A Henry Ike Pierce Novel. (unpublished)
While investigating multiple murders in 1995, a detective followed the trail of the suspected killer from Alexandria, Virginia to Prague where he too became a victim. His widow later became director of the city’s homicide division and has pursued her husband’s killer for twenty-five years. Henry Pierce is a new detective whose first case entangles him in her old quest. Is there a conspiracy only she can see?
Squeaking brakes woke me. I squinted through the frosty window and saw a red traffic light on a dark street. The street signs were no longer German but in Cyrillic lettering. Stefana stood near the front holding the microphone, first speaking Czech, and then German. She glanced at me and smiled. “And to our traveler from America, we have arrived in Brno. The break is twenty minutes, or less if everyone is back early. Services are limited, but toilets and snacks are available down the hill from the terminal.”
We bumped along into a shabby terminal as the clock approached eleven-thirty. Something had damaged the roof of the tin stall, and the cement pad we pulled onto it had dissolved into chunks of gravel. The darkened shops across the street looked the part of Soviet-era buildings—most appeared closed and boarded for years. The other passengers stood ready to exit, and I did likewise. The restrooms were to our right in a cinderblock building, at least fifty yards off a poorly lit gravel path.
We waited as the bus driver opened the door, rose to exit, and turned toward us. His black and gray beard merged into a mass of hair covered partly by a red driver’s cap. Something was wrong—this man. My ears grew hot. He reminded me of Charlie, Danica’s chauffeur. A beard, yes, but he had the same build, and it was hard to forget those giant arms wrapped around me in the caverns. But this had to be only my tired imagination. How could the same man move from a chauffeur’s job in D.C. to driving a Czech bus … but this man was the same. It had to be.
I was alone, and, as far as the outside world knew, seeking treatment in Vienna. Who would look for me here? I dug into my bag and grabbed one of my baseball caps, hoping it and my scruffy beard would offer a disguise. He exited first. We followed, one-by-one, while I tried to remember one of my grandmother’s prayers. I couldn’t get beyond ‘Dear God.’
ON THE HORIZON – Unseen, a second Henry Ike Pierce novel.
Dawn in Hawaii. Another morning of waking too early in my room across the street from the bay. I had hoped to leave the patio door open to let the sounds of the ocean lull me to sleep, but that wasn’t to be. The streetside restaurant below me had hosted late-night partiers night who lingered well past midnight.
Sleepiness was gone. I made coffee and escaped to the lanai of my third-floor suite. The hotel was old-school Maui, thirty rooms or so built around a courtyard of yellow hibiscus bushes in random sunburst patterns. The hotel’s gray clapboard siding with dark-green trim had seen better days, but the rooms were immaculate and much preferred to the massive hotels lining the beaches on the northwest part of the island.
Muffled thumps and bumps floated from the dock where a small navy of fishing boats, catamarans, and yachts bobbed and bumped in the dark bay lit only by the quarter moon. Deep-sea fishing was something I always wanted to try, so I had booked the Miss Mio, a well-worn, white and red fishing boat. Tomorrow morning would be a perfect opportunity after an early breakfast with my boss. She intended to shop all day, and my mother and grandmother had their own plans. A day alone in Maui. I couldn’t think of anything better.
Copyright 2017-2020 by Mark Edward Jones, Edmond, Oklahoma 73034.
All rights reserved.