Chapter 6 – Judge, Jury, & Executioner – Dave Bailey

Chapter 6 – Judge, Jury, & Executioner

“Tony,” April said trying to smile cheerfully. She could see Hamilton and Crowley scowling at her. Johnny stood in front of Tony beside the elevator doors.

“What are you doing, baby?” Tony asked. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do. Come over here and sit on the couch.”
He took her by the shoulder and led her over to a couch close to the desk. She sat down. Tony turned back to chew out the guard.

“What were you thinking, Bill. How did you let this lady get the best of you?” he asked furiously.

Johnny stepped forward and came to his defense, “I’m sure he didn’t want to harm Mrs. Blanchet. He probably didn’t realize how tough your wife was and she nailed him before he could get the situation under control. Right, Bill.”

He started to steer Bill towards the door.

“Don’t worry about this Tony. I’ve got it under control, and I’ll deal with him tomorrow. But give him a break. I’m sure he didn’t mean to let her through. I saw the surveillance tapes before you got here. She nailed him good. You’ve got to admit this is an extreme situation because he wasn’t dealing with a regular thief. I mean this is family we’re dealing with here. Right?”

“Okay, sure. You handle it, Johnny. But don’t be long.” Tony said.

Hamilton and Crowley were talking among themselves off in the corner. Tony came back over to the couch and sat down beside April.

“What’s going on, baby? What are you doing in here at this unearthly time of the night for?”
April knew this didn’t look good, and she didn’t want Tony to get in trouble with the board, so she decided to stick to her jealous wife routine.

“I’m sorry, Tony. I thought you were cheating on me. I’ve just been jealous because you haven’t been paying much attention to me. And I wanted to know what was going on.”

“Uh, huh,” Tony muttered in indignation. “Are you accusing me of two-timing on you? Is that what you’re saying?”

“Calm down, Tony.” Hamilton butted in to help him keep his cool. “So, if that’s true April, what were you doing here in Crowley’s office?”

She shook her head and tried to conjure up a few tears to make herself look sincere. It wasn’t too hard because she really was scared. She had always been scared of Hamilton. There was just something creepy about the guy. The way he walked and talked. It was just all off. The way he waltzed into partnership and practically taken over most of the company.

“And why did you get on the elevator, April?” Crowley added. “Did you think you would find more proof there?”

“I didn’t know it was an elevator. I thought it was just a secret room. How did I know it would go down to Sector Seven?”

“Sector Seven,” Tony asked in surprise. “What do you know about Sector Seven?”

“Bill must have told me,” she stammered nervously.

“No, April. Bill doesn’t know about Sector Seven. He doesn’t have clearance for Sector Seven. He thinks this is a meeting room.” Hamilton thundered. “I know because I’m the one who gives people clearance to go down there.”

“Well, maybe he heard about it through the company grapevine,” she said to cover for herself.
Hamilton smirked. “I don’t think so, April. He’s just arrived recently and is only here at night. There aren’t many people around for him to chat with about company gossip. I’m gonna ask you one more time. How do you know about Sector Seven?”

“Nothing, I swear. I don’t know nothing. Honest. Please, I’ll forget all about it and never mention it to anyone ever again.”

Hamilton pulled up a chair close to her with the back facing towards her. He threw his legs around the sides and sat down in front of her. He took his time rolling up his sleeves while he gathered his thoughts.

“I’m only gonna ask you this once, April. You answer me straight and give me the right answer, or I will kill you myself. I don’t care if you are Tony’s wife. Have you been in touch with the Blue Wolf?”

A chill ran down April’s spine, and the hairs stood up on the back of her neck. If they suspected that she had talked to him, she knew Hamilton would make good on his threat.

“Of course not,” she replied as calmly as she could. “Why would I talk to somebody named the Blue Wolf.”
But it was too late, she could see in Hamilton’s eyes that he already knew the truth. He was just setting her up in front of Tony.

“Tony, you gotta believe me. Please. I’m your wife. The mother of your children. I love you, Tony. I would never do anything to harm you or your company.”

Tony refused to look at her. He stood up and walked away from the couch. He slid the glass doors open and stepped out onto the veranda outside. He stood silently at the edge looking out over the city.

Hamilton and Crowley were off in the corner conferring among themselves.

April started to cry. Her hands shook, and her legs trembled. She threw her face in her hands and tried to muffle her sobs.

Johnny came back in and walked over to where Crowley and Hamilton were still huddled near the desk.

“Tony,” Hamilton called him and motioned with his hand for the man to step from the veranda to join them.

Tony walked past April without looking her in the eye. She thought she could see that his eyes were shiny from tears.

“What’s going on, Tony?” she asked as he went by. She reached out to touch him, but he moved his hand away from her.

The men spoke briefly, and all nodded. April watched them through tears in her eyes. It looked like they were taking a vote. Then they all broke up.

“I’m sorry, baby,” Tony said. “We knew the Blue Wolf had contacted you. But I thought you were going to stay true to me. To us. To the company. But the men don’t trust you. They think you’re going to believe the Blue Wolf’s lies and they’re going to use you to turn us in.”

On the one hand, she wanted to beg and plead for her life, but at the same time, she knew it was useless. The die had been cast, and the men had made their decision.

Judge, jury, and executioners.

This was it, and she had to know what was going on down there before her end came. What were these men doing down there?

“Okay, Tony. I understand,” she took a deep breath and stood up. “I always let you run things your way even though I didn’t agree with your methods. But I didn’t ever think it would come to this.”

“I’m sorry, baby. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. But you’re playing for the wrong team. If you had been honest with me from the start and told me about this when they first contacted you, I think we could have worked things out. But it’s out of my hands now.”

Tony sighed and shrugged as he looked at the other guys. That gesture infuriated April. He always used it when he was trying to weasel his way out of something. She was spitting nails now.

“C’mon, Tony. Don’t throw the blame on others. Man up for yourself just once and admit that you’ll be glad to be rid of me. I bet you don’t have the guts to do the job yourself. You’ll have one of your nameless thugs pull the trigger. It’s probably just as well because you’d probably botch it and make me suffer. I’d rather it be handled by a pro anyway. I bet none of you have the guts to do me in,” she screamed at them with her voice rising in crescendo till she was literally screeching at the end.

April’s face was livid, and her whole body shook with anger and fury at this final betrayal. She wanted to weep and sob, but she refused to give them the satisfaction of watching her beg for her life. She shoved her way past the men towards the door.

“C’mon. Let’s get it over with,” she shouted. “Where is my executioner?”

She continued walking towards the door and wanted to snicker at the look of shock on their faces. This was not the reaction they had expected from her at all.

“Wait,” April said as she spun around. “I do have one question. Do me the honor of telling me what I saw down there in that elevator.”

The men remained silent and looked at Tony.

“They’re clones, baby. We’ve been trying to develop a cloning process. But we haven’t quite been successful yet. So, each of those people that you saw down there was a clone of someone that has already died.”

April nodded and smiled. “So, you’re going to kill me to keep this Blue Wolf guy from knowing what you’re up to and learning all your secrets. You know he’ll just keep coming until he finds someone who does know something and is willing to talk.”

The men shrugged. Hamilton was the one who finally replied. “Yeah, we keep close tabs on most everybody and know who he’s talking to already. Hopefully, they’ll be smart and not break our trust by sneaking around like you did.”

“Get it over with, Johnny,” Crowley ordered.

“Hmm, Johnny’s gonna do me in. Huh?” April said. “I remember when he started working for you all as a boy. This is what you had him doing.”

“He’s a good, trustworthy employee that always does what he’s told,” Crowley replied. “A good man we can trust with our lives. That’s what’s important to us. Trust.”

“Yeah, whatever! Blah, blah, blah. Go sweet-talk yourself to sleep, old man. Your day of judgment is coming too. You’ll get yours soon enough.” April said arrogantly as she snubbed her nose at them.

Continue Reading Chapter 7 – Float Like An Angel >>>

Dave Bailey

Dave Bailey started writing short stories when he lived in Brazil to help his students learn English. Now, he lives in Florida again where he continues to write fun and inspiring sci-fi and fantasy fiction stories. You can read his weekly short stories here on his blog. Make sure to join his advanced reading crew so you know when new stories become available >>>