Gonzo Part 10

The next morning Gonzo put on his uniform, armed himself and poured kerosene all in the innards of his shack. He stepped outside, lit a cigarette, and inhaled deep. Then he threw his lighter at the molding of the front door of the shack. He smoked and watched the little wooden structure get swallowed up by insatiable flames. A scene he knew all too well. He turned and got into his car and even though he was dressed to report to duty, Gonzo passed the station altogether and headed to Mark Clemenyche’s liquor store. When he arrived, pushed the glass door open to see Mark Clemenyche’s surly yet welcoming face greet him with a smile. “Oh, a bit early today huh Sheriff?” Mark commented.

“You know, just trying to get a jump on things.” Gonzo replied

Mark smiled so genuinely that his eyes swelled shut. “Reds again Sheriff?” Mark asked.

“You know it Mark!” Gonzo enthusiastically replied.

Mark Clemenyche bent down behind the counter to retrieve the sheriff’s pack of cigarettes and while he was down there, he began his usual mantra, “You really should quit these things Sheriff, you know they’ll-” he raised back up to see Sheriff Lenkley’s pistol pointed square at his face.

“They’ll what?” Gonzo interrupted. “They’ll kill me?” He squeezed the trigger, paused as Mark Clemenyche’s limp body hit the floor behind the counter, and let out the most hearty and genuine laugh. He holstered his gun still chuckling to himself, easily amused by his own morbid antics. Then he took the pack of Marlboro Reds from the counter-top and exited the store. Climbing into his car with no feeling that Lenkley ever existed in his own body, Gonzo thought to himself, ‘I think I’ll head east.’

 

-The End

Gonzo Part 9

Gonzo slapped himself  in the face a few times in hopes of gaining some composure and focus. Lenkley was tugging hard at his insides at this point and he feared that the internal struggle for control would cause him to explode upon confronting George. He might beat George into a bloody, gushing, mess or worse- kill him. Gonzo, still seated in his car, took a series of deep breaths. He felt the pressure of his pistol mashed up against the small of his back. The unyielding steel of the weapon imprinted itself upon the soft, malleable, canvas of Lenkley’s flesh as it was lodged between his bare skin and his jeans’ waistband. More than anything, Gonzo wanted a solution to this problem that would allow him to continue his life on earth, in Carson City, as Sheriff, peacefully as he knew it. He opened the door of his car, leaned out, shut the door behind him and started across the street to George’s apartment. As he walked through the cool night air he racked his brain as to a way to retrieve the mallet and ensure that George would keep his mouth shut. ‘Maybe I’ll just snatch the mallet and staple that miserable little cunt mouth of his’ Gonzo thought. Time was running out. Gonzo was almost at George’s door and he had to come up with a course of action on the fly. Finally, as Gonzo walked up the stairs of the apartment complex and found George’s door, he concluded that a solid threat might just do the trick. After all, George did know that he was capable of murder. It was the best he could come up with on such short notice, and the situation would not wait any longer. Gonzo took one last deep breath, used all of his focus to push Lenkley down as hard as he could, and knocked on the door.

Inside the apartment, Thomas George was stashing the mallet under his mattress and ignoring his wife’s inquiries about the object. She had just coaxed little Riley to fall asleep and laid him down in the nursery when she walked in on her husband hanging his bomber jacket in the closet and taking something out of its pocket. “What is that?” she asked plainly but Thomas brushed the question off, lifted a corner of their mattress and placed the object underneath it. She continued in a demanding tone, “Thomas, what the hell-” but she was interrupted by a gentle rapping on the front door. Thomas George went from a kneeling position to standing bolt-upright at the sound. “Tom, who would be visiting us at this hour?” She read the bewitched expression on her husband’s face. In an instant, his face flashed limestone pale and eyes beamed. She intimated that something was very wrong. There was another calm knock on the door. “Tom, what is going on?!” She demanded.

“Stay in this room and don’t come out no matter what. No matter what! Do you understand me?!” George shouted at his wife. She had never heard him peak with such grave authority and it frightened her. George pushed her by the shoulders and sat her down forcefully on the bed. She was in a state of shock and terror. She didn’t know what was going on but she gathered that it was very bad and very dangerous. George walked out of the bedroom but stuck his head back into the room and repeated, “No matter what!” Then he shut the door behind him and skulked over to the front door, feeling for his Glock 9mm in the front of his pants as he went.

Thomas George peered through the peephole. It was Lenkley alright. “Who is it?” he called out.

Lenkley replied immediately, “It’s Lenkley, we need to talk.”

“Now is not a good time Terrence, it’s late” George said.

“I’m afraid it can’t wait, I know you have something of mine in there Thomas. We need to talk this through.” Lenkley replied.

“There’s nothing to talk about Lenkley, now go away or I’m gonna get a squad car over here.” George answered.

Gonzo hadn’t counted on any other police officers getting involved in the situation and was frankly shocked that George would be cowardly enough to call in the cavalry to come rescue him from one man. At any rate, he couldn’t risk any more cops coming to the scene. “Now Thomas, I know what you’re thinking about me, that I may or may not have committed that grizzly murder. Now I’m not here to try and convince you one way or another if that’s true.” Lenkley paused here and coughed wretchedly. George put his eye into the peephole again and listened intently. It sounded like Lenkley was speaking with two voices. Lenkley continued. “What I am here for is to take back what is mine and have a nice, calm chat with you. But consider this Thomas my boy,” an air of sarcasm crept into Lenkley’s tone, “if you do in fact believe I am guilty of slitting that boy’s throat then you must also believe that I am getting into this apartment whether you let me in or not. So before you slink over and reach for that telephone you should ask yourself, what do you believe?” It was time. Thomas George slowly drew his gun, pointed it at the door, and backed up to the dinner table towards the telephone. Gonzo put his ear to the door. He heard one footstep on the hardwood floor. Then another. It was time. “Alright, we gave Lenkley a try. Now Gonzo is gonna handle this situation.” he said in a low, raspy voice, then he stepped back, raised his right leg and thundered it through the door bursting the deadbolt in twain and obliterating the knob. The door swung open on its hinges. Gonzo stepped clear of the doorway expecting pistol fire. There was none. He peered over his shoulder into the apartment but saw no one. Then he stood in the doorway and inspected the apartment but saw no one still. He heard faint breathing. He grabbed the door with both hands and slammed it hard against the adjacent wall. George fell from behind the door, blood pouring from his nose. Gonzo immediately put all his weight into a kneel and placed his knee on George’s wrist, the one that was holding the gun. Gonzo took the gun from George. “Fuckin’ pussy, you couldn’t even get a shot off.” As George squirmed in pain on the floor with a streaming nose, Gonzo stood back up and shut the front door as best he could without a functioning knob. He pulled a chair from the dining table and sat down, hovering over Thomas George’s injured body. He pointed Georges own Glock at him and commanded in a calm voice, “Take your hands from your nose” George, with eyes fixed on Lenkley did not comply. Gonzo shoved the gun into George’s face and tried again, “Take your fucking hands from your face!” George slowly lowered his hands to his chest and Gonzo swiftly kicked the bottom of his boot into George’s broken nose and continued to apply pressure. George screamed in pain but Lenkley’s leg was unnaturally strong and he could not break away. “Where is the mallet?” Gonzo asked. No answer. Gonzo stood up for more leverage and applied a cruel amount of force down on George’s nose. He was practically standing on his face now.

George yelled and groaned louder. This time he didn’t wait for Lenkley to ask again, “In the bedroom!” He cried.

“Anyone in there?” Lenkley asked.

“My wife.” George answered, choking on his own blood.

“Does she know what I look like?” Lenkley asked.

“No” George gargled out.

Lenkley took his foot off of George’s nose. “Good,” he said casually, “now without doing anything stupid, pick yourself up and go get it for me. And do not mention my name or give her any clue as to who I am. I wouldn’t want to have to hurt her to keep her quiet as well. She’s better off not knowing who busted your face. If you cooperate, that will be all I do to you.”

George weakly got to his feet with one hand nursing his nose. Blood dripped on the hallway as he staggered toward the bedroom. Gonzo sat back down, feeling that he had the situation under control but anxious to leave. He heard a female voice coming from the bedroom. George’s wife, she was crying. Gonzo leaned back comfortably in the chair, feeling the gun secured in his jeans behind him and feeling weight of Thomas George’s Glock as he kept it pointed toward the hallway. He rubbed the ball of his thumb into the thumb groove of the gun’s handle. ‘Humans sure do make it comfortable to kill each other’ he mused to himself. He heard George’s voice, “Everything will be fine I promise, please whatever you do, don’t come out of this bedroom!” Gonzo leaned over and saw the broken George shut the door and hobble back toward the dining room, mallet in hand.

“That was some good advice you gave your wife just now.” Gonzo commented. “And you’re right , everything will be fine as long as you follow my simple instructions.” Gonzo felt that he had broken George’s spirit thoroughly enough that he would obey his commands from here on out. Gonzo was in control now. “Now slowly hand me the mallet.” he ordered.

George hesitated then spoke up, “If I give you the mallet how can I be sure that you won’t just beat my brains in with it?” His speech was slurred by flowing blood and a now obvious fat lip.

“George, if I wanted to kill you I would have done it already.” Thomas George still stood silent, unconvinced. “Fuck, ok fine.” Gonzo harrumphed and sat back down and put George’s Glock on the table. Then he spread his hands in front of him, palms up and asked, “Fair now?”

George eyed him suspiciously and queried, “What about the one in the back of your pants?”

Gonzo grew frustrated at this. He disdained the thought of negotiating with such an idiotic and cowardly human. “For fuck’s sake,” Gonzo exclaimed “how about the knife in my pocket, you want that too?” Then Gonzo had a notion, a surefire way to keep George’s mouth shut about all of this. What better way to scare George into submission, compliance, and subservience than to show him what he tried to keep hidden all along? It was so simple. It was right in front of him the whole time. Gonzo stood up, pulled the pocket knife from his pocket, flipped it open and proceeded to cut a deep gash into the front of his thigh. George looked at the masochistic spectacle , bewildered. Blood quickly poured down Lenkley’s jeans and onto the floor- only it was super dark blood. George focused on the pool of it now formed at Lenkley’s feet, it was pitch-black. His busted lip cringed as he saw that thick bubbles were rising up in the pool of black blood. It was boiling. “Neat trick, huh?” Gonzo joked.

George looked up, horrified by what he was seeing. He looked into Lenkley’s eyes and saw that his pupils were slowly dilating. The black got bigger and bigger until they enveloped the entire iris and he was staring into a pair of impossibly deep, black eyes. Eyes that seemed to have unlimited depth. He almost thought he could stare into them and see into some other world. “Wh- What the hell are you?” George stammered out.

“I’m a beast Thomas. A beast that will live on long after you are dead. Now whether that event comes soon or a long way down the road is entirely up to you. You can choose to cooperate and obey my simple instructions and live to raise that little boy of yours and bang that wife of yours. All I ask is that you keep your mouth shut about all of this; the mallet, our pleasant little visit here, everything, all of it. Or you can run your mouth and meet your end early and most unnaturally. To be honest, I don’t care too much,” Gonzo lied, “either way I will keep living, but I like to keep a low profile, get me?” George nodded. “Now give me the mallet.” George stood motionless for a moment, weighing his options. He knew he was defeated, but sometimes when an animal is backed into a corner and defeated, it does something drastic.

George slowly raised the mallet, yielding it to Lenkley and Lenkley reached for it, George tightened his grasp on it, pulled it away quickly and swiped at Lenkley’s head with it. George made clean contact. The impact rattled his entire arm. Lenkley was sent reeling to the ground and George reached for his Glock still lying on the table where he and his wife shared meals. He grasped it but immediately felt Lenkley’s shoulder plow into his knees. George fell flat on his back but with gun in hand. He felt Lenkley’s muscular body climbing on top of his, mounting him. George swiped at Lenkley’s head again with the mallet but missed and Gonzo collapsed himself on George’s folded arm. With his free arm Gonzo restrained the hand that George was using to hold the gun. Gonzo was laying all his weight on George’s folded arm and chest. The two were face to face. George looked fearfully into Lenkley’s eyes, still midnight black. Their foreheads and the tips of theor noses were touching as they struggled. Gonzo was snarling, growling and snapping his jaws at George’s face like a beast. Then Gonzo finally caught some flesh in his jaws. He bit and clamped onto the tip of George’s nose and tore the thick flesh off with a snap of his neck. George screamed in pain and Gonzo took the opportunity while George lost focus and pounced on his arm and the gun. He tried to rend the gun from George’s hand but he was clenching onto it for dear life. Gonzo couldn’t break his grip so he leaned his knee into George’s arm and with his free hand, he yanked the mallet from George’s unsuspecting hand. He raised the mallet high while still restraining George’s gunned hand with his left hand and knee, and sent it slamming down into George’s shoulder. George screamed. Gonzo raised it again and drove it down into George’s shoulder but he still gripped the gun. “Now you’re showing some fortitude?” Lenkley asked incredulously. A third time, then a fourth, then finally on the fifth hammer stroke George gave up and let go of the gun. He rolled over, utterly defeated and in unimaginable pain. Gonzo seized the gun and stood over George’s body. He produced the knife once again and stabbed George in both calves. He put his hand over George’s mouth as he screamed. “Okay, you want to do it this way?” Gonzo steamed. He dragged George by his now busted arm to the hallway. He left him there on the floor and pulled out both guns. He pointed one to the closed door of the bedroom where his wife was, and the other at the door of the nursery where his son lay.

“Pleas, god no!” George cried. Gonzo cocked both pistols. “I won’t say a word, I swear on my life!”

Gonzo slowly turned his head to George, bloodied and beaten on the floor. He was reminded of Omar Ramos after he had destroyed his face and again after he had sawed his throat open. Gonzo’s pants grew tighter as he felt a rigid erection surging in his crotch. He was poised to take two lives at once and he had already beaten half the life out of a full-grown man already. He was in heaven. “You do swear on your life don’t you?” Gonzo said in a low voice.

“Yes, for god’s sake yes! I won’t say a word just leave them be and go.”

Gonzo stood with guns pointed at the doors, contemplating. His palms were sweating, in fact his entire body was being coated in sweat. He tightened his grip around both triggers. Then finally…he relented. He dropped both arms to his sides and took a deep breath. His reasonable thoughts had prevailed. He walked toward George still writhing on the ground and knelt. He tapped the barrel of George’s Glock on his forehead as if chastising a naughty child. “Not a fucking word of this, got it?” Gonzo ordered.

“Got it” George answered weakly.

Gonzo dug the tip of the Glock’s barrel deep into George’s temple and snarled violently, “Got it?!”

“Yes, got it, fuck!” George yelled like an infantry cadet.

Gonzo stood up, “Good” he sighed. “Tell the chief you got into a bad bar fight, you’ll get workman’s comp er some shit.” Gonzo stepped over George’s body and headed for the front door. As he stood in front of it with hand out, he thought, ‘Ah shit, no one’ll believe that…fuck it.’ He swung back around, pulled the Glock and sunk three rounds into George’s chest, killing him. With erection still pulsing, Gonzo stood over his kill. Then he heard the bedroom door open. A woman’s face poked out into the hallway. She caught sight of Gonzo’s face, then saw her husband’s lifeless body on the ground. She broke down in a sob and lurched to her husband’s corpse, collapsing on top of it.

“Hey” Gonzo gently called. No response. The woman kept her face down on her husband’s battered chest. A little louder but still rather gently, “Hey!” The woman looked up at Gonzo. “You should have listened to your husband.” He raised his pistol and put one right between her eyes. Her limp body fell atop her deceased husband’s. Gonzo let out a deep, labored breath and scratched his head with the smoking barrel of his gun. He turned toward the door when he heard another noise. Crying. He was hearing the cries of a baby awoken from sleep. Then he remembered, ‘The son.’ He stepped over the two newly lifeless bodies and went down the short hall. He opened the door to the nursery and the screams became louder. Stepping slowly towards the crib, Gonzo realized he never had any interaction with infants. He peered down into the crib, gun in hand. He was now face to face with something completely alien to him: an unassuming, innocent, human life. Gonzo marveled at the tiny human being for a while, still screaming it’s head off. ‘A human’ he thought, ‘yet uncorrupted, innocent. But destined for filth and desecration.’ He put the barrel of his gun up to the infant’s face. Little Riley held the steel of the weapon with both hands and stopped crying. “You like that? You like the smell of gun smoke?” Gonzo whispered in a baby voice. He gently cocked the gun, the pulled it away. He retrieved the mallet from the dining room and placed it in baby Riley’s crib. “I’ll see you in one way or another, at some time or other little one.” He walked out of the apartment, closed the door behind him, crossed the quiet street, and plopped into his car. He started the engine, gave a self-satisfied smile and whistled the tune to “On the Road Again.”

Gonzo Part 8

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.

“Hello, Lenkley?”

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.

Gonzo Part 7

It was 11:15 P.M. and Detective Isaias and Sheriff Lenkley were tying one on at a local dive bar called The Blue Bull. Lenkley knew the place because he passed it everyday on the way to work but he never went in- Gonzo didn’t know what kind of effect alcohol would have on him. It had quite an effect on Isaias apparently however, as the detective was getting sloppy and loose-tongued. After three shots of tequila and two beers he might as well have been an open book.

“I’m Mexican, I take my tequila like water!” He exclaimed loudly at one inebriated point of the night. His accent was becoming more apparent with every drink and every word. Apparently he stifled it on a regular basis, but it was coming out now. “You know, I don’t mean to offend you, but I really can’t stand this city. I mean, I don’t know how people live here, there’s nothing going on, there’s nothing around, there’s nothing to do!” Isaias sloppily stated.

Lenkley responded, “None taken, doesn’t matter to me what piece of earth you insult. All the same to me, but I kinda like it here.” Gonzo had baby-sat one beer the entire two hours they were at The Blue Bull. It didn’t really do anything for him but he liked how cold it was. As the detective became more uninhibited, so did Gonzo but not because he was drunk. He just knew that the detective was so drunk that he couldn’t make any sense of what was being said to him anyway. Gonzo liked this. He decided that he liked being around drunk people. It seemed to afford both the luxury of not having to be careful with what he said and…opportunity. ‘I’ll have to visit bars more often.’ he thought to himself.

“That’s good. It’s important to be comfortable to be happy in your own skin.” The detective said. He switched topics abruptly, “Do you really think there is something up at the Reynolds’ place?” he asked sternly.

Lenkley downed the last of the beer in his glass unpleasantly- it was warm now- and replied solemnly, looking straight into Isaias’ glazed-over eyes, “I really do.”

Detective leaned back slowly and replied, “To be honest, I didn’t think much of it when you mentioned it at the station, but I’m so goddamn eager to get out of this place that I’m willing to try anything.” Gonzo smirked, he knew the feeling. Isaias continued, “I like you Lenkley, you’re a little on the serious side but there’s a sincerity in you and that’s hard to find in this world.”

“You’re not bad yourself, now. At first I kinda thought you were an uptight dick.” Lenkley replied.

Isaias let out a boisterous laugh at this, pounded his fist on the bar and proclaimed, “Ok goddammit, first thing tomorrow I’m gonna do everything I can to get a search warrant from the judge. Fucking worth a shot right?” Lenkley nodded. Isaias continued in a slurred, choked-out Mexican accent, “Anything to close this fucking case- and if this actually leads to something, I will fucking owe you one.” The detective pointed a finger at Lenkley with his last statement. For some reason, Gonzo detested being pointed at.

Lenkley leaned in a bit closer to Isaias and said in a quiet voice, “Did you really not find anything at the hospital?”

“Not a damn thing. Whoever snuffed that fucker out was a real cat burglar.” Isaias answered.

Gonzo stifled a grin. “C’mon, let me give you a lift to your motel.”

Baby Riley had been crying all night and Thomas George was doing his best to pacify his infant son. He carried him in his arms, bouncing him gently as he paced the tiny living room of his apartment. He wanted more than anything to be at The Blue Bull making face-time with Detective Isaias, but he had a wife and kid to go home to. He bitterly imagined the good time Lenkley and Isaias were having while Riley screamed in his ear. George loved his son but resented the fact that Lenkley had no responsibilities that kept him from drinking all night. He was free. George kept thinking of the possibility that Lenkley was the one who committed that grizzly murder. There was no disputing the fact that Lenkley dished out a savage beating on the suspect, so who was to say that he wasn’t also capable of murdering him? Thomas George spent the rest of the night with his thoughts divided between his fatherly duties and finding a way to prove his theory.

The next morning, Lenkley found himself driving to 2154 Lavender Grove Way yet again. He had been summoned in his fourth hour of city patrol by Detective Isaias. When he pulled up to the residence he saw three police cruisers with lights flashing, blocking the street off. The detectives black Crown Vic was among them. Lenkley parked his car and stepped out. He saw Arthur Reynolds and his wife being shoved into separate squad cars, handcuffed. Lenkley found Isaias standing in the dining room of the Reynolds’ house. “I’m assuming I was right?” Lenkley said.

“Fucking right you were!” Isaias responded. Every cop in Carson City was in or around the house, milling about, trying to look busy doing this or that. “We found the murder weapon. You were right, that dog led us right to it. Reynolds buried it under the doghouse. Of course he claimed he had no idea what it was or how it got there.” Both Isaias and Lenkley laughed derisively at this.

“What was it?” Lenkley asked.

“A fucking wood file. Brutal.” Isaias answered.

“Christ.” Lenkley retorted.

“Anyway, this all seems pretty open and shut now. George has the evidence and he is prepping it for the lab as we speak. We’re gonna confirm the blood sample, I’ll be back at the station to write a report, and I should be out of here by tonight.” Isaias was beaming as he spoke, obviously elated by the turn of events. Great police work Sheriff, and listen, I was drunk last night but not that drunk, don’t think I forgot what I said about owing you one. If ever you get the itch for big-city lights and all the fine bitches you can handle, I’ll make sure there’s a place for you at Reno Sheriffs.” Isaias slapped the side of Lenkley’s arm, smiled and walked off to his cruiser. “See you in a bit!” he called back to Lenkley.

Back at the station George was preparing the murder weapon to be sent to the lab. It was an old file about a foot long. It was caked in blood and dirt. George stared at it through the big, transparent, plastic bag it was in. He couldn’t believe Lenkley cracked the case. He hated it. He hated him. As he stared at the file he noticed a faint etching on its wooden handle. George looked closer. “C-A-F” he said aloud to himself. The initials C.A.F. were etched into the wooden handle of the file as if to signify ownership. It was barely visible with all the blood and dirt however. “C-A-F” he said aloud to himself again, “who can that be?” Arthur Reynolds initials were A.R.R. It didn’t make sense, but Lenkley’s initials obviously didn’t match either. ‘Who does this file belong to?’ he asked himself. At that moment Detective Isaias burst through George’s office door.

“The transport is here, that thing ready to go?” he said, looking at the bagged-up file.

“Yeah but I found something here-”

“Don’t wanna hear about it, send that thing out now now now” Isaias interrupted, grabbing the file himself and taking it outside. George went after him but Isaias was already handing it over to the transporter charged with the task of taking the piece of evidence to the forensic lab two towns over. The van sped off and the two men stood watching it disappear in the distance.

George spoke, “Now that the case is closed, how about a victory drink on me tonight at my house?” He figured his wife would not be able to protest when he told her that he was bringing a detective from Reno home with him.

But the detective refuted, “You did good work in this case Thomas but I gotta get back to Reno. Thanks for the invite but I’m gonna have to decline.The results of the blood work, which will no doubt be a match, should get back here in a couple hours, then I’ll write the report, then I’m a ghost.”

“Then how about now. We’ll knock off for a while, they’ll call us when the results are in.” George rebutted.

“Sorry, no can do.” said Isaias, not even offering an excuse. He was already heading back into the station.

“Opportunity was slipping through George’s fingers once again and he exploded, “But you can have a drink with Lenkley!?”

Isaias turned around with a puzzled look of contempt on his face. “Don’t make this awkward George.” and he walked back into the building leaving Thomas George alone, outside.

Three hours passed before the boys at the forensics lab called the station with the results. They were conclusive, the blood on the murder weapon was that of Omar Daniel Ramos, the late home invasion suspect. “Well that’s that!” declared Isaias as he walked into the briefing room to prepare his report. They were all at the station to await the results. The chief, Lenkley, Isaias, and George. The case was all but closed. The detective had only to complete his report then he’d be off. Thomas George was melancholy. Two more hours passed and Detective Efran Isaias was done with his report. He emerged from the briefing room which was serving as his makeshift office, said his goodbyes, and shook hands with the chief, George, and finally Lenkley. “Remember my offer Lenkley, it’ll stand as long as I’m in Reno.” Isaias said as he shook Lenkley’s hand. Then he was gone. George was furious. He could only imagine what Isaias had offered Lenkley.

As Deputy George drove home that night, the letters C-A-F still haunted him. He thought as hard as he could but he couldn’t remember anyone with those initials and he knew pretty much everyone in Carson City. He passed the avenue that led to Lenkley’s weird little shack. Then it hit him. Charles Aaron Foxborough was the man who sold Lenkley that shack when he came to town. George had known the old craftsman, he hung out at the hardware store all the time. The file must have been his and by proxy, Lenkley’s. George immediately pulled a hard U-turn and headed toward Lenkley’s shack. It was time to pay Terrence Lenkley a visit at his home.

 

Gonzo Part 6

On the ride back to the station, young deputy Thomas George felt dejected and disappointed; their investigation of the hospital room turned crime scene yielded nothing. More importantly, despite his most sincere efforts, he himself was unable to find any leads and prove his worth to Detective Isaias. Isaias himself was perplexed at the crime scene. No fingerprints, no footsteps, and no one of the eight nurses and staff members on duty at the time saw or heard a thing. All there was to go on was a corpse with a jaggedly cut open neck. Whatever the murder weapon was, it wasn’t sharp. Isaias just wanted to get the case solved as soon as possible and get the hell out of Carson City and the day yielded no progress toward that end. Both Isaias and George rode back to the station in silence. Both irritated by the crime for their own separate reasons.

Gonzo knocked on the door of 2154 Lavender Grove Way at about ten A.M. Like all the other residents on that working class street, the home invasion victims were not home- working, naturally. No one answered the door so Gonzo checked in all directions around him to make sure no one was watching then he jumped the fence into their backyard. The first thing Gonzo heard on the other side of the fence was barking. He feared the worst. “Shit!” he whispered softly but emphatically and figured that they must have bought a guard dog after the home invasion. He braced himself and reached for his gun but was put at ease when he saw a Labrador Retriever eying him cautiously from around the corner of the house. It was a large dog, but after a friendly whistle and a few cajoling words from Gonzo, he was letting the intruder in uniform pet him peacefully. Gonzo looked around the backyard and saw a large plastic doghouse. He looked back down at the dog and thought to himself, ‘perfect.’ Gonzo walked over to the doghouse, turned it over and began digging in the dirt beneath it with his hands. The dog watched, apparently puzzled at the queer site of a man digging with his bare hands. After Gonzo got the hole to about a foot in depth, he stood straight, reached into his pants, and produced the bloody file he used to hack the robbers’ neck open. He placed the file in the hole, replaced the dirt on top of it and put the doghouse back in its place. The sun was beating down in full force causing Gonzo to sweat profusely after his labors. He wiped the dirt off his knees and hands. He patted the Labrador on the head, put his finger to his mouth and gave a, “Shhh” to the dog before scaling the fence and leaving.

Back at the station Deputy Thomas George was at his desk writing a brief report on the day’s events. He looked at the picture of his wife that he kept there and gave a defeated sigh as he felt his opportunity and her love slipping away. His thoughts naturally turned to Terrence Lenkley: the man who had originally stolen his opportunity. Then he thought about how bad that corpse had looked in the hospital bed. Then he thought about how bad the suspect looked before he ever got to the hospital. Lenkley had beaten the shit out of him. Supposedly because he pulled a knife on him. Now he was dead. George sat with all these ideas floating around in his head. Then, the ideas gradually started to connect to form a bigger picture. ‘What if’ the deputy mused to himself, ‘what if Lenkley killed this man to keep him quiet about brutalizing him? Maybe he didn’t even have a knife, that would give Lenkley a perfect motive.’ These were revolutionary ideas, and pure conjecture at that so George thought it best to keep them to himself for the time being, but he was tantalized and his resentment for the the man Lenkley made it all the easier for Thomas George to follow his suspicions as far as they could take him.

Lenkley made his rounds in the town for a few hours then returned to 2154 Lavender Grove Way. This time to actually get a statement. The residents were home this time. Julie and Arthur Reynolds; a married couple with no kids. Lenkley was invited in politely and he extracted a statement from the husband and wife. They thanked him for his efforts on the day of the robbery and before he left, Lenkley informed them that the suspect had been killed and that there was an ongoing investigation into his murder. The wife seemed shocked, Arthur seemed indifferent.

At the end of the day, Detective Isaias, Deputy George, and Sheriff Lenkley all convened in the briefing room to pool any information the day had yielded. There wasn’t much to speak of, but before the pow wow was adjourned Lenkley spoke up. “Look it may be nothing but I got a really odd feeling with the Reynolds while I was there getting a statement.”

“Oh yeah? How so?” Isaias replied, seemingly disinterested.

“Well for one thing their dog was going crazy over something the whole time I was there.” Lenkley continued.

“You saw their dog?” interrupted Isaias.

“Yeah I could see it through the back glass door. It was barking and sniffing at its own doghouse as if it had never seen it before.” Lenkley answered. George stood silent listening to the exchange between Isaias and Lenkley, watching them go back and forth. Felling impotent. He had nothing to bring to the table on the investigation and here was Lenkley, the inexperienced drifter he grew to resent more and more each day with what sounded like a lead. “The dog was adamant about something in or around its house the whole time I was there. I don’t know, I guess it could have been a dead lizard or something but-” Lenkley paused, letting his eyes trail off “but when I told them the suspect had been murdered, they got really…flustered. The wife got real jittery and the man’s face kinda glazed over.”

“You told them he was killed?!” Isaias asked incredulously. “Why did you do that?”

“I don’t know, I thought they deserved to know, but they didn’t react the way I expected.” Lenkley answered. Isaias sighed heavily and rubbed his temples. His mind and body were exhausted by the day.

“You shouldn’t have done that Lenkley.” He said in an almost sarcastic tone. George couldn’t stifle a smirk as he drew satisfaction from Lenkley being chastised.

“I’m sorry but like I said, I got a funny feeling. Maybe they’re worth looking into.” Lenkley said sheepishly. George never heard him speak like that before, in that tone.

“Ok I’ll see what I can do about a warrant.” Isaias replied, obviously eager to leave the station. In truth he did want to leave, but he didn’t want to go back to his cracker-box motel room. This investigation was already taking a toll on him and it looked like it would drag on longer than he planned for. As the trio exited the building and walked to their cars, the detective stopped and asked, “Any good bars around here?”

Gonzo Part 5

Deputy Thomas George was wide-eyed as he drove his Ford Explorer to the station on this particular morning. His keen state of mind was uncharacteristic since his shift started at 6 A.M. The sun was barely creeping over the foothills but he was as awake as he’d ever been. He was coming in extra early because he had received a call from the Carson City Police Chief  at about 4 A.M. telling him he had to be at the station to meet a detective from Reno. George incredulously questioned the chief as he lay in bed with the phone to his ear, still half asleep but the chief gave no details, ordered him to be at the station early to meet the detective and stated that he would be informed when he arrived. So Thomas George drove purposefully down one of the two major streets in Carson City that passed through downtown. Thomas George was from Pueblo, Colorado. A man of 29 with a wife and an infant son. He had been a deputy in his hometown of Pueblo but he ventured west when he realized that he and a pool of no less than 25 other young men were gunning for the same career spot in Pueblo: Sheriff. Pueblo is a large town, the kind of town that makes it hard for a young officer trying to make a name for himself, and Thomas George was an ambitious young man. So he packed himself and his then girlfriend up and eventually found Carson City. Carson City was so small and quiet that his experience in law enforcement in Pueblo essentially guaranteed him a nice position at the Carson Sheriff Station. Still, he was only made a deputy. A deputy under one Sheriff Lenkley. George bit his tongue when Lenkley was made sheriff. He resented it. He resented the man who replaced Sheriff White’s geriatric ass when George himself had been in Carson City much longer and had more experience. In fact Lenkley didn’t have any experience in law enforcement at all, he was just a drifter, but somehow smooth talking and charismatic. Two things that George rarely was. He resented him for taking the promise of a better life and career opportunities away from him. These were promises that kept afloat his relationship with his wife, and when Lenkley was swept into office he dashed those hopes and caused the young couple much marital discord. Thomas and Samantha George were wed one month after Thomas was hired as deputy. They were sincerely in love but drunk on the hope of a future that hinged on Thomas becoming sheriff…soon. The swift and decisive manner with which George was hired as deputy gave them every reason to believe that he was on his way up, and fast. Lenkley changed that. George still thought of the night he told Samantha that an out-of-towner named Lenkley was to be made sheriff over him. The affection that stemmed from an unconditional love for him fell from her eyes and he had seen a look on her face he had never seen before, but would grow to become painfully familiar with. It was a look of judgement and disappointment. Especially since that was the night she told him she was pregnant.

George pulled up to the station and saw an immaculate, blacked-out Crown Vic in the parking lot. ‘That’s gottta be him’ he thought to himself. When he walked into the small debriefing room he saw the chief, Lenkley, and the man who must have been the detective. The three of them were speaking quietly and seemed to be wrapping up business when they noticed him. “George, this is special Detective Isaias, the Reno man I told you about.” the chief said. The two shook hands. “Pleasure to meet you, but what’s going on?” asked George. The Chief began to explain but the tall and evidently Hispanic Isaias interrupted him. “A suspect in a recent home invasion case was murdered last night.” The room fell silent. There hadn’t been a homicide in Carson City since George had lived and worked there. “The one from Thursday? The one in the coma? How!? He was in a damn hospital!” George said incredulously. “Someone snuck into his hospital room at around 12:30 last night and cut his throat open, he was still in a coma” detective Isaias answered and handed George a couple glossy photos. The robber lay in his bed, covered from the chest down in blood. His neck had been jaggedly cut open and all manner of blood and innards were spilled out onto his chest. It looked like his neck was making a long, devilish, Joker’s smile. George thought it serendipity that he had no time for breakfast; for he surely would have lost it upon seeing those pictures. “I’ve only done a quick survey of the hospital room but there are no obvious signs of a break-in so far. I will be leading this investigation from here on with Sheriff Lenkley assisting directly under me. I will need your help in this investigation deputy.” The detective looked straight into George’s eyes and spoke clearly and concisely. “I will need your familiarity with the town and its residents.” The detective continued, “You think you can help me?” He spoke to George in the same manner that an adult speaks to a child; Thomas George didn’t notice it because he was in a horrified stupor but he snapped out of it at the detective’s question. A big city detective was asking for his help in solving a murder. Maybe this was his opportunity. “I surely c-can!” George stammered in response. The detective cracked an endeared smile and Lenkley and the chief shared a derisive chuckle. Thomas George was never good in big moments. “Don’t worry,” the chief patted Detective Isaias’ shoulder, “he’s a little wiry but he’s a damn good deputy.” George was embarrassed and irked, he hated being talked down to, ‘especially by people in this goddam town.’ “I’m gonna go get a statement from the home invasion victims.” Lenkley declared. He seemed at ease, leaning his ass against a desk, staring downward with his arms crossed over his chest the whole time. “Ok, the deputy and I are gonna go back to the hospital to follow up and probe the scene a bit more” the detective said. “Alright, go get ’em boys!” the chief exclaimed, and they were off.

Deputy George rode with Detective Isaias in his specially outfitted Crown Victoria. “How long have you been with Carson City Sheriff?” The detective made conversation. “About five years. My wife and I came here from Colorado when I was 24.” Thomas answered. He let some quiet air pass between them before he found the wording to ask the question he had on his mind. “No offense, but why did Reno send you? Is this case expected to be a complicated one?” The detective laughed behind his mirrored aviator sunglasses, never taking his eyes off the road. It was now 7 A.M. and the sun was already beaming strong. It was going to be another sweltering day. “No not particularly. At least I hope not. To be honest the only reason they sent me is because the deceased perp was wanted for grand larceny after making off with 3,000$ worth of chips at a casino in Reno.” Isaias paused. “And they just wanted me to tie up the loose ends and close the case on this…unfortunate asshole.” He paused again, “and they wanted to make sure someone does a decent job of it all. Mind you I don’t share their opinion, I’m sure you guys are capable of doing a fucking bang-up job and frankly, I don’t want to be here any more than you guys want me here.” that last part was actually true. Detective Efran Isaias resented the fact that the higher-ups sent him to this ‘fucking hick-town.’ He hated small towns like Carson City and wanted to nail the culprit and get back to Reno as soon as possible. “Still, there seemed to be little to go on when I saw the hospital room earlier” the detective continued “That’s why we’re going back there. I need your fresh eyes. Maybe you’ll see something I didn’t.” George nodded excitedly at this. He felt like the detective was patronizing him with that last statement but he didn’t care, he was determined to find something and show his worth to the big-city detective.

On the other side of the town Gonzo stood atop the butte he visited often and was laughing like a jackal. He looked down at loathsome Carson City and doubled over in laughter at it. He didn’t know why, but all he could do was laugh, and he was cackling like a fresh lobotomy patient at the circus. He hadn’t felt this good since…well since he killed that hobo in Barstow or when he first escaped. He lit a cigarette and hiked down the hill, still chuckling to himself. It had been about two hours since he left the station. He was supposed to be getting a statement  from the robbery victims but he felt to good to be doing any work. He felt no presence of Lenkley in him. Things were easy and his plan for continued freedom was in motion. Less than 24 hours ago he was in a literal bloody mess. Anxious and feeling out of control, he felt like Lenkley would pull hard enough to rid himself of his unholy invader at any moment, but that was before he took down a mountain lion that had to have weighed at least 120 lbs and then crushed its bones with a blunt mallet. Then calm returned to him; clarity, then finally, inspiration. At present he felt like a million bucks despite the fact that it was 75 degrees at nine in the morning. He climbed back into his cruiser unable to wipe the smile from his face and headed towards his home. Once there he retrieved the old woodworkers filing tool, caked in blood. Back in his cruiser he headed toward 2154 Lavender Grove Way. It was time for the second phase of his plan.

Gonzo Part 4

Gonzo stood before his mirrored medicine cabinet in the bathroom of his one bedroom shack. It was an old woodworkers shack that stood between the hilly outskirts of town and the outermost ramshackle tenements and meth-houses of Carson City. The old owner had outfitted it with a bathroom as he spent most of his time working there, away from a wife he grew to resent more and more each day. By the time Gonzo drifted into town the man was too old to be doing much woodworking with his feebled arthritic hands and Gonzo spotted the solitary shack on one of his initial surveyances of Carson City from his sanctuary butte. After a few inquiries around town, he was soon afforded an audience with the old craftsman who owned it. Without much fuss (Gonzo’s preferred method of operation) or cost, the shack shifted ownership to Terrance Lenkley. It was perfect. Far enough from the few meager lights and goings on of Carson City, and close enough to the foothills and wildlife that Gonzo loved to hunt and slaughter. Only now, Gonzo figured, he’d have to find another tool to gut coyotes and wild boars since he planted his knife on the man he apprehended and beat to a bloody pulp as evidence. The old shack was strewn with all manner of viable replacements however, so Gonzo was not too worried.

At present he stood, carefully threading a needle through the flesh just above his eyebrow. He had already stitched up his thigh and was now intently staring at his wounded forehead in the mirror in an attempt to close the wound up. If he could have his own way, Gonzo would simply let the wounds fester and close up on their own, but he knew he would never hear the end of it at the station or around town. So there he was, sewing, ‘like a damn pansy’ he thought to himself, thoughtlessly piercing flesh over and over with a long needle and pulling the wound shut tight as he went. It was a good job, Gonzo figured, one that was obviously done without the assistance of a doctor, but also one that would satiate any concerns of the townspeople. Namely, Thomas George, the deputy. The lovely pain of stitching his own skin up without any numbing agents was an adequate but transitory distraction from wondering if the deputy believed his story or not. It weighed on Gonzo’s consciousness from the moment he drove away from that bloody scene to his office to fill out all that damnable paperwork. Gonzo had always been perplexed by the insatiable compulsion that humans had of documenting everything. At any rate, the situation oppressed him even as he arrived at his minimalist quarters. When he did arrive home, he popped a cigarette in his mouth, lit up, and immediately began perforating his skin with needle and thread. But now he was done with that and had to convince himself one way or the other that no one would suspect that the sheriff mercilessly and savagely brutalized an unarmed culprit into unconsciousness. Unconsciousness. “Awww shit!” Gonzo shouted as it just occurred to him that the criminal would sooner or later come to and be able to tell his own side of the story. This realization sent Gonzo into a frenzy and he began hurling Lenkley’s body all around the tiny bathroom. Smashing the mirror, punching a hole in the shoddy drywall, howling like a wolf all the while. He thrashed about and slammed himself against the wall of his adjoining bedroom. He stopped and slid down the now dented wall into a seated position. He perched another Red between his lips and torched it. He drew the toxic smoke as deep into Lenkley’s lungs as he possibly could and held it there until his eyes reddened and he let out a long dragon’s breath. Of course, it would be a criminal’s word against the sheriff’s but it would only serve to cultivate the seeds of suspicion that may already be planted in Deputy Thomas George’s mind. As he sat on the dingy carpet floor of his little isolated shack, forearms resting on raised knees, it occurred to Gonzo that he may have to take another life. The life of a criminal who will no doubt give a very different account of what went down that day.

Gonzo never knew anything about death except that it relieved him immensely to take a life. He had never been alive so he could never have died. Though, he figured, it must be a terrifying experience as he recalled the eyes of the transient he choked to death with his bare hands in Barstow. He never took his own eyes off of the old hobo’s and they seemed to beam out a primal pleading. A bare bones, desperate begging that masked the basest of black fears. The kind of stare that was indicative of only the most extreme poles of human awareness. The kind of stare Gonzo would never forget. Though he had a front row seat to it in the past, he never understood it. He had no idea what it was like for Lenkley or where Lenkley even was. He considered that Lenkley was conscious in his own body somewhere but unable to gain any control. This seemed most likely since Gonzo could feel something tugging at him and vying for control more and more recently. That possibility frightened Gonzo. What would happen to him if Lenkley ever fought hard enough to gain control? It couldn’t be pretty. Maybe Lenkley’s soul had taken Gonzo’s place in hell. Or maybe he was in some kind of limbo being tortured as a soul with no home.These were all thoughts that raced through Gonzo’s consciousness by way of Lenkley’s brain. A seized puppet brain. The fact that Gonzo was even pondering such things caused him great concern because he knew that if he had thorough control, these thoughts would not be worth thinking.

Gonzo’s panic ceased for a moment. All this thought about killing and death had stirred something up in his gullet. A stony expression glazed over Gonzo’s face and he reached under his bed and pulled out the lock box that contained his model 84 Kimber rifle. He slung the ever-loaded rifle over his shoulder and scanned the room for a moment. He walked over to an old cabinet that the elderly craftsman had left there. He knelt down, and opened it up to find a plethora of old rusted tools. Gonzo felt an erection tighten his trousers and he couldn’t refrain from licking his lips. He was like a kid looking under the tree on christmas morning. Finally he settled on a sharp filing tool about a forearm in length, and a dirty handheld mallet. He stood up and tucked both items into the waist of his olive green police uniform trousers and walked out into the Carson City darkness. He stood for a moment breathing in the cold, thin, air, savoring it in his nostrils. “Happy hunting” he whispered to himself.

Gonzo Part 3

Gonzo dragged Lenkley’s body through every obstacle the home invader threw at them. First was a 5-foot brick wall that led to a residential side-yard. Second was an 8-foot wooden fence that landed them in someone’s back yard, and this someone had a big chained up dog. A large, barking doberman whose throaty yelps produced an initially high-pitched scrape, then a low-pitched boom. It seemed to Gonzo that he was running through this back yard forever and the barking pierced him and threw him into a frenzy. Much like the siren of his squad car. All he wanted to do now was collapse on the ground and breathe, but he saw the culprit less than 30 feet away, running through yet another narrow side-yard and onto the open street. Gonzo pulled himself together and proceeded the chase. The suspect was sprinting like an Olympic track star down a residential street parallel to Lavender Grove Way toward an adjoining main street with a strip mall at the corner. If the suspect was running at the speed of an Olympian, then Gonzo was running at the pace of a madman who just escaped from an asylum…this, ironically was not far from the truth. Gonzo soon caught up with him near the grocery store in the plaza. He made a final desperate lunge at the criminal, like a rabid dog wild-eyed and practically foaming at the mouth. This was Gonzo’s final trump card so he hoped like hell that he could make it far enough to tackle the perpetrator. It was a final gamble he had to take.

It paid off. Gonzo was now atop the stunned and exhausted criminal in a lonely alley beside the scarcely patronized grocery store. Gonzo found himself in a peculiar position. Lenkley’s body was emitting large quantities of adrenaline for Gonzo to feed on. This coupled with Gonzo’s now familiar spirit of panic and confusion caused him to finally snap. Gonzo went snow blind, he no longer believed that he was on earth inside his host, he felt like he was back in the place he had escaped. He was thrashing and growling like a wild beast.

All the while Gonzo was enthralled in this personality and location crisis, he was unaware of what his earthly man-host’s body was doing. Sheriff Terrance Lenkley’s six foot 215 lb frame sat straddled on top of the defenseless home invader , and was mercilessly pummeling him with bare fists. He was swinging in a frenzied panic while blow after blow of brutal pugilism landed. Gonzo attacked and snarled with the craze of a mother gorilla killing a cheetah that tried to make off with one of her young. Lenkley’s fists moved in synchronized hay-making strides, each one recoiling covered in the perpetrator turned victim’s blood. Each bash broke the burglars face until all that was left was a bloody, pulvarized, hamburger patty in the shape of a human face.

Gonzo’s thrusts on the tenderized cranium that lay before him began to weaken and slowed to an eventual halt. He was back. Here, on the earthly plain of humanity. Breathing heavily but thinking in a calmer mode he thought ‘Was I really gone?’ He felt strangely satiated as he saw Lenkley’s bloodied lacerated hands. That’s when he realized that he had never left.

‘What the fuck did Lenkley do? What the fuck did I do?!’

He stood up and it all came rushing back to him. He recognized the clothes of the man he was standing over. He had been chasing this criminal, and he had been wailing on his face until it was unrecognizable. It all happened too quickly to realize and was veiled in a haze of feral brutality that completely clouded consciousness. Nonetheless, Gonzo snapped and lost all cool.

Gonzo produced a knife that he always kept in his sock (mainly to keep it handy should the urge to slice the flesh of some livestock ever become too strong to resist) and planted it in the hand of the man that lay bleeding and gasping for air on the floor. Then, he called for an ambulance. ‘I have to get my story straight’ he feverishly thought to himself. Then he picked up the knife and gave himself a few deep cuts on his brow, arms, thigh and torso. He wiped the handle of the 5 inch fixed blade knife on his pants so as to wipe away any evidence that he himself had ever handled it and put it back in the limp hand of the suspect who now appeared to be unconscious. Gonzo plopped  down on the floor, sat up against the wall of the alley whose inanimate concrete structure was the only witness to the savage scene that had just taken place, and waited.

“What a horrible fucking mess. I blew it.” He muttered to himself. Then in a frustrated rage he yelled out, “I can’t go back! I won’t!”

The ambulance arrived and so did the deputy. As the paramedics lifted the unconscious body of the home invader onto the stretcher, Gonzo could see the look of disgust that contorted their faces as they observed the awful, bloody condition of the man’s face. One paramedic who was not tending to the criminal stepped up to Sheriff Lenkley and looked him over. “You should probably come with us too Sheriff, so we can look at those cuts.”

“No, no I’m fine, they’re just skin deep. I’ll be fine, trust me.”

“Some of them seem to be bleeding pretty profusely” the young paramedic remarked pointing at the Sheriff’s left brow and thigh that each produced a thick, velvet-colored flow of blood. “At least let us clean and dress them.”

“Trust me, I insist, I’m fine. I can take care of this stuff on my own.” Lenkley replied. Gonzo was faintly aware that somehow, some people- he didn’t know whether they were doctors, paramedics, nurses, forensic experts, or whatever-could tell when wounds are self-inflicted. He was not taking any chances. The paramedic shrugged and jumped in the back of the ambulance with his colleagues who had already loaded the destroyed culprit and were tending to him. The only person who remained was the deputy, Thomas George. “You sure your ok?” The deputy asked Lenkley.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Lenkley replied, still exasperated. He stood there with his hands on his hips, breathing harder than he really needed to so as to buy himself time. He felt the deputy’s eyes looking him up and down and could feel that he was waiting for an explanation, or at least an entertaining story. Gonzo sensed no suspicion from the deputy, but neither did he sense a convincing amount of trust from Deputy George. Gonzo thought quickly and haphazardly fed a story of criminal violence and self-defense to the deputy who simply nodded his head in apparent belief.

Gonzo Part 2

After departing from the liquor store, sheriff Lenkley got into his ’82 Caprice cruiser and drove off on his usual route. It was an unusually hot day, and it seemed that it would only get hotter since it was only 10 A.M. Sheriff Lenkley wiped the sweat off his brow and fidgeted in the drivers seat of his cruiser. He felt uneasy. Gonzo felt like the sun itself was trying to purge him out of his earthly host. The feeling soon became too intense for Gonzo to pacify with logical excuses so he drove up to a butte on the border of the town and hiked up to the top where it plateaued. This spot was the first place of Carson City Gonzo had ever chanced upon. This is where Gonzo-some amount of months ago, for the life of him he could not remember, he couldn’t make heads or tails of time since he’d escaped for some reason-looked down on Carson City for the first time on a clear night and saw their few meager lights. He could see the entire city in one frame of view. This is where Gonzo decided Carson City would be perfect for him.

At present however, this mesa served as a sanctuary for Gonzo as opposed to an observatory. He squatted beneath an emaciated wormwood tree to catch some shade and pulled his cigarette pack out of his pocket. There, in that position he smoked half a pack feverishly and pondered. ‘Why am I feeling so shitty?’ he thought to himself. And as the nicotine smoke occupied and toxified Lenkley’s lungs, Gonzo felt calmer. He sat there for over two hours which was longer than he had ever stayed put in one place since he’d escaped, and brushed off his previous feelings of panic. ‘Probably just a little fit this body was having, nothing to worry about.’ When Gonzo was satisfied with his conclusion he traversed down the hill and returned to his lonely cruiser. He drove off and left those anxious feelings, and a big cloud of kicked-up dirt and dust, behind.

The afternoon carried on uneventfully for a few hours as it usually did. For the first time Gonzo felt the hours move sluggishly by and wished that his shift would be over. “What a slow day” he said aloud to himself. He was driving blithely all around town, stopping a few times to make face-time with a few key residents. That was when he got the call. A dispatcher was calmly reporting a home invasion over his radio.

“2154 Lavender Grove Way.” The voice on the radio submitted an address that Gonzo knew. Throughout his hours of patrolling Carson City he remarked on how most of its street names were inaccurately titled. If one were to name “Lavender Grove Way” based on the true merits of its appearance, it would more likely be called “Dust-Beaten Track Home Way.” Moreover, there was not a lavender flower in sight, much less a grove of them.

He radioed back, “10-4 unit 501 responding, I’m on it.” There were only two patrol cars on duty at any one time in Carson City and on this shift, Gonzo drove one of them. The other was being piloted by the deputy and after hearing sheriff Lenkley’s response to the call he probably wouldn’t bother driving across town to assist Lenkley. Lenkley never called for backup, never needed it. The deputy thought that odd at first but figured “to each his own.” Such was the zeitgeist of Carson City. Hell, it could have been painted on the welcome sign on the highway at the city limit. “Welcome to Carson City, the ‘To Each His Own’ City.” Thus, the deputy learned not to interfere much.

Lavender Grove Way was a community of middle-class track homes which also happened to be the newest homes built in Carson. This wasn’t saying much however as the title of “newest homes built in Carson City” still came with an age of about 45 years. It’s homes were weathered but maintained still better than any other residential structure in the city. It was a little street that stuck out like a sore thumb among the other shacks that made up the homestead of Carson. Lenkley raced through the residential streets on his way to Lavender Grove. He knew all the best backstreet ways to get there. The drive was intense. Lenkley’s body was sweating profusely. Gonzo turned his siren on. He gripped the steering wheel as though he were hanging by his hands off the edge of a 50 story building and the steering wheel of his police cruiser was the only thing saving him from a death plunge. At this moment the uneasiness and panic he felt before intensified tenfold and sheriff Lenkley was driving, feeling, and looking like a madman. Thoughts raced so quickly that they welded together to form an incoherent mutant of a mind inside Lenkley’s head. The only recognizable impulse that remained was the memory of how to get to 2154 Lavender Grove Way. The siren was driving Gonzo insane, every high pitched climax it produced pierced his every being. It was soon to much to bear, so with teeth clenched and shaking hands, he shut it off.

He finally arrived at the house and came to a skidding, crooked stop barely parallel to the curb and ran through the opened front door of 2154 Lavender Grove Way. “Sheriff!” he screamed with gun drawn. He lurched through the tiny foyer and saw a woman crying on the floor atop folded legs in the living room.

She pointed and stuttered out “He ran down the street!” That was all she said, and Sheriff Lenkley bolted back out the door and into his cruiser. He raced in the direction the victimized woman indicated, scanning wildly for the burglar. He caught a glimpse of the criminal hurdling a fence into someone’s side-yard. Lenkley brought the cruiser to another screeching halt and continued the pursuit on foot, at this point Gonzo couldn’t tell who was reacting…was it himself, or was it Terrance Lenkley?

Gonzo Part 1

“Hey there sheriff, reds again today? You know you should quit, these are probably the worst for you.”

The owner of the liquor store remarked to the newly appointed sheriff as he did almost every morning since he became sheriff. The store owners name was Mark Clemenych and he was a 3rd generation Polish man in his late 50’s who opened his liquor store there in Carson City, Nevada with the aid of a small business loan. Mark thought it odd and a little grotesque that the new sheriff was the only working man in town that didn’t start his day with coffee, instead the sheriff opted to jump start his morning with 2 packs of Marlboro Reds. Even stranger was the fact that he would smoke down near half a pack right there in the store during conversation with mark. It was a luxury Mr. Clemenyche afforded only to the sheriff, what with him being the sheriff and all.

‘I’ll let it slide for him’ he thought, as he would never let anyone else smoke inside his store. ‘Must be a stressful job’ he thought to himself, ‘he needs it. He needs it, he’s friendly enough anyhow.’

“Thanks Mark, gotta go make some rounds.” the sheriff exclaimed as he exited the store.

“Goodbye Sheriff Lenkley” Mark beamed back. He was always somewhat relieved to see that chimney of a man leave his store, not because he didn’t like him, he just didn’t want many other patrons to see the liberty he afforded to Sheriff Lenkley and not to them.

Gonzo had not been in town 2 months when he saw that there was a sheriff position that needed to be filled. ‘Best gig so far’ he thought to himself. So by means of some very slick words , quick-witted speeches, and always cool public appearances, Terrance Lenkley was elected the new sheriff of Carson City. The previous sheriff had retired. The mayor of Carson thought it unusual, when reviewing Terrance Lenkley’s public record, that it seemed that Terrance was a drifter. He drifted from town to town in California and Nevada, never staying more than 5 months in any one place. Nonetheless, the new sheriff boasted an immaculate record in all of the small towns he lived in. That was another thing that struck the mayor queer; Lenkley only settled in rural, small towns, yet at the same time he thought that queer he also figured that for the same reason, Lenkley was best suited for the job since he would be well aware of how small towns like Carson work. Thus, Gonzo and Lenkley were swept into office.

Gonzo couldn’t tell how long ago he had escaped, but he soon found a suitable home in Terrance Lenkley. Well not so much suitable as he was the first human he found. Nevertheless he was perfect. Lenkley had no friends or family, and lived alone in Los Angeles, perhaps the most anonymous city in the world. He was quiet and that was just what Gonzo wanted to be, quiet. Make no waves, cause no ruckus, that was Gonzo’s M.O. Lenkley didn’t travel much, that is, until Gonzo found him. After the two became one they embarked on a city to city tour that found them now as sheriff of Carson City. Along the way Gonzo quietly and intelligently sated his demonic urges by cutting the throats of a few pigs here and there or burning down an old abandoned farm, or one time in Barstow, killing an old hobo. Still he had managed to make no waves. He was doing well thus far. He was confident that as long as he stayed the course, he would never have to go back.