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Jack Collier: Private Eye

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Thirty-Six can be found here.

 

Chapter Thirty-Seven: Going to Grandma’s House

 

            I’ll admit something that I normally wouldn’t tell you. I usually think more clearly after having and orgasm. I don’t fall asleep after, I just go into a different plane of thought where things all fall into place. If I could just orgasm every five minutes or so, I could work out all the worlds problems. That would be difficult to achieve though, and possibly it would be illegal. I couldn’t really go to crime scenes like that for one. It would make people uncomfortable and they’d have a hard time coming up with answers for what to tell the children.

 

            I’d sort of decided to worry about whether I loved Jill or not after all this was over. For the time being, it seemed she had enough love for the both of us, and had energy to spare. If she was willing to do all the heavy lifting on this love thing, I didn’t see the harm of letting her do the work for a couple of days. And I did like her, a lot. She was smart and funny and could suck a golf ball through a garden hose if I ever needed to get a golf ball through a garden hose by suction alone. She wasn’t bad at fellatio either now I come to think about it.

 

            The point is that I was laying in a hotel bed next to her, my mind clear of clutter or noise when the idea sort of dropped into my head like a weight tossed into fresh snow. It was a perfectly formed idea, wrapped in its own justifications and had answers to all my questions ready and numbered. It’s always nice when an idea prints up a spreadsheet so you can check its numbers.

 

            “Grandma’s house.” I said aloud, to make sure it sounded okay outside of my head.

 

            “What?” She asked, leaning her head in my direction to try and fix her unfocused eyes on me.

 

            “I will take you to my grandmother’s house.” I said.

 

            “I’m not sure I want to hang out with your grandmother.”

 

            “She died years ago.” I said. “I got her house and my sister got our parents’ house. We made a deal about it. She sold mom and dad’s place when my nephew was born though. I just never sold Grandma’s house, but no one will have been there except the care taker for years.”

 

            “Won’t they know about it though?” She asked. “I mean they know about everything else.”

 

            “No.” I told her. “Even if they did, no one would go there.”

 

            “Where is it?” She asked, and I figured it was a good time for a transition.

 

            Flat Rock is not a big town. It’s one of those places that just has dozens of little streets with small houses set one right next to the other. It was someplace close enough to the factories for the workers to get there, but far enough away that you could almost raise a family. Not a large family because Flat Rock’s not big enough for a big family. You get too big a family and you’ll expand into Rockwood. Flat Rock’s not an impressive town, made up of crumbling concrete steps and failed attempts at improvement.

 

            As we drove though I almost commented that the place had done down hill, but if anything it had actually improved. They had a Walgreen’s now after all, even if the rest of the town looked like it had been slapped together by whatever materials sounded like they’d cost the least when they were buying it. It’s not that I’m insulting the town really, I’m just describing small towns in Michigan. It wasn’t the idyllic places that nostalgic idiots would try and tell you small town America is made of. It was a dirty little factory town after a lot of the factories had closed down. Granted, the Mazda plant was still going, but it’s about the only work these days.

 

            We drove to Grandma’s old place, and I noticed that in the bright light of a summer day it looked alright. You’d never want to really live here, in the almost thousand square feet that was decorated five years before I was born. However you could be comfortable for a while, so long as you didn’t mind that the place was clearly built before my mother was born. It was nice though, the power was still on and the refrigerator still ran, so I figured it must be okay.

 

            Jill looked sort of skeptical about the place as she came in. I didn’t blame her, being asked to hang out in someone else’s dead relative’s house. It couldn’t have been that comfortable for her, particularly when you consider that she’d never really seen how the working class lived. She sat down on one of the old chairs carefully and looked around.

 

            “It’s, um, nice.” She said, trying to be polite.

 

            “No it isn’t.” I said looking through a drawer for Grandpa’s keys. “It’s a working class cracker box. It’s a little hovel to remind us of the stupidity of following the American dream of home ownership to its very pathetic conclusion.”

 

            “Oh.” She said, and I think she probably didn’t understand what I’d said.

 

            I found grandpa’s keys, the brass key fob with the large blue enamel bulb on it, the golden square and compass forming a box that contained the G shining out at me from the drawer. I pulled the key ring from the drawer and walked to the back door that we had just come through. I’m not sure I’d ever come through the front door of Grandma’s house. It was always something we just did, coming through the back door.

 

            I hit the garage door opener and watched as the garage, set about forty feet back from the house, relieved its meager prize to me. A few tools, the ones Alex didn’t want when Grandpa died. A riding lawn mower and the shale gray ninety-eight Skylark that grandma drove until she died. The caretaker was supposed to charge the battery once a month or so, make sure it still worked. I guess I was about to find out if they actually did it or not.

 

            The car started which was something of a relief to me, because the Heron was just too easy to identify while the Skylark could blend in. I pulled the Skylark out into the extended parking lot that Grandpa poured in eighty-two and put the Heron into the garage. I then decided I would have to get Jill something to eat so I drove to the store with her and we did a little grocery shopping. That attended to, I had to leave her.

 

            “Why can’t I go with you though?” She asked.

 

            “Because you’ll be safe here.”  Told her while I was plugging the DVD player into the TV. “I need you safe so I don’t have to worry about you.”

 

            Entertainment attended to, I kissed her with one quick peck and grabbed my coat. I looked at the stack of movies we’d bought at the grocery store and drug store next to it. Hopefully she didn’t have complex tastes in film because there wasn’t a hell of a lot of choice.

 

            “Wouldn’t they come looking for me here though?” She asked.

 

            “No.” I said. “This is Flat Rock.”

 

            “And?”

 

            “That’s right, you don’t know about the real Michigan. You only know the parts rich people know about. This shitty little town is the real Michigan sweetie. This is how it is once you get away from robber barons and tycoons. It’s a filthy little place that no one in their right mind would come to. This isn’t a place to go to, it’s a place to come from. No one in their right mind aspires to Flat Rock. Most people who don’t have some connection to this place wouldn’t ever think of coming here. No one would ever think of looking here, for anything of value. Ever. You’ll be completely safe because even if someone noticed I own a house out here, they’d never believe I’d put something as valuable as you in it. It’s all so damn worthless, they’d dismiss it out of hand.”

 

            “You sound pretty confident of that.” She said.

 

            “I spent quite a few summer months here.” I said. “I know what I’m talking about. Trust me, this place is almost mystical for being ignored”

 

            “You’re sure then?” She said. “I won’t need a gun or anything?”

 

            “Just that pre-paid phone we bought in Kansas.” I said. “But you only call me in a real emergency. I don’t need my phone going off while I’m trying to sneak up on a gangster just to discover you can’t find coffee filters.”

 

            “Yes Jack.” She said, having picked that habit up in the last few days. It must be me, so many women do that little ‘Yes Jack’ thing to me, in that same quick way. “You really think I’m valuable?”

 

            “Yes.” I said, and I meant it.

 

            “Because you like to fuck me, or because you like me, or because my father offered you a lot of money for me?” She asked, and while she was trying to be playful I caught the edge in her voice.

 

            “The first two.” I said, guessing it was the best answer.

 

            “And daddy?”

 

            “I’m sort of thinking he can go fuck himself.” I told her.

 

            “I love you Jack.” She said.

 

            “Okay.” I gave her a kiss and a hug and another kiss before going out the door and to the Skylark. It wasn’t much of a chariot, and it sure as hell wasn’t a white charger, but a knight errant can’t always choose his steed.

 

            Sadly, I forgot that I was driving in Michigan and it took two and half hours to get from Flat Rock to Troy because it was a week day and I was starting to driver at five in the afternoon. A drive I can normally do in about forty-five minutes took two damn hours as a result. By the time I got to the office, it was empty. I wasn’t sure if it was empty because they hadn’t been there that day, or if it was late and they’d all gone home. I would have to find out and a good way to discover came through the door as I sat down behind my desk.

 

            Someone opened the outer door, so I slid the central drawer of my desk out and set the two silenced Rutthowers in it and half closed it. I then switched on the light at my desk, which caused the shuffling outside to stop. I then cleared my throat loudly, to remove any doubt.

 

            “Johnny?” A large man asked as he came through the inner door. “I forgot my stick, I thought you’d left.” He stopped because he got a look at me, which caused confusion to cross his face. “Who are you?”

 

            “Fuck you.” I said. “This is my office, who the hell are you?”

 

            “Ah, you’d be Collier then.” The man sat down in the big red leather chair, not filling it to the capacity that The Fat Man had done, but filling it quite well. “I thought you were in Georgia.”

 

            “You were meant to.” I said. “And you the hell are you? I won’t be asking a third time.”

 

            “I’m Red King.” His accent became pronounced and maybe even a little more southern when he said his name. “My son was Cole King and my granddaughter is Cindy Eller.”

 

            “You’d be the grandfather then.” I said.

 

            “I would be.” He drawled at me. “Where is my granddaughter?”

 

            “No.” I shook my head. “Where is my secretary?”

 

            “She’s safe.”

 

            “Where?”

 

            “Not until I can have Cindy.” Red said. “I’m going to take her home and restart our family.”

 

            “Restart?”

 

            “Her cousin took an unnatural liking to her.” He said. “It was an obsession with him. It clouded his mind.”

 

            “How can he be her cousin if you’re his father and her grandfather?” I asked. “Or do I really want to know the answer to that?”

 

            “Cole was a bad boy. I’ll admit that.” Red said, ignoring my question. “My daughter married a man unsuited to her, but she thought she was getting away from me.”

 

            “I wonder why she’d want to do that?” I asked. “What with her brother being the cousin to her daughter.”

 

            “I was always gentle with her.” He snarled. “I never made her be with child.”

 

            “How sweet of you.” I said.

 

            “Cole was a weakling from the start.” He seemed to not even know I was there. “I understand you were with him when he died.”

 

            “How do you understand that?” I asked.

 

            “Father William explained it all before he died.”

 

            “That was quick work.” I told him.

 

            “I can do things.” He said. “Cole died on his knees?”

 

            “Yep.”

 

            “You kill him?”

 

            “Nope.” I shook my head and decided to make him angry since I had guns right in front of me. “He died like a little bitch though. I told him to put the gun in his mouth and he did it. I didn’t even have to tell him twice.”

 

            “He was no damn good.” He told me, and when into his own little world again. I wasn’t sure he even heard me. “A fucking weakling. A pansy, faggot who liked the taste of his own ass on his daddy’s cock. He’d cry, beg me not to make him suck it, begged me not to fuck his ass, but he loved it. I should have cut his tackle off the first time I fucked his ass. Just made him a girl and been done with it. His mother never fought, his sister never cried when I’d fuck her ass. She just bit the pillow and took it like a good girl. His mother was a stupid whore though, had to make her take too many of them percodans with a load of smack and some speedballs. Fucking bitch’s heart exploded.”

 

            “Charming.” I said. “You should write this story down. It would make a lovely book that people could burn every Buddha Day.”

 

            “You should just give me what I want. I can be really mean if I don’t get what I want.” He told me. “You give me Cindy and I can just let you walk away.”

 

            “And if I tell you to go piss up a rope?” I asked.

 

            “You’re just a thing in my dream.” He drawled, sounding more dangerous than a bandersnatch. “I could roll over and crush you without waking up. Or you can give me my little girl so I can start a family over again and do it right.”

 

            “With Cindy?”

 

            “Just kill her when the brats have ejected from her this time.” He muttered to himself. “Her daddy been fucking her since she started bleeding, she’s fucked family plenty, she won’t fight. Her mother died of an overdose you know that?”

 

            My right hand rested on the silenced Rutthower in the desk drawer, just a quick motion and I could end it all. One quick pop and it was done. I could have killed him right there and then. Something stopped me though, probably my not knowing where Debbie was or what they’d do if he didn’t come back in due time.

 

            “Where is my secretary?” I asked again.

 

            “You drive out to Chicago.” Red said standing. “I’ll give you two days. You go get my little whore and I’ll give you back your whores. Fair?”

 

            “I could shoot you right now.” I said.

 

            “Naw.” He shook his head. “Cause you know they’d cut her head off if you hurt me. Don’t you see I just want to make a pure bloodline? Just bring perfect children into the world? Cindy is all I’ve got left. I’ve never even tasted her quim. I’ve got to have a go at her. I’ve got to make her have my perfect child and then kill her, you understand that, don’t you?”

 

            “You are out of your fucking mind.” I asked.

 

            “I knew you’d understand.” He said as he stood up and slipped a cowboy hat on. “You got two days, and then I start cutting bits off the bitch.”

 

            He got all the way to the door and out of it before I had a reaction. When the outer door closed my hand finally grabbed the Rutthower, but it was too late as he’d gone. I set the gun back down on the desk and looked out the window, seeing him get into a large black sedan that drove away a moment after he’d closed the door.

 

            If I lived through this case, I was going to write an article for Incest Monthly. It would easily be the cover story, unless one of those families with fourteen children suddenly reveled that they were one big incestual orgy, I didn’t see how we could loose the cover slot.

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