Terrance Jacobs stumbled off of the chair at his table in the back of Juanita’s. He could hardly push through the crowd, making his way to the hallway leading to the restrooms in the back of the place. I’d watched him down enough drinks to know he was in no shape to drive, but also knew that didn’t mean he wouldn’t try. I waited for him to turn the corner into the back hallway, before I got up from my barstool. He’d already been to the bathroom three times, since he came in. He was easy to track, with his six foot seven frame protruding over the rest of Juanita’s patrons. His bushy head and beard reminded me of a giant from a folklore tale as it bobbled above the crowd, on his way back to the restrooms. He looked in my direction once but his glassy eyes hardly seemed to register that anyone else was in the room at all.
I was on him as soon as he turned the corner. There was a line, at the already full bathroom, and Jacobs was nowhere to be seen. I pushed my way though the crowded hallway. I could see it made a right, where the wall boasting a giant Budweiser sign cut the restroom hallway off. Pushing harder I wormed my way though the tiny hall and quickly turned to the right at the Budweiser sign. There was no one around the corner other than a couple making out against the wall. A door embossed with an “Emergency Exit” sign capped the end of the hall. The door was swinging shut just as I made the corner. I shot down the hall and pinned my shoulder into the exit door as I turned the knob.
I hit the door with such force that I had to adjust my balance to keep from falling. I stumbled out into the hot August Air. The smell of the Arkansas River filled my nostrils. I looked to my left toward the River Park Amphitheater and saw nothing but a few random couples holding hands, walking in the park, and a group of four teenagers on skateboards. Quickly snapping my head back to the right I squinted in the dim lights down 2nd street and saw no one.
“Think Baggs. Think,” I told myself trying to calm down. My mind flooded with the thought that I’d lost Jacobs now twice in two days, and this time would probably never see him again. I turned to look strait ahead, where a side walk lead across 2nd street and down to the river bank. My feet pounded the concrete as I shot down the sidewalk across 2nd and made my way into the clump of trees nestled at the bank of the river. Slowing my pace I cautiously began to snake through the tiny clump of trees, making my way to the waters edge. Suddenly a sledge hammer of a fist caught me square on the forehead. Jacobs emerged from behind a tree. He hit me so hard my feet left the ground and I landed on my back in the damp soil. My head spun for a moment. I tried to get my bearings. Before I could move Jacobs bear like hand grabbed me by my shirt and pulled me to my feet. He was fast for a big guy. I could hardly focus my eyes before he gave me three shots to my ribs. A left and then two quick rights. Air escaped my lungs like a punctured tire. I doubled over hugging my ribs in pain. I saw Jacobs swing his massive leg upward and try to land a kick to my head. Just before his weathered hunting boot caught my face, I twisted to the right. His giant frame fell like a tree with the missed kick. Sucking in what little air I could get, I was immediately on top of him. I shoved my hand into the light hoodie I was using to cover my shoulder holster. Before Jacobs had a chance to push me off I pulled my Glock and jammed the barrel into the corner of his eye. I straddled him like a jockey on a massive horse, pinning his arms to the ground with my legs.
“Listen to me you Grizzly Adams looking dirt ball. You’re going to tell me where she is, or I’m going to gouge out your eyes one at a time.”
He writhed in pain. I knew he had a major strength advantage on me and could of whipped me aside like a rag doll. But my 9mm evened the playing field.
“I don’t know what your talking about,” he said.
“Where is Jenny Green?” I pushed harder on the pistol. Even in the dim light, I could see water pool around his eye and run down the side of his face.
“Wait, wait, wait-” Jacobs shouted squirming in pain.
“You’ve got about three seconds to talk or I take this eye out and see if you talk to save the other one.”
“Ok! I’ve got her,” Jacobs said trying to twist his head free of the gun.
The words fell on me like cinder blocks but, I didn’t flinch.
“Where?” I shouted into his face.
He squirmed again. I started to count.
“Two, One.” I twisted the gun and put some real pressure behind it.
Jacobs screamed in pain, “Ok. Ok. I’ll tell you.”
I eased the pressure on my Glock, just a bit.
“Now!” I gave his eye a quick poke with the barrel.
“It took her up to my cabin. It’s just up on-” he paused and then started to laugh from deep down in the blackness of his vile soul. Anger burned like a fuse over me.
“It’s just up on what?”
Jacobs sinister laugh tapered off. He looked me in the face with the eye that didn’t have my gun barrel buried in it.
“Its just up on-” he formed his bearded cracked mouth into and O and quickly blew a giant wad of spit strait into my face.
His deep rolling laugh started rising again. Just as I steadied my pistol to jam it all the way into his eye, I felt a thud that radiated down instantly from the crown of my head. I distinctly heard the ping an aluminum bat makes when it connects with a ball. Blackness filled my eyes as I felt my body fall limp.