About Henry Fellows (Chapter Five Concluded)
On Killing and Innocence: The Chronicles of Henry Fellows
Chapter Five Concluded
Time to make a plan. First, get the hell out of Texas. My family’s in Texas, and I figure the farther away I am, the safer they are. It’s the hard choice, but the right one. It’ll take calling in a few more favors and faith to make sure they’re watched and safe, but whatever it takes. I make a list of what I know in my head, then start repeating, packing up pills and the few items with me in the hotel room.
1. Someone has eyes on me and knows what I look like.
2. They could’ve killed me or at least tried at any point in the last fifteen months.
3. Every time I want to turn myself in, they tip off the authorities.
4. This time they had somebody following close. Now those guys are dead.
5. My lawyer’s being surveilled, how intrusively I don’t know.
Walking outside into waning sunlight, it takes a minute to spot my car in the lot. Lot of stolen cars today. There. I see the innocuous jalopy, make another call to Floyd.
“Hey old man. Thanks for reaching out to Nina.”
“Look, I knew you’d be pissed, but—”
“Floyd. Seriously. I’m glad. Can you meet?”
“Wow. Okay. When?”
I look at my watch. “I figure twenty-four hours with the time change should be plenty.”
“You got it, Deer.”
“See you soon. Hey. One more thing. Important. Get back in touch with Nina. Tell her to have someone sit on my family’s house. Hell, two or three guys if need be. She knows people in the protection racket. Have her get the best. Tell her to do the same for herself, if she hasn’t already. Insist on it. Can’t be too safe.”
“Maybe the guys…”
“Out with it, Floyd.”
“Maybe the guys you shot—they were the only ones after you.”
“No. Someone just threatened her while we were talking. She’s being tapped.”
“Shit. How do I get a hold of her without—whoever it is, hearing?”
“You’re a professional. Think of something. I’m low on time. Can I trust you to get this done?”
The old man does his grumbling thing but eventually gives in. “Of course. You didn’t say anything about your next move, tip off whoever was listening?”
“No. Thankfully I’m not that stupid. Soon as I heard it was a party line, I hung up. Cracked the cell. Called you on this one.”
“Okay. Sorry. Get moving.”
As I break down another phone I wipe it clean, just in case. Nothing is too cautious at this point. Separate the pieces of each burner into different bags. I’ll dump them randomly between here and the next destination.
The joys of being me.
I spot an old plastic bin, no trash bag. Throw my old shirt and some chip wrappers in it. The insects flying patterns around it go with the whole vibe of the place. I take one last look for cameras, but see none. I stay at crapholes all the time for this very reason. Big Brother rarely visits these joints. In a crazy world, the cheap motel can be an oasis of freedom.
Walking to the car I do a quick scan around the parking lot. Can’t see anybody watching, but if they were any good, I wouldn’t be able to. By now I’ve gone over the list of what I know ad nauseam, so I start on another list, one of deductions.
1. Somebody could’ve ratted me out. The doctors, anyone who helped along the way. Unlikely, considering how much I pay.
2. They are keeping me alive and on the run for some purpose. Probably not a good one. Something new. I’ve been out over a year but this other thing smacks of a fresh development.
3. Have to assume everyone in my tiny circle is being watched. Can only trust meeting people with experience being anonymous, like Floyd.
4. After killing the two thugs, the they might be more apt to precipitate an encounter with me.
Not exactly Sherlock Holmes. Check my watch again, mumbling my deductions and pulling back out onto the freeway. Call ahead for departure times and ticket availabilities. I’m going to the airport, after all. Hate the airport. Most people say that. Used to hear it all the time. Folks in the neighborhood, acquaintances at work, I’d always hear the same thing. One of those complaints everyone has in their back pocket. I hate the airport.
Try it when you’re wanted by the FBI, Texas Rangers, U.S. Marshals, Homeland Security and Interpol. Then tell me how inconvenient baggage claim is.