Serial Saturday: The Figurine, Part 28

“You know I’m just looking for an excuse to shoot you, right, Quinn?” Farthing said.

Jefferson sighed. “I’m aware.”

Farthing sat behind him in the battered Plymouth, while Gantry drove.

“Just wanted to make sure it was good and clear before we get out of the car.”

“Uh huh,” Jefferson said as Gantry pulled up in front of the hotel.

“Lead the way,” Gantry said as they climbed out. The rain had tapered off, though it was still drizzling slightly, droplets gleaming in the light cast by the streetlights.

Jefferson glanced over at the empty front desk as the three trooped through the lobby. It seemed like the two could just stand him up against a handy wall and shoot him without much trouble, what with the way everyone was tucked away inside or shambling around vacantly.

He led the way upstairs, and down the hall to Reeves’ room. He rooted around in his pocket to find Reeves’ key. “You want me to go in first, or do you?” he asked.

“You first,” Gantry said. “But don’t move too quick.”

“Uh huh,” Jefferson replied. He opened the door and stepped forward. Despite what Gantry had told him, his nerves were so tight-strung that when the gibbering form of Reeves lunged at him he dropped to one side without a thought.

He had one glimpse of Reeves’ bloody wrists, and the disassembled bed, and heard a thump, a startled cry from Farthing. By the time he’d spun, still on one knee, Reeves was gone. Both Farthing and Gantry were still staggering, and had half-drawn pistols.

“Quinn, I’m gonna-” Gantry said, straightening up.

“Get after him, you Goddamn idiot,” Jefferson snapped. He shoved past both Gantry and Farthing, catching a glimpse of Reeves just disappearing down the steps. No one shot him in the back, which was nice, and Jefferson pelted after Reeves, through the lobby and out onto the street.

He turned as Gantry and Farthing burst out the door behind him. “You, come with me,” he said to Farthing. “Gantry, get the car and follow us.”

He heard Gantry begin to protest, but when he took off down the street there was no shooting. A glance back showed him Farthing, one pool of streetlight behind him, though whether he was following Jefferson or chasing him was hard to say.

Reeves was a half a block ahead, and as Jefferson looked forward again, he turned down a side street. The man was running frantically, like he had a particular destination in mind, not even throwing a glance over his shoulder to see if he was pursued. He must have gotten himself free just before they’d arrived, though for all Jefferson knew he’d been sitting in the room for his own reason for some time, waiting for his own reasons.

Jefferson pelted down the wet sidewalk, Farthing a few paces behind, and made another turn after Reeves. He rounded the corner a few seconds after Reeves, but the block was empty.

He came to a stop, breathing hard and looking around, as Farthing caught up.

“Where is he?” Farthing asked.

“You know as well as I do,” Jefferson said.

“Hell,” Farthing said. “This some scam, Quinn?”

“He wouldn’t have had a chance to get away if you and Gantry hadn’t let him past,” Jefferson said, still looking around.

“He went right past you,” Farthing said.

“Yeah, well I ain’t built like a brick wall like your buddy Gantry. What’s the point of having him around if he’s not gonna block an exit or two?”

There was the sound of an engine, and Jefferson glanced over Farthing’s shoulder to see the Cord approaching.

“Well,” Farthing said. “He got away, so I guess we’ve lost the guy who you said was gonna lead us to Clyburne.” He reached under his coat. “I guess that means-“

He broke off as the sound of another engine joined that of the Cord. Lights from headlamps hit the street ahead of them, opposite an alley. Just as the Cord approached from behind, another car pulled out of the alley. It made the turn and came straight at them.

Copyright © 2012 SM Williams

~ by smwilliams on October 20, 2012.