All right. Outside again, he stuck the electronics under his arm beneath the raincoat, and strolled as calmly as he could to the car. The car, a nondescript Toyota Corolla, had belonged to his mother. It wouldn't get a second glance anywhere, anytime. Which was lucky, he thought, considering what had happened.
He put the laptop, still running, on the passenger's seat. The laptop would take very careful investigation. As he drove away, he thought about his exposure in Bobby's death. Not much, he thought, unless he was brutally unlucky. A neighbor trying a new camera, an idiot savant who remembered his license plate number; one chance in a million.
Less than that, even--he'd been obsessively careful in his approach to the black man; that he'd come on a rainy day was not an accident. Maybe, he thought, he'd known in his heart that Bobby would end this day as a dead man.
Maybe. As he turned the corner and left the neighborhood, a hum of satisfaction began to vibrate through him. He felt the skull crunching again, saw the body fly from the wheelchair, felt the rush....
Felt the skull crunch...and almost drove through a red light.
He pulled himself back: he had to get out of town safely. This was no time for a traffic ticket that would pin him to Jackson, at this moment, at this place.
He was careful the rest of the way out, but still...
He smiled at himself. Felt kinda good, Jimmy James.
HUH! WHACK! Rock 'n' roll.
From The Hanged Man's Song by John Sandford, Copyright © 2003 John Sandford, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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