Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ P

If you haven’t read previous chapters, I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!


ABC'S of Death book cover (4)


Putting Plans in Motion


We arrive at the Wenner Estate under a full moon. I’m grateful for that, gives us lots of light to work by. I don’t want flashlights shining or anything that will draw attention to us. I stop in front of the house with the SUV right behind me.

I walk back to the vehicle and Fedora rolls down the window. “Park over there, that’s where it was before. I want everything to look as much like it was when they were here so they don’t suspect anything.” I point out where I want Fedora to move to.

Billy gets out of the SUV and stands next to me while Fedora parks it. I look around. Doesn’t look like anyone has been here since I was here this morning. Was it only this morning? A little shudder goes through my body at the thought of digging out of the hole. I shake it off.

“I’m going to hide my motorcycle behind that shed over there.” I point to the shed next to the house. “Once we have things in place, it’s just a matter of waiting for them to show up.”

“What’s the plan Dee? We can’t just surprise them and then fight it out.” Fedora asks while he looks around the place.

“If my plans work out right, we won’t have to fight them at all.” I tell him. “First, don’t move around without watching where you are going. There are holes dug all over this place. So be careful.”

“I’ll show you where the hole is that I fell through and where they will take Angela. That is the place where we need to set everything up. If we pull this off, Angela will be safe and the bad guys will be in the hole instead.”

“They will still have guns, Dee and we won’t.” Fedora states.

“We don’t need guns, Fedora. The guns won’t do them much good down there.” I tell him. Unless they run into a giant rat. I smile at the thought.

Billy joins the conversation. “I just talked to David, my friend that is watching Tony’s place. They are still there. Not doing much from what he says.”

“They are just waiting for daylight. Once it starts to get light they will make their move.” I tell him. They are smart enough not to want to walk around this place in the dark. Or they have orders from the boss to wait till then.

“It might take us a while to set things up, so let’s get going,” I tell the guys. “Here’s what I want to do.”

I tell them my plans and what I want done. Billy is grinning and Fedora is frowning. Of course Fedora doesn’t like my plans. He never does.

“You sure, Dee? Wouldn’t it be easier just to get the drop on them when they get here?” Fedora asks.

I look at him and hold my hand out. “Give it to me Fedora. You know I hate guns. They aren’t necessary if you use your brain.” I wiggle my fingers. “I know you have one, just give it to me now before someone gets hurt.”

He just stares at me. “How did you know I have a gun? It’s my gun, Dee. I don’t need your permission to carry it.” Fedora gets a stubborn look on his face.

“Dammit Fedora. You almost got me killed the last time you brought that thing to a fight. We don’t need it!”

“I’ll keep it on me just the same, Dee.”

“Suit yourself. But, if you end up shooting your foot off during all the excitement, don’t come whining to me.”

“I don’t whine!” Fedora has an indignant look on his face.

I laugh. “Yes you do! Rich men have that tendency to whine!” I shoot back at him.

“Guys! Don’t we have things to do?” I hear Billy’s voice overriding mine and Fedora’s. Damn the man makes me lose my temper faster than anyone I know, except my brother Mac.

“You’re right Billy, we do have things to do.” I ignore Fedora and tell Billy how I want things set up. Time is slipping by, I don’t have time to babysit Fedora. I turn to him next and explain what I want him to do once the guys show up.

“I’m not sure I like your plans, Dee. You are setting yourself up to be a target!”

“I won’t be in their sights for more than a few seconds. It’ll work if you do your part.” I am not going to argue with the man further. We don’t have time. I look up at the skies and notice that it’s starting to get cloudy. So much for our full moon.

“Come on guys, the clouds are coming in and we don’t have much time to set things up by the moon’s light. We need to stop arguing and start working together if we want this to work.”

Billy heads off behind the house to do his part. I look over at Fedora. “OK, I’m in and I’ll do my part when the time is right. I just hope you don’t get shot.” Fedora heads off towards the bushes next to the SUV.

I turn to my bike and start it up to move it behind the shed. I have a few things to do so Tee and I will be ready for our starring roles in this.  A calmness settles over me. I take a deep breath.

Time to put my plans in motion.




I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks!



Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ O

If you haven’t read previous chapters, I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Offers of Help

We can’t go to Tony’s and just bust in, that would just get Angela and probably us, killed. I’m thinking fast as the three of us walk to the Hilton. The best place to surprise them is at the Wenner place. They think I’m dead or close enough to it, so they won’t expect me to be out of the hole and waiting for them. Plus, less chance of innocent bystanders getting hurt. It will be just them and us.

“Billy, you go back to Tony’s and keep an eye out on them. Call me on my cell when they leave or if you see Angela.” I tell Billy my phone number and he programs it into his cell.

“Don’t do anything but watch.” Billy starts to protest and I shut him off. “These are dangerous guys, Billy. I don’t want you hurt. If you can’t follow my directions, say so now and you can go home.” I give Billy my sternest stare. I can’t have his death on my conscience.

“I’ll follow your instructions.” Billy gives me a thumb up and takes off back to Tony’s.

I turn to Fedora. “I need your help, Holden. You don’t have to, as it could be dangerous.”

“Why not just call the cops and tell them what’s going on, Dee? That’s what they are trained for, that’s their job.”

“We don’t have time for the cops. The tons of paperwork. The millions of questions. Plus, they probably wouldn’t do anything as I have no proof.”

“You got proof. You got yourself! Look at you! You’re bruised and your hands are torn up!”

“That’s not proof of anything. You know that. If you won’t help, then stay out of my way. I have things to do.” I have to admit to myself, I’m disappointed in Holden. Going to the cops will take time, too much time. Time that Angela doesn’t have.

“I never said I wouldn’t help. What do you need from me?”

“I need you to drive Angela’s SUV to the Wenner Estate. I want everything to look like it was before I escaped. I don’t want these guys to know I’m alive. Not yet anyway.”

Fedora follows me into the elevator. I push the button to the fourth floor. A wave of relief surprises me when Fedora agrees to help. I’ll have to examine that later, as I don’t have time for it now.

“Where is your room?” I ask Fedora.

“Next door to yours.” He says as he walks by me to the door next to mine.

“Meet me here in ten minutes. Then we’ll head to the Wenner place.” I tell him as I shove my door open and walk inside.

My head is full of ideas as I gather Tee’s satchel and put a few things from my Harley’s saddlebags in the outside pockets. I add a couple of bottles of water too. I’m confident I can get the drop on these guys that are holding Angela. They won’t be expecting me to show up. That will work in my favor.

A few minutes later I hear a short knock on my door and I open it to Fedora. He gets extra points for being on time. I notice he took the time to change out of the suit he had on earlier to jeans and t-shirt. The man looks good in anything. I also notice he has no fedora on, I almost miss it. I’m ready to go. I grab the satchel and put Tee inside.

Fedora cocks one eyebrow at us. “Don’t you think it would be better if the dog stayed here?”

“Nope. He’s going to help.” I state as I close my door and start to walk down the hallway.

“Help? How’s he going to help?” Fedora asks as he punches the button for the lobby floor.

“You’ll see.”

We reach the lobby where Mr. Haughty is at his post behind the check-in counter. He looks over at us and frowns. I don’t think I’m one of his favorite people.  I’m heart-broken.

Fedora and I reach the parking lot where I left Angela’s SUV. I reach in my jeans pocket for the keys when I hear my name being called for the second time that night.

Billy. What the hell is he doing here again? Something happen?

“What’s wrong?” I ask him as he runs up to me.

The young man smiles. “I’m going with you guys! You might need my help.”

“You are supposed to be keeping an eye on those guys! Get your ass back there or go home!” I have no time for foolish young men who think this is some kind of video game.

“Dee! Please! I can help! I have my best friend watching them. He’ll call me when they leave or if something else happens. You can trust him.”

“You involved someone else? What if he gets caught? What if he gets hurt?” I’m angry at the kid, I thought he knew better than this.

“I explained everything that was going on. Plus, he was with me earlier while I was watching them. He’s cool. He won’t get caught. I promise!” Billy has a pleading look in his eyes. “Let me come with and help, Dee. I know you have something planned for these guys.”

I look at Billy. He’s eager to help. I know the kid is smart and apparently resourceful. I make a decision. I hope I don’t regret it.

I give Angela’s keys to Fedora.

“Take Billy with you and follow me. We’ll need some time to set things up at the Wenner place. Let’s get moving.”

Billy lets out a whoop and punches the air above his head with his fist. Fedora frowns. I cut him off before he can even open his mouth.

“Billy can help. With what I want to do the chances of his getting hurt are minimal.” I turn around and walk toward my bike. “I’ll take Tee and the bike, you guys follow me. Let’s get going.”

I put my helmet on and ignore Fedora’s mutterings. I just hope I’m right and no one gets hurt except the bad guys. I’m pretty confident my plans will work.

I swing my leg over the Harley and settle in. I put Tee’s goggles on him and snap him in his satchel. I head out towards the Wenner Estate. Time to teach these thugs a lesson in humility.

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks!

Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ N

If you haven’t read previous chapters, I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!


ABC'S of Death book cover (4)


Next Steps


A pounding sound penetrates my dreams. I open one eye and notice the darkness of the room. The pounding comes again. The door. The pounding is someone knocking on the door. I move my body and all the aches and pains in my muscles awake at the same time. Crap, I hurt.

I hobble over to the door and look through the peephole. Fedora stands there with an impatient look on his face. His knuckles hit the door again. Nothing for me to do but let him in. I switch on the lights and open the door.

“Dee! About time, you answered the damn door. I was ready to get someone to open it for me. Damn you look terrible.” Fedora walks in and grabs my chin with one hand and turns my face up to him.

“I’m fine.” I push his hand down. “I’m fine,” I repeat. “Just a bit sore.”

“What the hell happened to you? You are not fine. You are bruised and you have bandages on your hands.”

Fedora follows me to the small table as I sit in one of the chairs. There’s a bottle of water on the table, I grab it and take a huge drink. Tee is greeting Fedora like a long-lost friend. Traitor.

I look at the clock in the room, as my watch is dead from the dig out. I’ll have to have Mr. Frinklestein, the old watch repair man look at it when I get home. It’s nine o’clock. Still an hour before Billy shows up.

I need to loosen up my muscles, so I put my shoes on and grab Tee and his leash. “Let’s take Tee out for a walk and I’ll tell you all about it. I may need your help on this one.”

“The independent DeeDee Watson, Private Investigator needs my help? I’m flattered.”

“Can the sarcasm Fedora. I don’t have to involve you, in fact, I probably shouldn’t. You might mess up that fancy hat of yours.” I’m in no mood for the man’s attitude. I didn’t ask him to come here. I look over at him, he has his trademark fedora firmly on his handsome head. A dark blue and black plaid with a black ribbon trim.

I wonder if he has a closet dedicated to just his hats? The thought makes me give a small snort of laughter.

“What’s so funny, Watson?”

“Do you want to hear what happened or don’t you?” I steer the conversation past the thought of a hat closet.

I head out towards the park that Tee and I visited the first day we were here. Seems like a year ago. Fedora matches my stride. I let Tee investigate the bushes and trees while I fill Fedora in on what has occurred since Angela called my office. I keep it brief and try to gloss over the hole in the ground incident. I came out alive, that’s all that matters to me. Plus, I know Fedora would get all pissy about it. After telling the tale twice now, once to Billy, now to Fedora, I was tired of telling it.

I whistle for Tee. It’s time to head back to the hotel as Billy should be there soon. I clip the leash back onto Tee’s collar and start walking back. Fedora has been quiet.

“It’s easy to forget just how dangerous your career choice is sometimes, Dee.”

I shrug my shoulders and keep walking. “I can take care of myself.”

“I don’t know why you won’t get your gun license and carry one on you.” I can see Fedora is set to open up our old argument on me refusing to carry a gun. I’m just about to tell him to mind his own business when I hear my name.

“Dee! Dee! Thank god, I’ve found you!” It was Billy, he slides to stop in front of us. He’s upset and out of breath.

“You have to come now, Dee! I found Angela, but she might not be alive for long if you don’t come now!”

“Billy! Take a second and get your breath.” I tell him as he sucks in great gulps of air.

“You have to come now Dee!” He repeats himself. I can see the kid is upset.

“Tell me what you saw, Billy.”

“I staked out Tony’s house like you asked. Spotted the guy that took Angela. A couple of guys were with him. They are tearing the place apart!”

“Did you see Angela?”

“I didn’t see her, no, but she must be there because I overheard them saying it was time to finish her since she didn’t know where the deed was! The big guy, the one that put you in the hole, said they would wait till daylight, then take Angela out to the Wenner place.”

We were walking to the hotel and I stopped and stared at Billy. “Did they say what they were going to do to Angela?” I had a sinking feeling in my gut.

“They said they would put her in the hole with you! The actual words were, ‘she can join her friend in the hole.’ Dee, they said they would shoot her first though!”

Time to make some fast plans. I have to save Angela.




I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks!




Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ M

If you haven’t read previous chapters, I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!


ABC'S of Death book cover (4)


Making Plans


I know if I try to call Fedora back he won’t answer so I don’t even try. The man is a pain, but it might not be a bad idea to have him watching my back. These guys have already shown they are willing to kill.

I hear a knock on my door. Must be Billy. I put my eye to the peephole, I’m not taking anything for granted. I don’t think the guys that have Angela know I’m still alive, but it pays to play it safe at this stage.

I see a distorted image of Billy so I open the door. He comes in pushing a food cart. “Your food was ready in the kitchen so I volunteered to bring it up. I also have the medical kit.”

The food smells good. Tee wakes up and is ready to be fed. Billy sets the small table in the room with some plates and utensils. My stomach is growling. Time for some nourishment. I cut up some of my steak for Tee and place the small plate on the floor.

“Come on buddy. You deserve steak.”

I motion for Billy to take the seat across from me. My hands hurt, but not enough to keep me from eating. I open one of the bottles of water Billy brought with him and pour some out for Tee, then drink the rest down. I wonder if I’ll ever get enough water.

I start to eat and in between bites I regale Billy with my adventures the past day or so. He lets me talk with only a few, ‘damn’ or other strong exclamations inserted in. When I’m done talking, I butter another roll and shove it in my mouth. Billy keeps my coffee cup full the whole time. The kid has potential.

“I knew you weren’t like most of our guests the first time I saw you in the elevator. You’re not one of these spoiled rich women who are afraid of breaking a nail.” Billy crosses his arms and leans his elbows on the table in a satisfied way.

The mention of broken nails forces me to remember my stinging hands. I open the medical kit and search through it. I find some antiseptic wipes and open them. I wipe my palms and open the sterile gauze. Billy moves his chair closer and takes the roll of gauze bandages.

“Better let me do that.” He says as he winds the gauze around my palms. I’m grateful for the help. The food kicks in and in spite of the gallon of coffee I drank I feel my eyelids getting heavy. I force them open.

“Billy, do you know where Tony Bandoni lived?”

“Sure do. My older sister worked for him for a few years. She used to have me deliver paperwork to his house sometimes for a few bucks.”

I notice he has his street clothes on for the first time. I must be tired if I missed that. “You off work for the day?” I ask him.

“Sure am.” He finishes tying off the bandages and sits back. “Can I help you in any way Dee? That would be so kick ass!” He practically jumps out of his chair in his enthusiasm.

“Can you find out if Angela is being held there? Without getting caught?” I know I shouldn’t involve the kid, but I need someone who won’t stand out doing a bit of reconnaissance work. He knows the town, the people and he’s smart.

“Piece of cake!”

I describe Angela and I also describe the man who took her.

“Whoa! I know that man. He’s someone you don’t want to piss off.” Billy sits back in his chair and gives a little whistle.

“How do you know him?” Maybe involving Billy isn’t a good idea.

“Me and a couple of buddies had some trouble with him once. We were skateboarding down the sidewalk, just goofing off, you know? And my friend flies past this guy and startles him. The guy cusses my friend out and goes after him! I swear if he would have caught one of us he would have done us some damage. He’s a scary kind of man.”

“You don’t have to do this, kid. In fact, you shouldn’t. You could get hurt.” I sit up and beat back the lethargic effects the food was having on me.

“No! I’ll do it. I’m not afraid of him.”

“You should be afraid of him, Billy. He’s a mean guy and won’t think nothing of hurting you.”

“I’ll be careful. I promise! Let me help. I won’t get caught.” He has a pleading look in his eyes. I need the help. I know Billy is smart and quick. If anyone can do it, he can.

“Ok. But the first sign of trouble you get your ass out of there and come back here. You promise?”

“I won’t get caught.”

“I can’t do anything till it gets dark. I want you to see if you see any activity at Tony’s. If you do, you just watch from a safe distance. Then come back here tonight and let me know. I’ve got to get some sleep. I’m not helping anyone if I’m not alert.”

I hate to leave Angela there with the guy for one more minute. I also didn’t want us to get killed. I need some sleep or I wasn’t any good for anything. I also know I can’t just walk up to Tony’s house and announce myself. They think I’m in a hole in the ground. I want that to work to my advantage. I’m also not stupid enough to think I can do this on my own.

Then tonight, if Billy can find Angela, I’ll go get her. If it involves kicking some ass in the process, all the better.

I tell Billy to be careful one more time, then tell him to come here at ten tonight. I can’t do anything till then but rest. Which I do once Billy leaves. I lay down on the bed next to Tee and stretch out. God, I’m tired.




I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks!

Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ L

If you haven’t read previous chapters, I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!


ABC'S of Death book cover (4)


Lost in Limbo


I pull into the Hilton parking lot. I grab Tee and put him in his satchel. All I have on my mind right now is a long hot shower, gallons of water and something to eat. Not necessarily in that order. If I could do all three at the same time, it would be perfect.

My mind is focused on getting to my room. I walk into the hotel and towards the elevators. Mr. Haughty is in position behind the front counter. I must have looked like the guest from hell as his mouth drops open in surprise. Don’t think much surprises that man. I continue walking and ignore him. The look on my face must have instilled caution, as his mouth closed without him saying anything.

The elevator stops on my floor and I walk towards my room. Billy is just closing a door further down from me and turns in my direction. He stops and stares.

“Dee? What the hell happened to you?”

I give the young man credit. He doesn’t ask a lot of stupid questions. I stop by my door and use the key card. I hear the click and see the little green light come on. As I open my door I get an idea.

“Billy? Can you come to my room in about half an hour? I need a favor.”

“Sure I can. You all right?”

I feel the sting of my blistered hands on the doorknob. “Can you get hold of a medical kit? Some bandages, stuff like that?”

“Yeah, I know where I can get one. Looks like you might be needing it too.”

“Give me about half an hour to get cleaned up.”

“You’re going to tell me how you got in this shape, right?” Billy has an expectant look on his face. His eyes are wide with curiosity, but he stifles it for now. Good man.

“I’ll tell you.”

“I’ll be back in half an hour with the kit even if you wouldn’t tell me. But I’m dying to know.” He winks at me and walks away.

I push the door to my room open and walk inside. I can almost feel the hot water on me already.

I put Tee down on the floor and start shedding my clothes, or what is left of them. Poor Tee is as filthy as I am. I’m tired, so I decide to wash both of us at the same time. Nothing like showering with your dog. Normally I wouldn’t do it, but this is not a normal situation.

Afterward, Tee and I are clean and dry. I put some clean clothes on and wait for Billy. My hands hurt like hell. I get on the room phone and order some food and some extra bottles of water. I will never take water for granted again.

One of the first things I did when I got in the room was put my cell on the charger. I had a phone call to make. By the time I had a shower and brushed the dirt out of my teeth the phone had enough charge to call who I needed to call. I looked at the time and figured I had a few minutes before Billy or the food showed up.

I hit a number on my phone and hear it ring on the other end. I wait for a familiar voice. “Dee, what a pleasant surprise.”

“Hey, Fedora. Do you know the Wenner Estate outside of Ashville?”

Fedora aka William Holden, a rich man, high-tech geek and most times a royal pain in the ass. I did a case for him a few months back. In fact, his grandmother used to own Tee, till I rescued him from his dognappers. A long story for another time. I nicknamed him Fedora because of his penchant for wearing the hats.

Fedora and I kept a kind of friendship after the case. He wants to date me, I keep turning him down. He keeps asking. It’s a game we both play.

“Never one for just calling to say hi are you Watson?”

“Sorry, was a long night last night. So, do you know it?”

“You sound tired, Dee. Everything alright? And yes, I know about the Wenner Estate. Heard it was bought for back taxes a while back.”

“It was. My friend Angela and her business partner Tony Bandoni bought it. Was going to turn it into an exclusive hotel, spa, and nightclub.”

“Bandoni? Heard he killed himself not too long ago. I met the man a few times at some functions. Funny as hell and a good guy from what I could tell.”

“It might not have been suicide. In fact, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t, Fedora.”

There was a short pause. “You investigating that Dee?”

“Yeah, Angela hired me. Now she’s been taken by the same guys I’m pretty sure killed Bandoni. They are after the Wenner deed.”

“Someone believes that old tale about gold bouillon being hidden there? Is that where you are? In Ashville?”

“Yeah. I wanted to know who else was interested in the place. Have you heard of anyone that might be rich enough and willing to kill to get what they want?”

“There were several people interested in it. Myself included for a short time. I can get you a list of names. Where are you staying?”

“Angela put me up at the Hilton. I would appreciate the list and your personal take on the people.”

“I’ll be there by early evening, Watson.”

“Hey! No! Don’t come, Fedora! I just need the names.” All I heard in answer was the click of the phone as he ended the call.

Ah, crap.




I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 



Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ K

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!


ABC'S of Death book cover (4)


Kick Ass Time


I reach the SUV. It’s unlocked. I climb in and set Tee and his satchel in the back seat. My luck is holding as I spot the keys in the ignition. I lay my head on the steering wheel. I’m so tired. The joy of seeing the SUV leaves and in its place is a crippling exhaustion. I’m just so damn tired. My body aches in every square inch of it. The putrid smell of dirt, sweat and blood fills my nostrils. It dawns on my fuzzy brain that the smell is coming from me.

A lone tear falls from my eyes onto my dirt-encrusted jeans. Another soon follows. I sniffle back some more before they drop. A thought pops into my head, I sit up straight and start laughing. I can’t help myself. The laughter just bubbles out.

I look back at Tee and see him watching me. I start laughing all over again.

“Tee, I’m stupid. Just don’t tell anyone, ok? That was a wine cellar we almost met our death in. A wine cellar! With big kegs in it. Do you know what that means? It means that they didn’t bring those kegs of wine down those damn wood steps. There must be an easier way in and out. I just didn’t think to look.”

I’m still smiling when I turn the key in the ignition and spot something that makes me smile bigger. An almost full bottle of some fancy named water. I grab it up and twist the cap off. I take a long drink. God, that tastes good. I look around a bit more and spot an empty coffee cup. I’m silently thanking Angela for not being a neat freak.

I tear the top off the coffee cup and pour the rest of the water in. I hold it out to Tee. He needs water more than I do. In seconds, the water is gone.

Alright. We’re alive, we have a vehicle, we have water. Now it’s time to head back to town and kick some ass.

Before I turn the SUV around and head back I check my cell. The battery is dead. I look at the clock in the SUV and am shocked at what time it is. I spent almost twenty-eight hours down in the dark and dirt. Twenty-eight hours of hell. Someone is going to pay for that. First, I have to find Angela and make sure she is alright.

I realize as I’m turning the vehicle around that I don’t know where Angela lives. I have her phone number of course, but it’s not going to do me any good if she is with that heavy-lidded goon. I turn onto the highway and head back to town. Angela wouldn’t be at her place. They have either taken her to their boss or Tony’s place to look for the deed.

I went through twenty-eight hours of hell, but so must Angela have. They’ve had her that long. They must know by now that she doesn’t know where Tony put the deed. Will they still keep her around? I hope so.




I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 


Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ J

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!


ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Joining the Living Again


I stick Tee inside his satchel and place it over my head and across my chest so I have both hands free. That rat doesn’t move, just keeps on staring. Something I need to add to my growing list of hates. Rats. I move forward a step and it still doesn’t move anything but its long whiskers. It’s long thin nose twitches.

He probably smells the blood on my hands from my broken blisters. I need to get rid of this ugly monster so I can find the door out of here. I take a step back and slowly squat. The shovel head is here somewhere. It’s not much, but it’s the only weapon I have. I feel around with one hand for the shovel. My other hand holds the flashlight aimed at the rat. I’m afraid to take my eyes off it. My hand bumps against the shovel and I pick it up. Time for something a bit more proactive.

As I rise quickly from my squat, I fling the shovel head towards the rat. It hits it dead on! I hear a loud squeak and it disappears. I need to get the hell out of this nightmare.

Now to find that door to freedom. I walk forward, searching the darkness with my flashlight. I notice dim gray light filtering in further ahead. I look up and I see dirt crusted windows high on the dirt and stone walls. Too high up for me to reach and the windows are too small for me to climb through. I need to find the damn door.

My light finally rests on some wood stairs. Yes! I hurry to the steps and see a thick wood door. If I’m real lucky the door isn’t locked. I say a small silent prayer that it isn’t. On closer inspection, the stairs are looking pretty bad. Some are broken with large gaping holes. There are probably about thirty steps leading up to the door.

Standing here, I give Tee a pet, settle him more firmly in the satchel and put my foot on the first step.

“Here goes nothing, my furry friend.” I croak out. My voice is rusty from dirt and thirst. I place my feet close to the sides of the steps. My thinking is that they will be more solid there. I hope.

I take another step, then another. I’m about half way up when I hear the step beneath my foot crack. Damn it, I need to slow down. In my haste, I step too close to the middle and the step gives out underneath my foot. My leg goes through the step and I grab the railing. I drop my flashlight and hear it hit the ground. At least the railing held.

I slowly pull my leg up, put my foot on the step above and keep moving. I’m more aware of where I put my feet and finally after what seems like ages reach the top step. I grab the handle of the door and push. Nothing happens. Oh, crap.

I’m not going back. That is not an option. So I grab the door handle again, turn it and give it a bigger push. It’s not locked! It opens a few inches, then stops. Who knows when it was last opened. Ok, I need to give it all I got. Which at this point is not much. I take a deep breath, brace myself and put my shoulder to the door. I push with what energy and strength I can muster. It slowly opens wider.

Just when I think Tee and I have made it I hear it. The stairs are giving under my feet! The next few seconds happen like they were in slow motion. I feel the stairs giving beneath my feet, I push in desperation against the door. It finally opens the same time the steps fall away. I jerk my body inside the opening and hear the steps crash. We made it!

I take a minute to catch my breath. Looking around, it seems we are in the kitchen part of the house. I don’t care where we are, we are out of the dark and out of the hole. Now to get out of the house.

It’s dark in here too, but not because it’s night. The windows are boarded up solid. There is enough light to avoid the odds and ends of things scattered. I try the back door of the kitchen. Locked tight and its solid wood. I need to find a window or a door with glass and try to break through that way.

I’ll try the main part of the house. I notice the dust and the cobwebs as I walk through a connecting doorway. The dining room, the long fancy table was still there and a few chairs. Nothing for me here.

I trudge into the foyer. Large, with a high ceiling. If I was more in the mood, it would impress me. Right now, I’m just thinking of fresh air and water. I move further west in the house and come across what looks to be a home office. With a fireplace. The fireplace has a poker. It’s not a crowbar, but it’ll work on the boards across a door or window.

I walk back into the foyer and try the front door. Locked of course. I walk east into what looks like a sitting room. A room with big windows. I take the poker and slam it against one of the windows as hard as I can. It shatters. Glass showers down around me, but I don’t care. What’s a few more cuts? My mind is set on one thing. Getting out.

Now for the boards. I use the poker to finish breaking the glass around the edges of the window, then I tackle the boards. Compared to everything else I have had to do to get out, the boards were the easy part.

Sunshine and fresh air meet us as I step out the broken window. I take Tee out of the satchel and set him on the ground.

I take several deep breaths of the clean air. Now to find a way back into town. I’m not sure who is going to pick up a hitchhiker in a sports bra, covered with dirt and blood, but I’m alive. I’m thinking these thoughts as I walk towards the front of the house. I feel like I’m a hundred years old. I’m so thirsty I could drink just about anything. Then I spot something that makes me smile. I pick up Tee and start running.

I see Angela’s SUV. I might not have to hitchhike after all. My luck is definitely coming back.




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Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ I

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Inside Where?


I start to bust up the crates and build my fire higher. I still need to reserve the battery in the flashlight. I don’t know what’s on the other side of this wall, I might need it. I’m finally on the last crate and give it a kick to bust it up. This one isn’t empty like the others.

I take a stick and start to dig through the insides of the crate. I see a major mouse nest. That must be why Tee started digging at the wall. A mouse-hole. Under the nest, I hit something metal. I scrape the nest aside and see a shovel. My luck is turning! I scrape more of the nest away and grab the shovel.

Now this is something I can use. Damn it. The shovel has no handle. Just a broken off piece of wood sticks up from the shovel head. This must be where they threw broken tools away, as I come up to some more metal in the bottom of the crate. A broken pliers that look to be decades-old. A few more pieces of tools, but nothing whole.

I manage to finish busting up the crates. Now to start digging my way out of this hole.

Hours later I’m about four feet inside the wall. I’m digging the hole big enough for my body to crawl through. I take a break. I need to find something to put the loose dirt on and drag it out. Otherwise, I’m just digging more than I need to. I’m dirt covered from head to toe. Itchy from where the dirt turned to mud with my sweat.

I’m dying of thirst. My mouth feels like the inside of this hole. I’m not stopping though. I’m afraid if I do, I won’t start again. I got about another four feet to dig. I can feel a stale breeze through the tunnel I’m digging. That and my temper is the only thing keeping me going.

I’m angry as hell. I plan on getting out of here, finding Angela and that goon and kicking some major ass.

Searching around to find something to pile the dirt on to drag it out of the tunnel, I find nothing. Ok, time to get creative. I take off my shirt, tie the arms together to make a loop. I can use the body of the shirt to pile the dirt on, the arms tied together to drag it out of the tunnel. I have my sports bra on and who’s going to see me anyway.

I start digging again. Every once in a while Tee comes inside the tunnel to check on me. Otherwise, he’s in the bigger room laying down in front of the hole watching me. He did his part. Now it’s time for me to do mine.

I’m almost there. A couple more feet of digging and I can crawl my way to the bigger space. I’m exhausted. I need water. I need food. I need a shower. First though I have to live long enough to get those things. My arms feel like lead. My hands are blistered and bleeding, but I’m still alive. With each shovel of dirt, my anger builds. I let it.

I have no idea what time it is. My watch died hours ago. Too much dirt. I’m finally at the end. I burst through the hole and collapse in the other space. I’m so damn tired. I just lay there on the dirt floor. I don’t even have enough energy to lift my head and take a look around. I close my eyes. Just a minute. I need just a minute.

I wake to Tee’s tongue on my face. His whines wake me further. How long was I asleep? I don’t have a clue as I struggle to sit up. I groan as my body aches all over. I need to find my flashlight and the satchel. The shirt I know is history. Towards the end I couldn’t even use it anymore, it’s in shreds. Oh god, I don’t want to crawl through that tunnel, but I have to. The flashlight is on the other side.

I take a deep breath and move my body through the tunnel. I grab the satchel with the flashlight inside. I notice the fire has burnt itself down to nothing. I must have been out for hours. Time to get out of here for good.

I crawl back and join Tee. Taking the flashlight, I shine it’s light around. The place is huge. Dirt floor and dirt walls. There are barrels sitting around, it looks to me like it used to be a wine cellar. I’m under the mansion! That means there has got to be a door leading to the main house somewhere. Then I hear Tee growl. A deep growl from that little dog is unusual. I shine the light to where he is looking and see a couple of red beady eyes.

I grab Tee up with one hand before he can run after those red eyes. I am looking at the biggest damn rat I have ever seen in my life! The thing is huge and it’s staring right at me and Tee.




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Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ H

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!


ABC'S of Death book cover (4)


Helping Paws


I turn the flashlight back on and take another look around. I guess I’m on my own getting out of here. I have no intention of me and Tee dying in some dark, dank hole in the ground. I put Tee down on the ground. I’m reasonably certain no snakes are here and I’m going to need both hands to deal with the situation.

I take stock of how high the hole is from me. It’s got to be at least fifteen feet, maybe closer to twenty. I wonder if the crates could help. I take a closer look. They look like your ordinary wooden crates, who knows how long they’ve been down here. I try to move one. Crap, they must have been down here for years as it just falls apart as I move it. There won’t be any climbing up those. Dammit.

I might not be able to climb them, but the crates will make a great fire. I don’t know how long I’m going to be down here and I need to conserve the battery life in the flashlight. So I start to build a fire right under the hole. I figure the hole will act as a chimney and draw the smoke up. The fire will also give off plenty of light and warmth.

If I’m real lucky the smoke will draw the attention of someone and they’ll investigate. A long shot, but what else have I got?

I build a nice pile of wood from the crate. I search Tee’s satchel. I know there is a lighter in there someplace. I remember putting it in there. It’s my brothers and I ‘borrowed’ it from him last time I saw him. Ok, I stole it. He likes to smoke cigars every once in a while and I hate the smell of the things, so I took his lighter and hid it in Tee’s satchel. Yeah, childish I know, but my brother irritates me sometimes.

I find the lighter and I also find my phone! Why didn’t I think of that before? I’ll just dial 911 and get the hell out of here! I look at the phone. Ah crap. No cell service. I’m too deep in the earth. My luck seems to have deserted me today.

Back to the fire. I light a small splinter of wood and stick it under the pile. It catches quickly and shoots upwards. I sit crossed legged in front of the fire and ponder my situation. It’s not good. I hear Tee digging in the background. Ah, leave him at it. He’ll tire quickly enough. I watch the fire flicker straight up. Without any breeze, it doesn’t dance like most fires will that are out in the open.

I lose track of how long I’m sitting in front of that fire. My eyes watch the flames, but my mind flashes through my short thirty-two years. Is this what knowing you are going to die is like? Remembering odd things like the time my brother Mac stole my crayons and melted them down in some kind of experiment. I remember I cried for days. I was about five at the time. My mom bought me a brand new box of sixty-four Crayola’s. The kind with the sharpener built-in the box.

My mind finally registers what my eyes have been seeing for a while. The flames are dancing. I come out of my stupor fast. The flames are dancing! That means they are getting air from somewhere down here. If they are getting air from down here, that means the air is coming from somewhere other than this hole!

I hear very faint scratching sounds. Tee? Where the hell is Tee?

“Tee!” I try to stand up and my legs feel like pins and needles are stabbing them. Damn, I must have been sitting here feeling sorry for myself a lot longer than I thought.

“Tee!” I yell again as I switch the flashlight on and take a look around. I listen, I hear faint scratching sounds. I sure hope while I was having a pity party Tee didn’t get himself stuck somewhere. I yell his name again and hear his barking from the side of the hole where I haven’t searched. It didn’t look like much was over there but a few more broken crates.

The barking is coming from the other side of those broken crates. I walk to the back side of them and see a hole behind them close to the ground. What the hell? The scratching sound is coming from the hole! Tee? There’s just enough room to kneel down next to the small Tee size hole, so I do and call Tee’s name again. Sure enough, the barking is coming from the hole.

I put my eye to the hole and shine the light through it. I also feel a slight breeze against my face. It’s not fresh air like outside air, but it’s a sight fresher than what I’ve been breathing. That means Tee has dug himself into a bigger space than here! Maybe there was a way out of here yet.

“Damn Tee, you might have saved our asses!” I say this out loud and watch a familiar small body scurry through the hole towards me. I sit up just as he reaches me. He’s filthy, his tongue is hanging out with thirst and he’s the best thing I’ve seen in ages.

I hug him and set him back down. Now it’s time to get my sorry ass to work. First to move these crates so I can get better access to the hole. Second to start digging my way out just like Tee did. Even if I have to use my hands to do it.

“Tee, you are one damn smart dog. Let’s get to work.”




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Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ G

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!


ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Getting Out?


I catch Tee before he hits the ground. I’m just glad at this moment that he’s not a Saint Bernard. The crazy dog is licking my face like it was last nights steak dinner.

“All right Tee. That’s enough.”

I settle him in my arms. I don’t want to let him down on the ground as I’m not sure what is sharing this hole with us, if anything. There could be snakes and I didn’t save my buddy just so he could get bit by a snake.

Snakes? Oh great. Now I’ve put that idea in my head. I hate snakes. I hope Angela gets back with that flashlight soon. I stand in that small circle of light that is filtering through the open hole. This has been a long morning.

“Dee! I got the flashlight and the satchel.” I hear Angela’s voice overhead. Her head appears as she lowers the satchel and lets go. I catch it with the hand that’s not holding Tee.

“I put the flashlight inside. I spotted a ladder in one of the sheds. I’ll drag it over here. Hang on!” She disappears again. I sure hope it doesn’t take her long with the ladder. I want out of here.

I kneel down and search through the satchel. I find the nice heavy flashlight and turn it on. Still holding Tee, I flash the light around. I don’t see any snakes. I also don’t see any other way out. There are some old crates on one side. The hole is bigger than I thought it would be. Going back several feet. From what I could see, it was about twelve by twelve feet. Someone had used it to store stuff.

I’m not going to be down here long enough to worry about the crates. Angela should be here soon with the ladder.

“Dee! I’ve got the ladder!” I hear metal clattering and see her pop her head over the hole again.

“Damn, I didn’t know ladders could be so heavy. Let me catch my breath then I’ll slide it down to you. I sure hope it’s long enough.”

“Anything is better than nothing. Thanks, Angela.”

“Ok, let’s do this,” Angela says, as her head disappears again. I hear the metal of the ladder clatter again then a muffled scream.

“Angela! You ok up there?” I hear nothing for several seconds.

“Angela!!” I yell again. A head appears over the hole once more. The face is in shadow, but the head doesn’t look like Angela’s.

“Well, well, well. What do we ‘ave here? It’s Dorothy and her little dog Toto! Guess you ain’t in Kansas anymore, eh?”

Crap. I know that voice. The thug from this morning.

“That must make you one of the flying monkeys then.” I answer. What’s the jerk going to do? Throw me in a hole?

“Bitch! You broke my damn finger this morning.”

“Didn’t your mother ever teach you to keep your hands to yourself? Consider it a lesson learned.”

“We’ll see who learns the lesson. You’ll ‘ave a bit of time to learn yours. Have fun starving in your hole, bitch.”

I didn’t say anything. The jerk has a point. Dammit.

“Here I thought you would enjoy teaching me a lesson yourself.” Maybe I can goad him to get me out of this hole. At least I’d have more of a chance.

“I would normally, but I got orders to find the deed to this place. Bimbo here is gonna tell me where it’s at. Eventually.”

I didn’t like the sound of his laugh as he disappears from view. I turn off my flashlight and step back into the dark. I didn’t want to take any chances that he might decide to shoot me instead.

Minutes pass without further noise or voices overhead. The sinking feeling in my gut tells me they’re gone.

“Hey, jerk!” I yell. “Come and deal with me yourself! Or are you afraid of a woman?”

Nothing but silence answers me back.

Ah, crap.



I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 


Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ F

If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

Falling In

“Where’s your car?” I ask Angela.

“Over here.”

“I want to see this Wenner place. You got time to take me?” I start following Angela to her car. I want to see this property that has someone so interested they would send a thug to hustle Angela.

“I canceled all my appointments for this week. Between Tony’s death and threats to me, I couldn’t possibly work.” Angela digs out some keys and pushes the remote. I hear some locks unlock from a Cadillac SUV Escalade about ten feet from us. We get in the SUV and buckle up. I put Tee in the backseat with his satchel.

“We can stop someplace for breakfast on the way out,” I tell her. I was hungry and it’s been a long morning already.

Angela glances over at me and grimaces. “You just beat up some guy! How can you possibly think of food right now!”

“I didn’t beat him up. I stopped him from hurting you.”

“Where did you learn that stuff Dee? It all happened so fast!”

“I’ve been taking lessons for years. Anyway, that’s not important. Do you have the deed to this Wenner place?”

“No. Tony had it since he owned most of the place. I own forty percent, he owned the rest. The deed must be in his house somewhere.”

“Tony had that much money? A stand-up comic?” I ask, but I’m looking for a place to eat. I’m hungry and I’m sure Tee wouldn’t mind a bite. He loves scrambled eggs.

“Oh, he only was a comedian since he retired. It was always a dream of his to become a comedian. He made all his money in real estate. Tony owned one of the biggest real estate offices in Ashville. He started before Ashville became popular with the rich and famous.”

I see a well-known chain restaurant, known for its breakfast twenty-four hours a day. It was good enough for me. I point it out to Angela and tell her to stop there.

We stop and have a fast breakfast. I take some of the scrambled eggs out to Tee, who’s waiting patiently in the SUV. My mind is mulling over all Angela has told me about Tony. Seems he got into the real estate business just in time to cash in on the boom in Ashville. Made millions over the years and finally was able to retire and live his dream of playing in clubs as a stand-up comic. He sounds like he was a stand-up guy all around.

Forty-five minutes later Angela pulls onto a run down gravel road that leads to the Wenner mansion. Even I could see it would make a good area for an exclusive hotel. It sat on some good land, a bit overgrown with weeds now, but I saw the potential. It also was only fifteen minutes away from a ritzy yacht club on the ocean.

I’m looking around as Angela maneuvers the SUV to avoid some major potholes, when the mansion suddenly comes into view.

For being neglected for so long, it was surprisingly intact. Overgrown rose bushes and weeds were everywhere, but the building itself was eye-catching. As my uneducated eye looks the mansion over, it looks to me like something out of the Great Gatsby movies. Impressive.

“The house doesn’t look too bad,” I say to Angela as she stops and parks in what I imagine was once a grand circular driveway.

We get out of the SUV and I take a look around. That’s when I start to notice the various holes all around. Must be where people were digging for the gold.

“The house is in great shape considering. No one bothered with it, they were more interested in the grounds, as that is supposedly where old man Wenner had the gold buried. In some kind of underground vault is the rumor.” Angela steps carefully over some rubble.

“Let’s take a quick look around,” I suggest.

“Ok, but be careful, there are holes everywhere and some of them quite deep,” Angela warns me.

People are strange. To go out and dig holes all over just because of some decades-old rumor of gold. Gold has a way of making people crazy. Gold fever is real. Me, I’m not interested in finding the stuff. I’m just interested in finding out if Tony was killed because of some myth that there was gold buried here.

By now we’re behind the house in what looked like what used to be a pretty fancy garden. I could still see parts of hedges and flower beds. Years of dead leaves and overgrown grass rustle beneath our feet. We skirt a few holes and walk slightly off a faded path when I hear an ominous cracking sound underfoot.


We must have stepped on a hidden hole that had been covered with leaves and grass.  The wood was old and weathered and couldn’t hold our combined weight. Seconds flashed by as I give Angela a hard shove off the boards and feel the wood give beneath my feet. This was going to hurt.

I’m laying flat on my back and looking up at the concerned face of Angela. I must have fallen a good fifteen feet. Good thing the dirt was soft. Well, softer than rock anyway. I’m trying to catch the breath that was knocked out of me as I hear Angela calling my name.

“Dee! Dee! Oh my god, Dee! Are you alright?”

I hear Tee barking up there and Angela calling my name, but I have no breath to answer. Finally in a big gasp, air comes back into my lungs. I  cough as the dust I raised when I fell starts to settle around me. I start to take inventory of my limbs. Nothing broke, but damn that hurt.

I struggle up and try to take a look around. It’s dark and smells of the earth. I need some light. And a ladder.

“I’m Ok!” I gasp. “Can you find me a flashlight? And a ladder or rope? Also, get Tee’s satchel and throw it down to me. There might be some things in the outer pockets I can use.”

Tee is still barking as Angela answers me. “I have a flashlight in the car. I’ll see if I can find a ladder in one of the sheds.”

I hear her move off and try to calm Tee down. “Quiet Tee! That’s a good boy!”

I’m looking up at him when I see him move closer to the hole. “Stay back Tee!” I yell, but it’s too late.

I see the dirt shift under his feet and see him slide. He scrambles to get back, but it’s no use. With dirt falling around me, I watch as Tee slides through the hole and starts falling.



I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks! 

Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ E

I’m not going to list each preceding chapter every day. It would get much too long.  If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)


The morning comes full of bright sunshine. Tee and I had a good nights sleep and now he was dancing in front of the door.

“Hang on buddy. Let me grab a shower first.”

I take a quick shower and dress. I put Tee in his leather bag and head downstairs. My thoughts are on the new case as Tee makes a few visits to nearby bushes. We found a nice small park near the hotel, deserted this time of the morning. Tee is enjoying some freedom from the hotel room. So am I.

While Tee is sniffing every bush and tree in the park, my mind is going over what I know about this case so far. Which is damn little. I need to talk to Tony’s daughter. I also need to have a look inside Tony’s house. If the cops weren’t looking at anything but suicide, there might be something of interest inside. I want to pay a visit to the club Tony was playing at too. Talk to a few people. See if they knew of anyone that had it in for Tony Baloney.

I pull out my phone and punch in Angela’s number. I need the daughters address.

“Hey, Angela.”

“Dee. I’m waiting for the cab so I can pick up my car. I should be there in about fifteen minutes.”

“Bring the number for Cynthia when you come. I want to pay her a visit today.”

“Here’s the cab. I got the number and her address for you. See you soon.”

I hang up thinking Angela sounds more like herself this morning. Efficient. I whistle for Tee and head back to the hotel.

I reach the hotel parking lot just as I see Angela get out of the cab. Tee and I are still on the other side of the parking lot when I spot a man walk up to Angela. Something didn’t feel right to me, even from here. I trust my gut feelings. I speed up to a quick walk, almost a jog, when I see the guy grab Angela’s arm. I hear their raised voices, his angry, her’s scared.

This jerk raises his other hand and slaps Angela. Just as I reach them I hear him say, “Leave things alone lady, or you’ll get hurt.”

There are two things I hate more than anything, one is a person abusing an animal, the other is a bully. This guy was a bully. You could see it in his lidded eyes and thin-lipped sneer.

“Hey, asshole! Get your hands off her!” I get his attention.

“Keep moving lady. This ain’t none of your business.” He still has a large hand grasped around Angela’s arm.

I move right up on them. I grab one finger of the hand that’s on Angela and pull back. Surprise I was taught is sometimes your biggest ally. The idiot yells as I pull that finger back some more.

“You bitch! I’ll kill ya!”

“Who are you working for?” I ask him because guys like this are never the brains. They are just dumb muscle.

“Fuck off!” He yells. Yeah, not very original.

“I would suggest that for yourself,” I tell him as I let him go. I knew he wouldn’t take his own advice.

He reaches behind his back and pulls out a gun.

“I hate guns,” I tell him as I kick him. I didn’t tell him I had a black belt in jujitsu. I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

I step into him and hit his arm off to the side. I stomp his foot and having on my biker boots I know it hurts like hell. I know jujitsu, but I also fight dirty. If someone is going to draw a gun on me, they are going to get hurt. Better him than me. As I toss him over my shoulder and he hits the pavement I grab his throat. My thumb is on his jugular. I know it hurts. I’ve been on the receiving end of it in training.

This guy is out of shape. Lazy. If you are going to be muscle, at least have some. I put more pressure on his jugular.

“Lay still.” I tell him. He quiets down. His eyes are looking at me and they are telling me that I’m dead if he can figure out a way to do it. I’m not worried.

“You tell your boss to lay off Angela. You also tell him that I’ll be around for a while. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I’ll find out. You got that?”

He blinks a few times. I take that as a yes and let up. I grab his gun off the ground and stick it in the back of my jeans. I’ll get rid of it later. One less gun off the streets.

Dumb ass is gasping for breath as he gets up. He’s holding his sore throat. Drunkenly he lurches toward the back of the hotel. I’m thinking he has a car back there. I let him go. I want word to get to his boss. Because something is up and Angela has got her pretty blonde self smack in the middle of it.

I look at her. “What the hell did he want?”

She’s holding Tee and hiding her face in his fur. “Angela!”

She jerks her head up and looks at me. I see the red mark on her cheek from when Stupid slapped her but see no tears. I walk up to her.

“What is going on Angela? What did he want?”

“He asked me where the deed was.”

“What deed? To what?”

“The old Wenner estate. Tony and I bought it together a few months ago. It was up for auction for back taxes. It’s run down from decades of neglect, but it sits on some good acreage. We had plans to fix the mansion up into a small exclusive hotel, spa, and nightclub.”

“Doesn’t sound like something to kill over.”

As the words are coming out of my mouth, Angela gives me a strange look. “What aren’t you telling me?” I demand.

“There are rumors that old man Wenner, back in the twenties, hid some gold bullion somewhere on the estate. Tony and I didn’t believe it as people have been trespassing and looking for this gold for years and not finding a thing! Can that be what they want?”

An old estate. An eccentric old man. A gold bullion legend. A thug who talks and looks like a Mafia wannabe?

Add one possible murder and the attack on Angela. What have I got?

Oh, crap.

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