Pieces of Clay: Part 4

Bob’s body had been found. A copy of Mein Kampf laid next to him. Though it was soaked in blood, the initials inside the cover still could be read, LDJ.

Agent Deloach got word of the finding and sent a team to the motel. There was now concrete proof that David and the man who called himself Lionel David Jefferson were in bed together together.

Deloach, Fisher and the team of agents had arrived in Coudersport a few hours later. In a town of less than three-thousand people, the Lionel Train store was not difficult to locate. The agents surrounded the building then forced their way in. They swept through the show room and the basement. The place was clear. No bodies, no computers, just thousands of dollars worth of collectible vintage toys. They debriefed in the show room.

“We’re going up into those apartments,” Agent Deloach said.

“We don’t have a warrant for the apartments, sir.” Deloach turned his head towards Fisher and said, “I don’t give a fuck Fisher, we’re going.”

They moved to the back of the building, found the staircase and began walking up. Fisher in the front, Deloach in the back.

“Be careful, keep your eye’s open,” Deloach said, “might be traps.”

The men cautiously moved up to the first floor of apartments. There were three rooms on the first floor. Fisher and two other agents entered the first room. Deloach and the other agent stood watch in the hallway. The room was empty, nothing suspicious. They swept through the other two rooms, same as the first, completely empty. The emptiness was beginning to look suspicious.

They moved to the next floor, three more apartments. The first two were empty. One room left, they moved to the end of the hallway across from the staircase. Fisher busted into the room, the couch in the middle of the living room was soaked in blood. The room wreaked of gasoline. The three agents cleared the rest of the room.

Deloach came into the room. The five agents huddled around the couch watching as drops of blood fell from the crack of the ceiling onto the couch.

“How do we get to the attic?” Deloach said.

“I didn’t see a way up there sir,” one of the agents said.

Deloach sent three of the agents to search the other rooms to find a way up, he and Fisher searched this room. Agent Fisher found a push out ceiling tile that led to the attic in the bedroom closet.

He pushed out the tiles and pulled himself into the attic. “Goddammit,” he said.

“What is it?” Deloach said, on the ground in the closet looking up through the tiny square in the ceiling.

“You’re gonna have to get up here sir.”

Deloach jumped and pulled himself up. The room was dark, the only light coming in was that of the setting sun through the small rectangular shaped window at the far end of the room.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Delaoch said as he processed what he saw.

The body of a dead pig was propped up with wood spikes. It’s head was severed and replaced with a mutilated human head, connected together with another wooden spike.

“Tara Alden,” Fisher said.

Agent Deloach pulled a pair of latex gloves from his pocket and inspected the atrocious specimen at hand.

“Where’s the body, sir?” Agent Fisher asked. Deloach inspected the pig’s body.

“That is the question, isn’t it Fisher. The blood on the couch downstairs is the pigs. He’s cut deep all of his underbelly”

“We’ll have to identify her sir, dental?”

Deloach used two pens to spread her mouth. He looked to the ground in disgust. Fisher moved closer. “What is it sir?”

“Her teeth have been removed.”

As Deloach inspected the animal/human hybrid, Fisher searched around the room. Deloach moved away from the creature and sat with his back to the wall. For the first time in his career he felt aged.

“Sir, come here.”

Fisher was by the small window. Agent Deloach took his time. He was feeling to old to rush for anybody at this moment.“What do you think sir?” They looked at a small piece of paper wedged between two of the floor boards.

“I think it was left for us,” Deloach said.

Fisher reached down and pulled on the paper. It was wedged tightly, he pulled again harder, he felt something tug on it then snap. A rush of heat came from under them.

“Get down! Sir, get down,” one of the agents said from downstairs, ‘“the room is on fire.”

Deloach and Fisher made way to their escape. Fisher unrolled the small piece of paper.

“What’s it say,” Deloach asked as he was climbing down.

“It’s says ‘the couch’, sir.”

The apartment was engulfed in flames. A circle of fire surrounded the couch. Fisher jumped through it, pulled out the cushions of the couch and found an envelope. Deloach and the other agents ran out of the room, Fisher followed. As Fisher was running he noticed the envelope was on fire, he put it out on his leg, saving what he could, and made it out safely.

The Federal Agents stood on the sidewalk as the entire building burst into flames. The local fire department sirens sounded. It was no use, it was decided before they got there that the building would burn to the ground.

Deloach looked at his men, “What the fuck happened in there?”

“I pulled the paper,” Fisher said, “and they next thing I knew the place was on fire.”

“I heard something snap,” an agent said, “like a thin copper wire or something. The flames came right after.”

“Fuck. They fuckin’ set a trap and we fell right into it,” Deloach said. “Let me see the envelope, Fisher.” Fisher handed it to him. “You’re hands burnt pretty bad, Fisher.” Deloach grabbed the envelope, Fisher looked down at his left hand. “It is isn’t it sir?”

“When the ambulance gets here, get it wrapped up. For now, secure the area.”

“Yes sir.”

Fisher and the other agents secured the area. When local cops and first-responders came they flashed their badges and got the situation under control.

Deloach opened the semi-burnt envelope which had another computer printed letter in it, the fire had destroyed about half of it.

Did you think I would be waiting for you, Agent Deloach? The FBI and their naivety. I should have known. You are the epitome of ‘Uncle Sam’s Man’ — taking you’re orders running around like dogs chasing their tales, the red queens, never getting anywhere. Agent Deloach, I will let you know, that you will not find us. We will act again, soon Agent Deloach, very soon. The culture of academia, poisoning our youth with nonsensical non-facts will be forced to stop. The educators will be forced to turn over the power of education. We are preparing a grandiose act of mass violence. We are getting stronger Agent Deloach. More and more citizens are fed up with the systemic lies spewed by your government buddies.

The rest of the letter was burnt. He stuffed it into his jacket pocket. He walked to the back of the ambulance, where Fisher had his jacket off and his shirt sleeve rolled up. The EMT’s were in the ambulance getting gauze and cream for his burns. “How’s the hand, Fisher?”

“It’s good sir. How’s the letter?”

“He’s fucking with us, here,” Deloach said. He pulled the note from his jacket and gave it to Fisher. He put it in front of his face. “What do you got there on your arm?” Agent Deloach asked. Fisher put down the paper and turned his arm over to look at it. On his forearm halfway between his wrist and elbow was a circular burn. It looked intentional like a branding. “Just a burn sir,” Agent Fisher said, “me and my friends when we were little gave them to each other. I stole a lighter from my mother and my buddy Tim stole his older brother’s button that came off of a costume he wore for a school play. He put the flame to it and got it real hot and we branded each other.”

Agent Deloach looked at him like he was stupid. “My mom was pissed,” Agent Fisher said.

“You’re just all burnt ,” Agent Deloach said.

“Yes, I guess I am sir.” The EMT’s came back to wrap Fisher’s hand. “Read that letter,” Deloach said as he was walking away, “I’m gonna figure out where we are staying the night.”

“I expected so, sir.”

Deloach walked away from the ambulance and watched as the firetruck coiled three hoses and the building still smoked from the heat. ‘A grandiose act of mass violence,’ he couldn’t get those words out of his head.