Tuesday, October 12, 2010

When the Clock Strikes Now, It is Then

*a continuation of The Window Blinks When the Mirror Sees and Water Stolen from the Desert Does Not Belong to You

Two BII agents lie dead at the scene, along with dozens of bystanders. There were two bombs. One to cause a spectacle and a second to kill everyone stupid enough to want a better look at it. It's a common trick among terrorists, though this wasn't perpetuated by any normal terrorist. The first bomb, the spectacle, killed the BII agents. In fact, it's quickly dawned on Ervin and Lim that the BII agents were intended to be the spectacle.

Lim's a vet of several combat engagements, having served six years in the Marine Corps, so the sounds of the bullets and their ricochets don't bother him as much as they do Ervin, who's extremely close to freaking out.

"Who's shooting at us? Who the fuck is shooting at us?"

"Probably the bad guys," Lim replies, doing his best to scan the area without exposing himself. The corner coffee shop and most of the rest of the building it was in is pretty much obliterated. People scream and cry from all around and Lim gives up trying to listen for the shooter's location.

Ervin whips out his cell phone and dials 911. Lim hears the tones between the increasingly sporadic gunfire and starts laughing.

"Something funny?"

"Ironic, is all." Lim isn't even sure Brawley has a police department.


Jimenez hates being a fifth-wheel - hates it even more when he's stuck with Baldwin, the lazy bastard - but the fact that the Kern County Sheriff's Office is allowing them to observe the interrogation is enough for Jimenez to keep his mouth shut. He knows almost immediately that Joey Gould isn't their guy and, in retrospect, shouldn't even be a suspect. But it is his film set that the two Aston Martins came from, it is his crew that the three dead people were a part of, and it is his bank account that received a huge infusion of cash.

"I'm filming a fucking movie, you idiots," Gould yells at the Kern County detective. "Money comes and goes very quickly."

"Through personal accounts?"

Gould glances at his lawyer, some slick asshole from San Francisco. Maybe a cousin or something. The lawyer nods.

"My personal account? Which bank?"

"CB&T money market."

"I don't have a CB&T money market. I don't even know what the fuck CB&T is."

The taller of the Kern County interrogators shoots Gould a questioning look.

"Okay, that's not true," confesses Gould, "but I don't have an account there."

Jimenez turns to Baldwin to say something sarcastic, but his unfortunate partner is sleeping.


She may be a puppet in all of this. Or she may be the marionette that learned to pull its own strings. Or maybe everyone involved is a puppet. And can pull their own strings. Maybe it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. So long as they're afraid.

Her wicked green eyes are terrified.


"Brawley PD's on their way," Ervin calls out. Even with Ervin's face buried in the floor, Lim can hear the relief in his partner's voice.

"Guess that answers my question," Lim says to himself aloud.


"Nothing." Lim continues to scan, propping up and glancing in a certain direction, then ducking and repeating the process in another direction. Gradually, his scans become longer. "It's quiet. Shooter's probably gone."

"It's too quiet," Ervin pleads, well aware of the cliché. "Shooter wants you to think that."

In the distance, sirens from what sounds like an entire platoon of Brawley PD cruisers crescendo.

"I doubt it. Shooter probably wants to avoid prison."


Behind a set of binoculars, there's a grin and a chuckle. Shooter can read lips. The cops will find the rifle and remnants of the explosives. Pieces of a puzzle that, the shooter knows, will build the wrong picture.

This is a game the Devil would love to play. An old-fashioned pocket watch is checked and there's another grin. The Feds will be getting involved today. It's almost time to set up the board.

*To be continued...


  1. this felt a little like youwere progressing the story without much really happening...just saying...

  2. Subtle, Jeff. Subtle. When you coming back to play with the big dogs?

  3. Brian's comment is interesting. To me, this episode seems designed to build suspense.

    I could see this as a film.

    Because you asked: "...the sounds of the bullets and their ricochets doesn't bother him" should be "don't bother him."

  4. Lots of suspense here. Love the old fashioned pocket watch.

  5. The Devil May Have The Best Tunes But He Plays The Worse Games............