The Imposition of Darkness

There was a day that I sat down with whom I would consider one of my best friends. This friend of mine was always pretty cavalier about recreational drug use, but kept it light. Then there came a time when I noticed his casual drug intake was trending upward. It was around this time that I got to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with him. Just the two of us.

The conversation began slow. He and I were sitting in such a way that I could only see the side of his face; his profile. He would only turn to face me when he was talking about something that was particularly pertinent.

So at one point, he turned to me and said, “I think I saw the devil.” After asking incredulous and rhetorical questions, I just let him speak.

“It was about a month ago. I was passed out on the couch and woke up in the middle of the night. As soon as I opened my eyes, I knew I was being watched. I didn’t think, I knew. I looked around the room. It was dark but then I saw something darker than the normal nighttime darkness of my living room. It was about the size and shape of a man. I just lay there, staring back at it. I mean, it didn’t have eyes, but I was just staring into it.” He paused here. “It scared me a lot. I mean I know I had a lot to drink, but I’m telling you, I was certain in that moment that what I was seeing wasn’t just my imagination or some hallucination.”

“So I’m staring back at him and then it starts to move closer to me. I don’t know how, but I knew it would do no good for me to try to move or run away from it. I just sort of let it get closer to me. It’s getting closer and it’s just…expanding. It’s darkness I mean, it just starts enveloping the whole room. Then, just before all I can see is the darkness of this thing, it stops so that from the fringes of my sight, I could still see some of the wall and the ceiling and shit. He-he, it, if there is an omniscient being like the devil, I doubt it has a gender-anyway he just stays there so that he is almost all I could see. It doesn’t move any closer. And I can do nothing but lie there and stare at his darkness.

“It never moved again. It just stood there over me as I’m splayed out on the couch. After a while it becomes apparent that nothing is going to happen and there was nothing to do but lay my head down, close my eyes and go back to sleep. And that’s what I did.”

“Jesus, I’m surprised you were even able to go back to sleep. I would have been scared shitless.”

“That’s the weird thing,” he started again, “I was scared but somehow I knew that the only thing to do in that situation was go back to sleep.”

“And you’re positive it wasn’t just a dream?” I asked.

He turned his face away from mine and explained, “I wasn’t so sure at first, but I’ve only told you the half of it. I would have been able to shrug it off as a dream if I weren’t still seeing him.” I stayed silent. “The next morning I woke up and the blackness was gone. Everything in the room was normal. But then I started noticing something: if ever I let my eyes focus on anything for a little while, any time I am at rest, left to my own devices and the silence of my mind, I see him. A blackness not so imposing or large as that night but it’s surely there. A spot of darkness behind everything I see. If I sit and stare long enough, he gets bigger.”

He turned his face back toward me and gazed in my direction intently for a few seconds. I couldn’t resist to ask the obvious question, even though I was frightened to hear the answer and I’m sure he was hesitant to tell me, “Do you see him now?” He maintained eye contact with me and said, “Yes.”

“What does he look like?”

“Like nothing. Like blackness; shapeless but deep blackness.” He broke eye contact with me and looked back in the direction he was sitting, perpendicular to me. “Sometimes I can’t even say that I physically see him, but his impression is there and I’m certain of it. I actually wish I saw him every time because it’s when I can’t see him that is most distressing. I know he’s there whether I can see him or not.”

A better man might know what to say to a loved one that just told him that he sees the devil on a regular basis, but I was at a loss. I’ve heard ghost stories before but nothing like this coming from someone I would consider a very reasonable man, someone that I trusted and frankly, loved.

Indeed, what is there to say? But this is what I ventured: “I can’t imagine how you’ve been dealing with that. But I gotta say, I’ve noticed you’ve kicked it up a notch with the pills and booze.”

He looked back at me and said, “If I focus on anything for too long, in other words, if I’m not distracted, he gets bigger. So, I keep myself distracted.”

“And that helps?” I inquired.

“It does,” he said calmly, “but it use to help me a lot more than it does now. It’s getting worse. It’s getting closer to me. I don’t just see him, he’s in my mind and I can almost feel his weight bearing down on my body. I know I’m not going to be hurt but I know something else, I can just feel it.”

“What?” I asked.

He called me by name and answered, “Somehow, some way, he’s coming for me.”

To this day I couldn’t say with any certainty what he meant by that. All I knew was that I was scared and worried for him. And, as it turns out, I had cause to be. Eight months after we had this conversation, my friend stopped his heart with a lethal mixture of codeine and oxycodone. It wasn’t determined whether it was accidental or intentional. I wept a great deal for my friend but, like he must have, I saw it coming.

 

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 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.