Author of "Leaving Fantasyland"

Follow Baggs McAlister through the grit and grime of Little Rock crime, here at James E. Parker books.

James E. Parker is also the author of "Leaving Fantasyland."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Baggs McAlister (Jacobs Trouble 4)

Lighting bolts of pain shot though my temples as my eyelids scrolled slowly open to a blurry french impressionist world. After two hard blinks, each sending waves of pain radiating though my head, things came back into focus. I could hear the roar of rain relentlessly pounding an overhead tin roof. My shoulders felt like they would pop out of joint if they hadn’t already. I was too numb from my finger tips to my torso to tell. As my mind caught up in clarity to my eyes, I felt my body slowly swinging back and forth, like a pendulum in a Grandfather Clock. It was then I realized that my hands were bound above my head white and lifeless, the blood flow cut off by a dam of rope. I traced the rope up and over a large wooden beam where it was securely tied in the ceiling of a one room dilapidated shack. Pressing my chin into my chest I looked at my feet dangling a good three feet above the floor. In my toes was an electric storm of  pinpricks from hanging for who knows how long. The cabin was dimly lit by a small oil lamp on the only furniture in the room, a small hand made aging table in the corner. Then suddenly the room lit up like a red carpet event with multiple flashes though it’s three wood framed windows. I heard thunder cut the sound around the cabin, shaking every loose board and window pane, and then roll in percussive beats to a distant place. In the flash of light I saw him. Sitting on an old rocking chair in the corner with something across his knees, was Terrance Jacobs. Jacobs got up from his chair and walked slowly across the room until he was standing in front of me. As I strained my neck to look down between lifeless numb arms I could see what he’d been holding in the chair. Jacobs’ was swinging a long sledge hammer just above the floor, with his right hand. 

“Welcome back, McAlister,” he said and I think he smiled but I couldn’t tell for sure behind his burly beard and bush of wiry hair.

“You should of killed me when you had the chance,” I shot back to let him know I wasn’t beaten yet
Jacobs’ laughed a harsh and broken laugh and came back, “Then you wuddna felt it. And trust me, you’re gonna feel this.” 

I scanned the room for any sign of a contingency plan, for any possible out. All I saw was a double barrel shot gun hanging on a wall just above a shelf with a sparse array of hunting gear and boxes of shells. It was well out of reach.

“Tell me one thing Jacobs, since your going to kill me anyway. Jenny Green. Is she really alive?”

He chunked out another harsh laugh and sent a wave of tobacco infused spit rolling across the floor. “Yep. She’s alive. But aint nobody gonna ever find her up here. I decided I’d keep this one for myself.” He smiled again behind the mask of hair, this time I was sure of it. “But you don’t bother yourself none with such as that.” The words sauntered out of his mouth in a slow country drawl. “You aint gonna be worried about it after a few minutes, or hours. Dependin on how long I wanna make this last.”

He pulled the heavy sledge hammer up and slapped the handle into one palm as he held the other end with one of his massive bear hands. His gargantuan arms wielded the thing like it weighed no more than a golf club. 

“One more thing Jacobs.”

“I’m listenin.”

Now I know how you stayed under our radar so long. You’ve had help all along haven’t you? It had to be whoever turned my lights out back at the river.”

The crows feet around his eyes dug in deep as he smiled again. He looked like an over confident living breathing Sasquatch.  

“So, since, like you said, you’re going to kill me anyway, I want to know who’s helped you all along.” This time I smiled, daring him to show me his ace in the hole.

Jacobs took a long pause. I couldn’t read what was going on behind his dark sadistic eyes that sat like periods on a face written in soulless evil. As he started to laugh that deep clunking laugh again he played his ace.

“Meet my brother. Cal.”

I felt a shock of pain hit as hard I know Jacobs could’ve done with the hammer in his hand, but this came from behind. As the blow made contact with my right kidney I heard the snap of ribs followed by pulses of pain kaleidoscoping across my entire right side. The blow was so hard it spun my body one hundred and eighty degrees. Now hanging below me as I writhed in a pain I couldn’t reach down to soothe, was another Sasquatch of a man. Jacobs brother had dealt me the hardest blow of the night. He was every bit as tall as Terrance Jacobs but with less beard and more belly. The giant, standing stationary as I floated above him, let out the same choppy sinister laugh as his brother. I knew then that I may have one chance and only one chance to get out of this alive. But, more importantly, I knew I was Jenny Green’s last and only hope. 

Jacobs Trouble 1
Jacobs Trouble 2
Jacobs Trouble 3

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