Chapter 7

Written by: Iliena Bosu

The midnight blue of the sky had just turned a shade lighter, an inky blue, when my phone vibrated in the depths of my trench coat. My gut told me it was Ralph calling.

“YOU S.O.B…” Unable to keep my rage, I bellowed.

“You knew? You knew about the empty graves and you did not tell me? WHY?”

“Ned, I am sorry you had to find out this way.” Even if it was empathy in his voice, it was hard to tell.

“There is more to Emily and the Asphalt Angel that you are not aware of. Just do as you have been told. Follow the map carefully. Leave the town.

All of a sudden, I was at my wit’s end. I waited for my sorrows to overflow, but nothing happened. I did not know what to say, or how to vent my anger or whom to turn to for all the unanswered questions, which were piling up on top of each other. Realizing that, somehow, none of it mattered anymore, I hung up. I think, deep down, I knew my time was up too.

***

It was a struggle to get back on the road. Several times I felt the urge to turn around so that I could hunt Tom down and put a bullet through his brain, no questions asked. What did he mean when he said “The ‘Asphalt Angel’ and Emily, they’re both gone.” Did he know too? All these years, I gave him the benefit of doubt but, not anymore.

I am not supposed to utter the name of the motel Ralph pre-booked for me; I understand it is for security reasons. Therefore, as soon as I arrived at the motel, four gunmen welcomed me; their black automatic weapons, reflecting the noon sun, shone with an eerie joy.

***

There is not enough alcohol in the world that can make me forget Emily and why should I? She was my soul mate. Twenty-five minutes had passed since one of the gunmen escorted me to my room. It was a small, single-windowed room, which accommodated a medium sized bed. Other occupants were a small coffee table, an upholstered chair and a beaten up television. I believe Ralph knew how direly I needed the Scotch, so, after I gulped down a double I crawled into the bed.

“You must be tired, Ned,” Emily’s voice rang in my head.

I admit I was. I was tired not by the distance I drove straight through the night. I was exhausted trying to solve her death. I kept thinking of our last telephonic conversation, over and over again.

“I am sorry.” Emily was crying over the phone. “Please don’t ever hate me. Not even for a second.”

“What’s wrong, babe?” I had asked.

“I have done something so bad… I cannot forgive myself.”

The line went dead after that. If only I knew, Emily would be too, the very same day…

***

The sound of gunshots woke me up. Finally, they were here.

Comments

This has a very strong personal feel to it and Iliena really gets to grips with Ned's feelings and inner guilt and expressive thought process. I like this and by the time I finished reading I was not so much reading a serial chapter written by one of ten writers but a chapter written by 'the' author. Loved it, Iliena.