I fell into a routine while waiting for the other shoe to fall. I woke at 5AM then rode the bike for two hours. I stopped had a biscuit for breakfast or some other kind of cholesterol bomb. After that I rode the bike home and took a hot shower. It was getting cold enough so that soon I would be stopping the breakfast out in exchange for a bowl of cereal. The ride from a warm restaurant back into the chill while sweaty would soon be unbearable.
But somewhere in there I would squeeze a quick shower and be all dressed and ready for the day to begin. After taking care of my few business interest, I would begin my work day by either heading to the pub for my daily dose of The Brit and our work schemes, or I would tend the still.
The closest thing to a schedule I could manage was to constantly work mash. Work two barrels of mash at a time. It was still working my ass off with barely enough time to gather the ingredient. Even so I fell back into that routine. It still left me with enough spare time to do some things.
After three weeks it began to look like the Dobson PD wasn’t going to tie me to the missing drug gang. I had though a few days earlier that I might have wasted the retainer I had paid Rita. As everyone knows it is when you least expect it, that the shit goes down. I had a locked gate over the drive at the road, so I wasn’t surprised to see a car parked there when my phone rang.
“Miss Porter this is Emery Sutton with the Dobson Police department, could we have a word with you please.” the male voice asked.
“Mr. Sutton, I’m going to give you the number for my lawyer Rita Somerville. I would be happy meet with you, just work it into her schedule. Since I’m retired most anytime will do for me. You might want to tell her the reason for your request, since I have no idea how I could help you with anything.” I said.
“You don’t know anything that could help us, but you want an attorney present.” he asked.
“I invoke my right to council before I buy a hot dog these days,” I said. “It’s nothing personal.” Since I was calling from inside my still house, I really didn’t want to meet them. I was also going to shut down just as soon as the run I was making was finished. I needed a rest anyway. They would be deciding that I needed a closer look, since I had invoked. But being cautious, didn’t make me guilty of anything, it especially didn’t drag anyone else into the mess coming my way.
“Is it convenient for you to meet with the Dobson PD today,” Rita asked.
“Tomorrow would be better and it’s a long drive to Dobson to be paying you for nothing. Ask them if we couldn’t use a room in the courthouse. I know there are interview rooms in there that aren’t being used. The run was on the verge of being done, so I would just shut it down where ever I happened to be tomorrow and trash the rest of it, no matter how much I lost doing so.
That is how I came to be sitting with Rita and two Dobson cops in the middle of the day. “So I am Detective Emory Sutton, I am interviewing Miss Sylvia Porter, and her Attorney. I am making this recording of the interview which is in connection with the attack on her by Freddie Louis Vasquez.”
That is when I thought, oh shit, this fucking drug war either started by sheer coincidence, or some kind of witness tampering. The whole thing might have been personal, not a Miami sanctioned thing at all. I almost wanted to laugh. I wasn’t sure that since he brought his army into it, there could have been any other ending.
“So let’s get started,” Emory Suggested. I nodded my agreement. “Let the record show the subject nodded her agreement.”
“So Miss Porter, I have the police report from that night would you read over it to see if there is anything you wish to change or update.” he pushed the paper to me.
I read it quickly and it seemed to be correct. “That’s what I remember yes,” I said.
“When Freddie grabbed you, you decided to fight back knowing he might kill you?” he asked.
“I fought back, because I was sure he would kill me,” I said. “I had no way to know he just wanted sex. If I had known he would rape me and walk away, I might not have found back.”
“You have been involved in other violent incidents have you not?” he asked.
“Don’t answer that. It has no relevance to this investigation.” Rita said. Good for her I thought.
“Did you know that several of Freddie’s friends have gone missing?” Emory asked.
“No, I did not know that. Is Freddie one of them?” I asked.
“No, only because he was in jail awaiting trial for fifteen counts of rape.” he said.
“I guess, he was lucky then,” Rita said. “Now is there a question pending.”
“Do you know anything about the missing men?” Emory asked.
“No I do not,” I answered.
“Do you have any new questions?” Rita asked.
He made a big issue of turning off the recorder then he said, “My heart isn’t really in this investigation. In one night our violent crime spree in Dobson ended. There is no one taking advantages of the poor illegals at the moment.”
“I guess that’s a good thing,” Rita said. as she stood to leave.
Emory whispered in my ear as he passed, “Too bad you missed Freddie.” I forced myself to bite my tongue.
I paid Rita in cash, then went back home to lay another layer of security on, before I went back to cooking. I certainly did not want to be involved in the drug business. I just wanted to make a little liquor and whatever I had on hand I planned to use. Right now that just happened to be pot stalks. I put some more bells and whistles into the alarm system and started a new batch of mash. It would take a week or so to work off, so I had that much time to do other things.
First it was visit the Pub to tell The Brit everything seemed cool. I hadn’t rushed to the pub after my interview just in case the cops were checking my movements. “Have you swept this place lately?” I asked.
“Actually it is time. Let me get my broom,” he said as he went for a small wireless receiver and his laptop. He ran the recorder along the walls and into the booths and flower arrangements. When he finished he whispered, “Clean but wait.”
He left the room while I poured a beer. He came back with a random noise generator. It would fuck up anything that broadcast through the air. He sat it on the bar near us. “So what happened?” he asked.
“The guy who grabbed me was the brother of the guy who tried to grab me at Ramona’s place. I have no idea, if it was about the hooch, or he was trying to prevent me testifying against his brother.” I said.
“He clearly knew about your hooch, and the other he may or may not have figured in. So now the cops can link you to one of the missing druggies,” The Brit said.
“Yeah, the cop didn’t seem to interested in linking me to the warehouse, so I just played dumb which for me isn’t hard,” I said.
“You stay out of the real drug business, and I think they will keep it you tied to the brother, but not the other. It will just be a random coincidence. It might chafe his ass, but he can’t arrest you for that,” The Brit said.
“That’s how I figured it. They are going to need a hell of a break to tie me to anything.
Then they are going to need a waterboard to tie any of the rest of you to it,” I promised.
“You going to fish in the reservoir this year?” The Brit asked.
“If I ever have time to fish again,” I said. I drank my beer for a while then just in passing I asked, “I wonder what Miami is doing right about now.”
“You know Sylvia this was probably a very low profit area for the super thugs. It is my guess they just wrote it off. I doubt Vasquez had any real serious blood brothers there. If there was going to be a vendetta, we would have heard by now.”
“I hope you are right. Monk and I are still working out a drop system for the product. I am trying to stay out of the loop. As far as anyone is concerned now, they can thing it was Monks idea from the start. Anyone who even considered me, would have to admit I’m not really in the drug business.”
“Yeah Freddie’s brother just made a bad life choice, It had nothing to do with his career choice,” The Brit said.
“That’s how I see it,” I said.
“We are walking a fine line here, but I love it.” The Brit agreed. “I never wanted to be a godfather, but I might be good at it.”
“Tell me that is just a bad joke,” I demanded.
“It is for now, but I keep my options open.” he said with a dark smile. He turned off his jammer, then he called out to Jeremy. “Jeremy lad, how about we find something to make a couple of sandwiches in the kitchen.” Then without anything else being said, he went into the kitchen presumably to make a sandwich.
Before I knew it the pub was open for business. I did get my sandwich down before the crowd came in. Since the Cafe just closed, there would be very little food business for at least an hour.
“Sylvia I am experimenting with something new. I want to make one thing really special for the ladies, do you have any ideas?” he asked.
“For the ladies, I couldn’t help you hon, I’m sorry. Something will come to you though. I have faith in your creativity,” I said.
“Why thank you Sylvia,” Jeremy said genuinely pleased.
It was after midnight when I left the Pub. I pulled into the Hardee’s parking lot for a cup of coffee and a quick scan of my compound. Nothing seemed to have been in or out since I left.
I drove to the gate at the end of my driveway. I entered the key code and it swung open. I looked around very carefully before I drove in. Once inside I locked it behind me. I also reset a few of my other trip wire type devices. It took about ten minutes to reset all the security devices, but I felt better for having done it.
At the still house I checked the mash but it hadn’t even started to work. I had tossed a full batch but it couldn’t be helped. There had been and still was a chance that I could be raided. The still house looked in order, so I drove to the box house. I didn’t even turn on the TV or the computer. 5AM came early in the mountains.
Just as I predicted it was way too fucking early when I started out on the bike at 5:30AM. It was also starting to get chilly. October at the higher elevations we heading on to winter for sure. When I turned onto the road I was thinking how good it was to be alive. Just a few yards from home a pickup truck cut me off. I immediately stopped caught my balance and removed the .22 mag revolver from my under my parka. I held it close beside my leg as the drive of the pick up walked back toward me.
“Sorry about that Sylvia,” The voice said. I recognized it as Monk.
“You should be you almost killed me. Now why did you scare hell out of me. I needed to have a private word, one that I knew was private.” Monk said. “Shit it’s to early and too cold for his. Let’s go down to Hardee’s.”
“Okay but you go first,” I said. When he had gone I put away the pistol. If this happened again I would have to rethink my morning work out.