March 1, 2024 – Chapter Four – “The Bad Seed”

The men finished hitting two buckets of balls after about forty-five minutes. The results were the normal for weekend warriors. They each had some great hits while others went astray.

“No harm no foul,” Jay said as one ball hit the man in the tractor picking up all the balls with the large rubber wheels with gaps between them just wide enough the grab the balls lying on the ground attached to it.

“Thank goodness for that cage all around him Brett.”

“I wonder how much he gets paid to do that? It looks like it could be fun.”

When they had used all of their balls and decided to leave, there were already several others around them working on their driving skills. Most were older men, but their were a few middle aged women as well. The crowd seemed to be just the opposite of the make up of those living in the area.

The two friends walked off just as the wind picked up and the temperature stated to rise to an uncomfortable level. The women were nearly at the clubhouse after finishing their errands.

The two men walked into the large restaurant. Jay looked at the beautiful young woman at the booking desk and spoke to her.

“We’d like a table near the windows with a nice view. Our wives will be joining us soon so will need a table for four, please.”

“Not a problem sir, all the tables have a fine view of the mountains and of the golf course.”

The two men followed the woman and were led to a table by the windows over looking the first tee and sat down.

“This is perfect. Thanks so much young lady.”

Brett looked at Jay and commented on the woman’s appearance. “She’s a beauty,” isn’t she?

Jay nodded his head and turned it back over his shoulder and looked at the double doors where the wive’s would be entering the restaurant.

He looked back at Brett and smiled.

“So, anything come up yet that you can talk to me about regaurding the incident at my sister’s home.”

“Jay, you know I can’t talk to you about most of these matters, they’re private and confidential.”

“Its my nephew and sister were talking about here Brett. My sister is alone and my nephew’s father is out of the state.”

“I’l give you a few facts when I have had a chance to look over what ever comes across my desk. Right now we don’t have much.”

Finally the two women came in together and saw Brett’s wave off in the distance, across the large bright room. The women were both well dressed, as always. Jay saw how good they looked for their ages and smiled again. The two men had married very well considering who they had started out being. The women had seen their future mates potential years ago and had molded and trained the two of them well. They were now almost human beings, or so the long running joke went.

Julie spoke to the two men seated below her. “It’s so bright over here that I almost couldn’t make you guys out. It’s a hot one again outside, isn’t it?”

“Yes, just wait till we’re in the middle of Summer,” Brett responded.

The two ladies joined their husbands and sat their purses down on the carpet between them. The four ordered their drinks and started talking among themselves. The drinks arrived and after five minutes the waitress returned for the lunch orders.

They had all decided on what they wanted and soon the waitress was off again walking toward the kitchen. They ate here often and knew the large and varied menu well.

Soon the conversation turned to the crime in the neighborhood and the fact that the women were concerned about everyone’s safety. Three of the four people at the table looked at Brett.

“I get it. Everyone is a little fearful at the moment. This is probably just a fluke and a one time occurrence. I can’t remember anything like this happening here before, can any of you?”

“No Brett,” Julie pipped up, “but it’s happened now and the guard has been murdered as well. That’s some serious stuff. Are there going to be more police patrols coming out through here? I know we’re out in the sticks, but something needs to be done.”

“I’m sure that it’s on the table at the office but I haven’t heard anything yet, to tell you the truth. The police are all just getting their ducks in a row at the moment. It’s only been a day and a half, after all. We haven’t had time to get anything back from what the forensic team found. Their evidence was just sent out to the lab. It’ll take a few weeks before anything turns up and is reported back to us.

At that moment an elderly man came up to their table and started to talk to Jay.

“Hey Jay, I’m real sorry about your sister and nephew. I know he’s had a rough patch recently, but we are all thinking positive thoughts about them and the family of Charlie, the guard. He was a good kid. Sorry to intrude, but I wanted to say my piece.”

“Thanks Todd, I appreciate the kind thoughts and will pass them on to my sister and nephew.”

The man walked off slowly and went out the front door. As the wide door opened, the low bushes were shaking in the strong afternoon wind. Dust was blowing across the wide entry as well.

Jay already had his theories about Charlie and the two men who attacked Billy. Once he talked to Billy, he would have a better understanding of that night’s events.

“How are your sister and nephew doing Jay,” Nancy asked.

“Julie responded quietly and leaned in over the table, “They had a rough night, but they seem to be hanging in there. I talked to them on the way over here.”

Jay was surprised at that. Mary and Julie didn’t talk much with each other. They had a good relationship, but they weren’t fast friends. They did have some friends in common since they lived so close to each other and both played golf.

“What is the board going to do about replacing the guard at the gate?”

Nancy looked at Julie and spoke up. “I don’t know, but they need an older man out there and one who is armed with a weapon. Maybe two men instead of just one.”

Brett thought that was a bad idea but kept silent.

The food arrived and more drinks were ordered. It was a fine day and the four friends had a wonderful afternoon trying to solve the worlds problems, as always.

On the short drive home, Jay wondered about what might have been found in the guard house and his sister’s house. He had seen the garage up close and didn’t think much would be left behind to help the police. It was a matter of what they might get out of the two men who Jay had shot.

The guard house was a different matter. It had many cupboards and places where things could be hidden away out of site behind paper products and junk. He wished he had had more time to look through it that night, but the police arrived before he could give it a once over.

Brett was close lipped about anything he know, and perhaps rightly so. The fact that they had both worked as police officers for the same department didn’t make it any easier to get the information that Jay wanted from his long time friend.

Brett was one to go by the book most of the time. That included all aspects of his life. He was a good friend and husband.

Jay respected him for that but had to find out what the hell was going on with this attack against his nephew. He had a few calls to make tonight after his nap.

Jay loved his nap as it often allowed his brain to work uninhibited and without guide lines. He sometimes came up with some good ideas after a nice long nap. He remembered many stories of famous men in history napping to work out an especially difficult problem.

When he woke, the day had cooled down. He went out into the kitchen looking for his wife. The kitchen was quiet and empty. He could see the dessert through the large kitchen window. The mountains were still sitting out in the hazy distance, a pale blue. He found her in the den watching the news after walking out of the empty kitchen.

“What are you doing dear.”

“I’m watching the news to see if anything is on it about your sister’s situation. You know she is just five or ten minutes away from us down the highway.”

“Yes, I know where my sister lives dear. Try not to worry about this too much. The odds of anything happening here are next to zero.”

She didn’t hear Jay. She was deep in thought about the circumstances near by and worried that it might spill over into her life even more than it already had. Jay joined her in front of the television until nearly dinner time.

“What do you want for dinner Julie? I’ll grill a couple of steaks if you like. It’s nice outside now. I’ll light up the grill.”

“Sure dear if that’s fine with you it’s fine with me. I’ll make a salad and we can eat out on the patio.”

“Great dear, the sunset is beautiful. You should come out here and take a look Julie.”

Julie got up from the soft, brown, leather sofa and walked out onto the patio and saw what Jay had been talking about. The sun was setting behind the large mountains with a flash of crimson.

“This is what we worked so hard for dear.”

“Yes Jay, I love it here and I’m so happy that we made it through all those years of danger and long crazy hours you had to deal with as a police officer. A lot of our friends weren’t so lucky.”

“I know dear.”

Most were still alive and survived working as police officers, but many were now divorced.

“This life isn’t easy on marriages,” Jay thought.

The lights around the yard came on by themselves and the swish, swish sound of the nearby fairway sprinklers on the golf course could be heard over the soft sounds of the dessert. A lonely coyote howled off in the distance.

After dinner the two washed dishes together and settled in for the night with a movie. After about half an hour, Julie fell asleep. Jay sat with her for another hour and then left for the den.

It was ten o’clock. He had a call to make to Robert, Jay’s favorite confidential informer.

Chapter Five

Robert answered the phone with a quiet, “hello?”

“Hey Robert, it’s Jay. Have you any word for me?

“Yes, it’s some crazy stuff. Those knuckle heads went to the wrong address. Well, it wasn’t that simple, actually.”

“What happened then?”

“Well, They had a load of weed and several thousand dollars to make a deal with someone in that bunch of houses out there where your sister lives. How about that? The guy at the gate knew them from several transactions in the past. They didn’t want him to know that they were out there doing the deal, so they dusted him. One guy stabbed him but did a bad job of it so the other guy shot him. This was a big deal that they were working on and they didn’t want any witnesses.”

“So how did the end up at my nephew’s house?”

“They went to drop the dope and money off for some harder stuff but the address led them to a vacant lot. As they headed out, they saw Billy’s car in his mother’s driveway. They had dealt with him before and thought that they might rob him. He had done a few big deals with them as well.

They couldn’t leave all that money and dope in their car, so they brought it with them. They actually offered some of the weed to him, but he didn’t have any money, or so he said. They decided to work him over to see if his story would change. The taller of the two guys is the one that shot the gate guard. The shooters name in Louise. The shorter fellow is George. Then this big dude comes in and robs the robbers. Real funny, but their boss isn’t laughing and they are in deep shit at the moment, for a couple of reasons.

The boss wants his money and wed back. If those guys get bail and can’t produce the items that they lost, they will be killed.”

“Who is their boss. Where does he hang out?”

“Oh man, you don’t want to mix it up with those guys. They’re real professionals and connected if you know what I mean.”

“Let me worry about that. I might be able to return what he has lost. I might know who has it?”

“How the hell do you know that? You’re an ex cop and all, but come on man?”

“Take me at my word. Have I ever lied to you?”

“No man, never that I know of.”

“So, there you go. Give me a name or a place and I’ll take it from there.”

“Why do want to get involved in this crap man. You are out of the game and sitting pretty as far as I have heard.”

“It’s personal now.”

“Oh, I get that. So, I hear tell of a place called “Oscar’s” down on Garfield near downtown at N. 16th street. Look for a big guy with a cowboy hat. He’s one of the main man’s body guards.

The main man moves around a lot but this guy takes orders for junk as well. Find him and you’re on your way to what you are looking for. Be careful Jay, these guys don’t play around and there are lots of them on hand to make your life difficult.”

“Thanks for the lead, Robert. I’ll take your word for how tough these guys are. Maybe we can talk this out so no none gets hurt. Take care and thanks, again.”

Jay now had some information to work with and he had the gun that killed the guard at the gate. That might come in handy down the road, or so he thought.

Jay walked out into the garage and put on his gloves. He pulled down the gun and looked it over as it sat in the box of money. It was an expensive Sig Sauer P220 .45 and was probably stolen. It was now a murder weapon.

He unloaded the gun. It held four Speer Lawman 230 gr. TMJ bullets. He put those bullets into a coffee can and sat it back in the cupboard. He had two different types of ammo on hand in his garage. One was a batch of the same type as the ammo in the gun. The brand is well made, efficient and fairly inexpensive.

He looked the gun over and decided not to clean it. It was in very good condition. He checked the pull on the trigger by pulling it back as if firing it after making sure that the gun was empty. He didn’t need a hole in his garage wall like those in Billy’s garage door.

He always carried a .45 at work when he was a police office. They are thirty percent more powerful than a 9mm. and thus the chances of having to shoot a suspect more than once are reduced. Shooting someone twice lessons the rate of survival, obviously.

Jay took the gun over to his car and placed it in his glove compartment. He closed the car door quietly and went back to join his wife on the couch. She was still sleeping peacefully in front of the large television under a blanket that Jay had put over her.

He woke her as gently as possible and led her off to bed. Tomorrow was going to be a busy day so he went to bed with her instaed of watching his late night shows.

Chapter Six

Jay woke up with a start as his alarm went off. He was alone in bed. Then he smelled the bacon aroma wafting all around him.

“Jay honey, where are you? I’ve got breakfast ready for you.”

Jay stood up and found his pajamas and put them on. He could never sleep with those awful things on and wondered how anyone could. “Sleeping in your birthday suit is the only way to go,” Jay thought as he walked into the bathroom.

“You’ve got five minutes Jay or this breakfast will look like a clay roof tile.”

Jay spit out the water after brushing his teeth and rinsing his mouth out.

“I’m on my way dear.”

Jay arrived to see the table set for two and sat down in his regular spot.

The sun cast a bright swath across the middle of the long table. A large Spanish plate of yellow with green and red flowers painted on it sat in the middle of the table for a touch of Southwest decor. They had bought it on one of their trips years ago when it was still safe to travel to Mexico. That seemed like ages in the past now. That country had changed so much over the years, and not for the better as far as Jay could tell.

He and Julie and many friends used to go down there for a long weekend of fine dinners and a few cocktails. Those days were sadly just a memory now.

“Thanks for making breakfast Julie, I have to go out and see my sister and see how the interviews with the police went.”

“It’s eight thirty, do you think she is awake yet?”

“Hand me the phone and I’ll make sure she is.”

Julie handed her cell over to Jay and he pushed the button for his sister, Mary. The phone rang several times before she answered. Jay looked at Julie with a face full of disdain.

“She’d sleep all day if she had it her way. I bet she was out drinking with one of her “friends” last night. It’s no wonder Billy is such a mess.”

“Jay, Billy has to take some responsibility for who he has become.”

“I know Julie, but he would have been much better off if he had gone to live with his dad in Colorado.”

“He would have found the same type of friends there, Jay. He is a magnet for trouble Jay.”

Mary finally answered the phone with a soft, weak voice. “Hello, Campbell residence.”

“Mary, it’s Jay. I want to come over and talk with you and Billy this morning. Are you going out or may I come over?”

“Biiiy’s sitting right here. I don’t have any plans until later today.”

Jay thought he knew what those plans were but kept quiet.

“Great, I’ll come over in about twenty minutes and talk with the both of you. I’d like to get filled in on the details as much as possible. Did you get Billy’s lawyer to sit with him for the interview?” “Yes, just like you told me to. Billy is worried though.” “He should be worried for a few reasons but will try to work all that out as it comes closer to his next court date. I’ll see you in a few.”

Jay kissed his wife and went into the bedroom to get his shoes. He carried them back to the dining room and put them on as he sat next to his wife at the table. He left through the small garage door and climbed into his car. He had a few things to accomplish today.

He came to the end of his street and turned left down to the main road that led to the entry gate of his complex. The street was lined with desert plants and a well groomed fairway sat in the distance. A few golfers were already out trying to play before the day heated up too much.The gate opened as Jay drove over the sensors in the concrete. An older man sat at his post talking to another man.

“Perhaps it was the sift change form graveyard to morning,” Jay thought as he drove out the wide drive lined with flowers and turned right on Highway Ten.

This complex had been built a few years before his sister’s but by the same contractor. Each house was a custom “one-off” but the streets and sewers and the like had all been done by the same company. His sister’s tract looked much like his but it was newer and the lots were larger and more expensive.

Jay drove south on the freeway and turned off at Sage Brush and went to the left under the freeway. He was glad it wasn’t raining. This underpass often flooded when the monsoons came up from the south. Today was dry and hot however.

Jay reached the guard gate at his sisters place and it was still wrapped in yellow tape. The man at the gate was sitting outside under a large umbrella and asked Jay his name and who he wanted to visit.

“I’m Jay Torrance and I’m her to see my sister Mary Campbell at 3223 W. Locust. The guard looked at his list of approved visitors coming in this morning. He reached in and pushed the gate release once he had signed Jay’s name to his long list of visitors.

Two men worked on removing the destroyed camera and lights. One held the ladder while the other worked a wrench and was trying his hand at removing the damaged items at the top of a metal pole.

Jay wondered how all of these people had made so much money and then thought about how big Arizona was. These were just two complexes filled with wealthy and successful men and women who had made their mark on the world. Then he thought about the rest of America in awe, “what a great place to make a life,” he thought.

Was it so outlandish to think that one of those people living in here might be a large drug trafficker?

Perhaps that was why the two men came in here in the first place. Just like Robert had suggested.

Jay’s background made him realize that it was not just possible, but almost certain.


I’m off on vacation in a few days for a month on a cruise in Asia. This retirement life can be brutal at times.

If you like this story, come and read “Judgment Day” or “Atlanta.” They’re both available on Amazon.

“Judgment Day,” is a story about a police officer going undercover in a motor cycle gang in L.A.

“Atlanta” is a detective story with some interesting characters, to say the least.

I will work on this more after my nap today and for a few days before I leave.