Mystery and Crime Fiction posted November 27, 2017 Chapters:  ...45 46 -47- 48 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Granite confronts the Operator

A chapter in the book The Last Laugh

The Showdown

by mbroyles2

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

Marko got behind the wheel and inched forward.  Seeing Barbara Paige lying on the ground, he quickly came to their aid.

“What the hell happened here?”

“We were ambushed on our way out,” Granite answered.  “Barbara’s been shot, we need to get her to the hospital, and I mean right now.”

“What about you?” Marko asked, looking down at Granite’s bloody leg.

“It’s just a scratch.”

“Where’s Camille?” Brown asked.

“She got out about a hundred yards back.  She wanted to circle the house.”

“Good,” Granite said. “We could use another gun in this fight.”

“She doesn’t have a gun, only that damn knife of hers.”

“Jesus,” Brown said.

“Help me get Barbara in the car, and keep your head low.” Granite said.

Marko lifted the injured detective and cautiously put her in the back seat.  Brown got in beside her.

“Leave it to Camille to bring a knife to a gun fight,” Marko said.

“Yeah,” Brown added, “against a guy who probably has night vision goggles as well.”

“Well,” Granite responded, snapping a full magazine into his pistol.  “That almost makes the odds even.”

Chapter 47

The Operator never considered himself a good shot, preferring to be up close and personal with his victims. A knife, hammer, or even fists, gave him a satisfied feeling, rather than a long-distanced rifle round.  Still, it was somewhat pleasing to see Granite’s love interest crumble to the ground.  He hoped she wouldn’t survive it, but there was no way of knowing.  At least up close you could see the eyes roll back and hear the last gasp of air leave the lungs.  The certainty of death was measurable and left no doubt.

He inhaled deeply, taking the cool air into his lungs, holding it like smoke before allowing it to escape.  He needed to steady his nerves and focus on the new threat.  Granite’s arrival was unexpected and interrupted his fun.  Someone had rolled over on him.  Certain it wasn’t Alicia, the Operator suspected that somehow his brother had crumbled and sold him out to Granite.  This saddened him.  Killing his father was one thing, but John had proven to be a great asset inside the Alexandria police force.  Getting rid of him would complicate things immensely.  He wouldn’t be easy to replace.

The passing storm gave the early morning an eerie feeling.  The rustling of the reeds sounded like scandalized whispering. The ground, soft and wet, would make it difficult to hear anyone approaching, and the thick fog settling over the land like a bloody shroud, hindered seeing anyone as well. The sun, rising in the east, rendered the vision goggles useless.  The Operator pulled them off and laid them at his feet along with the rifle.  The police would find them.  They’d run their checks, and when they found out who they belonged to, the hunt would end.  He smiled.  Daddy did have his uses.

Suddenly the wind had ceased.  A dooming sensation swept over him, tingling pinpricks electrified his spine.  He whirled around in time to see a wraith like figure approaching with tremendous speed.  Instinctively he slapped at the air in front of him, like one would do when trying to swat a pesky fly.  He secured his hand around the wrist of his assailant stopping the knife before it sunk completely into his chin.  Yet, it had penetrated the flesh.  Warm blood dripped down the shaft of the blade and dripped on his arm.  For a moment, time seemed to have halted.  He looked into the eyes of his attacker, red like fire, stern, and shocked that he’d been able to stop the killing blow.  He was taken aback that it wasn’t Granite who welded the weapon of death, but the woman who’d been with him.  She managed to get the drop on him, and he knew he had little time before she recovered from her surprise and initiated another attack.

He attempted a leg sweep to knock her off her feet.  She managed to release herself from his grip and avoided the take down maneuver with a back flip.  Her right foot connected with the same spot where she intended to plunge her knife. The MAK-7 fell to the ground.  The Operator stumbled backwards as Camille landed on her feet, sliding along the wet turf like an ice skater.

The Operator wiped blood from his chin and stared at the Shadow.  “Good morning.”

Camille crouched into a three-point stance and gave a cat-like grin. The Operator shrugged.  “Enough of this Bruce Lee shit.”  In a flash, he reached around his back, freed the pistol that rested in his waistline, pointed it at Camille, and fired.
Granite hobbled up the side of the hill, wincing from the throbbing pain in his leg.  There wasn’t much blood now, but his increased heart rate seemed to pulse through his thigh like a hammer.  The fog made it difficult to see.  He had no idea if he was going in the right direction or not.  His thoughts kept going back to Barbara.  In the darkness, it was hard to tell just how serious her wound was, but the concerned look on Marko’s face as he loaded her into the Escalade, made it clear that it wasn’t good, and time was of the essence.

 To the right of him he heard a scuffle.  He turned and headed that way, picking up the pace as much as the terrain and his throbbing leg would let him.  When he reached a clearing, he saw the Operator pull a pistol and fire. A blur, or more like a shadow, did a forward somersault and sprang upwards like a coiled snake and slapped the Operator in the chin with an opened palm.

The assassin stumbled a few feet back and dropped his weapon.  He rushed forward like a linebacker and tackled Camille with such force that Granite could hear the wind rush out of her lungs.  They hit the ground hard, and the Operator managed to get a quick punch to Camille’s jaw before Granite was upon them.

He pressed his 9mm into the Operator’s ear.  “Let him go,” he said.

The Operator leaned back.  “She’s a girl, you dummy.”

“I know that.  I was talking to her.”

The assassin turned his head to the left.  Granite was holding back Camille’s arm with his left hand.  In it was the recovered assault knife, inches away from the Operator’s ribcage.

“Now get up,” Granite ordered.

The Operator slowly rose to his feet and turned to face Granite.  Instinctively he lifted his hands and placed them behind his head.  Camille got up as well and brushed wet leaves from her pants.  Her steadied breath gave no indication that she had been in a tussle.

“What now,” the Operator asked. “We going to stand here while you call the police?  That might take a while, and at the same time poor Barbara could be dying, and lover boy isn’t by her side.  Tsk, Tsk, shame on you.  Go ahead make your call.”

“Sorry,” Granite said, raising the 9mm to bear on the Operator’s head.  “My phone broke.”  He pulled the trigger.

The assassin died quickly, too quickly for Granite’s liking, but the Operator was right about one thing.  Barbara could be dying, and he needed to get going.

“You should’ve let me kill him,” Camille said. “It would have been easier to explain.”

“I know, but it was something I had to do.  Besides, there's more you need to do.”

“What’s that?”

“First, get me to the hospital so I can check on Barbara and Jimmy.”


“Then you need to make a trip to Baton Rouge.”

“What do I need to do in Baton Rouge?”

Granite turned and headed for his car.  Camille picked up the Operator’s weapon and followed.
“I need you to unleash the Shadow.”

Camille smiled.
Matthew Granite       Investigator seeking the assassin and answers to the Ozlet girls' murders.
The “Operator”         The Assassin looking for a mysterious "box" that the Ozlet family has hidden.
Marko                         aka "The Mountain". A private bodyguard hired by Granite.

Camille                       aka "The Shadow". A former CIA agent hired by Marko
Jimmy Daniels             aka "Brown". A computer genius hired by Granite
R.J. McBride                Granite's former partner while on the police force.

Harold Banisek           Granite's business manager
           Manager of "Stingrays" a bar owned by Granite
Mutton Chops              The leader of “The Chamber”
Todd Grilliot                 Mitchell Ozlet’s son by Marie Grilliot
John Hazelton               A Detective working on the Melody Ozlet murder case.
Barbara Paige               A Detective working on the Melody Ozlet murder case


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I'm sorry these past few months have hindered my reading and posting on the site. For everyone who has supported this book, I certainly appreciate your support. My schedule is starting to slack off a bit, and with only two chapters to post in this first draft, I should have them ready soon.
I also need to catch up on all the wonderful writing, and I promise to make a concentrated effort towards that starting this week.
Thank you for your patience.
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