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Liberty’s Child (Part Twenty-Two)

Liberty’s Child

A Jack Collier Mystery

By Brett N. Lashuay

Look here for last week’s entry!


Day Twenty-Two: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream


            It was light by the time they let me go, I had no idea what time it was. My phone had some numbers on it, but they could have been anything. I was so tired that I couldn’t actually remember where I was a few times. Lord only knows what I ended up telling them. I can’t really recall anything that happened, but I must have said everything okay because they let me go and let me keep both my guns. Eventually sweet darling Alice said that it was enough and announced she was taking me home. She put me in the car and drove away with me in the passenger seat.


            I know that I kept falling asleep, because I would wake up a moment later and realize that I had dropped off. It was incredibly unpleasant, because the constant little shocks made me feel like I’d been shot over and over again. How ever long it took to get to my place, it seemed to take forever. I was so tired and sleepy, but I knew that I couldn’t sleep just yet.


            We finally got to my place and went in together. The move was entirely towards the bed room, although it took a while to get there because the trip was done like dancing. We would kiss, move, kiss and move, as a couple. She removed my holsters and threw them on the couch. I took off her jacket and dropped it on the floor.            Everything was going to go ahead as we would have liked, I suddenly thought about interrupting phone calls.


            “Hang on.” I said and pulled my cell phone out of my pocket. I suddenly couldn’t remember how to turn it off so I pulled the battery out and set the whole mess down on the counter.


            We did finally make it to the bed room, but I think it took a little while to get to the bed. We flopped down together, kissing like a couple of kids having their first try at this sort of thing. Unfortunately, when my head hit the pillow, I just couldn’t take it anymore. With my eyes closed, while kissing her, I faded from all existence.



            I have no idea how long it was that I slept, because I don’t know what time it was when we got to my place. The clock said nine, and it was getting dark outside, so it must have been night. I found myself alone in the place, my suit from the night before was folded neatly on a chair, my holsters on the table. There was a note in the kitchen from Alice, explaining that she’d made me something to eat and that it was in the fridge.


            I opened the door and found a plate with a chicken dish, complete with vegetables, rice and a small bottle of wine with it. I was clearly going to have to spend the next week or so making this up to her. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why she’d put up with me this far.


            I put my phone back together in order to call her, but my phone claimed I had voice mail, when I called the voice mail system it informed me that there were thirty new messages. I hung up the phone without listening to them and called Debbie at home.


            “Hi Jack.” She said as she picked up. “You just wake up?”


            “How bad is it?”


            “Well, not to complain but things have been very interesting.” She said. “I’ve had a lot of phone calls.”


            “You want to get something to eat?” I asked, looking at the plate and promising myself I’d eat it later. “We can discuss everything.”


            “Sure.” She said. “I guess I’ll have to come get you.”


            “You guess right.” I said.


            “Okay.” She said. “You should listen to your voice messages, there are a couple you’ll want to listen to.”


            “Okay.” I said, “I’ll go through them while I wait for you.”


            “Alright.” She said. “I’ll be there in a little bit.”


            I went back to the voice mail and listened to the list of calls. Debbie called mentioning that Crammer was getting my number to harangue me. Crammer called to yell at me about some shoot out in Detroit, half a dozen men from Freedom Corp called asking for me to call them back, and then I got the call I think Debbie wanted me to hear.


            “Jack, its Alice. We’re all being called back to Washington. They’re pissed that the Freedom thing turned out like it did and we’re all going to be called to account. I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get a make up date with you for a while. Sorry.”


            The next few messages were the same as the opening batch, totally useless.


            Debbie arrived a few minutes later, she was on the phone as she walked up to my door, shouting into the phone.


            “I have no idea where he is asshole!” She held the phone away from her face and shouted directly into it. “If you want to know where Jack Collier is, why don’t you look for him yourself instead of calling me over and over. If you don’t quit calling I’ll have him come to your paper and shoot you in the knees!”


            She then hung the phone up and smiled as she tucked it into her purse again. She then took the phone out again and switched it off, redepositing it in her purse. She looked happy and cheerful, like she’d been enjoying herself.


            “What the hell has been going on?” I asked as I stepped out of my door and towards her.


            “Our office number and my cell phone are the only two numbers the papers can find.” She said grinning. “So they’ve been calling me, constantly.”


            “I’m sorry.” I said, and I could feel the weight of the world returning to my shoulders.”


             “It’s okay.” She said with a smile. “I’ve basically taken to answering the phone ‘Jack Collier investigations, we have no comment this is Debbie speaking how can I help you?’ the last two days. It’s been kind of fun really. It’s almost like being the secretary to a famous private detective.”


            “We’re going to have to deal with that for a little while aren’t we?” I asked as we got into her car.


            “I’m afraid so.” She said starting her car. “Did you hear the world ended?”


            “No.” I shook my head, “I went to bed and called you.”


            “You missed it then.” She told me as we drove away from my place. “Church and the Cardinals and a few other groups he has ties with basically shot the hell out of Detroit yesterday. They started with UNICORN and worked their way around to LION. You’re little corner of this situation is pretty much going to be completely forgotten by tomorrow morning. They said it was like watching an action movie down there or something. Cars and guns and people running and stuff.”


            “Good lord.” I muttered.


            “Yeah.” She said. “And you slept through it all.”


            “Any reason they decided to let me sleep?”


            “Well, they didn’t want to.” She said. “Everyone called me, and some of them tried to call you, but I think no one wanted to go to your place and try to wake you.”


            “That’s wise.” I nodded. “I’m pretty sure I would have killed the first six people who tried to wake me.”


            “I think Crammer warned them off you too.” She said.


            “That’s nice of him.”


            “He wants you to call him.” She said.


            “Okay.” I told her. “You think I should now?”


            “Yeah.” She nodded.


            I called Crammer’s number and after a few rings heard his gruff voice over the line.




            “It’s Jack Collier.” I said. “You called me.”


            “Right Collier.” He said. “Well, I think we probably don’t really need to see you just now. I thought maybe we did, but now I’m not sure. I think we got the full statement.”


            “Oh.” I said. “How are things on your side?”


            “Detroit isn’t my beat, and thank God.” He said. “Church and his gang shot a lot of people down there. No one can prove it was him, but it was.”


            “You figure out what was going on?”


            “The case is closed.” He said. “I’ve got enough things to worry about than the whys and hows of the murder.”


            “So you don’t need any further statements?”


            “Not right now.” He said. “But I should warn you that the district attorney is going to want to talk to you. He’s raising nine kinds of hell.”


            “Well let him.” I said. “This isn’t even a professional deal for me, it was personal and I lost a lot. With my car, gas, time, pocket knife, I’ve lost about twenty-one thousand dollars in just the last two days, I wouldn’t charge Liberty that even if I thought I could get away with it.”


            “Well, the longer you keep it that way, the less ammo Mandelbaum will have with you.”


            “Good to know.” I said. “Talk to you later.”


            “Yeah, later.” He said and hung up.


            “What the hell are we going to do Debbie?” I asked as we pulled up to the restaurant she’d picked.


            “Get some dinner.” She said.


            “I meant tomorrow.” I said.


            “Go to work like we always do.”


            “I’m not sure I can keep doing this.” I muttered. “I’m not really suited to any other kind of work, but I don’t want to keep having our lives put through the wringer like this every couple of months. I would be nice to do a job once in a while where someone lived. Just once I’d like to have a job where we actually perform the task we attempt.”


            “We’ve got the money from Church.” She said. “You could always call Char, she would cut you a million to start a taxi service or something. Or she would jus keep you around as a toy and you could sip champagne all day.”


            “If it were just myself I’d be gone today.” I said ignoring her crack about Char and I. “But I’ve got you to think of.”


            “I could get another job.” She said.


            “Wouldn’t be fair.” I said. “No, I’ll just have to keep doing this for a while. I just wish that just once I didn’t end up with everyone I’m trying to protect dead. It’s like having me try to protect someone is as good as them getting a death sentence.”


            “Try not to worry about it.” She said, and I think even she knew how dumb that sounded by the look on her face.


            “I’ll try.”


This is part twenty-two of twenty-three, come back next week for the final part. If you get lost, one of the tags here should help you. The Liberty tag will take you to the story while the Jack Tag will take you to Part One of every story we post here.

August 20, 2009 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment