In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Chapter Seventy Seven
By AL BRUNO III
Saturday, December 4th 1996
Thompson’s Pharmacy opened up at the usual hour of the morning but the heavy snows kept the citizens of Windham indoors. There was no one to notice the new face working behind the counter.
The bell above the front door jingled as Isobel walked in. She didn’t look around she just made her way straight to the rear of the store where a woman in a white coat was waiting behind the pharmacy counter. Neither Isobel or Ms. Ginnmett reacted with surprise at the sight of the other.
“As I live and breathe,” Ms. Ginnmett smiled, “I thought it might be you. Where’s the rest of you meddling kids?”
Isobel said, “I don’t want any trouble.”
“Then you really need to rethink your life choices,” Ms. Ginnmett stepped around the counter and approached her, “especially when it comes to love. Oh girl we could dish for hours on that Galen of yours.”
Isobel’s pulse started to race, she backed up, “What did you do to Angie?”
“Well duh, we poisoned her. Something slow acting and organic,” Ms. Ginnmett cocked her head, “you’re unarmed aren’t you?”
Isobel gave a helpless shrug.
Ms. Ginnmett’s smile didn’t falter, “Oh boys! Give me a reconnoiter of the area.”
A trio of men wearing black and gray walked out of the back room and exited the store. Their faces were expressionless. The bell over the door jingled as they left.
“Cheryl will be so disappointed she didn’t get to see you,” Ms. Ginnmett said, “but I’ve always felt closure was overrated.”
Isobel had been backing away, trying to draw her enemy to the spot she had been instructed to. Zeth had said he needed a clear shot. That name however stopped Isobel in her tracks, “Cheryl? What about Cheryl?”
“We took a liking to her,” Ms. Ginnmett said, “she’s going places.”
“More alive than she’s ever been before,” she cocked her head again, “awfully quiet isn’t it?”
“What did you do to Cheryl?” Isobel demanded.
Ms. Ginnmett grabbed Isobel’s arm with bruising force, “What are you up to?”
Isobel dropped to one knee, she cried out.
“If I had time I’d crack open that skull of yours and swallow your thoughts by the mouthful but I’ve got too many pots boiling right now. So we’re just going to have to do things the old fashioned way,” Ms. Ginnmett lifted her off the floor with one arm and threw her like a rag doll.
Isobel crashed into a shelf crowded with make-up and skin care products. The impact took Isobel’s breath away. Boxes and packages rained down on her. Her ears were ringing and she had bit her tongue.
“Better tell me where the other two are up too before I get carried away with nostalgia,” Ms. Ginnmett said, “just talk. I really am a gentle soul at heart.”
“F-fuck...” Isobel tried to stand. A shelf hook had cut her scalp, the skin felt loose and wet, “Fuck you...”
The other woman tsked, “See? Now that’s just counter productive.”
Isobel grabbed a package of mascara and threw it, “I’m not afraid of you.”
Ms. Ginnmett rolled her eyes, “Cheese and crackers...”
“I’m not afraid...” Isobel counted Ms. Ginnmett’s steps, listening to the hollow click of her expensive boots on the tile floor.
There was a tiny POP! And a coin-sized hole erupted in the side of Ms. Ginnmett’s throat. An ochre colored pus like fluid trickled out. Body spasming she turned to look at the pharmacy’s cracked front window. The men she had sent outside were lying this way and that on the snowy sidewalk.
There was another POP! This shot set her spinning in place. She sank to the floor, her body making clicking noises like a broken wind up toy.
Groaning, Isobel pulled herself up. She saw Zeth running across the street his deceptively slender looking sniper rifle cradled against his hip. He stepped around the bodies of the trio of men dressed in black and gray. They all had bullet wounds at the base of their throats. Zeth kicked in the door of Thompson’s Pharmacy and scanned the area, “Any more?”
“No,” Isobel said.
Zeth shrugged, “Get out of here. All Hell’s gonna break loose.”
She didn’t move, she wasn’t sure she could move just yet. She watched the thing that looked like a woman, but wasn’t, twitch and click, “I can’t believe this worked.”
“Me either,” Ms. Ginnmett’s voice was a soft gurgle. Her torso was starting to expand and shift, her blouse tore. Her hands spasmed at the air.
“This was your last mistake,” Zeth said. He reached into the pocket of his slacks and pulled out a grenade that was about the size of an apple. He shoved it into her mouth not caring that he snapped teeth in doing so. Then he yanked out the pin.
“Oh shit,” Isobel said.
Zeth set her running with a shove, “Go!”