Serial Novels

Site Navigation
Chapter 1

Part 1: The Run of the Gauntlet

by: Jim Jones

The air was unusually warm for a clear December night in Lancaster, Michigan. Fifty six degrees was 40 degrees above normal; Most years before 1972, the launch of winter meant two feet of snow on the roadways and sharp freezing winds slicing through you like shrapnel through softened butter. Chilling your flesh to the bones, your teeth clattering together almost harmonically. Making the cartilage in your joints chatter and the pores in your skin rigid with goose bumps.

This had been the warmest winter on record. The people of Lancaster were more than ready for a thick winter, with their beanies, scarves, and mittens, a cup of hot cocoa with tiny marshmallows waiting for them when they decided to retire in doors for the evening. A crackling fire would've heated their souls. But this year, it was an unnecessary preparation. The usual winter storm was off behind the horizon somewhere, approaching slowly, but when would it arrive? The storm was a month late and the people where over prepared.

The streets, where the snow had completely covered in years before, making it next to impossible to travel, were lucid and dry, constructing an easy path for a rushed trip to the emergency room.

Mary Lawrence, a taller woman with lengthy curled hair of marigold, was nine months pregnant and moments away from delivery. Her petite body made her only pregnancy especially painful, making it impossible for her to hide her anguish. It was an instinctive choice for David Lawrence to rush his young wife to the hospital when her pains grew long, and her temperature rose to a dangerous level. Sweat rolled from her clammy but smooth skin, and her shivers where constant, keeping discomfort and irritability close to her. Her flesh felt cold and every time David touched her she would scream in agony. It was like he was mutilating her with his soft touch

The trip from 1216 Bayleaf Circle to St. Mary's Medical Center was about a thirty-minute drive doing the speed limit of 35 mph and stopping at all the signals. But the streets were free from ice and the traffic was almost nil at twelve midnight, which made it easy for David to boost his speed to almost 50 miles an hour on the two lane road that led through the mid-sized community. A speed at which, on the freeway that was almost fifteen miles away, was appropriate. But through town, that speed would be another high-stake ticket, getting lost in the system, binding you to the courts for months.

The towering street lamps that reflected a dull orange light off of the road led a path through the eerie community. Three Story houses, with gables that held confirmation to the greatest ghost stories, lined the sides of the two-lane street. Every one of them were completed with the round Victorian attic window with a ghostly image peering out of the highest peek. The figure would watch you. Wait for you. Make your spine crawl with fright as you carelessly passed by.

But during the day, the story was told in a much different manner. The various dogwood trees that lined the sidewalks provided a family aura about the community, leaving the fresh sent of newly blossoming flowers to lounge around your nose in the springtime, enticing your memory to think of the children playing hide 'n' go seek. Taking cover behind the blossoming branches, and kneeling in between the azalea bushes beneath the fine wood trim windows. Letting your thoughts linger on the tranquility of a family oriented neighborhood. But the blooming spring was months away.

David grew up in Lancaster. The scenery hadn't changed much since attending Lancaster High and practicing football on the front lawns. Taking Mary Beth Parker to the Prom. David dated Mary Beth Parker the last three years of his high school career. She lived at 3465 Keeling ave. {The house he had just passed. The house that would eventually decide David's death.} She was the one that every one thought would marry David, but on the inside of her heart, there was this stain, the stain of Satan's blood, just sitting there, glaring at you. The stain was proved to be true to its expression. On one occasion, she had Jake Jacobs, the school tyrant, hide behind the outer wall of the school building, and when David turned the corner, "WHAM", a wooden plank slammed across his forehead. Leaving David confused and confined to the hospital for three weeks, suffering from a major skull fracture and amnesia. To this day, the scar is still visible underneath the right lighting. It was a major topic for Mary Goldman, {his wife} and himself on their first date.

Being that he was from around these parts, his sense of direction was almost instantaneous. The lights had just helped him see the silhouette of parked cars along the curb. He knew about the stop sign on the corner of Maple Ave. and his road, Keeling blvd. {The oldest road in the city and named after Adam Keeling, the founder of Keelington, now known as Lancaster.} He also knew about the red light, the one that seems to take forever when you're in a rush, at the corner of Keeling blvd. and route 669, the major pass-through of Lancaster. {If you stayed east on 669, you would end up on I-75; from there you could travel north to the Upper Peninsula or go south to Florida.} But 669 was the only road that left Lancaster.

That's where Larry Keys, a local police officer, clocked his speed at 56 Mph. Without hesitation, he flicked the chrome switch and his silent trap had turned into a carnival midway, with the siren blasting and the flashing red and blue lights making the dark street strobe with brightness and brilliance. {It left a few of the residences feeling safe knowing that the local law enforcements are keeping the streets free of those unwanted criminals. "Ridding us of the slime that crept up from the greasy swamps." As the Great Chief of police "Pete Gordon," claimed in his campaign speech.} But a few were skeptic, those are the ones that would soon be on-lookers to the most Ghastly crime that this town had ever seen.

Keys pressed the accelerator to pursue the speeder and the mobile carnival unit raced down the street. It was a chase that would've happened a little more exotic, if David would have done the speed limit; it was the speeding that turned a silent mission into a chaotic commotion, alerting the people of the night's events.

Another red light would be disobeyed along with a few more stop signs. And as David made his desperate race towards St. Mary's, stinging sweat flourished from his brow and made its way into the socket of his eyes, causing his vision to blur, like there was this oily film on the lens of his minds camera. But he was an unwavering man, only GOD could prevent him from taking his wife out of harms way.

"Finally!!!" The whispered sigh came from under David's breath as he turned right at the last stoplight. The one that directed traffic to and from St. Mary's. The parking lot was bare except for the few patches of cars left by the nightshift. They were sitting quietly about the vast paved field. The well-maintained pavement was without potholes, but every hundred feet, there were these smooth topped speed bumps, painted fluorescent yellow for visibility. {They where installed when "Jerry Weeks" was struck by a speeding motorist.} But David paid no mind to the bumps. He was doing twenty-five miles an hour when he approached the Emergency Department Doors. He slammed on the brakes to make his stop when the chasing police officer joined his squealing. The tires squelched and smoked as they stopped the cars. And in an adept way, Larry Keys had killed the siren to deter attention, {like the people weren't alerted to the noise already.} and he jumped from his cruiser to announce his presence over the bullhorn. "TURN THE ENGINE OFF." Before He could finish his demands, David had leaped form his vehicle and ran to the passenger door of his metallic blue 1969 Monte Carlo. When he pulled up on the handle, the door seemed to open automatically and as the door squeaked open, one of Mary's fury pink bunny slippers had fallen to the ground. Her bare foot was kicking at the door. It was like there was the phenomenal force attacking her and all she wanted to do is get away from it. Insane she seemed to be.

David leaned over his frantic wife and reached for her arms to help her out of the car that was left running. And when he did, her water broke, leaving David soaked with the blood mixed fluid. And the stench almost made him gag.

Meanwhile, Larry had drawn his weapon and hid behind his opened door, taking aim at the stalked, curly black headed man through the rolled down window. "I'm ordering you to show your hands" the cop was turning the circus of a crime into a scandalous achievement. "This is a police officer of the Lancaster Police Department, and I am ordering you to show your hands!" Behind David, Larry was throwing a devious smile.

David ignored the cops' demand, and hoisted Mary into his arms, the way a newly wed husband would do for his fresh bride, and he twisted to the direction of help. He struggled as he hauled his wife and soon to be newborn soon to the safety of a doctors care.

Larry had bellowed his warning one last time. "STOP OR I'LL SHOOT." The warning was direct and stern, but David Lawrence was stubborn, he continued to reach for safety.

The shot was fast! Too fast! Faster than David! The bullet pierced his shoulder blade, causing the bone to explode with the impact, dispersing shrapnel of bone fragments through his tender organs. And then! Blood pulped from his wound, spurting out like a garden hose that was just turned on releasing the pressure of the confined liquid. He left a trail of spattered blood behind him. He knew that the shot was fatal as he looked down at his wife who was gasping for breath. That's when he saw it. He saw the pulsing blood! But it wasn't his blood. It was pulsating from his wife's body. And it was pulsing with vitality. Like some one had opened the floodgate to her veins. His vision was growing dark, and the light illuminating from the E.R. was dimming. His last vision was the painful look on his dying wife's face, as he himself was seeing the pitch-blackness of death devouring him. And he collapsed, landing atop of his bride.

Larry had pulled the .22 caliber pistol; the one that the chief of police had given to him during their off the record meeting at the start of his shift, from in between his back and the waistband of his uniform as he cautiously walked towards his fallen perpetrator. Kneeling down to the cadaver and placing the Black Market weapon in its hand, he noticed that the woman David was carrying was bleeding. {he wasn't supposed to shoot her, just him.} Her life was slowing and was almost at its end, but Mary Lawrence had seen her murderer. She knew for whom to haunt.

With her bluish green eyes reaching for him, studying him, like she was preparing for a big test, he stood up, returning the glare. But his glare was unlike hers. His was this cruel undaunted manifestation. It was almost as if remorse for what he has done was lost somewhere in between his assassination and the part of his brain that allowed him to feel sorrow. He slowly walked backwards, pointing his state Issue .45 at the pile of death. A moment had passed when he heard the sliding glass doors of the E.R. He looked up from his concentration to the approaching witness.

Dr. Brian Horowitz was tending to a patient when he heard the shot ring through the empty corridors of the hospital. He excused himself from his duties to see what the commotion was and when he walked through the sliding door, he saw the travesty. The clump of blood soaked cloth that clothed the victims stuck to the sides of his mind, it reminded him of the rags he used during certain surgeries, and he rushed to the couple's aid. He noticed the pregnancy and he looked up at the officer in horror. A worn out smile was replaced by grimace.

Keys looked serious! A little too serious! But there was a hint of enjoyment seeping through his straight face. Almost as if the sight of spewed blood gave him a discrete pleasure.

Horowitz put his two fingers on Mary's jugular to take her pulse. Within a few seconds he diagnosed that she was fading fast.

Larry shouted out a sharp warning. "Step back sir. This is official Police Business."

His demands where disconcerting to the doctor, "Are you serious?" his look was sarcastic. He kept up his examination of the couple. And when he lifted David's body, Mary's body rolled out from underneath, showing the saturation of red fluid soaking into both of their clothing. And he could see the hole the bullet made. A tattered hole entering into her side where her ribs where. He could see the sheen of the blood layered on the pierced flesh as the pulsing blood slowed its repetition. Like it was running out of fluid to pump. And her breath slowed. She was unconscious, unable to speak. He put his finger on the wound and applied plenty of pressure, the way they taught him in medical school, but it was too late. He tried desperately to save her but the blood just stopped. The pressure was lost and so was Mary's life.

He looked up at the attentive officer who was approaching him quickly with a pair of chrome bracelets in his hands, and an illicit appearance on his face. Larry turned quickness to stealthyness, and with a thrust of his body, he was lying on top of Horowitz, grabbing on to his arm, slamming the handcuffs onto his wrist, ripping the skin and exposing the wrist bone. Pain paralyzed his left side.

When the doctor tried to resist, Larry webbed his hand and palmed is face, the way a basketball player would palm a basketball, and he jostled his head into the concrete walkway. The slab beneath them shook just a bit with the impact. And blood trickled from underneath the doctor's head, staining the concrete as the blood spilled.

Larry finished restraining the doctor with his back to the entrance. But he could hear once again, the mechanical noise of the sliding door. He looked up from his duty to see a small mob of people. {Witnesses} There were six of these witnesses standing on this side of the glass doors. They were wearing their white uniformed wardrobes with matching shoes, with the exception of one pair. The one, was a pair of faded black sneakers that where tattered at the toe. Normally that would be reason for dismissal but with her ties to the community, no one dared to venture that far. Sure, she's been docked for being out of uniform, but with one stern word from her life long protector, Peggy's docked pays turned into certain raises. She was the least savant of the group, according to her tattered footwear, and her lackey hair job tailed the backwoods hillbilly aura about her. Her hair was frayed to look as if there might be a nest of ticks nestled in there somewhere.

The hair color of the other four nurses varied from bleach blonde to he darkest of the blonde family. And the one that was wearing the worn out sneakers, her color was almost black with a dark red hue to highlight it. {Maybe the blackness was from the lack of cleansing.}

Doctor Kerr was standing at attention behind Tracy, the shortest nurse with the lightest colored hair; his face was well lit up by the fluorescent lighting that provided security. Dismay was the prescription, on which his face had filled. With the frown of jester and the brow of nobleman, he was confused on the events that were acted out before his very eyes. 'Horowitz is the good guy, why are they doing that to him?' Several of those thoughts flooded his mind, keeping him put as Stacy Henderson, the second shortest of the group with the Dishwater blonde hair, almost bleached, took a couple of steps forward from the crowd.

Larry was staring at the crowd with anticipation. Rearing to use his gun once again. With patience he said, "Now hold on people, there's nothing to see here, just go on back inside."

His order was disobeyed. Stacy took another step closer to the officer.

"Go on now." a smile perched from his lips. "Go on back to work."

This time he dictated his order with authority. But Stacy was a brave woman. She took another step closer and tried to explain to the officer, "But officer, that woman is pregnant. We need to get her inside, before it's too late." The concerned nurse pleaded in her softest voice and almost with tears coming out of her eyes, as she tried to convince the stubborn policeman to let them care for the expectant woman.

"That's going to be impossible at the moment." The officer explained his case. "This is a crime scene and no one is going to tamper with the evidence, but once we investigate, you can do whatever you want. But until then I must ask you to return to your jobs and let me do my duty." He hovered attentively, his pistol hand over his unsnapped holster. She took one more step before Larry said. "Don't make me arrest you." his grin was on the inside but it took up his whole face.

She was brave, but she was also intractable, when she set her mind on something. One more step started a torturous journey that would span over twenty years of her life.

Keys reached for his gun, pulling it from the unsnapped holster and pointing the loaded weapon at the youngest nurse. He approached Stacy with diligence as he shouted out to her. "Get your hands up." He was direct with his order and she did as he commanded. Slowly raising her arms above her head, she pleaded with the deputy. "But sir! We need to get her inside before it's too late. What! Are you going to kill the baby too?" Worry fell on her heart, leaving a look of horror on her lean face. Her eyes were thin with a babyish blue center, and the skin under her eyes was puffy, as if she wasn't getting enough sleep, but they were alive enough to feel the sorrow.

Larry Keys was one of those types of cops that liked to be in control of the citizens whenever they where around. His dominant behavior took after a Marine Corps drill sergeant. "I'm placing you under arrest for interfering with a police officer during the course of his duty." He pulled the second pair of cuffs from his shiny black utility belt, and stepped up to Stacy. When the cuff snapped shut around her dinky wrist, it shot pain through her arm. Drawing blood once again from the police brutality, he twisted her slender arm behind her back. The twist was fierce, almost fierce enough to snap her bone, but it didn't. Instead it tightened her muscles, ripping the organ, causing agony to tour the whole right side of her body.

With Stacy in front of him, holding her arm and cuffing her other wrist, he looked over her shoulder to the rest of the spectators. A warning plumed from his mouth. "Surely you have patients to tend to, now go on back inside before I place you all under arrest." A smile kept his lips perched.

They did what he asked. And he turned Stacy towards Horowitz. She felt sorry for him when she saw him lying there. Just laying there, face down in a puddle of blood, almost like he was unconscious, with his hands cuffed to his back and his body motionless.

She struggled with his leading but he dominated her, forcing her to walk with him. And the harder she struggled the tighter his grip was on her.

After taking a few paces, he threw her on to the pavement next to the injured Doctor. "You just sit there, and don't you move. Do you hear me bitch?" He said silently. When he leaned into to her, she saw the yellow stains from his stale coffee and cigarettes. And the breath that he used to speak his unruly demands had this stench, a stench of onions and chilly, and peppers, and mustard seed. Underneath those smells, another smell was embedded. This smell was harder to describe, but if you could smell it, it would be worse than the smell of rotten eggs. And it would reach the bottom of your gut, and the acid in your stomach would turn and boil, and it would feel like it was eating at the lining of your stomach like you had just swallowed a full glass of battery acid. She somehow managed not to throw up with the tainted wind that shot her way as he spoke.

The officer was ruthless when he spoke to her, almost like he was his own superior. He didn't have to answer to anyone. {Everyone knows that the police work for the public.} Stacy was still confused on why she was under arrest, but she knew of the consequences for breaking the law, and right now Larry Key's was the law. She took regard to the out of control bobby, and did as he mandated.

Staying uncomfortably in the position that was required to her, she looked softly at Horowitz who's head was laying next to her. The blood that seeped from his hidden injury was turning to a darker red as it dried; the seeping blood was slowing its flow. She wanted to put her hand on his head but the chrome restraints made the thought unachievable.

Larry had turned his attention to his pile of death. He made sure that his captives saw him kick the gun out of David's hand. {Creating one more piece of evidence in is defense.} The gun slid across the paved walkway as Keys leaned down to search the cadaver, and when he carefully investigated the wet with blood clothes, he found a syringe, still wet with a clear liquid. He set the syringe aside and went through the rest of David's pockets, not finding much, Just a few dollars and the Insurance card that he was going to use to pay for the delivery.

As Larry was conducting his search, Stacy whispered to Horowitz, "Hey! Wake up! Doctor! Wake up!" When the whispering didn't work, she tried to scoot her body closer to his, it was a little difficult but with a few hops of her butt, she managed to touch him with her thigh. She whispered again, this time nudging him a bit. It was working.

Slowly awaking from his oblivious state, he moved a little bit, not realizing that he was restrained. He tried to get up, but when he tried, he hit his head on the pavement once again.

"Hey doctor, Are you O.K." Still groggy from the impact, he didn't answer the first time.

"Hey doctor! Are you O.K.?"

A faint mumble came from him. "Huh! Yeah. What happened?" He rested his head on the concrete, realizing that he was bound and couldn't sit up.

"We've been arrested." She was frightened as she explained the situation to him. "I don't know why, but we were arrested. There was a man, (sob) and this pregnant lady, and there was blood, lots of blood!"

Her sobbing was turning to cries when Horowitz offered her relief that she would be O.K.. "Don't worry. Everything will be O.K." Reassuring her that things would be just fine, he continued on with. "I've got a good lawyer, I'm sure he'll straighten everything out." What was going to happen to them, the greatest lawyer in the world couldn't help them with. But she was starting to calm down with his tender words. She was able to hold in her tears and the sobbing, but Larry had already heard the whispering and the commotion.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Out of nowhere, his rough looking face with a sort frown appeared in front of them. He had the face of a drill sergeant once again as he scolded his prisoners. "I told you not to move and you blatantly disobeyed my orders. Do you know what you're charged with?" His tone was of a threatening nature, almost like a hostile gang member. "Disrupting a police officer during his duty. Do you know how dangerous that is? I don't take kindly to people endangering my life. That man had a gun and he could of shot you. Or worse, shot me. Now listen up. You are both under arrest for Malicious conduct towards a law enforcement officer. "You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer any questions. Anything you do or say may be used against." The voice trailed off into the night as they gazed at each other. Hoping, praying that this nightmare would end soon. But it was just the beginning.

Stacy was dumbfounded by the idea that she was being placed under arrest. And when Larry finished his mandatory speech, all she could do is wave her head in acknowledgement.

He finished his scolding with. "Intrusion is a felony, and it carries a maximum sentence of ten years. If you're lucky and you behave yourself, you might get out in five." A chuckle escaped his pitiless voice as he made the threat.

Horowitz knew that that was all it was. 'A threat.' A set of idle words carefully designed to distract a person from the true events that surround them. A threat couldn't stop Horowitz from observing his crude actions, and his unwarranted scolding. And when his attorneys find out about this apostatized officer, they just might have themselves a lawsuit.

He knew all about his rights and how Larry keys was endangering the life of a civilian. It was all right there in his copy of "the physician's handbook pertaining to the law". He had to memorize it, pretty much, to pass the general admissions test for his internship. And it stated that if any personnel should observe any strange actions performed by a law official while on the premises of any medical institute, you should call the F.B.I. immediately. But at the moment he couldn't very well do that, now could he? All bound up, laying face down in a puddle of his own blood.

"Now, I want you two to just sit there and shut the fuck up!" It was almost a scream as he walked away from his captives; it reminded Horowitz of the fight he had with Jerry Macintire after he caught him and his girlfriend together under the bleachers at half time during one of his football games. He confronted Jerry and when he did, Jerry hit him so hard that he fell to the ground with his nose bleeding and broken. He watched Jerry walk away with his girlfriend in his arm. Now is just like back then, there was nothing he could do about it. Needless to say, he played the worst game of his life that night.

~End Chapter 1, Part 1~

$0 Web Hosting

DriftersOasis © 2001-2004.
All material © the Original Authors, otherwise held by DriftersOasis.com
No portion of this site may be copied without permission.

Get a GoStats hit counter