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Liberty’s Child (Part Twenty-Three)

Liberty’s Child

A Jack Collier Mystery

By Brett N. Lashuay

Look here for last week’s entry!

 

 

Day Twenty-Three: The Hudson Super Six

 

            It was two days after the double funeral that I was sitting in my office, waiting for the world to end when he came. I was ready for it, but still I must say my heart sped up when he came into my office. Still I had slept enough, I was back on a normal schedule, and was therefore ready to do battle.

 

            “District Attorney Talbert,” I said as he strode toward my desk. “What brings you here?”

 

            “Who the hell do you think you are dodging my calls like this?”

 

            “I wasn’t dodging,” I said calmly. “I just wasn’t returning them. I’ve had to have some recovery time. You may have heard about the week I’ve had.”

 

            “I heard!” he snapped and pointed a finger at me. “I heard you killed seven people, withheld evidence, drove recklessly, and let one of our best citizens get killed. I should have your license pulled for the way you’ve acted. You’re lucky you’re not in jail.”

 

            “Don’t start threatening me you little prick,” I snapped back, which isn’t the best of forms, but fuck it he was irritating me.

 

            “What did you call me?” he demanded.

 

            “Listen here you little suckpump,” I growled back and stood up. “You want to put me in jail, bring a brigade with you. You couldn’t make a charge stick and you know it because otherwise you’d have tried it by now. As for pulling my license, you know that’s got no teeth either.”

 

            “You concealed evidence!” he shouted at me.

 

            “Of what?” I asked.

 

            “You killed seven people!”

 

            “In self defense!” I shouted. “I’ll remind you that one of the people I killed had just shot a State Police officer minutes before I put a round through him. As a result, the staties love my ass right now.”

 

            “You had the kidnap victim in your car, you didn’t call us!”

 

            “Why should I call you?” I demanded. “I was taking her back to her mother, which is what I promised to do.”

 

            “You’ve broken the law, you can’t act like you did and keep being a private detective!” I think he was just ranting at this point, but I decided to go to that dark place, because I relished the idea of kicking his ass on his own turf.

 

            “I wasn’t a private detective when I did that,” I snapped. “I’m a personal friend of Liberty Freedom, and I was doing her a favor.”

 

            “Tom Freedom was your client!” Hh shouted. “He told us that!”

 

            “He also told you that the people who kidnapped his daughter only did it to derail his Middle East deal and that the republicans were putting spiders in his sandwiches.” I leaned on my desk with my fists. “I don’t know if you noticed but The Major needed a call from ground control.”

 

            I’ll grant, the joke was old, but I still liked it. Talbert stood there and turned an unhealthy color of red as I sat back in my chair. He ground his teeth and then leaned across the desk at me. I had to tilt my chair back to avoid having to strain my neck in looking at him. He tried to make his words calm at he tried to stand over me, which was stupid of him really.

 

            “Don’t you start insulting a great member of our community.”

 

            “Shut the fuck up asshole. I knew him personally. You just hit him up for money when re-election time came.” I said looking right into his eyes. “I have taken no money in this case. I’m down a car, a pocket knife, several bullets and lots of money in fact. I took no retainer, I’ve not submitted a bill and I won’t submit a bill because I was doing a favor for Mrs. Freedom. Mrs. Freedom is my friend, and even though she now has billions of dollars to spare for whatever she wants to do, I won’t be charging her. She’s a friend, and it was a favor. You saying you’re going to pull my professional license for something I did outside of my profession is like claiming you’re going to yank my drivers license because you don’t like how I ride my bicycle.”

 

            “You listen here,” he pointed a finger at me and I stood up and slapped him.

 

            I know, it was assault, but I’d had enough. I went toe to toe with Church and I survived against Chester Cat, I was feeling a little justified in my title of official Bad Ass Tough Guy Mother Fucker for the City of Troy. It was just an open handed slap, not particularly hard, but shocking. His eyes opened wide and I put my hand on his chest and shoved.

 

            “Sit the fuck down!” I yelled and he obeyed. “Don’t you even start with me bitchcakes. I will fuck your whole career up. Everything I’ve done is fully justifiable, it crosses county lines, and it’s damn near a federal issue. Your only connection is that I live in Oakland County which is where your office is. You couldn’t touch me, not even if you wanted to, and you don’t want to because you’d like to get elected for office again someday.”

 

            “How dare you insinuate…”

 

            “Shut up!” I shouted. “I’m a friend of Mrs. Freedom. A close, personal friend and she and her billions of dollars wouldn’t be pleased with you if you attacked me.”

 

            “You think she’d protect you?” he asked.

 

            “Jenicia Freedom, her remaining child, the heir to Freedom Corp’s billions, is actually my daughter,” I whispered to him. “You wanna fuck with Liberty’s baby daddy? You want to make the person who will inherit the Freedom billions mad at you for going after her father?”

 

            “You’re lying,” he laughed, but only for a moment when he saw my face.

 

            “You tell me I’m lying again and I’ll slap you like a bitch again,” I said leaning towards him. “Now get the fuck out of my office, you’re creating an unpleasant odor.”

 

            He looked like he wanted to argue some more, but instead he got up and left. I was pretty sure that I had made a friend for life, and that he would be watching over me from now on. I could well imagine him being so careful, and watching my every move from this day foreword. To coin a phrase, he would be watching my career with great interest from now on.

           

            It was the next day, while I was looking at some bills that she came into my office. Her hips moved as she walked, her breasts bounced ever so slightly, and her hair tumbled around her shoulders. I tired not to watch with too much enthusiasm, but it was hard. Liberty sat down in the client chair across for me and watched me with her blue eyes.

 

            “You didn’t come to the funeral,” she commented, her accent stronger than it would have been if we weren’t such good friends.

 

            “I know,” I said with a nod. “I was here watching me not be at the funeral.”

 

            “I thought you might come.”

 

            “Why?” I asked.

 

            “I suppose…” she paused, considering her words. “I thought you would come and claim Jenicia.”

 

            “Why would I do that?” I asked. “I haven’t done it yet have I?”

 

            “Well, there is no one left to argue with,” she said. “You could prove your parentage and not have to worry about anyone arguing with you.”

 

            “If I was going to make that kind of claim, I would have done it a long time ago.”

 

            “You didn’t know until now.”

 

            “I’m not going to make that kind of claim,” I sighed. “I mean unless this is your attempt to tell me you want her to know.”

 

            “You sent back the check,” she said, changing the subject suddenly.

 

            “I said I wasn’t taking any fee for this.”

 

            “Your car though,” she said.

 

            I shrugged, trying to play it off lightly that I had to have Debbie come get me so I could get to work that morning.

 

            “I can get another car,” I told her.

 

            “No,” she said setting something down on my desk, covering it with her hand. “It was my daughter that caused the loss of your car. If we are friends, and if this whole thing was a favor, I need to do a favor for you.”

 

            She removed her hand to expose a key ring to the world. It was an old pair of car keys and a brass plate on the ring. The keys were familiar to me, but the plate wasn’t. I looked at the brass plate, which had raised lettering and wondered if in fact the world was working against me. The plate, which must have been made specially because of the raised letter, was new and shiny. It was easy enough to make out what it said though.

 

            Seven with one blow.

 

            “It’s downstairs,” she said standing up.

           

            I signaled for Debbie to follow as we walked out of the office and down the stairs. I sort of knew what it was going to be, but I wasn’t sure. When we exited the office building and I saw the deep blue automobile sitting in the lot I knew what the idea was. They were old keys, and I knew the car they came from. It would have to be confirmed, but that was why we were going downstairs wasn’t it? When I came out to the parking lot, I saw the blue Hudson Super Six.

 

            I walked towards the car and touched the hood. A rush of memories came to me and I had to close my eyes and wait while the emotions ran over me. The memories carried by Hudson had sort of overwhelmed me for the moment, and I had trouble breathing. I looked at the beautiful woman who had driven this car to me and gripped the keys tightly in my hand.

 

            “What kind of car is it?” Debbie asked.

 

            “A nineteen forty six Hudson Super Six,” I said and looked into Liberty’s eyes with as much of a cold stare as I could. “I said I wouldn’t take any payment for this job.”

 

            “And I said it was my daughter’s game that cost you your car,” she said touching my shirt. “I feel obligated to at least replace your car. I have to pick up after her and the trouble she caused.”

 

            “You’re not trying to buy me off are you?” I asked, telling her with my tone that we both knew the answer full well.

 

            “No,” she shook her head. “We’re going to have to decide whether or not to tell her, and when the best time would be, but I’m not trying to get you away from her.”          

 

            I looked at the sky, heavy with dark clouds and then looked at the black Mercedes with Bendis standing by the passenger door. A ripple of thunder rolled across the sky, distant and soft. I then looked at Debbie and finally Liberty. The clouds were moving in quickly, darkening the sky and muting the golden color of her hair.

           

            “I’ve got to go,” she said leaning over and kissing me softly on the lips. She walked to the car, which Bendis opened for her and after a moment was gone. I watched the car drive away and looked at Debbie.

 

            “You should give it a drive,” she said trying to smile like everything was fine. “You could probably use some time away from the office.”

 

            She walked back to the building as a louder pound of thunder struck the air.

 

            I got into the Hudson, started the engine and started to drive. The car had a lot of memories, and despite the tragic reasons I got it, I decided I would probably keep it. The backseat after all would be a constant reminder of better days. It occurred to me as I drove the car through town, that it was in the back seat that the whole question of Jenicia probably began. It was a question that was going to need to be answered some day, but not today.

 

            Big drops of rain smacked into the windshield, which reminded me to turn on the wipers. I noticed that they were new, modern wipers. In a few seconds the world vanished as the rain began to fall like mad. I kept driving, turning on the stereo, which was also a new variety. Liberty had gotten my iPod from the Mini and had someone put an adapter in this car. I was able to listen to my own idea of what music should be as the rain thundered on the roof. If nothing else, the rain would probably relieve the humidity, releasing us for a few days from the weight and tyranny of that problem.

 

            The world more of less vanished around me as the rain came down as hard as any rain in years had dared. It separated me from the world, and separated the world from me. Here, in this car, I didn’t need to think about the world out there. The only reminder of what had happened was the brass keychain, which was something of a receipt, reminding me of the price that had been paid for the car.

 

            There was nothing like a success here, but at least I didn’t end up having to leave the country or go through months of physical therapy this time. That wasn’t much, but it was something. I suppose that even in my epic failure I can manage a bright spot here or there.

 

 

 

This ends Liberty’s Child. 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.

 

In the Cabinet will begin next week.

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August 26, 2009 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

The Sparrows Are Flying Again

There must be about 10,000,000 sparrows, finches, starlings and other assorted birds around the house right now. It’s sounds like we’ve got every chirpy bird from here to Exeter hanging out in the trees by the pond.

A few moments ago I saw a bunch of them fly past the window. I counted seven seconds before they’d all gone. There are a lot of birds hanging around right now.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

History

I find the Monument to John Hawkwood to be one of the most interesting of it’s kind, even though really it’s a monument to not finishing a job.

Had the Florentines built the marble tomb, it would have been just another statue. As it is, it’s an interesting painting of what it would have looked like if they’d done it. This can cause you to look up Hawkwood (seriously, is that not a name right out of a Michael Moorcock book or what?) and learn about his “Local boy makes good” story. Of course, there is a given value for “good” since he did commit the sort of atrocities that would make him public enemy #1 these days.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Green Field Village/The Henry Ford Museum (Aug 23 2009) Part Three: Exploded views

Exploded Car
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Exploded Chair
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This chair.
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Here it is assembled
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Chair Mold
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This Chair
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BONUS SHOT!
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Just find the P3 Button!

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Joke

Horse walks into a bar
Bartender says “Oh fuck this! It was bad enough when the Mexican, the Irishman and the Pole all came in together right after the Jew, the Catholic and the Atheist, but this shit is just bananas. I QUIT!”

August 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Movie for today

Shall I tell you the problem with the movie Mobsters?

Besides the fact that it really REALLY wants to be Young Guns in the 20s, only with less substance*, it’s just not very good. However, it’s not bad enough to elicit any sort of MST3K ‘The Home Version’ style response. It’s just sort of bland, with cliché music and action. There’s just not much to discuss.

Still, I didn’t pay for it as such, so at least I’m not out anything.

*If you can imagine such a thing.

August 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Green Field Village/The Henry Ford Museum (Aug 23 2009) Part Two: Machines and Plants

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This last one isn’t a machine or a plant, but I like it.
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August 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

I have seen the future

So the robots, in an attempt to subjugate humanity, opened the door to the other side and let The Old Ones through. Because of that, Cthulu started eating the stars and accidentally started the zombies going. The zombies started to eat people, which spread the plague, bringing about a full-blown zombpocolypse. That caused the ninjas and pirates to settle their differences via a Facebook group in order to fight the undead, the Old Ones and of course in a wish to overthrow the Robotic Overlords.

The battle raged for some time, and the rolls of the fallen were recorded on hundreds of blogs. All seemed lost, the forces of good were faltering. Then, from the ancient mists of time, the Dancing Hamsters came to save us all.

And at that point the internet exploded.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Green Field Village/The Henry Ford Museum (Aug 23 2009) Part One: A Saw Mill

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August 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

This guy says the horse can do.

I’m going to call my memoirs “The Days of Machine Guns and Candy Floss” when I get around to writing them. Won’t have anything to do with either subject, but it’s too good a title not to use.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment