Sunday, June 12, 2005

Pecaw's Gift / Chapter 40 Rusty

Savat waited in the parking lot as the hours passed. The radio played a list of golden oldies as the local FM jock made fun of the hard rock station between songs. Savat had rented a six year old white Chevrolet Caprice with no distinguishable features or markings. The people at Wrent a Wreck did not ask for any identification; only a cash deposit in advance. The emptiness of the night hung in the air as the time past. He watched as the Metro bus dropped off and picked up, each half hour then only each hour. Nurses and orderlies, secretaries who had worked late in their offices downtown, sales clerks and car wash attendants all made their way to their respective homes past the rusted white Chevy parked across from the hospital. They did not notice the reflection from Savat’s cold stare or that he was continually polishing the blue steel revolver that he held hidden in the shadow created by the dash board. He sat motionless behind the wheel watching the nearly vacant parking lot as the sodium lamps cast their imperfect light across the concrete. He lighted another cigarette; a plume of blue smoke escaped the half rolled down window. He reviewed the file and memorized the pictures that it contained while he waited.

J.D. made his way down the deserted freeway as he chomped away on the end of a stubby cigar. Now and then he would laugh; thinking of things he and Sinclair had done in the line of duty. They had been good for each other and it was no trouble at all to make the trip out to see him. He saw the Kroger store up ahead, “Almost forgot to pick up that bar of dark chocolate.”, as he steered into one of the spaces up near the front. He quickly made his way inside, picked up the item and went to pay for it at the check out stand.

“You were in the other night. You must like that cooking chocolate a lot.” The young girl at the register was testing her ability to carry on a conversation. J.D. just grunted in his own objectionable way.

“Not really; I just like to watch it melt in the trunk of my car.” J.D. had no idea what it meant. He took out his money clip and peeled off a pair of ones.

“No need to be rude.” The girl rang up a dollar fifty nine and hit the total button. “Your change is forty one cents, Sir.”, handing him a lump of coins with his receipt.

“Another nickel, you said forty one, where’s the other nickel?”, holding his palm out for her to see the quarter, dime and penny.

“I’m sorry, Sir.”, reaching into the tray and picking up the rest of his change. “It was an honest mistake. Please, don’t say anything to the manager.”

“Not a word.” J.D. headed out the door and was back enroute to see Sinclair.

Sgt. Perry was also on his way to the hospital; his left hand on the wheel while he kept the other fidgeting in his coat pocket. He came to a stop at the light two blocks from the hospital. When it turned green he paused, not seeing it until the guy behind him blasted the horn. His foot lunged awkwardly onto the accelerator as his thoughts were far from driving. Lou had suggested that he enter Sinclair’s room, insert a needle full of air into his arm and that would be the end of it. His right hand fondled the instrument of death deep in his pocket. “Up yours too you creep.”, forming the one finger salute as the car past him by, honking his horn and yelling obscenities at him.

Savat observed the Ford LTD at the corner. The solid blue car did not have a vinyl top like most of the Crown Victorias. It had black side wall tires instead of white walls, plain hub caps and a nearly invisible second antennae on the rear deck; a city ride. He watched as it pulled into the hospital parking lot and turned off its head lights. The driver’s door swung open; a pair of legs hit the ground as Sgt. Perry got out of the car.

Savat watched him cover the short distance to the back door of the hospital. Sgt. Perry was beginning to break out into a cold sweat as he considered the action he was about to take. He passed the receptionist on his way to the elevators.

“Hope you get to feeling better.”, the words caught him as he took a handkerchief from his pocket. The pale chalky color of his forehead announced the sickening feelings that had welled up in his stomach. He looked quickly for a restroom where he could regain control and without looking back, held his hand out as a mild acknowledgement.

He found the door to the men’s room just as the burst of vomit forced its way out; spattering across the small square tiles. He washed off at the sink, looking into the
mirror and wondering what kind of cop he had become.

“What the hell am I doing here?” He was talking to himself as the finality of what he was about to do surfaced. “I can’t go through with this!” He reached into his pocket and fumbled for the syringe that he had planned to kill Dosilmeyer with. He grabbed a couple of paper towels, wrapping them around the tools of death. “I just can’t do it.”, throwing the small package into the trash. He stood in front of the mirror and let the water run for a while longer as the color returned to his face. He felt the weight lift from his shoulders, having taken a new path. A few minutes later he walked out of the restroom.

“Your looking much better now.”, the receptionist commented as he walked by.

“Yes, thank you. Oh; you’d better call for a janitor. I’m afraid I made quite a mess in there.”

“Not to worry. You just take care of yourself sir.”

Perry headed across the parking; his burden of poor choices having been momentarily lifted. He never saw the car gathering speed as it closed on his position. Reaching for his keys, he unlocked the door and opened it. Savat had the pedal floored; believing that Sgt. Perry had finished off Dosilmeyer. The hood ornament lined up the target. There was a slight crumpling sound on impact as the door and Sgt. Perry became enmeshed with the front left fender. Savat’s car sped quickly out of the parking lot and down Hollister; flicking the high beam lights as he came to an oncoming car.

“Blind me; why don’t ya’? You ignorant Son of a . . .", J.D. swerved to avoid the pale white and rust Chevy barreling past him. He turned into the hospital parking area, unaware that Sgt. Perry had just been run over and left for dead. The security guard wasn’t sure what to do as he left his station and got into an improvised golf cart to investigate the disturbance. He puttered at five or six miles per hour across the lot; a single head light aimed skyward. Upon finding Sgt. Perry sprawled on the ground the security guard flagged down J.D. as he pulled in.

“Stop that car! Stop that car! It just ran over this guy and kept on going. Stop that car!” , pointing in the direction from which J.D. had just come.

“Wha’d it look like? Was it that dark colored Datsun that just went by?”, knowing that it wasn’t.

“No, it was all white and had some rust, yea lots of rust along the bottom at the doors.”, still pointing down Hollister.

“That’s the same car that hit me with the high beams just a few seconds ago.” J.D. cut a donut in the driveway and sped off in pursuit. He had not looked at the fallen driver and could not have known yet that it was Sgt. Perry. When he got back onto Hollister the street was empty. He raced down to Hammerly and glanced both ways. He pounded the dash once and headed back to the scene. By the time he got back a small crowd had gathered around. A couple of nurses who had been walking to their cars were busy applying their skills. J.D. looked down and recognized him. “Did ya’ get a good look at the guy who did this to ya”?

“No, never saw it coming. I must be getting rusty.”, his head being supported on the lap of one of the nurses. He was in bad shape; the blood was thick as it stained the starched white material of the uniform. J.D. reached into Perry’s car for the mike.

“Twenty Nora Thirty Eight, Days to dispatcher; put out a pick up on a white and rust colored Chevy Caprice, just left the area of Hollister and Hammerly. It will be wanted for FSRA.”, He looked over to Perry, “and I will need a supervisor for an officer down at eighty eight fifty Long Point.”

“Unit calling, I was on public service. Could you repeat that last transmission?” J.D. looked angrily into the mike as he bit his tongue.

“Twenty Nora Thirty Eight Days . . . put out a pick up on a white and rust Chevy Caprice that just ran over an officer. Last seen Hollister and Hammerly. I will need a supervisor at eighty eight fifty Long Point. Did you get that this time, Dearie ?”, still shaking his head at the marvelous abilities that some of the new dispatchers had.

“Clear. All units; just occurred in the area of eighty eight fifty Long Point, an F. S. R. A. involving a white and rust Chevy last seen Hollister and Hannibal.”

“Hammerly! That’s Hammerly!”

“Correction on that last location, make that Hollister and Hammerly.” Turning her attention back to obtain additional information, “Twenty Nora Thirty Eight Days do you have any other details such as a license number or driver information on the suspect vehicle?” J.D. looked to the security guard and within his own memory of the brief encounter.

“Not at this time.”, pausing as he tried to understand what one of the nurses was trying to tell him over the commotion at the scene. “Standby for a moment.. . . He’s dead.” Holding Perry’s lifeless head in her arms. “Twenty Nora Thirty Eight Days . . .That suspect will be wanted for murder of a police officer.”, dropping the mike to the floor of the car. He had never liked Perry; but all the same he was a police officer.