Heavens Alley - Chapter 11: One Down, One To Go.
Finding Frank Duboy's residence wasn't a task at all. An online search gave him Frank's work details and a quick call and a fake threat later he had Frank's home address. Eric took an indefinite sick leave from college and went on a reconnaissance mission.
He took a cab down Minx Abbey, through Krowt Street and stopped at Redhill, Downtown. He paid the over friendly driver and watched the cab pull away. Redhill was the shadiest part in town and it wasn't a surprise Frank lived here. Eric stood on the sidewalk and looked around. The road slopped downwards from his left and continued to slope until it met the sky to his right. There were cheaply constructed buildings on either side of the road and it smelled like fish. Probably because the dock was nearby. Silence was a luxury here and the air was always buzzing with the sound of dogs barking, sirens blaring, babies crying and the occasional human screams. His watch beeped. It was just 16:00 but the dark rain clouds looming above enveloped the alley in a blanket of darkness. Eric was fond of the darkness. There was a roar of thunder and the first rains showered down on the Alley bringing respite from the heat. Eric turned to the right and walked a few blocks down, made sure no one's looking and slipped into the narrow, raw path between two buildings. His coat did little to protect him from the rain and he was drenched in minutes. He followed the path until he was standing in front of an old rustic building. It seemed to be breathing its last. The entrance was open and no one was guarding it. Eric let himself in. The walls were pale yellow and added to the eeriness of the shady building. He climbed a set of stairs to reach the second floor. He did a quick check: there were four flats on the floor, just like the floor below. The last one, to the left of him, was around the corner and out of sight so that was no problem. The one in front of him belonged to Frank and it was the one he needed to get into, without the occupants of the other two remaining flats to his right getting suspicious. He inspected the rest of the building. It had another floor with the same layout and an open terrace. Once he had every corner of the building registered in his mind, he exited through the back door of the building and went home.
His home didn't feel his own anymore. It was getting messy, the clothes in the laundry basket were forming a mountain, the dishes were piling up and the floor was dusty. The absence of his mother was evident in the dishevelment of his home. His phone rang and a chirpy picture of Haley lit up his screen. He let it go to voicemail. He didn't have the time to entertain her right now. Over a cup of hot tea he formulated his plans for Frank.
The next day Eric got off the cab at the same spot, few blocks away from Franks building. He waited for the cab to drive out of sight and then walked the few blocks, slipped into the passageway and a few minutes later was staring at Franks front door. There was no one else in sight. He took out a pouch from his coat pocket, which still felt damp from the last night's rains but it didn't matter for it was going to get soaked in blood anyway, and removed two flat metal prongs. The door had a standard door lock and picking it was a piece of cake. He was in in fifteen minutes. He performed the reverse procedure from the inside to lock the door. He then got to work exploring the layout of the apartment.
Frank worked at the docks. He was a longshoreman, moving cargo from the holding area to the crane. The days' work always took a toll on him and he stopped at the 'Gung Ho' bar near the port for a pint. This was his daily routine. He was a regular there and so was his habit of going overboard and getting piss drunk. He could never stop at the single pint that he walked in there to have. At half past twelve he bid goodbye to his friends and began his ride home. His Vespa seemed to choke under his large bottom. He liked this city. It was his home. The surprise rain showers earlier that day left the air chilly and he enjoyed the cool breeze on his drunk face. He parked his Vespa next to the building, made a small mental prayer for it to still be there in the morning and walked in. He climbed the set of stairs and stood outside his door, fumbling for the keys in his pocket. It took him five minutes to find them and ten more minutes to unlock the door, having dropped the keys twice. He pushed the door open and stepped in. Something moved behind him, he turned but before he could catch sight of the stranger in his room a baseball bat came crashing to his skull and he passed out.
Frank stirred back into consciousness. His blurry vision slowly regained focus and the living room came into sight. The lights were off but the room was illuminated, albeit dimly, from the moonlight seeping in through the open window to his left. The cheap curtain fluttered in the wind. His head hurt and he wanted to rub the sore spot but was unable to lift his hands. He slowly realized they were tied to the arms of the chair he was sitting on. As his mind drifted to reality, his brain began to register his surroundings. The only difference in his apartment from the way he left it that morning was the stranger perched on the sofa facing him.
"You will die you son of a bitch. Who are you? A thief? You've picked the wrong guy to rob punk!" Frank yelled.
Eric stood, baseball bat still in hand. Frank flinched a little at the sight of the bat and that was enough to tell Eric what his captors mental state was. He was frightened.
"You will speak only when spoken to, understood?" Eric said plainly. "I will kill you!" Frank screamed. Eric swung the bat with all the force his nineteen year old arms could muster and the bat came crashing on Frank's right knee. There was a cracking sound as bat connected with bone and Frank screamed as the blinding pain swept him.
In any other part of Heavens Alley a scream like that would have worried neighbors peeking through windows and cops speeding to the scene. In Redhill however, a scream like that was normal and an occasional occurrence.
"You will speak only when spoken to, understood?" Eric reiterated. This time Frank nodded his consent.
"One week ago. two guys raped and murdered a woman. One of those guys was you. Who was the other?" Eric questioned. "I swear I can explain, this blonde woman approached us..." Frank began explaining but was not allowed to finish. The bat came crashing on his left elbow breaking it instantly. Frank screamed again. "Answer the question and nothing else", Eric said with vehemence in his voice.
"Billy Grey. Lives on 29th, Gockmund Street. You'll see his name on the post box", Frank struggled to mutter while gasping for breath. Eric had what he wanted. He kept the bat down and walked into the storeroom. Frank saw this and breathed a sigh of relief, a feeling that was short lived as he watched Eric walk back into the living room with a drill in his hand. Attached to the chuck was a titanium twist drill bit. Eric took his time connecting an extension to the plug point and pulling it to the chair. He then connected the drill.
Frank was now in panic. Beads of perspiration fell down his brow and into his eye, and he blinked profusely to try and get rid of it. Then he heard the rusted 'swoosh' that came when Eric hit the trigger.
"Boy, listen to me. This lady approached us at the Gung Ho bar near the docks...." Before he could finish, a sock was stuffed into his mouth. Frank choked under the disgusting taste of the foul sock.
Eric knelt to level with the still intact left knee. He looked up at Frank. He saw his eyes. There it was. The look for mercy. He hit the trigger and pushed the drill until the drill bit tore into the knee cap and came out through the Popliteal Fossa, the part of the leg opposite the knee. Frank shuddered but his body was tightly tied down. Pieces of bone and chunks of flesh flew around. Frank tried screaming but the sock inhibited his attempt. He passed out, only to be woken back to reality with a bucket of ice cold water. The drill then went through his thigh, tearing through his femur. Flesh tore and was flung around the living room. Frank looked down at Eric for the last time. He saw the eyes of the young boy. They had a twinkle in them. He was enjoying himself.
He is the devil was Franks last thought.
Eric stood up, noticed Frank about lose consciousness and forced the drill into his skull killing him instantly.
Eric was soaked in blood. This didn't bother him, on the contrary, He felt exhilarated. He loosened his fist and let the drill fall to the ground. He walked to the kitchen for the final part of his plan. He twisted the stove valve to release the pressurized gas into the air. He then took a metal plate and put it in the microwave, twisting the knob to point '3 minutes'. He exited the apartment immediately. In a minute or two the plate would spark and the gas would ignite. The whole apartment would be ashes in an hour. The cops and the fire brigade would take their time getting here, owing to the localities history.
Eric started walking through the narrow alleyway. It would take him ten minutes to reach 29th, Gockmund Street.