Copyright 2017 MillieAnne Lowe, Oceanside, California
“Com’on, Com’on. Let’s get going here. We’ve got another bloody murder to get to,” said Fontino to his men outside of Robin’s house. The temperature had dropped and small puffs of breaths appeared between his words. “Martino!”
“Yeah, boss. I’m right here.”
“Where are those extra men I called for?”
“They’re on their way, boss. They should be here in a few minutes,” said Martino as he buttoned up his overcoat to the top.
FBI Agent Robert Parker joined Fontino out in the street. “I’m wearing the wrong type of slacks for this foggy weather,” he said. “I can feel the chill.”
“Those fancy slacks will let you freeze to death. Thought you’d know better, Parker,” said Fontino as he nudged his new protégé with his elbow.
Sensing the detective’s humor in the midst of turmoil, Parker played along. “Well, I didn’t dress for a hike, these are my dress to impress slacks. You know, a man should be ready to impress a woman wherever he goes.”
“I’m sure you’ll impress them when your legs get cold enough and your knees knock.” Fontino slapped his arm over Parker’s right shoulder, but held back his laughter. He guided Parker closer to the house. “Stand here for a while, it’ll be a warmer spot.”
Flashing lights from police cars bounced off the walls of neighboring homes and swirled across the scared faces of those who could not resist coming out to watch the silent drama. The city had been in fear of the Serial Killer, and now, they feared that the killer had invaded their territory as well. Behind every closed window in Robin’s home, the lights were on as the crime scene technicians did their work. Curious neighbors, who dared to venture outside, walked back and forth alongside the police barriers set off by wooden brackets labeled SF POLICE. Fear and excitement moved like an electric current among the residents who now had an up-close experience of the power and force forming in the crowd of FBI Agents and San Francisco Police.
Someone shouted an order that instigated a tight gathering of law enforcement. Two men, in trench coats and fedoras, moved to the center of the group. A police wagon arrived at the top of Lombard Street and another squad of police arrived with billyclubs in hand. They merged with the others present and became a powerful force.
Detective Fontino spoke with firmness. “Everyone one of you here is needed to surround and secure this house and this neighborhood. No one comes in or out of the perimeters set up without showing evidence that they live here.” Fontino paused for a moment, and then he added, “The woman who lives here and her guests have permission and will be staying in this home. They have specific instructions as to where they can rest and sleep, and they will stay out of the way of the crime scene technicians. The unusual activity here tonight requires all of you to work together. Whether this home has been visited by the Serial Killer, or some other vandal, your duty here is to protect the residents of this home, this neighborhood, and each other. I warn you all,” Fontino paused again, “a dangerous killer is somewhere in this city and it is our duty to make it safe for all of our loved ones and each other. We’re going to find and stop this fiend, so we can all go back to enjoying our lives. Living in fear is not acceptable. Do you agree?”
The crowd answered as if one, “Yes, Sir!”
“So go on now. Check with your superiors for assignments, and God Bless each one of you.” Fontino bowed his head and muttered to Agent Parker. “God’s gotta take charge. I haven’t got a clue, and this monster has been killing people all day.”
As the men disbursed around him, Fontino pointed to George and said, “George, come ride with me and Agent Parker. Eric will be riding with Chief Mullins.”
“Thanks, but I’ve got some gear in my van. How ‘bout I follow you?”
Detective Fontino paused for a moment and considered his answer. George stood tall, lean and strong, his hair and moustache a silver grey. Hmm, a former special ops. What special skills does this man have, and what type of gear might he be bringing with him?
“Just a sec,” said Fontino, and from the glove compartment of his police car, pulled out a printed blue and white card. He gave it to George and said, “Put this inside the top left corner of your windshield. My men will let you follow us through anywhere we go.”
“Thanks,” said George as he turned it around to read it. “Whoa, there. It’s signed by the Police Commissioner. You’ve given me a magic ticket, Fontino.”
Detective Fontino watched as George headed toward his van. When George had his hand of the car door, his right shoulder flinched. In seconds, George rolled his right shoulder as if to stretch a sore muscle. Then, as if nothing had happened, he bent over and tucked the pass inside the windshield frame. Fontino nudged Parker with his elbow. “Did you see him flinch?”
“I did. Perhaps it’s a pinched nerve,” said Agent Parker. Together they watched George start his engine and pull forward, ready to follow them.
“My hunch is that it was something else,” said Fontino. “Do you suppose George just had a flashback, a vision, or whatever he calls it?” He pulled the sides of his overcoat together and slid into the car. Agent Parker did the same and slid in next to him in the back seat. “Get going now Jonesy, drive!”
Copyright 2017 MillieAnne Lowe, Oceanside, California