The carbon monoxide from the muffler as it rattled beneath the rust covered shell of a van began to fill the inside and make Charles’ head hurt and feel a little woozy. His stomach also hurt from hunger that was setting in. He thought back and didn’t remember whether or not he had eaten within the last forty-eight hours. He looked over at Bash and his nearly emaciated body as he finally slept in the passenger seat of the van. His jaw hung slack and drool pooled on the shoulder of his blue Rams jacket.
Charles slowly turned the wheel of the van and brought the beast to a halt in front of yet another run down building. Rusty metal lay strewn about the gravel in front of the rust covered tin building. The frozen grass lay over the tangled metal as it lay dying, being frozen to death from the thick layer of ice that covered everything. Bash’s head fell to his chest as the van jerked to a stop. Drool that had been coming out of his mouth onto his shoulder now fell into his lap and he jerked his head up in attention.
“Wha’the fuck man,” Bash blurted out. Not exactly to Charles but more into the air. He was more than likely into a dream and it was a reaction to some left over memory of that situation.
“We’re here,” Charles did his best Poltergeist impression.
Bash shook himself in an apparent attempt to jostle awake. His arms reach outstretched in a high arching motion and he lets out a loud sigh. The faint smell of body odor fills the cabin of the van and Charles thinks he needs to remind himself to clean and sanitize that seat.
“You gonna set there all day?” Charles asked.
“I’m coming,” he said in mid yawn.
They pulled the equipment from the rear of the van and carried it into the warehouse. Glass from broken windows lay strewn on the concrete floor of the old abandoned factory. Bird feathers and feces covered the broken glass. The smell of dust and crap hung heavy in the air and covered the rusting equipment with a thick layer of dirt. The giant expanse of factory was dark and only a little sunlight from the grey day shined through the broken windows casting a faint glow onto Charles and Bash.
Charles noticed that the only artificial light in the building came from a small glass cube of a room in the middle of the factory. When he got closer he noticed that there were three men sitting around a card table. Brown bottles littered the table and floor around it. It appeared they had not moved in several hours.
A loud squeak cut the silence that filled the air as Charles pushed open the door to the room. Its inhabitants turned to the sound of the door and threw up their hand that held a pistol each.
Rainbow sat at the head of the table with his SIG Sauer P226 9mm raised and pointed at the door. On his right was Shawnda Day, also known as Piper, holding her Beretta 950 8mm steadied at Charles’ chest. To his left one of the men from rickety trailer, Charles knew him only as Tiger, held his Smith and Wesson .38. His hand not as steady as his two conspirators. His cherry red face poured with sweat, even though the temperature sat at less than forty degrees outside and snow fell like a blanket covering the factory. Laying in front of him was a white powder, drawn in 3 lines on the table.
“Put the fucking guns down you jerk-offs,” Charles announced as he entered through the doorway.
Rainbow was the first to sit his on the table beside him, the metal against metal clang echoed throughout the nearly empty building. “Where the fuck you been?”
“That stalker cop followed me for a bit so I didn’t want to come right here.”
“Well, good thinking. Lets see the stuff. Tiger here said its quality shit.”
“Why didn’t Tiger just bring it?”
“You don’t like doing pick-ups?” Rainbow countered.
“Of course I don’t. I don’t want to do this at all. I’m only doing it for the money and speaking of which you still owe me for the last two pick-ups.”
Rainbow reached around into the back pocket of his jeans and pulled out an overstuffed envelope and tossed it onto the table, scattering some of Tigers meth. “Sit down, Charles we’re having a little company meeting.”
Charles pulled up a seat next to Piper and Bash took a seat next to Tiger. Tiger slid him a straw and a mirror and Bash pulled a bag out of his pocket and dumped the content onto the table.
“You two wanna not do that while I’m talking. I said we were having a meeting not a party you fuck-nuts.” Rainbow said slamming his hand onto the table scattering beer bottles.
“Sorry, boss.” Bash commented.
Charles reached for the money and placed it into his own pocket.
Rainbow stood and walked around table until he reached Charles. He placed his hands on his brothers shoulders and squeezed, just a little. “I’ve got some good news for my baby brother.”
Everyone sat in silence, no one even looked at Rainbow much less breathed a sigh too loud as to be construed as a sound. “Does anyone wanna know what it is?”
“Sure, I do.” Charles said.
“Well, I always promised you that when Mom and Dad died that I would take care of you.”
“And you have.”
“Have I Charles? I know I did the best I could but I didn’t do a good job.”
“What’s the surprise Raymond?”
“Excuse me. As much as I hate this life, I have to have the money. I ain’t sold any music that amounts to shit yet.”
“Your dream is Nashville, huh?”
“Well I gotta plan to help you get there. Tiger here is gonna take over your job.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It’s a takeover Charles. Tiger’s gonna teach us to make the shit ourselves. We don’t need those other two fuckers. They are just cutting into profits. With us making it ourselves,” He swung his arms in a wide swooping motion, pointing out the expanse of the factory, “here, in this factory, we can triple profits and after one batch I got enough money to send you to Nashville.”
“That sounds good, Raymond, I mean great. I’m done then. When can I start packing?”
“First you gotta do something for me.”
Charles didn’t like his brothers tone and he knew nothing good would come of what he had to do.
Solid white filled the walls, bright solid white, almost glowing. It was a bare room with nothing but one white chair and one white table. In the middle of the table sat a heavy glass ashtray with a sign next to it that announced ‘no smoking’. A man whose face was so common, he might as well have been faceless, sat in the solid white chair. His head had a mop of brown hair, appeared as though it had not been washed in days, maybe weeks. Jacob could almost see the bugs crawling through it. He focused his attention to the black dirt under the mans fingernails as his hands rested on the table. His clothes were a mess, wet grey mud dripped from the mans work boots and blue jeans. Leaves covered his once light brown Carhartt coat.
“Where is he!”
The faceless man sat and said nothing, only smiled a toothy smile.
“Where the fuck is he!” Jacob yelled at the man, slamming a fist hard into the table.
“If you wont talk, then I’ll make you talk.”
The ashtray felt like a hundred pound weight in Jacob’s hand as he swung it onto the mans hand. Blood poured from his fingers and covered the white table.
Jacob jerked his head from the table of the Nowhere Inn. He read the clock, four forty five pm. He must have dosed off.
The newspaper hadn’t said anymore than the early edition and was what he had read before laying his head onto the table an hour ago. But lifting his head from the paper another article caught his attention.
Andre Macklin Trial On Hold
After the disappearance of Andre Macklin and the star witness to for the prosecution, the court has put the trial on hold until they can be located.
The article went on to explain that the man who had witnessed the shooting hadn’t returned home from work yesterday and that his wife reported him missing in the early morning hours.
Jacob slammed his fist into the paper, and thought that Andre must have found himself another detective, or paid someone in the department to give him the name. Probably cheaper than what he paid Jacob. He figured that he must have killed the witness then came to Jacob’s office to do the same, eliminate all witnesses.