In The Midnight Of His Heart
By AL BRUNO III
September 12, 1993
A tape outline that marked where they’d found the body. The parlor looked like a battlefield, with toppled chairs, broken windows and smashed lamps. Phillip Adorskil stood in the center of the room, his flashlight beam flickering here and there. He didn’t expect to find anything, not really. All the fingerprints and clues had been carted off over twenty-four hours ago. Still though, he’d had to come here, if for nothing else than to say good-bye.
He was never going to see John Sig again, he knew that now.
A faint scuffling noise started him. He switched out his flashlight and crouched down.
It wouldn’t do to get caught snooping around in what was still essentially a crime scene, especially not now when he was persona non grata with the local authorities. Detectives Barbara Miles and Howard Connely held him responsible for this latest debacle. They had threatened to do some digging into his and John’s pasts but thankfully he’d been able to find shelter from the ensuing shitstorm.
Say what you like about Gawain Wight, but he sure knew how to orchestrate a cover-up.
Within 20 minutes his arrival he’d given the two detectives a heartfelt thank you and shoved them out the door. He then wasted no time in listing John Sig and Angela Delvecco dead, even though the only remains they recovered from the crime scene were the bits and pieces of some lezbo pimp named Mendoza. And just in case Connely and Myles decided to do some extra-curricular detective work, Special Agent Gawain Wight was having the house demolished within the week.
Every lose end had been tied up save one.
Where were John and Angie now?
Had the skinny little waitress really fallen in love with the sad, horny bastard? Or had she seen all the money John had pulled from his safety deposit box and figured that as long as his credit was good he could ride?
I hope you found what you’re looking for, he thought to himself, I hope it’s worth it.
Something fuzzy and warm brushed against Phil’s ankle, he froze desperately trying to remember an incantation- any incantation.
The yellow-eyed Persian cat purred and rubbed against him.
A cat? He’d almost joined his wife in the goddamn hospital because of a damn cat? Snarling, Phil sat up and grabbed the black furball by the back of the neck. He was about to throw it across the room when it issued a meow so pitiable and lonely that it was almost nauseating. He loosened his grip, his features softened.
Well, they do allow pets at the nursing home. One of the physical therapy people said it was good for the residents. What the Hell, Zara always wanted a cat.
Holding the purring furball about the waist, Phil stood. He took one last look around, half-hoping he might spy a good-bye letter, a bit of meaningful graffiti, anything. John’s house however, seemed determined to keep it’s secrets. As Phil closed the door behind him the black cat loosed another forlorn moan.
Phil patted its head absent-mindedly and whispered, “You and me both cat, you and me both.”
The old man walked alone down the darkened streets, heading home. He paused several times along the way, hefting the limp cat and peering this way and that. There was no one following him, that was obvious, but for some reason he couldn’t shake the feeling he was being watched.