Lewis Bradley has a unique gift. He can read the minds of the people he passes. This gift forced him into hiding from the evil thoughts of this world.
End of the previous chapter.
Two hours later, Caleb and I leave the police station to start back home.
"I have a headache, Caleb. I'm so exhausted."
"I can't quit thinking about Mrs. Hernandez, Lew. What will happen to that family now?"
"I talked to Ben. He's going to try and get the charges dropped on Ronald, but he's still an accessory to murder. He'll probably have to serve some time. I agree with you, Mrs. Hernandez lost both of her sons today."
"What can we do, Lew?"
"All I know to do is pray. I have something I want you to do."
"I want you to take us home, then hug Kathy and Amy and tell them you love them."
Caleb smiles. "I can do that."
For the first time in many years, I had to take pain pills to get any sleep. The headache I had yesterday refuses to stop throbbing - now, the tips of my fingers tingle when I start the coffee. My left side seems sluggish and stiff to move. What's happening to me?
With a sudden involuntary twitch of my head, the symptoms subside.
I study my hands then raise them over my head. They still work. I have no idea what just happened. A doctor's visit is out of the question. If this condition returns, I need to take some steps to make sure everything is covered.
Oh, no. Someone left a newspaper beside my computer. I remember the last time I saw a paper, the future was plastered all over the front page. Later that day, the mayor was gunned down. I didn't believe it would happen and never tried to stop it. I refused to look at a newspaper again, and it's also why I won't watch the news.
I can't control myself. The more I try not to read the headline, the more my eyes draw towards it. My headache returns when a headline arrives on the paper.
City Councilman, Aaron Gray Murders Wife, and Son! Officer Horace Lang shoots Gray. At 12:48 this morning. Aaron Gray stormed into his home on 3215 Stonecreek Drive. Murdering his wife, Amanda, then vacating the house with his son, Anson. Officer Lang arrived when the suspect placed his gun against the boy's head. The officer demanded Gray to drop the weapon. Gray then fired, killing his son. The officer fired one shot, killing Councilman Gray.
I look at the digital clock on my computer; it's only 12:13. I've got thirty-five minutes to stop it from happening. I could call the police, but they will never believe me. Caleb just went to bed; I'm not bothering them. Yeah, call a cab, if I can get one out here?
Do I still have Yellow Cab on speed dial? I press 16, and it starts to ring. A gruff dispatcher answers, "Yellow Cab." It sounds like I woke him up.
"I need a cab to the corner on 16th and Central, the old Brown Shoe Company. It's an emergency!"
"And pigs need wings to fly, ain't happening, mister! Not in that neighborhood."
"I've got a two-hundred-dollar tip for the first cabbie to get here."
"That will get somebody there in a hurry. Be waiting outside, please."
"Not a problem." I hear a click, then a dial tone.
There's a food timer sitting on the counter. Glancing at my computer, it says 12:18. I have exactly thirty minutes to stop the destruction of a family. I set the timer for thirty minutes, grab my coat, and collect five, one hundred dollars from my desk drawer.
There are no stars in the night sky, which enhances the darkness. The streetlight seems dim even though I'm directly below it. I check the timer; there's still twenty-seven minutes.
Two headlights penetrate the darkness. The motor screams as the cab races down the street - then slams on the brakes. The cabbie rolls down the window. "Are you the man with an emergency?"
"Yes, sir!" I open the door and jump in.
"I don't move until I have the cash." I hand him two one hundred dollar bills. "Okay, where to?"
"3215 Stonecreek Drive. We need to be there in twenty-five minutes."
"I'll have to break several traffic laws to get there on time."
"I think another hundred will cover that, don't you?"
The cabbie smiles in the rearview mirror. "You better buckle up and hold on, mister."
"Yes, sir!" He has a strange thing on his head. It looks like a woman's hair bun. Who knew?
The cabbie puts it in gear, and with smoking tires, he spins the cab around then soars down the street. He then pulls onto I-240, a bypass around Memphis. "We'll take 240 over to Poplar Avenue. It will be getting through all subdivisions that will take time."
"I trust God and you that we'll make it on time."
The driver glances at me in the mirror. "I like you, mister. There's a hint of crazy in you."
"You have no idea, my friend."
"What are we on the way to do?"
"Stop three murders."
This time, his dark green eyes meet mine in the mirror. "Then, we need to get going!" He speeds up ninety miles per hour.
The Poplar Avenue exit is up ahead. "Hold on, mister." The force of the turn pins me against the door. "Get ready for the slalom ahead."
"I hope this cab can ski as well as soar?"
"With me behind the wheel, Betty can do anything." The tires squeal while we round corner after corner after corner. Then finally. "We've got a straight shot for a few minutes."
Betty, the cab, is racing down Parkway Boulevard. I check the timer, we've still got ten minutes. Thank God, my headache has eased a little. "What's your name, my friend?"
"Riley Matthews. What's yours?"
"Lew Bradley. It's nice to meet you, Riley."
"Same here, you better hold on, Lew. Here we go again."
Betty careens around another corner. "Two more turns, and we should be at Stonecreek."
"I wonder why we haven't seen police?"
"All of them are working an accident on Sam Cooper."
"How do you know that?"
"I have a police radio under my seat."
Riley slows Betty down when we turn onto Stonecreek Drive. "What was the house number again, Lew?"
"3215, it should be in the next block."
Riley stops at the four-way, then slowly down the street. "Here it is, Lew."
"Stop before you get there." I check the timer; we still have five minutes.
Riley parks Betty, I get out and walk to his window. "Here's your other hundred, Riley. I can't thank you enough."
"Not a problem, Lew. I was bored, anyway. I'll stick around to see how things turn out."
"You're a good soul, my friend."
"I wish you would tell my wife that." We both laugh.
Walking into the yard, I feel a powerful sense of dread. It begins to press on my mind. "I'm stopping you tonight, Satan." Suddenly, I hear a car door slam. A man appears on the sidewalk with a determined posture, and I can feel his rage from here. He doesn't see me standing by the large tree. The security lights trigger when I step on the sidewalk in front of the house.
Councilman Gray stops in his tracks. "Who are you?"
"Nobody important, but I'm here to stop you from murdering your wife."
"What are you talking about?"
"I want you to know that you will never make it out of the front yard without killing Anson. Yes, your son."
The lights come on inside of the house. I hear the front door unlock then turn when the door opens. "Please, Mrs. Gray, stay inside. Let us work this out." She sees her husband then slams the door. I turn back to Aaron.
He pulls out a large gun then points it at my head. "I will not let her take him away from me!"
He's close enough now for me to read his thoughts. "All of this rage is about the affair you had with your secretary. Your wife has already forgiven you. Aaron, you need to deal with your guilt. Forgive yourself." I hear sirens blaring down Stonecreek. "You know she doesn't want this divorce."
Two Memphis Police cruisers stop in front of the house. Both officers get out with guns drawn then walk in our direction. "Lower your weapon, sir."
"It's all right, Officers. Let me talk to him."
A needless shot fired from a patrolman, and time seems to change. Slowly, I dive in front of Aaron, knocking the gun from his hand. It's like I can see the bullet coming for me, but I can't move fast enough. My left shoulder erupts in pain. I collapse to the ground.
Faces surround me from above. Their thoughts begin to fill my mind until the darkness takes me.