An explosion rocked Mardi Gras. Sullivan “Sully” Grant was the target. Sully was a drug dealer, specializing in meth. He’d started with Cocaine, both both rock and powder, and had moved through the drug world as the designer forms had appeared. He had drawn the line at Krocodil, though. He didn’t want to hasten death for his victims any more than he already did with his meth. Hell. He had seen what the new drug did and it had given him nightmares. Anyone in their right mind would never do the drug.
Anything that melted the flesh from the addict was just wrong. Evil. No one deserved to go through that. Meth was bad enough.
Sully, being a canny man, had sensed that something was wrong. He never left his house unlocked. Yet, his door had been unlocked. Someone had broken into his pad.
Turning around, he went a safe distance to see if the person was still inside. Sure enough, a few minutes after he had hidden, a tall blond man came out and went to the street. A cab pulled up and the man got in, leaving. After the man was gone, he called the police on his cell phone.
“Yes,” he began once the operator picked up, “I would like to report an attempted homicide.”
He spent the next few minutes giving the operator his address and explaining that it had been an attempted homicide, not an actual homicide. The operator seemed to be having problems understanding until the house exploded.
“Never mind, Miss,” he shrugged, “Just tell the officers to look fr the large crater where a house once stood. and let the utilities know so they can shut off gas and electric so there are no larger explosions. Yes, I’ll stay on the line. No, I am not hurt. At least nothing more than my pride.”
He waited and talked with the operator for what seemed to be an eternity, until the police arrived. Michael pulled up and got out, approaching him from the curb.
“You called in an attempted homicide?” Michael asked, taking the phone. “Yes. We have arrived.” He hit the disconnect button.
“Yes,” Sully replied.
“Who was the intended target?” Michael looked at him.
“I was, Detective,” the dealer replied, “it was my house that blew up.”
“Anyone else live here?” Michael was fishing for as much as he could find out.
“Oh, God, no.” Sully breathed, truthfully. “I was gone visiting my woman over on the other side, near Pontchartrain. We ain’t married yet, so I haven’t asked her to move in. Besides. She’s been helpin’ me reform as the court asked. I no longer deal drugs.”
Michael smiled. “I didn’t ask about your habits, Sully. I am not vice. I am homicide.” He looked away. “Did you see who did this?”
Sully nodded. “Yes. When I got home, I noticed that my door was not locked. I always lock my door, so I knew that somethin’ wasn’t right. Anyway, I hid behind those bushes you saw me beside and waited. After I did not enter the house, whoever it was came out and walked down to the curb. they didn’t even take notice that my scoot was sittin’ in the drive. They just left. I suppose they thought I would go inside once they left. I don’t know.
“Anyway, about fifteen minutes later, the house blew while I was tryin’ to get the operator to understand that this was an attempted homicide, not an actual one. I ain’t as stupid as most would take me to be.”
Michael tried not to smirk. “What did this man look like?”
Sully looked at him and went pale. “Tall. Blond. Cold and calculating. Well dressed. Almost business-like.”
Michael looked at him. “You are damn lucky. You just saw Torkelsen and lived to tell the tale. Had you gone inside, we would be picking pieces of you up off the streets for miles.”
Sully was visibly shaken. “So what now?”
Michael shook his head. “Since he will expect you to be dead, we will put you where he can’t get to you. We are going to make you disappear.”
Sully looked at him. “Can I take Cherice?”
Michael nodded. “Going to have to. If he catches wind that you survived, he will go after those you love or care about.”
Torkelsen was feeling proud of himself. By now, the police was picking up pieces of his latest target off the streets of New Orleans. It had been so easy. So thrilling. So fulfilling.
Though he could remember a time when he wasn’t this way, his government had turned him into such a perfect killing machine. They had taught him the use of explosives. They had taught him the worth of fear. He loved spreading sheer terror. He lived for it.
The smell of gunpowder and C-4 were the only things that could give him a high. If he believed in any kind of god, he would be dangerous in the hands of the latest terrorist cells. Hell. He would join them, even if it were simply just to blow them up for the hell of it. But what was the fun of that?
He preferred to leave them to keep the government pinned down by what they had created. It freed him to create masterpieces of death and carnage. He smiled. Ah, freedom.
It was time to pick his next victim. Who would it be this time? A politician? A lawyer? A retired cop?
How about a hooker? Or a pimp? Or simply a whole brothel? He knew that many existed in the city. Even though prostitution was illegal, it was the one thing more rampant than drugs.
On the other hand, why not a petty thief? Or a white collar criminal? Perhaps the Mafia could use a little shaking up. He smiled.
Let the news decide. Who got off without anything more than a slap on the wrist today? He began thumbing through the paper. Somewhere in there, his target waited to be discovered.