April 27, 2024 – Chapter Eleven of “The Bad Seed”

It looks things are coming to a head here. I’m not quite sure what will happen next. I find it interesting to create characters and situations and see what develops. I know as much as you do at this point, by the way.

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The sun was still up as Jay pulled into traffic and began his journey to Susan Gardner’s home. There was no navigation device in the older Chevy. It did have a radio and air conditioning, thank goodness. Jay had the air conditioner working at full power. He knew the area where Susan’s house was just slightly from his days on the police force. The area was nearly crime free.

He passed the cafe where he had breakfast with David and Susan this morning. It seemed like days ago now. In a few moments he saw Oscar’ across from it as he drove by. There was one black SUV in the lot and one on the street. He noted that and drove on. He thought that tonight would be just a casual meeting with this dangerous man that he was trying to see if things went well. He had been warned by a few people about the type of men he was dealing with. The type was well known to Jay. Their bravado and sadism often was a key factor in their failures. They were often very smart men but with flaws that could be exploited easily by man like Jay. He knew where the buttons were and how to push them when had to. He was willing to wait until the time was right to do what had to be done.

He passed Susan’s car rental lot just as he passed Oscar’s and saw the view that she had from her office almost directly across the street. It was a great place to see what was going on and she had every reason to be there daily and not raise any suspicions as she watched what was happening at that location.

Jay wondered why she had volunteered to be in on this dangerous task so easily. That seemed odd to him at first glance. Women seldom do things like this without a man pushing them into it or pressured by fear. It wasn’t in their usual nature for the most part.

Jay drove for ten minutes down the nearly empty highway. Most people were still at work and just dreaming of getting on their way home. Jay remembered the studies that showed little work actually gets done after four in the afternoon in areas with hot temperatures, like here. He had seen it play out at work out in the field often. The heat soon took the starch out most men on duty even if they were in the best of shape. Their powers of concentration suffered as well.

Jay looked into his mirrors looking for black Cadillac SUV’s behind him or unmarked police cars. He knew most of the undercover cop cars before he retired but surely they had bought or confiscated a few new ones since then. He saw nothing out of the ordinary around him, thank goodness.

The street got narrower as he left the downtown section of town and entered the older and grimier residential sections. These neighborhoods were well known to him. This was where a lot of his policing was done in his glory days. The rents were low and the houses and apartments were small and crowded. Two very good indicators of crime and or criminal activity. It didn’t take a genius to figure that out.

What he always found odd was that the criminals usually stayed in their own part of town and robbed or killed their neighbors. Jay pondered that as he made a slow right turn on the right street into where Susan Gardner lived. His blinker click clacked as he turned. It didn’t turn off when the wheel straightened out and continued on. He hadn’t noticed that before.

The houses were nicer and larger here than he had remembered. There were still few tall trees here being that it was in the desert. The large yards did have some grass but there were lots of yards filled with rock, gravel and cactus.

“There was no security gate to pass through for to arrive at susan’s home but Susan must be doing well,” Jay thought as he rolled up to the front of her home. The house nearly filled the whole width of the lot with it’s large overhanging eves and a nearly flat roof. It was a midcentury modern style home. It was a beautiful place. Just as nice as his home but a bit older.

David’s car was already there. David had proven himself to Jay twice already and nothing had even happened yet. That was a good sign. David seemed to be trustworthy and reliable. Two qualities not often seen these days in men his age.

Jay passed the house and parked several houses down the street. He got out of the car and walked slowly back to Susan’s place, ready to walk past it if he saw anything out of the ordinary. He scanned the long street in both directions and decided all was well.

He walked up the wide sidewalk to her front door and rang the bell. Two pots filled with blooming daisies sat at the front door near his feet. He could smell their aroma on the warm air. “It’s like coming to pick up a date years ago,” he thought with a slightly tight stomach.

Susan opened the door after a few moments and waved him in with a smile. “Would you like a drink Mr. Kirby?” “No, and please call me Jay.” He turned and saw David with a can of beer in his hand. “Hello David, I’m glad to see you. Your on the guest list at my place now, by the way. You will be able to get in there if we need to do any thing at that drug house of Sam Cornel just a few streets past my sister’s place.” “Great, I was wondering about that. I take runs out there often and the security is pretty good. They never let me in without a phone call to someone unless the resident is with me. They run a pretty tight ship.”

Jay looked around the large, well furnished room that he was standing in and saw several photos of a man in an Army uniform on a narrow table behind a sofa and then he spotted a photo next to them of Susan in one as well.

“Sit down here on the sofa Jay.” Susan waved her hand and sat at the same time Jay did. David watched Jay’s face closely as Susan told him the same story David had just heard.

“These photos are of Ralph, my first and late husband. He was a great man in many ways. There are no photos of the last jerk that I was married to and who darkened my door. I loved him and slept with him for a few years until he brought someone else into our marital bed. That was a major short coming on his part among many other flaws. He was one of my few mistakes in life.

He is very sorry that he ever met me, as Mr. Cornel will be, soon. Did you know that I had a son? I suppose not. He was a naval aviator and was home on leave from over seas when he got caught up in the drug world around here. I suppose he had dabbled a little before he came home, unknown to me, of course, but it all ended here.

Mr. Cornel is responsible in one way or the other for the loss of my only son and he will have to pay a price. I am willing to do anything to bring him to justice. Surely you must be aware of Mr. Cornel’s background.”

David looked at Jay to see his reaction. “Well yes, I am now. But I don”t think this adventure will get too dangerous if we handle it right, Susan.” “I have nothing to lose at this point Jay and am ready for anything.” David looked on with a sly smile. “This is going to get interesting, ” he thought. Jay felt the room getting smaller and warmer as he listened to Susan talk. It was not what he had expected to come out of her mouth. The last thing he needed was a vengeful woman bent on the destruction of Sam Cornel, at all costs.

Jay looked back at the picture of Susan in uniform. “What did you do in the Army Susan?” “Intelligence work for the most part. Nothing out of the ordinary you know. Just a little paper shuffling and the like. I spent some time in The Soviet Union and in China.” She spoke with a smile as she walked back with a short glass of Scotch in her hand. Jay then noticed for the first time a certain strength in the way she walked and held herself. He hadn’t noticed it before. It reminded him of his captain in the police department.

“Most of it was hush hush back then. But that’s ancient history now Jay. Let’s move on to the task at hand.”

I think I might like that drink now Susan.” “What would you like?” “The strongest thing you have and on the rocks. I feel a bit hot now.”

Susan walked back to the bar and Jay heard the clink of the ice as she dropped the pieces into his empty glass. She then poured a double into the short wide glass and brought it to Jay.

“Are we still scheduled to start tonight?” “Yes, and I have asked the chief for some plain cloths backup to be in Oscar’s, just in case.

“What’s the plan then Jay?”

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Much of my early life was spent in a place not unlike Oscar’s. Perhaps that’s why I write a lot about people who drink too much and act out. I was a young boy and perhaps invisible as I shinned the shoes of many men like Cheeto. I was able to listen to their plans and stories and then saw them disappear back into the jail system for varying lengths of time.

We sadly lost our only child, on April 1st, last year to natural causes. Ryan was 44 years of age at that time. Just a few days after his birthday on March 22nd. He never felt the same after his Covid 19 booster. I know how Susan feels about the loss of her son. If you know anyone who had this happen to their family, write the CDC at cdcinfo@cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

I will be back on stage at Malainey’s Grill in Long Beach on May 6th to tell another short true story along with others. Come around 6:30 pm for seating. It’s a small venue.

If you haven’t listened to the audio interview of me on my Facebook page with brian@briantellsstories.com from England, I suggest that you do. You will find it very interesting indeed. There are many other interviews there along with my podcast appearances if your interested.