Part I: Black Ash
Detective John McKinesy stomped down on the gas paddle, the motor roared as he drove closer to the De Luca family farm. With blood gushing through his veins like never before; he knew he held several pieces of the puzzle but the whole picture was not yet clear. The first victim’s last name, the connection between the second and first victims, the seed and the piece of paper found at the second crime scene all pointed out to the farm. It was said that a lot of horrible things happened in that farm, so it was no surprise that that place was the heart of a sinister secret. The half piece of paper looked like a page from an accountant’s book, which had information connected to the De Luca family’s financial activities. The fragment held only a few lines, some of the sales and revenues of the De Luca’s gambling joints, nothing more.
The detective parked his car about a quarter of a mile from the farm, he switched off the front lights of his vehicle a few miles before. The plan sounded simple, a little too simple. Get in, and find out what’s going on. But McKinesy had a lot to worry about. Getting inside the compound past that huge concrete wall was not the hardest part, getting in and staying alive, that was the problem. McKinesy saw that his main problem was the watchtower. However, according to the blueprints provided by the chief, he found out that there was only one blind spot the henchmen on the tower couldn’t see, which was the wall on the far east side of the compound. Luckily for him, he remembered seeing a large black ash tree growing too close to the wall. His other problem was that he did not know what he was going to land into, whither it was thorn bushes or hard ground, but John was willing to take the risk. The final thing he had to worry about was the thugs circling the parameter around the mansion, which was also something he was willing to risk. John started towards the compound in the shadows of the trees that lined the road; he knew he had to go alone, but this time; he made a deal with the chief. The deal was that if John did not report in two hours, the police force would be given the Okay to attack the compound. The chief did not only agree to this deal because John thought this whole thing was personal, but because he knew that the De Lucas had members of the police force on their payroll, and would be given a heads up before the cops made the attack, so John and the chief kept this between themselves until further change in the plan.
The thirty-eight years old detective fixed his hat as he stood no more that twenty feet from the farm’s main gate. There, he saw two black cars blocking the drive way, and four men in black suits holding tommy-guns standing guard. Silently, he made his way around the wall, a cold breeze blew and the trees all around began to rustle.
“Natures security alarm.” John whispered under his breath.
He made it to the far east side where a gigantic tree stood erect, leaning towards the wall. He walked to it and began to climb, trying not to make a sound. Climbing a tree was no big deal to the detective, who did a lot of boxing in his youth and at this age, his body was still fit. He reached the top of the tree and started to shift his body along a thick branch using is arms and legs. John feared the branch would snap, which would sound like a gun being fired, and alert everyone. But the branch held McKinesy’s weight as he moved closer to the wall. John stretched his hard to grab hold of the top of the wall but the branch swayed up and down. McKinesy kept still and took a deep breath; he waiting till the branch bent downwards and leapt with his whole body, grabbing at the wall with both hands, supporting his body with his feet. John climbed to the top of the wall and lay on his stomach, scanning the area. He saw that there was nothing beneath him but solid ground; he looked around and saw none of the De Luca thugs visible from where he was.
“It’s now or never, old boy.” He said to himself.
He hung on the other side of the wall and looked down beneath him. He had to drop about six feet to the ground, which did not seem that much to him. He let go of the wall and dropped. A sharp pain struck his left ankle as soon as he landed, a pain that reached its climax in a few seconds but faded right away into constant throbbing that did not hurt as much. John took cover beneath the wall and checked if his ankle was okay. It hurt when he twisted it but he knew he could walk on it for two reasons, the fact that he had to, and that his adrenaline eased the pain. He looked towards the mansion and saw that he had two ways to get inside it, either one of the three small windows a few feet from the ground, or through the almost horizontal door leading to some sort of basement. He decided to get in through the basement door, but when he started walking towards it; he heard footsteps coming towards him. He jumped to the closest bushes and hid in silence. A tall man wearing a dark suit and a hat appeared from the shadows, along side him was a large German Shepherd wearing a metal chain on its neck. The man held the end of the chain as he strolled in front of the bush where John hid, and threw a cigarette butt beneath his feet. Suddenly, the dog turned its head towards the bush and began to growl.
“Ah, shut up Rocko!” The tall man said.
The dog continued to growl and tugged at the chain, walking towards the bush. John McKinesy held his breath with his eyes wide open as the dog put its nose inside the bush.
“Get outta there you stupid dog!” The man yelled.
The dog’s growling got louder and then John heard the sound of its jaw snapping shut, the dog’s nose disappeared from the bush. John looked with one eye and saw that the dog had some sort of dead bird between its teeth.
“Is that it? You hungry, boy?” The man in the black suit said patting the dog on its head. Both the man and the dog walked away around the corner as John sat within the bush trying to contemplate whither his heart had exploded or not. John McKinesy calmed his senses as he made his way to the door. He grabbed hold of the handles and pulled slowly, trying to open the wooden door without it squeaking. As he opened the door half way, he heard something behind him.
“Took you long enough.” A cold whisper filled the air around him.
John turned but was met by something hard that struck him right in the forehead, he took a glimpse of the figure in front of him but then his whole world turned dark and he felt himself falling into an abyss.
[End of Chapter Six, Part I.]
(To be continued…)