“White … White … White!” cried Crowe. He looked at his cell and saw no signal. Crowe
slumped down behind his desk. The flood-gates of worry filled his head. A chill ran up his spine
and his stomach felt queasy. He shook his head thinking about previous events such as Red
confronting him about changing the time and day to meet, but they haven’t met about the tragic
since. No thought Crowe, they know … they know, and he had an uneasy feeling about the two
He took a couple of deep breaths. Don’t push the panic button just yet. He remembered
putting a tracer inside the bag before dropping it off at that God awful place. He still got
chills when he thought of that place. Crowe checked his phone … yeah, the money was
on the run which was a twist to his plan. He was hoping one of the two bone-heads would
get greedy, and he had put his money on Krasko. So the idea wasn’t completely dead, and
plan B was in full effect. But plan B could end up like plan A if Pone wasn’t dead.
Crowe pondered his next move. He needed bait like cheese, strong cheese for his mouse
trap. Crowe manipulated his cell using his thumb on who would be his cheese. Then it hit him,
his lunch date with Maxwell.
“Thomas … yeah, listen something just came up about Pone, but I can’t tell you over the
phone … I know the case haven’t been solve yet, but this is important … I need you to meet me at the
Four Tower Hotel … you know we have to be discrete … as soon as possible … good, see
Pone pulled up fifty yards to what he considered something out of a horror movie. The
house was more like a ruin and not the good kind. He sat back in the Maroon Chevy Astro
van loaned to him by Otis. He checked the syringes in the pocket of his jacket. Stick said
the juice would make you sleep like a baby. Pone ask Stick if it was the same stuff a popular
serial killer on television used to take out his victims. Stick laughed and said that’s TV
for you, he said the drug Etorphine if used on humans would cause a thirty-second seizure
and the person would die which was what Pone didn’t want since that would be a deal
breaker depriving the two king-pins their revenge. Stick didn’t say exactly what was in the
syringes, but it wasn’t the animal tranquilizer Etorphine. The van wasn’t the only change, he
had a black stocking wool cap on his head, a red pullover shirt hiding under a black bomber
leather jacket, wrangler loose-fitting jeans, and black Doc Martens suede hikers.
Pone studied the landscape; a cartoon back in the day came to mind called Courage The
Cowardly Dog. The town Courage lived in what was called No where and this waste land,
badlands or hell was definitely no where. The Great Meteor did a job on this part of the country
and other parts as well. The government only put money where they thought was worth preserving.
Plant life seemed to be afraid to grow, and Pone didn’t blame it. He was glad he made the trip during
the day. There in front of the house was a grand hollow decaying tree just like Ella said. A big mouth
asking for the mercy of death and the house, well even make-over TV couldn’t save it. Pone grabbed
Sally, then made his way toward the house on foot. He saw no vehicle of any kind, but figured he’d
have a look any-way.
Once inside, Pone wasted no time pulling his shirt over his nose. He saw the crimson trail
leading up to an Afro-American male, lying on his stomach.
Roland White was dead with mouth and eyes wide open and a butcher knife in his back
like a vampire with a stake in the heart except Roland would not be rising from the dead.
The expression on Roland’s face was total shock. He was shock from the pain of the knife no
doubt and perhaps that his roommate had the guts to stabbed him in the back. Pone assumed
Krasko had enough of the living conditions and who could blame him. How long they were
bunked up in this abode, Pone did not know, but living in a place like this could drive anybody mad.
Pone noticed the smashed cell near the body. Roland was probably too busy talking to Crowe to know
his life of sorrow was about to end. Pone closed Roland’s eyes, but made a beeline back into the frigid
air of the waste-land. Whew! Pone had no idea a human being could smell so awful. The house had it’s
own odor, and because it was old and moldy that was a given, Roland was unexplained. Part of the
package deal was damage, but there were still two parts left to salvage his promise to the two
Pone inhaled the fresh air until he saw tire tracks heading south. Pone cursed. Now he
had to determine how big a jump Krasko had on him. He reluctantly went back inside the
house of death with a shirt over his nose and knelt down over Roland’s body. He wasn’t
an expert to determine the time of death like they did on TV, but then again that was TV.
He knew enough thanks to some police friends that after ten minutes a dead body in open
air attracts flies to lay thousands of eggs in the mouth, nose, and eyes of the corpse. Well, no sign
of flies since it was cold and they probably have enough sense to avoid this hell hole anyway.
Pone needed air on the brain and opened a few windows and propped the door. The air was
cold, but did the trick. Pone didn’t exactly know how long Roland was dead, but then again
he believed that all determined deaths were not accurate. His hypothesize; since he spoke to
Ella, change clothes, switch vehicles which by checking the time on his phone was over
two hours ago. Roland’s body smell was getting worse, so he assumed that Krasko had
a two hour jump. Before Pone left, he studied Roland for a moment, looked at his lower
body and knew it was true that once you die, there was a loss of bladder and bowel contents.
In Roland’s case, he had a number three. Pone made it back outside quickly; he got on
“What’s going on, Pony?” asked Red.
“I need you to shoot me another Photo of James Krasko,” He got a glimpse of both men at
Red’s place, but wanted a picture. “He’s on the run. Contact Brown and tell him Roland White
is dead and I didn’t kill him and this house in Rock Hill needs to be destroyed. I’ll text you the
directions so you can give it to him.”
“What happened to Roland?”
“A butcher knife wedged in his spine.”
“The authorities need … “
“Don’t worry, Crowe won’t know a thing,”
“Get me that photo pronto,”
“Be careful, Pony,”