I’m back home and this story has been sitting on the back burner for a few months, waiting for some more to be written.
The trouble is, there are also other stories to write, and I’m not very good at prioritizing.
But, here we are, a few minutes opened up and it didn’t take long to get back into the groove.
Chasing leads, maybe
A second later the light came on and I was temporarily blinded.
The woman had to be on the other side of the door, and coming into the room, I must have passed her. Her voice sounded quite old, so it must be the mother.
“Turn around, slowly.
I did. By that time my eyes had readjusted, and I could see a woman, still dressed, with what looked to be an Enfield WW1 rifle. Just as dangerous now as it was then, particularly at this close range.
“Mrs Quigley, I presume,” I asked. Remain polite and conversational and keep her from getting nervous.
“Who are you?”
“Is that your real name?”
“Why would you presume to think it wasn’t?”
“You’re breaking into my house which means you’re a criminal, and criminals by nature are also liars. Why would I think you any different to the rest?”
Good question. “I knew your son.”
“He’s not here. He hasn’t been around since he gallivanted off overseas a few years back.”
“I saw him only a few days ago, in London. Not gallivanting, by the way, but with feet firmly planted on the ground.”
“He’s not here.”
“Do you know where he is?”
She didn’t know he was dead, and I didn’t think it was my business to tell her. That was Dobbin’s job, and I was surprised he hadn’t. Or, I only had her word for it he hadn’t.
“Are you hard of hearing.” Get into the middle of the room.”
I moved slowly into the middle, watching her edge slowly towards the writing desk while keeping the gun aimed at me. If I tried to run for it, and if she was any sort of shot, I’d be dead before I got three, possibly four paces. If I could get a shred of surprise.
I hadn’t seen the phone on the desk, and watched her pick up the receiver, and, with the same hand, started dialing a number.
“Put it down.” Another voice, another woman, coming from the doorway.
With a gun in hand, pointed at the woman.
“What if I shoot him, or you?”
“You’ll be dead before either scenario happens. Just put it down. I’m not here to shoot anyone if I can help it.”
Of course, this was just like one of those scenes out of a comedic spy film. Guns pointing in all directions.
And, true to form, a click, and a voice. “You put your weapon down.”
He appeared out of the shadows and had the gun pointed straight at Jennifer’s head at very short range.
Adam Quigley, aka O’Connell, and very much alive.
Jennifer dropped her gun, but Adam didn’t take his gun off her.
“Hello Sam. How did you find me?”
© Charles Heath 2020-2021