HOME INVASION 4
Almost midnight and I’m just reaching the hotel. I’m so glad I still have the old habit of leaving a fully packed overnight bag in my car for emergencies. They taught us when I was working shift; in case of a disaster, we may get called back on a moment’s notice and not be able to leave for a few days so we should pack an emergency bag capable of sustaining us for at least three days. It’s not as easy as it sounds…you have to refresh the pack about every three months when you have seasonal clothes packed; always make sure your provisions are fresh, and don’t let any batteries go dead. Luckily, I had just refreshed this pack two weeks ago – I’m good for the next three days. I do not want to go back to my house. I’m glad my extra laptop was in the car too. I’ll have to retrieve the system back up for the other computer when they release it to me.
Mindlessly I wander into the shower, but all the hot water in this place can’t wash off the feeling of being violated. I wasn’t personally violated, what am I saying?
It was the house. It was things, and things can be replaced, the house can be sold, I can move on. Why does it feel so personal? I’ve had this same talk with victims of crime earlier in my career.
Now homicide, that’s different. It’s very personal. Jane Doe can cry to the heavens about being violated. I was just inconvenienced and given a tough reality check. No matter how much I build a sanctuary and hide behind walls of protection, I am not unreachable; even by perfect strangers. I refuse to believe that this was personal. Nothing about the scene looked personal; everything was random. And if it was personal, they wouldn’t have fled; they would have been waiting for me to come home and attacked me in the darkness. I would have been taken by surprise. I’ve softened to my new surroundings.
The cell phone rang breaking me out of my reverie.
“Le Fey.” I answered
“Erin? Is that how you always answer the phone?” he laughed.
“Detective Morales! Hi! Ummm, no, not usually…” I stammered, “Anything new since thirty minutes ago?”
“It’s Erik. And no, just checking on you. You are in the hotel room, then?” Erik asked. “We have officers in the lobby and one staying adjacent to you on the same floor. Just call room 325 if you need help.”
“I think this is a bit too much.” I answered him, “I know I’ll be fine, no one knows where I am.”
“They’ll know who you are soon enough when the papers start printing the story...We just received the advanced morning copy. Are you ready for the fun part? They were able to get prints from Jane Doe. Since you were Dallas homicide, we all thought it best if we reveal what we know about the people involved just in case this is a personal hit directed at your residence. You might be the first one to see a pattern or recognize a mug.” He hesitated to wait for a response.
I sighed and said, “It’s not personal.”
Erik shook off her response and replied, “Do you want to help in the investigation or remain a victim with the regular access that most other victims have? We’ve checked you out with Dallas PD and we’re ready to temporarily swear you in for this one case if you will work with us. Either you are their first victim with this MO or it’s a direct hit. “
Erin remembered what her nightmares were like as a detective. She also remembered that the reality could be worse. It was nothing though compared to her stint in Special Forces before that. She left all that behind for a reason. A very good reason, she wanted to experience beauty again instead of spending her life trying to stay one step ahead of psychos and serial killers.
Erik continued, perhaps thinking her silence was an act of readiness to lock and load. “The Dept sent a copy of the deceased woman’s picture to the paper with a copy of her Minnesota driver’s license,” he reveled, “We don’t know what she was doing here in California or how long she’s been here. They are in process of informing the Minnesota FBI since the case has gone to the feds now, but they’re using us – you know how that goes. They obtained her prints, and sent the information to the papers and local stations. They’re hoping for some leads. We don’t have any recent information on her. 20 years ago, on a trip to San Francisco, she was arrested for “Vending without a Permit” – she was sitting in Golden Gate park with her tarot cards and collecting money from victims.”
“You don’t believe in the Tarot?” Erin asked.
“Is that all you want to know after the whole briefing?” Erik laughed.
“No, but it seemed like a place to start at twelve-thirty AM.” She yawned.
Erik got the point. “What time shall I pick you up for breakfast and we’ll go over all of this and more.”
“How does eight sound?” Erin asked.
Erik said, “Perfect, now get some rest. I’m never late.”
Meanwhile, in the back of a tattoo shop on the seedier side of Sunset Blvd., two men were taking inventory and packing goods for shipment to the East coast.
“Too bad we can’t just sell this stuff here. Seems like a awful waste o’ time to be packin’ an shippin’ when we can be doin’ and makin’.” His thick New York accent was obvious, and he never tried to hide who he was or where he was from. Mike was proud of growing up in the Bronx, and he planned on going back as soon as this job was over. In fact, he would be driving the tractor trailer delivering the “hot” merchandise.
“Wit all da time you spen complainin’, we coulda been done by now.” His brother Johnny said.
“One more, dey said, one more, an it’ll all be ready.” Mike reminded Johnny. “I don’t like it here neither. Robbery is robbery, but the shit that went down today…” Mike just looked down at his shoes and shook his head.
“Just shut up!” Johnny yelled at him. “All we have to do is wrap this up and we’re back home. I don’t know why Mick sent us on this job anyway; we don’t even roll with anyone outside New York.!”
“Expansion!” Mike said in a high whiny girly voice. “I’ll tell him where he can stick his expansion! We’re not….shhhhhhhhh! Did you hear something?”
They both went completely silent.
“Probably rats.” Johnny said laughing. The two brothers went back to work. They hoped to be driving a truck full of frozen crab meat back East a week ago, stashed with it the spoils of their new adventures.
Two store fronts down, the van had already been primed for its new paint job. The tags were already destroyed and new ones were waiting to go on.
There was a coke and alcohol party in the office upstairs with a few of the gang members and their girlfriends, but it would be over in a couple of hours once all the police presence died down on the boulevard. They would wander out with the bar crowds and head to the places they rented near Long Beach.
It had been a shame to lose Rosie today, but it’s the price you pay when you hang out with thugs running drugs, and just a hair away from doing time – at least that’s what K.P. had said once they reported the “incident”. He said they’ll be under some heat from the Feds, but nothing to directly link her to them, so it should be cool, they just needed to find a new lead. She was good at baiting hooks and getting pretty fish to bite. Off to search tomorrow, one more load and they can send those boys back to New York – they were starting to get impatient and “impatience breeds a new liability”. They didn’t need another enemy gang on the East Coast.
Other links in the HOME INVASION Series
- Short Story: Home Invasion
copyright pending 2011 by Erin Le Fey I worked a little later than usual today. So it was dark as I was driving home in traffic listening to nothing. Too much going on in my head to be distracted by...
- Home Invasion 2
copyright pending 2011 by Erin Le Fey I awoke to two police officers hovering over me and a faint distant sound coming clearer; voices, Shes coming around. Ms. LeFey. Are you okay? Where...
- HOME INVASION 3
Copyright 2011 Erin LeFey I rode with Erik down to the Los Angeles Police Department - Chinatown Substation to give my statement and fingerprints so they could distinguish mine from those at the scene....