The scheming killer is back, still fixated on the young woman reporter.
But this time he isn’t prepared for how his murders will put her in harm’s way.
Chapter 14 – Never Die
By GABRIEL FRAIRE
It was a cool night and the slight breeze made it feel really cold. But as Pointer watched the girls run down the road, he didn’t notice the cold. His blood was racing. He could feel that everything was nearing a climax.
Still holding the dead man’s switch in his raised hand, Pointer turned his attention toward Kenner.
Pointer said, “Now what?”
Kenner replied, “Now put that detonator down.”
“And what’s to keep you from killing me right here and now?”
Kenner sneered at Pointer. “You’re the killer not me. I’m just a man trying to rid this county of the evils of marijuana.” He smiled at his own sarcasm then bobbed the barrel of the gun slowly. “Now just put it down.”
Pointer slowly bent his knees and lowered his arm to gently place the device on the ground. Then he said, “Okay, we done now?”
Kenner thought about the situation for a moment. “You know I might be better off if I do just kill you right now.”
Pointer didn’t even blink. “What makes you think I care?”
Kenner shook his head. “You are a piece of work. I guess I don’t need your death in my karma bank. He turned toward Cruz and Pollak. “Go, make sure that bomb is disconnected.” The two give Kenner a hesitant look. “Go, he can’t do anything now.” Then Kenner shook the gun at Pointer. “Get over here, closer so I can watch you better.”
As Cruz and Pollack headed toward the van, Pointer stepped away from it and moved toward Kenner. Pointer slowly circled Kenner, forcing Kenner to almost turn his back to the van. “Stand still.” Kenner demanded.
“Hey boss, it was a fake,” Pollak yelled, holding up the detonator and its loose tangle of wires. “No bomb here.” He was almost laughing.
Kenner didn’t think it was so funny. His voice raised. “You little snot. All this drama for nothing. You know, I was just going to take the money and run but not now.” He put the shotgun to his shoulder and aimed the barrel right between Pointer’s eyes. Then he stopped. “Forget you, man.” He lowered his arms, the gun now at his waist. “Just give me the keys.”
Pointer reached his hand into his pocket where he wrapped his fingers around his cell phone, the real detonator. At that very moment a car was heard racing up the road. The guys in the van didn’t notice but Kenner and Pointer turned their heads in that direction.
It was Detective Brown. The car kicked up dirt as it made a sharp turn, braked and Brown jumped out crouched behind the open door and yelled. “Police, put the gun down.”
Kenner yelled at Pointer, “You set me up.” He fired the gun hitting Pointer square in the chest. Pointer was knocked to the ground and froze for a second half sitting half falling over. Then a small smile started to cross his face as he pushed the “send” button on the cell phone.
The van exploded instantly, killing Cruz and Pollak. The force pushed Kenner to the ground. Brown ducked behind his door.
Kenner tried to gather himself as he struggled to stand.
By then Brown had run up closer gun out and aimed, he yelled, “Drop the gun and put your hands up.”
As the van fire and smoke scattered bits of money about the sky, Kenner thought about his options. Time moved in slow motion for him. But he knew he wasn’t going back to jail. He raised his gun, aimed at Brown and Brown shot him dead.
Squad cars arrived. Deputies started checking the other bodies and the area.
Abby and Sandra had been running down the road. One of the patrol cars had stopped for them. The two women turned and walked slowly toward the scene.
Brown was standing over Pointer. “He our man?”
Sandra and Abby stared down at Pointer. Sandra said, “Yes. He’s The Sonoma Squares Killer.”
“And these others?” Brown asked as he nodded his head toward Kenner.
Sandra looked about at the burned out van and the men lying on the ground. “They’re the pot robbers.”
Brown shook his head slowly looking at the devastation all around. He turned back to Sandra. “So, did he ever tell you why he did all this?”
“He gave me this.” Holding out the cell phone.
Brown took the phone, looked at it a second then pressed a few keys. The words came across surprisingly clear:
“I killed my parents for you. They said you were nothing, not good enough for me, but I knew better. I knew I could show that they were wrong. You just needed a little help. I was sure that reporting the deeds of a serial killer would make you famous. You already proved worthy when you stopped me from killing anyone that day at the winery. Now everybody knows how good you are. Yes, I did this all for you, Sandra. Consider it my gift. And today by saving your life, you must know what that means. Like I said, you are going to be a star. And I am going to be there watching over you. Don’t worry. These pot robbers won’t hurt me. I have a plan. And don’t be fooled if anyone tries to claim I am dead. People like me never really die. We may change faces or names, but we will always be around. Watch for me. I will be coming to you soon.”
Sandra had always thought of herself as a true professional, unemotionally involved with her stories. Yet, even after a month’s leave of absence from the paper, she still was unsettled. She had rented a small cottage in Negril, Jamaica from some friends of hers who lived in Sebastopol. They were planning to use it as a retirement home but in the meantime were renting it out. The house was a short walk to the famous Seven-Mile Beach and every day she would sit on the beach and try to forget. She felt she was almost there, almost ready to return home.
It was another gorgeous day, the sun was hot, the water looked great. As she sat there she noticed a man walking toward her. As he got closer and closer she could feel her body tighten. Her first impulse was to get up and run, but that seemed crazy. Then she started to get angry and her face turned into a scowl. As the man was right next to her she was ready and quite prepared to strike. He walked right past without even looking her way.
Sandra wasn’t quite ready to return.
Gabriel A. Fraire is a 65 year old Mexican-American. He has been a writer all his adult life. His work reflects the challenges and triumphs of being Mexican-American. His latest book, Mill Rats, is a suspense novel about steel mill workers. A former steel worker, the book is based on true-life experiences. His work is available on his Web site: Gabrielfraire.com and Amazon.com. Fraire moved to Sonoma County with his wife, Karen, in 1975. Their two daughters were born and raised in Healdsburg.
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Edited by ROBERT DIGITALE and FREDERICK WEISEL
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