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In The Cabinet: 6 of 13



I got Debbie to make the call and go get the lunch, which I knew would take a while. La Shish is good, but it's not exactly speedy. While waiting I decided to question Hewie a while to see what he knew. It would be important to know what he knew. At least it would be if he didn't fuck it up at the last moment.

"So what did Becky really shoot you up with last night?" I asked.

"I told you, it's just water." He said sweat beading on his forehead ready to leap down his face.

"No." I shook my head, not knowing that I was one sentence away from triggering an atom bomb. "I'm not going to go into my personal history for you, but I know a nod when I see one and you were on it."

"That's not why I killed her." He said suddenly, and he started to hyperventilate. "I mean it wasn't because of the morphine, it's because Sam said I had to."

"Pardon?" I asked.

"I can't remember why he told me she had to die, but Sam said I had to kill her just like that, and I had to fuck her to get the cum inside her and stuff." He started to cry and shake all over. "I didn't want to fuck her, I hated, but Sam said I had to. I had to so we could be together."

"Did you rape her?" My shoulders bunched up, ready to smash his pretty little head in.

"No." His head shook quickly and tears started to pour down his face. "I didn't have to! They just dropped me off and told me to tell her I wanted to fuck. She was so ready for it she threw me down on the bed. I almost couldn't do it, I'm not hot for her, but she sucked me hard so I could get a start inside her."

I got up and quickly opened my safe, pulling the fire safe out of it as soon as it was open so I had my back to him as little as possible. I sat at my desk with the small fire safe in front of me and found the key for it on my ring. I moved as quickly as I could, but smoothly so that I didn't confuse myself in the rush.

"I had to kill some of those others!" He shouted as I opened the safe and grabbed the Marley thirty-eight in its belt holster. "Don't you see? Sam said I had to. I don't remember all of them, but I can remember some of them."

I pulled the gun from its holster and set it on the desk, with the handle pointed at me. I then stood up quickly and slung the Webley and its shoulder holster around my arms. I slipped the Marley back into its holster and slipped the gun behind my left hip. It might have been a mistake, letting him see where I put my guns, but I'll answer for my mistakes when the Day of Judgment comes and whatever gods from whatever religion turns out to be right asks me about them.

"I want you to listen to me very carefully." I said sitting back down in my chair.

"I need my stuff." He whined, sounding very much like a child.

"Yeah, that's not going to be possible just now." I held up my hand in a gesture to stop him from interrupting. "I need you to listen to me carefully."

"Jack?" He whined and looked away, his face a mask of pain of many kinds.

"HEWIE!" I shouted and slapped the desk. "I can help you here, but you've got to listen to me and you've got to do what I say."

"I'm in a lot of trouble Jack." He whined, childlike again.

"That's undeniable." I told him.

"I'm so tired." He started to cry again and his body sagged.

He looked tired, worn out, like he'd been dragged much further than he should have. I have to admit I felt sorry for him, I almost wanted to go across the desk and hold his head and stroke his head and calm him and tell him everything would be alright. I might have too, but I remembered the last time I did that to someone I pretty much knew was a killer. The last time the killer in question shot me with three bullets and now I have arthritis.

"If you listen to me, and you do what I say, we can keep you out of jail." I told him. "There are good lawyers, and they can make sure you get into a nice quite institution. You don't need to go to jail, just a nice quite hospital."

When Debbie is out of the office, she programs the phone to ring in my office. We didn't used to do things like that, but times have changed and we must change along with them. At that moment, he looked like he would do anything for me not to answer the phone. To be honest, I would have done anything not to have needed to answer it. The problem was that things were as they were and I had to answer it.

"Yeah?" I asked.

"Collier?" Crammer asked. "That Homunculus kid did it. The lab had him on hand to compare with. It was him."

"I know." I told him with a sigh. "He just told me."

"You've got him?" He asked and then demanded. "You hold him!"

"Damn right I will." I agreed.

"I'm not really happy about how this had turned out." He said, and he sounded really sympathetic.

"I'm not exactly dancing a jig about it myself." I told him.

"We'll be there in three minutes."

"Okay. I'll bring him out, don't come charging into my office." I said, and then ended like I always do. "Bye, bye."

"You're going to turn me in?" Hewie asked, looking panicky as I put the phone into its cradle.

"I can't really do anything else." I told him. "I don't know if you've heard about this in Junkieville, but we've got these funny things called laws here in Michigan."

"You don't have to talk to me like that. They gave it to me, made me take it, I didn't want to." He snapped. "And I'm not an idiot either!"

"Okay." I said, feeling properly rebuked. "But you know then that I have to hand you over to the police. If you do what I say though, we can get you of out this. Hell, the fact that you think Sam Hain is commanding you from beyond the grave should be enough to get an insanity plea started."

"I'm not crazy." He demanded. "Sam did tell me to do it! Knock can tell you, he was there."

"Calm down." I told him. "Remember I'm here helping you. Just do what I tell you."

"What do I do then?"

"Ask for your lawyer and don't say anything until the one I send gets there. Then tell the lawyer absolutely everything. Everything, start to finish. From there you just sit tight until the lawyer tells you to talk."

"You're sure?" He asked.

"Positive." I said. "Everything will be… well not alright, but it won't be as bad as it could be."

Debbie came into the office and walked across to my desk. She set the bag of food down, looked at the empty fire safe on my desk and then at me. I nodded to her and the looked at Hewie and took a couple of steps back.

"There are five police cars waiting in the parking lot, they came just after I walked into the building." She looked at him and then at me.

"Okay." I stood up and looked at her. "We'll probably need that food in the police station, they never get very good lunches there. C'mon Hewie. Bring the food Deb."

I will admit I made another mistake by going at the front of the little procession. I should never have shown Hewie my back, that was my mistake and I've got to live with it. Again, if some deity ends up existing at the end and I'm called to account for it, I will tell them what I tell you here. I fucked up. I can only hope that this is mitigated by what I did later to make up for it.

When we got near the door I heard Debbie gasp and then something was snaking under my coat. Then I felt the Marley smack across the back of my head and down I went for a moment. I heard Debbie scream, the door open and legs shuffling out. I got up and burst out the door with my hand open shouting.

"NO!" I shouted to the police who had started to draw their guns. "Don't shoot!"

"He said I can't go to jail Jack." Hewie shouted to me, I wondered if Debbie could hear with the barrel of my gun in her ear like he had it.

"Hewie." I said walking towards him my empty hand still extending. "This won't work, not like you want. C'mon, put the gun down. Let Debbie go."

"I can't Jack." He said. "Sam said that I wasn't to tell the police anything. I can't risk it."

"Hewie." I dropped my hands to my sides and then held them out in a pleading gesture. "Please. At least let Debbie go, she didn't do anything to you but bring you your lunch."

Hewie seemed to think about it as I stepped another step closer. I didn't want to move too quickly, because that would cause more problems than any of us could handle. As scared as I was that he might start to shoot, I was even more worried that the officers behind me would try to return fire. I'm not sure about all the police, for most of them this might have been the first time they'd ever drawn their weapons in their service. If one of them didn't have as much target practice as he was supposed to I could be in a lot of trouble both coming and going.

"I can't go in Jack." He thumbed back the hammer of the Marley.

He yanked on Debbie's arm hard with his left arm and she fell away from him having been pulled disastrously off balance. Time suddenly started to crawl as my mind snapped into a state of hyper awareness. In one swift motion he put the barrel of my Marley into his O shaped mouth, his lips wrapping around it in a fashion that looked almost sexual. I ran towards him, trying to grab the wrist of the hand that was sucking on my gun.

I might have shouted "No!" but I'd have to see affidavits sighed and witnessed to prove it to me. He pulled the trigger before I had a chance of reaching him and the bullet shot out of the gun with an amazingly soft snap sound. His beautiful and almost feminine face distorted into an ugly shape as the power of the bullet sent shock waves through his head.

A bit of his skull popped open, but was held onto his head by a flap of scalp. The bullet struck the brick side of the building causing a puff of red dust to come from the spot where brick was pulverized, much like the mist that had come out of the top of his head. A spray of blood then exploded from the wound in a spurt and he his head jerked forward then back from the shot. I would estimate that this all took about a fourteenth of a second, but it seemed a lot longer to me.

I grabbed him before he fell and in a moment of inanity I pushed the flap of skin to replace the skull bit. He slumped into my arms and I have to admit that there were tears in my eyes as blood sprayed over me. We fell over together and I grabbed at his hair as I started to sob. I hate to admit it, but I pretty much lost my shit there. I squeezed my fists hard and shook hard at him crying. I stood up and placed my right hand over my face as the tears came streaming down and I openly cried and swore.

My left hand had a grip on something and without my conscious mind knowing what it was. The hand twisted it around so that I wasn't advertising it was in my hand. I started to move towards my office. I had pretty much had enough of the outside world for the moment and I was going to go have a good cry under my desk. Only five minutes ago I told him I could protect him, and here he was dead. I didn't care who saw me crying in my frustration and anger.

"Collier." Crammer's voice came and something touched my elbow.

"Fuck off!" I screamed, actually screamed and yanked the Webley from it's holster. "Just fuck off all of you! Leave me alone of I'll kill every fucking one of you!"

I pushed the door to the building open, somehow I made it to my office, and got to my desk. I don't know how long I sat there, weeping like a baby, but it must have been a while because some of the cars where gone from the street when I looked. I only looked for them after I finally got a look at what was in my left hand. It was the section of Hewie's head, the particle of skull, skin and long black strands of hair were stuck to my hand with his drying blood.

I had an idea when I looked at it and yanked open one of the drawers in my desk. I keep some sandwich bags in my desk for just such an occasion. I put my bit of evidence into the bag, tossed it into the fire safe, locked it up with my right hand and put it into the safe. I made sure to close the big floor safe with my right hand and went to wash my hands in the bathroom. I got as much of the blood off my fingers as I could manage while leaving my shirt sleeves alone.

My toiletries attended to, I went to the phone and looked up a number. He would be home, he was always home. If he wasn't home, or if he wasn't answering, I would go to his house and threaten whoever was there to tell me where the hell he was. The phone rang and rang, but I got nothing. Little douchebag was suddenly going to pretend like he was too good to answer my calls was he? There was a knock on the door and I looked up. Debbie poked her head in and looked concerned at me.

"You alone?" I asked.

"Yeah." She nodded. "They think maybe you've had a bad day."

"If they knew the half of it." I said.

"Crammer said to give you this," She held out a slip of paper to me. "It's a receipt for your gun. He said he's not sure they can get it back to you, but you get a receipt anyway."

"Yeah." I said folding the slip and putting it in my central drawer. "Like I'm ever going to want that gun again. They have anyone wanting to ask questions?"

"He said that he'd like a statement later, but it's all done so it won't be a big deal."

"He thinks it's all done does he?" I asked.

"Well, isn't it?" She asked.

"No." I said looking at the safe and then considering how much trouble I was about to get myself in. "I've got to go out for a while."

"Okay?" She said.

"I need you to do something for me." I went back into the central drawer and fished out the business card I'd been keeping there. "Call this law firm and ask for Mister Preston."

"Howe, Preston, Cheatum, Parker and Dewie?" She asked. "But I thought we used Mister Palmetti."

"This was something special." I told her and looked at my watch. "Ask them if Mister Preston can be here at six o'clock. Tell them that Mister Collier wants to discuss the matter we arranged earlier and that I need to sign the papers."

"At six tonight?" She asked.

"Right." I told her as I opened the safe up. "And I need you here when he comes, I need you to do a few things when he's here."

"Okay Jack." She said as I put the baggie in my pocket.

"Did you see what I just did there?" I asked looking at her.

"No Jack." She said, "I didn't see you put a bag that contained evidence you took from the scene in the parking lot and put it in your pocket."

"Good." I said.

"I would never see you doing something that might hurt the office." She said with a sot of sigh. "You know that."

"Why have I never gone to bed with you?" I asked as I stood.

"It would ruin the professional feeling this office has." She smiled at me. "And you've been deeply entrenched in the friend-zone since I first saw what you consider still wearable shoes."

"Good answer." I said and walked to the door of my office. "I'll be back by six, no matter what."

I grabbed my hat and ran down the stairs, hoping that no one would be left to try and stop me. There wasn't anyone, and I was able to drive far enough through enough back streets to know that I didn't have a tail. I didn't want anyone to know where I was going, because they'd probably be able to tell what I was going for if they saw.

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