Gonzo was smiling ear to ear. He was at home in his little shack changing out of his uniform into some casual, going-out clothes. Tonight, he would celebrate. His plan had worked better than he even imagined it. It could not have gone better. Gonzo was able to play upon the detective’s eagerness to close the case and go back home to Reno. Something he hadn’t planned but worked perfectly in his favor. Arthur Reynolds was now the primary suspect in the murder of Omar Ramos and was due to stand trial in two weeks. Gonzo combed Lenkley’s hair, feeling extremely proud of himself. He was going to The Blue Bull to cultivate some…prospects. Gonzo looked at himself in the mirror and for once, saw his own reflection. He was looking at Lenkley’s face but saw more of himself than ever before. In fact, Lenkley was nowhere to be found. Any remaining presence of Lenkley had disappeared when Detective Isaias drove off into the horizon. Lenkley was gone, expelled from his own body by the tremendous comfort and newly gained ease of the demon Gonzo. Now it was only Gonzo occupying the empty shell where Terrence Lenkley use to be. This night saw Gonzo triumphant, confident, assured and ready to celebrate. The occupation of Terrence Lenkley would continue. As Gonzo stood, staring at himself in the mirror, he was stunned by a sound he had never heard in his earthly home before. Someone was knocking on his door. No one had ever come up his hill and to his shack as long as he lived there. Gonzo swallowed hard and pulled his gun from its holster and stuck it into the waistband in the back of his jeans. He almost didn’t know what to do; he just stood there. The knocking continued and Gonzo was snapped out of his daze. He walked over to the door and opened it slowly.
Gonzo recognized the voice. It was Thomas George. “Thomas, hey what’s going on?” Gonzo asked politely. Thomas George was out of uniform as well, wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and a big puffy bomber jacket.
“Not much, just wanted to congratulate you and maybe have a drink, can I come in?” George inquired.
Gonzo was put at ease but still felt that he should cover his bases. “Yeah but I was actually on my way out” he replied.
“That’s ok, I won’t take much of your time.” George walked inside and looked around at Lenkley’s minimalist appointments. “Got a beer?” he asked.
“Sorry, I don’t. I was actually about to head into town to pick up some things. As you can see, I’m running low on the basic shit around here.” Gonzo answered.
George took a survey of Lenkley’s shack and saw that there wasn’t much of anything. One couch, no T.V., and only a mini-fridge in the tiny kitchen. He thought that strange. “That’s ok, got any water?” Thomas replied.
“Sure gimme a minute.” Gonzo answered. He went into his kitchen and looked for a glass in one of the old cupboards. He never used a glass. He did like to drink cold water but he never used a glass- he usually just drank it straight out of the big, plastic, gallon-sized, jug and he never entertained any guests so he had no use for a glass. Gonzo thought he had seen a glass left behind by the old woodworker he bought the shack from when he first moved in and hoped like hell that he would be able to find it now. He didn’t like anyone in his home, invading his private space and he especially didn’t like having George there- it didn’t feel right. He stuck his head in an old cupboard. Success! He found the old glass and rinsed it out in the sink.
“Anyway, I just wanted to say good work in busting that case open. You must have some damn good instincts. But why do you think Arthur Reynolds would wanna kill that guy?” Gonzo heard George call from the living room. Or rather, the section of the shack the couch was in.
Walking in from the kitchen, Gonzo handed George the glass of water and replied, “Don’t know, most likely he had a preexisting relationship with Ramos. Enemies. Most robberies are committed by people who know their victims anyway. At any rate, it’s not my job to determine motive, it’s the D.A.’s”
“You’re right,” George downed the glass in two big gulps. He seemed uneasy and suddenly eager to leave. Gonzo brushed the feeling off however, being eager to rid his home of George’s presence anyway. “Well I won’t take any more of your time Lenkley. Gonna head home to the wife and kid now.” George said and headed for the door. Gonzo followed him and let him out. “Congratulations again” George called to Lenkley as he got into his car.
“You too.” Gonzo called back. Gonzo closed the door, pulled the gun out of his pants and tossed it on his bed. ‘That was strange’ he thought but quickly dismissed the feeling as he remembered his plans for the night. He was rummaging around for his car keys when he noticed the old woodworkers cabinet was half open.. He stopped in his tracks. He hadn’t remembered leaving it open. The search for his keys was now halted as he knelt down to inspect the cabinet. The mallet was missing, ‘but I put it back here after using it last and I haven’t touched it since’ Gonzo thought to himself. Immediately, Gonzo began searching like a madman for the mallet, turning the shack inside out. Every overturned piece of furniture yielded nothing. “Where the fuck?” Gonzo questioned aloud. He returned to the old cabinet and looked under it. Nothing. Then he toppled it hoping to find the missing tool behind it. Still nothing, but he did see something he had never seen before. On the back of the cabinet that held all of the old tenant’s abandoned tools, were stenciled the letters C-A-F in white spray paint. ‘C-A-F’ Gonzo thought to himself ‘what is that?’ “Charles” he said aloud, “Charles Aaron Foxborough.” C-A-F must have been the initials of the old man he bought the shack from. ‘Makes sense’ Gonzo thought, ‘the cabinet and all the tools were his.’ Suddenly, a feeling of calamity fell down on Gonzo like a thick blanket soaked in mud. His stomach became unbearably queasy and a flash of sweat filled the pores all over his body. He turned the cabinet back over and rifled through it. He grabbed the broken hammer handle and studied it. C.A.F. was scratched into it. He took the vice in his hands- C.A.F. was etched into it. He looked at the level- C.A.F. was stenciled onto it. Every tool in the cabinet had the old man’s initials on them in one way or another. The file and the mallet must have the mark too. Gonzo never noticed, and now the mallet was missing. “Motherfucker!” Gonzo screamed at the top of his lungs. In an instant, Gonzo knew what became of the mallet. “That fucker!” he screamed again. Gonzo was putting it all together now. Somehow, George must have known the file he used to kill Omar Ramos belonged to Charles Foxborough. ‘The fucking file must have had his initials on it too.’ he concluded. After that, it would only be a matter of time before George would trace the weapon back to the shack. Then it would be game over. Thomas George had visited Terrence Lenkley for the sole purpose of finding some other item bearing the old carpenter’s initials and taking it. Thomas George now knew the truth; George was on to him. Gonzo screamed and thrashed Lenkley’s body all over the tiny shack until he was completely exasperated and out of breath. He knelt, breathing heavily. Thomas George had the mallet, the piece of evidence that was capable of destroying Gonzo’s peaceful and free life. Now, Gonzo knew, it was time to get it back. He stood up, grabbed his pistol and got into his car.
George was speeding nervously back to his apartment. His hunch was 100 percent accurate. He did find another tool with Charles Foxborough’s initials on it in Lenkley’s shack. Now George had evidence. The mallet, complete with Foxborough’s initials, hidden underneath his bomber jacket. While Lenkley had his head in a cupboard searching for a glass, George was rooting around for another item with the same initials on it. It didn’t take long for him to spot the cabinet which was in plain sight in the main room. He looked inside it swiftly and found a treasure trove of evidence- a bundle of tools, all bearing the CAF mark. The mallet was the first one he thought to grab so he snatched it and stuffed it in his jeans and zipped up his jacket. With this humble tool, George would be able to completely topple Terrence Lenkley and realize all of his ambitions. With one fell swoop, Thomas George would gain the respect, love, and position he so desperately lusted after. Best of all, he was in a position to destroy the life of the man he hated: Terrence Lenkley. All he had to do now was get to the safety and privacy of his home and call Detective Isaias. ‘I’ll make him listen this time’ he convinced himself ‘and even if he doesn’t all I have to do is show this to the chief.’ George licked hi slips and grinned as he sped through the night streets toward his home.
It was just like the day of the robbery, except it was night time and the sun wasn’t beating down on him. The maddening anxiousness, the lighting-paced thoughts, and worst of all, the undeniable presence of Terrence Lenkley rising up from somewhere inside. This time it was even worse. Gonzo could definitely feel Lenkley tug at his being, vying for control. Less than an hour ago, Lenkley was nowhere to be felt and Gonzo was certain that he had gotten rid of him. Then, with one single intimation of forthcoming turmoil, he was back, stronger than ever. Mercilessly speeding through the streets, Gonzo bolted towards Thomas George’s apartment. A speeding ticket didn’t mean much in comparison to what Gonzo might have to do now, so he raced with reckless abandon. It was eleven P.M. and not even a remotely warm night, but Gonzo was perspiring like he was running a marathon through the Sahara. Gripping the wheel with insane fervor and unnaturally wide-eyed, Gonzo struggled for control and composure. He could feel himself losing the battle for Lenkley’s body, and he knew that if much more time passed without remedying the situation, he would be gone. Purged, expelled back to the deepest tortures of hell. Gonzo pounded his fist on the dashboard and snarled like a beast, doing all he could to muster up some semblance of humanity. His foot pushed the accelerator almost completely flush with the floor. The situation would not wait, he had to do something about Thomas George and that mallet- the piece of evidence that threatened his peaceful occupation of his earthly host- immediately. Gonzo finally arrived and parked his car across the street of George’s apartment complex. This night was indeed very similar to the day of the robbery. The day it all began.