This story is part of an ongoing series. The chronological order of my stories is listed in WifeWatchman's biography.
Feedback and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, and I encourage feedback for ideas.
This story contains graphic scenes, language and actions that might be extremely offensive to some people. These scenes, words and actions are used only for the literary purposes of this story. The author does not condone murder, racism, racial language, violence, rape or violence against women, and any depictions of any of these in this story should not be construed as acceptance of the above.
Part 12 - Night of the Iron Wolf
"And I can't stop 'til the whole world knows my nameCause I was only born inside my dreamsUntil you die for meAs long as there's a lightMy shadow's over youCause I am the opposite of amnesia"------ Fall Out Boy, 'Centuries'
Like throwing a disc golf disc backhanded, my right hand came across my chest as my arm extended to my right.
The shuriken flew across the room. Each one found an eye of a Deputy. I dropped to the floor, and their shotgun blasts fired well over me as they howled in pain.
Kenny had sprung out of his chair, and was bringing the large Ruger revolver up to fire at me. But he aimed at the wrong person (me), and he was not fast enough. Teresa was already flying up to him, and her forearm found his belly. He went down, doubled over, and Teresa had him turned over and his hands cuffed behind him before anyone realized it had happened.
As Teresa forced Kenny up and back to the chair he was sitting in, I went over and flung the Deputies's shotguns away, then zip-tied their hands behind them. Then I brought one over and put him in one of the hardback chairs... which had been meant for me and Teresa when were were captured... in a way that his manacled hands and arms were behind the backrest. Then I did the same for the other man onto the other chair. The shuriken were still embedded in their eyes, and they were whimpering in pain.
Harmon Belton had not moved. Teresa went over and forced him to stand up as I brought a fourth chair and put it down facing Kenny, forming a circle of four perps. Teresa zip-tied his hands behind him, then forced him into the chair. Meanwhile, I'd re-zip-tied the Deputies hands so that the were behind the hardback chair, making it harder for them to move.
Harmon Belton began chuckling, then laughing... the kind of laughter of a man losing his mind. "Well, well, well. You are that good. And your little cunt has learned well from you, like she learned from her worthless daddy."
"Enough of your bullshit." I said. "I'm here to get the truth out of you------"
I stopped and whirled around as the door opened. Three masked men in all black came into the room. One of them was Sheriff Griswold, I observed. One of them was tall and broad-shouldered. The last one was medium height and slender, but very fit.
"I want to hear the story, too." growled Griswold. "But first... I think we need to take care of these shit eaters who have besmirched the uniforms of Deputy Sheriffs."
"Go to hell, you fucking bastard!" the lead Deputy spat.
"Let's take these two outside." said Griswold. The Deputies were dragged out of the room by the two younger men. A moment later we heard screaming from the hallway. It went on for a moment, then suddenly cut off. Then Griswold came back into the room, carrying one of those Klingon knives like those on the television shows. But it was a very real knife, and it was soaked in blood.
"Oh God! Oh God!" Kenny gasped, his face a mask of horror as he saw the knife and knew what it meant. "Dad!"
"Nuthin' I can do, son." drawled Harmon Belton. I peered at him upon hearing his voice.
"You can tell us the truth." I said. "You can tell us everything. And you're going to." I took out a small billfold, and extracted from it a syringe full of a blue liquid.
"Oh, you don't need that stuff." said Harmon Belton quietly, his voice slurring. "Just pour a condemned man a drink, and I'll tell you everything."
"Fair enough." I said, replacing the billfold in my pocket. I went over to the decanters and poured a glass half full of bourbon. I brought it to Harmon and put the glass to his lips.
"Hell, son, I don't sip bourbon anymore." Harmon said, not happy with the slow pace I was letting him drink it. Griswold chuckled in agreement. So I poured the adult beverage faster, and Harmon easily gulped it down.
"Where shall I begin?" he said after finishing the drink.
"At the beginning." I said. "Or better yet... why don't I just tell you what happened, and you correct me where I go astray, okay?"
"Fine with me." Harmon said agreeably. Teresa's eyes had widened a little bit. She should be used to me by now, I thought to myself. Griswold was nodding.
"My friend's father married her mother, then went to Viet Nam." I said. "You tried to woo her, or more accurately, you tried to get into her pants. She slept with other men, but she refused to sleep with you. Maybe that's because they were real men, while you only have a three-inch dick, and can't really get that up."
"You bastard." Harmon snarled angrily, his eyes blazing. "How do you know that?"
"Oh, I illegally accessed your medical records." I said. "It's too bad they didn't have in 1972 the same plastic surgery they have today, that male pornstars use to make their dicks bigger. But I digress... she wouldn't have anything to do with you. She realized what a contemptible loser you were."
"Worse," I said, "when her husband came home from Viet Nam, you found that he could not be corrupted, and that he fully intended to stop a lot of your crap. He crossed your path, he incommoded you, he seriously inconvenienced you, he hampered you in your plans, and finally things reached a point where this town wasn't big enough for both of you. And when his daughter beat the shit out of your son and broke his shoulder, that was the last straw, wasn't it?"
"Yeah." said Harmon Belton, chuckling that demonic chuckle. "I warned the bastard to get himself and his daughters out of here, or something would happen to them. He didn't listen."
"And one of those daughters rejected Kenny as the loser he is," I said, "just as her mother rejected you as the loser you are. And the other daughter whipped your son, humiliated him in front of everyone. Isn't that right, Kenny?"
Kenny had unappeasable hatred in his eyes. "Eat shit and die, you son of a bitch!" he snarled.
"Did I say you could speak?" Teresa yelled as she backhand-slapped Kenny hard on the side of his face. "Keep your worthless mouth shut, then."
"And so," I said, "there was a party on Christmas Eve a few short months later. You had told Kenny to make sure that both Alexis and Teresa went to that party. You intended to wipe both of your nemesis's daughters out. But Alexis must've gotten wind of it. She refused to take her sister with her, and she rode with a friend instead of driving herself. Someone cut off that car, and after it swerved, another car plowed head-on into it."
Harmon Biller began laughing again... the low, chuckling laughter of a demented man. "Yeah, you're right. That' s how it went down. And it was... beautiful." More demonic laughter.
"You set up an FBI Agent that had been here looking into your dirty deals to buy land on the cheap from the Railroad that was dismantling its road and leaving." I continued. "He was a bad FBI Agent, with several DUIs to his credit, and he was sent by someone who wanted the investigation fucked up, to protect you. You needed a patsy, and he was chosen by your ally in the Federal Government."
I went on: "So, Kenny, were you the driver that night? Are you the one that got out of that car, looked at the severely injured girls, then walked away with no more feeling than if you'd swatted a couple of flies?"
"Like Dad said, it was a beautiful sight." Kenny said, menacing hatred in his voice. "I thought Alexis was already dead. If I'd have known she was still alive, I'd have gouged out her eyes before slitting her throat." I could sense as well as see the effect his words had on Teresa. Kenny was not helping himself.
"Yeah," said Harmon, laughing, "it's too bad you didn't get to do that. And it's too bad they didn't make it to that party. Some of the boys were going to take her and you, cunt, somewhere, and rape you both until you were dead. Both of you were supposed to die... and somehow you got out of it. But your sister didn't, and nothing will ever bring her back."
"I have to admit," I said, "your plan worked. It was very effective. Teresa's father went insane, like you're going insane now. He went to his home in a daze, leaving Teresa at the hospital, only to find his on fire, burning to the ground. Everyone, including his daughter, thought he'd set it on fire... but it wasn't him, was it?"
"How'd you know?" said Harmon.
"I didn't, until just now." I admitted. "That was what we call a 'wild-ass guess'. Thanks for confirming it for me." Teresa was in total shock by now.
"Come on in, boys!" I heard Griswold shout. The two masked men came in again, this time with cans of aromatics and barrels of gunpowder, which they began pouring around the room. They'd been doing that to the rest of the house while we were 'having a conversation'.
"Either way," I said, "you left a sixteen-year-old girl with a dead sister, an insane father, and absolutely nothing else. And you burned down the newspaper office to try to erase any possible hope of her finding out the truth. It was easy enough to intimidate the residents not to say a word about it. But you didn't destroy the photo archive, and I got to it."
I looked up at Teresa and said "And now you know... the rest of the story."
"Yes." said Teresa, with an unnerving quietness.
"Harumph!" barked Harmon Belton. "Now you know. So what? Gonna arrest me?"
I barked a laugh and said "Ohhh, I don't think this one is going to see the inside of a Courtroom."
"No, it won't." said Teresa, taking off her mask so that her Enemy would see who was defeating him. "I'm going to do to you what you did to my family. I'm going to kill your son in front of you. And then your house will burn, the way mine did that night."
I heard a CLICK as Teresa twisted the handle of her short sword, and then drew it out of its scabbard. She went over to one of the masked men, who poured aromatics on the blade.
"So," said Teresa, to Kenny, "you would've gouged my sister's eyes out? You only wish that's all I'm going to do to you."
"Dad! Help me!" Kenny gasped as Teresa approached him.
Harmon chuckled derisively, demonically. "Good God, boy. I figured you'd be the death of me, but at least die like a man."
"Dad!" Kenny called out, total fear in his voice. "Help me! Help me! NO! AAUUGGGH!"
Teresa stabbed Kenny in the abdomen, on his left side, then sliced across his belly. Then she stabbed him just above the groin and sliced upwards, in the classic hara-kiri method. Kenny screamed as his guts began to spill out into his lap. A very bad smell began to permeate the room.
"And we're done here." I said as Teresa wiped down the sword. I took out another syringe from the billfold, which was clear pink in color, and injected it into Harmon Belton's back. "That won't cause pain," I said, "but it will make sure you don't survive."
Teresa had pulled 'Ward Harvester', her katana, out of its scabbard, and the masked man poured aromatics on it as a substitute for oil. Then she got behind Kenny as he sat screaming.
"YAAAH!" she yelled as she swung 'Ward Harvester' with all her righteous might, and took Kenny's head off his shoulders. Since he'd been screaming, the teeth chattered in the head as it came to rest on the floor.
"Get the guys into your car," I told Griswold, "and get them out of here. The Police and Fire Department will be here soon." Griswold left, and a moment later I heard the Escalade driving up the road.
"I have a distinct feeling," I told Teresa as I poured a trail of gunpowder on the hall and down the stairs, "that Lindsey Black's friends are going to be on the lookout for us. They'll have IR-detecting devices, and maybe drones. They may stop Griswold and our two friends, but he'll be okay, where you and I would not be."
"So what are we going to do?" Teresa asked, her voice quiet, calm, and strong.
"We're going to go into the woods. I'm hoping they'll have trouble detecting us." I said. "Head for the radio tower if we get split up. It's heat signature will protect us from being spotted by IR."
"Roger that." Teresa said. As we walked out the front door, I turned, struck a match, and lit the gunpowder trail. Then we ran for the woods across the road.
I'd hoped to get to the road that led to the radio tower, but as the first faint sounds of sirens wafted over the wind to our ears, it became apparent we couldn't do that. Several black cars with Federal tags were driving up and down that road.
"All right." I said to Teresa. "We'll cross the road here and climb the hill in the woods on the other side." As she nodded, the beams of headlights came over the hill. We ducked into the ditch, and the Police car whizzed by us, going north towards the Belton home.
It was a good twenty minutes later when we arrived at the radio tower. We broke the lock on the gate (crowbars are awesome), went inside, and got on the roof behind the A/C unit. We had a good view over the countryside, though not as high up as The Cabin was above our Town. I could see the lights of the town to our west, and the junkyard much closer to us to our west.
A moment later, I heard singing. I realized that it was Teresa, and she was singing softly, barely audibly. When I glanced over at her, I could see that she seemed to be almost in a trance as she sang:
"Ave Maria,Gratia plena,Maria, gratia plena,Maria, gratia plena..."
I could see blue and red lights going down Belton Hill Road. And as Teresa and I looked north, we could clearly see the Belton Mansion on the other hilltop. It was engulfed in flames, a massive conflagration that would be seen for miles. A swirling column of fire reached to the sky. And I knew that as we watched and Teresa sang, we were thinking the same one thought:
Alexis was avenged.
Part 13 - Brand New Day
"Everybody's glad, Because our silent fear and dread is goneFreedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfullyJust look about, you owe it to yourself to check it out...
Can't you feel a brand new day?Can't you feel a brand new day?"
------ 'A Brand New Day', from the musical 'The Wiz'.
Sunrise, Sunday, April 12th. The growing light brought the wind, and the smell of the fire that had permeated the air the night before was being blown away. The light revealed the total ruin of the Belton Mansion; it had burned to the bricks. And so fast and fierce had the fire been, the Fire Department had chosen to let it burn rather than risk injury or death trying to put it out.
The local Police had not been particularly interested in the charred remains of the four bodies that had been found, even after Federal Agents that had come to the scene had pointed out the obvious injuries that suggested that three of the four had been 'terminated with extreme prejudice'. Lieutenant Griffith of the Police Department had told the Feds to get their noses out of his business, and that their 'help' was not wanted.
Our Sheriff is a sneaky Sheriff. He had accepted Chief Harold Bennett's invitation to use Bennett's home if needed. The Sheriff and the two Clan Troy ninja had stayed there after leaving the Belton Mansion, and they would leave the house in better condition than they found it: laundry done, kitchen cleaned up completely, all the rooms vacuumed.
But there was just one problem. The house Chief Bennett had bought was the house Ivy Sanders had lived in before being moved into Witness Protection. (Author's note: 'Sting of the Scorpion', Ch. 03.) And that house was the one built on the lot where Teresa's family home had been, the one burned down on that horrific Christmas Eve. Teresa would have no part of staying there, and I could not blame her.
So where did Teresa and I go? 'We did a bad bad thing', to quote that song in 'Eyes Wide Shut'. A car with two Federal Agents came up to the radio tower and stopped to look around. They heard a sound in the woods on the other side of the tower building from the road. They went to check it out, only to find the next sound was their car doors closing and their car driving away.
The car was found pretty soon afterwards... in the parking lot of the town's Police Headquarters, next to the other Federal vehicles. And the culprits? Sheriff Griswold had obtained the key to Chief Bennett's office, too. Teresa slept pretty well on the couch in the room, and I did well with the cot they'd provided us. And we had access to the showers in the Police locker room in the morning. The Feds never knew we were there.
And why were we getting this help?
Professional courtesy would be one answer. But there was another. It first manifested itself when we went by the cemetery that morning. Bouquets and pots of flowers were showing up at the grave sites of Teresa's family. Some by her mother's grave, a few more by her father's... and a lot of flowers by Alexis's grave.
"Nobody dared put flowers at those graves, if Harmon Belton owned their property." said Lt. Griffith when I called him. "Now they're free to do so."
"Brand new day." Teresa said.
We met the rest of our party at the Diner. We were being taken through to the back room, when an old man got up and stood in front of Teresa. "You're Teresa, aren't you?" he asked.
"Yes, I am." said Teresa.
"You came back." the old man said. "You came back and saved us from that monster Kenny Belton. You've given us hope. Thank you." As people became aware of what was going on, they began clapping.
"Don't thank me. Thank this man." said Teresa, pointing at me. "He says hope never dies, and he backs it up." The applause continued. And we would find our bill paid, too.
It was hard to believe that conditions like those existed in America in this day and age, I thought to myself. But it was easy to believe those conditions could easily return, if we were not vigilant and did not protect our freedoms. 'Brand new day' could cut both ways...
As we sat down at our table in the back room, Chief Griswold and his two associates came in. "There's my loving husband!" Teresa said happily, getting up and hugging Todd Burke as he came in, looking like a million bucks and then some in his well-fitting suit, and grinning his handsome grin.
"And there's my babydoll." Todd said as he wrapped his arms around his wife and hugged and kissed her. Then he introduced the other man, also looking good in his suit. "This is my business partner, Teddy Franklin." Yes, astute Detectives have figured out that Todd and Teddy were the ninja helping us the night before.
As they sat down, Todd said "It's official; we've bought the land and we're going to start a factory out here. And a silver mining operation, too. The Midwest & Pacific has already begun to lay rail. And Teddy is moving out to this area, to oversee the BOW Enterprises operations. It's pretty much going to be his show to run out here."
"That's great!" Teresa said. "I just hope you don't get too bored out here."
"Oh I won't." said Teddy Franklin. "Our lawyers are going to get rich, what with all the Government red tape we have to deal with. I'm going to be herding cats. And if things go according to plan, this place is going to grow. And I expect we'll get a McDonald's and Wendy's out of it."