Chapter Seventeen: Severely Allergic to Silver
John drove back to the station to check to see if anything was happening. He was Anezka’s protection, but he still had to know of any progress in his case. John never wanted to be blindsided by his target. He knew in law enforcement your target was called your suspect. That label was a probable. Marvin was a definite.
He parked in the lot, and they both got out. As they walked into the building, Detective Walker intercepted them.
“John, Roark wants to see you again, hello, Misses Kranz. There’s a new development in your case.”
John perked up with more enthusiasm.
“C’mon, Anezka. This pertains to you as well.”
They both went to Roark’s office. John knocked, heard Dave say come in, and both entered.
“Whacha got, Chief?”
Roark picked up a paper from his desk.
“We recovered a stolen Secu-lok service pick up this morning. It had Berry, and Terry Brickman’s fingerprints in the cab. We checked the entire truck, and didn’t find anything else.”
“That’s after the fact, Chief. We know who did it, and if you found nothing else, it’s still circumstantial,” John said.
“This is just more evidence to shore up your case. Maybe a neighbor saw the truck parked outside his house. If he’s giving us straws, we better keep a strong grip from our grasp,” Roark said.
“I guess with all the compounding circumstantial evidence we’ve made it to square two. I have to nail him on a definite,” John said with determination. “I have something to make him slip. If I know him, I can work him.”
Roark looked at Anezka.
“Do you have anything on Mister Predjin?”
“The only thing I have on him, Captain Roark, is that I know he did it. Your laws will not allow John to arrest him. All of this circumstantial evidence does not help John get him off the streets.”
“Misses Kranz, we can only go by the law. If John arrests him on circumstantial evidence, Predjin’s lawyers would tear this case apart. We need hard evidence to help put this guy away,” Roark explained to Anezka.
“Your law hinders you, and Reggie wouldn’t be dead if your laws allowed John to arrest him. And you say your law is meant to protect the citizens. Unfortunately, you cannot tell that to Reggie anymore.” Anezka was heated about her neighbor’s murder.
John interrupted, “Anezka, calm down. We don’t make the laws, we just follow them.”
“No, no John, she’s right,” Roark said. “You know our laws, Misses Kranz, but this isn’t the Wild West anymore. We just can’t hang him because we know he did it. We have to prove his guilt to society beyond a reasonable doubt now. We live by the law because of all those botched hangings.”
“He did it, Captain. I know he did! His ‘hanging’ will not be botched. He is killing people I know to get to me. He beat Detective Khouri, and even if you do not care about my well-being, she is one of your own! Why are you not losing sleep because her attacker is still out there?!” Anezka got fed up.
John interjected again.
“Ease up, Anezka. Captain Roark is losing sleep over the situation. The police are trained to be without doubt when we arrest. That procedure is a blanketed procedure. It stops the wrongful imprisonment lawsuits. Sometimes, the intentionally evil can share the same blanket, and keep as warm as the innocent. That’s why I detect. Call me the diligent gardener picking at the weeds.”
“She’s a civilian, John. Don’t try to make her understand police procedure. We went to the academy to learn that stuff, she didn’t. Anezka’s just angry with the way a good cop has to do things.”
“You’re in a precarious dichotomy, Anezka. You don’t want me to shoot him, and you get upset when I do my job the right way. I’m really trying, but you’re putting me in an odd juxtaposition, Should I be good or go rogue?”
Anezka realized she was comparing both parts of John’s job too closely to incarcerate Marvin. She shouldn’t do that to him.
“Do not cater to my wild desire for you to arrest Mister Predjin by any means necessary. I’m just a craggy old lady wanting justice. You know what you’re doing better than I. I am sorry, Captain, forgive me.”
“You’re young, Anezka. We’re the same age, and I’m not a grandpa just yet,” John interrupted her apology.
“You don’t have to say sorry. You’re not a cop, you work with cops so ignorance of procedure is common for you. Walker’s been in the academy before, and he still gets angry with procedure,” Roark said. “We’re going to get him.”
“Will John still protect me? Mister Predjin will not stop, and my guardian devil just protects me at home.”
John had to explain once more to Dave.
“Her guardian is her paranormal Secu-lok home security system. She’s safe in her house, but she has to get groceries every once in a while.”
“I never thought I would hear anything like that coming from your mouth without sarcasm. Misses Kranz has definitely change a crusty old cop’s mind.”
“You learn until you die, Chief, and I aint dead yet,” John said. “If there’s nothing else, we have to eat, and I’m not talking about our vending machine delicacies.”
“You’re done—-go get a hamburger.”
“I’m having pierogis, Chief. We’re not doing fast food. Anezka has a real meal at her house,” he told Roark.
“Well thank you for accommodating your protector, Misses Kranz. John’s been pot noodling since his divorce. He needs a little more than the daily Quizznipz diet.”
“I eat subs, and fried chicken, Chief,” John defended himself.
“Like I said, thanks for giving him real food.”
Anezka smiled at Roark, and grabbed John’s hand this time.
“We have to leave, Captain. I’ll keep your detective filled with the right things.”
They both left his office, and drove home.
John went to the library after they ate to find out more about Marvin. He found a book entitled The Xhosa Tribe of South Africa, and looked up more information. If it wasn’t crafted with ones, and zeros, hackers couldn’t touch it.
He found out about the British war in the 1800s called the Third Frontier War, and how the Xhosa culture reared their children. He also found the actual pronunciation of the tribe It was pronounced Ko-sa instead of Ho-sa. Anezka got it wrong. There was also speculations the tribe’s name meant fierce or angry in their language. They were pushed to the East Cape of South Africa, and spread throughout the base of the country.
John wrote down more information on the tribe, and also found the Xhosa participated in a Zulu stick fighting style called Nguni. He figured that was why Simin was beaten so badly. Marvin was bred to destroy to protect his people from the Apartheid littered across his land for so long.
He also found something derogatorily strange for a twenty first century American. Due to his skin hue he knew Marvin was mixed raced. Africans called those multiracial individuals colored. It wasn’t like the ’50s racist American term. That was what they were called. That was when John realized America didn’t rule the planet, our customs were probably as strange to them as theirs were to us.
John read about the Xhosa, and took copious notes. When he was complete, he gained a bit more insight into Marvin Predjin. He speculated that Marvin’s father just impregnated a native woman, and left for Johannesburg. Marvin possessed a fatherless element in his life, and with the African society at the time of Apartheid, a mixed raced family was shunned. His father probably left so as not to cause unrest for his native mother. At least that was what he hoped. His father could have been heartless, and left for Australia, or the Netherlands. It could be the trigger to his rage against being impure.
John also felt Marvin was subconsciously bent on proving his father’s decision to leave them a wrong one. He thought of his meticulousness, and what it ebbed from. Marvin was bred in oppression so he was comfortable with his vile actions.
John went home with a better understanding of Marvin. Yes, he was a societal loss with modern civility, but he was a calculating individual. John understood the insanity. He didn’t condone it, he just understood it.
As John came into the house, classic blues was playing while Anezka dusted.
“Hi, John, did you find out more about the Xhosa tribe?”
“It’s pronounced Ko-sa not Ho-sa, and yes. Books have been in existence for eons more than the internet. Who is this songbird on the stereo?”
“That’s Ma Rainey, the mother of blues, and I know about the pronunciation. I just thought it would be easier to find it for you if you herd Ho-sa. What did you find?”
“Marvin was born into Apartheid, and with being mixed raced he was shunned by all other pure Africans. I’m thinking his Caucasian father left because of the future turmoil, and with worshiping purity, He’s killing the impure. He’s not crazy, he’s damaged,” John said.
“And you got all that from the library?” she asked.
“I got the facts which led to my speculation. You know his essence now. Tell me if my assumptions are correct.” John became quiet, and waited for her response.
Anezka closed her eyes while Black Cat Hoot Owl Blues played on the stereo.
“You are correct. His father was British, and he abandoned them before he was born. How did you know?”
“I’ve been detecting for years, and sometimes I guess right. You have to go with your gut at times. Sometimes you get it wrong, but with you as a fact checker my speculations become freely unhindered. Don’t tell anybody. I still want the other detectives to think I just know because I’m good.” John smiled.
“You have showed me your method of detecting, and I now know what experience does for your successful detection. I won’t tell Detective Khouri you detect with the Occam’s razor method. Your simplest assumption is the right one.” She smiled at him. “Do you want to go to Eduardo’s tonight? You’ve been reminiscing about New York all week, and I thought some Italian nostalgia would be appropriate this evening.”
“Have I been going on about New York?”
“You have been going on about New York so much, I thought we lived upstairs from Studio 54,” she said with a small grin.
“I work in Leavenworth now, and Shiloh’s doesn’t have an upstairs. I get the point, I’ll shut up about the city with eight million stories.”
“I think you missed a few of those stories when you speak about New York, but just a few.” She wanted him to be a bit more relaxed. This case would give him ulcers.
“Funny, Anezka. You can be a Czech female comedienne.” He smiled. “Sure, Eduardo’s would be exquisite tonight.”
They both sat down, and watched the Jack Shorington Show.
They sat at Eduardo’s Chi-town Experience, and waited for their deep dish pizza. It wasn’t the weekend, but the teenagers were there as if they had just watched their team win the championship game. Eduardo’s was wall to wall.
“How are you going to get him to slip?” Anezka asked as she sipped her water.
“All this investigating allows me to get inside his head. Marvin’s been incredibly arrogant since that first murderous display in the park. He said he would never be found. When I tell him his intentions, and method of his so called vindications, he’ll know that I know, and that will tick him off so badly, he’ll retaliate by telling me what I got wrong, and show his superiority over me only to be cuffed from his arrogant confession.”
“Do you think you can make him confess?” she asked.
“If you saw how clean, and anally tidy his house was, you’d know how much of an unconscious perfectionist he is, and he can’t help but to correct me on my educated guess. His involuntary correcting will get him incarcerated,” he said as their pizza came.
As they ate, Marvin was in his old car in the parking lot. The teens were hindering his view of the two, but he could see them. Those quest destroyers.
He had to kill them both, and being away from her house was his only opportunity. He hoped the witch didn’t have a specter bodyguard with her. He would follow them to the secluded factory district between the restaurant and her house. He knew the woman didn’t go anywhere. He surveilled her house, and knew they would go home.
As Chandless fed her deep dish with a fork, unheard of in Chicago, Marvin saw their closeness. At least they would die together after heinous torture.
Marvin had already put his electronic nixing device underneath Chandless’ car, and he also had a frequency blocker for dispatch calls, and cell phones so when they were disabled in the industrial park, he couldn’t call for back up. He just sat, waited, and festered.
“Have you ever had a homicide case this tricky before?” Anezka asked as she sipped her iced tea.
“I had one case where Mikohn Kranovitch had his wife killed KGB style on a farm in Tupper Lake. He fed her to the hogs, and those hogs eat everything. We had to fight animal activists to dissect one of them to get her DNA from its belly, but we found her DNA, and her ring. Kranovitch was a cruel man. We found out he killed her because she didn’t shine his shoes for an event, and he considered that disrespect to her man.”
“He took her life because she didn’t shine his shoes?! Some Slavic’s, not me, are archaically hostile.” She was amazed.
“You’re archaic, Burl Ives lover, but you aren’t intentionally hostile,” John smiled.
“You like the older stuff as well, John. You don’t like those romantic comedies or those gritty gangster movies of today.”
“I just don’t escape reality by watching a glamorized fake version of fabricated reality. I’ve lived those movies in real life so why would I want to watch a fake version of it?” he asked.
“You are talking about the gangster films, not the romantic comedies,” she said.
“I’m with a psychic woman that sicced pom-poms on a poor soul. I’m talking about them both.”
Anezka just looked into his eyes, and said, “You are romantic, and you think I can be funny. Most people call me a witch.”
“Oh, you’re a witch alright, just with that Elizabeth Montgomery air about you,” he said with a grin.
“I told you, John, you’re archaic as well. That show was in the late sixties, and you knew I would know what you were talking about,” Anezka said.
“Hey, with the age of the world the sixties wasn’t that long ago, and you referenced that show with your neighbors.”
“And you’re cute with your feeble attempts at defense like that ‘old’ ‘experienced’ thing.” She kept smiling at him.
“Y’know, Anezka, if you can stand my maturity fight for a while, I think we can get along after this is over.”
Anezka had a strange feel about what was going to happen after this case, but John actually solidified his intentions. Admiration was an elusive emotion in the paranormal world. Everything she could do was in black and white, admiration was grey.
“This situation, your case will come to a head very soon. That is all I know. I need you to keep your head, John. Mister Predjin is evil. He will try anything to destroy us, and I do not want you to stoop to his tactics by shooting him. The man that I am enthralled with wouldn’t do that. I know your essence, and you’ve been fighting your morals since before you knew Mister Predjin was the killer. You’re good. Mister Predjin is evil. The only way evil wins is when you become evil, and double team good. Give good a fighting chance, please.”
Anezka pleaded with John because she knew he was fighting himself because Predjin unwittingly instigated his internal battle, and was winning.
“It would sound stupid to say this to a psychic, but you know something,” he said.
“What I know is how I feel, and this feels… wrong in some way. This will end badly, and I do not want you to be the cause of the darkness. I just allowed myself to open up to someone other than Hugo, and I won’t open to another again. This is on your plate now. Please do not love me and leave me in the same week.” She pleaded.
“I know I’ve been fighting with this for a while, but you’ve kept me centered. I won’t shoot him. Like you said earlier, nature regulates any comeuppance Marvin will get. It will be the ultimate judge.”
John was understanding. He actually rewired himself from that grizzled veteran detective from New York to the compliant detective in Kansas. His mafia wise guy days were over, and he just had to use his experience of that time to apprehend a conniving killer without blowing his head off.
They finished their meals, paid, and left for home.
Marvin was waiting for them. He started his car after Detective Chandless placed Anezka in the passenger seat, cranked the vehicle, and began to drive home. Marvin stealthily followed them to the factory district.
John was just driving, oblivious to Marvin’s tail because he was about three miles away from them, looking at their flashing blip on his laptop.
“I… feel something, John,” Anezka said in the passenger seat.
John already knew not to disregard her feelings, so he parked, and asked her, “What are you feeling?”
“It’s a … darkness. A vengeful hatred towards us. It is very close.”
John got on the radio immediately.
“Sixteen Bravo calling in for a disturbance, over.”
The radio answered quickly.
“Central Dispatch, go ahead.”
“There will be an incident momentarily. We’re on Keenan road, in the factory district, no address, just track my GPS.”
“There’s an incident at the festival, Sixteen Bravo. We’re responding to a bomb threat right now. Your speculation of future events aren’t a priority at this point. We will respond as soon as we can,” Dispatch relayed.
John realized they were on their own for the time being. Protecting a crowd of patrons is more important than coming to aid one cop with his protected. It was initially his responsibility anyway. He had to do his job.
“Acknowledged, Dispatch. I’ll fend off the predator until you are able to respond. Sixteen Bravo out,”
John replaced the intercom with slight angered aggression.
“They aren’t coming?” Anezka asked.
“They’ll be here later to pick up the scraps. I have to face this alone,” John said.
“What about the police monitoring Mister Predjin’s house?”
She was right! Milner and Korso are just surveilling an empty house! John picked up the intercom, and called Milner.
“Milner speaking, go ahead.”
“It’s John, Remy. Predjin got out, and he’s following us!”
“Where are you?”
“On Keenan by the factories.”
“That’s about ten miles from here. I knew he was just getting out whenever he wanted. We’ll be there in five.”
“I’m not going anywhere. It’s finally time to catch this meddlesome punk.” John was determined to end this. Anezka might not have known the outcome, but John did.
“Just keep your radio on. Korso’s itchin’ to put his knee in
Predjin’s back. I’m inclined to not intervene at this point. He’s been fooling us for about a week, and Swamp Thing wants a little payback,” Milner said.
“Hey, as long as that knee isn’t loaded, he can arrest him. See you two in five.” John put back the intercom.
“He’s coming, I can feel him. Can you call Sergeant Milner back to tell him if Mister Predjin gets violent, he can use deadly force to save you? I’m not a violent woman, but I don’t want a dead boyfriend over my convictions,” she requested.
“This is getting clearer to you as he gets closer to us. I’ll let him know.” John picked up the intercom to call Remy back. There was just static coming across the line. He had no contact anymore.
“Something’s wrong with my receiver. I can’t get out.”
Anezka touched the intercom, and closed her eyes.
“Mister Predjin is what’s wrong. Somehow, he has jammed you.”
Just then, the entire cabin flickered, and went dead.
John looked behind him through the darkness to see two penlights approaching. John took out his firearm, and cocked it.
“Look, I know you don’t want me to shoot him, but he’s coming, and with everything suddenly dying, He just fired a shot over our bow. I’m not gonna give him another free one. I understand you, but I can’t let him get away. If I shoot him, it won’t be from malice, it’ll be from defense.”
Anezka touched his cheek with her trembling hand, and said, “I just didn’t want your soul poisoned because our afterlife is an eternity compared to this terminal existence. Mister Predjin has already set his afterlife on a doomed eternity. I just didn’t want you to be doomed for your discrepancies in this terminal life. Shooting him for survival isn’t the element that determines a doomed fate, unbridled revenge would be.”
He grabbed her trembling hand, and kissed her.
“You’re not getting rid of me that easily. I’ve been on the up and up throughout my New York days. I won’t let Predjin doom me because he irritated me in Kansas.”
She smiled at him, and said, “I loved Hugo in a different time, so he has that essence of me when I die. You will always have this essence of me so there will never be a afterlife love triangle. My split essences will never know of each other.”
“I never thought that far ahead.”
“You aren’t in tune with the celestial, I am.”
The car following them stopped about 20 feet behind them.
“It’s showtime, honey, stay here.” John opened his door, and stepped out into the night chill.
Marvin stepped out of his car to confront Detective Chandless.
“Why is the witch hiding? Has she run out of spells?”
“Anezka doesn’t need to see me beat you silly, Marvin! She’s a non-violent witch!”
Marvin smiled condescendingly at John.
“You aren’t a puppy. You’re an old dog that needs to be put to sleep. Once I incapacitate you, I will take the witch without her protector. You have hindered my quest for too long!”
“What would uQamata think of your evil?” John shocked him by revealing what he knew of Marvin’s religion.
Marvin became volatile.
“You are not privileged to speak his name you impure fool!”
Anezka just sat in the car. She knew it was about to come to a head with their confrontation, but being psychic, she felt the darkness with an acuteness. John would be subdued because he wouldn’t shoot Marvin because of all her harping about a damaged soul. He would hesitate because of her. She had to intervene.
“I know you killed those people, and now you’re threatening an officer that is protecting your next target. All this procedure is about to work. Now I can excavate your so called filled in basement to find the evidence to put you away until you have to eat from a straw. I got you, Marvin.”
As Marvin fumed from John’s statement, Anezka got out of the car.
John heard the car door, and quickly turned to Anezka.
“Get back in the car, Anezka! I have this under control!”
Just as he ordered Anezka to get to safety, Marvin pulled out his stun gun, and fired at John.
“John!” Anezka screamed as John became incapacitated.
Marvin had a sinister grin on his face as John shook to unconsciousness. Then he looked at the terrified woman with the shock on her face as if she was hit with the stun gun.
“I’m sorry, Witch, but your protector isn’t available to protect you now. He’ll be… out for a couple of hours.”
Anezka knew something bad was about to happen, but she never fathomed she would be the cause of it. She wanted to warn of the event she caused. Fate can be a cruel mischief maker at times.
“Your soul is damaged, Mister Predjin. You cannot escape your domed afterlife. You may not even escape your evil from this life. Police are on their way. I felt you before you disabled the electronics of our car, and we called before you cut us off.”
Marvin never wanted to be caught. He had many vindications to do, and didn’t want a feeble old Wicca mutt to disrupt his vindications. Rage ensued, and he began to walk towards her with red in his eyes.
“You already called the cops?! Then I better hurry!”
He advanced to her frightened person, and grabbed her by her throat!
“I won’t kill you now, but cutting off blood to your brain will make you pass out so I can drag you both to my basement with a myriad of deadly pain!”
Marvin never knew of her complete gift. That she could never be harmed by a mortal. As he was choking her, a large hand grabbed his shoulder to spin him around. He saw someone he knew, and feared.
“U-uQamata! I have served you! Are you not proud of me?”
“You have destroyed purity, Marvin! You have destroyed many for your twisted vanity! The Xhosa do not destroy to please me! You have tainted my teachings!” Marvin’s image of his deity said.
“But I have vindicated the impure from your teachings!” Marvin desperately defended his actions.
“You have murdered the innocent because you thought you were pure! A mortal will never be pure! You aren’t a savior! You’re a malicious vigilante using my name for your solace! This violation will not stand!”
The eleven foot uQamata grabbed Marvin by his chest, and slammed him to the ground.
Anezka grabbed her throat, and had no control over her assailant’s fears so she didn’t even know what would happen.
“Your punishment is dissolution from this existence you have squandered because of your arrogance!”
uQamata hit Marvin in the chest to make Marvin yell. His massive arm liquefied into pure silver, and began to pour into Marvin’s mouth. Being terminally allergic to pure silver, Marvin choked on the deadly poison of the silver in a hellish exchange. Marvin not only choked on the silver, he went into anaphylactic shock from the contents!
Anezka never had an apparition ever kill an attacker. They were just damaged enough so they wouldn’t cross her again. She never realized if the attacker feared death, they would die. Marvin feared the terminal. After his hospitalization from his physical rejection to silver, he was afraid of the ominous demon scratching at his door. Sadly this time, his door was not only unlocked, it was shattered to pieces.
As Anezka watched in horror, Marvin choked in shock to death. After Marvin was gone, uQamata turned to Anezka.
“You will never know all or understand your gift. You are protected in this existence, and no mortal will ever attempt malice upon you. Live your life knowing you can involuntarily summon celestially.”
He smiled at her, and vanished.
The brisk night air tickled her skin as she assessed the evening. John was unconscious, and Marvin was dead. He died with a mysterious entity administering the sentence. It was all in his mind, but she enhanced his fears. He was afraid of disapproval from his deity, and ultimately death from his terminal allergy. She just didn’t know the severity of the experience would send Marvin to his ending.
She went to John’s side, and stroked his hair as she heard sirens in the distance.