Clandestine Agenda by: Reclusive Knight
The sound of the jukebox filled the Klingertown Corner Bar. Sue Stark was a Registered Nurse in the near by town of Moonberry. She was off work and sitting on her favorite bar stool.
"Want another one Sue?" asked the barkeep.
"Ah, no thanks Buster," Sue replied. "I'm going to head out and call it a night."
"Ok, well have a good night, and drive safe," said Buster. "We'll see you tomorrow."
Sue exited the bar and walked towards her car in the parking lot. She hopped in and headed up the road. There was some fog, but it was a warm summer night. She drove along and soon reached her turn.
There were two ways to go home from Klingertown, the highway, and the back country roads. Sue always took the back roads because of being under the influence. She turned left on State Road. Driving along she passed an old one room School House, then the road started to twist and turn. Sue took her time around the curve; then spotted a dark colored pickup. There was a man standing next to the truck waving at her to stop! Figuring he was stranded, she stopped to help.
"Evening Mam. My pickup quit on me," said the strange man.
"Well I suppose I can help you out," Sue replied. "I'm heading into Leck Hill."
"Oh you're an angel in disguise," said the strange man. "By the way, names Jim."
He jumped in the car, and they drove away slowly. "You're a nurse huh?" Jim asked.
"Yup, I've been at Moonberry General now for 7 years." Sue replied.
They approached a dirt pull-off on the side of the roadway. "Stop here," Jim spoke out! "I have to take a quick leak!"
She pulled off the roadway not thinking anything of it. While Jim took a leak she reached in her purse and pulled out a smoke.
While enjoying her smoke she heard what sounded like a gun being cocked? Her heart started to race. "Should I pull out quick?" she thought.
"You move your dead," Jim shouted! "Now slowly, get out of the car."
"Please don't hurt me," she cried. "Take my car, purse, anything you want, just don't hurt me!"
Jim quickly looked around, scanning the terrain for any sign of life. Then he pushed her to the ground. Her elbows scraped the asphalt, tearing open the skin, and blood began to ooze out, and run down her arms.
"BOOM," the sound of a revolver filled the air. The bullet pierced her skull, and her body immediately went limp, striking the asphalt. Blood began to form a puddle around her head on the roadway.
Then lights could be seen on the roadside trees. Jim had a strange calm feeling, which was odd for just shooting someone. A car approached with two workers from the near by Klingertown Egg Plant.
"Holy shit!" Scott yelled. "What the hell is that""
"Don't stop man, keep driving," Tony replied.
Scott flew around Jim and kept on driving. "Wow, can you believe that shit! The old pick up truck we passed must have something to do with this. Remember the one sitting along side the road a little ways back?"
"Haha, woo, that was a close call," Tony remarked with a chuckle.
Scott got annoyed, "I just want to get home as fast as possible, and I don't think it's funny either!"
They kept on driving, and Scott watched his rearview mirror. The crime scene was soon out of sight. Scott and Tony lived in the small town of Leck Hill. They drove the back roads after work every night because they drank beer on the way home. Leck Hill was just over the mountain from Klingertown. Sue worked in Moonbery, and State Road ran from there to Leck Hill.
Tony kept mainly quiet on the way home. He was sipping his beer, and he noticed his reflection in the side window. He smiled to himself as he chugged his beer. What did Tony find so amusing?
Since there was no cellular service in the valley, they couldn't call anyone. They threw out their beer bottles and headed up the mountain towards Leck Hill. As they entered the town Scott dropped Tony off.
"I don't know if I am going in tonight," Scott said.
"Why man, I can't wait to tell everyone about this shit!" Tony exclaimed.
"Someone has to call the cops asshole," Scott blurted out. "We can't just pretend we didn't see anything back there."
"Alright whatever, I will talk to you later on this afternoon." Tony got out and slammed the door.
When Scott arrived home he thought for a few moments, he was as nervous as a rabbit getting chased by a pack of wolves. Scott then called police in the town of Moonberry.
The little towns didn't have their own local police, so the Moonberry Barracks was the State Police Station covering the entire valley area.
Scott told them what he seen, and they sent a trooper right out. He showered quick, and brushed his teeth really good to get rid of the alcohol smell on his breath.
Then he awaited police on his front porch. Scott took a deep breath, he was sweating profusely. A state police car pulled up out front. The trooper got out and approached Scott.
"Are you the one who called in?"
"Yes officer, we drove past the scene about forty minutes ago," Scott replied.
"We," questioned the trooper. "Where is the other party?"
"I dropped him off on the way home officer," Scott replied. "His name is Tony Wilk."
He filled the trooper in as to why they were on State Road tonight. The trooper went on with several questions??? Scott described things the best he could remember.
"So we have medium height, medium build, and a baseball cap?" the trooper asked?
"Yes, and parked along side the road less than a mile from where we seen the strange man, and the body; was an old rusty dark colored pick up truck ." Scott added.
The trooper radioed in the details. Then he asked for Tony's address, and he was off.
Meanwhile over on State Road his fellow troopers, and the coroner were on the scene. "Shot to the cranium close range," said the coroner. "Most likely a high caliber handgun."
"Yeah this is definitely a cold blooded murder," said Detective Brown. "Her purse is in the car, but it looks as though her wallet is missing."
The crime scene was processed accordingly. They had a wrecker come get the car, and it was taken to the station for further investigation.
"Corpoal," said the detective. "Let's go up to some of the farms in the vicinity, see if anyone heard or seen anything."
So they went up the road and stopped at about 4 different area farms. Everyone reported seeing or hearing nothing usual. The only lead they had was Scott and Tony's sighting. They also never found any old dark colored pick up in the area.
Back in Leck Hill the trooper arrived at Tony's house. He got out and banged on the door.
"Hello officer, suppose you're here about the wack'o we seen over on State Road tonight?" Tony asked.
"Yes, may I come in and ask you some questions," replied the trooper.
"Sure no problem officer," Tony said. "I'll tell you everything I can remember."
The questioning went on, and the trooper noted several odd things. It seems Tony didn't remember the man's hat. He also could not recall the old pickup truck Scott mentioned.
"Having a couple beers tonight?" the trooper asked.
"Yeah, after that, for sure officer," Tony replied. "I told Scott to keep driving, that shit was really freaky."
"I'll bet," said the trooper. "My detective sergeant will be in touch."
The trooper left and headed back to the station. His shift ended hours ago, but with the homicide he had no choice but to work overtime. Tony drank the rest of his beer and went to bed.
Scott lie in bed awake, his thoughts were racing. He watched Court TV often, and was an amateur sleuth. After lying in bed thinking, he eventually fell asleep. He woke a couple hours later, sweating profusely. His stomach was upset, and his nerves on edge! What if the man remembered my car? Scott thought. What if he knew we worked at the Egg Plant?
He picked up the telephone and called in sick. Tony was awake earlier than usual as well. He picked up the phone and made a call". Then he hung up and called Scott.
"Hey man are you going in tonight?" Tony asked.
"No I don't feel good buddy," Scott replied. "I didn't sleep good either."
The two chatted for a minute or two about the trooper's questions. Then Tony wished Scott well and hung up the phone. At the State Police Barracks in Moonberry, the troopers were busy. They had a meeting, and discussed the homicide.
"We don't have much evidence," said Detective Brown. "All we got are two statements, one with some degree of detail, and the other sketchy."
"I want a memo put out immediately," said the Captain. "If anyone spots a dark colored older model pick up in the area around State Road in Klingertown; I want the vehicle stopped and searched."
"Roger that Cap, I will get right on it," said Detective Brown.
The detective was exhausted, he worked all night. It was the day shift now, but he was tasked with finding some answers. The valley outside of Klingertown was a quiet place. There were farms scattered about here and there, but they never had any homicides before.
They notified Sue's next of kin. Her family was small, but the impact struck them like a Magnum. The town of Leck Hill, along with the rest of the area mourned her loss.
In the late afternoon Scott departed Leck Hill, he headed over the mountain. He wanted to drive by the scene of the crime. He thought this might help him remember more, maybe a detail he left out.
As he passed the scene, he noticed a dark covered area on the asphalt. This was the dried up blood stain from the murder. Even though it was cleaned up; there was still visible signs.
He headed towards Klingertown Corner Bar. He decided to stop in, and maybe pick up some new information.
"What'll it be Scott?" asked Buster.
"A Coors beer, and a double shot of Blackberry," replied Scott. "What did you hear about the murder up the road?"
"Ah nothing much," said Buster. "Same shit over and over again is all."
Buster served Scott, then walked down the end of the bar to sit down. There were a couple farmers in there talking, they just mocked the daily paper. Scott listened curiously, because the newspaper didn't mention details about witnesses; or if the killer was male or female.
It said the police were following several leads. Scott knew this pretty much meant they had nothing. Being an amateur sleuth, plus studying Court TV. He knew the type of terminology police used.
Then the door opened, a man walked in. That guy looks familiar Scott thought? He didn't stare, but he listened very carefully to everyone talking. He drank the shot, and sipped on his beer.
"Hey Jim," said the one farmer. "Looks like a killer is on the loose."
"Yeah, probably some druggy from Philly," Jim replied.
The farmer at the bar laughed, as did Buster. Scott got a really strange feeling. He got up and walked past the group, heading for the restroom. While using the restroom he continued to wonder? Damn that Jim looks familiar? I know him from somewhere?
Out at the bar the men drank their cold beers and talked. They discussed the crime, then weather and crops. Scott walked out, and Jim smiled at him. A shiver shot down Scott's spine! He got goose bumps, and something wasn't right he thought? He pounded down his beer and walked out.
Next to his car in the small lot was a old dark blue pickup. He thought... That's the truck! I know that is the pickup. His heart raced, sweat formed upon his upper lip. Then he had a flashback".. He remembered the smashed driver's side mirror on the pickup, because just up the road after that; they spotted the strange man, along with Sue"s car, and the body. Why didn't I think of that when questioned by police? He stood deep in thought by his car.
This was creepy, and Scott wanted to call police. He had to be certain though. Without a plate number it was just speculation. Being the amateur sleuth he was Scott knew this. Then he got in and pulled out. He drove around the corner and parked, leaving just enough room to see the small lot.
While waiting he figured out the reason he never seen Jim at the bar until now. They didn't get off work until eleven p.m. Jim only came out during the day, he was an isolated middle aged man. The bar was packed at night after second shift left out at the Klingertown Egg Plant.
Then, the bar door opened, and out came Jim! He slowly made his way to the pick up that Scott suspected. He got in and sat for a brief moment, then pulled out heading towards the scene of the crime. Scott followed him, being careful to not get spotted.
The pick up was now on the outskirts of Klingertown. Not long after the truck's signal came on, Jim turned up a dirt drive.
Scott slowed as he passed, noting the box number. He got very excited, then flew up the valley like an F-18 Super Hornet! Heading home he thought; now I have important information for the police
When he got home he made a call.
"Good Afternoon State Police Barracks," said the dispatcher.
"Yeah this is in reference to the shooting that took place last night," Scott stated. "I would like to speak with Detective Brown please."
"I'm sorry, he isn't in right now," said the dispatcher. "If you would kindly leave me your name and phone number, I will have him get in touch with you as soon as possible."
"He has my number Ms," Scott remarked. "Just tell him it's Scott Long, and very important that I speak with him."
The detective was just finishing up at Tony's. "So you DO NOT own a firearm?" asked the detective.
"No sir, I use to have a BB gun as a kid," Tony said smiling. "But that's long gone now."
"Beep Beep," the detective's pager sounded off.
"Well duty calls, if I need anything else I will be in touch," the detective said. "You got my card, if you think of anything new, Call Me."
"Yes sir, enjoy your day," Tony replied.
When Detective Brown got out to his car he called in to the station. He got the news to call Scott, A.S.A.P.! The detective got very excited. This also helped wake him up a bit, after listening to Tony ramble on.
He was exhausted already with the case. The Captain wanted a solid lead though, and he wanted it yesterday! Since the detective was only blocks away, he decided to just drive to Scott's house.
Within five minutes he arrived to find a very excited, and sweating Scott. "Detective Brown I'm so glad you're here," Scott exclaimed. "I spotted the truck, and the man!"
"Ok now Scott, slow down a bit," the detective remarked. "Give me all the specifics, and hopefully we can move on this."
He went on to tell Detective Brown the new information. The place, time, box number, and how he followed Jim. He was very proud of himself, and his voice certainly reflected the fact.
"You know, we appreciate you help," the detective stated firmly. "Next time however, you should call in immediately."
"I would have detective," Scott replied. "The thing is, there's no cell service over in the valley."
The detective listened to everything he had to say, but he knew this wasn't a rock solid lead. They would have to prove every single detail in court, if they wanted a clean conviction.
He departed Scott's, and drove up the road to the gas station. He waited on a backup unit to meet him. Not long after one of the troopers showed up, they spoke briefly. Afterward they followed each other over the mountain to Klingertown. They maintained radio contact on the way over, discussing Scott"s news.
As they arrived at the entrance of Jim's dirt drive, they turned up and drove slow. They soon spotted a old dark colored Chevy Truck. It was parked next to a dirty looking house trailer.
Jim heard them coming, and he walked out front. "Hello gentlemen. What can I do for you?"
"We are investigating the Sue Stark murder," replied Detective Brown. "Can we see some indentification on you sir?"
"Sure no problem officer," Jim said. "Would you guys like to come inside?"
"Yes that would be better," the detective replied.
"You guys want some coffee?" Jim asked.
"No thanks," said the trooper.
"I would love some coffee," the detective exclaimed. "I've been up now for almost twenty-four hours."
"Good, I just made a fresh pot," Jim replied with a strange smile. "Oh, and here's my Driver's License officer."
"Thanks, ah, Jim Reed, is it?" asked Detective Brown.
"Yup, born and raised," replied Jim. "Lived here in ktown all my life."
The detective introduced himself, and Trooper Bob Arnold. As they sipped the hot coffee the detective asked the questions, and Trooper Arnold took notes.
"Yes sir, I took over the property after mom passed away three years back," Jim stated firmly.
"So let me get this straight," the detective asked. "You were home, all last night?"
"Yes sir detective," Jim stated.
"You do not own a firearm?"
"That's correct sir." He replied. "Momma didn't like guns."
"Right," the detective listened carefully. "Ok then, would you mind if I looked around a bit."
"No sir, your more than welcome," Jim replied. "It's all one floor."
Trooper Arnold sat with Jim. They talked about the murder. Jim said, "I should get me a gun though, in case that madman ever comes back."
The trooper picked up on something but kept it to himself. He questioned himself. How does he know it was a man?
"Ok, everything looks copacetic here," Detective Brown stated.
They left, but out by their cars they spoke briefly. Trooper Arnold mentioned what Jim said, about the killer being a "madman."
The detective remarked, "This guy is dirty. He stinks of guilt, but without hardcore evidence, or a gun, we're screwed."
They headed back over the mountain to talk with Scott one last time. Then the detective was heading home afterward. He was really exhausted, and he suspected they had their man. However, cases are not concrete, without concrete evidence. They needed a murder weapon!
When they arrived at Scott's, this time Tony was there as well. Scott called Tony, and asked him to come over, because he was really nervous about the whole situation.
"Detective Brown, come on in," Scott said. "Find anything new out over at that house I mentioned?"
"Nothing concrete," the detective replied. "We did however take a photo of his Driver's License, and wrote down the plate number of his pickup."
Trooper Arnold added, "Here's that photo Sarg, and the plate number as well."
"Is this the man you seen last night?" the detective asked Scott.
"Yeah that's him," Scott exclaimed.
"Nah, that's not the dude we seen man," Tony stated. "Look at the height on this picture, five foot eight, hell no!"
"Wait a second here," Scott was confused. "Are you sure he was taller than that?"
The detective got disgusted, "You two don't remember a plate number, you don't remember the truck; and you do remember. Now your both disagreeing about it even being Jim Reed!"
The situation was getting to the detective. He was tired and disgusted, they had no murder weapon, no other witnesses, and two different statements.
"Let's go Arnold, it's time for me to call it a day." the detective was physically and mentally drained.
With the police now gone for the day, Tony and Scott began to discuss their plans for the night. Tony also called off with everything going on.
"Hey man, lets go for a ride," Tony suggested. "Maybe we can catch a glimpse of this Jim!"
I don't think that is such a good idea." Scott remarked.
"Come on, we'll be careful ," Tony exclaimed. "You know you want to."
"Well, I suppose we could head over that way," Scott replied. "Maybe stop for a sixer on the way back, God knows I could use one."
They guys headed out and walked across the lawn. Tony stopped, and started searching for something next to Scott's shed. Then he pulled out a shiny, chrome, handgun. The moonlight reflected off the pistol, and Scott was stunned!
"Where the hell did you get the gun?" Scott questioned. "I thought you told the cops you didn't own a gun."
"Well, this isn't exactly mine," replied Tony. "I am just, let's say" borrowing it."
He headed for the car and Tony followed. They got in and headed for Klingertown. Up and over the mountain they went, the conversation was minimal.
"What's up man?" asked Tony. "Your pissed at me for lying aren't ya?"
Scott paused before answering. "It's not that I'm mad, lets just say confused," Scott replied. "Why would you lie?"
"Because man, I didn't want those pecker heads giving me the third degree." Tony exclaimed.
They drove on, Scott just shook his head and turned the radio on low. They entered the outskirts of Klingertown, and soon approached State Road.
"Turn here man," Tony shouted. "Don't' worry either, I got a 357 Magnum for any late night freaks!"
They headed up State Road and soon came upon the murder site. The car slowed, Scott was gawping at the roadway because the blood stain was no longer visible.
"Yo, I got an idea man," Tony declared. "Let's park up here near the dirt drive you mentioned. Maybe we can catch this psycho doing something wrong."
The amateur sleuth came out in Scott. "Well, we do have a gun." He exclaimed. "Lets do this thing!"
"Alright, hell yeah!" Tony was very excited. "If anything goes down, I'll shoot this piece of shit."
Scott laughed, something changed in him. He was thinking of poor Sue, and how she was murdered by this nut case. He knew in his mind Jim was responsible, so they parked on the side of the roadway.
Then walked up the dirt drive. The moonlight illuminated their way, and an owl could be heard hooting. Not long after they spotted the dirty white house trailer. There were lights on in one of the rooms, as they crept closer.
"Shhh, be real quiet now," Tony whispered. "Let's get close to that window."
"Ok man," Scott said through his teeth.
They observed Jim in his kitchen, he had newspapers spread out over the table.
"Look, he is going through a ladies wallet." Scott whispered.
Then Scott felt a hard tap to the back of his skull! "You move, your dead man!" Tony said firmly as he held his "so called' friend at gunpoint.
"Ouch, what the fuck dude!" Scott said in anger and panic.
His heart started to pound his chest like thunder. He was scared now, and his hands were shaking.
"Yo, wooo, hooo, woot, woot!" Tony chirped out as if some kind of signal in the night? The porch light came on, and Jim exited the house.
"Woot,woot hey hoot," Jim hollered back.
It became clear to Scott now, they must know each other.
"Inside shit head," Jim demanded as he pushed him in the back. He tripped going through the doorway, and his face kissed the floor.
"Please don't hurt me," Scott pleaded. "Come on Jim, you know I won't say anything."
"You were quick to call the damn police though before, weren't ya?" Tony yelled, as Jim stood there laughing.
Meanwhile Trooper Arnold was on patrol in the Klingertown area. He had been instructed to make a pass up State Road every hour on the hour.
He spotted Scott's car, so immediately he called in the plate. "Roger dispatch, State Road, and the plate comes back to who?" Trooper Arnold asked.
"One of the witnesses from the homicide, Scott Long." dispatch replied.
"10-4, show me out with this vehicle on State Road." Trooper Arnold stated.
The trooper was out with his flashlight, and like a thunder clap in the night; he heard what sounded like gunfire!
"Dispatch clear the channel, 10-99!, shots fired, box 1013 State Road, show me in the area!"
In the trailer a struggle was in progress, apparently Scott attacked Tony. Tony tried to tie him up, and Scott managed to fight his way free. He ripped the pistol out of Tony's hands, and shot him! The blood flowed bright red out of his chest, then he fell to the floor.
Meanwhile Jim cracked Scot in the head with an ashtray, and he fell to the floor dropping the gun.
"You shit head, now I'm gonna kill your stupid ass," Jim shouted out!
Then headlights pierced the window, and shined on the kitchen wall. It was Trooper Arnold. "Dispatch, show me out at Jim Reed's residence."
Jim peeked out his window, "Damn, it's the cops!"
He stood behind the door with the gun. Trooper Arnold got out and proceeded with caution. He knocked on the door. "Hello, everyone all right in there?"
Scott started to moan, and tried his best to stand up.
Jim opened the door, and reached out attacking the trooper. They wrestled around, the trooper clutched Jim's wrist, pushing the gun away from his body. With his other hand he punched Jim in the jaw. The gun popped loose, it bounced off the wooden floor.
Then Trooper Arnold felt a heavy blow to his bullet proof vest, Tony came to, and grabbed the gun shooting the trooper.
That distracted him long enough for Scott to jump on him, and pry away the gun. Jim rushed towards them as he got up off the floor.
"Boom, Boom," the Magnum's power spoke, as Scott shot Tony. His body fell to the floor, blood flowed from his mouth. Then Jim went to grab Scott.....
"Boom, Boom, Boom".Boom" gunfire filled the room! Trooper Arnold fired with pure adrenaline. Jim wobbled back striking the wall, then falling forward; dropping his gun, striking the hard wooden floor!
"Officer down, shots fire"." the trooper radioed in.
Scott crawled over to help Trooper Arnold. "Your gonna be alright buddy, hang in there." Scott said in great pain, from his head wound. "Looks like your vest saved you."
"You helped save me too," the trooper gasped.
Scott tried to smile, "You saved me first officer, and that helped me save you."
The sound of sirens could finally be heard. It was the ambulance and police coming from Moonberry. Flashing lights lit up the property. The paramedics began to treat Scott, and Trooper Arnold.
"Holy shit, looks like you guys had all the fun without me!" Detective Brown exclaimed. "I knew this son of a bitch was dirty."
What the detective couldn't figure out though was Tony's role? After an intensive investigation Detective Brown discovered that Jim was Tony's uncle! Now all the deception made perfect sense.
Sue's wallet was found in Jim's kitchen, and after an exhausting search of the property. They found the murder weapon, a 44 Four Magnum. It was outside in Jim's shed, along with some bloody coveralls.
Without a doubt Jim Reed was the Murderer of Sue Stark! The area could finally rest in peace.
About a month later, after recovering, and several sessions of crisis counseling. Scott returned to work at the Klingertown Egg Plant. He got asked a lot of questions, but tried his best to just get through his first day back. After work a man approached him.
"Can I get a ride with you?" asked the man.
Scott hesitated, "Where do you live buddy?"
"In Leck Hill."
"Ah," Scott paused. "I guess so yeah, but I'm taking the highway home."
"No problem bud," said the man. "By the way, names Jim."
Scott froze, his adrenaline started to flow. His heart rate picked up, and sweat formed on his forehead!
"Hey, you alight bud?" Jim asked. "You don't look so well."