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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: October 17, 2021      Views: 84
Chapters:
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Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
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Chapter 22 of the book Running Blind
Analiese Gets A Call; Detective Lembowsky Gets A Hunch
"Running Blind~Chapter Twenty-two" by Sally Law



Previously, in Chapter Twenty-one,

The old security guard was as quiet as ever, and shuffled along in front of Tony until he came to the double doors of the main lockup. Two men checking off their community service were working together to clean up an overturned meal cart, with buckets, mops, and yellow cones tossed about. "What's this?" questioned the guard.

"What does it look like? Go around to the side door," said the bossiest of the two.

The guard nodded to the men as they turned the corner, giving himself away. Alfanzi was prepared though, clever cat that he was. He'd seen this betrayal coming from the substandard security guard, no doubt hired by the murderous Eugene.

The warden appeared, seemingly out of nowhere.

"Hello, Warden. I think they're planning to do me in. Bet you a pack of smokes the old man has a knife, fresh from the kitchen in his pocket!"

Sure enough, a knife was in the security guard's pants leg, but not of the kitchen variety. "An X-ACTO knife!" the warden exclaimed. "Planning on doing some Christmas crafts?"

The guard and the two orderlies remained silent until the prison police arrived and hauled them away.

The grateful warden threw a pack of menthols into the air; Alfanzi catching it with cuffed hands. "Two a day in the outside smoking area. The attending guard will light you up. Don't abuse my kindness, Tony. Understood?"

Christmas had come early for the prison snitch, or had it?

{Chapter Twenty-two}

Opportunist and criminal mastermind, Tony Alfanzi, was enjoying his first smoke in the designated area of the prison yard. The twelve-foot fence surrounding the compound was electrified; and there was no way to breach it, although many had tried. Even so, after meeting with his fancy pants, highly overpayed lawyer, he was seriously considering it.

A storm moved in just as he was crushing a smoldering cigarette with his toe. A bolt of lightning, the sight and sound of which he had never experienced before, struck the prison, snuffing the power for a few minutes before it ramped back up.

"That's it! All I need is a power outage and I'm home free. I'll be on my sailboat headed for Barbados!"

Grandiose as it was, the escape plan wasn't that far-fetched. The wheels began to turn in Alfanzi's mind, for the weather in the coming days was predicted to be foul.

The outside guard came near, unusually chipper, and singing a tune:
Six months ain't no sentence, and a year ain't no time
They got boys down in Angola doin' one year to ninety-nine....


"Your time's up," announced the guard, unlocking the door. The way he sang it, and the dark look in his eyes, sent chills up Alfanzi's spine.

*********

The quiet at the DeWoody's home in Blue Creek Arkansas was interrupted when the land line rang off the wall, waking trial witness Analiese Irving from a deep sleep. "BRRRING...! BRRRING...!"

Who could that be at this early hour? she wondered, throwing off the covers.

A tap at the door announced her host. "Ms. Irving.... It's the FBI. They want to speak with you."

"Thank you, Russ. Give me a sec."

"I'll tell him you're coming..."

Ana laced her arms through the flannel bathrobe as she stumbled out of bed. "Who, exactly, is on the phone?"

"Agent Ken Washburn...."

She raced to the hall, forgetting her slippers. "Ken's on the phone?" The very mention of Ken Washburn sent her heart pounding.

"Yeah... It sounds important," commented Russ, trying to suppress a smile. "The cord will stretch to the back porch if you'd like to take the call outside. I'll bring you some hot coffee when it's brewed. How do you like it?"

"That would be great, Russ. Cream and two sugars, please."

Analiese was out the door and sitting curled up in the chair before she answered, "Ken... is it really you?"

"Yes, Your Majesty. I see you have another man serving your coffee just the way you like it. Strangely, I miss you...."

"I miss you too, Cowboy. And, thank you. It's to you and Fred that I owe my life.... By the way, how is the case progressing? Have they caught the guy?"

"You know my lips are sealed, Ana. It's our job to keep you safe until the trial is over. Can we change the subject, please?"

"Okay.... How are you?"

"I thought you'd never ask. I'm healing nicely. Three officers from Lafayette Township PD saved my life. They took turns carrying me on their backs for miles. Detective Jackson Law and King stayed with me on the Medevac."

"They're good people, that group...." Analiese's voice began to tremble.

"What is wrong? Too early to talk about the gory details?"

"No.... This is all my fault. None of this would have happened if it weren't for me...!"

"Stop it right now! This is not your fault! You're a brave woman. It takes a strong person to turn around and amend their ways. Your ex is the criminal in this story... he and his hirelings."

The storm door creaked open followed by Russ DeWoody, balancing a box of tissues and a mug of steaming coffee with finesse. Analiese wiped her eyes and smiled at the kind keeper of the castle.

"You're right. I'm feeling stressed. I wish I could see you--to make sure you're alright."

"Why, Ms. Irving! You just lied to me! I know you'd love to see me in this unmodest hospital gown. It's shameless what they make me wear here! My cowboy boots were completely blood-soaked and forever ruined! Five hundred smackers down the drain because of you, princess!" he teased. "Yet, it's so worth it to know you're going to make it to the trial."

Ignoring his wicked sense of humor, she asked the all important question. "Ken, will you be there?"

"Wouldn't miss it."

**********

Things were heating up at the Izard's plantation in Black Bayou Creek. Detective Mike Lembowsky had a gnawing in his gut, as he remembered the wisdom of his years: alone is never good. He circled back around to head towards his partner, Miles Jean-Baptiste, guarding the entrance to the bayou. He turned off his communication with the FBI, and hurried through the rows of sugar cane.

As suspected, the wanted assassin wasn't too far from Jean-Baptiste and Samson, standing behind a willow tree.

Eugene tottered as he took aim at the tall lieutenant, struggling to keep his eyes fixed. He cocked his head, adjusting his scope for the kill.

A queasy feeling washed over him as a hunk of cold metal pressed his cheek. "Drop it, Izard, slow and easy...."

"You won't shoot me, Detective. I'm too valuable to you."

"Won't I?" Detective Lembowsky leaned closer. "You have zero seconds to put the rifle down."

With a deep sigh, the hired assassin gave up his assault weapon as Jean-Baptiste patted him down and stripped the hunting knife from his waist. "Oh... you'll live, alright. Death is too good for you!"

A heated flame appeared in Jean-Baptiste, imagining the hurt the killer had also brought upon his sister. The voice of God within the devout lieutenant stilled his anger.

Detective Lembowsky stepped in, noticing his partner was visibly shaken. "Eugene Izard, you're under arrest for the murder of Agent Fred Samuels, and the attempted murder of Agent Ken Washburn. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand your charges and your rights, Mr. Izard?"

Mustering all of his strength, he finally managed to croak out, "Yes, I understand. How'd you find..." At that, Eugene staggered backwards and hit the ground; his black, soulless eyes remained open, frozen on the foreboding sky.

Jean-Baptiste knelt to touch the back of his hand to Eugene's forehead. "He's burning up, Mike!" After a brief examination of his leg, he knew it was septic. "Let's get him to the copter. A thunderhead is brewing."

To be continued...

**********


{Main Characters}

Detective Sally Law, that's me, also known as The Blind Girl, Lead Detective for Lafayette Township Police Department: Cold Case Division. I'm also heiress to the Andre Dupree Art Collection and fortune.

Detective Jackson Law: my husband, and a consultant to the force.

King: my guide dog, Super dog, and ace crime-solver.

Detective Lieutenant Mike Lembowsky, Homicide, Lafayette Township Police Department. He also lives next door to us on Main Street in Lafayette Township. Buddy is his German Shepherd pup.

Detective Lieutenant Janelle Harris and her German Shepherd, Vanta.

Suzy Fleming: My personal assistant.

Detective Lieutenant Miles Jean-Baptiste, Lafayette Township Police Department: Cold Case Division; his bloodhound, Samson. He's also the brother to missing person, Camille Jean-Baptiste.

Sergeant Dina Ray: Lafayette Township Police Department.

Sheriff Greyson Holt: Sheriff of Frontier Country.

Agent Fred Samuels: Louisiana FBI, deceased.

Agent Ken Washburn: Louisiana FBI.

Dr. Marie MacLavish: Doctor M is the Tri-County Medical Examiner, and a Forensic Anthropologist; married to Alan.

Roy Fitzgerald Owens: Louisiana State Prosecutor.

Mr. Duran Gibbons: Former curator and owner of The Duran Gibbons Gallery of Fine Art. Mr. Gibbons' body is in cold storage awaiting forensic examination.

Lonnie Hastings: Lafayette Township senior citizen found dead, submerged in his car, along with Duran Gibbons.

Floyd and Boyd Clarkston: Local criminals for hire, now seeking a better life.

Criminal mastermind, Tony Alfanzi, AKA Anthony Fabio, and street name: Tony the Tiger. Likes to work alone unless it suits him to do otherwise. He has recently set his sights on The Blind Girl and her fortune.

Captain Will Moran: New Orleans Police Department.

Analiese Irving: Curator of The Fountain Gallery in New Orleans.

Spencer Whitehead: Buyer of 'Calla Lillies' for three million dollars.

Dwayne Cooper: "Big D" the Texas Truck driver.

Eugene Izard: Arranges contract killings. DNA has him linked to the assault of Camille Jean-Baptiste, AKA, Olivia Henry.

{Louisiana of 1990 and now}

Olivia Smith Henry: Amnesiac and missing person, Camille Jean-Baptiste.

Pastor Lyle Henry: Formerly the Pastor of River Ridge Mission Church and the community hostel. He is currently the Sheriff of River Ridge. He lives with his wife Olivia; and their daughter, Danielle.

Albert Lee Reynolds: Owner and proprietor of Al's Barbecue and Such; his wife, Shirley.

Cameo appearance by Russ DeWoody from my book, 'Double Blind.'

Recognized

The book continues with Running Blind~Chapter 23. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
The classic New Orleans song "Junco Partner" includes the lines:
Six months ain't no sentence, and a year ain't no time
They got boys down in Angola doin' one year to ninety-nine.

Photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/smoke-abstract-background-fumes-298243/@pixabay.com
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