Monday girls revenge, p.1
Monday Girl’s Revenge
David A. Thyfault
Episode two (of four) in the series:
The Making of Detective Neal “Stump” Randolph
Copyright 2016 by David A. Thyfault.
The book author retains sole copyright to his contributions to this book.
All rights reserved.
No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the author.
This is a total work of fiction. Names, characters, incidents and many places are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, to real names, places or events is entirely coincidental.
Library of Congress Control Number 2016951332
This book was published by BookCrafters
This book may be ordered from https://www.bookcrafters.net and other online bookstores.
E-Book by e-book-design.com.
To all victims of other people’s choices, especially my patient wife, Patty, for enduring my countless questions ever since I decided to write a fiction series.
My sincere thanks to these folks for their assistance.
Like a mother who runs wildly through the flames of a burning building to save her baby, Detective Delores Sanchez was driven to the most dangerous undercover role of her brief career because she had no choice: She knew from first-hand experience what the rapist’s victims felt like and she’d do anything to save them from his hellfire.
A little taller than most Latinas, Delores tucked a small beat-up table under the bare window that overlooked the kidney-shaped pool and a dozen swaying palm trees of the Cal-Vista apartments.
To gather evidence against Dixon Browne, the resident manager, and a man whom she thought of as a serial rapist, Delores was going to have to let him get uncomfortably close.
Uncomfortable because when Delores was a youngster she was fondled repeatedly and had grown to become distrustful of any kind of typical intimacy. The simple thought of somebody’s hands, even those of somebody whom she liked, grabbing at her body usually reminded her of her childhood and nearly always freaked her out.
The single difference between this situation and her own experience was that Dixon Browne’s victims, who flowed to him with the frequency of waves flopping on the beach at high-tide, weren’t children. They were full-grown undocumented immigrants. Regardless of the distinction, Delores knew how helpless Dixon’s victims felt and she was the only person who was in a position to do anything about it.
Thus, a few days earlier Delores adopted the role of a naïve and poor immigrant, whom she called Lorraine Martinez, and made up a story about a missing brother. Posing as a financially challenged prospective tenant, she confessed to Dixon that she lacked the full month’s rent that was usually required to move in. As expected, Dixon made an allowance and let her move the few bedraggled props she’d brought with her into one of the vacant apartments.
With but a few more minutes until she expected him to drop by for the remainder of the rent, Delores set her recorder pen on top of the fridge and plopped a small black and white TV on the rickety table by the window.
Next, if the very worst thing were to happen, Dixon would probably try to force her into the bedroom, therefore, the best place to stash her hand-sized Diamondback gun was under the matted-down couch pillow she’d already placed on the exercise-mat-turned-mattress that she planned to use for a bed.
After moving a few remaining pieces of beat-up furniture around, about all that was left to do was take a seat at the window and think about how Lorraine might interact with Dixon Browne as she watched for his arrival.
Now, as both the bait and the hunter, Delores was not the least bit confident that both she and Dixon could survive their relationship long enough to slap her magic bracelets on his wrists.
* * *
Freshly showered, Dixon Browne squeezed a glob of paste onto his dentures and jiggled them into place. He ran a brush through his thinning brown hair and moved into his bedroom-turned-office. He passed a shelf full of gambling trophies and opened the desk drawer where he kept two special checkbooks, each holding over twenty thousand dollars.
One account was for a new car. T
He crossed the hall to the bigger bedroom and put on his best Bermudas along with a red polo shirt and sandals. That done, he ventured into the kitchen where his current wife, Francisca, was making tortillas. “I’ll be back in an hour,” he said.
Francisca’s English was a little rough, but Spanish was forbidden when Dixon was around. She flipped a tortilla. “What if somebody comes?”
“Dumb question,” he said, grabbing the doorknob. “Tell ’em to come back later.”
Outside, in the well-maintained courtyard, seven identical buildings, each with twelve apartments, encircled the fenced-in pool. As the resident manager, Dixon lived and worked in building one, which was next to the parking lot where he could keep an eye on the entire complex, including a bicycle rack and a trash area. To his right, the primary cleaning lady had just thrown a large bag into the dumpster. “Juanita,” Dixon yelled, while hooking a finger. As usual, Juanita came quickly.
“Yes?” she said, as she pushed her black-rimmed glasses up the bridge of her nose.
“I’ve got two vacant apartments that need to be painted by tomorrow night.”
“But it’s my daughter’s birthday tomorrow. Can we do them on the next day?”
Dixon’s poker skills had taught him how to deal with signs of weakness. He flapped a small piece of paper at her. “There are two apartment numbers on here and somebody’s going to paint them by tomorrow. Should I give the money to somebody else?”
Like most everybody around there, Juanita and her husband, Manuel, were always in need of extra money. She bowed her head, indicating that Dixon’s bluff had worked. “No, no. We’ll do it for you,” she said.
It was too easy. “Good. If you hurry you’ll have time for cake.” Dixon handed Juanita the slip of paper and the standard deal was in place. After the apartments were painted, Dixon would bill the unknowing owner one hundred forty dollars for each apartment and give Juanita and Manuel two hundred, total. Dixon considered the extra eighty bucks to be his finder’s fee—half for his car, half for Maria’s college fund. His next stop was building three.
As he walked down the sidewalk he glanced across the courtyard to building four, where Maria lived with her mother. Almost sixteen, Maria had no idea that she was the byproduct of a careless fling between Dixon and her mama. Instead, Maria’s mama had told Maria that her father was a brave Mexican hero who died while fighting drug lords.
Dixon liked the ruse because his original family didn’t know he had fathered Maria and he was able to watch her grow up without the complications of an unwanted marriage or mandatory child support.
But none of that meant Dixon ignored his responsibility or his heart. Quite the opposite. When Inez was pregnant, he regularly slipped her enough cleaning work to pay the bulk of her bills, but he mostly cared about the baby, so he made sure Inez never overworked. Now, all these years later, he had other people do most of the work and only called on Inez once in a while, on Fridays. Thus, he thought of Inez as his Friday Girl and as long as she took care of the only person Dixon loved, he was satisfied. He smiled and kept going.
Upon entering building three, Dixon’s nostrils flared at a whiff of refried beans. His saliva glands kicked in as he ascended the half-flight of stairs to Apartment 202. The lease said Juan Hernandez lived there with his wife and their baby girl, which was the maximum number of people allowed in a one-bedroom unit. But Juan and Dixon had a “wink-wink” deal and Dixon was there to collect.
When Juan’s wife inched open the door, Dixon could see another woman nursing a baby on an old dark brown sofa. After a brief discussion, the sitting woman passed a sealed white envelope along to Dixon.
The under-the-table price for the three extra people who lived in Juan’s apartment was a hundred and fifty bucks per month, in cash, a bargain compared to what they’d have to pay to rent their own place. “Gracias,” Dixon said as he stuffed the envelope into his Bermudas. He had one final stop, the one he’d most been looking forward to.
Lorraine Martinez had just moved into building five. He knew her type: humble, poor, intimidated by authority figures. But most importantly, he knew she was afraid she’d get deported.
At Lorraine’s door, his first knock yielded no reply, but that wouldn’t stop a manager with a master key. He let himself in. The lights were off. There was no music. Two unmatched chairs were backed against the living room wall with a small end-table tucked between them. Two additional chairs were gathered at a wobbly kitchen table, with the little TV he’d loaned her pushed toward the window. “Hello?” he said into the otherwise empty room. “Señorita?”
He closed the door and wiggled his jaw. “Manager,” he said, louder this time.
He placed his hand on top of the TV. It was warm. He moved toward the hall where he looked through the crack by the hinges of the bedroom door. Lorraine was standing behind the open door, undoubtedly scared. “Señorita?” he said again, as he tugged gently on the knob and stood before her. “Come on out. You don’t have to be afraid.” The tips of her dark brown hair draped delicately across her shoulders as she cautiously stepped forward. Her dark eyes shone in a beautiful, unblemished face. He took her hand and led her back to the living room.
Saliva oozed off the back of Dixon’s tongue as he and Lorraine sat face to face. He leaned in. “I looked closer at your application. It says that you’re twenty-six. How old are you really?”
“Twenty-six,” she said sheepishly.
Dixon shook his head and pointed a thumb toward the center of the complex. “There are only six white families and two black families who live here. The rest are Hispanic. I’ve been doing this for a long time. If you want my help you have to be honest with me.” He smiled. “I’d say you’re about nineteen. That’s closer, isn’t it?”
Lorraine scooted back in her chair, then looked up and nodded.
“Good.” He placed his hand on her knee, shifted his teeth with his jaw. “You just tell me the truth and I’ll keep you safe.”
“Gracias,” she said as softly as before.
“You said that you got a job at the restaurant a couple miles up. If they’re still paying forty dollars a day for a five-day week you won’t have enough money to pay your rent and other bills. Can somebody else help you?”
Her gaze fell toward the floor. “My brother had to go away.”
Just as he often did when playing poker, Dixon stared at her until she blinked. Then he said, “Let me guess. He got picked up. Now you’re all alone and don’t know who to trust.” He lifted her chin and bobbed his head up and down the way salesmen do when they want people to agree with them. “That’s it, isn’t it?”
It took a moment but eventually Lorraine mirrored his head-bob.
Dixon sucked at the air and scooted his chair closer. “Alright. Since you were honest with me, I’m going to help you out. First off, Immigration won’t deport you if you make enough income to support yourself, so we have to get you a little more money.”
She lifted her head and looked him in the eye.
“I want you to tell the owner of the restaurant to shift your schedule around so that you can have Mondays off. That way you can work for me, just on Mondays. Then, I’ll pay three hundred-and-fifty dollars a month of your rent.”
She smiled. “You will?”
“Sure. Other women do the same thing for me, only on different days.” He laid his hand on her shoulder. “But let me make something perfectly clear. You’ll have to do whatever I want. That might mean you’ll rake leaves or pick up trash along the fences or cook some food for my police friends.” Dixon leaned in close. “And that’s not all. When I say you have to do anything, I mean anything.” He placed his hand under
She crinkled her nose, pushed him away. “No,” she yelped as she bolted to her feet, ran into the bedroom and slammed the door.
Dixon smiled. He could have gone after her but there was no need. He’d seen her kind before. Her full rent would be due soon and if she didn’t miraculously find the money, she’d be out of options. It was as if she were drawing to an inside straight. “Think it over Señorita,” he said as he moved toward the door. Let me know if you change your mind.”
Dixon left and hurried back to Francisca. She wasn’t allowed to say no.
Out of nowhere, scorching flames flashed high and wide. Then Stump felt the heat. The guilt was back. His stomach felt as if a bunch of boots were kicking him around. Another flare made him gasp for fresh air. “No. No. Not again,” he yelped. “Oh my God. Mom! Please! Please!” He tried to run for help but his legs wouldn’t move. “Mom!” He thrashed his head wildly from side to side. “Gimme another chance, Mom! Please! Please don’t die. MOM. MOM!“
“Stump. Wake up,” somebody said from afar. “You’re dreaming again.” Then Stump felt a hand on his head.
“Huh? What?” Stump paused, opened his eyes and sucked in several quick breaths. Safely in bed, he raised his sweaty head off the pillow. “Oh. Myles. Thank God.”
“Same thing, huh?”
Relieved to be back in the present, Stump nodded. It had been three years since his mother’s death but he still had nightmares about his role in her passing. If only he’d done what she asked. He wiped a tear from the corner of his eye. “I killed her, Myles.”
Myles shook his head. “We go over this every time, Stump. You didn’t put the paint thinner in the laundry room nor the bars on the windows.”
“I know, but if I didn’t—”
“You’ve got to stop beating yourself up over it. You’ll have your chance to do something about it in a couple days. In the meantime, you’d better get a shower. I’ll wait.”
A short hour later Stump and Myles were in Myles’s truck at the local shopping center and embroiled in their most frequent topic. “But what good does it do to have three million bucks if I can’t spend any of it?” Stump asked.
“You just worry about what you’re doing.” Myles pointed out the windshield. “If you wreck my truck, you won’t get your license for at least another year.”
As adoptive fathers go, Myles’s was sorta cool most of the time, but at moments like this the dude was a giant buzz kill. First off, nothing could go wrong on the outskirts of an empty mall parking lot this early on a Sunday morning. Secondly, the driving conditions had nothing to do with what he wanted to talk about. “But, you keep ignoring—”
Monday Girl's Revenge by David Thyfault / Mystery & Detective have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on18 votes