As Derek and his mother pulled into a Motel 6 for the night a black El Camino turned down the street they had lived on for two months and cut it’s headlights. As it approached their old address it slowed and rolled to a stop. The driver got out after inspecting the scene for a few minutes and went to the door and kicked it in without ceremony. He went in and surveyed the scene then set about smashing what few objects were left. He went back out and got in his car and drove off in a spray of gravel.
As he drove he flipped open his cell phone and hit a number on speed dial.
“The bitch split. Somebody must have tipped her. I told you to fix the leaks. What the fuck you think I’m payin’ you for?”
Silence on the other end for a minute, then:
“I’ll look into it and get back to you.”
He threw the phone in the glove box in disgust and went looking for a roadhouse to kill some time in.
Early the next afternoon Lorraine and Derek pulled up in front of their new home and sat looking at it.
“So how ‘bout that, hon? Ain’t it nice?”
Derek shrugged and got out and opened up the back of the wagon to start unpacking while she went and found the key under the flower pot where it had been left for them. It was early enough that if they got it done quick he could see about getting his wireless connection up and running.
They bantered with ease as they set up house. Derek liked it when she was sober, she could carry on a conversation. The phone had been connected for them so Lorraine got out the phone book and declared it was Chinese takeout night. Derek set about getting a new connection and letting his circle know where he was.
Several months passed without incident as they settled in. They were close to Phoenix and Derek had no trouble finding a dope connection that he could turn a profit from. He had managed to keep his covert activities hidden from his mother. Her disability checks never quite kept them as comfortable as they liked and he had learned a long time ago to supplement their income. She knew he had money coming in but didn’t really want to know where it came from. She told herself it had to do with the Internet, which she had never bothered with.
A couple of months after they arrived she had met a new man and he was spending more and more time with them. Derek has learned to stay out of her business but he kept an eye on the men to make sure they didn’t harm her physically. She knew and thought it was sweet.
This latest one didn’t seem quite as bad as some of the others but he never let himself get too cosy with them. They always disappeared in time. His mother was high maintenance.
One day as he was walking down the street in Phoenix to the post office where they got their mail and he stopped in his tracks. Something wasn’t right. He could just feel it. He looked around and didn’t see anything, and then his eyes fell on the black El Camino parked across the street. A chill ran through him and he walked a little further on and then crossed the street and found a vantage point where he could see the license plate.
He cursed under his breath and moved on to the post office. He stood across the street from it in the shadows and watched for a while to make sure the coast was clear before going over to fetch the mail. Mom was not going to like the news.
Part 4 Tomorrow