March 3, 2023 – “The Bad Seed”

Chapter Seven

Jay pulled up to his sister’s house with the used brick facade.

Billy’s Toyota had been towed away to get a new radiator and to see if the block had been cracked by Jay’s first slug. There was still a smudge from the anti freeze on the driveway next to the white Bentley that is sister preferred to drive. The Jaguar was still in the garage, Jay presumed.

He walked up the long winding side walk to the door and rang the bell. The door buzzed and he was free to enter. The house had all of the most expensive security items that money could buy.

He saw his sister curled up in a blanket on the couch reading the paper. She didn’t usually read it but she was looking for anything about herself there.

“Is Billy around? “I’d like to talk to him about his interview with the detectives.”

“He’s down the hall in his bedroom, Jay.”

Jay could see the waves whipped up on the surface of the pool by the swirling wind in the back yard. Leaves were scurrying and dancing across the patio. Some were caught in the spider webs built low to the ground where the kitchen jutted out from the dinning room.

The house was as neat as a pin, but not because Mary was. She had two cleaners come in twice a week. Billy had been taught not to leave a trail behind him in the house when he passed through, if nothing else, by his mother.

Mary sat with a large cup of coffee in her tiny hands and a haggard face. That answered the question about what she had been doing last night. She looked like she needed more coffee and sleep. She was smaller than Jay remembered her being and he wondered just how much alcohol it would take to get her three sheets to the wind.

“Not much,” he thought.

Her money made it easy for her to make new friends and she soon found several fun and interesting watering holes to sit and chat in with them. Jay wondered if they were really friends or just looking for some free “anything” from her.

Jay walked toward the hall and heard the music, off to his right. He turned down the long hall in that direction. He passed a few large paintings of dessert scenes and some smaller ones of beach scenes. Mary had lived at the beach before moving out to the dessert.

“She seemed happier there at the beach,” or so Jay thought.

Jay reached the door to Billy’s bedroom and heard the music a little louder just at about the same time he smelled the weed. It made Jay mad to think that Billy would smoke weed in the house while his mother was at home.

“Maybe that’s why he was in the garage when the two robbers came in,” Jay thought.

Was Billy waiting for them out there? Had they called? Did he even know them? If he knew that they were coming then he would be in a lot more trouble the next time he showed up in court.

Jay knocked on the door and Billy opened it slowly. Jay could see the haze of smoke floating in the messy room. The room was a reflection of Billy’s mind, or so Jay thought. The smell was not pleasant between the weed and Billy’s own aroma.

“Let’s go out into the garage Billy and you can run me through what happened a few nights ago. How did the interview with the detectives go, by the way?”

“Detective Kelso and Lands were pretty rough on me. My previous busts have them treating me like a nobody. It was a joke. They’ve already decided who I am and they’re going to make that night’s events fit their own agenda.”

The two men entered the garage and Billy sat on the weight bench as his uncle asked. Jay wanted to set the stage so his memory would be jogged. The white Jaguar sat where it had been when Jay came into the garage a few nights earlier.

“So Billy, did you know the guys that were caught here beating you?”

“Just barely. I had bought a little weed from them, but just a couple of times, and not here. They had never been here before. I’m smarter than that.”

Jay wasn’t sure about that last statement.

“How did they find you?”

They said that they were in our neighborhood making a delivery and when that went south, they saw my car as they drove past it. I think they decided to rob me when they noticed the area that I lived in. They tried to get into the house but when that failed they turned their anger on me. Mom had locked me out for the night because I smoked weed in the house, again. I was trying to sleep on the weight bench when they came in.

They waved the gun around trying to scare me into getting them into the house, but when I couldn’t, they started beating me because I didn’t have any money on me.”

“How did they get in the garage?”

“Billy sat quietly, thinking?”

“Come on Billy, this house is like Fort Knox. You had to let them in. That side door is always locked.”

Billy paused for sometime.

“Well, I was expecting a friend to drop by so I opened the door when I heard the car pull up. But it wasn’t who I expected. They surprised me and barged in when I opened the door.”

Jay thought that sounded plausible but he wasn’t sure he could or should believe Billy.

“Did they have anything with them?”

“What do you mean?”

“Did they have anything with them? Anything at all?”

“Well yes,” Billy said haltingly. “They had a large amount of weed and a box.”

“What was that all about?”

“They said it was from the delivery that they were supposed to make on another street that went hay wire. They had the wrong address and couldn’t make the delivery. They smoke a lot so I’m not surprised. Either someone gave them the wrong address or they just heard it wrong.”

What was in the box and how much weed did they have?”

They had a couple of kilos of weed in a plastic trash bag. They said they had fifty thousand dollars in the box. I didn’t get a good look in the box but that’s where the gun came from.”

“What about the guy that came in and shot them? Who was he?”

“I don’t have a clue. I suppose they were being set up or followed by someone. When there’s that much cash around, anything is possibel with these types.”

Billy seemed to be telling the whole story as best he knew it. Jay was reassured that Billy didn’t know it was his uncle who shot and robbed the two men.

“I’m sorry about what has happened to you Billy, and I don’t just mean this robbery. But you have ample time to turn your life around if you decide that’s what you want. Or you can continue down this road. It will end where this type of life usually does. Death or jail. Don’t make the same mistake that so many do and give up too soon. Life is hard, there’s no way around that. You’ve had it better than most so don’t waste this one chance you have.”

“Have you heard from my dad?”

Jay struggled with an answer while trying to stop thinking that his sister was responsible for all of this.

“No I haven’t, but you know he is close by. You have his address don’t you?”


“Write him and reconnect. I know he hasn’t given up on you. He’s just working on starting a new life as you should be. It isn’t easy as you know so well. Give him another chance and send hm a note. I’m here if and when you need me. I’ll watch over the investigation as best I can through my contacts with the police.”

“Thanks uncle.”

Jay scanned the large garage that could hold four cars but saw nothing out of the ordinary.

“No problem.”

The two men went back into the hallway. Billy went into his room after a hug and final good-by from his uncle and Jay went back into the living room to talk with his sister.

She was still on the couch but she had a plate of toast in front of her on the long glass coffee table. One piece of toast had a small bite out of it.

What was you interview with the detectives like Mary?”

“Pretty direct. They asked me if I saw anything and I told them what I saw. Obviously I didn’t tell them that I had called you or that you came by. How’s Billy? He won’t talk to me.”

“He’s okay. He just misses his father and feels neglected by him. He needs some direction in his life and he isn’t getting it at the moment.”

Mary looked at him with a scowl and then back to the television.

“Anything about you on the news Mary?” Jay asked.

“No,” was her abrupt answer. “You know Jay, Billy hasn’t been easy to raise on my own.”

“I know Mary, but that’s on you. Billy’s dad was a good guy and you chased him off for whatever reasons.”

“Jay, you don”t know anything about me or my marriage.”

“Right Mary. I’ll be leaving now. Call me if you need anything and let me know if you hear anything from your lawyer or the police.”

Jay was glad that Billy hadn’t recognized him. That would have been a difficult problem to deal with. Now all Jay had to do was to make sure that his sister and Billy were going to remain safe.

The missing dope and money were going cause some concern with someone.

Jay headed back to town and left the freeway at Washington Street and turned under the freeway. He traveled for a mile or so and then saw what he had been looking for. It was a shop filled with used items of all sorts. In another part of town it would have been called a pawn shop. Here it was called “Kathy’s Used Usables.”

Jay parked his car under a tree in the parking lot hoping to keep it as cool as possible. He opened the door to the small shop and entered. It felt like a meat locker. Jay could hear the cold air being pushed into the room by a powerful air conditioner. He could see the street through the large, perfectly clean window. Behind it on, a deep wide shelf near the floor window sat all sorts of stuff. Some items samll and very old and others larger and newer.

“Hello sir, may I help you,” a seemingly nice woman asked while looking over the top of her reading glasses.

“I’m looking for a medium sized suit case.”

“All the way to the back and in the far right corner,” the slightly over middle age room responded. She was thin and had been beautiful once. She was still now pleasant looking but her best years were probably behind her.

Jay was surprised by her memory of the location of that item.

“I keep the bigger items in the back and suitcases on the right. Not much call for them these days. I try to keep the better selling items up front.”

Jay’s question was answered without asking it. He was surprised by the woman’s comment but it made sense.

Jay wondered to the back past lamps and then some chairs and then book cases and then to the area where the suitcases where waiting for him. There were shelves up above him with teacups and saucers resting on them. There were several suitcases to choose from.

A purple hard sided Samsonite piece caught his eye. It looked strong, well made and newish. Surely there was a story there of one sort or another. As he looked around he realized that each item held a story. Some sad and some not. He realized that this whole store was full of stories of successes and heartbreak. This woman was a romantic at heart, or so Jay thought. Why else wold she pick this way to spend her time?

“This is quite a place.”

“Yes, I meet the most interesting people coming through here and at their homes when my husband and I go out to pick up things.”

“I’m sure you and that suitcase will have an interesting story together.”

“How much do you want for it?”

“Ten bucks will work, honey.”

“Sounds like a bargain.”

“Most certainly. I hope all that you want to put in there will fit.”

“I’m sure it will.”

Jay handed the woman a ten dollar bill and left the store, carrying the suitcase.

The woman had seen Jay pass slowly by her shop in his expensive blue Corvette as he pulled into her parking lot. She wondered why he shopped in her store for a piece of luggage. He surely could afford any piece of luggage in the major stores in the area.

“That was another interesting story,” she thought. She was right.

Jay drove home and parked in his garage. He put the suitcase on his work bench and opened it up. He looked inside and figured out what had to be done to make it work the way he wanted it to.

He found the items needed close at hand. Glue, duct tape, plywood, styrofoam and the gun.

After two hours the suit case had been altered to Jay’s exacting specifications. It now had a place in the lid to hide the gun.

He finished the new inside of the top with the material he had removed from the inside of the case and set it aside for the glue to dry. It didn’t have to be perfect but was nearly so.

He then went out the side of the house and found the plastic bag and brought it in. He filled the case with all of the marijuana from the bag and had room left over. He laid a large piece of cardboard from the bottom of an old box over the weed and then laid the bundles of money on top of that. By the time the case was full, the money was just half an inch over the top rim of the bottom half of the case. When Jay shut it, everything was a snug fit.

He hefted the case and nothing moved. It was a little on the heavy side, but not too bad. It now held everything he needed for his upcoming mission. It held a gun, fifty thousand dollars and two kilos of weed.

He grabbed his ladder and climbed up with the suitcase in one hand and tossed it up on the plywood that sat on the garage rafters for extra storage and Christmas decorations.

He climbed down and put the ladder away. He put all of his tools away and opened the door to the kitchen from the garage.

His wife stood there, making lunch for the both of them.

“What is it today dear?” he asked.

“It’s a surprise honey. Take a guess.”


I will put up some more of this later.

I will be working on this and another project while on vacation.

That novel is a mystery taking place in SanFrancisco during the 1906 earthquake.