The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. My simple retrieval job turned into a nightmare. On my way out of town with an old pink flamingo, someone rammed my car. I came to in an old
The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. My simple retrieval job turned into a nightmare. On my way out of town with an old pink flamingo, someone rammed my car. I came to in an old service station, tied to a chair and held hostage by two gruff men. I managed to escape, injured one of them in the process, and made a break back toward town. I was picked up by the local sheriff, but now I’m starting to think he’s with them.
Read the full details Here and the unfolding case below.
“What did you say?” My head was still swimming, but my adrenaline was kicking in again.
“I was just letting Hank know that we’re coming.” Nelson said from the front seat.
I eyed him through the glass that separated front from back. “You said ‘I’ve got her.’ You were already out looking for me. Why?”
“Has anyone ever told you how obnoxious that overactive mind of yours is?” He grinned at me through the rear-view mirror. “Not that it really matters now.”
I reached for the door handle. I didn’t feel like throwing myself from a moving car, but the alternatives were worse.
There was no handle.
I checked the other side. It was the same. I kicked the door, and then the window with my better leg. Neither budged an inch.
“What? You forget this is a police car?” Nelson jeered from the front.
Most prisoners aren’t armed.
I fingered the gun in my purse.
We’d be back at the service station at any moment. Was I better off trying something now, with just Nelson but in a moving car, or waiting until we arrived?
The glow of the station lights filled the side windows.
I guess that settles it.
I pulled out the pistol and held it close to my stomach, below his eye line.
Nelson parked around back, by the large garage door. “Now you just wait here.” He got out and headed for the building.
If he finds Trouble, I’ll lose the element of surprise.
I checked the magazine on my pistol. Ten rounds.
Not enough for a shootout.
A battered old truck roared up, stopping between Nelson’s car and the service station. Not-doctor, who I guessed was Hank, jumped out and started talking with him.
I sighed. This just gets better and better.
Hank pulled out a large hunting knife as the two men came back to the car.
Nelson put his hand on the window. “We’re going to open this up. Come quietly, and we won’t have to hurt you. Understand?”
I nodded. And readied the pistol.
“Good.” He reached for the handle.
“Wait!” Trouble yelled from the service station doorway.
The car door stopped, barely open.
I really hope this works.
I kicked the door with my good leg, sending it flying open. Into Nelson.
I put two bullets in his chest.
I turned the gun on Nelson. The car door and window took both shots meant for him as he pushed it closed again.
Six shots left.
The door behind me squeaked. I twisted around to get a clear shot on the newcomer, but my body was too sluggish in the tight space.
There was a crackle and then electricity poured through my body. My muscles tensed and convulsed. I may have fired, but I couldn’t be sure. I was trying not to bite through my own tongue.
The surge ended. My body went limp. Pain flared up from every nerve.
Soft hands dragged me out of the car and dumped me unceremoniously to the ground.
I didn’t have the energy to fight back. Only to lay in the gravel and pant.
Whoever it was had nice shoes. Polished black leather, the kind you’d expect to see in a boardroom, not some backwoods service station. He used them to kick the gun away from me.
They were joined by a pair of rough, workman’s boots.
“Get her back inside before somebody sees.” The voice had a strong accent. Sounded British, but that wasn’t right. South African?
The other man, who turned out to be Nelson, hauled me up and carried me back into the garage. He set me in a fresh chair—just as wobbly as the last one—and replaced the ropes around my wrists with his handcuffs so he could put my arms behind me again.
I shook my head to clear some of the fog.
Handcuffs are easy. Just painful.
I forced air through my parched lips in an attempt to speak, but no words came out.
“What?” He leaned closer.
“Were you behind this, or just bought and paid for?” My voice scraped my throat on the way out, but at least he understood.
He laughed. “Money’s money. It don’t matter much to me where it comes from.”
“Or what it takes to get it.”
He shrugged. “Everything has a price.”
“I’ll kill her!” Trouble hobbled in through the bay door, brandishing Hank’s knife in one hand and the pink flamingo in the other.
Nelson turned and raised his gun. “None of that. The boss-man wants a word with her first.”
“She murdered my brother! I’m going to carve her up ’til the birds won’t know what to do with the pieces.”
A gunshot echoed through the room.
Trouble crumpled to the ground.
If not him…then….
A tall man in an elegant business suit stepped through the doorway, over the thug’s body. He tucked his pistol into a shoulder holster under his jacket. He had a small case tucked under the other arm. His hands were covered by black leather gloves. And he had really nice shoes.
“Good help is so hard to find.” He set his case on the closest workstation.
“Boss….” Nelson didn’t lower his gun. “I’m a cop, you can’t just kill folks in front of me. That’s not what we agreed.”
The other waved away the protest. “They were scum. You should be glad they’re both dead. But I know what this is really about. Yes, I’ll pay you their shares.”
Nelson holstered his pistol. “Now that’s more like it.”
“Good. Now do me a favor and fetch the torch from my car.”
I hoped, given his accent, he just wanted a flashlight.
But as Nelson left, the well-dressed man opened his case, revealing pristine collection of pliers, needles, and other implements.
“Look, I don’t know what the deal is, but I’m not being paid enough for this. If you want the flamingo, it’s yours. No questions asked.”
He stooped to pluck it from the dead man’s hands. He chuckled as he considered briefly. “It is a silly thing isn’t it? But no. I’m not here for this.”
The flamingo clattered back to the floor as he turned to face me fully.
“I’m here for you, Miss LaGrange.”
To Be Continued…
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