The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 13…street-part-13/

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

James Stetson shrugged off the hands that guided him through the crowd. “I can walk fine! Thank you!”

Officer Tom Engle said, “We just wanted you to know we’re with you all the way.”

“Yeah, we don’t want you to get shoved around by this crowd. They’re pretty scared and mad, you know?” said Tom’s partner, Joe Larosa.

“You wise guys, think I’m through? Think about it again, and again,” said Stetson with a mean grin. “I’ve always made a comeback.”

“Oh yeah? Well, we’ll see you when you do come back. Word is, you ain’t going to, not for a long time,” said Tom.

“Tom’s right. Down at the station there’s talk that complaints are coming in left and right, now that you’ve been canned. You have a lot of enemies, Stetson. And you made them all by yourself,” added Joe, and he snickered.

Once again, Stetson had coals thrown at his slow burning temper. Usually he fired off sarcastic remarks that scald whomever he wanted to humiliate, but today, he wisely started a new pattern of behavior. I’m like a chameleon. I can change to do whatever benefits me.

“Okay, okay. We’re here. You don’t have to walk me upstairs,” said Stetson.

“We’ll just wait here to see you walk in before we go,” said Tom.

Stetson was about to put his key in the front door when a neighbor on his floor, a buxom brunette, in orange pedal pushers walked out.

“Hi! How you doing?” she asked, not stopping for an answer as she skipped down the four steps. “See ya!” and she disappeared down toward Mason Street.

“Nice looking neighbor,” said Tom as he watched her ponytail sway side to side with her every stride.

Stetson ignored him and walked upstairs. By now, he had other things to do right away. He turned on the radio for the news, hung up his uniform, and put on a pair of cotton slacks and a long sleeved shirt that he liked to wear with the tails out.

Haley. His thoughts centered on Haley and the girls driving down Hyde Street. His cabbie had just advised him, “Bush Street is clogged.” That’s when he had decided to treat himself with a nice lunch down at the Buena Vista Café, located at the end of Hyde Street. He rode a few blocks up Hyde, and that’s when they spotted each other. What a surprise. Where were they going? They had to have seen their apartment in shambles. Why else would they be that scared to see him riding alongside their van? Yeah. They saw what I could get done. That’s payback, Kiddo. You had it coming.

It still angered him that the cabbie wouldn’t drive faster. The cabbie lost the girls. Stetson remembered the moment when he said, very loud, “Drive faster! Catch up with them!” The cabbie stopped abruptly and said, “You a good cop? I’m not driving for a bad cop, mister.” Once again, the power of money changed the course of events. We caught up with the girls for a moment at the bottom of Lombard at Jones, and then we lost them. I could’ve beaten that guy to a pulp! If I hadn’t spotted his gun protruding from the console, I might have. The cabbie was a short fellow, but smart. Oh well, he’s got a hefty tip. He won’t report me. Money trumps everywhere.

He went back to thinking about the Coroner’s wagon and the two bodies carried down the steps. What the hell happened in that building? Steele was only supposed to go in with his men and wipe out the girls’ apartment. Where did the two bodies come from?

He sat down on his neatly made bed and slid on a different pair of shoes. Then he dialed a number that only he knew.

The voice on the other end said, “Yeah? What’s happening with you, buddy? Why aren’t you telling the cops down there what to do?”

“Not a problem for now. Though my position on the force has shifted. Tell me. Who are the two bodies? I know it’s not any of the three girls we talked about. Did you add something to our plans?”

“We can’t talk about this on the phone. Meet me down at Lefty’s in a couple of hours. I’ll tell you all about my workday,” said Steele.

Stetson felt the smile behind Steele’s words about his workday. He started fuming. Steele had probably done it again, but too soon, and with too many. That crazed killer has become over confident. He’s attracted more attention than we need.

For the next thirty minutes, Stetson paced back and forth in his small living room and devised a new plan to implement. Steele will have to go along with this. My idea will work better. He’ll have to agree or we won’t get the codes to shift the shipments. Maybe I’ll upgrade that fat reward he stands to earn when we’re done. That kid is money-hungry and bloodthirsty, and he thinks he can get away with anything. Using his good looks, he goes anywhere, flashes a smile, and gives a wink – and all the girls fall for him! That talent, I envy. But, he’s got to get serious now. Our time is almost up, and we’ve invested too much time into this job. I can’t let him ruin it now. He’s got to stop killing people.

Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California…street-part-14/

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