Chapter Two: Rosie’s Diner
“You haven’t changed a bit.” The Chief’s voice reached John as he entered Rosie’s diner, a small place by the edge of old town that used to have a stage in the corner where bands played Jazz every night till dawn, probably the only diner in town that housed bands from all over the city. The only other joint that played Jazz was a club on the other side of town, that other place served booze which resulted in it being busted a whole bunch of times. Now the times have changed, the diner that was once buzzing with cats from all around stood deserted, empty except for Rosie who slouched behind the counter like always, drying up a glass. The once stunningly beautiful woman with the brightest smile now stood there with the long rags of old age all over her face.
“Would you look at that…” Rosie said as she looked up at the man standing in the doorway, “If it isn’t John McKinesy!”
“Hello Rosie.” John managed a crooked smile.
Rosie walked from behind the counter and hugged John.
“It’s been a long time, Johnny boy!” She said.
John took off his hat and put his arms around her saying “A long time indeed.”
“Five years to be exact.” Police Chief Frank Mullin said from his stool in front of the counter with both his feet not touching the floor. He got up as Rosie let go of John and went back behind the counter. The Chief walked to McKinesy -who always thought of him as a son, and took him in his arms, patted him on the back a few times and let go. They walked together to a table a few steps from the door.
“Two cups of—”
“Coffee!” Rosie cut the Chief off with a smile.
The two men sat at the table facing each other; John put his fedora on the tabletop looking at the old man in front of him.
“Ah, I remember the last time we sat here, five years ago, Johnny; it was a dark day indeed.” The Chief sighed.
“Everyday is a dark day in this city.” McKinesy whispered “Why did you call, Frank?”
“You know why I called John; he’s back and you’re the only one who could catch him.”
“I lost him once, why do you think I wouldn’t lose him again.”
The Chief sat in silence; he merely stared back at John.
“What’s the score Frank?” John said “Why did you call when you knew I quit this a long time ago.”
The Chief stared at some point in space behind John’s shoulders.
“Tell me, Frank!”
“He asked for you.” The Chief whispered, not looking John in the eyes, “The Surrealist sent us a clear message asking for you.”
John McKinesy sat back in his chair glaring at the Chief.
“We found your name written in blood at the crime scene.”
Dusted images of The Surrealist’s past crime scenes flashed in front of McKinesy’s eyes, the sheer gore that those scenes possessed made his stomach turn. In the middle of all these images, two stood out. One image belonged to that psychopathic killer, the other…
“You’re the only one who saw his face, Johnny.” The Chief’s voice came as if from a distant world. “You’re the only one who could help us.”
John looked at the Chief straight in the eyes clenching his fists on the tabletop; Daisy’s blue eyes stared back at him. The Surrealist stared too with that smirk of his, his dark eyes looking through John’s soul as he held Daisy’s neck in his long claw like fingers.
“I’ll do it, Frank, but only on one condition.” John’s voice turned horse.
“Whatever you want, Johnny.”
“I get to kill this sonuvabitch myself.” John said.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Rosie walked to the table with two cups and a pot hot with coffee, its aroma filling the diner. She always had a sense about these things, she’d never walk in and stop a conversation, she knew better.
“Here ya go, boys,” She said “Enjoy your coffee.”
The two men sat in silence and drank their coffee, when they were done; they got up. The Chief wanted to pay, but John refused, like always. John went to pay Rosie, but she refused to take the money, like always.
“Why do you think he came back.” The Chief asked as they walked outside the diner.
“Because I didn’t kill him,” John paused “Or better yet, because he didn’t kill me.”
Both men got into the Chief’s car, leaving John’s parked by the diner. John rolled a cigarette and lit up a smoke as they headed to the crime scene.
[End of chapter two]
(To be continued…)