The Passenger

Story written by tylerahardin on Monday 10, December 2007

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Ben a contract killer always gets the job done;this is after all his destiny. His latest job has ended on a very bad note. Will Ben survive the battle with his own demons or will the vigilante cop on his tail bring him a most certain demise?

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Chapter 1: "I'm gonna fight 'em off. A Seven Nation Army couldn't hold me back, they gonna rip it off! Taking their time right behind my back!" Seven Nation Army- The White Stripes
Ben Lipnicky read his agenda for the day. He filled out his meticulous day planner and notified the cleaning service that he would be out for a week. This was standard fare to take care of his lush apartment in Baltimore over looking the inner harbor when he would be on a week long trip such as this one. He gathered his changes of clothes and made sure that he withdrew 4k from the petty cash account the Deleo Corporation had set up for him. Ben was code named Centella, Spanish for a flash of lightning. This was how he brought their deaths to them. Some jokers in the Gangster ridden areas of Guadalajara had dubbed him as such and it sort of stuck. Ben was on a mission to take out the son of a dying drug kingpin when he received the moniker. The kingpin was of no concern to his client, Uncle Sam. His son, however, was a maniac; the file on him dictated a list of heinous crimes. Raping of women and the killing of children. All real gentlemanly qualities that one was in need of. He waited until a storm gathered; the thunderheads were bruised and ugly. He had the little demon of a man in his sights for more than thirty minutes. He waited until the rumbling of the thunder started and then. CRACK! No more molester, one less murderer. Ben waited motionless until night. In such a rural area a visit to the morgue was unlikely. The nearest hospital would be forty miles away. After the shot the little man laid in his own blood for about twenty minutes. The guards then did their rounds and found their captain. When the realization that he was dead hit the compound, a few men went about the fields with their AK-47s looking for this puta who dared kill their leader in his own hacienda. While they hit the field opposite from where Ben was located, he slinked into the house where the men had dragged the body. One requirement that the Deleo Corporation had was P.O.T., or Proof of Termination. Normally, this would require a fingertip, prints intact, but this one required him to collect an ear. He entered the small hut, with a dead boss there were no guards to watch the body. Ben pulled out his K-Bar knife. He sliced near the back of the ear and removed his proof. He did this without even a cringe. Did he even know why? He had a gift even as a young child. He was able to hurt things easily. Most kids would have had a problem hurting another living thing let alone a man. Not Ben. It's funny but he has thought more and more about his childhood since he agreed to this assignment. He has not been back to this part of Florida in years. He had no parents to come home to, no friends here to speak of. He was not even sure why. But, wait...Yes, yes he was sure why. His adventure into bringing harm to a target was started as an ordeal of survival. St. Francis the Catholic orphanage which functioned as his room and board for his entire life had a scholarship program that allowed ten students a year to attend its prestigious private school. Ben was an apt pupil so this scholarship was nearly a formality. He would get it starting from kindergarten through the eighth grade. In second grade the problems started. Ben was a shy child. He was also very socially awkward. Never quite sure of the proper thing to say, he would more than likely say the wrong thing. But, he was also one to never take the hell this life could bring lying down. Fights were not uncommon but the thing that separated Ben from the other students was his wanton lack of control. He seemed to show no emotion as he inflicted many injuries on his assailants. He never started a fight but always he would finish one. While he was not by any stretch of the imagination a popular child he was not the least liked. Most of the students who picked on him would do so only on occasion. There was one little monster of a kid that always seemed to have it out for Ben. His name was Bryan London. This little bastard always managed to mock and use others to drag Ben's name through the mud. He was very smart and resourceful. Several times Bryan would talk enough shit to have everyone else then turn on Ben even though he may not have done anything in the first place. Bryan London was the type to be accepted by all, deep inside Ben was insecure so he longed for the day that he could just be accepted by everyone like Bryan. In a school where everyone knew everybody else this made it hard. If there was a stigma against you it usually stayed forever. Jen Chesnut was a dyke, everyone knew that. Britney Peel had scoliosis and a nasty disposition, just another thing everyone knew. Tyson Katherine was the best athlete in the eighth grade, which even the teacher's knew and they seemed to rain praises on him because of it. Cliques formed and the stink against those who were shunned became nauseating to those whose parents were Navy pilots and MDs. Most of this never bothered Ben with the exception of how that little shit Bryan got away with manipulating everyone around him. Just who the fuck was this little bastard anyways? One time Bryan talked enough manipulative shit to everyone about Ben, to have everyone labeling him a "faggot" and such. Bryan provoked the Peel girl to question Ben's sexual orientation, which was no doubt heterosexual. Ben had known this chick most of his life. This little bitch's mother made her believe that she was the end all and be all. Britney was the type that at five years old called Ben a stupid idiot because he did not color in the lines. At that time he felt like holding her head under water. At night within the orphanage he prayed that during one of her many surgeries to correct her twisted spine that the anesthesiologist would get the mixture wrong. He hated her almost as much as he hated Bryan. Ben escaped the taunting of his classmates and the smirk of Bryan as he saw the influence he had on the other weak minded children. He asked for a hall pass and went to the bathroom to cry with rage quietly and to dig his nails in his palms as he held his hands in tight fists. After five minutes the bell rang for the students to attend P.E. Ben changed into his red shorts and a white shirt adorned with the school logo on the chest. He hung his head in reflection as he was walking out to through the parking lot to the area the kids had designated as the physical education area. As he did he heard the self satisfying laugh that was unmistakable for anyone else. He came face to face with Bryan London. "Huh Ha ha ha ha..So, did you just decide to be a fag one day or did your daddy make you into one? Oh yeah, you don't have a father." he said with his slick tone. Ben was angry and did not say anything. It's not as though this kid was bigger, there was no fear for Ben over Bryan's physical prowess. Bryan just appeared to be more cunning and malevolent than Ben was. Ben was in mental anguish over the bully's taunting. In a flash he saw that school was like the wild. Only the strong survive. Bryan continued with that line of taunting when Ben finally snapped. "You silly little faggot, dicks are for chicks!", he said this as Ben lunged forward, rage displayed. Ben grabbed the little bastard by the neck. He smashed his head into the loose asphalt. Blood coated his knuckles. Bryan was struggling but Ben was planted squarely on his shoulder blades. Through his muffled screams Ben knew that Bryan's teeth had broken through the skin. He knew this little SOB would need stitches. He knew all of this and he did not care. Every strike was payment for every taunt and blistering remark. Ben could still hear Bryan's screams. Pain and hatred mixed together was the recipe. Ben kept up his pummeling until Sister Rose, a real moose of a woman, dropped a shoulder into Ben and knocked him off. But still the screams continued. It was not until the P.E. coach Steve Winthrop grabbed him that Ben realized what was up. The screams were not coming from Bryan, he was knocked out cold. The screams were coming from Ben himself. After serving a two week suspension and ordered to counseling, Ben returned to class. Bryan, however, took another week to let his dental work and stitches heal. Mr. London still continued his taunts but he never got near Ben alone again. Ben retreated further into himself and developed into a quiet sociopath. Ben at this time also became quite fixated on justice, or vengeance depending on your point of view. The tauntings now seemed to rain on him. "Freak", "psycho", "maniac" and "twisted" were all par for the course. Ben was beyond feeling sorry for himself as most sociopaths are. He instead pleaded, no, demanded that any force in the universe help him make things right. To exact not revenge, but justification on those who deserved it. It never occurred to him that the wrong force might be willing and able. Things continued on this way until high school where Ben made a choice to attend public school, this was in an effort to become anonymous. In a public school you were not in the fish bowl that was parochial school. You became another face in the crowd and Ben was good at that. He never identified with those around him. He did however identify with the structure and rigidity of ROTC though and excelled. He hardly ever saw those who taunted him and soon they became a distant memory. After all of this in deep reflection he wondered why he thought of it now. Some things are just better left dead and buried.
Chapter 2: Since you never gave a damn in the first place Maybe its time you had the tables turned Cuz in the interest of all involved I got the problem solved And the verdict is guilty... Spit it out-Slipknot
The plane touched down in Orlando Sandford International Airport promptly at 2:12 am. Ben planned every move when on a job because in this era of paranoid post -9/11 monitoring, he did not want to take a chance to be noticed by any government entity. He could still hear the sales pitch that the Jewish recruiter from Deleo sold him on the company with. Miles Kampberg attempted to assuage any doubts by laying his spiel on the line about his company's resources. "Mr. Lipnicky, I know you have concerns about signing with us. One of which is your own liability. Between you and I my good mensch, we are everywhere. Let us go through the list of usual suspects. Before we do though let me tell you that just one phone call, one email and your liability becomes our liability, for the most part you will never be inconvenienced while on the job for us. So lets see ummm the CIA? We have a guy in there. He handles "problems" for us and we call him Mr. "Nusquam", as in Mr. Nothing... FBI? Ha! We have a special guy in the hierarchy there too. ...Local Cops?...Puhleeeze! They would not know what to do with their schlongs, much less connect you to your work. Short of catching you in the act as you are doing I,t you will remain a ghost, a figment, imagination or serendipity. Even if they did catch you in the act, there are ways around that my friend." He said this last line to Ben with a throat cutting gesture and (in)appropriate noise. Ben still had his doubts, so like anyone with a socially acceptable OCD he always triple checked his steps. The flight was debarking and Ben was caught in the middle of the shuffle so he quietly reviewed his memorized case file. Target: Finneus Sitterham, Age: 30, Height: 6"1', Weight: Approximately 198 lbs, Eye color: Green, Hair Color: Dirty Blond, Tattoos, Scars, Birthmarks: One Tattoo; Left shoulder blade Gothic Heart Following Contained: BPL Semper Mei Amor. All of these and more were contained within his memory. He reviewed and remembered while unknowingly shuffling forward. "Mr. Stenners? Welcome to Florida." came the generic greeting from the flight attendant who greeted him with his alias. It never ceased to amaze him that he even remembered who he was pretending to be. With a slight smile he nodded with approval at the comment coming from the attendant. He chuckled inaudibly at the thought of possibly running into another Mike Stenners, George Dencomp. or a Martin Denstordia. A simple conversation on such unusual names with the actual owner of one such name would be odd to say the least. His routine upon entering into a target's ROT & observing their HWR prepared him very well as usual. The Corporation properly listed where the person lived and worked fairly quickly in providing the file. The ROT (Route of Transit) & HWR(Habits within Residence) were detailed for the employee. He observed Finneus Sitterham in a very dedicated manner for a couple of days. Some people who view people in Ben's line of work see them as sadists. Ben smirked. Didn't they know this was fucking art? Mr. Sitterham was a thin man but by no means was he frail. He worked out religiously even though without chemical assistance at some point he would always be skinny. He was unabashedly a homosexual. From the Adam + Steve = Commitment bumper sticker to the HUGE rainbow flag adorning the corner of his garage, this man could not have made himself more of a noticeable gay man if he tried. None of this bothered Ben because he worked with several homosexuals of both genders and they were every bit the professional he was. He could give two shits who they wanted to be with. One Deleo associate, who happened to be gay, was code named the Crete Myrtle. He was from Jawwwwjuh and unless on the job he usually smelled of them. He was sensationally good at the hand to hand "wet work" which Ben found uselessly dangerous. Ben however could not waiver on his admiration on how quickly and cleanly this guy gets his jobs done. With his rifle he just clicks off the safety and he can reach out and touch someone, at least up to a mile. In the four days that he made himself Sitterham's human shadow, he never once saw a boyfriend. The condo that the target had was adorned with several pictures of other men, some of whom were in very loving embraces, but not a single picture conveyed relationship material. He knew this because he installed microphone receivers in the house and a conversation with a significant other never really happened. Ben was indeed a student of man. He often spent the lonely hours when his subject was asleep thinking through the circumstances in their life that led them to the unavoidable cross road that was death. He would ponder what was the college experience like for this person? When did they come to the realization of what side of the preverbal fence their sexual orientation fell on? Heck, as smart as he was, even he dared not think on that one too long. The whole nature versus nurture thing could leave you with quite a migraine. Sitterham continued in his routine until Friday, which was Ben's target date of completion. Sitterham worked out as usual and went to work. He was a stock broker for Washington Mutual's Securities division located in the small town of Winter Park, FL. This little burg was right outside of Orlando but it was hard to distinguish between the two. The ever expanding urban sprawl had made this easy distinction between the city that the House of Mouse built and the sleepy little town that Winter Park had been, difficult. Sitterham was ordered to be eliminated because he knew certain trade secrets that his employers were nervous about. Sitterham chatted too often they felt. He was also shopping his information around to competitors. This and this alone was why Sitterham would not survive the weekend. Ben watched him with his high powered binoculars from an abandoned hotel across the highway from the WAMU building. Promptly at 4:45 pm, Finn bolted from his desk at a near trot, briefcase in hand. This caught Ben by surprise because Sitterham never left before 5:15 pm. Finn nearly bit it hard on the unforgiving marble floor that was the elevator area. Ben was downstairs before Sitterham could leave the building courtesy of a zip line that lowered him six stories. Ben did love the toys that outfits such as Deleo could provide. Ben, the contract killer, and Finn, the soon-to-be-deceased, merged onto the traffic snarl that was downtown Orlando. Ben, again lost in his thoughts about his target and life in general, continued a cautious and slow pursuit. He followed Sitterham to the condo adorned by the out-and-proud regalia. Ben Lipnicky parked his car into the brush that was the empty lot across the street. He then scampered up the oldest and largest of the old oak trees that lined the street. This had been his home for the last week. God lord, he thought, If he ever needed a shower now would be the time. Unfortunately for those who would get within smelling proximity to Ben there was no time for such frivolities. He knew tonight was the night to take down his target Finn Sitterham because the clouds indicated a thunderstorm. He saw Finn play with the friendly Calico cat that was obviously the master of the house. Ben knew that he was required to get his tongue as P.O.T. Ben knew that he would have to wait until Sitterham was turned in such a direction that the M82 A-1 round would end up in the fridge. Anywhere else and the likelihood that collateral damage could happen triples. Then he may not make it out of Orlando. He had to be quick and he had to be discreet. One thing that was not discussed was the fact that if the wrong person, the wrong Johnny Law, got to you, your confession could bring down a company that helped to regulate the world. Deleo was in the position to assume such ideals about itself because the people that Deleo employed were good at what they did. Deleo also did not take such chances. Something Kampberg did not sell Ben on was the very real prospect that if you became the liability, Deleo would take care of you. Ben was sure that the right time to strike was Sitterham's nightly urination. According to his logs this would happen between 3:15 and 3:45 in the a.m. It was now midnight and his M82 A-1 was at the alert. His plan of action was to fire the kill shot with the usual rumble of thunder. He was after all only forty yards from the target's window. Once eliminating the target he would leave his tree bound post. He would then proceed to pick the lock. Upon entering the house he would quickly remove the bugs he had planted. This part would be a five minute job. He would then reach the target and would acquire his P.O.T. He covered the scenario again and again. He focused on every little detail. At 1:45 am a car pulled into the driveway that led to the garage of Sitterham's condo. A man small, but not thin, got out of the car and walked briskly up the side walk. He was on his cell phone talking loudly. " I told him I am going to Finn's and there was nothing he could do about it. We are through he needs to lose my number." said the man who was unmistakably gay. Ben could not get a clear look at this new player's face but he could smell the cologne that was high and sharp in the wind. This was no doubt all that this was an expensive Ode de Toilette. This man sashayed himself along the walkway to Sitterham's house. Ben was tracking this man as well as Sitterham. He had not prepared for this. He was, however, a man who could work on the fly. He had to think fast. Take out Sitterham or the new fellow? He resolved to watching the two carefully. He never even broke a sweat as the new variable to this relatively simple equation came within the rifle's sights. The smelly gentleman caller was now ten feet from the front door of Sitterham's condo. He ended this conversation with whomever made his gossip worth telling. "...of course we had a little break up nookie! He was, after all the hottest little Asian waiter in that place! I had to! Girl, let me tell you something if he wasn't so poor and so clingy, I might have stayed. But a boi who's accustomed to the good life cannot go backwards in life! Do you know what I mean? Huh ha ha ha ha!" this man chortled. Ben never took his eyes of the prize but that laugh made him blink. Nothing in his twelve years as a contract killer has made him do so. What he did was art! His art form could not be compromised! Why did this laugh make him cringe so? Why did it make him so angry and less focused? Who in the world was this prick to ruin his fun? Sitterham opened the door. The two greeted each other with a kiss and swiftly closed the door. The blinds to the living room remained partially opened so outside of the pretenses of this just being a job, Ben got to see enough to make him vomit. But this got Ben thinking was it the open display of homosexual coitus or was it this new variable? He wiped the bile away from his lips. He focused hard through the sites. He followed the couple through the condo to the upstairs master bedroom. As the lights went out he saw through night vision what appeared to be more unappealing activity. On the bugs installed within the condo, he heard, again more nauseating sounds and conversation. He then heard what he believed to be his ticket. The stranger told Sitterham that it had been a long business trip and that a shower would be in order. Sitterham stated that he did not want a shower and that he would just "chill". Ben thought this was the opening he needed. If he made a clean shot, he could get in and get the tongue before Romeo left the shower. Mr. Amorous turned on the shower and began singing the latest Madonna song that entertained him. Sitterham was still behind a large lamp on a night table. Ben was more than a little rattled at this point and could not contain the muscle fatigue he was experiencing from holding this not-quite-so-light rifle in the firing position. He could not get a shot at Sitterham at this point and his time was running out fast. He could see through the scope that the other man was entering the shower.
Chapter 3: Throw me to wolves because there's order in the pack, Throw me to the sky because I know I'm coming back. Easily - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Ben was sweating profusely, he always did moments before he did the deed. Sitterham stirred briefly in the bed. Ben clicked off the safety. He breathed deep. He had a light but sure grip on the trigger. Sitterham finally rose out of bed and Ben took his shot. Thunk! The round was silenced. The bullet flicked through the glass window pane. It unfortunately did not hit its mark as intended. Ben intended for the round to strike Finneus Sitterham near the back of the head, a la base of the spinal cord. He did not hate this man. He did not feel much for him. But as with most of his targets he felt it was just business. The only thing he took personal was his ability to do the job to his clients' specifications. That was his art form, his destiny. The bullet actually met Sitterham in the carotid artery. This was all very unfortunate and he could not make any noise as he floundered around. With each pump of his heart the entrance wound jettisoned precious blood everywhere. He could not scream because he now had a disintegrated voice box from where the round tumbled within his body and finally exited. After enough blood loss, which took only four seconds, Sitterham dropped to all fours. He was on his belly within ten seconds and dead within twenty five seconds. Ben was out of the tree and through the front within the first twelve ticks on the digital second counter of his water resistant watch. He made it to the bedroom and this mystery man was still in the shower. He had now progressed to the latest song by the Scissor Sisters, a very, very gay disco band out of NYC. Sitterham was dead, with the gasping fish out of water look frozen on his face. Ben went to work and popped open his mouth. He removed the POT, all the while being careful not to step in the blood. He never intended to be caught off guard. He NEVER gets caught off guard. Not in twelve years had he ever been surprised. He just slipped the P.O.T. into the plastic bag. He rose to his feet and fear actually gripped him. The shower was off. Ben was not a fan of the hand to hand confrontations. But when this mystery man saw a man in all black standing there and with Finn laying there like that, he lost it. The light flicked on and a scream came erupting from his mouth. Ben could not shoot him, he did not possess a side arm that was silenced and Sitterham's neighbor was a cop. There was no time for this. In a flash Centella produced his razor sharp K-Bar. When the light flicked on just for a second Ben thought he recognized him. His face seemed longer, the nose a little wider. The presence of a five o'clock shadow that was not there in childhood. Ben Lipnicky's last encounter with this man was in 1997. They were both in high school. Ben had taken Cindy Moorhead to a movie. He left the orphanage the year before and due to a steady job at a local fish market on Beaver street he was able to afford a quaint one bedroom apartment off Chafee Road. They took a cab to the AMC 24 in Orange Park right outside of Jacksonville. This was maybe a twenty minute cab ride. Ben and Cindy had casually dated for a year. At the ticket counter Ben made the purchase for two tickets to see Half Baked, a stoner comedy that starred an up and coming Dave Chappelle. Ben turned to hold Cindy's hand and caught Bryan London in his sights. They had seen each other occasionally. Usually a nasty look and a malevolent laugh would be directed towards Ben. At times he would ignore it and at other times Ben would lose all control and make Bryan pay. Either way it did not matter, Bryan London just had it out for Ben. At the AMC Bryan sized up Ben and snickered with two equally preppy looking boys. They were soon joined by some fellow alumni from St. Francis, the parochial school. Things stayed docile until in the theater the group took their seats at the top with a vantage point where they could harass and chide from a distance. Throughout the movie stuff would get tossed onto Cindy and Ben. They ignored this distraction and watched the movie. When shouts of FAGGOT and WHORE, erupting from that section Ben lost his cool. He went up there to confront them and when he did the biggest of the preppy boys tried to stand up to Ben and the two got in a scuffle. After being separated by police and with the date ruined, Ben looked at Bryan with utter disgust. Fuck with him all they wanted but leave this girl out of it. Ben was roughed up by the cops over this one. While it was clear that Ben did not throw the first punch, Bryan London made it appear as though he and his GAP wearing friends were the victims. After being released from the back of a squad car during questioning Cindy demanded that she be taken home. This was Ben's last encounter with Bryan and he had not thought of him since. It never occurred to Ben that this little bastard who called him a fag repeatedly would have been gay himself. Some wonders never cease to amaze. Ben came towards the now adult, now gay and the now very, very afraid Bryan London. He had his P.O.T., he had everything prepared for a very inconspicuous getaway. He just had to dispense a little collateral damage. But something told him this was more. This was more than art, it was also more than work. This was personal and with the look of fear in Mr. London's eyes this would be fun. Ben came forward into the door way of a floral pattern decorated bathroom. He smelled the scent of some kind of perfumed bath oil that London had used to clean himself with. Bryan's wet, jet black hair looked like the oil slicked feathers of some dying sea fowl after the Exxon Valdez ran aground. His bottom lip quivered and his mouth opened into a yell. As he attempted to produce this yell, his wet feet did not have the required traction on the steamed kissed bathroom tile and it caused him to pinwheel and fall backwards. London fell into the tub nearly losing his robe. He regained his voice and attempted to scream again Ben then introduced him to the knife. Bryan London looked his killer in the eye and confusion started first. Why was this face so familiar? I mean, c'mon! He had so much to live for! Who was the crazy Bryan's thought process was slowing to a rapid nothingness. He did not feel pain as the blade sliced up his jugular. He felt pressure and a ripping sensation. He also felt like he was losing his breath and the sensation of fading out. He locked eyes with this man in black and saw his eyes. He knew him now. Ben delivered the lethal slice quickly. Bryan London in all his smugness and rich boy superiority was now just another bleeding fool. Ben watched as this one time bully took stock of his situation and smiled as the light left his eyes. But the satisfaction of unresolved justification soon drained away as quick as London's blood. It was then that he snapped. Ben did not know why he did it. Maybe he was programmed that regardless the kill he would need some P.O.T. But why did he need the whole body? He never questioned it. He just waited for London to expire and removed the whole body as if it was a casual thing to do. He never even stopped to think why. He did decide that he needed to make a hasty retreat and take the car he had rented and drive north. But if he needed a P.O.T. why did he have to take the whole body? Furthermore, why did he have to put him in the passenger seat? Ben buckled the now thoroughly deceased Bryan into the passenger seat of the Xterra as if by habit. He had enough gas to make it a third of the way back to Baltimore which is roughly a seventeen hour drive. Ben was on automatic pilot. He gathered all evidence that registered his presence within the condo and left. The only continuation of life in this condo was the cat licking up Sitterham's blood.
Chapter 4: Sometimes I give myself the creeps Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me It all keeps adding up I think I'm cracking up Am I just paranoid or am I just stoned? Basketcase- Greenday
Ben Lipnicky tore down I-4 at a blazing speed. The speed limit was seventy. He had blown through that in the first twenty seconds on this mini highway. As he reached the ninety MPH mark he broke out in a cold sweat. He was confused as to why. He obtained his objective and he was coolly making his way to I-95. What in the world did he have to be nervous about? It never occurred to Ben to look to his right in the passenger seat and see Bryan London's body. His subconscious, the logical part, was telling him to glance over. When he did, a little urine escaped from the bladder and wet his sweat stained boxers. Ben Lipnicky, Mr. Calm, Cool and Collect was at the onset of a nervous breakdown. He saw the body and could not honestly recall how it got there. He saw the killing slice he inflicted. He touched the wound, like a modern version of The Doubting Thomas who touched Christ's wounds for proof. Upon his digits feeling the wound he remembered all of it. He then remembered how badly he had just fucked up. But he felt compelled to continue his drive. As he hit I-95 North he passed a state trooper at 102 MPH and which excited the cop greatly. Addison Hartley was a five year veteran of the force. He was a state trooper like his father and his uncles. The Hartley's were a well known presence in the state trooper community of central Florida. He always got bored between four a.m. and sunrise. A silver Xterra with Florida plates passed Addison at a clocked 102.8 MPH according to the radar. Addison actually got off on being a sniper to the general public, a wolf amongst sheep. If a tourist did not know that they had been in Florida by the time they got to the gates of Disney, they sure as hell knew it before they left the sunshine state. Here in Flawduh the law is king, boyah. Trooper Hartley took pride in giving John Q. Public a jolt of fear as he pulled them over. Addison liked to see to it personally that every offender was caught but he conceded to just catching those stupid enough to speed near the entrance and exit ramps of I-4 and I-95. His brown and tan Camaro with the suped up engine was hidden very well in a small growth of wide trees. Often the offenders would not even see him because they were going so fast, lost in thought. Addison whipped out behind the ever advancing Ben Lipnicky and flicked on the lights.
Chapter 5: All-night long I dream of the day When it comes around, and it's takin'away Leaves me with the feelin' that I fear the most Feel it come to life when I see your ghost All my life-Foo Fighters
Ben was on I-95 trying to rationalize his actions and plotting the next move. At one point in life he would have loved to have this son of a bitch next to him and dead. But life, responsibility, self preservation and a personal code of ethics overrode such self indulging fantasies. He was anxiously glancing back and forth between the road and Bryan. He was too busy trying to think to notice the lights about a mile behind him. Trooper Hartley got closer and attempted to call dispatch to relay the plate numbers. He was gaining on the Xterra, plus he had excellent eyesight. He got within forty yards and by looking at the license plate protector made of glass, he saw that this was an obscuring device. Addison took a mental note and thought to himself about how he would love to nail this son of a bitch. Such obscuring objects were illegal by Florida law. But he thought better than getting agitated at the pompous jerk that was breaking the law, he had better just stay interested in the pursuit. Ben was doing everything in his power to stay focused on his next options. There was no music in the car but he could not help but hum the opening lines to All Along the Watchtower. He was thinking that he could get to an open field somewhere in the country and dump the body. But a part of him felt like he needed it to get home. "Why would he ever think such a crazy thing" he thought. "Because quite possibly you have lost what little faggo mind you might have had." came a response he was certainly not prepared for. He turned to the body and it was still leaning, cheeks against the cool glass. He expected there to be condensation where the lips nearly met the glass, thus indicating breath, life. He did not see such a sign however and a shiver ran up his spine. Just what in the hell was wrong with him? It was while looking at the body that he was distracted by the lights of Addison Hartley. Addison was getting a little perturbed with this suspect. The man was weaving in and out of lanes. Had it been a little closer to dawn, Addison suspected this easily would be a six car pileup with this guy being the only one to get out alive. Those kinds of thoughts made Addison apply more pressure to the accelerator. Fuck that. He would get this yahoo. Ben saw the lights and panicked. He groaned out loud and was sweating profusely. That is when he heard it. There was not a single note or vocalization coming from the radio but none the less he heard pieces of another over sexed Madonna single. "Express yourself don't repress yourself." But it seemed as though Madonna was going through puberty. The sultry feminine pitch was there but this utterance, it was more dramatic if you can believe that. Ben was debating whether or not to slow down for the cop. Just as he was about to he felt a cold hand on his shoulder. He turned and saw Bryan London in all his deadness grinning at him. "I thought that was you, you little bitch." the dead man croaked. Ben wet his pants again and slowed down quickly. He then pulled onto the uneven shoulder. As Trooper Hartley gained ever closer he radioed to dispatch that this maybe a runner, or a perp who will not stop. The request to see if backup was needed came through. Just as Addison was going to reply yes, the Xterra hit the brakes and turned on his right signal indicating he was going to pull over. Addison slowed down with the Xterra and entered the uneven shoulder. Gravel kicked up and tinked off of the trooper's windshield. They were still going at a galloping 55 MPH. As they started slowing even more Hartley radioed that assistance was not necessary and that he would have this guy in custody in just a moment. The vehicles halted the pace to a crawl and finally stopped. The state trooper unlocked the pump shotgun that was fixed to the dash vertically via a stabilizer bar. He stepped out of the Camaro and adjusted his wide brimmed hat. Ben was arguing with the corpse as Trooper Hartley got himself prepared. Bryan again tried to grope at Ben. "You're in trouble now Limp-Dicky! Deputy dipshit is going to find you with a body in your car and he will find a reason to pump you full of lead!" Bryan hollered. "You...are...not...fucking...real." Ben said with the resolve of a man trying to wake up from a dream. "Limp-Dicky he is almost here. Woohoo mister it will be a fun little parrrr tayyy now! What do you think you are going to do about it? Think you can take him down Mr. Hitmaaaaan? He isn't like those cops up there in Baltimore or even Orlando! This one thanks God he is a country boy! Hey, Benny ever seen Deliverance? It's gonna be worse than that you little faggo! They is gonna turn you into a rotisserie chicken! Cluck Cluck cluuuuuck! You might enjoy it! I know I sure did!" came from the dead man's mouth. Ben held onto the K-Bar all the while hearing this corpse chatter. He knew this wasn't possible dead is dead. There is not a return from something like that. He knew this to be true but still under his breath he bantered back and forth with him. Within five minutes of being pulled over, Ben heard the crunch of Trooper Hartley's polished leather boots on the gravel. He had the knife concealed in his long sleeve shirt. Addison Hartley approached the vehicle and yelled for Ben to get out of the vehicle, hands in the air. He could hear this loon ranting in the car. He saw two figures in front and yelled to the second man to stay seated facing forward as he was. "Driver! This is the last time step out of the vehicle with your hands behind your head!" came the order from the lawman. Ben carefully tucking the knife away, exited the car. "Driver! Get on your knees and face the front of your vehicle!" said Addison. Centella did as instructed his muscles tensing. Addison Hartley, the state trooper, cautiously approached lowering his shotgun. He got within three feet and he heard a guttural, almost maniacal call for help. "Hey officer, help me. He's gots me hurt real bad in here. I am bleeding like a stuck pig." Addison ordered Ben onto the ground. He did a quick pat down on him, failing to get the knife. He was more intrigued by this figure he could not see but who was calling for help. He got his Q-Beam flashlight and aimed it in the car. He first saw just the clothes, this character was wearing just a floral pattern night robe. He could see well manicured nails, hairless legs and a five o'clock shadow. Cursing himself and the regulations that demanded he keep his lights on bright, Addison moved in closer. "Sir, what seems to be the situation?" he asked. Quietly but filled with glee he heard the same voice behind him just as his eyes got used to the light. He saw the neck wound and heard a chilling, mocking voice. "Help, Help I am being repressed!" Ben laid on the ground and heard all that Bryan was doing. He knew that while he did not want to, this cop had to go. He heard Bryan bust out with the Monty Python reference. As Ben produced the knife Bryan shouted behind him. "Kill this fucking pig Limp-Dicky!!! He wants to corn hole you anyways! If you do it all proper like maybe we can have ourselves a regular little party!!"said Bryan the gay corpse. Bryan London egged Ben on as he produced the blade and ended the cop's life. Addison Hartley felt all of the blade as it went though the back of his skull and into the brain stem. That kind of wet work will have the same effect as pulling the plug on an old T.V. All that would remain would be that slowly fading dot into oblivion. That is where Hartley was headed and for the life of him he could not reason why this was so.Ben tossed the body aside and got in the vehicle. He was looking straight at the steering wheel. Bryan London continued cackling and taunting. "So, Benny tell me how goes it? That Trooper was no problem was he? You know I am happy we ran into each other! I know you secretly wanted the dick all those years in Catholic school!" he cried with glee. Ben produced a pair of brass knuckles and mercilessly pummeled the body. He saw through his blind rage that he was no more inflicting pain than conversing with a live person. The body no longer had rag doll qualities it had before. It had been three hours since his death and rigor mortis was taking over Mr. London's decaying corpse. Ben attempted to get his mind right. There is no way in hell that a corpse would ever be talking. He knew that this was not possible. Ben was aware that he killed a cop and now it was time to get his shit right. He knew it but that mouthy little fucker would not stop his yammering. He finally let his frustrations fly. "What the fuck do you want? You should not be talking. You should not be singing. You should not be anymore. You...are...dead." he said with a detached tone. The corpse rigid and stiff suddenly creaked and twisted. Bryan London, the most certainly dead Bryan London, fought through the rigor mortis. "Limp-Dicky, we have some catching up to do. I have not seen you in years. Listen pal, I did not ask to die. I was just trying to satisfy that itch that you get when you want a little. Do you, Ben, want a little?" The corpse acted as though he was high on E or catnip or whatever. Ben did not have time to respond because Bryan London was on to a new topic. "You are not man enough for me anyways. Benny boy I exist still because the powers that be demand a blood sacrifice for your actions. You have ridden this wave of success off the tidal wave of blood you have spilt. I am just the latest and most certainly the greatest. Did you think your "art form" would go on forever? Not likely, you bitch. The time to pay the piper has arrived, limp dick and there is no tab where we are headed. You keep driving and we will get there when we get there." he uttered. Ben continued to drive. Ben was still trying to rationalize what was happening. Bryan, the corpse, remained lifeless. Ben starting talking to himself. "I need a place to go and hide, the boys at Deleo will most certainly have a cleanup crew dispatched. Need to lay low." Once again the dead man became animated. "Head home, Limp-Dicky and I don't mean Baltimore. Our old stomping grounds. Just for shits and giggles." he croaked. Ben knew this was a bad idea, he knew it would mean no way out, but he could handle it. Ben proceeded up I-95 North towards Chimney Lakes, which was just another little extension of Jacksonville. The small community was tight nit and for the right price you could become whoever you wanted there. This was true with the exception of people like Ben Lipnicky. Orphans, like him are viewed as "unworthy". This mega community that seemed to spring up over night had a few dozen churches one of which was St. Francis. Ben was headed to the place where it all went wrong, or right depending on how you looked at it. Jeff Horcomb was a good friend of Addison Hartley. He and Addi used to play poker and catch a beer at E&E liquors which was just down the street from the police station. When Jeff was on probation for a little pill popping problem, Addi was there for moral support and when he fell off the wagon Addi was there to pick him up again. That's why covering his body with that tarp was all the more amazing. It felt so surreal. The fact that such a standup cat as Addi was just another piece of meat now was disgusting to him. Jeff got pissed. Jeff got more than pissed, he got in his car and loaded his gun. Thirty miles behind Ben Lipnicky and speeding through a driving rain was tough. It was even tougher when you were loading an AP-4 assault rifle. Jeff and Addi were gun enthusiasts. Plus, country justice out here offered opportunities to plant such a weapon on the perp. Jeff Horcomb was going to get this SOB.
Chapter 6: What I wanna know, Is will I get death row? Or is there a second solution? What I wanna say, Is will I die today? Or will I get second solution? Second Solution-The Living End
For all the mocking that Bryan London's corpse did to Ben it stayed deathly quiet for the next several miles. Ben wondered again, how this was possible. He was not a God fearing man nor was he crazy. No logic could explain this that Ben knew of. He did not fear anything but at this point he was wearing fear like a cheap, stinky cologne. He needed to steady himself. Ben lit a cigarette and inhaled deep. He knew that he was heading back to St Francis. He had not been back to Chimney Lakes in years let alone this school. Ben continued down I-95 North passing the exit for Palm Coast. The ever familiar site of a water tower adorned with ornate text: Welcome to Palm Coast, Florida, beamed to him from the top of the span of highway. A thin layer of grey was now simmering to the right hand side of the highway. Ben was using the cigarette to calm himself but he could not make his foot leave the accelerator. Bryan London awoke again with a sickening pop and creak. The voice sounded less gay and more rabid "Did you see the sign Ben? We are now fifty miles from our destination. Ben, I am happy to see you. I wanted to apologize for being such a prick all of those years. I mean I lived and died as a self absorbed piece of shit but somewhere I did feel sorry. I never did get the chance to apologize for that. Now, I cannot mean it. You said it dead is dead. Ben this death thing, it hurts man. Dead men tell no tales and mean none of their apologies. Fuck! Just trying to make the electricity flow through these veins to operate this flesh. It is an endurance trial." Ben was starting to see that while he could not control this "reality" maybe he could contain it or maybe he could distract it. Then bring it true death. He would eradicate this body. He had a grenade for decimation occasions like this. Ben never took the hell this life could bring and he was going to start some shit. He decided to play along with the corpse. "What will we do when we get there?" Ben asked "We will finish it. All of it. You have had your revenge and now those of us who you took all your pain out on, we want ours. Did you ever think maybe their were some lines you should not have crossed? Some jobs you should not have taken? Did you ever think that maybe some of the people you executed did not deserve it? NO! Of course you did not you self righteous bastard. You are a pawn in the game and now I am the instrument of retribution. Just thirty miles now Benny." Bryan uttered. Ben was trying to hold onto the logical side of his brain that made the cutthroat yet rational decisions that kept him alive thus far. His only thought was to stall the inevitable. Twenty minutes passed and not a word was said. Ben tried to get out of this situation. "Does it hurt?" Ben asked with childlike concern. The corpse grabbed Ben's right hand. The grip made him think of an elderly man who died holding Ben's hand. The orphanage and church also ran a Catholic nursing home. As part of community service Ben would pass out the meals. He was just thirteen. Very much disgusted by the elderly but frightened of the eventual death in every room Ben moved in a state of fear. He would get the tray quickly, get in, serve the food and get out. He never stopped to chat. Ben came into Room 218 on that cool November day. He could smell the stench of piss in the room like a nauseating form of Vick's Vapor rub. The man in 218 was mostly catatonic. He never was awake as far as Ben could tell. Ben quickly walked to the roll out table next to 218's bed and deposited the tray. The man was in a state of nothingness. As Ben turned to leave the man grabbed his hand and said... "Ciely, Ciely it huts so bayad. It is like faaar in muh chest..." the Bryan London corpse uttered the phrase in the exact tone and pitch as the man who had died sixteen years earlier after saying that sentence. He then took Ben's hand and put it inside of the throat wound. Ben recoiled in fear. The congealed blood was now on his fingers in a clumpy and thick fashion. With the same suddenness he released Ben's hand. Bryan London just sat there grinning insanely. He laid against the window just staring at Ben. Drool rolled out of his lips and onto his chin. Ben realized that Bryan was decomposing slowly before him. Maybe he could ride this out. Just get to the school and do what he must to end this nightmare. Ben continued to formulate a plan as the Xterra passed a sign that said Jacksonville 19 miles. That meant that the suburb of Chimney Lakes was 25 miles. Countdown to destruction.
Chapter 7: I wish I would've met you. now its a little late What you could've taught me, I could've save some face. They think that your early ending was all wrong They stick it in your face & let you smell what they consider wrong. That's why I say "Hey man, nice shot!" What a good shot man. Hey Man, Nice shot-Filter
Trooper Horcomb was now approximately twenty one miles and closing on Ben Lipnicky. He had his under cover vehicle, the custom built 2007 Dodge Charger with Hemi option. His foot on the accelerator and his knuckles whitening on the steering wheel, the only option was to make this man a grease stain. Dispatch had been trying to locate him but to no avail. When he got tired of Rhonda, the dispatcher, squawking at him he turned her off. He then turned on the radio and listened peacefully as CCR wailed on about Suze-eh Q. Trooper Horcomb was narrowing the gap. Jacksonville 10 miles was dimly lit by the Xterra's passing headlights. The corpse again was just a corpse. Ben was formulating a plan. If he could crash the vehicle maybe he could get out before Bryan became all animated again. Somehow though he could not bring himself to do it. He was on the path home and thus on it he continued. When Ben saw the Baptist South Hospital Building his mind began to race. He knew he was only twenty minutes from possible death. He knew that whether this was something other worldly or supernatural, he knew that it was all about to end. Whispering in the back of his mind was the thought that even if this was in his head did he really want it to end peacefully? Ben now entered the spaghetti junction of the I-95/I-295 interchange. He rose high above it all at the crest of a large inclined exit ramp. He looked down more than one hundred feet and saw the concrete below. Xterra's were top heavy he could swing it hard at the door level wall and this speed and... "Give it up Ben. You are not a suicide risk and you know it." the Bryan corpse croaked. By this time the decomposition process had reached his lungs which now sounded like he had a bad case of pneumonia. He gurgled as he chuckled. "We are going to have reckoning, a coming to of terms. Why do you continue to resist this? Why do you try to weasel out, to scheme and plan? Do you think you can forfeit your destiny? You were granted the ability to do your own bidding and you were allowed to do it well. Did you think there was never a time when you may owe someone for that?" croaked Bryan "So what if I OWE someone for this life? Why would I have to go all the way to St. Francis to appease them? And why you? Why did it have to be you?" "Do you think this is fun for me? Of course, I sit here tormenting you and I will admit Ben it is amusing watching you squirm like I used to. But I am dead! I was a successful gay man living in Orlando! You can't beat a life like that. I had it made until you had to do your job. You don't think I don't owe anyone? Take a look at what my payment is. If I get to go through this, believe me sir, you will get yours. Smell that Ben? I smell the river! We are not far now." Bryan retorted after sniffing the air. The distinct smell of the St. Johns river at dawn wafted through the vents. They were only ten minutes from St. Francis. Jeff started to tense, Addi was good to him and he had respected Jeff. "I'll get him Addi." he said to the voice in his head. Jeff took some emergency pills he had in his center console. It was go time. Horcomb was at the spaghetti junction and flying towards the river at over ninety. He was sweating profusely. He only saw vengeance not the truth. The truth was as much as this is an endgame for Ben Lipnicky it was for him as well. Thirty minutes after he had switched off Rhonda she phoned the dispatch in Duval County. She had a feeling Jeff had lost it. Jeff had a GPS unit in his vehicle as part of the anti theft system the county installed last year. Rhonda logged into the GPS website. The unit only had a tracker of up to seventy five miles from the base at the station. The last place she saw Jeff was just outside of St. Augustine. Rhonda swallowed hard and realized that Jeff had a bead on the cop killer and was going after him. This was bad, real bad. Rhonda used to casually rock the bedroom with one Jeff Horcomb. She always felt that he was a little too high strung. She also felt that Jeff's attachment to Addi was not mutual and was unhealthy. With his death hitting the station like a bomb she was not all sure Jeff was going to handle it well. She stayed close to Jeff despite breaking off the almost-relationship. He was jilted but never unprofessional about it. You could just see though, that he was always one step away from dropping off the cliffs of insanity. The worst part about it though was that Jeff was so closed off, Rhonda feared that when he did step off that cliff that only herself and Addi would ever know. She had that gut feeling now. So to protect the only man she felt she had loved, she went against policy and called Mona Simms in the Duval County Trooper station. "Mona? Hey its Rhonda Ferns in Seminole County. How are ya?" "Rhonda? Hey girl! I am just fine as I can be at 6:45 in the am. What can I do ya for?" "Mona, do you remember that guy I was dating, the Trooper named Jeff Horcomb?" "Vaguely, didn't you two break it off?" "Yeah, well listen there is something I need your help with..." Rhonda went into the whole situation and what she feared was happening. Mona jumped right on it and found that Jeff's vehicle was cruising down I-295 and crossing over the St. Johns River via the Buckman bridge. Mona told her that they had to involve the local bubbas and although Rhonda hated the idea she agreed. Mona dispatched to units who were in the area near Chimney Lakes to investigate it. Rhonda hung up with Mona, her temples throbbing. She openly sobbed at the thought of what would happen. She was here late after her shift and it was now dawn. The golden glow bathed her dispatcher office in the Trooper station of Seminole County. Rhonda prayed very, very hard for her former lover.
Chapter 8: Well, I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer The future's uncertain, and the end is always near Let it roll, baby, roll Let it roll, baby, roll Let it roll, baby, roll Let it roll, all night long Roadhouse Blues- The Doors
Ben tore off of I-295 at seventy miles an hour which was thirty five more than the recommended speed. He and the Bryan London corpse nearly bit it on the severe turn on the off ramp. The near flip caused the Bryan London corpse to slam into the dashboard violently. The sickening noise the forehead made upon contact told him right away that Bryan's skull would be crushed. None of this mattered now. Ben casually pushed the corpse back to a sitting position in the seat. He was now in Chimney Lakes, five minutes until liftoff. Benjamin Lipnicky took out another cigarette and lit the business end. He took a big puff and exhaled. He methodically sped down Bingsley Blvd and as he saw the lights of St. Francis, turned on his blinker. Jeff Horcomb saw approximately one and a half miles ahead an Xterra turn his left blinker on. He floored the gas and grabbed the gun and his shotgun. It was go time. This was for (dead)Addi, for Troopers every where. This was for Truth, justice and the right to fuck up a burden on law and order. He did not care that the Duval County Troopers were closing in on him. He saw the lights a mile back. It was time to handle the business. Twenty seconds after the Xterra turned Trooper Horcomb did so as well. His dark colored Charger gave no indication of the turn and on the dimly lit back road that this portion of Bingsley Blvd was, the Duval Troopers missed him. He was idling slowly down the wooded path to the Church and school properties. Ben held no preference to slow speed so he was at his destination, the school, much quicker. Ben exited his vehicle and quickly proceeded to the passenger side. Something in his gut told him he needed to ride this thing out in a classroom up in the school building. This is a stupid idea the rational brain said to the contract killer. It certainly felt stupid as he exited the vehicle and pulled the London body out in time to see himself surrounded by the local authorities. Trooper Holcomb hid in the bushes behind Ben. Jeff had parked his car near the wooded edges of the property and had flanked the perp. He had his Ap-4 at the alert and was adjusting his sites. If he played this right he could get his shot off without the local piggies getting wind of his position. He might even get out of this alive. This was all without the knowledge of what Rhonda had done. If he knew that he might as well have blown his own head off. Ben froze in the light that the local authorities shined on him. It seems as though they had slipped in a side entrance to the school grounds and gotten the jump on him. He saw some of them, their guns pointing directly at him. The blue of the cop blouse contrasting with the black of their pants. He was a dead man. This is where he really lost all control. He started to cry and howl at the thought of everything falling apart. This was not how it was supposed to end, he was the victim here! This thing, this body was no body at all. It was a monster from under the bed and in the closet. The man on the megaphone shouted but Ben heard no words just monotone wah wahs. What Ben did not understand or know for that matter was the fact that all of the guns that they could muster were pointing at him. They knew what he had done. They ordered him to halt and to lay down on the ground. Without knowing he was doing so, Ben disobeyed the order. He rose up and then Bryan started to talk. "FUCK YOU PIGS!!! I WILL NOT BE TAKEN ALIVE!!! HUH HA HA HA!!!!"the corpse screamed but all the cops involved could have sworn it was Ben saying it. Ben was not quite aware of the source of the bullet that hit his body. He felt is graze his shoulder. As he shuddered with the sting it created Ben's bloodstream became thin with a jolt of adrenaline. He picked up the one hundred and fifty pound Bryan and ascended the stairs. Trooper Holcomb saw all of this and headed to the back entrance to get inside. Ben made his entrance into the school and barricaded himself in.
Chapter 9: When all that's left to do Is to reflect on what's been done This is where sadness breathes The sadness of everyone. The Dam at Otter Creek-Live
With a gun in hand and the coppery taste of blood in his mouth, Ben Lipnicky tried to lock away his fear. He had locked Bryan and himself inside of the school chemistry lab as a last ditch effort to survive this ordeal. Bryan lurched to life with a jolt. "You know, this is where I started hating you..." "What, what the hell did I ever do to you?" "You were just so desperate, so desperate to be liked. I could not help it. My type A personality parents bred me to be like a shark. If you had just shut your mouth and stayed a wall flower I think I never would have had it out for you. But you never would just accept that people like you exist for a reason. You justify the existence of people like me. No matter how smart you are, how talented you are or even the fact that you never stopped trying to fit in, it all culminates in the fact you are a plebian." said the corpse. This all resonated with Ben very deeply. The man he was today. The success he had today, all of it was because of Bryan London. He made his life hell and it made Ben develop the will to survive. Perhaps if this bully had not been there he would have never made it out of the gutter. He did however have one choice in the matter and that was how he went about rising above it and in socially acceptable parameters he went way off fucking course. Trooper Holcomb was inside the building now and he heard Ben. He did not care that this fruit loop was out of his mind. He did not care that he seemed to be way too attached to the corpse for his own good. All he cared for was setting the world right for Addi. Addi was his best friend. Holcomb shed a quick tear and continued on. He located the sounds of the commotion and caught sight of the perp through the thick glass. Dammit, he thought. He could not fire through the glass as it was double paned. As he worked in his mind the plan to end the asshole's life he heard the local bubbas using a battering ram on the entrance to the school house. Each Kerrang where metal ram collided against steel doors echoed in the halls of the schoolhouse. For Holcomb time was precious. "So what now? What do I owe for this life?" Ben said in a wavering voice. "Quite simply, your death would appease us all." "Us? Listen you bastard I have come to grips with the fact that I may be going crazy with split personalities but what is your excuse?" Bryan simply motioned to the room. In the dark shadows figures started to emerge. His first ever, Bob Ryder. Ryder was an Englishman hiding in American Samoa. He was living in first class five star hotels and bragging to his lawyer that he would never be caught for swindling the financiers of the company he planned to buy out. Well some of those people had connections and those connections led to the Deleo Corporation. Ben got the contract and like a virgin on prom night he almost bumbled it. In the end however he got it done. Ryder died in his hotel hot tub. It took him eight hours to die from that gut shot. Ryder took the first jab at Ben. "So, what is a silly little prat like you making life and death decisions for? You do not know why I had to do it. I could not pass it up. You have NEVER seen an opportunity this BIG! And all of it is gone, cus of you!" Ryder screamed Soon the room's shadows came alive with all forty one of them. Sanja Remjki, the Indian ambassador's American liaison who Ben had shot in DC during the time of the DC snipers emerged first. He was able to get away scott free on that one. Mary-Anne Sosa who ran afoul of her MS-13 leader boyfriend. She was in protective custody and was making a case for the FBI. He got her sunbathing in Paolo Alta, CA. He also saw Finn Sitterham. He greeted Ben with a nod but he did not speak. "Finn here would love to talk but of course what you did took care of that because as you can tell by us, what was done in life shackles you in death. Finn also wanted to tell you that he was set up and you killed an innocent man. Oh and he wants you to go fuck yourself with the barrel of your rifle." Bryan said. Ben could not longer contain his traitorous gut and vomited all over himself.
Chapter 10 This one goes out to the one I love This one goes out to the one I left behind. The one I love-REM
As Ben battled his demons Trooper Holcomb plotted his move. When he considered his options it all came down to one. In his possession he held a stun grenade. This would disable the perp. But it all came down to where to throw this bad boy. Within the classroom there were lockers and other such large barricades to absorb the blast. Through the window Jeff saw the loony raving and crying to himself. He seriously doubted that he needed the stunner. But, Jeff Horcomb was not a stupid man. He was not as smart as Addi (was), but he could get the job done. It was hard for him to move his limbs at this point. The emotional toll was finally hitting him. After his rage and his venom had run their course all that remained was sorrow. In the end though he kept thinking of Addi and how his eyes (his dead eyes, the lights have left him, Oh my god my best friend in the world is gone, how am I supposed to deal, I had to cover his body, oh my god, oh my god, oh my------) Jeff was snapped out of his panic laced coma in time to hear the local piggies crash the front door. With only a dividing double door that was locked they would be in within ten more minutes. The numbers of people who met their end courtesy of a bullet from a Mr. Ben Lipnicky continued to grow in size. Many of them he could not remember clearly but all of them brought up the memory of near ecstasy that his art form could bring him. Ben was now no longer the punching bag turned sociopath turned hit man. He was now just another sniveling fool. All the while Bryan London talked with him. "It's almost over now Ben. We are all here now. Look around. Good times...Great oldies... Ben, you know what you have to do. You did not come all this way to a place that you tried to forget for nothing. You did not come across me by mistake. When you were a kid and susceptible to all kinds of things you cried out into the dark for help. And you know what the dark answered back. That dark came forward and gave you the personality you did not possess before. Some would label it a sociopathic disorder, some would call it art. But like all bills collection time has arrived.." "I did not know what I was doing...Its not right, its not right..."Ben cried. "Do what you do best, make yourself the last hit. For God's sake you pussy, take your own life! It's only fair it's what is right! Stop this now and join us." Soon the encouragement and the berating grew too loud. Ben took his 9mm and shook with fear at the sight of it. The dark or whatever it was would have its blood sacrifice. The demands of the crowd at hand (my victims) grew too loud to contain (all of the dead bodies) and like a hive mind they all talked in a string of words that came separately out of the mouths of each person. "You-have-NO-choice-in-this. TAKE-YOUR-MEDICINE. MAKE-YOUR-MASTERPIECE. YOUR-BLOOD-WILL-BE-THE-PAINT-AND-THE-CANVAS-WILL-BE-THE-WALL!" Trooper Horcomb saw the creep produce a glock and shaking as he did so. Jeff was not going to let the memory of Addi be ruined by the creep that was this perp. He loaded the magazine of the light weight Ap-4 and racked the charging handle to the rear and let the bolt slide home. He rose and kicked the door to the lab open. As the door swung open Ben's first thought was that he was being tormented further with the thought that a false vision of rescue. He knew better though. This man with the beady eyes and sweat stained cop uniform was no fever dream. It was more than likely one of the local bubbas but this one, this cop was different his uniform was tan. What in the hell? Holcomb exploded through the door and in the instant his eyes tried to adjust as he thought he saw more than just his perp and a body. He thought he saw, a crowd? Had the local bubbas beat him to the punch by entering through the windows without a sound? No fucking way he thought. I am too good to be had. The Ap-4 was in his shoulder and he fired a three round burst. Two of the rounds hit the crazy eyed loony in the chest near his clavicle. In his opposite hand the pistol exited his mouth and in an instant Jeff was hit in the leg. He knew he was hit in the femoral artery at once. Addi, I might be seeing you sooner than I imagined he thought. Holcomb became groggy and the AP-4 seemed to be made of stone. He could not shoulder the bastard and the perp was again putting that damn pistol in his cum dumpster. He knew that the blood was leaving way too fast to do much with so he just pulled the trigger and aimed indiscriminately. Fuck it he thought. Jeff began to lose consciousness and as the world turned grey he thought he saw the body of Bryan London scream at him. The grey faded to black and then all was lost. The crazy trooper kicked open the door like he was mother fucking Clint Eastwood or something. Ben saw the door knob go flying and all at once the crowd gathered and in unison bellowed at this pig. With what appeared to be an Ap-4 in hand Ben saw the barrel explode as rounds came down range, at him. Ben removed the glock from his gullet and instead fired at this son of a bitch. Two hot pokers of pain hit him in the shoulder area. Officer Dipshit hit the deck when the bullets entered his groin and Ben smiled because once again his destiny was to create art. He held his target in his sights until he saw that the loss of blood meant there was no way he could keep that heavy rifle up. He was aiming at his head until the same anger that was directed at the cop hit him like a truck. DO-IT-NOOOOOWWWWWW!"...... and Ben Lipnicky did just that. As his brains painted the wall and slid down in clumps, Jeff Horcomb faded to black and the local bubbas crashed the party.
Epilogue: I said it's all right You know it's all right I guess its all in my heart You'll be my only, my one and only Is that the way it should start? Dancing Days-Led Zeppelin
Excerpt from Florida Times Union Article "Death Mystery For St. Francis School" By Rory Demedo Times Union Beat Reporter
When observing the scene of carnage enacted by one homicidal and suicidal mystery man it is hard to imagine what inspires such a rampage. Could it be upbringing? Could it be mental problems? Most mental health professionals will indicate both. What transpired on October 25th of this past year was one fatal coincidence after another coming together. The man who was the subject of all of this horror is still to this day a mystery. No finger prints to speak of and no DNA are on file for any other related crime. My investigation into why would someone leave such a trail of horror, started at our John Doe's identity but then moved to a dive into his medical makeup during autopsy. No drugs or alcohol was found in his system at the time. He was covered in carbon from the various rounds he fired. The one thing I found to be amazing was the fact that the little that remained of his brain did have a the remnants of a large tumor. The various areas of the brain that this tumor crowded effect the memory, bowel and bladder control as well as some motor functions. Ladies and gentleman, this was a sick individual physically as well as mentally. I then asked the County Coroner if this tumor risked a chance for hallucinatory visions. The doctor listed his response as probable but highly unlikely. I, as an investigative reporter have researched and pulled together a string of events stretching from Orlando to the quiet burg of Chimney Lakes. Our John Doe seems to have murdered two people in an Orlando condo on October 24th. For some unknown reason he loaded the body of a Mr. Bryan T. London into the rental car that he had under the alias, Matthew Devraeux. He then proceeded East on I-4. It was here that while speeding he was pulled over by a decorated State Trooper, Addison Hartley. It would be the last Hartley would ever do as an officer of the law. Hartley was murdered in cold blood just off of the I-4 exit ramp, his body discovered sixteen minutes after his last transmission to base. The John Doe took off with the body north towards Jacksonville. Approximately twenty five minutes after Hartley's last call to base, his partner and good friend Trooper Jeff Horcomb, arrived on scene. He identified the body of his long time compadre and suddenly left the scene heading north. Repeated requests to return to base were ignored as the trooper headed north, obviously bent on vigilantism. Horcomb has a history of prescription drug abuse, which he claims was only conquered by a deep sense of faith and his friendship with Trooper Hartley. At some unknown time a concerned coworker contacted the Duval County State Trooper's office. Duval county officers were alerted to his presence and began a distant pursuit. At some point along the way our John Doe entered the property of the St. Francis Catholic School and Church with Trooper Horcomb in hot pursuit. Records of the following sequence of events are sketchy at best. Within five minutes of arriving on the property Trooper Holcomb was out of view but our John Doe was dragging a body out of his vehicle heading towards the school house. An order was given which the suspect ignored and a non fatal shot was placed in the left shoulder. This did not stop the suspect and he eluded police in time to make it into the school house. Details become all the more murky at this point. While getting into the locked building, our local police failed to noticed the hostile Trooper Holcomb was entering the building intent on avenging Trooper Hartley. Not a sane person alive can illuminate some light on the subject of what happened when Holcomb entered the science lab where the suspect was barricaded. Some have asked when I directed questions to them why had I not talked to Holcomb concerning the sequence of events in that school house. I am sure Holcomb would answer had he not gone into a catatonic state shortly after this ordeal. Jeff Horcomb could not see the local bubbas but he could hear them. He heard this bastard kill himself and heard Addi tell him that is was ok. Jeff did not know if he was alive or dead but he was sure that whatever the verdict he would not be pleased. Paramedics arrived on scene almost as soon as the bubbas. He was the only living person in the science lab. He felt the shirt being ripped open and a turniquet was applied. Within twenty minutes he was stabilized to leave. Through some severe error in judgment (or an obscene gesture of laziness), the body of the unknown person that was dragged about was loaded into the same ambulance as Jeff and off they went. His face wet with perspiration and his breathing ragged, the meat and bones that was Jeff Horcomb found a way to make it. He was not precisely aware but more so in a fog. He could hear the steady beep of his heart rate. The blood pressure cuff was tight but not too constricting. He could smell the sterile smell of medical tape. The tape was most likely holding the oxygen tube that was flooding his nasal cavity with air. Soon his moist nose would whistle with each nasally exhale. It was at this time that he heard the ambulance radio that was tuned into some very bad pop station. He was stabilized and in his fog he knew that the driver and the other medic would just right up front. He also saw that there was a body bag next to him. "What the fuck???" he thought. It was at this time that he heard Madonna singing something about saying something wrong and Oops she did not know she could not talk about sex. But Madonna's voice had changed and now she sounded like she was hitting puberty. The voice came from his left instead of in surround sound stereo. He turned and saw the body bag move and then unzip from the inside. With the zipper open he heard the vaguely feminine voice say, Express yourself don't repress yourself... then with all of his strength, Jeff Horcomb screamed. He screamed all the way through the ambulance ride and into the night.

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