"The Last Nerve"

Chapter 1

By mbroyles2

Chapter One
Johnny Lee Horton knew early on that he came here to die.  He had survived longer than the others.  He was stronger, more resistant.  The injections came a lot quicker now.  The dose much higher, causing his skin to burn, and his heart rate increased to the point he felt like it would explode.  But, unlike the others, he didn’t scream.  No matter how painful the treatments got, he never uttered a word.  He didn’t beg for it to stop; he didn’t cry out into the night.  No, Johnny Lee Horton was too old for that.  He made his mind up.  He’d live to see his thirteenth birthday.

The room, with its gray concrete floors and cinderblock walls, was much darker than the hospital room his grandmother had occupied.  A naked bulb which hung loose from the drop-down ceiling, provided the only light.  There were no windows. The only similarity was the smell; a sweet, clean, scent pleasant to the nose.  It reminded him of his dad’s anti-freeze from the car’s radiator.

They fed him twice a day, and the food was always hot.  They even cleaned his chamber pot as needed.   There were plenty of books to read, and a Gameboy with old Mario games.  They provided clean clothes and bedding once a week.

From the coolness and ever present dampness, he got the sense he was underground.  He couldn’t figure out how many others there were, or how many there had been before or after him.  He knew there was at least one.  A girl, he heard them mention her when he had his ear pressed hard against the door.  They called her Sissy.  She was a screamer.  He could hear her cries whenever they entered her room and gave her the injections.  Sometimes it sounded like she had been possessed by demons, high-pitched and hateful.  Cursing and swearing at them.  Other times it would be like a banshee, wailing in the night; a sad cry, full of despair and loneliness.

He heard scuffling outside the door.  Was it time for another shot?  It seems it hadn’t been that long.  He listened hard, focusing on the voices, one woman and one man.

“Shall we check on Sissy?” the female asked.  “If everything looks good, we can up the dose.”

“That’s fine,” the male answered.  “Next to the older boy, she’s shown the most promise.”

Older boy, are they talking about me?

He heard the rattling of keys and a click.

Be brave, Sissy.  You can do it.  Don’t scream.  Please, don’t scream.

The door closed.

She didn’t scream.

Author Notes While I continue to edit the first book in this series, I thought I'd start posting the first draft of the second book.
The Last Nerve.
As always, I appreciate your support and comments.

Chapter 2
Little Willy

By mbroyles2

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.

Chapter 2

They say that deep in the heart of every man lies a sliver of goodness.  No matter the evil that taints the soul, no matter how black and sadistic, a small spark of light is trying to break through the darkness. Maybe it’s the way they respect their mothers or spoil their children.  It’s possible that they donate to a homeless shelter, or pass out turkeys on Thanksgiving. 

Matthew Granite believed that to be a fantasy, grasped from the hopes of desperate parents who couldn’t come to terms with the maliciousness that dwells in their offspring.  He was convinced that not all men have a virtuous side. William Dawson, a. k. a. “Little Willy”, was one such man.

If there had ever been a kindred spirit in Little Willy it faded twenty-five years ago when at the tender age of sixteen he slit the throats of his parents.  Not because they were abusive or overbearing.  Not because he would inherit a windfall and suddenly become rich.  No, Little Willy butchered his parents because they wouldn’t let him borrow the car.

There was no evidence to prove the point, but a young and zealous defense attorney convinced the judge to go easy on young William due to an unstable home environment.  A pricey child psychologist corroborated the story and suggested that what the youngster needed was therapy and nurturing, not bars and the harshness that goes with it.

He'd been confined to the local ward for treatment and released at twenty-one.  Rumor had it he murdered three people in his first six months out, took over the crack cocaine ring, and hadn't stopped since.

Murder and drugs are part of the everyday happenings that go along with a big city like Cincinnati.  Although, not up to par with such havens like St. Louis, Baltimore, or Detroit, the Queen City’s violent crime rate was in the top twenty in the United States.

It wasn’t murder and drugs that put William Dawson on Granite’s radar, however.  Seems Little Willy had a taste for young children, both girls and boys.  His only requirement:  They had to be under the age of thirteen.

Evidence was hard to collect.  The children were too traumatized or frightened to bear witness, and Little Willy always had an alibi.

Granite wasn’t concerned about evidence that would hold up in court.  He was only interested in the truth.  To find it, he had his gut, the word of a few street snitches, the parent’s determination for vengeance, and their money.

At $750 a day, it afforded them the best surveillance he could offer, personal surveillance with no distractions or hindrances, unless, you considered a partner, the size of a mountain who had a thing for running late, a distraction or hindrance.  Granite glanced at his phone and sighed.  “Marko probably stopped at Jungle Jim’s for some beef jerky and Mountain Dew.”  He dropped the phone onto the passenger seat.  “He’d better not get the spicy nacho kind.  He can sit in his own car if he does.”

William Dawson’s estate sat on a thirty-acre lot between Fairfield and Oxford.  Parking on the road in a black, fully loaded Lexus 570x, made Granite stand out like a wart on a beauty queen's face.  He wasn’t trying to be inconspicuous.  He wanted the man inside to notice, to slip up, or best case scenario, do something stupid.

At that moment, something stupid pulled up behind him in an old, light blue, Lincoln Town Car that might have been older than the driver that stepped out.  Young enough to sport pimples and oily skin, the kid straightened his navy blue blazer and wiped his hands on his matching slacks.  He packed a pistol in a shoulder holster and a smirk on his football-shaped face, with a head full of slicked-back brown hair.

Granite frowned.  “So much for no distractions.”

Pimple-Face tapped his knuckles on the driver’s side window.  Granite acknowledged by lowering it.  “What’s up?” Granite asked.

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“Why’s that, this is a public road isn’t it?”

“You are disturbing Mr. Dawson and I think it would be in your best interest if you moved along.”

“And you are who exactly?”

“I’m security for Mr. Dawson.”

“Are you now?”

“Sir, I don’t want any trouble.”

“Too late for that, sonny.”

Gravel crunched, and the sun disappeared behind Pimple-Face.  He turned to see Marko, all six-foot-seven inches of him, carrying three hundred and fifty pounds of pure muscle, a bag of beef jerky, and a two-liter of Mountain Dew.

“Afternoon,” Marko said.

“I knew it,” Granite said.  “You just couldn’t resist could you?”

Marko looked first at the beef jerky then the Mountain Dew.  “What?”

Eyes widened, mouth agape, Pimple-Face took a step back. “Who are you?”  Sweat formed on the top of his lip and above his brow. 

“I’m security,” Marko said.

“Real security,” Granite offered.

“Get back in your car,” Pimple-Face ordered.  His voice displayed less conviction than before and he compensated by edging his hand closer to the shoulder holster.

“Now hold on there, son,” Marko said.  “There’s no need for you to get hurt.”

“Me to get hurt?  You’re mistaken, friend.  You don’t even have a gun.”

“I need a gun?”  Marko asked.

Pimple-Faced pulled his pistol.  He was quick, but Granite and Marko were quicker.  Granite opened the car door and slammed it into the side of Pimple-Face, while Marko dropped the soda and grabbed the assailant’s hand holding the weapon.  The Mountain applied pressure, Pimple-Face quickly relinquished the pistol, a Springfield 9mm, and dropped to the ground.

“Now, go to sleep,” Marko said as he sent a thunderous fist, still holding the beef jerky, crashing down upon the young man’s head.  He crumpled and fell forward, face hitting the road with a resounding thud.

Granite lifted Pimple-Face and dragged him to the side of the road. He patted him down, checking for other weapons.  Satisfied there were none, he left him unconscious among the uncut grass.

Marko bent over to pick up his Mountain Dew.  “Seriously,” he said. “You don’t even have a gun.  Did he really say that?”

“C’mon,” Granite said.  “Get in the car.”

Marko sat in the passenger seat and admired the luxurious interior.  “Nice, but I miss the Escalade.”

“Well, it sort of died in Louisiana.”

“It was only a flesh wound.”

“It had bullet holes.”

Marko slumped and said under his breath, “It was still alive though.”

Fifteen pouting minutes later, Granite tapped Marko’s arm.  “There he goes.”

A bright yellow Hummer pulled out of the long, curvy driveway and headed towards Oxford.

“Not really trying to keep a low profile is he?”  Marko said.

“Not his style.”

“Maybe he’s going to the college.”

“The kids at Miami are too old for his taste, but let’s follow him, nonetheless.”

Granite started the engine and put the Lexus in gear.  A low rumble, like thunder in a cave, resounded deep within Marko’s stomach, followed by a slight lifting of his left leg.

“What kind of beef jerky is that?”  Granite asked.

“Spicy nacho, want some?”  Marko offered.

Granite’s eyes began to tear up, and his jaw tightened.

“Aw, man,” he said.  “Lower the window.”


Author Notes This novel will take different turns and twists along the way.
Buckle your seatbelt.
Up next:
Granite makes a gruesome discovery.

Chapter 3
Off Course

By mbroyles2

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.

Chapter 3

April showers bring May flowers.  After the record-breaking rainfall the previous month, the month of the Greek goddess, Maia, promised to offer a bountiful display of nature’s spring calling cards.  It might be the only good thing that comes out of the abundant precipitation. The Ohio, Little Miami, and Great Miami rivers have flooded, threatening homes and businesses.  The farmers have delayed the planting season and were busy in the fields assessing the damage.  It had rained every day in April but three, and one of those, had been opening day of the Cincinnati Reds baseball season.  Even God had his limits.  Don’t mess with tradition.

Granite followed Little Willy’s Hummer from a distance.  He kept glancing at the dashboard time display.

“You late for something?” Marko asked.

“No,” Granite answered.  “Just waiting.”

“Waiting for what?”

“Keep an eye on the Hummer.”


“Jimmy concocted this aerosol agent that eats away the air pressure in tires.  Sort of like a reverse Fix-A-Flat.  It will eventually cause the tires to go down.  If Willy is watching his warning lights, he’s probably already noticing.”

Jimmy Daniels, a graduate of Brown University, a self-proclaimed man of the ladies, and a bona fide computer nerd, was a young consultant of Granite’s.  When not tinkering with gadgets for the private investigator, Jimmy made his money by breaching the firewalls of the nation’s biggest companies and then upgrading their security systems to prevent such compromises.

“Huh,” Marko said. “If that ain’t the limit, what’ll ole Brown think of next?  How did you get it in the tires?”

“Do I really need to explain that?” Granite asked.

“No.  I guess not.  How long does it take to work again?”

“Not long,"

“He’s heading into the monkey bars.”

There was an eight-mile stretch, north of Cincinnati, where two county highways ran parallel to each other almost two miles apart.  Every mile and a half they joined separate dirt roads.  From the sky it looked like a ladder, or what the locals called it; monkey bars.  Granite and company travelled on the eastern side of it.

Little Willy’s lemon colored hummer had just passed the first rung of the monkey bars when Granite noticed the tapping of brake lights.  The gangster guided the vehicle to the side of the road while Granite turned west onto the first rung.

“We’ll circle around and pick him up,” he said.

“Pick him up?”

“They don’t want him dead.”

“Oh, I beg to differ with you.”

“Let me rephrase that.  They don’t want ME to kill him.”

“Got it.  So what, we’re just going to nab him and haul him off somewhere?  What if he isn’t alone?”

“That’s why I brought you.”

“I see.”

An old barbed-wire fence ran along the edge of the road.  A Hereford cow had its massive cream-colored head between the wires, chewing its cud and gazing out into the road with sun-pinked eyes.  In the distance more cattle sloshed around the mud-covered pasture.  A flatland creek, which cut through the middle of the field, had overflowed its banks and made the going a little slow for the hooved beasts.  Some had given up and sprawled on their bellies.

The hard-packed dirt road, now just a sloppy mess, anointed the SUV with the muddy reminder of the recent weather.  “Probably should have thought this through a little more,” Marko said.

“Shut it.”

“I’m just saying you could ruin that fine suit you’re wearing.”

“It’s not Armani.”

“Well at least it's dark brown.  The mud will blend right in.”

Granite turned to Marko and stared at him with narrowed eyes.

“O.K., O.K., shut it,”

The Lexus slowed, Granite leaned closer to the windshield.  “What’s that look like up ahead?”

“Where?” Marko asked.

“There,” Granite said, pointing to the right.

A figure, no bigger than a lamb, crawled along the ground near the edge of the road.  Limbs extended, like a swimmer reaching for the edge of the wall, it made its way, inch by inch, to the small rise that separated the road from the field.

“I don’t know, a dog maybe.” Marko said.

As the SUV drew closer, Granite made out a white backdrop covered in the chocolate-colored grime of the pasture.  Deep purple patches along the extended limbs came into view, and Granite’s eyes widened.  He slammed on the brakes and released his seatbelt.

“Good lord, no!”

Granite exited the car and raced toward the figure, Marko tailed behind him.

“What is it?” Marko asked.

Granite knelt down and scooped the bundle into his arms.

“Call 911!” he barked.

Marko punched the numbers into his phone and held it to his ear.  “What’s going on?”

Granite rocked back and forth.

“It’s a child.”

He held a little girl, less than ten years old, wearing an oversized hospital gown, with no coat, and no shoes. She shivered in Granite’s embrace. He wiped her face with his sleeve.  Eyes full of fear looked up at him. She tried to speak, but her voice was so low, Granite couldn’t make out what she was saying.  It sounded like: “peas”.

“Hold on, baby girl.  Help is on the way.”  He brought her close to his chest.  He looked at her arms, swollen and bruised.  Rage burned inside him and brought him to tears.  The little girl opened her mouth once more.


“I’m trying, sweetie, stay with me.  You’re okay now.  You’re okay.”

But she wasn’t okay, and Granite knew it.  Her breathing had grown shallow, and her pulse had weakened.  Then it stopped.

“No, no, no!” Granite lowered his ear to her mouth.  He heard a low and slow exhale, then quiet.  Laying the girl gently on the ground, he felt for the breastbone and started a one-handed CPR.

Marko came up from behind him. Granite looked up.  “Where’s that fucking ambulance?” he shouted.

Marko looked down the road.  The barely audible siren called out, but it was still some distance away. “It’s coming.”

Granite pumped the tiny chest of the girl.  Up, down, up, down, counting, trying frantically to revive the youngster. There was no response.

“She’s gone, Matthew.”

“Don’t say that.  Don’t you fucking say that.  Come on, honey, come back.  Don’t let it end this way.  You can’t let it end this way.  Fight!”

Marko placed his hand on Granite’s shoulder.  “She fought, Matthew.  She’s at peace now.”

Granite stopped the CPR.  Tears rolled down his face. His nose began to bleed from the violent sobbing.  He held the little girl and spoke softly through the weeping.  “I’ll find out who did this to you, baby girl.  I won’t stop until I do.  I promise.”

He wiped his face.  Anger replaced the sadness.  Before standing, he noticed a small chain wrapped around the child’s neck.  A small brass locket dangled from it.  Granite turned it over in his hand.  There was one word engraved on it.



Author Notes Up Next:
A Call To Action

Chapter 4
A Call To Action

By mbroyles2

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.

Chapter 4
Matthew Granite was no stranger to death, having been on both sides of it.  He’d been surrounded by it when he was a homicide detective.  Acts of violence carried to the extreme over jealousy, addictions, mental illness, and sometimes just for the pure joy of watching another person die.  He’d almost been destroyed by it when his wife and son were brutally murdered in front of him over five years ago. The day he threw his badge on the ground and chose a different path to follow.  He’d even found satisfaction in it when he rationalized that some deserved it, and he dealt it.  Like the sadistic killer in Louisiana who murdered members of an entire family, one in Granite’s office, over a secret ledger.  Yet, unlike others, he wasn’t immune to the effects.  Whether he witnessed it, or caused it, pieces of him died with it, and the scars, both inside and out, carved him into what he had become today, and what he’ll be tomorrow.

He sat on the bumper of his Lexus. An EMT dabbed at Granite's nose with a cotton swab.  He was a young man with red hair.  Freckles, the size of Tic Tacs, surrounded his nose and eyes. As he worked, he stuck his tongue out.  He smelled of peppermints.  Satisfied the bleeding had stopped, he rolled up Granite’s sleeve.

“What are you doing?”  Granite asked.

“I will check your blood pressure and treat you for shock.”

Granite’s eye flared, and he grabbed the young man by the jaw and turned him.  “Look,” he shouted.  “You see that?”

Two medical personnel with the county coroner’s office carried a small black body bag and placed it in the back of their vehicle. 

“There’s a little girl in that bag that will never see another birthday cake, or have her father kiss her goodnight.  She’ll never go to a high school dance, swim in the lake, or hear a boy’s voice tell her how pretty she is.  I held that precious child while she begged me to help her, and I couldn’t.  Do you hear me?  I couldn’t.  There’s no treatment for that kind of shock, so you take your toys and go bother someone else.”

“Matthew,” Marko said as he approached.  “He’s only doing his job.  Cut him a little slack and back off.  It can’t be easy for him either.”

Granite released the EMT and sunk his head.  “I’m sorry.  It’s just that little girl deserved better, and knowing someone out there decided better of it, well, it gets on my last nerve.”

“I understand, sir,” the young EMT said.  “I have a little sister myself.”  He packed up his things and turned to go.  “I hope they catch the bastard that did this.  I really do.”

Granite put his head in his hands and rubbed his scalp.  “I felt so helpless, Marko.  It was like Michael and Marie all over again.”

“But it wasn’t your family, Mathew, and you can’t let it eat at you.  You need to get back in the game.”

“Game?  This is no game.”

“Poor choice of words.  Do you think Little Willy had something to do with this, and this is where he was heading?”

Granite lifted his head.  “No, this isn’t his MO.  But that piece of crap still needs to be dealt with.”

“I know.  I called Mario.  He will take over the surveillance while we collect ourselves.”


Mario was Marko’s business partner in the “M & M” security company.  Not as big as Marko, but still a formidable specimen in a dark alley.  A capable replacement to take over the William Dawson case for a while.

“You look like crap,” a familiar voice said from behind him.  Granite turned and saw his old partner, R.J. McBride, approach.  It was like looking in a mirror.  When they were partners they were often mistaken for each other, and just as recent as a few months back, R.J. had been kidnapped by a man thinking he had nabbed Granite instead.  Almost six feet tall, broad shoulders, and hair the color of ground cocoa.

“Jesus, R.J., what are you doing here?”

The detective retrieved a pack of Winston cigarettes from his jacket pocket, removed one, tapped it on the pack, and put it in his mouth.  “I could ask you the same thing.”  He lit the cancer stick and drew the smoke deep in his lungs.  He blinked as the exhaled smoke attacked his eyes, and he swatted it away.  “Anyways, I’m the city’s consultant on this case.  The F.B.I. has been directly involved since this started out as a kidnapping.  The victim---”

“Sissy,” Granite interjected.

“Excuse me?”

“Her name was Sissy.”

“Yes.”  R.J. cleared his throat and took another drag.  “Sissy Henderson, reported missing nearly a month ago.  There have been several children gone missing in the past six months.  The F.B.I. was called in.  I was assigned as their liaison. A kind of courtesy to the Cincinnati P.D.”

“Consultant, liaison, kind of useless terms, don’t you think?”

“Yes, well, it gives me free reign to spread my wings, see what I can find out.”

“But you have to share everything with the F.B.I. right?”

“There is that.  Speaking of which, two of the Bureau’s finest want to speak with you.”

“Aw man, R.J., you know how I feel about talking to the suits.”

“Not up to me, partner.  You better prepare yourself because here they come.”

Two men approached from the coroner’s vehicle, one in a dark blue suit with a matching tie and white shirt, the other in a dark gray Men’s Warehouse special, pastel blue shirt, and crimson tie.  They both had short-cropped blond hair and sharp chins.  Blue Suit nodded at R.J. then addressed Granite.

“I’m Special Agent Rutherford, and this is Special Agent McKenzie.  We’re assigned to this case from the Cincinnati office.  We will need to ask you some questions concerning the discovery of the bodies.”

Granite, eyes narrowed, head cocked, stood.  “Bodies?”

“They found two more bodies,” R.J. offered.

“Boys.”  Agent Rutherford said.

“Excuse me a moment,” Granite said.  He took R.J. by the arm and led him a little distance away.

“What the hell’s going on, R.J.?”

“I don’t know for sure, Matthew, but it’s big.  Kidnapping has now turned into murder and there are several more kids unaccounted for.”

“I’m going after them,” Granite said.

“This isn’t  time for your vigilante act, Matthew.  You need to let the F.B.I. handle it.”

“Is that what you’re doing here?  Letting the F.B.I. handle it?”

“Not exactly.”

“Good, then I think the consultant needs a consultant.  Consider me your not-so-confidential, confidential informant.”

He turned back and addressed Marko.  “Get in touch with Camille.”

“The Shadow?  You sure you need her on this,” Marko asked.

“Yes.  We’re going hunting.”

Marko shrugged.  “O.K.  She’s away taking care of some private business, might take her a few days to get back.”

“Tell her to hurry.  This can’t wait.”  Granite turned back to the Special Agents.  “O.K.  Ask your questions, but make it quick.”  He looked over at Marko and nodded.  “Time to get busy.”


Author Notes Thanks for reading.
Up Next: The Shadow Returns

Chapter 5
The Shadow Returns

By mbroyles2

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.

Chapter 5

Camille Westerman felt at home in the dark.  Being surrounded in blackness enhanced her other senses.  She could hear the whispers in the night of those she stalked, feel the emptiness, and smell the fear that flooded the atmosphere with each step she took towards them. The pursuit excited her, intoxicated her like sweet red wine.  She understood the thrill a hunter felt when he bagged his prize trophy.  She also knew what it was like to be that prize trophy, thus the reason for stepping out of the shadows and into the fully lit room of one James Lucas Seymour, head of Black Ops for the C.I.A., her former employer.

The room was the size of a small high school gymnasium. A Victorian chandelier hung in the center of the eight-foot high ceiling.  Plate glass windows stretched along the far wall overlooking a crystalline lake, light sparkling off its glossy aquatic exterior like stars.  In the Virginia night, a full moon dangled just above the stand of trees that surrounded the water like oversized gloves.

James Lucas Seymour, addressed in the inner circle as J.L., stood facing the lake, hands crossed behind his back.   Tendrils of pipe smoke fluttered above him filling the air with a sweet cherry scent. He was a tall man, well-dressed in a Stanley Korshak kiton blue and navy plaid suit. Known for his piercing stare, and monotone voice, he had a reputation as a ruthless interrogator who could get the information he sought without uttering a threatening word.  Up until three years ago Camille admired and respected the man.  Now, she thought he was nothing more than an asshole.

“You should quit,” she said, positioning herself in front of a French-carved wood sofa.

J.L. turned slowly and removed the pipe from his lips.  “My dear Camille, I’ve been expecting you.”  

“Have you now?”

“Well, yes, but I must admit, I wasn’t expecting you today.  But, I figured you’d get around to visiting me once you became active again.”

“I’m not active.”

“Oh come now, my sweet Shadow, I know all about your recent adventure in Louisiana.”

“Do you?”

“I know you went to Louisiana and that shortly after your arrival an entire crime organization was, eh shall we say, eliminated?”

“Wiped out by a rival crime family.”

“Yes, well that’s what the papers say anyways.”

“How did you know I went to Louisiana?”

“We always know where you are.”

“Except today.”

“Hm, that does make me wonder.”

“Don’t worry.  I didn’t kill him.  But you can expect his resignation soon.  Seems Richard would like to pursue another career.  One that promises a long life and nice retirement.”

“I see.”  J. L shuffled to his left, his eyes finding a spot on the floor.  The tell gave him away like a bad poker player holding a lousy hand.

“He’s not out there,” Camille said, nodding at a point just beyond the trees.

J.L. allowed himself a slight smile.  “Is he going to hand in his resignation as well?”

Camille shrugged.

“So why are you here?”  the Black Ops director asked.  He moved to an antique walnut desk the size of a pool table and picked up a box of wooden matches.  He extracted one, struck it across the powdered glass surface, and relit his pipe.

“You know why I’m here.”

“Amad Abid Hassad.”  J.L. sat down at the desk. The leather chair squeaked.

“If your hands move below the top of that desk, it will be the last time you reach for anything.”

The director kept the pipe in his mouth and placed both hands down flat on the desk.  “Relax, Camille, no need to get nervous.”

“I’m not nervous.  Now, about Hassad, why is he still alive?”

“What makes you think he is?”

Camille just stared.

The director cleared his throat.  “O.K.  We said- - -"

“You promised to deal with him after you got all the information you needed.  That’s the only reason why I let him live.  It’s been three years, enough stalling.”

“It’s not that easy, he is- - -"

“He is the lowest form of scum on this earth, a terrorist, a rapist, and a murderer.  He held me captive for six months.  Do you know what he did to me during those six months?”

“I’ve read the files.”

Camille moved closer, J.L. stood, placed the pipe in a nearby ashtray, and edged away from the desk.

“What about what isn’t in the files?”  She continued, “The public display as his followers watched him piss on me, torture me, and rape me, all the while calling me his ‘Little Dove’. It’s time he paid for those crimes.  It’s time he dies.”

“Like I said, it’s not that easy.”

“Maybe not for you, but it will be easy for me.”

J.L. laughed.  “Seriously, you’re going to break into the Juggernaut?”

Camille moved away from the desk and headed for the door.  “It would be easier than breaking into here.”

“Yeah, why’s that?”

The Shadow opened the door.  Two men, mouths taped shut, bound hand and foot, were on the hallway floor in the fetal position.  Eyes, wide with fear and uncertainty, looked at her.  She stepped over them.
“Because,” she said, looking back at the director with a mischievous smile. “I won’t need to leave anyone alive.”


Author Notes Thank you for reading.
Up Next: Johnny Lee Horton survives his latest treatment.

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