About Henry Fellows
On Killing and Innocence: The Chronicles of Henry Fellows
Floyd sits down, still stroking his mustache. He’s got a beer of his own now. “It explains a lot, your current mental state.”
“What are you, a shrink now?” I ask, realizing I’m on a couch and he’s in a chair opposite me.
“It computes, is all. Like you been carrying the weight of something around, not knowing what it is, not knowing how to face it. All the therapy and pills in the world aren’t gonna treat something if you can’t even remember it. It’s like you had a tiny little knife scraping the walls of a secret room in your brain. For some reason we just found the key.”
“Wonder how many other secret rooms there are,” I say, reaching for more pills. “And if there’s a knife up there, it ain’t out yet.”
“So what about the rest?” Billy asks, pushing my feet off the end of the couch to make room. What a tool. “The rest, Henry? How can you be sure this is Marks?”
Having stumbled over very few absolutes in my time, I’m reticent to use the word sure.
But I’m sure.
“It all just came together. Those pushed down memories. And then the guys from the BMW. One said I was a traitor. The other said that me and my whole family were dead. Didn’t make sense at the time.”
“How’s that?” Billy asks, looking over at Floyd and Marie. Looking like he’s sitting next to the most inept human on the planet.
“It happened fast,” I say. “They seemed like henchmen. Average at best. You ever put hard stock in the last words of henchmen?”
They all look at each other, shrugging. I can see their acquiescence. Last words are usually crap. Henchmen’s last words are absolute trifles. Except now, it would seem.
“Okay, Deer. From now on you gotta start communicating. Like, everything. No matter how innocuous, no matter how fatuous it may sound.”
“It plays,” Marie says, taking an old frumpy chair next to Floyd. “Wanting to keep you from turning yourself in, to kill you himself. The revenge plot. It’s simpler. Have to say I hadn’t thought of it.” She sits back for quickly. “But if he’s got that close an eye out for you, why play this game? Why haven’t you been grabbed up or killed yet?”
The more turns it takes in my head the more it starts to stick. Thought figuring out who was after me would give me some relief. Not so. Marie’s last question was a good one. I decide to table it. One thing at a time.
“Stover Marks. He might literally be the worst person in the world you want on your ass. Heard some weird stuff about that dude,” Billy says. I chuckle and feel a tear leak out of my right eye. So many things. Me and Billy having the exact thought at the exact moment. Having to admit my failure as a man, my complete and utter failure. Inept is right. The kind of ineptitude that got innocent people killed. An assassin, no—a trainer of assassins—exacting slow and horrifying vengeance on me and my family. My family.
“Right now I need to make a call,” I say, getting up to fish a new burner from my bag on the kitchen counter. No more time to sit around ruminating on my inadequacies as a warrior or a man.
“Call? Who?” Marie asks, coming up behind me, gently. Have to say I’m surprised by her manner. She’s being pretty understanding through all this. Never could figure her out.
As the SIM card snaps into place, I look at her and then the rest of my compatriots. “Just want you guys to know, if you stay in, I’ll pay double. If not, I’ll wire you what I owe right now.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Billy says, standing up from the couch. “Who you calling there, big guy?”
“Deputy Hawker. Captain YouTube. We need his help.”