The Chase Story: The Finale

There is a link to the first part.

Here is the finale. Enjoy.

Chase couldn’t see where they were taking him. Frank had him blindfolded the whole ride. He caught them arguing a few times about what to do and how, and when. The word, “kill” came up a few times but Tina would always be the one to say no. She was too worried about her parents getting on her for murder. Tina wasn’t one to upset her parents. They were very strict with everything she did. If they got mad at her for breaking a plate, she couldn’t imagine what they would do if she was an accomplice to murder.
The van stopped. Chase could hear some movement and heard the side door to the van open. “Get him out.” Yelled Frank. He was there for Sally. He used to like Chase. He thought he was a good guy. He never really saw him as boyfriend material, but as a friend to Sally, that’s all he was. Why Chase had to ruin her life and turn her down, he didn’t know. All he did know was he was there for Sally and was going to make Chase pay. The girls managed to pull Chase from the van. Chase fell to the ground and let out a scream. Frank laughed at the expense of Chase’s pain. He kicked Chase a few times and offered some free hits to the girls. They both agreed and kicked Chase as well. “Okay, okay. Enough horseplay. Let’s get him inside before someone see us.”
Frank, Sally, and Tina had parked the van outside an empty warehouse. Frank knew of it. He used to hang out here and get drunk with friends, and did other things that were, well a tad adult in nature. So he was very familiar with the warehouse. Chase was going to be kept upstairs in an old office. It was far from the doors and no windows were in the office, so no one can hear him scream if he manage to free himself from the gag. Frank carried Chase inside, followed by Sally, while Tina stood outside to stand guard. It was getting late. She had to get home soon or her parents would be very upset. No telling what they would do if she arrived home late.
They weren’t the only ones who had problems to worry about. Riley had waited another ten minutes before he figured Chase chickened out. He hid the gun back in a backpack and made his way back home. He should have known. He should have known that he couldn’t put all this on Chase. Chase probably still has feelings for Sally. Maybe he sweet talked Tina in to getting him and Sally back together. So many possibilities. Riley had already decided to give Chase a call when he got home. He had to see what was up.
Frank finished tying Chase to the chair. He took off the blindfold. Chase just looked at Frank and Sally. Is this what it has come down to? A kidnapping? Were they really going to kill him or were they just trying to scare him a little? Chase had to believe the worse. Sally has gotten a bit rearranged and there was no telling what she was going to do. Frank was just the same. “You could have avoided all this Chase if you just said yes. But no! You had to be a dick to my sister and shoot her down.”
“Maybe she was right about you. Maybe you are.”
“Right about what? What am I?” Chase thought to himself. What could be going through their heads right now. Sally left the room. She went outside and found Tina. “He’s all tied up. The plan is going just how we wanted.”
“That’s all good Sally, but I need to go. It’s getting late and my parents are gonna freak. I gotta go. Tell me everything!” Tina hurried off. She knew if she caught the bus just up the road, she can make it home just before her parents did. They will never even know she was out.
“Wait. I’ll have Frank take you home. Just wait here.” Tina didn’t really want to get a ride from Frank but it would save her some time. She didn’t want to take any chances of being late and having her parents catch him walking in after they were home. Sally got Frank and they both walked back outside.
“No Sally, you gotta stay here. Just for a bit. Watch him for a while.” Frank pushed Sally away from the van, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back to pick you up.”
“Okay fine. Just hurry.” She said.
Frank put the van in reverse and was leaving. He stopped and rolled the window down, “And Sally…”
“Don’t do anything stupid.”
“Don’t worry.” She watched Frank leave, “Geez, what’s he think I am gonna do?” “I won’t kill him.” Sally continued her rant about Frank and his not trusting her all the way back in to the office where Chase was. He was still sitting there. His eyes followed Sally as she paced back and forth, still ranting about her brother. “I wasn’t going to do anything to you Chase. If I was even going to kill you, I would be nice enough to wait for him…But you had to make things difficult.”
Sally walked circles around Chase. She stepped out of his view, only to return with what looked like a hammer and some old nails. “DO YOU think I would do something without his permission?”
Once again, he shook his head ‘no’. She got inches in front of Chase and pressed the nail on his thigh and laid the hammer head on the nail. “I don’t know Chase..I always try to take my brother’s advice, but sometimes I don’t. I think this might be one of those times.”

Riley made it home safe. He was worried that maybe someone saw him with the gun at the mall. Luckily, no one did. Riley was alone. Which was a good thing. He had to put the gun back in his parent’s closet. They didn’t even know he knew about it. But he did. He would play around with it all the time. He would pretend the house was being robbed and he was the one who shot and killed the robber. If it was only true. He liked the feel of the gun in his hand. Which is why killing Tina would have been no problem. He has never actually fired the gun but how hard could it be? You just point and shoot. He’s played dozen of video games. It seemed easy. He just wanted to know what happened to Chase. He never saw him leave. Maybe they were still in there. Maybe they went out a different way. Maybe he chickened out and never met Tina. Which would explain why he never came back out. He didn’t want to face Riley and be ashamed of what he didn’t do. So many thoughts crossed Riley’s mind but none of them were even close to the truth. Riley put the gun back in the closet and went to call Chase. It rang a few times till someone answered. It was Chase’s mother. She didn’t seem all to well. In fact, she was quite frantic. It wasn’t like Chase to not call. He always called if he was going to be out late. He was her perfect little boy. He never did no wrong.
“Hello?” She said.
“Hi. Is Chase home? This is his friend.”
“No, I’m sorry he isn’t. I am actually looking for him myself.” Riley’s heart stopped. Chase never made it home. Something had to be wrong. But what went wrong? “If you see him, tell him to come home right away, okay?”
“Okay, I’ll do that.” He said and hung up. Everything Riley ignored. All the implausible outcomes that he thought never could happened, might have actually happened. Did Tina double cross him? Did Chase get hurt? Riley didn’t want to think about it, but what if…what if Chase was dead? Would Tina go that far to protect her friend? Riley had to do something. He had to find Chase. Only trouble is, he didn’t’ know where to start. “Chase, where are you?”
Frank and Tina arrived back at her house. Already waiting outside, were her parents. “Get the hell out of the car young lady!” Her dad walked around to the van. “Get your ass inside. We need to talk.”
“Sorry daddy. It won’t happen again.” She took a glance at Frank. He mouthed something to her that sounded to her like, “Don’t say anything” but she wasn’t sure exactly what he said. “Right now Tina!”
Her dad grabbed Tina and yanked her close to him. He gave her this menacing look then tossed her to her mother. “Let’s go sweetie. We all need to have a talk.” Her mother was more like the good cop when they had their family meetings. They weren’t really ever meetings. Tina never had a say in anything. What they said, goes.
Tina’s dad walked over to the van. Frank could see him coming. “If you touched my daughter, or even had the thought of touching her, I’ll kill you myself. You got that buddy?”
Frank never touched her. He never even thought about touching her. He was just giving her a ride home. He didn’t want to talk to this guy either. He had to get back to Sally. He was second guessing himself about leaving Sally alone with Chase. Maybe it wasn’t the best thing to do. He just hoped Sally wasn’t going to do anything rash.
Chase sat in the chair. He was in terrible pain. Sally had gone against her brother’s wishes and hurt Chase. Sally was already on her 6th nail. “It’s best if you stopped fighting Chase. it’s only going to make it worse.” Sally positioned the next nail. “Now, I got to be steady. I don’t want to mess this one up.”
Sally held the nail in her hand. She gripped it tightly, not letting it get away. She pushed the nail down, letting it pinch Chase’s body. Chase’s leg twitched. His foot shook violently. He could imagine the pain he was about to go through. Already with 5 nails, two in his thigh, two in his arm and the other driven through his palm. Sally licked her lips. Her tongue stuck out the side of her mouth. All her concentration was focused on the nail and the hammer. “This might hurt just a little.” Sally tapped twice on the head of the nail. She counted backwards from three, each time lining up the nail and hammer. “one.”
Sally brought the hammer back. With all her strength, she slammed the hammer right on the nail. Even with Chase’s mouth being sealed with tape, the scream he let out was loud enough to be as if he had nothing covering his mouth. Sally had driven the nail right into his kneecap, shattering the bone and leaving Chase with no chance of escape now. Chase eventually passed out, his bloody body slouched over. “Get up! Were not finished!” Sally screamed at Chase. He moved slightly, moaned twice, then dropped his head passing out again.
“God Dammit Chase! Get up!” Sally went out to the back of the chair and loosened the ropes. “Go Chase! Run away and leave me again!” Sally taunted him. She knew he couldn’t get away but it felt right to do just that. Sally kicked the back of the chair, knocking Chase to the ground. “Fucking piece of shit.” Sally tossed the hammer down and walked away. As she left the room, she looked back at what she did. “Frank’s gonna be pissed. Real pissed.” She closed the door and went outside to wait for Frank to return.

Tina sat in a chair like she was being interrogated. Her parents always did this to her. She was used to it. But this time it was different. This was not good. “We’re very disappointed in you Tina. You had us worried.” Her mother said to her.
“Honey please. Let me deal with this.” Mr. Carlson hushed his wife. He walked over to Tina. He placed his arms in the arms of the chair and leaned in close to Tina. “I am going to ask you once and I want the truth.”
“Okay.” She said to her dad.
“Where were you this whole time?” he asked her in a calm voice. Tina hardly ever heard the calm voice. He yelled 99 percent of the time.
“I was at the mall with Sally.”
He looked at his wife, who just stood there with her arms crossed. She shook her head. She knew with how she said, “at the mall” was a lie. This only made him more mad. He looked back at Tina. A vein in his head began to throb and that could only mean he was about to yell.
Tina jumped in the chair. This was it. She had to tell him the truth. “Okay fine!” she yelled back at him. “I’ll tell you.”
“And explain this too.” Mr. Carlson pulled out a roll of duct tape from Tina’s purse. That might be a little harder to explain.

Tina still sat in the chair. Her father twirled the duct tape roll on his finger. He didn’t’ speak. He just stood there and stared at Tina. “Please, honey. Just answer your father. Tell us where you were and this will all be over.” Her mother was still playing it cool. She was the good cop. She couldn’t be mean if she even tried. She did though. But she was put in her place by her husband and she of course, shut up. “Tina! Tell me now where you were or else.”
“Fine! Ok!” Tina huffed and puffed. She wasn’t even sure if they would believe her. Not many teenagers are involved in a kidnapping plot. But her parents were different. They can tell when Tina was lying. It was tough for her to get away with anything. “Okay. My friend Sally. You both know Sally right?”
Her parents nodded. “What about Sally?” her father asked.
“Let me finish dad. Sally has this friend named Chase. She really likes Chase. But Chase didn’t like her.”
“What does some petty high school romance have to do with you. You’re not doing anything with that Chase kid, are you?”
“No dad! That’s gross!” She was telling the truth. She never touched Chase. She never even thought about it.. Chase wasn’t her type. She wants someone who’s a little more stable. “Anyway, so Sally got mad and told some kid named Riley lies about Chase.”
“Tina, I don’t care about these kids. This doesn’t tell me anything. I want to know where you were and what you were doing. NOW!”
“I’m trying to tell you dad. Can I tell you story?”
“NO! I don’t need a story. I don’t need all their life stories. I don’t give two shits about them. They are not my kids. Sally is not my daughter. You are. I want to know about you. I want to know where they hell you were or you will get what’s coming to you. Now end this after school special speech and explain yourself.”
Tina hesitated for a minute. This was going to be huge. She wasn’t sure how they were going to take it. They might freak, they might not even believe her. Either way, she had to tell them the truth. If she even did lie, sooner or later her parents would find out. “Sally and I kidnapped Chase. He’s tied up in a warehouse. That guy is Sally’s brother.”
“YOU WHAT!?” Her mother ran from the corner she was hiding in and stood behind Tina. “Please tell me you’re lying.” “You are lying, right honey?”
Her mother looked in Tina’s eyes. From that small glance, she began to cry. Her once law abiding daughter was now a harden criminal. Tina just sat there. She looked at her parents who for the first time, were both speechless. Her mother picked up the phone. She pressed three very familiar numbers and waited for the other end to pick up. She looked at Tina and her husband and walked into the other room.
“Please dad! I’m sorry! I’ll tell you where the warehouse is and you can see for yourself! We didn’t do anything! We’re just trying to scare him. I promise. Nothing is going to happen to Chase at all.”
Frank pulled up to the warehouse. Standing outside was Sally. “Fuck.” He mumbled to himself and he rushed himself out of the car. The lights from the van were shining on Sally. That’s when he saw the blood and knew Sally made a big mistake. “What the hell happened Sally!? What did you do?”
“Don’t worry Frank. He isn’t dead. I just hurt him a little. Go see for yourself.” She rolled her eyes and turned her head slightly to see Frank rush inside to check on Chase. Frank ran up the stairs. He took giant leaps, skipping at least two steps, sometimes three with each one he took. He went down the long hallway and stopped at the door. He held on to the doorknob, unsure if he should open it. He knew he shouldn’t have left Sally alone. He knew she was going to do something. He didn’t want to open it but he had to be sure. He had to know if he was right. “Please let him be alive. Please God, don’t let him be dead.” Frank breathed in twice and on his third deep breath, he opened the door.

Frank stood there. His jaw wide open. The floor was covered n blood. A hammer laid on the ground, the handle stained red. On the floor was Chase. His body still tied to the chair. Frank began to panic. He swore repeatedly, pacing back and forth. “What did she do!? What the hell did she do!?” Already standing in the doorway was Sally. She smirked and walked over to Frank.
“Don’t worry Frank. I got everything planned out. We’ll get away with this.” It was obvious now that Sally has completely lost her mind. It was also apparent now that Frank was scared of Sally. This wasn’t what he signed up for. They were just going to scare him a little. They all agreed on letting him go.
“Sally! Look at him! How are we going to get away with this!? We just can’t leave him here.” Frank knelt down next to Chase. He placed his hand on his chest, then put his ear to it. A faint heart beat could be heard. “He’s still alive Sally. We need to get him to a hospital. I’ll take the blame if you want me too.”
“I thought you were going to help me!? He ruined my life Frank! I couldn’t let him get away with that! He deserved everything he got.” Sally stood over Chase. “Even this.” Sally picked up the hammer and with a few swings to his face, she put Chase out of his misery.
Riley was laying on his bed. He wasn’t sleeping. He couldn’t sleep even if he tried. So many things raced through his head. Riley grabbed his backpack. He opened his bedroom door slightly. He peered out and looked for his parents. From the noise downstairs, it was clear they were busy watching television. Riley walked quietly across the hallway and back in to his parents room. It was right where it always was kept. He put the gun back his backpack. On the top shelf was a flashlight. It was kept there for easy access if the power would ever go out. Riley figured he would need that too. He dropped it in the backpack and left his parents room. Riley shook off his nerves and walked down the stairs like nothing was up. “Bye mom! Bye dad!” He yelled out as he went for the front door.
“Where you going honey?” His mom asked.
“Over to a friends house. We’re gonna study some. Teacher said a pop quiz might happen tomorrow. We want to be ready for it.”
“Okay then. Just be home by nine.” Riley looked at the clock. It was just a little after seven. “I will mom! Bye.” Riley opened the door and left. He walked to the end of the driveway and stopped. It was either left or right. Left would lead to Chase to the busy city streets, the other would lead to rundown factories and wide open fields. Riley looked left. He paused for a moment then switched his direction right. “I’m coming Chase. I hope you’re okay.” Riley pulled the strap on the backpack up a little and headed down the street, the light of the city dimming out as he walked farther and farther away.
Tina was in her room. She sat on her bed and cried. Why did she tell them the truth? She was going to get in so much trouble. Not only her but Sally and Frank. From behind her curtains, she could see the familiar red and blue lights shimmering from outside. It was the police. “It’s all Riley’s fault.” She said. “None of this would have happened if he didn’t call.” It was clear to her now that it was all over.
The front door opened and voices could be heard. Tina expected the police to burst in her room like some sort of SWAT team. They were going to throw her on the bed and handcuff her, haul her off to jail and question her to no end. But that was just the glimmer and glamour of the movies. Things like that don’t happen in real life. They just don’t. The stairs started to creak and that could only mean one thing. With each step, Tina’s heart raced just a little faster. She backed her self against the wall and stood there, frozen with fear. The door opened and three officers walked in followed by Tina’s parents. “Young lady, would you mind coming with us?” One of the officers said. He motioned to Tina to come but she didn’t. She just stood there.
“Tina, go with the officer. Nothing will happen if you cooperate.” Again, Tina’ mom was being nice about the whole thing.
“Ma’am, I suggest you back away from the wall and come with us now. We will use force if we have to. This is your only warning.” The officer once again asked for Tina to come with him. But like before, she refused.
“Tina! Get your ass over here now and go with the police. They are a lot nicer than your mother and I.” Her father slammed his foot on the ground and raised his hand like he was going to strike her. He was right about it. It would be best for Tina to go with the police. They are a lot nicer than her parents.
“I am going to give you to the count of three miss to get over here now or will we come over there and get you.” The officer motioned to the other two to get ready.
Tina stood up. She looked around the room. This would be the last time she would see it. Everything was over. Sally and Frank were going to get caught and Chase and Riley were going to tell the police everything.
Tina started to cry. “I can’t. I just can’t. I’m sorry! We just wanted to scare him! No one is going to get hurt! I promise!” Tina shook her head and wouldn’t walk over to the police, who were getting more and more inpatient with her.
“Two….” The officer grabbed the handcuff from his side and nodded to his squad. All three took a step forward. They were ready to take action and bring Tina down like she was some escape convict.
“NO! I can’t do this anymore!” Tina looked forward, then at her parents. “I’m sorry mom and dad…This wasn’t supposed to happen!”
The officer never reached three. Tina ran across the room to the opposite wall. The officers scrambled to get a hold of Tina but were too late. Tina decided this was way too much. It was clear she was better off dead and that’s just what she did. Tina leaped from the floor and took a nosedive out the window. The commanding officer rushed to the window. He looked down and saw Tina’s body sprawled out on three of the five concrete steps leading up to the front door. Tina’s mother screamed and buried her face in her husbands chest.

Frank and Sally tossed Chase’s body in the back of the van. He was still worried about what was going to happen to them. Sally didn’t. She had it all planned out. “Just drive Frank. I’ll explain on the way.” Frank did as she instructed. Before he got this involved, he thought he was the one that was going to be in charge. He figured Sally and Tina would do as he said. Never in his life did he think Sally would do something like this. Never in a million years. That didn’t matter now. He was knee deep in some serious shit. He just hoped Sally had a good plan and a plan that works. If not, he could become a bus for someone like Chase.
“Okay. We’ll drive to that open field. We passed it on the way here.” Sally pointed to a pair of shovels and some bags in the back of the van. Frank worked as a landscaper on the side for a little extra cash. (Sure it might be a little predictable that two shovels, some bags and other items that could be used in the disposal of a body would be in the van, but hell! It’s a story. So suck it.)
“We find a nice spot. Dig a nice hole and drop his sorry ass in it.”
Frank looked at Sally. “That’s it!? We just bury him? Don’t you think someone will find him?”
“No one ever comes out here. Don’t worry. After tonight, we’ll act like this never happened.” She pointed to the field. “In there.”
Tina’s house was crawling with curious on lookers, paramedics and more police. It was a circus. The parents were still in here room being questioned just about every possible sergeant they had in the state. “We told you already! She said they went to some warehouse to teach some boy a lesson.”
“Who is this boy?” asked a sergeant.
“I don’t know. I think his name was Chase or something.” The father held on to his wife. They were still a mess. They have every right. Their daughter just took a swan dive from her bedroom window. They just wanted to be alone. But this was the police and their daughter was in to something deep. They had more questions.
“Did you say Chase?” The sergeant jotted down some notes then flipped back some pages. “I have a report from a Mrs. Miller. She said her son hasn’t yet returned home. He went out with some friends. That was the last she heard from him.”
“I never met this kid.” He looked at his wife. “Look Sergeant…” He stopped at looked at his badge, “Fine. I told you already. Tina said her and her friend Sally wanted to teach this Chase kid a lesson. They took him to some warehouse. That’s all Tina said. Why don’t you leave me and my wife alone and go find the kid?”
“I am sorry about your loss. Really I am. But if your daughter was in fact involved in some kidnapping scheme, I need to know all the facts.”
“That’s all I know. I swear. Now, can you leave us alone for a moment?” Sergeant Fine agreed. He motioned to everyone to leave. “I’ll back to ask a few more questions. Again, sorry about your daughter.”
Sergeant Fine walked down the stairs. “I want you to gather up a team and head down to the warehouse district. Check out all the abandoned warehouses. They have to be in one of those. I want you to bring this…Sally gal in. She has some questions to answer.”
“Got it sergeant.” Fine and the officer stepped in to their squad car and drove down the street. Fine radioed in some back up to meet at the district. “I don’t get kids these days. What happened to the youth of today?”
Frank and Sally were busy digging the hole. They were about done. “How far we going Sally?” Frank asked.
“I think it’s deep enough” The hole was just shy of six feet. Sally and Frank grabbed Chase and dropped him in the grave. It was that easy. At least Sally thought so. Her plan was perfect. She just hoped Frank would stick to the plan and not fuck it up. Sally and Frank stuck the shovels in the mounds of dirt and began to fill up the hole.
Sally wiped her brow. “Oh! I almost forgot. We should go back and clean up the mess. We don’t want to leave any evidence.”

Riley just passed the field. He didn’t even look. If he did, he could have probably seen Sally and Frank busy at work disposing of his friend. Riley was coming in the warehouse district. He wasn’t even sure if this was the right area. But he had some gut feeling it had to be. Where else would people go to be alone or hide, or maybe to hide someone? He passed a few warehouses. They looked the same. All gray and worn down. They would be the perfect place to hide someone. Riley picked the fourth one on the right. He didn’t know why, but it felt right. He looked around. He could see some lights coming towards him. He quickly ran across the road towards the building.
Riley felt his stomach turn. Something was wrong here. Something bad happened here. In the dirt was tire tracks. They looked brand new. Maybe someone was here. Maybe they already left. It was now the question of, will and when they would return.

Riley snunked in. It was a big place. Big places mean lots of places to hide. He spotted a set of stairs and took them. He walked slowly, hoping to keep quiet. Was this really what it came down to? He just became friends with Chase and was already out with guns blazing looking for him. Hell, he was already going to kill Tina for him. For them both. But Tina never came out, neither did Chase. So he has to assume the worst. He has to assume Tina did something. Maybe Tina set Chase up. He shouldn’t think that way. He shouldn’t think anything bad happened to Chase. But with everything that went on, and now finding himself in an empty warehouse, he had to think the worse. He had to think that Chase was in trouble.

Riley knelt down and pulled the backpack towards him. He dug inside and pulled out the gun. He fished around the bottom and found the four bullets he grabbed. He loaded the gun and cocked it. Riley stood up and looked forward. In front of him was a door. Riley’s body shook. A cold chill passed over him. “This has to be it.” He held the gun in his and took the stance he see’s people do all the time in the movies. He stood at the door with his shoulder to it. He listened.


Riley took one hand off the gun and took a hold of the door handle. He squeezed down and opened the door. Empty. He jumped in, pointing the gun around in all directions. Nothing out of the ordinary. It was a typical room expect for the blood stained floor. This was the room alright. This was where Sally did his friend in. But where were they? Where was Sally? Tina? Chase? This was not good. The blood, the chair, no one being here. It all added up to one thing. Chase was dead. Riley sniffled. He wiped the tears from his eyes. “They are going to pay for this.” Just like it was meant to happen, the sound of car drove up. The engine stopped and Riley could hear two doors open the close. “It’s them.” Riley closed the door. He positioned the chair to face the door. He sat down, pointed the gun at the door and now was playing the waiting game.

Tina’s father was sitting on his bed next to his wife. She was still in tears about losing her daughter. He was too busy thinking. “You okay honey?” His wife asked him. The police finally left and the crowd outside were sent back to their homes. “Honey…please answer me. Are you okay?” She asked him again but got no answer. He looked at her and gave her a hug and kiss. He sat up and walked out of the room without saying a word.

“Where are you going?” She asked. She had an inkling about what he was going to do but didn’t want to accuse him of doing something rash. She asked him again but again, he didn’t answer and kept on walking. He walked down the hallway, to the stairs, then to the living room. “Nick…don’t do anything stupid! Please! Whatever you’re thinking, don’t do it!” She was standing at the top of the stairs, just yelling at him. It wasn’t working at all. She could even yell louder but it still wouldn’t make him turn around. His mind was already made up. Nick walked out the door and took one last glance at his wife before leaving. “I love you.” With that, he shut the door. He stepped off the pathway on to the grass to avoid the spot where his daughter laid dead. Mrs. Carlson had got up the nerve to walk down the steps. She opened the front door only to see her husband drive off. She followed the car all the way till the backlights vanished in the darkness.

Riley sat in the chair. He could hear people walking around downstairs. The voices were too faint for him to make out. He hoped it was Sally. He was so hoping to see her face right before he blew it off and spread it across the walls. He looked around the room. It did need a little color. “Maybe red, to match the floors.” Riley thought to himself.

The noise was getting louder. That could only mean whoever was downstairs was getting closer to him. Each step they took made Riley’s heart beat just a little faster. His breathing became heaving. “focus. You got to focus…” Riley shook off the little ounce of doubt he had and steadied the gun in his hand.  His eyes were glued to the door. He didn’t blink. He just sat there and stared, watching and waiting for it to move just a tad. “In here.” A voice from behind the door said.

Riley didn’t recognize that voice. That wasn’t Sally. That wasn’t even Tina. Who was it? He wondered. The door opened and Fine and Riley locked eyes. Frank and Sally finished disposing of Chase and were back in the van heading back to the warehouse. “Did you hear that!?” Sally hollered at Frank. She wasn’t sure if he heard it or not but she did. It was the sound of gunfire, two shots to be exact. It was evident it came from the warehouse. But who was there?

“We can’t go back Frank! Someone’s inside the warehouse.” Sally was in panic mode. It was clear to her now that her plan was falling apart. Even with Chase dead, he still found a way to screw her over. It took some convicting but Sally finally got through to Frank and he agreed to not return to the warehouse. Whatever went on inside, wasn’t any of their concern. They had to get away. Frank pulled out from the field and headed towards the city. It was over. It wasn’t a very long ride back to the city but it was enough time for them to discuss their alibis.

Riley did get off one shot. Sergeant Fine was dead. It was Sally but at least for Riley, someone’s head was splattered on the wall. Fine’s body lay dead on the floor. His gun was still clutched in his hand.  Officer Stanley stood over Fine’s body checking for a pulse he knew he wouldn’t find. As for Riley, he did get one shot off. He didn’t have the quickest draw in town. He was slouched over in the chair, blood trickling down his arm. Stanley returned fire quickly, shooting Riley in the shoulder, disarming him. He radioed for backup and paramedics to the scene. “We got an officer down! I repeat, we have an officer down.” He looked at Riley. He was still alive, taking each breath for everything it offered. “Suspect opened fire and was taken down. I repeat, suspect is dead.” Stanley turned off the radio and walked over to Riley. It was just him and Riley. No one else was around. No one else was there to see anything or contradict his story. Stanley did what he thought anyone else would do and put his gun to Riley’s head.

Frank and Sally were arguing over where they were during all this. Sally wanted to say the movie but Frank wouldn’t go for it. He was more worried about Tina and all these ‘what if’ questions raced through his head. What if Tina did tell her parents everything? The gun shots at the warehouse? Was it the police? But who were they shooting at? Who else could possibly be inside the warehouse? It was then, that Frank got some great epiphany. The only other person that was involved in all this was Riley. It had to be him. Who else could it be?  “Frank! Just listen to me! I know what I am doing, okay!? We were at the movies. How are they going to even look that up? Hundreds of people go to the movies every night. It’s not like they have cameras set up or anything.” She looked at Frank and patted him on the shoulder, “Trust me. It will all work out. We’re going to get away with this.”

“What about the warehouse Sally? We didn’t go back. We were sloppy. They will eventually catch us.” Frank debunked her idea. That didn’t go well with Sally, who was very well content with her plans.

“So what? Whoever was at the warehouse is probably dead and will be blamed for this. I hope it was Riley. He deserves it. You know he wanted to kill Tina right?” You know that Frank? He was going to kill Tina for that piece of shit Chase.” Sally began to rant. She wasn’t making much sense at all. She was just glad that Chase was dead and she could go on living. Maybe when she got back to school, she could find someone new. Maybe someone a little more stable and not such a pussy like Chase was. Maybe a guy who knows how to say “yes”. He better say “yes”. Sally wasn’t sure if Frank would be up for doing this all over again.

Frank looked at Sally, taking his eyes off the road. “What the hell are you talking about Sally? We still need to talk to Tina. You just better hope your friend didn’t go whine to mommy and daddy about this. If she did, we’re all going down Sally.”

“Don’t talk about my friend that way Frank! You don’t know Tina. You don’t know her at all. She would never do anything like that. She lies to her parents all the time.” Sally laughed, “You don’t know how gullible her mom and dad are. They think they’re so smart but Tina is smarter.” Frank still wouldn’t go for it. He wanted to talk to Tina and it had to be tonight. They couldn’t wait till tomorrow. No telling what could happen over night. They had to get their stories straight. If anything didn’t match, the police will catch on and Frank, Sally, and Tina will have to answer to a panel of twelve people they don’t know.

Frank looked at Sally. “We’re going to Tina’s house. I want to get this settled tonight. Don’t try to convince me otherwise.”  Sally looked away and sighed. “LOOK AT ME!” He yelled at her. She still didn’t respond. Frank took one hand off the wheel and grabbed Sally by the shoulder. “Sally! Fucking look at me!” That time, it got her attention. “We’re going to Tina’s, okay!?”

It was too late. Neither of them saw the car coming towards them. Both cars slammed head first into each other. Frank had at some point crossed the line into on coming traffic. Frank was tossed from the car. He was always very careless about not wearing his seatbelt. He never had a problem before. He would complain about how the shoulder strap would always dig into his neck. That was the main reason why he never bothered to wear it. If Frank just sucked it let the belt dig in his neck, he wouldn’t he laying dead on the hood of the other car. It didn’t look much like Frank anymore. His body was on the hood of the car, his disfigured and bloody head, laid on the passenger seat of Mr. Carlson’s car.

Mr. Carlson was the smart one. He always wore his seatbelt. He was all about “safety first.’ Nick had a few cuts and scrapes on him but it wasn’t anything life threatening. “Excuse me.” He joked and he reached over Frank’s head and opened the glove box. He pulled out a gun. His wife never really liked the idea of him owning a gun. She was worried that Tina would one day find out and end up hurting herself. Sally came to. She was a little dazed but okay to say the least. She took the same life lessons as Mr. Carlson and always wore her seatbelt. She looked at the wreckage in front of her and saw Frank’s body on the car. She looked forward and she saw Mr. Carlson. He waved to her and had this grimace come across his face. He lowered his hand and came back with a gun in it. He waved the gun back and forth, then pointed at her. “Fuck.” Sally said.

She reached under her seat and felt around a bit. She knew Frank hid a gun in his car, but wasn’t sure if he still had it. BINGO! She felt cold metal in her hand. Sally kept her eyes on Mr. Carlson. He was just sitting there. He could have easily gotten out of the car and killed her. He didn’t though. He just sat there and watched her. It was almost as if he wanted to give her some sporting chance to try and escape. Sally opened the barrel and looked inside. Only one bullet left. She just hoped her aim was up to par. Sally kept her eyes on Mr. Carlson and exited the van. Like a mirror image of Sally, he did the same thing. There they both were, both standing on opposite sides, both facing each other, and both with their guns in their hands.

The smoke was billowing in the air. A small flame was beginning to start from leaked fuel. If you were looking in the right direction, you could see it. One Officer did see it, along with a couple of paramedics. Officer Stanley had dispatched for back up and some paramedics to come to his aid. Officer Stanley’s back up was arriving quickly. Officer Starr was in the front squad car. His partner sat quietly, reading some reports. The wreck was something totally unexpected. Starr and his partner him were to go to the warehouse. No one mentioned a car crash. Starr kept his eyes on the road. He could see the wreck just a little in the distance. It was a mess from what he could tell. But this was what he signed up for. It is never a dull moment in the life of a police officer. Starr pressed on the break and put the car in park. He unbuckled himself and examined the crash scene. He saw Frank on the hood then peered into the car and saw more of Frank. Starr choked a bit and swallowed back down some vomit. He spotted a gun on the road. Next to it was a bloodied hand. “Jesus Christ! What the hell happened here!?” He said. Officer Starr returned to the squad car and picked up the radio. “I just arrived at the car crash scene. Better bring two body bags. This wreck is mess.”

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I like food. I like the smell of cinnamon.

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