell, pal.”

Satisfied, the killer stood up, wiped the sharp blade on the backside of his jeans, closed it, and stashed it in his pants pocket.

“You’re lucky it wasn’t your throat I sliced,” said Steele. “Now you can die a slow death.” He turned and ran into the darkness toward the bath house. Steele had a plan. As soon as he made it passed the bleachers, he would change his pace to a casual walk. Then he would mingle with the crowd surrounding the cable car turn table. Soon afterwards, he would be on his way to Marilyn’s apartment on Bush Street.

 

Stetson felt the burning pain where Steele had stabbed him twice. Rolling onto his right side, Stetson pulled out a handkerchief from his back pants pocket and pressed it hard against is wound. It wasn’t going to be enough to stop the bleeding, but he had to try to get to some help. He crawled over to the fisherman bench, reached under it, and retrieved his gun. Steele’s running footsteps faded in the increasing distance.

“Watch out. I’m no looser and I don’t give up easy,” mumbled Stetson. Using his elbow to press against the wound, his hands pushed down on the cement seat. And with stifled grunts of pain Stetson managed to stand up. He spotted Steele’s navy blue neck scarf on the ground. Leaning on the back of the bench for balance, he lifted it up with the toe of his shoe. With his left hand he shook out the dirt and debris. Swinging it in the air several times, he doubled it in half, and then once again. Stetson stuffed it inside his windbreaker to pad his wounds and soak up the blood. At a snail’s pace, the fingers of his hand  moved the zipper head higher to keep the scarf in place. A scattered thought came to mind – Wouldn’t it be a surprise when Steele saw his neck scarf again?

His head hurt with every movement. God, another pair of hands to hold my head would be real nice. Hunched over, Stetson headed back to the cable car turnaround where he knew Steele would try to get lost in the crowd. He muttered obscenities as he weighed his chances of saving Marilyn from harm. If only there had been a phone booth built on the pier for emergencies, he could call the police and have them save Marilyn. Save Marilyn…that became his mantra through his pain as he quickened his stumbling steps.

 

Out of breath, Steele slowed down. He had run the length of the pier which was about a half mile, and made his distance to the bleachers beyond the bath house. He felt confident he was free of Stetson. If no one else went down to the end of the pier in this heavy fog, a tourist or fisherman would not find Stetson’s body until the morning.

He combed his blond hair with his fingers and smoothed down his jacket, then sensed that something was missing. His neck scarf. He patted his jacket pockets, nothing was there. Should he go back to find his scarf? Nah, he thought. Whoever finds it will think a tourist had lost it because an elegant Paris label had been sewn in.

As he came closer to the crowd, he did one more check. His hands felt up and down the outside of his leather jacket searching for wet spots of blood. He felt none. He then felt secure and did not look back. Although, if he had, he might have seen a slow moving, hunched over man with a gun in his hand, following him.

Steele stepped into the crowd of people who stood around the turn table. They were waiting for the grip man and his team to finish turning the cable car around. He found a senior couple chatting with their grandchildren, and started a conversation with them. When he became bored with their chatter, Steele squeezed in with another group. They were talking about getting souvenirs down the way in Fisherman’s Wharf. Steele caught  sight of blonde hair and smiling faces, sneaking glances at him. This was much more interesting. He moved along to join them in their laughter.

The wait for the cable car to be ready for the next load of passengers took a while. In the midst of laughter after he had shared a great joke, Steele turned around and saw Stetson’s pale and pained face. Their eyes locked. Steele made the first move. He walked over to Stetson’s right side, put his arms over the crippled man’s shoulders and said, “Hey, pal! Where’ve you been? I thought you’d gone home in a taxi.” Steele slid his hand down Stetson’s right arm and with quiet force removed the gun from his enemy’s grip. “Com’on over here and get in line with me. We’ll be boarding soon,” he said.

Smiling, Steele patted his friend’s shoulder in a warm and friendly manner. Squeezing Stetson’s shoulders hard, he forced him toward the back end of the cable car. Stetson made a move to reach for his other gun, but Steele blocked his arm and said, “Keep quiet and you might live a little longer.”

Over by the front of the line a teenage boy pointed at them. “There’s those two drunk guys again, Dad.”

“I see them son, let’s keep our distance,” responded the father. They turned their backs on the killer and the wounded cop and redirected their attention to the cable car.

The men working the turntable locked it into place. The  grip man jumped on board and attached his gear to the rumbling cable beneath the ground. He rang the bell hanging over his head to signal the conductor that he was ready for passengers to come aboard. Upon hearing the bell, people who were cold, and tired of standing around, boarded without a further sign from the grip man.

A low roar of excitement filled the air. Some passengers, the older men and women, headed for the inside of the cable car where they could see out the windows and be a lot warmer. Other passengers, bundle in warm clothing, caps and gloves, raced for the limited number of seats on the outside bench. Those who missed getting a seat grabbed their spot on a lower step next to a pole.

The cable car wobbled as people continued to climb on board. Every seat and every inch of standing room inside the cable car disappeared. These were the people who stood and grumbled in the cold for 45 minutes waiting for the cable car to appear over the hill and get turned around. Now they cheered, laughed, and called out to each other, “Over here! I saved you a seat with me, over here!”

Steele watched and waited for the moment when everyone’s attention focused on finding a seat. Poking the gun into Stetson’s side, he turned the weakened man sideways. Stetson tried to pry himself loose of his grip. Steele pocketed the gun and snapped open his switchblade. He pointed the tip underneath Stetson’s jaw. “This is it, man. End of the line,” he said and jabbed the blade upwards and ripped across Stetson’s throat.

He felt Stetson’s body jerk, and saw the eyes widened for a moment. Stetson gurgled as if on cue and began sliding to the ground. “Hey man,” Steele said, “If you’re going to be sick, let’s move over there.” Steele hefted Stetson’s half dead weight over to the a cement planter. Leaning Stetson against a short wall next to a hedge, he turned and walked away.

Within three minutes Steele rejoined the laughing group of girls he had spoken with before. His reformation back to wholesome, good-looking guy, was smooth, as always. He had avoided a major part of the blood spurt, wiped clean his blade, and stashed it back into his pocket. With his arms crossed and hands tucked under his elbows, he smiled to get their attention. “What are you girls going to buy at Fisherman’s Wharf?” His white teeth attested to his good-guy personality and the girls chatted with him non-stop. Steele found their trust in him, an unbelievable phenomenon. Especially with stories of the Serial Killer in the news day and night. The thought made him even happier than getting rid of Stetson.

“Which restaurant are we headed for? I’m starving!” yelled one person to another in their group. Amid the ensuing banter of which place to go, Steele chimed in, “Alioto’s the best!” and continued to walk in step with the girls as if he were part of their group all along.

 

Stetson knew he was dying. He struggled to move and fell to the ground. That’s when Jake, the disgruntled white bearded cable car conductor, spotted him. He had just apologized, “Sorry folks, the car’s full. You’ll have to wait for the next one.” The disappointed group moaned and stepped back to huddle together at the beginning of the new line.

“This can’t be another drunk,” the conductor mumbled to himself. He walked up to the dark mound by the planter. “Hey Mister, get up or you’ll be…” As he got closer, he faced the horror of the Serial Killer’s work. A ghastly cut across the throat bled profusely. Jake pulled out his handkerchief and covered it. He tried with both hands to stop the bleeding as he called out, “Someone, quick! Call for the police and an ambulance.”

Right away, men in the crowd left their families to see what had happened. “Oh my Lord,” the conductor said. “Please help this man. There is so much blood everywhere.”

The grip man noticed that his conductor had not rung the bell in response to his signal. Holding onto one of the white poles, he swung out and yelled into the darkness, “Jake! What’s holding you up, man?”

A shaky voice emanating from the crowd of men said, “Someone’s hurt. Get an ambulance and the police. Hurry!”

The grip man and his assistants ran toward the conductor to see for themselves what the problem was. They backed off in shock. One of the two assistants held back the crowd gathering toward them. The other ran into the wood shack, turned off the radio, and called the police for help.

The tourists who had boarded, unaware of what had happened, complained. “What’s the matter? What’s the hold-up now? We’re cold out here, can we get going soon?” The questions grabbed more attention to the assistants.

“Why is the grip man bent down over there? Did someone have a heart attack?”

In his final moments of consciousness, Stetson knew he had lost the battle with Steele. Sensing the close attention from the conductor, he moaned, making the slightest noise.

The conductor leaned closer, “What did you say, man? How can I help you?”

Stetson’s lips moved and all he could say was, “…arilyn. Save …arilyn.”

Then his very bad day ended in a very bad way.

“The ambulance should be here any minute now,” said someone from the crowd.

Jake shook his head, “I don’t think it’s going to help. I think this man just died.”

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

James Langston Hughes 113th Birthday Celebration

On Google Doodle today I was led to discover this link: http://www.redhotjazz.com/hughes.html  I found it a fascinating and inspiring read and thought you might also enjoy learning about this Black American writer and poet.

Hughes’ work and his life was controversial for many reasons. One of the quotes that impressed me was when Hughes argued, “no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself.” His statment made me look quickly at myself…I have been afraid of writing the things I could for fear of offending certain people, and this has held me back, maybe, from being all that I can be as a writer. I am now in the stages of finding out more about myself and what I dare to write, J. Langston Hughes has inspired me. I hope you find his life and writing inspiring, too.

MillieAnne Lowe

The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 28

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

Since his childhood, Steele had always thought that he and the darkness were one. In the darkness, away from the temptations of the women he found inadequate, he found comfort. The darkness served as a theater to visualize and relive his pleasurable memories and adventures. In the dark places of his mind, it served as a place to regenerate another murderous event. The darkness was Steele’s personal think-tank.

As he walked beside Stetson, their breaths appeared as small puffs of steam billowing from a fast moving train. Steele’s had two thoughts playing tug of war in his mind. On one end of the rope, his need to kill Stetson. On the other end, his need to see Marilyn. After the allusions made by Agent Parker, releasing his passion with her would soothe his soul. But then, she also was not perfect. She had an attachment with the boyfriend, whose name was Mark. No problem, getting his revenge would be easy. If Mark was there, he would enjoy what Steele planned to do to Marilyn.

The vicious killer took a deep breath and the chill of the air cleared his mind from all the booze. His plans for tonight would be unique. No other girl he had found had been as special as his intended for tonight.

The old lady, her dog, her daughter and two grandchildren had not been killed for any pleasurable reason. The last three girls he had devoured were wayward girls, unworthy substitutions for his first great love, Alicia.

Steele recalled the memories of his first passionate love. As far as he was concerned, his life began when he fell in love with his neighbor’s daughter, Alicia.

Alicia had captured his heart with her youthful beauty of soft creamy skin, sky blue eyes, and soft blonde hair that carried the scent of a new day after a rain. Her sweet voice and innocent thoughts charmed him. In a short time they became inseparable. No one would have imagined that their coming together would begin the most unusual experiences of his life.

When their long walks in the woods were no longer suitable to include their passionate kisses, Alicia breathlessly expressed her how she felt, “My desires to be totally yours match the passion we share.” They ran hand in hand toward her grandfather’s old and worn out barn. Alicia climbed a tall wooden ladder to the loft, and he had followed. Clucking hens scurried around, kicked up small bits of straw, flapped their wings furiously, and fussed in circles. They alerted all who would listen that a stranger was among them. Three resident horses, neighed, acknowledging the young couple’s presence as well.

Up in the loft, the aroma of sweet hay mixed with the scent of liniment, created a warm and sensual ambiance. As their passionate kisses heightened their lust, a howling wind approached. Its strength crashed open the barn doors, blowing every item not tacked down into its swirling cyclone. Splinters of wood shot through the hens like arrows. Two long slivers pinned a Rhode Island Red hen to the base of a thick wooden column underneath the loft. Hay, dirt, and bits of rags, swirled high and low, invading the hayloft where he and Alicia lay naked.

As the debris flew in circles around them, Steele held Alicia closer. The hardness of her pert young breasts against his skin excited him beyond what he had ever experienced. They kissed and caressed  the once unknown private places of each other’s bodies. Their uninhibited lovemaking rocked and pulsed with the thunderous rhythm of the storm outside. Their screams of climaxing together matched the high-pitched notes of the howling wind. Alicia’s hair ribbons blew off and her lustrous blonde hair spread in all directions.

The storm became larger, hovering right above them. Horses neighed and screamed their fears, kicked down their stall gates and dashed wildly out into oblivion. Tin cans that once held nails, spilled and clattered in the wind. The noise of the storm screeched like an orchestra warming up for its masterpiece. The musical fabric of chaos circled the two lovers. They chose to ignore any danger and once again fulfilled their passionate desires.

When the storm stopped they had been laying in each other’s arms when suddenly, Alicia screamed. She pointed at her grandfather climbing over the edge of the loft.

His scraggly white hair, electrified, stuck out from his head like a mass of wires. His eyes were wide with disbelief as he looked upon them.

“Get away from me! Stop starring at me!” Alicia frantically searched for her clothes to hide. A new storm, howling like the first one, roared into the barn obliterating everything in its path. The old man stretched out his arms and took a step toward Alicia. Steele remembered instinctively grabbing  the pitchfork from its hooks and throwing it at the leering old man.

The blood he saw was bright red. It seeped from where the tines had punctured the old man’s chest.

Alicia held the shreds of her skirt in front of her, tears ran down her face as she mumbled something Steele could not hear. As she shook her head back and forth in denial of what was before her, Steele felt a renewed force in his body.  He pulled Alicia down to a remaining dark corner. Giving his passion priority, he left the old man bleeding to death in a pile of debris. Twigs from the nearby woods, chicken feathers, hay, nails, and a feed bag, lay around his inert body… remnants representing his whole life as a farmer. Ignoring her protests, Steele kissed her as he pinned her resisting body down with his. Stretching her arms above her head, he rammed into her with the force he had felt in the storm. Elated with every move he made in her body, his needs renewed with an insatiable appetite.

The chaos of the storm, the killing of another human being, the sight of blood flowing from the body, and the excitement of new pleasures sustained him. The swirling chaos had seduced him, enveloped him, and captured him once, and for all his lifetime.

Steele saw the repulsion in Alicia’s eyes, the soft and dreamy look she had for him was gone. Another whirlwind tore away the side of the barn. Alicia screamed as the wood cracked and the wind whooshed with power, lifting and twirling every small bit in its path. Outside the horses screamed again in fear and galloped away in all directions.

“Let go of me! I don’t want to die here! Let go!” Steele covered her mouth with his hand. These were not words he wanted to hear. As she fought to get away, Steele grabbed a knife partially hidden under a haystack. Then, with every thrust of his body, he pierced her body with the sharp and shining blade and gloried himself with the spurts of blood like her grandfather’s… bright red.

Steele remembered looking down on the violence, as if he viewed everything from a balcony. He stuck the point of the blade under her ribs, cut her in the stomach, pounded the knife in her chest, and when near spent, he slit under her breasts. His final thrust into her body accompanied the flashing steele blade into her throat.

Her blood streamed everywhere, and her eyes had seemed to be looking up into heaven. “Alicia, my Alicia, you are a beautiful sight to behold.” The quietness after her death presented him a masterpiece of his own, and the excitement of his actions was more than he had ever thought possible.

Wiping off what blood he could from his face, hands, and body, Steele put on his tattered pants and shirt that he found plastered against one of the remaining walls. With agility he jumped from the loft and ran outside. The shadows of what remained disclosed the devastation to all that he knew and had treasured. The farm house had been flattened to its foundation. The once thick woods, home to many animals, and chirping birds, suffered the greatest destruction. For as far as he could see, it had been shredded by the storms until only slivers of trees and rough stumps remained. As he stood there, another dark funnel approached, its powerful force moved around and passed him, splintering the barn where Alicia, and the pitchforked body of her grandfather lay. To escape the swirling debris, Steele had jumped over dead animals, and ducked flying pieces of farm equipment. Two other storms came together upon the barn and everything in it disappeared as if it had never existed. Steele remembered all that had happened and how he felt. The darkness made the storms for me.

When neighboring farmers came to help they were in awe of the storm’s total destruction. Steele drew into himself and feigned shock. All the while enjoying his private thoughts.

 

The blare of fog horns brought Steele back to the present. But he hung on to one lingering thought. Since that time, killing anything had not been a problem. He smiled a wicked smile in the dark.

He and Stetson now stood of the far side of the round house at the end of the pier, more than a mile from the restaurant. They watched a thousand small lights twinkling in the hills, believing that they were just as small and that no one watched them.

Stetson moved closer to Steele. “There’s a smile on your face. What are you scheming about now?”

Steele turned to his rival and smirked, “I’m thinking about what I’m going to do to Marilyn tonight.”

“Oh no, you’re not.” The barrel of Stetson’s gun flashed under the lamp post. “Tonight, you’re going to hell!”

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

 

The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 27

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

Stetson watched the city’s most dangerous and feared man stew in his thoughts. He had never seen Steele scared, worried, or stumped. The killer always had quick and confident answers for everything. Now, Steele’s eyebrows knitted together in serious thought making him look like an scowling owl.

What Agent Parker related about their suspect rang true – the large sum of money, their suspect fleeing from the east coast, and the admirable techniques used for the explosions. All three points matched back to back to Steele’s highlights tonight.

Stetson scrutinized Steele’s face again. Behind the scowl Steele’s brain was figuring out who ratted on him. That dumb rat, he’ll be dead soon.

All sorts of thoughts flew across Stetson’s mind. Agent Parker had played his hand just right by setting Steele’s mind into a fight or flight mode. He and his team were probably just waiting for Steele to panic, make a mistake, or try to escape. Does Parker suspect, or already know that Steele is the Serial Killer? The timing of the first murder fits the timeline Parker described.

Stetson took a deep breath and said, “Hey man, you look like your mind is somewhere else solving a problem.”

“Yeah, you got that right. I’m tired of this place. I’m tired of a lot of things. Why don’t we take a walk down to the end of Muni Pier? Ever been there?” asked Steele.

“Yeah, sure. It’s where I made my first move on a girl in high school and got kissed,” Stetson said with a smile at the memory.

“Well, heck. You aren’t such a miserable loser, are you pal? Com’on, let’s get some fresh air.”

Stetson saw no hints of unsteadiness as Steele slipped on his leather jacket and threaded a navy blue scarf around his neck. His original idea to get Steele drunk and off guard was not working. Not after Agent Parker’s allusions to an imminent arrest.

He signed the dinner bill and left a twenty-dollar tip for the waitress. Stetson zipped up his windbreaker half-way leaving room for quick access to his weapons. The particular style of his jacket hung loose from his shoulders, and the length of it covered his back weapon even when he bent over. Knowing that they were in place, Stetson felt confident that he was ready for whatever action needed. He knew something was going to happen tonight, and soon.

Outside, a light fog hovered over the street lamps. Further out, its dense form made it harder to see the roundhouse at the end of the pier. Nodding toward the windows, Stetson commented, “It’s going to be chilly out there.”

Steele looked at him and shook his head in a pitying way, “You’re such a pussy. Worried about getting a chill? You’re still your Mama’s good boy, aren’t you?”

Stetson walked up closer behind Steele and gave him a he-man shove with both hands, laughing as he did so. Steele overemphasized it and purposely tripped into a busty brunette in a black v-neck dress. Her friends stood next to her by the door.

“He did it,” Steele said as he pointed over his shoulder to Stetson.

One of the girls said in a husky voice, “Well, if he doesn’t want you, I’ll take you out.”

“Sorry, girls, I have to be good and get home to bed.” Steele smiled and winked at the giggling women.

“Com’on, get going,” said Stetson as he acknowledged the people at Agent Parker’s table with a wave and a smile.

“Let’s go back and you can push me into that girl again,” teased Steele.

“No, we don’t. You can’t always get away with murder,” Stetson said.

Stetson felt his face redden and turn hot with embarrassment of what he had said. Outside, the cold air stung his face hard. Coming across an empty soda can, he kicked it with such a force that it flew over two parked cars.

Speechless now, Stetson jay-walked across the street to the curved pathway along the shore.

Steele caught up with him. “You’re wrong, pal. I always get away with murder.”

Under the light of a lamp post, Stetson saw Steele’s wicked smile.  The violent urge to bash in the evil face pulsed through his arms. Instead, he hid his tightened fists in his jacket pockets as if his hands were cold.”Let’s walk on the right side, here,” he said. “It darker. It’ll be harder for anyone to see us together.

“That’s just what I was thinking, pal.”

Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

A Wish and A Peek!

 

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 6:35 a.m.

Dear Fans and Friends,

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! I wish all of you a very exciting New Year!

It’s been hectic at my house getting ready for Christmas Eve just as it may be at your house. I miss the opportunities to write when I feel like writing and when I have something exciting to write about. Do you know what I mean?

I plan to get revved up after January 7th of the new year. My goal is to be writing at the fast pace I started with on my story The Serial Killer of Bush Street. I thought I might bring some fun your way with these thoughts:

What becomes of the unusual feelings Eric’s Aunt Robin experiences?

How will Eric and Haley feel about each other when they meet again?

How will the two former partners in crime, now adversaries, react after FBI Agent Parker leaves their dinner table at the Buena Vista Cafe?

How will George, Aunt Mattie’s special friend, use his powers of perception to help Haley, Jeanne, and Krista stay safe from the Serial Killer?

Will Marilyn and her boyfriend, Mark, be out of reach of the Serial Killer?

Will the small mob of outraged men from the Bush Street neighborhood and Lefty’s grow larger? What do they intend to do to protect their loved ones from the Serial Killer?

When will the Serial Killer’s appetite to slice and destroy young blonde girls end?

I can hardly wait to share more of this story with you. Meanwhile, have fun, and be safe on the road.

Blessings to all of you,

MillieAnne Lowe

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 26

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

“To us!” said Steele. He clinked his glass hard against Stetson’s. They finished their drinks and ordered another round.

“Let’s order Lasagna for dinner and make the next round of drinks doubles,” suggested Stetson.

“A double is fine,” said Steele and he laughed at Stetson. “Here’s to your drunken luck.” Both men became boisterous with rotten jokes and people from other tables turned to look at them.

The plain looking waitress came to their table. Steele put up his arms as if to protect his eyes, and said, Pull eeze! Don’t shine that smile on me. It hurts my eyes!”

Steele quickly interjected, “I’m sorry, Miss. My friend is drunk. We would like to order two Lasagna dinners and another round of drinks. Make them doubles this time?”

Ignoring Steele, the waitress said, “Sure.” She smiled at Stetson and left the table.

“You see! She can smile. She just likes me and not you!” said Stetson. He purposely talked a drunk’s banter.

“Listen. I’m not drunk, and if you’re feeling your oats, go for her, man. She’s not my type.”

No, no, no. That’s not what I want. I just like friendliness.”

A shadow fell across their table. It didn’t move on as other shadows of the guests going back and forth. Both men looked up. Stetson recognized the semi-bald man in the expensive suit with the wilted red carnation.  It was the man who had almost gouged him in the eye.

“Pardon me,” the stranger said, “I do want to apologize for almost causing you a terrible discomfort. It must be the Italian influence in this town. I find myself sharing stories with greater emphasis using my arms to express my feelings. I misjudged how tight the crowd is in this popular establishment.” The man offered Stetson a handshake. “Please accept my apology.”

“That’s not necessary. I’ve already forgotten about it,” said Stetson and he shook the man’s hand. He thought it would be the end of the conversation, but the man remained standing there looking pensive.

“You look familiar. Are you someone famous?” asked the stranger.

“No, I’m not anyone famous, are you?” Stetson turned the focus onto the inquirer.

Steele blurted out, “My friend is a Commander in the San Francisco Police Department. You might have seen him on television the other day.”

“Aha! That’s where I saw you. I’d like to introduce myself. I am Special Agent, Joseph Parker, FBI, out of New York currently. And, I’m sorry I don’t remember your name from the newscast.”

“Jim, Jim Stetson.”

“And you are in charge of the serial murders in the Bush Street area?”

Surprised by the question of his status, Stetson felt the sting of his demotion from earlier in the day. The way the Chief of Police dismissed him from the coveted position was unjust. Stetson diverted the conversation. “We have several teams of officers working on the case around the clock. What brings you to San Francisco, this time of year?”

“My team and I are tracking a cleaver and talented bank robber. Our experts are admiring his innovative uses of explosives. We followed him here six weeks ago.” Parker put his hand up to his chin, looked at Stetson and then at Steele. “May I ask? What is your name, sir?”

Stetson watched Steele take in the information and the challenging questions. Oh, crap. Do I believe in coincidences? Has someone caught up with Steele?

“The name is George Bentley. You know, like the beautiful British sedan?” Steele smiled and reached across the table to offer his handshake. “Nice to meet you Parker.” The serial killer sat back in his bentwood chair, stretched out his legs, and cross them at the ankle, posing himself in a relaxed mood. He fingered the rim of his glass and turned it around twice. “You crime guys always have such interesting things to discuss. It’s moment to moment excitement, right? I envy you guys for the unusual challenges, but I don’t envy the long hours you spend hunting people. Sometimes you never find the culprit, right? My friend here rarely has time to eat dinner.” Steele’s eyes landed on Stetson and then moved to stare at Parker for what seemed to be a long time.

“Here, sit down, Parker,” said Stetson. “Can your friends spare your company? Tell me more about the suspect you’re chasing,” said Stetson.

“Thank you, but I can only stay a few minutes,” said the agent. “We’re heading out soon to enjoy the sights down at Fisherman’s Wharf tonight.” He pulled out a chair, sat down and looked straight at Steele. “I enjoy these tall windows. People watching is one of my favorite past-times.”

“That’s one of my favorites, too,” said Stetson.

“Our investigation is not as exciting as what you are doing these days, Stetson. Although, my team and I put great value to every bit of progress we make. The word clever is not adequate to describe our suspect.”

Stetson watched Parker’s calculating glances at Steele. This man is forming some sort of plan. No doubt, Steele’s mind is doing the same.

“We have been receiving clues from an anonymous source. We now have an idea who masterminded the bank job, but we don’t have the proof yet.  We are making progress and that’s what counts.”

“But you have to find him quick or the trail might get cold, right?” asked Steele. “Parker, I like your investigation much more than his,” said Steele pointing to Stetson with the tumbler in his hand. “What kind of clues led you to San Francisco?” asked Steele.

“Those details I cannot share with you. Perhaps when the investigation is over we can join again to discuss them,” said Parker.

At this point Stetson enjoyed listening to these two men who were sparing like boxers.

“What a bummer! It’s like you’re cutting short a great suspenseful story,” Steele complained.

Stetson found it humorous as Steele tried to flatter information from the well-dress FBI agent. He wondered, was Steele the bank robber they tracked to San Francisco?

He took another sip of his double Jack Daniels. He felt the warmth and smoothness of it going down his throat. Stetson tried to get rid of the confusion and frustration he felt. A few hours earlier, he had been planning Steele’s death. Now threatened himself, by this vicious killer, he finds out that Steele might be the bank robber wanted by the FBI. Every detail the agent described fit Steele.

If Special Agent Parker arrested Steele, thought Stetson, Steele wouldn’t hesitate to drag me in as well. That can’t happen. My future plans don’t include prison, or the electric chair. God, I don’t want to go to prison or sit in the electric chair, especially not for those murdered girls. I can’t let Steele get arrested, but I still have to get rid of him. Does Agent Parker have any idea that the man sitting across from him is also the Serial Killer? Stetson’s mind went back to the conversation, just in time to hear Agent Parker brag.

“There are a few details unknown to the general public,” said Parker as he leaned forward on his elbows to speak confidentially. “I can share with you that the missing funds and valuables tallied way over $2.5 million.”

Steele whistled. “Wow, that’s sweet. I can think of plenty to do with just half of that amount,” he said.

“So can I,” agreed Stetson. “Hey, here comes our Lasagna,” and he moved aside his half-finished JD Black.

Agent Parker pushed back in his chair and stood up, “Well, it’s time I leave. It was a pleasure to meet you both, and to make a connection to the San Francisco police force. I’ll call you when we get a break in our investigations,” Parker said to Stetson.

“Good luck!” Steele said with a smile. “Your suspect is probably long gone – out of the country by now.”

“Perhaps, but I am glad he led me to this beautiful city first.”

Stetson stood and shook hands with Parker. “Good luck and stay safe,” he said.

“Thank you, and you, too. From what I read in the local papers, you have quite a passionate slicer. I hope you will catch him soon. Even the trained women on my team are on constant alert,” Parker added.

The Agent turned and waved to his friends at the table near the door. He signaled that he was on his way back.

“Let’s eat, I’m famished,” Steele said with emphasis imitating how Marilyn had said it to Mark.

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California