Feb. 26, 2024 – Chapters one through four of “The Bad Seed”

Here we go again.

This is an ongoing project written here first for your pleasure. It is unedited at the moment, so be kind. It’s just a rough draft.

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Jay Kirby was startled by a far off sound of a fire truck coming at him, or so he thought. When he had gathered his senses, he realized that it was just his phone ringing. The clock on his night stand shouted 3:00 AM with bright, large, red numbers. His wife Julie, lay undisturbed in the land of warm darkness and sweet dreams. The time of the call made Jay understand the importance of it, instantly. He answered the phone as his wife slept.

“Jay, it’s Mary. I think Billy is in trouble again.”

Jay was used to these calls now, sadly. His sister had not been a good mother and seemed to follow in their mother’s footsteps when it came to parenthood. They had both been left to their own devices as youngsters and Jay had fared better than his sister. She had difficulty getting along with others most of her life and that seemed never to change. Jay had learned to get along to prosper and avoid issues with those around him. Their father had died at a young age and the two children were more than their mother could handle.

Jay’s sister, Mary, had married a good man but chased him off with her drinking and messing around. She made no secret of her intentions and followed through often. Bob had tried to stay in the home for Billy, but their marriage had been broken so badly and so often that he had to finally leave. He was left with no other options.

Mary wouldn’t let Billy travel to the next state over to visit his father, so that relationship suffered and Billy began that usual downward spiral into trouble when there is no father in the house to enforce the rules or talk to.

Mary had received everything from their parents estate except for the two rifles that Jay had told his father that he wanted, years ago.

Mary received everything and was still not happy. She made her husband feel useless as she flaunted her new acquired wealth over him and made his life a misery. He told Billy that he was welcome to come and see him whenever he wished and Bob had tried to keep in contact with his son. Mary wouldn’t have it and worked hard at destroying their relationship.

The predictable out come soon arrived with several interactions between the police and Billy. Billy was soon in trouble with the law for several minor incidents including drunk in public and possession of weed. He was headed down the wrong avenue and into certain trouble.

Jay was a retired cop and was troubled by this turn of events and tried to take the place of Billy’s father as best he could. He and is wife lived near by and Jay often invited Billy to play handball and golf with him when he could get Billy’s attention, which wasn’t nearly as often as he would have liked. Jay as he sat up on one elbow and talked and listened while watching his wife sleep.

“What is it this time?” he asked his sister.

“I think around three. I heard noises in the garage and went down to see what was up. I cracked the door to the garage to see what I could. There are two men out there with Billy, Jay. They have him seated on his father’s weight bench and are beating him. I don’t know what to do. He’s covered in blood. I don’t know how badly he is injured Jay. I can’t call the police. Billy is on Probation and it will just make his next court appearance look that much worse. I’m at my wits end.”

“I’ll get dressed and come over. Do you still have your pistol?”


“Make sure the door to the garage is locked. Grab your pistol and find a place to hide downstairs. If they come in for you they will most likely go upstairs first. Don’t hesitate to shoot them if they come into the house. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

Jay climbed out of bed and walked quickly to his large walk-in closet and found the darkest jeans and shirt he could find. He put them on and took a couple of handkerchiefs out of his bureau. He grabbed his black shoes that he wore as a cop with one large hand.

They reminded him of work and the fact that he hadn’t found himself yet in this world of retirement and non cop neighbors. He found his gun and clipped on his shoulder holster and checked his blue .38 to see if it was still loaded. It was.

He held it in his hand and felt the weight of it. He was instantly comforted by something that he knew so well. He had only fired the weapon once while working as a cop. The hearing after the incident went well.

He hadn’t been in bed long before the call had come in. He had been out playing cards with a few cop buddies and had won a few bucks just to add to his satisfaction of the night’s outing. His brother had lost a few bucks as well. Seth had finally got a chance to get away from his work and wife. These nights had become a routine for Jay since retiring.

He walked across the bedroom, holding his shoes in his left hand and made his way to the kitchen. The house was dark as death but the route was one he remembered well.

He and his wife had lived in this great house for nearly ten years now. They had planned their respective retirements well and were now reaping the benefits of those plans. Julie had been a police dispatcher. They had met at work against all of the rules that were set in place. Jay saw here and unlike many others working around her, took the chance and asked her out. The rest, as they say, was history.

Jay sat down in his chair at the head of the long dinning room table where his wife and two sons had eaten a thousand times over the years and put his shoes on. The seven chairs in front of him stood like sentinels.

Family memories rushed into his head as his eyes became accustomed to the darkness and he saw shapes and glimmers of photos and trophies from years gone by sitting on the breakfront. He turned and grabbed his keys that sat in the dish on the kitchen counter behind him that his son had made out of ceramic clay in third grade.

His sons were gone and married now. They both seemed happy in their lives. “But who really knows what is going on in someone else’s marriage?” Jay thought. He had seen many marriages fall to pieces after many years of supposed happiness.

As Jay’s father once told him while Jay was senior in high school and after he had had far too many martini’s, “you go through this life alone Jay and you only get one shot at it as far as I know. Treat your family as well as you can but remember, you’ll leave this place with just what you came in with, nothing. It’s what you do that matters.”

That conversation with his father and a few unfortunate incidents had made Jay decide on a career in law enforcement. He got through the academy with ease and never looked back.

Jay turned and walked quickly to the narrow door that led to the garage, opened the door silently and took that one step down to the garage floor. He navigated the step in the darkness and then remembered to turn the lights on.

He flipped the switch and the room appeared in front of him as if by magic. The garage reminded Jay of the county morgue which he had visited often on his duties as a police officer. Shelves and cabinets lined the walls of the perfectly clean garage. A peg board wall held tools for any job.

Then he saw it as he looked back to the center of the large room. The reward for many years of hard work and long separations form his family, sitting on the floor in front of him. It was a dark blue Corvette.

The car sat low and wide under the lights and looked as good as it had five years ago when he bought it. He could smell the acrid aroma of the wide tires on the car in front of him. The car was a master piece as far as Jay could tell. The motor was still cooling down from arriving home a few hours ago from the card game. It was still “clicking” as the large motor cooled. The hood still felt warm to Jay’s touch.

Jay wasn’t sure of what he might need for the evening ahead, so he unlocked and opened up his one special cabinet filled with an assortment of items related to is former work. He grabbed a pair of gloves, a balaclava and some plastic zip ties, just in case.

He slid his hand over the silky smooth paint of his car as he walked over to the passenger’s door. The finish on the car was perfect. Jay opened the door and slid into the seat as well as a six foot two inch man weighing two hundred and five pounds could.

He opened the glove compartment and placed the items in to it, just in case.

“You know Jay, that car of yours is for a much smaller and younger man.” He had heard his wife say that more than once and realized that she was probably correct. But he could still get in and out of the car with a little thought and a few groans. That was good enough for him, and besides, younger guys seldom could afford a car like this one.

“Those of us who are older and financially stable are who these cars are made for in the first place.” His wife would just smile when he mentioned that to her.

Jay pushed the button for the automatic garage opener on the dash and the garage door opened silently. Jay turned the key in the ignition and the engine came to life with a loud rumble. It made him think of his neighbors sleeping a few hundred feet away. He backed out looking over his shoulder. He never remembered to use the back up camera.

“Old habits die hard,” he thought as he realized that he hadn’t used that expensive device once again.

The car settled on the driveway and Jay climbed out of the car and left it running. He noticed the black night ski filled with stars sending down light millions of years old to guide him back into his large, three car garage. The dry air carried the aromas of Jasmine and cactus blooms.

Jay thought that he might need his shotgun just in case. If there were two men in the garage, might there be a third as a look out posted somewhere outside?

Jay walked to his gun cabinet, spun the dial and worked at the combination. It went well this time. Sometimes he had to do it more than once to get into the cabinet.

He opened the door and found his two rifles. He grabbed both and sat them on his work bench. He found a blanket to wrap them in and then laid them in the car behind his seat. They were nearly as long as the car was wide.

He climbed back into the car with a groan and remembered what his wife had said so many times before.

He put the car in reverse and backed into the wide cul-de-sac. He put the car into drive and aimed it down the black street toward his sisters house five miles away. He let the car move slowly forward without giving it too much gas until he was away from his neighbors homes and out on the wide avenue that led to town and then out into the desert.

He pushed the accelerator to the floor and the car woke up and became what it was meant to be. His head snapped back and he was soon driving down the lonely road at ninety five miles and hour and heading toward the his sisters house with the future sunrise at his back. He had about two hours of darkness to work in.

The warm air blew through his thinning hair. He let up on the gas at the first turn and then pressed it down again, hard. The car sped on faster and seemed to hug the road even better. He took two turns faster than he should have and the tries reminded him of that with squeals.

He almost lost control on a sharp corner once and his heart raced as the back of the car began to slide off the road. He turned the steering wheel to the left a hair and the car straightened out quickly. “Is this why men drive race cars,” he wondered as his heart pounded in his chest.

He came to the top of the hill and could see his sisters development with the houses tossed out on to the rolling desert like dice thrown in a giants crap game. The houses seemed to settled wherever they had landed and with little reason. They sat on large lots and far from each other. There were no fences between the houses. The came in all shapes and styles. The only thing they had in common was that they were all very large and expensive.

The people living here were safe and happy, or so they thought. Many had more money than they would ever need. Some drank to excess to sooth their pain while others drank for fun and the excitement that came with it.

Jay had been to these types of parties himself and had them in his own home. He had heard some of his married male friends talk of trysts with neighbor’s wives and wondered just how “married” they really were.

Cops of course have more chances than most to get into all sorts of trouble due to scheduling and less over site by wives. “That life style is hard on marriages and children,” jay reminded himself as he pushed the car faster.

Jay had been approached more than once by wives of friends and neighbors to have a “little” affair. He knew it was wrong and declined. He never mentioned it to his wife so as not to end friendships that she held dear.

Those suggestions had put him in awkward circumstances now and then, no doubt. But he had heard of husbands telling wives of these advances and nothing good ever came from the truth, or so it seemed to him.

Jay wondered how he would get through the gate without the camera recording him. He had brought the .30 .30 to disable the camera from the last small hill a hundred yards down the road from the guard house. He didn’t want his visit on tape. Shooting out the light and camera was illegal, but a necessary part of the evening’s adventure. The shot would go unnoticed if it came from that far away.

When he arrived at the top of the hill, he could see that the light was already out. That seemed odd to him as he drove down the hill at nearly ninety miles an hour. Maybe it had burnt out finally.

As he came close enough to where he could see the guard shack by star light, he slowed the car down to make the right turn into the entrance to the community. He saw Charlie sitting in his black swivel chair with his head down on his chest.

Jay thought he was sleeping at first but then he saw the camera and light hanging down just by the electrical wires and knew that they had been destroyed by a shot from some type of gun and at a distance as he had planned on doing.

No one would use a gun up this close to the gate. It would alert anyone within hearing distance that you were coming for them.

Jay saw that Charlie had a large blood stain on his shirt. He pulled up to the guard house and climbed out of his car. He saw that Charlie had been stabbed several times in the chest. They must have gained his confidence somehow or got close to him and rushed him.

“I’ll leave you for the techs Charlie, I have more pressing business to attend to at the moment with Billy. It seems like three men could have done this job,” or so Jay thought.

“Was Charlie one of the drug connections where his nephew Billy, got his weed? That job at the gate was a good place to meet all kinds of people and create a little business. I’ll have to check on Charlie’s background with friends down at the office,” he thought.

Sometimes Jay wished he hadn’t retired, but most of the time he was glad that he had made it out without injury or worse. His wife was pleased that he was “her’s now” and that he was finally safe. Jay wouldn’t let his retirement cramp his style. He could do things his own way now when necessary. This situation with Billy was a case in point.

Jay pushed the button to open the gate and noticed that it was the same brand as the button at his house. Jay was good with details and that’s what made him a good detective. He smelled weed in the shack and wondered. He climbed back into his car and was soon passing through the gate. That practice also put him in hot water sometimes, as well.

Silhouettes of tall Saguaro cacti lined the road as he drove in and across the desert to his sister’s place over several small hills. Jay could see down into a natural bowl where his sister’s house sat among several others. Northing seemed out of the ordinary. The lawns of the homes were large and lush with flowers blooming year round around the perimeter of the yards. Only one car was parked on the street.

It was against the rules for cars to park overnight on the streets, so it stood out. It was a stupid rule put in place by old neat freaks and busy bodies as far as many people thought in the community. There had been many fights at the community meetings about this rule. It hadn’t been changed yet to the dismay of many. It was another warning to Jay of impending danger.

That car was an unsettling clue as to what might be going on at his sister’s house.

Who came in that car and where was the third man. His sister only saw two men in the garage. Perhaps the third man was somewhere out in the deep darkness working as a lookout.

Jay turned his lights off before he came over the next hill and then turned off the motor of his car as he crested it. He could see his sister’s house down in front of him lit by the lawn lights scattered among the many houses below him.

He coasted down the hill in silence and then pulled over to the rolled curb about seventy five yards away from her house. He could see flickering colored lights flashing on the drapes from televisions playing in several homes in front of sleeping retirees lying on their couches, too tired or drunk to toddle off to bed.

He looked for the lookout but saw no one.

He reached into the glove compartment of his car and found the items he had placed there. He put the balaclava and the gloves on and put the zip ties in his jacket pocket. He then opened the car door. The dome light came on and he instantly hit the button in the door jam to shut it off with his knee. He held it there as he took out his shotgun and then closed the door softly. The .30 .30 wasn’t going to be needed, after all. He was pissed about the dome light. He would have taken the bulb out if had had more time to prepare for this night’s activities.

He could feel the heat of the long day’s sunshine radiating up from the asphalt beneath him. He put the zip ties into his pant’s pocket along with two handkerchiefs that he had brought along from his closet.

He looked over the entire scene and saw that he could move in the shadows easily. He used his car as an obstruction to anyone’s view and walked behind it and then dashed off across a lawn and behind the corner of a low ranch styled mansion in the darkness.

“How many rooms does this place have,” he wondered as he walked behind it toward his sister’s place.

He had a different view of the garage where is nephew was being held now. He saw a man dressed like Jay in black and browns crouched down beneath a large tree in the darkness. The man remained motionless in the shadows.

“There he is, the look out. Now what?” Jay asked himself.

Jay leaned the shot gun on the warm, used brick wall of the house. He watched the man as he approached him silently from behind. He had done this a few times before when a criminal was hunkered down and causing havoc in a neighborhood where a clean shot was too dangerous to take.

He would get up close and wrap his arms around the man’s neck and use the choke hold that so many were offended by to render him unconscious. No harm, no foul. It was another non fatal tool that a cop could use when needed. There were few available and many wanted this tactic banned. Sadly most citizens had no understanding of what a cop has to deal with and the time that one has to make a life and death decision in.

Jay was on top of the man in a few seconds and soon the man’s legs went limp. The deed was done. Jay checked the man’s vitals and saw that he was still alive. Lawn lights glowed in the background.

He used the zip ties on the man’s legs and then leaned the man against the tree. He tied the man’s hands behind the tree that he was now leaning against. Jay then removed the look out’s belt and stuffed the two hankies he had brought with him into his mouth. He wrapped the belt around the tree and over the man’s mouth and cinched it tight. He was a perfect thirty two waist, or so his belt read. Jay made sure the man could breath but not escape as he pulled the belt tight against the tree.

He then continued on his way to his sister’s house running up close to the walls of the next house like a commando. The desert landscape made that easy. There were few large bushes next to the hoses that he passed. The land was flat and lit well in the distance with small lights all around. He was hidden in the dark far corners of the night. He saw Billy’s white Toyota still in the driveway. That gave him some hope that the men might still be there.

He ran around the back of his sister’s house and ended up at the side door to her garage. He hadn’t taken the time to try and look in the windows of her house. He hoped that there was nothing to see in there yet.

He could hear men talking inside the garage and blows landing. The voices were muffled and low. A small dog barked for relief in the distance. It needed to go out.

Jay held the brass door knob in his hands and twisted it slowly. It turned. What a piece of good fortune. He would be able to enter without too much noise and perhaps the element of surprise.

He waited for the conversation to pick up again and opened the door quickly. He entered and found his sisters white jaguar between he and the three men. He raised the barrel of his shotgun and aimed it at the two men standing over the third seated on the bench, covered in blood as he moved closer to them. The three froze and looked at him, startled. The man on the bench wore an ankle monitor issued by the court. It was Jay’s nephew Billy and he was still alive.

The men looked up with surprise and anger. One man lowered his hand to his pants pocket. They were loose and might have held a gun.

“Stop moving or you’ll be sorry pal.” Jay said without emotion. The two men stared at each other and then at Jay.

Jay saw the box of money and the large trash bag partially open and filled with buds.

“You sitting on the bench, bring the money and the dope to me and return to your seat or you’ll be sorry. Be quick about it or I’ll shoot you.”

The man on the left looked at Jay with a sneer.

Billy stood up and brought the two packages to Jay and put them at his feet.

“Get back on the bench kid.”

Jay didn’t worry about the mental anguish of Billy. He had brought these circumstances upon himself, no doubt, and this was part of the price he would have to pay.

The man on the left of Billy started to speak.

“You’re making a big mistake mister. You don’t want to mess with us. We’re just the tip of a very large organization that you will never be able to escape from.”

“I’m not interested in escaping from it.”

The man’s hand went down slowly toward his pocket. Jay shot the man in the right knee at once. The dark room was instantly full of light and a loud report of a rifle being fired cracked the silence. The gun wasn’t filled with buck shot. It was loaded with 12 gauge slugs. The man’s hands flew to his leg and forgot about his gun in his pocket.

The bullet passed through the man’s knee, hit the concrete floor and then bounced through the garage door and entered the radiator of Billy’s old Toyota with a loud clang. It then smashed into the motor of Billy’s car with a loud bang.

“Two hits with one shot,” Jay thought but didn’t say.

Then the other man made a move toward Jay and Jay fired again. The slug went through his foot, hit the floor and shot through the garage door and flew over the house across the street. The slug landed in the sand trap of the fifth hole of the golf course. It looked like a melted silver dollar, half buried in the sand.

Jay walked over and found the gun in the man’s pocket. The man grabbed at Jays ankle and Jay kicked him in the stomach with his other leg. The man let go as he fell back.

“You’ve woken the neighbors, I think” Jay sad softly.

Both men lie on the floor whimpering in pain.

Jay picked up the gun and tossed it into the box filled with money.

Jay waved for Billy to come to him once more and he did. Jay gave him four zip ties and had Billy tie up the two men. When Billy was done, Jay tied Billy up.

“Don’t worry kid, I’m not going to hurt you, I’m just going to take all your money and your dope.

When Jay was sure the three men were tied to Jay’s satisfaction he left the garage. He wondered if Billy might have recognized his voice, but Jay thought not.

“Too much fear and danger at hand for that to happen. Billy was surely in shock by the time he was beaten and tied up.”

Jay had seen it many times before. Descriptions of assailants by victims are seldom correct. Three victims will identify the same criminal in three different ways. Jay left the garage with his prizes and closed the door behind him.

Jay walked past the man tied to the tree and waved a little wave to him. The man was conscious and alive. Jay held up the box of money and the large bag of dope.

Jay walked to his car and tossed the dope into the back. He put the box of money on the floor next to him. He could see the gun sitting on top of the money under the star light. He left in his car with the lights out. He called his sister to talk to her and to have her open the gate so he could leave.

“Billy is fine. You can call the cops but I’m sure someone already has. Call your attorney. Not the divorce attorney, but Billy’s criminal attorney, now. He needs to be present when Billy starts talking to the cops. Have the attorney work out a deal for info from Billy on this drug network he is involved with. He might not have to do any jail time for this mistake of his this time if he cooperates.”

“If he talks he’ll be in danger Jay.”

“He’s already in danger. He can go live with his father if he is allowed to stay out of jail during the investigation.”

“I don’t want him to live with his father.”

Jay hung up on Billy’s mother and pushed the pedal to the floor. The car moved forward quickly and Jay was soon leaving the gate closing behind him.

He looked to the right and saw the rising sun. He looked to the left and saw two cop cars arriving at high speed from the west with lights flashing and sirens blaring. The sky was just turning that beautiful shade of purple and gold.

The cops turned into the drive way. One got out quickly from his car and pushed the button to open the gate and checked on the gate guard. The other car drove past him into the development where Jay’s sister lived. The second car then followed close behind.

There would be plenty of talk in the morning at the clubhouse of the golf course about the night’s activities. Perhaps everyone supposed that that one neighbor of theirs had killed his wife or himself after a bad business deal or a secret that had finally made it to the papers. But soon enough the truth would come out as it always does.

Mary’s son is in trouble again, and this time a murder took place.

A new installment will be coming soon.

What murder? This is how rumors get started.


If you liked this story come to read the first chapters of my novels here on my website.

“Sunrise, Sunset,” my book of short stories is now on Audible and Amazon.

Feb.27, 2024 – Chapter Two

Jay put the guns back into his gun cabinet when he arrived home in the early morning hours. He took the box of money with the gun in it and put it up on the top shelf of his cabinet with his power tools.

The pot was put out on the side of the house in the back yard behind the trash barrels. It was closed and tied tightly. The smell would have given the secret up to his wife if he had kept it in the garage. The nearest neighbor’s house was well off and away from his house and there was no danger that the smell would reach him. He smoked constantly any way and his sense of smell was compromised beyond recovery.

Jay came in to the bedroom and changed out of his cloths in the walk-in closet with the light on. His wife remained sound asleep and unaware of what he had been up to.

Jay’s wife, Julie, had breakfast on the table when he came out of the bedroom in the morning. She had a worried look on her sweet, narrow face.

She and Jay had been together for ever and both looked very good for their ages. They seemed to keep each other young and interested in life. Neither one of them smoked, so Julie’s skin had remained intact for the most part.

She did live in a sunny clime and always wore a good tan. It was enough to make her look healthy but not enough to cause a great deal of skin damage. Jay worked nights for the most part so his skin seldom saw the damaging rays of the desert sun.

“What the hell was going on last night Jay? I saw the note you left me this morning when I woke up.”

Jay smiled as he sat down at the table.

“You always were a good, sound sleeper. That’s first and most important requirement for a cop’s wife. Billy got himself in a jam and I had to help him get out of it. It was nothing serious and it might even help his case if his lawyer doesn’t screw things up like last time. My sister called me again last night.”

“Oh no, what did you have to do this time?”

“It’s not important and no one got hurt that didn’t deserve it. Billy’s fine. Have you seen the paper yet this morning? The story will surely be in the headlines.”

Julie walked out of the front door and came back with the paper. It wasn’t as thick as it once was, but it still held all the local news that was the least bit interesting.

Julie sat down and unfolded the paper in front of Jay. The headline read as follows. “Gate guard murdered by robbery suspects at Green Valley Estates. Three men arrested and two men wounded by shotgun blast.” Julie read the story for a more few minutes and then looked up at her husband in disbelief.

“What in the Sam hell have you done Jay?”

“It isn’t as bad as it sounds at first glance Julie. I didn’t kill the gate guard. I arrived on the scene after he had been murdered in his shack. I just might have saved Billy from perhaps, the same fate. I did have to wound those two fellows, but it won’t get back to us.”

“Jay, you’re a retired cop. Why didn’t you just call the police and stay out of it?”

“There wasn’t time. Billy was in a bad situation. I had to do something to protect him. He would have been looking at another felony court case if I didn’t act. I think he will come out of this alright if he cooperates. He didn’t know that it was me there. I was in disguise and he was under a good deal of stress. I promise that this is all going to work out fine.”

“Jay, I have’t stood by you for thirty years and through a difficult life as a police officer’s wife to see you end up in jail. I don’t want to see you hauled off to jail just as we get settled into our retirement years. This kind of crap has got to end.”

“It has dear. I am out of it now. The courts and the lawyers have it in their laps now.”

“Promise me Jay?”

“Yes, I promise you that there will be no more extra ordinary adventures for me for sometime.”

“I’ll have my eye on you Jay. You know you can’t fool me about this stuff. Your cop days are behind you. I won’t stand for this any more. Do you understand?”

“Yes dear, I promise.”

The two finished their breakfast together and Jay went into his den to finish reading the paper. Jay heard his wife slamming the dishes and the cupboard doors harder than usual and felt bad.

The events portrayed in the paper were fairly accurate. There was a bit of exaggeration in the story, but that was to be expected. The newspapers stock in trade was half truths and innuendo since the beginning of time. It was what they thought the readers wanted, after all. Who wants to read good news?

“Hey dear, I hear you in there. I’m sorry and it won’t happen again. I promise.”

Jay listened for an answer but heard nothing. He knew his wife well and understood that in half an hour she would be over it and they would be fine. They had been married for forty years and they both knew each other inside and out. There were few surprises left in store for them in this marriage, or so each of them hoped.

Jay got up out of his chair and opened a drawer in the bottom of the large built in cabinet the ran along the back wall of “his man cave.” The room was lined in oak cabinets and antlers high up on the walls from the deer that Jay and the boys had shot over the years.

After some searching, he found what he had been looking for. It was a small, but thick little black book. It didn’t hold the names of any women or sweethearts from his past. It was full of the phone numbers of attorneys, fellow police officers, active and inactive and a few confidential informants.

Jay called the one informant that he had worked with last, before he retired. He was a good source of information but had a very close relationship with drugs of all types. If he was still alive, he might be able to help Jay find out who was behind the robbery at his sisters house.

Either Billy was buying weed in good amounts or he was buying a little and those who were doing the selling pulled a robbery on him. Billy didn’t have access to very much money. He could hardly keep his car filled with gas, let alone be buying large amounts of weed. The second choice seemed the most obvious.

Jay dialed the number of Robert. The phone rang several times. Eventually a voice came on the line that was almost impossible to hear. There was loud music playing in the background with a hard hitting base beat.

Hey Robert, it’s Jay.”

The music faded into the background noise quickly as Robert turned the radio down.

“I didn’t do it,” were the first words that came out of Robert’s mouth after he turned down his radio. The two men laughed instantly and their long rapport was quickly reestablished. Jay had helped Robert out once when an over zealous prosecutor had settled his eye on Robert for a quick felony conviction by holding back exculpatory evidence on a case.

Jay put the word out to those who watched over matters like this and Robert was saved without the prosecutor knowing of Jay’s involvement. It could have been bad for Jay if anyone knew of his intervention, but he was interested in justice when the prosecutor was perhaps, interested in something else.

It wouldn’t have been the first time some fellow had ridden the railroad to jail even though he was completely innocent. Robert hadn’t forgotten the favor and often returned favors when Jay needed them. Some small amounts of money did change hands now and then.

“What do you know about the killing out at the Green Valley Estates? Have you heard anything about the drug deal there?”

“Oh yeah. That was a botched job from the beginning. It was supposed to be a simple delivery. One guy told another guy about some fellow wanting lots of weed. The more they talked about it and the more they smoked the bigger the lick was going to be. The guys showed up and killed the kid in the guard shack without a thought. That was the easiest way to get into that place. They had dealings with him before, so that part was easy.

They lost it when they couldn’t find the large dealer’s house they were supposed to hook up with. They saw a car they recognized on the way out and stopped by to rob the guy. They were working him over when this big ape shows up and robs everybody. They lost like three kilos of weed and almost ten thousand bucks to hear the story. Their boss isn’t very happy with them, from what I hear.

Who were the sellers working for? I need to find out. That buy was at my sister’s place and I need to make sure that they aren’t harmed in retaliation. You now how that tends to go.”

“Oh man that’s a bummer. I think I know what’s up but I need to double check. I’m working tonight so I will surely hear more about all of that that went down in the deal and find out who was behind it. Call me tomorrow night and perhaps I’ll have some answers for you.”

“Thanks. I’ll do that. Be careful out there. You know my offer still stands.”

“Thanks Jay, but I know what I’m all about and this is my life now. There’s no going back. I’ve tried to kick it a few times and I just can’t.”

“Well, perhaps a good long stint in the slam will clean you up.”

“That be true Jay, but I have too many enemies in there. I would never make it out alive.”

“Sad but true, I suppose. Alright Robert, I’ll call you tomorrow night.”

Jay hung up and walked out to the kitchen for a hug from his wife and to garb a beer. It was turning into another hot day. He walked up behind his wife and wrapped his arms around her. He kissed her neck and pulled her tight.

“I’m sorry for making you worry dear. I’ll be a good boy from now on.”

“What are you going to do today Jay?”

“I think I might hit a few balls down at the golf course. The driving range might be slow due to the heat. If I get there early enough, I’ll miss the worst of it.”

That sounds like a good idea dear. I’m going to the market and the bank. I’ll be back at noon most likely. Will we have lunch here at the house or go the club?”

“I’ll be there hitting balls at the range, so let’s meet at the clubhouse for lunch. Noon it is then.”

“Good Jay. When are you leaving? I’m headed for the shower.”

“Do you want some company?”

“No thank you Jay, you’re being punished for your carless behavior.”

“I said I’m sorry, dear. Isn’t that enough?”

Yes, but that apology kicks in tomorrow night. Be good and perhaps a nice surprise will come your way. I saw that in a fortune cookie once.”

“Yes, that sounds like something you might find in your fortune cookie. Mine always say that there is rain just around the corner.”

“Oh poor Jay. Let’s have a pity party for Jay.”

The two hugged and kissed and Jay went out and put the golf clubs into his car. That was a feat and a half. Sometimes Jay wished he had followed is wife’s advice and bought a van.

Jay drove out of their neighborhood and past the driving range. He called a friend of his that was still an active police officer from his Corvette. He had seen him a few nights before at a poker game. The man answered the phone quickly. He was out of breath.

“Hey Jay, nice to hear from you. What’s up? Do you want to take more money from me already?”

“No Brett, I need to talk to you. Is it safe to come by? Why are you out of breath?”

“Just working out pal, we’re not getting any younger. Sure, my wife loves you guys to stop by. Come on over. I work the night shift for a few days starting tonight.”

“It’s just me coming over Brett.”

“Oh, is everything okay with you two?”

“Yes, of course. Its work related.”

“Oh yeah, I heard about that mess at your sister’s house. That Billy is a handful.”

“There’s more to it than what was in the papers. I need to talk with you.”

“Sure Jay, come on over. We can have a few beers and work on what ever is bothering you.”

“Do you feel like hitting a few balls after?”

“Sure Jay, why not. But let’s do it earlier rather than later. The heat gets to me these days.

Chapter Three

Jay pulled up to Brett’s large home and turned off his car. The local news man on the radio was talking about the shoot out at the Green Valley Estates. Jay listened and hoped that a new piece of information might be made known to him. Nothing new was mentioned and he turned the radio off.

He left the car and walked up the long sidewalk to Brett’s front door. The stamped driveway and sidewalk matched the color of the desert soil. The mountains stood behind the house and framed it beautifully. The view was one of the best in the valley. Each house was on half an acre and many homes had barns and corrals for riding and exercising horses in the rear.

Brett’s wife Nancy came from a family of horse breeders and she loved her horses. Brett, not so much. He put up with the expensive hobby as long as she paid the lion’s share of the barn bills. She had here own money from a very successful father.

Jay knocked on the door and heard Nancy invite him in. She was standing in the kitchen drying glasses from the party the night before. She looked up and smiled that smile of her’s and spoke to Jay.

“Brett is in his office Jay, go on in.”

Jay walked down the long, bright hallway and into Brett’s office. Brett was on his computer looking at photos of a crime scene. It was obvious to anyone who had ever worked in the field that they were real and awful. They were not sanitized as in the movies.

“What’s up Brett?”

“Just trying to keep up with the usual crap. Thank goodness we don’t have that many murders around here. When I was in Oklahoma City I was up to my neck in drug related crimes and killings. Phoenix has been a cake walk so far. This thing at your sister’s house is a big deal though. What do you think happened there?”

“I’m not sure, but I’m worried about reprisals from the drug gang that was involved. I think they went to the wrong address. Maybe they knew Billy, but the rest is a mystery to me at the moment. What have you heard from my nephew and sister? I assumed that they were in the detective’s offices last night for questioning”.

“Well. I can’t talk much about that Jay, you know the drill. But I will say this, their story was very interesting. It seems to be more than we assumed at first. Billy didn’t shoot anyone. All three men were tied up including Billy and there was no weapon found on the scene. It might have been a drug or gang thing. The two gang members found there have long rap sheets and haven’t said a word. They’re scared to death for some reason. I don’t get it. Billy doesn’t have any money for a large drug deal so what happened?”

“Well, Billy is on a tether and you guys can see where he has been lately. His mother says he’s been staying close to home. So maybe it was just a coincidence that this happened at my sisters house. Maybe those guys were just doing a random robbery.”

“Maybe Billy set them up in the past and they wanted revenge, Jay.”

“I’ve thought about that, don’t think I haven’t. But his mother has plenty of money and he wants for nothing. He could buy as much weed as he wanted and she’d never know about it, so why get involved in such a dangerous plan with such bad consequences in the end. It doesn’t make any sense. And remember, they were beating the crap out of him. Perhaps he knows something that might bring them down. Maybe his life is in danger and he didn’t set this whole thing up.”

That’s a possibility we’ll have to look into I suppose. Anything else you want to talk about that is on the list of things we can talk about?”

“Yes, but let’s go hit some balls.”

The two men went into the kitchen to let Nancy know that they were headed to the golf course and Jay invited her for lunch with the two of them and Julie.

Brett walked into the garage to put his golf bag into his truck. He knew Jays car couldn’t hold two golf bags very easily.

“Yes, I’d love to go. I’m nearly finished here in the house. What time is lunch going to happen?”

“Julie is meeting me at the clubhouse at noon, Nancy. You two will be a pleasant surprise for her. She’s a little mad at me at the moment. So this will work out nicely for all of us.”

“What’s she mad at you about Jay?” asked Julie.

“Nothing much. As she says, it’s just a Jay thing, what ever that is.”

“Yeah, I get it. You guys are just goofs.”

Jay turned and headed for the front door.

“I’m off guys. See you at the golf course Brett.”

“Good bye for now Nancy.”

Jay got back in his car and pulled away from the curb just as his phone rang.

Chapter Four

“Hey Jay, it’s Mary. We’re back home now.”

“How did it go with the questioning?”

“They kept us apart as you might expect. They were fairly pleasant to me but Billy thinks they gave him a pretty rough time.”

“That’s to be expected. There’s a young fellow now lying in the morgue dead and two guys in the hospital. Something big went down as far as the cops think and they may be right. Has Billy told you anything to clear up this mystery?”

“Not really. He says he knew the two men from buying small amounts of marijuana from them. He never met them at our house. He doesn’t know how they found him or why they came after him.”

“That sounds about right. These guys are not sober often and live in a different universe most of the time. There had to be another reason for them coming into your area. Charlie’s shack smelled of weed. I didn’t have a chance to look it over closely. Maybe he was dealing out of it to passers by and some of your neighbors. Maybe they all knew each other and Charlie set Billy up for the robbery. He’d know where Billy lived or could just look in the address list on his computer in the guard shack.”

“I can’t believe it Jay. These people living around me are upstanding citizens with ample money and seem to be interested in civic and other matters. Marijuana seems to be off the table as far as I’m concerned.”

“Well Mary, you like to have a drink now and then and perhaps some of your neighbors are into other things. It wouldn’t be the first time that “society folks” got tangled up in affair like this. There is still lots of money to be made dealing illegal drugs. You and I both know that.”

“It just doesn’t make sense Jay.”

Jay had a thought flash through his mind at that moment and was caught off guard.

“You’re probably right Mary. Do you feel like coming down to the club with Billy for lunch? Bret and his wife will be down here also.”

No, I don’t think so. We both need some sleep and Billy looks like hell. He has two black eyes and his face is swollen awful.”

“Okay then, I gotta go. I’m glad you’re back home safe and sound.

Jay hung up and headed down the straight highway to the golf course and the clubhouse. He drove for ten minutes and then turned right into a wide sweeping driveway that appeared suddenly out of nowhere and could have been missed easily. Only a clump of large cacti and a low sign marked the entrance.

The golf course parking lot was hidden behind natural looking berms, covered in local sage grass and low shrubs. The clubhouse was a copy of a Frank Loyd Wright building style with a low profile and fitting into the desert setting. The building was a tan color and made up of a mix of stones on the lower half of the walls and stucco above that. The tile roof matched the mountain’s color.

Jay sat down in the bar after leaving his clubs leaning on the rack at the front door.

Give me a root beer Bob, I’m thirsty. That breeze out there has taken it out of me.

Jay sat and pondered what the heck was going on around his sister and nephew.

Jay sat at the bar and ran a few thughts through his brain and tried to filter out those that seemed to outlandish.

“There was an oder of weed in the guard shack. Did Charlie smoke weed? Probably. Wealthy people of all ages live around my sister. Is it possible that someone inside Green Valley Estates was a major drug dealer? Perhaps. Was Charlie involved? It would be a handy place to operate from.”

Brett walked in through the double oak doors and spotted jay at the bar after seeing Jay’s clubs outside.

“I was looking for you. I thought we were going to hit some balls.”

“We are Brett, I was just a little thirsty.”

Brett had been on the phone with the office, but said nothing to Jay.

Charlie had been shot as well as stabbed.

“Let’s get out there and hit some balls Jay. I thought you wanted to bet the heat?”


If you are enjoying this, you might like, “Atlanta,” my wild detective novel on Amazon.

More of “The Bad Seed” coming soon in a new posting.