The winter snow had come in full force this season, and Indiana was gaining much more snowfall than usual. The collection of snow and ice from the storms made it hard to journey on the highways, but thankfully Lucas had gotten them safe before the roads had gotten too bad. Fiona sat in her room and could not help but worry about Sharon, since she assumed he had been tracking them for a while. It was nearly seven o’clock, and she was beginning to smell the aroma of food seeping through the crack in the bottom of her door. The savory smells made her tummy growl out into the big room. She had showered and then dressed in clothes that she imagined Davina had chosen for her before her departure. They were trendy but comfortable. Davina knew her mother hated being uncomfortable when it came to fashion. Fiona was laid back and never flashy. It was part of the reason she could hardly stand Megan’s wardrobe and the personality that went with the threads. She shook off the thought of Megan as she heard a tapping at the sturdy door of her room.
“Yes, who is it?” Fiona asked.
“It’s Finn. Can I come in?” He spoke quietly.
“Of course! Come in, Finn.” She opened the door and waved him in past the entryway. “What’s up? You okay?”
“Oh…yeah. I’m good. I just wanted to see if you wanted me to escort you down to dinner. This is a big house.” Finn fumbled with the collar on his shirt. “I have no idea how they knew my size, but I have a whole closet full of clothes.”
“Same here. I think Davina set this all up.” She walked over and opened her wardrobe of hand-picked clothes. “See?”
“It’s insane. How in the world did she know I would be here too? Sebastian’s room is amazing. Do you want to go check it out?” Finn had that wholesome smile on his face that he wore on his face when he was not carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He had no idea of the paradox that was unfolding around the friendly waitress and babysitter known as Sharon an hour away from their paradise. It wasn’t an island wonderland, but the house was its own mini-vacation compared to where they had been staying in the country.
“Sure. Lead the way. I am right behind you.” She felt hopeful for the first time in a while.
Finn escorted her to Sebastian’s room, and he knocked out of courtesy like he did at Fiona’s door.
“Hey kiddo! Are you ready for some chow?” Finn talked into the big, heavy door.
Sebastian came running to the door. They could hear his little feet pitter-patter as he ran towards it. “Mr. Finn! Is that you?”
“It’s me! Can I come in? I have a surprise out here for you.” Finn looked back at Fiona smiling with delight.
“I need help with the door. It’s too heavy.” Sebastian was grunting trying to pull the door open. The struggle could be heard in his voice.
“I got you, little man!” Finn turned the knob and pushed carefully on the door. He had to make sure not to knock the kid out with the heavy piece of wood with brass handles.
“GAMMY! Come see my room! Momma made it special for me! Are you my surprise?” Sebastian tackled Fiona’s leg with so much enthusiasm that he nearly knocked her over.
Finn laughed with them and exited the room to allow Fiona to explore the room with her grandson.
Sebastian led her over to his bookcase. Davina had stocked it with his favorite fables and stories that they would always read together. She put a great deal of thought into the layout of his room. It looked like the little nook that the two of them occupied on Davina’s days off. Fiona felt tears well up in her eyes. Sebastian noticed.
“Gammy, don’t cry. Mommy is all around me and you. She’s an angel.” He walked over and hugged her leg tightly, which made her eyes really begin to streak her cheeks with salty wetness.
Finn knocked on the door again, and the embrace Sebastian had on Gammy’s leg was broken. The knock was urgent.
“Finn, come in!” Sebastian belted out loudly to him.
“I have to go. Jericho was just spotted downtown in front of Boo’s. My source told me that Sharon came in for an unscheduled shift due to someone calling in. The Marshalls are going to meet me there. Save me some dinner?” Finn was disconcerted.
Sebastian nodded his head and said, “I got you, Mr. Finn. Go save Ms. Sharon, please!” He was a bit frantic in his own way.
Fiona followed Finn out into the hallway in front of Sebastian’s room. “Do you think he will hurt her?”
Finn put his head down, “My informant said that Flannery has been watching the café since we pulled away. He was right behind us. We barely got away from him.”
The Devilles used Jericho Flannery like a tracking dog, and Fiona’s concern for Sharon was not far off. He almost had to know about Sharon because he knew about the safety deposit box key and the other various aspects of Davina’s life. He was decisive and precise when he executed his contracts. No one could claim he was not good at his job. This man was trained to hunt, and the horns of the hunt echoed across the snow this night. His instruction in the armed forces was quite extensive. He was formulated for the front lines in the Marines. It was the only thing he was good at after graduating with low grades after high school. The military gave him a purpose. He loved to kill. He loved the chase. He loved the challenge of acquiring his targets. This life of crime was perfect for who he believed he was always destined to be…a psychopath. He was your worst nightmare if he was tracking you because Jericho was not leaving any stone unturned when looking for he meant to acquire you. He did not give up, and he always got his mark.
He sat outside across the street from the café when it was about time for Sharon’s shift at Boo’s. There was a jolly Santa that had his collection bell ringing as he paced the city street in front of Verve and Boo’s. Jericho hated Christmas. It reminded him of the past and a family that never wanted him. It made him think about how the best present he had received on Christmas was a pack of condoms from “Dear Ole Dad” …that’s what the card said inside the box. Other Christmas rituals in his dysfunctional family included getting knocked in the head by his mother for taking a cookie from the counter that she had just made, and cigarette burns from his pops as punishment for that same act. He had a harsh upbringing, and it showed daily in every move he made. He was truly a miserable human being, and he didn’t care to be considered so or to be seen as the murderer and criminal that he was. His truth was that he care less if he woke up the next day, let alone deal with Christmas and happy times with a family that never mattered to him.
He tossed a cigarette out of the window at the end of his reminiscing. He shook his head and snickered under his breath.
He repeated the card’s text under his breath in a sarcastic tone, “Dear Ole Dad…”
His eyes rolled and then came alert as he saw Davina’s friend pulling in the alley to park in the back of the restaurant. He thought to himself that the street was too busy to take a shot from his pistol that was hiding in his dash. He supposed he did not aim to kill her yet anyway. He needed information. He needed to know where his prey went. He wanted to collect his prize from his contract. He had a long time to wait before her shift was over, but he didn’t mind making her skin crawl while he stared her down inside while shoving food in his mouth. I could eat something, he deliberated. He couldn’t remember when he ate last.
He shut off the ignition of his van, and he gathered his weapon from the glove box. His trench coat had a special pocket for his weapon on the inside…custom made, and he placed it there before stepping out into the street.
The wind was gusty and smacked him in the face a few times before he got across the street to the door of the café. As he opened it, the bell chimed to let the staff know someone entered. Sharon was just coming onto the floor, and she greeted him with her usual, friendly smile.
For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:
Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)