IN BLOG WE TRUST – Part 6
Winchell stared at his reflection. The evening before had taken it’s toll on him. He and Jackie had spent most of the night working out their plans for the next few days. Supervisor X’s appearance in his apartment last night had proven one thing- if they didn’t want he and Jackie looking for Mikal, it meant they knew exactly where he was.
People- dead or alive- didn’t get “lost” when The Company was involved.
Their plan was simple. He and Jackie would go into work as normal. She would gather as much information as she could on the conference call she and Mikal were to take part in the previous day; he would request some vacation time. Things had been overly stressful as of late, Mikal’s disappearance only adding to that stress. Nobody would think twice about Winchell wanting some time away. He’d buy a plane ticket to The Company’s resort area in the Bahamas. It would be a few days before he would be truly missed.
Jackie would be “abducted“ this evening. Winchell himself would call the anonymous tip into the police, seeing her pulled into a dirty white panel van by unknown assailants. That had been Jackie’s idea, since she’d seen such a vehicle somewhere just yesterday.
Neither of them would show any interest in Mikal’s absence beyond participating in the water cooler gossip sessions. If questioned about Winch’s sudden interest in vacation, Jackie would allude to it possibly being due to a rather intimate encounter they’d shared the night before. Nothing like the discomfort of an office romance to make a dedicated bachelor head for the hills.
Arriving together at work this morning would reinforce their tale Jackie thought as they pulled into the parking garage amidst their gawking coworkers.
“Jackie, wait.”, Winchell said as she started to get out of the car. “We’ll meet tonight at the South Star motel, right?”. She nodded in affirmation. “Be careful Jackie, one friend disappearing a week in enough for me.”.
He felt a slight tug in his chest as she walked away from the car. “I really do need a vacation.”, he muttered to himself as he gathered his briefcase and headed for the elevator.
Detective Gordon continued to look around the room. It was empty except for his hospital bed and the TV bolted to the wall. There was nothing on the walls, not even a window and no other furniture other than the bed. He shook his head trying to make sense of what was happening but the pain medication that was being pumped into his veins through the IV was making that difficult. He looked toward the door when he heard voices outside.
“How’s our patient today?’ the voice queried.
“His wound is healing, there’s no sign of infection.” Just then, the volume of the TV increased as a commercial began playing. “Who left a TV on in his room?” The other voice said as they quickly entered the room, shut off the TV, and unplugged the set.
Glancing over at the bed, they were reassured to see the wounded detective sound asleep, his breathing deep and even. The remote for the TV was on the floor under the set.
“Do you think he saw anything?” the man in scrubs asked.
“No, he is on so much medication a bomb could go off in here and he wouldn’t budge. Besides, look where the remote is. There is no way he turned the set on, he can’t even move. Someone must have been in there watching during their break or something. Just have the set removed.”
The second man said “Pretty stupid if you ask me. If Gordon over there were to find out what’s up it could make this a lot harder.”
“You know the company. They didn’t hire you for your brains, just your willingness to follow orders.”
The two men walked over to Gordon’s bed and adjusting the IV bags while the other injected Gordon who moaned slightly then became still again.
“The doctor says he should be ready for the next step in the procedure in a day or two. They are preparing his tank as we speak.” The man in scrubs said.
The other man rubbed his face as he stared down at Gordon, “are they sure this is a good idea? I mean he is not even company. From what I have been hearing on the news he ‘s a good cop. What if it doesn’t work?”
“Look we cant always be choosey and he was available. Besides, if he doesn’t work he’s already dead to the world anyway. We just make it more permanent.
The two men left the room shutting the door behind them. As soon as the door closed Gordon opened his eyes and tried to raise his head from the pillow but failed. Tears of frustration slipped out of the corners of his eyes as he lost the battle with consciousness.
The next time he woke up his head was clearer and he was beginning to feel more like himself. He wiggled his toes, clenched his fist and was pleased to discover that his body still obeyed his commands. The next thing he did was remove the IV from his arm. After a few moments, he sat up and steadied himself. Slowly he lowered his feet to the floor and stood up, wobbled a bit, but was soon steady enough to make his way to the door. He opened it and peered into the hallway. It was empty. Slowly he made his way out in to the hall and began making his way toward the end. The sound of footsteps warned him of someone approaching and he ducked into the first door only to find himself in the employee beak room. It was empty. Good fortune was on his side as he was able to break into one of the employee lockers and change out of his hospital gown and into street clothes complete with company id. Grimacing as his shoulder protested the movement he slowly dressed then went back out into the hall. Without anyone looking at him twice Detective Gordon was able to make it out of the building into a large parking lot. Once there he chose an unlocked car hot wired it and drove away uncertain of where he should go. He couldn’t go back to the department; they must have someone on the inside, but whom? He couldn’t go back to his place because as soon as they knew he was missing that is the first place they would go. He needed a safe place to figure out what was going on so he drove around until he came to an old friend’s apartment. They went back a longtime and even though he worked for the company, Gordon trusted him with his life. Whatever was going on in the company his friend would know or would at least have a way to find out what it was. Gordon smiled as he saw his friend’s old car parked in the driveway and walked to the door. Knocking with his left hand, he waited. He could hear voices inside; one was his friend and the other belonged to a female he did not recognize. He has never known his friend to bring a girl home. He was somewhat old fashioned that way and Gordon had teased him about that more then once. The evening exertions were taking its toll on the wounded policeman and he leaned up against the door waiting for it to open.
Jackie and Winchell were sitting on the floor of his apartment, papers and printouts scattered about along with the remnants of their dinner. Does any of this make sense to you?” Winchell asked Jackie
Yawning Jackie started to speak when there was a knock at the door. Startled Jackie’s mouth closed like a fish, “who do you think that is?” Jackie whispered
“I don’t know, “Winchell answered go hide in my bedroom I’ll see who it is.” Jackie got up and walked to the back bedroom, closing the door most of the way so she could peer out through the small crack. Winchell opened the door and was surprised when his old friend Gordon collapsed into his arms.
“What the hell, Morgan I thought you were dead!” Winchell exclaimed.
“The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” The detective whispered and then promptly passed out in his friends arms.
Winchell was lowering him to the ground when Jackie came out pointing at the unconscious man on the floor, she asked, isn’t that the man the news said was shot and killed today?”
“ Yup that’s him alright.” Winchell replied moving the man to the couch and checking his wound.
Why would he come here? Jackie asked
“He and I go way back before he became a cop. We used to run with the same crowd. He saved my butt more times then I can remember, I owe him a lot.
Gordon moaned and stirred, and Winchell looked down at his fiend. “Whatever is going on I’ll lay wages that the company is involved some how. Help me get him to my room. It is probably in our best interest that no one knows he’s here.
Amalee drove down the interstate listening to The Ramones. Joey, Dee Dee, and company always relaxed her after a job. It was ironic, to be sure, but ever since her college days, she kept two compact discs in her vehicle at all times: "Mania" by The Ramones, which was her victory soundtrack, and "The Healer" by John Lee Hooker for her failure soundtrack. The blues always made her feel worse, and that was enough motivation to hone her craft like a sharpened stiletto.
There was no delay in choosing today's soundtrack, despite what the unnamed company man had just told her. Rosakoff was dead. She was sure of it. She was sure.
Amalee released the thought as the familiar sounds of "The Cretin Hop" filled the car.
Labels: Blog Story