Well, readers, here we are. Seven thousand words and four chapters into “Twicebound”. Eddie, as you read in the last installment, has come in a full circle, but things are just getting interesting. After all, when you “wind” something up, you turn it in circles, right? Believe me, this story is going to get wound up a lot further. And Eddie Kaul and Vančura have a lot more circles to go ’round.
Please, enjoy this Saturday’s installment of…
Chapter 4 – part 1
“Chief, the guys are really starting to get antsy with this guy down in the holding cell.”
The police chief cracked an eye, studied his lieutenant, then slammed the eye shut again.
“I’m on my lunch break, Jimmy.”
“I know that, but…”
“I’m. On. My. Lunch. Break. Jimmy.”
Police Lieutenant Jimmy McKechan rolled his eyes and pulled his head out of the room. Just for good measure, he slammed the door, ignoring the muffled yell as the startled chief fell out of his chair. Frowning, he made his way downstairs, where a half-dozen cops were watching the guy in the holding cell. Jimmy studied the man for a while.
He wasn’t particularly impressive to look at. Quite the opposite, in fact; a pair of jeans, a polo shirt, and two brown loafers didn’t make for what people called ‘a presence’. But that wasn’t what made him unremarkable. For a while, Jimmy couldn’t put his finger on it, until he thumbed through the guy’s file. A consistent vagrant, it read, ordered out of multiple small towns in the last year. That was it.
The man had the same attitude about him as a lot of the homeless people the lieutenant had seen. Not scared, but just trying to stay as unremarkable as possible, slipping through the cracks in society’s awareness. Even half-decently dressed, the guy wasn’t noticeable. Until he opened his mouth, anyway. When he did that, he got everybody’s attention.
It wasn’t that he was eloquent, or anything like that. Nobody would have paid any attention to that; they got slick-tongued lawyers and fast-talking con men all the time. But this guy… McKechan checked the file again… this guy ‘Kaul’ knew what he was talking about. All of it. He knew where he was going, where you were going, why you were doing it, what you were about to say, why you didn’t say it, and who you were referring to when you were thinking it. It was scary. The lieutenant corrected himself; it wasn’t scary, it was downright terrifying. Like Kaul had some sixth sense, or was watching the future play out on a TV inside his head.
“Time to go. The judge is ready and the lawyer has his evidence ready.”
“Can somebody tell me why Carnery’s back is so stiff? The guy was just sleeping in a storm-drain, for blaze’s sakes. He’d have been gone tomorrow. But Patrolman Carnery just had to bring him in, book him for aggravated vagrancy. I didn’t know we had a charge for ‘aggravated’ homelessness.”
One of the other cops rolled his eyes and snorted in agreement.
“Somebody ought to drop a grease-ball down the kid’s uniform. Loosen him up a little. He’s got the system so blocked up with all these ridiculous offenses, the rest of us can’t get anything done. That assault case the detectives are working on? Keeps tripping over Carnery. They were tracking one of the suspects last week, hoping he’d trip up. And he did. Over Patrolman Carnery; the idiot bagged and booked him for littering. The guy spat on the sidewalk.”
Jimmy nodded, then turned to the cop who had spoken first.
“Go ahead and get him out of there. Faster he gets out, the faster we don’t have to deal with him. Let the county jail figure out how to handle him and his psychopredictions.”
The officer unlocked the cell, yelling at the other prisoners to get back from the door, and let Kaul out. One of the inmates stood up and the cop took a step backward. The guy was huge, towering over everyone in the cage, and everyone outside it, too. For a moment, every policeman in the room went tense, hands itching for a gun. But the big man just looked at Kaul.
“Watch your mouth, Mr. Kaul. Letting it run away with you can get you in trouble, take it from me.”
Eddie Kaul just looked at him for a moment, then shrugged.
“More’n I’m already in? Let’s go, officer. D’judge ‘as got a tenner waitin’ f’r me. Oh, an’ tell Officer Carnery I saw ‘im do the knife, dis time. I was watchin’ f’r it.”
End Chapter 4 – Part 1
Go to Chapter 4 – Part 2
Did you like this first part of Chapter 4? If you did, please ‘Like’, ‘Tweet’ about it, or comment! I appreciate every single one!
Part 2 will be out next Saturday, as usual.