Chapter 10

Written by: Sumanda Maritz

Smits pushed Jason into the back of the squad car. Thanks to Fontaine’s logbook he was going to close a homicide case as well as a diamond smuggling ring. There were just a couple of loose ends that needed tying up. He could get a promotion out of the case as long as he didn’t screw up.
He left Lomax to escort Udall downtown and drove to Whitehall’s exchange yard. Minutes later, he found the logbook in the hidey-hole Jason had described. It was time to find Albert Fontaine.

Albert’s shoulder slammed into the side of the building as he stumbled forward. He’d been on the run from the Nigerians for a month. His contingency money had gone, forcing him to contact Christine. He was unprepared when Burungi’s men showed up at the warehouse but he’d managed to shoot one of them before slipping away.
Albert heard the blast and felt the bullet rip through his leg at the same time. A burning pain shot through his calf as his leg gave way beneath him. With a cry of pain, he caught himself before he fell. The Nigerians must have found him again. He knew if he wanted to survive he had to get back to the car.
Entering the disused warehouse, he coughed as a cloud of dust enveloped him. Pushing himself into a hiding place behind the racks he gritted his teeth to keep from gasping out loud while sweat poured down his forehead. A door suddenly slammed. He instinctively held his breath, fearing the worst.
The sound of crunching glass echoed through the still air. Albert slid between two broken crates, fighting pain from his wound. He cursed himself for dropping his gun in the escape. The footsteps got closer, and then stopped next to his hiding place.
Albert held his breath as a tall figure appeared from the other side of the crate. He sighed with relief as he recognized the person standing over him. “Don, you have no idea how glad I am to see you.” He smiled as he pulled himself up from behind the boxes “I thought the Nigerians were about to kill me.”

“Bravo 5, 10-15 to 16th Avenue West, just off the Elliot Bay Trail. DB has been identified as Albert Fontaine” the radio crackled as Smits neared the police station. “Bravo 5, 10-4 Dispatch,” Smits replied with satisfaction. Now there was just one more loose end to tie up.
Back at the station Lieutenant Donald Smits waited until Lomax took Jason to the interview room. With a quick gesture he tore the last page out of the logbook. It was ready to go into evidence now. He just didn’t want anyone getting curious about a $25,000 payment to DS. He grabbed his jacket before he joined Lomax as they headed for the interview room.
Sumanda Maritz (SA)

Comments

There's always something interesting about a story that has no neat ending; a story that lets the murderer walk away, especially if it happens to be a bent cop. Sumanda's use of the initials in the logbook - DS - as Smits initials, I'll bet was one of those moments when a writer suddenly gets a flash of inspiration. It changed the story from a very good one to a memorable one. It also gave us, I think, our first story that not only had a great starter but also a great conclusion.
I just re-read the story from start to finish. What a great collection of writers and chapter that flow together to make for a very engaging read. This ending stands out as the starring peice that tied it all together. BRAVO