December 10, 2008

Coin, Revisted

Here we go gang, i'm back and posting the final bit of my story...coin...
Extra prize if you can guess why it's called that.


Andrea Daveys stood in the back of the gas station convenience store, staring at the container of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. The door to the freezer hung open before her, but the cold didn’t really bother her. She frowned, turning the frozen treat around in her hand, not really reading the information, just thinking. She hated ice cream. It had memories of her father that she couldn’t shake off. Gently she tossed it into the air, and catching it. She repeated this, still lost in her thoughts. She wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her sister.
She pushed the freezer door shut and made her way through one of the few isle in the store. The door opened to the store, with a faint beep. Andrea looked up and saw a young man wearing a jacket, his hands buried in the jacket’s pockets. She shook her head and looked to her left, seeing the row of candy. For a moment she wondered if a chocolate bar would be enough for her sister, instead of the ice cream. She sighed, knowing it wouldn’t be fair.
After a moment she gets behind the young man standing at the counter, buying cigarettes from the owner. Her cell phone buzzed in her jeans pocket. She didn’t bother go for it. The buzz was an alarm, set for 9:45pm. Her favorite show would be on in fifteen minutes. She watched as the owner moved slowly around behind the counter, getting the cigarettes. Moving the ice cream from her right hand, to her left, to relieve the cold, she groaned.
Time slowed as the young man pulled something from his right pocket. Andrea saw the gun in his hand as it moved to point at the owner. She felt her heart race, pounding hard in her chest. Her eyes focused on the gun.
Her fingers went numb, and she dropped the ice cream. It hit the tile hard, breaking the cheap plastic seal, and sending the insides in all directions. She felt the cold splash against her leg, instantly knowing the man in front of her would have felt the ice cream as well.
He did. He turned to her. First his eyes, looking down in surprise, then, up at her. She reacted, instantly. Her right hand reached out and grabbed the young man’s hand. She followed with her left elbow, just below the man’s ribs.
The gun didn’t fire. She felt the man’s grip of the gun loosen, and she quickly grabbed for the barrel, preventing it from falling to the ground. The man himself stumbled backwards and fell onto his back, gasping for breath.
Andrea smiled slightly, feeling as if she did some good, before looking to the owner. He still looked frightened. She smiled wider and placed the gun on the counter. “Don’t worry.” She looked around and down at the gunman. His eyes were wide and his mouth open, trying to breath. “You’ll be fine.”
She pulled out the cell phone from her pocket. “I’m going to call the police, than I’ll help ya clean up.” She dialed the phone, before pressing it to her ear. It ringed in her ear. She looked down to see the ice cream melting around her feet, so she stepped into the back of the store.
“Detective Carter,” came a bored voice from the phone.
“Hi Steven.” She glanced back at the owner, still standing in shock.
“What Andrea?” Steven sounding just as bored.
Andrea smiled to herself, and stared at the freezer in front of her. “Well, I took out a robber at a Stop and Go.”
“And…” he said. She could swear she could hear the rolling of his eyes. “You should call the 9-1-1 operator, not me.”
“Well forgive me for wanting to brag…” she said sighing deeply.
“Look, I’m bu-”
A loud bang cuts him off.
“What is that?” he cried out in her ear, she could hear a clatter on the other end.
She had spun around as another bang went off. She saw the owner standing over the would-be-robber. Blood had splattered onto his shoes, and the bottom of his pants. He held the gun, pointed down, a gentle stream of smoke coming from the barrel.

Zacharia stood before the nightstand and carefully removed the things on top of the stand, before laying down the case. He lifted the latches, taking his time, making as little noise as possible.
First he removed a small pistol and placed it on the nightstand. Than he removed a small pack of extra long zip ties, followed by a long piece of cloth. Next he took out a tape recorder. Finally an even smaller case, made of wood and initials carved into it.
Zacharia looked over to the sleeping man and sighed softly. He scanned the room, looking for the best advantage. He gently picked up the cloth from the nightstand and stood over the sleeping man. With his free hand he reached forward and opened the man’s mouth, than lifting his hand, so he could wrap the cloth around the sleeping man’s head, creating a gag.
He left the man’s head go. A soft grunt came from the man, as he slowly woke from his slumber.
“Good…” Zacharia said softly. The man tried to move away, scrambling across the bed. “I wouldn’t…Mr. Harper…” He gestured to the gun on the table passively; making sure the man saw it. “I think I could fire a shot before you’d get to a door or window.”
Harper stopped moving, his eyes locked on Zacharia, tears starting to form. Zacharia just nodded and picked up the package of zip ties and the gun, walking over to the side of the bed the man had scrambled to.
“Arms out front…” Zacharia said. After a moment the man didn’t comply. “Do as I say, or you will die.” His arms sprung forward. Zacharia put the pack to his mouth and gently pulled the zip tie out of it using his teeth. He tossed the package aside and slowly wrapped the tie around Harper’s wrists.
“Alright.” He pushes the man back down onto the bed. “This won’t take long.” Zacharia laid down the gun and walks over to pick up the small engraved box. He runs his thumb along the crack along the side. With a gentle push the box opened, exposing a scalpel sitting on the velvet inside. He gently pulled the tool from its resting place.
He looked at the man, twirling the scalpel between his fingers. “I’m sorry I can’t make this quick.” He reached down and slowly lifted Harpers right foot. “But…” Zacharia sliced the blade across his victim’s Achilles’ tendon. A muffled cry of pain came from the man. He gently lifted Harper’s left foot and repeated the process. “You don’t deserve that luxury.” The man laid on the bed, tears streaming down his face.
Zacharia sets the case down next to the immobilized man. He walks back around to the night stand and picked up the recorder. His thumb presses down the record and play button, starting the machine. “Now…Where to begin…” He absent mindedly balanced the scalpel on the back of his fingers, and stared at Harper.
“Right…” Zacharia looked down at Harper’s eyes, seeing the fear in them. “I bet you never thought you would ever feel this kind of fear?” Zacharia shook his head. “So, shall we start…
“Bethany Daveys…” His mind went back over the research he had done before his arrival. “You were her pediatrician. At the age of twelve, she was found, alone in her home, tied up, molested…” he paused for a moment, remembering the data. “Her father was suppose to be watching her. Several days later, he was found dead, hung himself, in motel room. Bethany currently resides in a mental institution, her mind…broken. She thinks she’s still twelve. Stuck at that age for all her life…”
Zacharia slowly walked around the bed, thinking, his mind lost for a moment. He looked to Harper. “You know who I’m talking about…” Harper lay still, his eyes following Zacharia as he walked. He smiled slightly. “How about Helena Kirkland?” He nodded. “Ten. Again, home alone, and the same treatment. No charges were filed. But her mother blamed her father. She left him. His grief ate away at him. Years later, he was left alone, his job gone. He was gone then…” He paused for a moment and walked over to Harper.
Zacharia looked at his own watch. “It’s getting late…” He picked up the gun, placing the recorder in it’s place, and pointed it at Harper.. Zacharia pulls the trigger. The man cries out as the gun gives out a soft click. “It’s not loaded…” He laughs softly and walks over to his case. He gently puts away the gun and look to his victim.
“Here’s the deal. I’ll remove the gag, and turn myself in, if you be honest and admit to those crimes, loud enough for the recorder to here.”
Harper nods. Zacharia leans forward and pulls the gag down.
“I-I did it. I raped those girls. I killed the one…Please don’t kill me.”
He paused for a moment. Zacharia slashed the scalpel across Harper’s throat, cutting deep. “No…”

Andrea was tired. It’d had taken all night to deal with the owner who shot the kid trying to rob his store. Not only was she a witness, but she was sure she was in some kind of troupe for leaving the gun on the counter. She had to admit she hadn’t thought the owner would shot the kid, but…
She walked along the row of desks in the police station. As a beat reporter she spent plenty of time in the station, talking with the cops, getting to know a few. She had stopped a few years ago, but still had friends on the force. She made her way to the break room, hoping there was a pot of coffee she could get a drink from.
She pushed open the door to the small room. It had a counter across from the door, that ended with a fridge. On the other side of the counter, an empty pot of coffee sat. In the center of the room, a table, with a few chairs surrounding it.
Detective Steven Carter sat at the table, looking at a file, his hand holding a cup. He sat lost in thought, looking at the folder contents. Andrea slipped into a seat next to him and gently lifted the cup from his hand and took a sip.
Steven looked up at her, surprise fading into frustration. “I was drinking that.”
“I’ve been up all night being questioned, pain in the ass.”
“Yes, I can see how you’re annoyed, I had to fill out a bunch of paper work because of you.” He was being sarcastic, but a smile still crossed his face. “I’m glad you’re okay.”
She laughed. “Well, he wasn’t going to shoot me. He was just a little peeved that people kept robbing his store…” she trailed off, looking into the distance, her smile faded.
“Andrea…” Steven leaned forward, trying to look into her eyes.
In an instant she reached out and grabbed the file, smiling again, looking at the file in it.
“Hey!” Steven said, grabbing for, but failing.
It was a homicide. The face of the victim was clipped on the top of the page. Something about the face was familiar to her. She scanned the front page, the first officer at the scene’s report.
“What ya got here?” she asks.
He sighed. “I shouldn’t let you read that.”
Andrea laughed. “You going to stop me?”
“Not really,” Steven said, sighing. “Joseph Harper, found dead in his home last night. A very clean break in, almost nothing touched. The killer cut the back of Harper’s feet, and then his throat. Forensics say it was a small blade, only an inch, at best.”
Andrea flipped through some of the pages, not really reading anything. She stopped holding the pages up, seeing a transcript. “What’s this?”
“Hm?” Steven leaned around to get a look at the paper. “That is from a tape recorder found at the scene. Two voices, I’m assuming ones the killer, the other the victim.”
Andrea read the paper. Feeling something inside her churn. “Lucky us…” she said, lost in her own mind.
“Lucky…” Steven said, and gently tugged the file from Andrea’s hand. “It looks like the killer left it there on purpose. Either to expose Mr. Harper’s crimes, or his own.”
“You have a suspect.” Andrea shifted in the seat, feeling jittery, restless all of the sudden.
“One, an ex-surgeon, Zacharia Kirkland. Looks like the second girl is his own. Cold case had a copy of the file of her death. Zacharia was a suspect, but no proof against him, and the case finally just died.”
Andrea nodded, taking a sip of her coffee, and looked into it’s dark abyss. “Zacharia Kirkland, huh?” she asked, more to herself than to Steven.
“Is everything okay Andrea?”
She looked up and smiled. “Yeah, just tired.”
Steven reddened a bit and shook his head. “Okay then…”
Andrea laughed embarrassed and stood. “Well, I’m going to head home, kay.”
“Sure.” Steven nodded.
She waved to Steven as she left him alone in the break room.
Immediately she went to Steven’s desk, and pulled open the desk draw. Inside was his badge. She tucked it into her coat pocket. She needed to find Mr. Kirkland. And find out what he knew about Bethany.
* * *
Zacharia sat in the middle of the small apartment. Nothing furnished the room, except for a mattress in the corner, and a stack of books next to it. He didn’t need much anyway. He ate out most of the time, and had enough money saved to live like that for long enough.
He had lost track of time, but knew the sun had reached about it’s highpoint, by the lack of direct sun leading into the apartment. He slowed his breath down, his mind going over the events of the night before. He smiled to himself, feeling justice had been done, once again.
A knock came from the door. He stood and walked slowly to the door, looking through the peephole. A woman, in her late twenties, early thirties, red hair, stood on the other side.
He pulled the door open. “Yes…” he said.
“Mr. Kirkland?” she asked.
“Yes…” he repeated.
“My name is Andrea Daveys.” She pulled a badge from her coat, showing it to Zacharia. “I’m a detective.”
He felt his hand tighten on the door, remembering the name, “Daveys”.
“What can I do for you?”
“Did you know a Joseph Harper?”
She knew.
Zacharia stood for a moment and smiled. “I know of him. I read some of his work in a medical journal...”
“Is he well known?” She asked, harmlessly.
“In some circles…” Zacharia said.
Detective Daveys nodded. “Mr. Kirkland. Do you happen to know where your wife is?”
Zacharia felt his hand tighten even harder on the door, and felt his teeth grit. “My Wife…Ex-Wife…Is not here. I don’t know where she is…” He started to breath deeply. “What is this about?”
“Your daughter’s name was Helena, correct?” She asked, ignoring his question.
“Yes. Now. What is this about?” Zacharia felt a rage building inside him. His hands almost felt like grabbing the woman, choking her.
“I’m looking into the death of a Joseph Harper, and into Bethany Daveys and Helena Kirkland.” Detective Daveys looked up at him, her face calm, but her eyes were on fire.
Zacharia shook his head. “Like I said, I read about Harper. Helena was my daughter. I don’t know anything about a Bethany Da-”
“Alright.” Detective Daveys nodded and smiled. “Thank you for your time.” She turned away from him, and left along the building’s hallway.
Zacharia felt his rage come to a full boil as he slammed the door shut. He knew, she must die.

Andrea sighed as she walked along the white hallways, smelling the obvious odor of medicine. She came to a stop at a locked gate. To her right was a window, with wire embedded in it. Below it was a drawer. She reached into her jacket and placed her wallet, keys, and badge inside the drawer.
She looked up at the woman behind the window, as the draw retracted. She smiled and spoke over the intercom. “No Ice-cream?” she asked.
Andrea shook her head. “I left it out all night.” She laughed softly, not sure why she lied to the woman. “What time is it anyway?”
“Just after six.” She said, carefully taking the items from the drawer, putting them away, so Andrea could get them when she returned.
“How is she?” Andrea asked.
“Fine from what I heard. Her birthday is coming up.” She smiled.
“Yeah…” Andrea nodded, thinking of her own birthday, alone in her apartment.
A buzz broke her thoughts. “Go on through,” the woman said.
Andrea nodded and walked through the now open gate. This was a path she walked often, she knew the twists and turns, and even some of the players along the way. She reached a large recreation room.
Two men sat closest to her, playing cards, arguing over every card played, as if the other was trying to cheat them. This wasn’t new, Andrea wasn’t even sure if the two did anything else, or even sleep. She just smiled, walking past them.
Only one other person was in the room. She figured at this time, most were in the dining room, or watching the T.V. A young woman, sat in the far corner, in front of a canvass, engrossed in her work. Andrea sat next to the woman.
“What are you working on Bethany?” She asked, looking over her sister’s shoulder.
Bethany looked at Andrea and smiled, hugging her, getting some paint on her coat. “I missed you.”
Andrea smiled and kissed her sister’s cheek. “So, going to tell me what you’re working on here?” She asked, looking at the rudimentary picture. She could tell what it was, but felt it better for her sister to explain it.
Bethany smiled. “Well, this is us!” she pointed the brush at the two smallest stick figures. “This is mommy and daddy.” She pointed at the second set of figures on the page.
Andrea nodded, smiling. It still felt weird for her to hear her twenty-three year old sister refer to her parents, in such a child-like way. She knew why, but that didn’t help it be any less awkward.
“What you gonna get me for my birthday?” she asked, smiling at Andrea.
“Well, I haven’t decided yet. What do you want?”
Bethany shrugged. “I dunno…” she looked sad for a moment. “When is daddy coming back?”
Andrea felt tears in her eyes, looking at her sister. It was a question her sister always asked, and one she never had an answer to. She couldn’t understand how Bethany could have so much love for the man who made her this way.
Instead Andrea nodded slightly and looked at the painting. “I don’t know.”
Bethany smiled. “Maybe he’ll bring me a puppy. I want a puppy.”
Andrea laughed and pulled her sister close and kissed her forehead. “Alright.”
The two sat in silence.
“Bethany, do you remember a Dr. Harper?”
Her little sister looked at her and nodded. “He was my doctor, I think. Been awhile since I’ve seen him.”
Andrea stood and patted her sister on the shoulder. “Sis, I got to get going.”
Bethany looked sad. “You’re not going to leave me, too, are you?”
Andrea stood in silence, looking at her little sister and smiled. “Of course not.”

Zacharia sat in the car, staring at the lighted clock on the dashboard. The numbers slowly ticked closer to eleven. The parking garage was quite, and only a few dim lights hung from the ceiling. He sighed, looking at the gun laying on the seat next to him.
The clocked flashed a new number as headlights filled the darkened garage. He couldn’t see the driver, but knew instinctively who it must have been.
He picked up the gun from beside him and slipped out of the car. Slowly the other car came to a stop, and he heard the motor stop, and saw the headlights shut off. A figure got out of the car. Zacharia saw Andrea Daveys step into the light.
Slowly he stepped from the shadows as well.
“Detective…” he said, softly.
She froze and turned to look at Zacharia. “M-Mister Kirkland.” Fear filled her eyes.
He moved closer, making sure the gun could obviously be seen. “I’m sorry…” he said.
“You don’t have to do this.” She reposnded.
“I…I can’t…stop…” he said, his voice barely a whisper. “I did the right thing. Kirkland was a bad person…”
“I know…” she said softly. “What he did to your daughter was wrong…”
Zacharia laughed. “And your sister.” He smiled, seeing her eyes widen. “I wanted to make sure, when I heard your name. You’re Bethany’s sister. You’re father was innocent of the crime he took to his grave…”
“Innocent…” She said softly, looking down. “No…”
“He was!” He cried, waving the gun. “I know…”
“My father was an evil man.” Andrea said, under her breath.
“He was innocent…” Zacharia insisted.
“You forget…Long before Bethany, I was there…”
The two stood in silence. Zacharia looked at her, watching her. Andrea slowly lifted her head, staring him straight in the eye
“You’re going to kill me?” she asked.
“I…” he looked at her. “I have to.”
She took a deep breath. “Do you?”
Zacharia waved the gun. “I can’t stop now. So many left.”
“I did research on you too.” She said, softly. “I went to the hospital where you worked. Six men died, during your operations. Did you kill them all?”
Zacharia smiled softly. “Over the years. Slowly they came to me, the first by chance, then later I did a little work behind the scenes, having some even transferred to my hospital…” He laughed softly. “And I gave them the justice they deserved.”
Andrea stood silent, staring at him.
Zacharia growled. “I did what was needed. I did the right thing.”
“The right thing?” she said softly, and looked at him. “Fine.” Detective Daveys stood straighter and nodded. “If killing me is the right thing. Do it.” She closed her eyes and waited.
“I have to…” he said, his voice soft, unsure. Zacharia raised the gun. His hand started to shake. He couldn’t do it. Something was holding him back. He closed his eyes. “I’m sorry…” he said, even softer than before. He fired.