Jesus Saves, Chapter Fifty-Six

He ditched the utility truck at the first farm he came to. He marveled that there were any such places in this god forsaken region. It was nothing but marshland. Bayou country. Swamps and gators.

His choice was an old ’53 Chevy. It had been well cared for, but seemed so lonely out there in the swamp. The owner wouldn’t miss his little push-button-start truck. Not for a while. Most of these little farms were inhabited by little old men. Hell maybe he would have some fun with one of these outlying farmers.

But not right now. He was too close to his last target. he would have to return to Lake Drive and take care of that prying lady on the cell phone. Yes, he had seen her despite her vain attempts to not be seen. Another loose end.

But she would be for a later date. Long after they had forgotten his first attack on that street. For now, he would just follow his list. But only after having a little fun out here in the boonies.

He got into the pickup and pushed the button. It started right up. How nice. And it still had a full tank of gas. Even better.

He got back out and unloaded the utilities truck. He would need the tools. And his own things. He popped the hood on the truck he was abandoning. Couldn’t leave it for evidence or someone else’s use. He punctured a small hole in the fuel line nearest the engine, then stripped a couple wires to cause a spark. He smiled. Another target down.

After he was done, he got into the new vehicle and took off. He had no clue that the old farmer had been watching from the shadows within the barn, or that he wasn’t as old as he had thought. But, then, Cajuns were always a hearty lot. Smarter than the average folk in the area, they knew when someone was up to no good. and this farmer was no different.

When he noticed Torkelsen pulling in, he had immediately called the sheriff. No one took off with his scoot. least of all, his prized Chevy. That was unforgivable. And the truck that he had left behind resembled the very truck they had been searching for. A utilities truck.

Franklin Leto was no fool. He wouldn’t touch the truck. Not even if he was asked to take it in. He emerged after his beloved Chevy was gone.

Wonderful things these new-fangled things called cell phones. He grinned. He was glad that his teenaged son had talked him into getting one, even if he was still leery of technology. It had been a lifesaver. He had been able to call the police without risking being seen.

***

Michael had sent out an all-points-bulletin on Torkelsen and the utilities truck. Everyone, everywhere, would be looking out for it. And if he changed vehicles, it would be noticed. He sat at his desk looking at the growing list of people Torkelsen had killed or tried to kill. Sad.

Justin appeared and sat down at the desk across from him. “Dey foun’ de utility truck. Jus’ noth o’ the causeway. Some Cajun called de sheriff an’ reported dat de homme who had it stole ‘is ’53 Chevy push-button-start truck.Funny people dese rural Cajuns.”

Michael grinned. “And the utilities truck?”

Justin scratched his head and grinned back. “Well, I c’n tell ya he ain’t gonna bring it in. said de man booby trapped it. Did somet’in’ to de wirin’ and de gas lines. Said he watched it all from de comfort o’ his barn.”

Michael looked at Justin. “And the sheriff?”

Justin shrugged. “Gonna have a wrecker pull it back to Nahlins. No one gonna git blowed up. Least, not yet.”

Michael looked away. “Does he know we want to check it over?”

Justin nodded. “Oui. An’ he asked dat he be brought in on dis case.”

Michael turned back to his friend. “I’m willing to share the case. We need the FBI and ATF as well. And get us the Marshals. The more the merrier.”

Justin picked up his phone. “Agreed. We need all de he’p we c’n git.”

***

Torkelsen was surprised to see a gas station out here in the middle of nowhere. He hadn’t thought there would be any need. After all, didn’t the smaller towns have stations where the farmers could go bullshit while pumping gas? No matter.

He looked at the gauge. He needed to top off his tank. He pulled off. No lights.

The place looked deserted. He went to the building. Closed. Just his luck. He broke out a window and unlocked the door.

Entering, he went around to the computer that controlled the pumps and turned on all of them. He went back outside. He would teach these yokels to be open and to mind their station. He filled his tank, pulled his truck to a safe distance, then went around locking the triggers on all the nozzles in the open position.

As gasoline flowed over the cement, he flipped open a lighter. Three. Two. One.

He tossed the lighter onto the edge of the spilling gasoline. It ignited and raced for the nozzle. Torkelsen raced to his truck. Again, he counted down.

Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two.

Even from a thousand feet or better, he felt the explosion rock the truck as the station erupted into a big fireball. He grinned. It felt good to blow things up. But it wasn’t as fun as blowing people up.

He pulled off the shoulder and resumed his trek to his next target. He didn’t know who or where he would strike. Just that he needed to target someone. Somewhere.

Whistling a long forgotten tune, he sought a possible target as he drove. Some unlucky farmer would get the surprise of his life. And later, maybe some small town hick. He wouldn’t be picky. Male, female, it didn’t matter. He just needed to make someone’s worst nightmares come true.

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