Saturday, September 5, 2009
Go by and say hello to Raven at the Raven's Nest. She is the originator and facilitator of Wordzzle.
This Week's Ten Word Challenge: Spam, perpetual motion, sprinkle, telephone pole, stains, alphabetical, surgery, flattery, liberty, preservation
The mini challenge: shadows, singularity, Florida, caterpillars, copy
This Week's Episode: Chances
Laughlin, Nevada. The killer tried his luck at the tables in the Colorado Belle while he waited for nightfall. He knew better than to not gamble. That would be a sure giveaway if the presumed investigation that followed the killings looked for anomalies. Of course he did wear a baseball cap, sported a very good mustache, (fake but movie quality) and wore glasses. He enjoyed the perpetual motion of the casino floor and the security of being in a crowd as well.
Later he would scope out the targets' residence from a perch in the shadows across the river. At some points the Colorado is quite narrow and the section in front of the McCools' condo was less than 250 yards wide. It had been almost too easy to locate his prey. The leasing company's alphabetical listings of temporary tenants had provided him with the McCools' address. With the help of Google maps he'd found their condo and been happily surprised to see it was on the water. He would take the shots from a stolen boat, catch a shuttle to Las Vegas and fly to Florida.
Around 11:00 PM the killer took up a position across the river from the McCools' condo. It came complete with a cottonwood tree and a nearby telephone pole to give the assassin a better view if required. He sited through his binoculars and found the sliding glass doors of the condo in question. He could see two couples sitting in the living room. He had not found good recent picture of the targets, so he would wait till the other people left to confirm the identities. If they came out onto the patio tonight he would put the plan in motion. It required just the slightest singularity of events, the couple on the patio by themselves, to provide him the opportunity to make the kills and secure his commission.
Kuwait, a bunker in the desert. Charlotte had been interrogated three separate times. The first had broken her, the second had been recorded while she was under the influence of sodium pentothal and the final one had been for the pleasure of her interrogator and to assure nothing had been held back. The stains on her now shredded gown contained blood, urine, feces, semen, saliva and various other substances the interrogator had felt appropriate for the final session. It would not be undue flattery to say that the interrogator was as good as one gets in the Middle East. Charlotte had revealed all of her crimes; the 27 murders, the various and sundry financial frauds and the gigantic fraud committed against the Saudi Prince and the American people.
In spite of all she had endured there was still the will within her crazed being to fight for her liberty. She would do whatever it took to accomplish the preservation of her life. There had been two things, two bits of information she'd been able to keep from her torturer. She held on to these bits not because of any great strength or bravery, but because the man failed to ask her about them. While he had put her through all the agony and humiliation, even threatening some radical and unpleasant surgery on her face and figure, she would have told him anything. He needed only to have asked, but he didn't. So Charlotte didn't tell him about the account number hidden in her cosmetics or that she kept a powdered version of her custom formula for incapacitating her victims with her mascara.
The interrogator was not Turkish as she had thought, but she had been close. He was an ethnic Kurd from northern Iraq. He had left her in reasonable but weak shape to allow the drivers and guards some fun with her before her disposal. It had been known since the first interrogation that her deeds against the royal family would not be allowed to see the light of day. It was royal pride and honor at stake. They could afford the money, but not the humiliation of being taken by an infidel and a worse, a woman. She was to be eliminated after she was drained of all useful information. The tapes had been passed on to the Saudi security messenger and now she was just another plaything for the group before they were dispersed.
Washington, DC, the Hoover building. The tape came in through the state department. It was fortunate that Sgt. Johnson had been there to receive it. He was reviewing the footage with his team when it came to the part about the last phone call Charlotte made to a hit man. The targets were the McCools. He grabbed his cell and dialed Thomas. “Thomas, how are you?” he asked. “OK, I guess” McCool replied. “I was stepping out on to the patio to check the weather when you called” he continued. “Looks like this coming storm might at least bring us a sprinkle” he finished. “Do me a favor and step back inside a minute, will ya?” Johnson asked.
Bullhead City, Arizona. McCool had listened as Johnson told him about the tape and Charlotte’s plans. He fired up the laptop in his office and after deleting the annoying spam from the health care wingnuttia, he found the e-mail and attached video sent from the encrypted site at the Hoover building. The addendum stated in legalese that this was a classified copy and not for distribution. McCool finished watching the portion sent by Johnson and went back out into the living room. Once there he told the group of Dan, Carla and Jean what was going on. Jean strolled casually to the patio door and pulled the vertical blinds closed. A few calls were made; one to the captain of the Laughlin police and one to the chief in charge of the Bullhead city police. There was no description available for the killer, but they could start by looking at late fly-ins.
In a little over half an hour they had a plan and Dan and Carla left to go back over the bridge to Laughlin. The McCools locked up and went to bed. Thomas put a chair in front of the sliding glass door on the inside and put his home protector shotgun next to the bed. He prayed he wouldn’t have to use it.
Kuwait, outside the bunker. The interrogator had allowed Charlotte to put on makeup and clean herself up for the drivers. He supervised the packing of the equipment, the loading of the trucks and then locked up the bunker. He wanted no part of what was to come. He left the Kuwaiti lieutenant in charge with the responsibility of disposing of Charlotte’s body when they were done with her and drove away towards the border. Charlotte was presented to the young officer as both reward and charge.
Charlotte knew she would have only one chance. She smiled at the young officer when he entered the tent. She would be careful but swift with this one.
Laughlin, Nevada overlooking the river. The killer had watched as the visiting couple departed the McCools’ condo. He took the opportunity to confirm the targets' descriptions. He watched as one of the many caterpillars that infested the cottonwood tree under which he crouched swung lazily on it's thin silken thread as the night breeze blew down the river. If the couple didn't come out on the patio tonight, there was always the next day. The weather report called for storms and a cooling trend. He knew would get his opportunity before the week was done.