The attractive local news anchor stood in front of a burned building.
“We do not know what happened, but we do believe arson is at fault. Skeletal remains have been found. Forensics are searching for a dental record as we speak. We have assumptions that the man living at 212 Cheerylane, is the deceased. He has not shown up at work this morning, and his co workers have said that it is unlike him. We have reason to believe that Garret Whitmoore is the victim in this fire, and the dental records will confirm whether it is true or not later today. We have no leads and the local police force would like you to contact them if you have any information on the fire that burned an entire garage and almost a home. A neighbor saw the blaze at approximately 1:30 am when coming home from a business trip. The fire may have gotten worse if he did not notice it.”
The anchor began to walk around the building, before stepping inside the garage.
“We have reason to believe the fire started inside this garage, where we found the body. Foul play may or may not be the case here.”
Everything had worked out so far. Miles had kept everything planned perfectly. No one suspected him. Even officer Walker had no idea when Miles was questioned about the first death. So, what was the plan? What next? He turned off the news and brewed himself a cup of coffee, black. He paced around his kitchen with the warm mug in his hand. He spotted a photograph on the wall. He was still a little guy, probably ten or eleven. His dad stood behind him holding a buck they shot, by the antlers. It was Miles’ first kill. He remembered it fondly.
His father stood behind him, and helped him aim. He told him to take a deep breath, as he shot. Miles missed the first shot, but clipped the bucks legs at the second. The buck started to limp, not being able to run. Miles gave one more shot, then another. Finally the buck died.
He placed the empty mug on the kitchen island. He grew anxious, he wanted to get out. He wanted to do his duty. Surely there were people not following protocol. The world was filled with idiots. He was doing everyone a favor. He grabbed his phone. Maybe he could stir the pot. He could tell them he knows who is responsible for the fire. He could then explain why he did it. How Garret didn’t care. How he didn’t follow the rules. How he so greedily took away all that toilet paper. He could be a hero. He set the phone down, and forgot about it. He didn’t need that kind of attention right now. Not when he had work to do. Miles grabbed his phone again.
He refreshed the world news page that he followed. He viewed the updates on the virus. Should be less. Miles huffed.
I need to expand my horizons.
He almost closed the page, when something caught his eye. A man killed by police officers. A tingling sensation ran though his bicep. The article went on about a man name George Floyd. The details all became familiar. He too, had a cop knee his neck. Miles could almost feel it now. The fight for air. The need for justice
Justice, justice. The word echoed in his head. All he wanted was justice. Sure, he could have handled things better. The cop still, didn’t need to use so much force. Miles was pissed. He lost his forearm and hand. On his right arm, of all arms the dominant one. He lost the lawsuit with his boss, and well, Miles felt he should take matters into his own hands. He didn’t want to hurt Peter Burroughs, his former boss. He just wanted compensation. Peter had money though, and the thing with money is it bought you safety. Peter got scared, and payed for backup. When Miles showed up on his door on a gloomy fall, afternoon, the cops ambushed him. Mr. Burroughs told the police that Miles sent him threatening messages. He feared for his life. Officer Grenwich, a man six foot six, and 300 pounds ambushed Miles and dragged him to the ground.
“Remain on the ground sir,” his words flew out attached to blobs of spit. “You have the right to remain silent…”
Miles looked down at his hook. All he wanted was justice. Payback, in cash. He payed Peter a visit, to plead for his life back. He lost everything. If it wasn’t for his dad’s retirement, he would have been homeless. Miles told his father no, but Frank obliged. No wasn’t an option. Justice was never served. Not from his boss. Not from the judge and jury, not from the law. He was made out to be the bad guy.
He couldn’t read anymore. What was the world coming too? He desperately needed to get out.
The streets have grown a chilled silence. Streetlights turn on as a blackness takes over. Miles stalks the shadows, looking for anyone who should be safe at home. Safe inside. A group of Canadian Gesse waddle around an alleyway. Tall, brave avians, majestic. Miles let’s them wander away, down the alley and out of sight. He continues on, using the dark corners to his advantage. He hears a chuckle.
“Yeah man, it’s wild. No, not like that. Wait, you serious!?,” A man sits on his balcony, chatting on his phone. Miles walks on.
Four blocks away, Officer Walker enters a gunshop. Detective Romeras comes in behind him. He looks pensive as he walks in. Walker turns to Romeras.
“I just don’t get it, two strange deaths. No witnesses. I still want to say it’s all a coincidence. ”
Romeras flattens out her jacket. ” Something tells me that this is no coincidence. Both deaths must be connected.”
“Something tells you,” says Walker.
“A hunch, but a strong one.”
“A, hunch,” says Walker, shaking his head.
They walk up to the man behind the counter. He’s watching an old black and white western, on a small T.V.
“Excuse me sir,” said detective Romeras. She flashes her badge. “Could we take a minute of your time.”
He turns the T.V off and walks up to the counter. “How may I help you officers.”
Romeras places a bullet on the counter. A .204 Ruger. “Have you sold any of these lately.”
The man grabs a book. “Well we do have a lot of hunters out here. Being surrounded by the woods and all. I sell these to a couple folks. He writes a few names down then slides the paper to detective Romeras. We have a door to door delivery right now, not many people out hunting though. You know how it is. Miles Pestigrowe ordered a few packs yesterday morning. I wouldn’t be worried about him though. These other people Gregor Bridges and Hawan Cho. They ordered some about say… a 4 months ago. Maybe three.”
“Miles Pestigrowe, sounds familiar,” says Officer Walker.
Detective Romeras turns to the shopkeep “You say he’s nothing to worry about. You sure?”
“Guys just lost his father to the virus. They always used to go hunting. They got a cabin out of town. Probably just wants to go shoot some deer, let off some steam. Him and his father, Frank were close.”
Officer Walker still pondered the name. Detective Romeras continued to question the worker. “Tell me more about this Miles Pestigrowe. Please, go on.”
“Well him and Frank have been regulars here. Always had their tickets, never caused any trouble. Sometimes they would bring me meat from some of their hunts. Deer, moose, hare, duck. Poor Miles. He has been through so much. Lost half his arm, about eight years back.”
A lighbulb over Walkers head erupted.
“Yes, I talked to him after the Harvey Friesen death. He seemed nice, reclusive,” he turend his gaze towards the shop keep.” What happened?”
“Well he was working at the mill for Peter Burroughs. He worked there for a long time, close to his tenure, by then. I guess he had been working overtime for a good ten days straight, working on that needed promotion. He was really tired, asked Mr.Burroughs if he could go home. Well, Peter Burroughs had lots of wood to mill. He told Miles to quit whining and to get back to work. I am sure you could guess the rest from here, but yeah. Fell asleep at the sawmill. Arm got cut clean off. Tried to sue Burroughs, but Petes got lots of money. Miles also lost his job, couldn’t afford a lawyer, so he decided to self represent. He figured he had a good case, turns out it didn’t matter. Pete could afford one of the provinces best Lawyers.”
“Wow, that must have been hard,” said Walker.
“I think we should do more investigation on this Pestigrowe guy, Walker,” said Romeras.
“Guys got one arm Rosa,” said Walker.
Rosa Romeras cleared her throat. “That is detective Romeras to you, officer Walker.”
“Yes, well. I doubt a man with one arm is capable of murdering someone. Let’s be real here.”
Miles sat in the alley to configure a plan when he saw officer Walker walk out of Al’s guns and ammo. Behind him walked out a curvy woman with a naturally pretty face. She appeared to be Latino.
“I still think we need to do a background check on that guy,” said the woman.
“Let me guess, another hunch,” mocked officer Walker.
An emergency call crackled through the officers walkie.
“We need all available units downtown immediately. I repeat, all available units downtown immediately. A riot has broke out, hundreds of people right now, over.”
The officer, and the woman, who Miles was now convinced was a detective scrambled back into Walkers marked vehicle and took off.
A riot. In all times, but now. Everyone should be at home. Hundreds of people. HUNDREDS. Miles knew exactly what he was going to do now.
Word count for Nanos 1682.
TO BE CONTINUED