Logan paced around the still, silent form of the child he’d just killed and tried to pull some sort of plan of action from the maelstrom of frantic thoughts swirling in his head.
Okay, so I can’t take him to the police. Not even an honest cop would believe this story, much less a crooked one who already hates me.
He looked around. No sign of the bullet embedded in any nearby trees–they’d never find it. He’d have to move the kid somewhere else, though, somewhere far enough from where the shot was fired to make sure.
He did so, dragging the body on a circuitous, cadaver dog-confusing route through the woods by its feet and feeling like the worst human being on the planet every time its open, bleeding skull pinged against a rock.
What choice did he have, though? He couldn’t very well risk getting blood on himself or leaving any more of his own DNA behind. Not that he expected Kimball and his goons to put the pieces together, of course. Still, one couldn’t be too careful.
When he was satisfied he’d put enough distance between the vic and the scene, he went back and kicked leaves, dirt and other debris on the blood trail he’d left in his wake. Murder sure was nasty business.
Stop that–he’s not a vic and I’m not a murderer. I had no choice! Yeah, keep telling yourself that. Whatever’s gonna help ya sleep at night, buddy.
“Damn it,” he hissed. The savage animal that had so viciously attacked him was gone, and all that remained was a very young, very innocent-looking dead young man with blood-matted hair. His cold, lifeless eyes were frozen open, and Logan could almost feel them staring at him as he headed back to the trail. He didn’t turn around.
When he reached his car several minutes later, he looked out over the woods and saw a hawk circling.
A tear rolled down his cheek as he got in the car and drove off. He glanced down at his phone on the seat.
She‘s just going to yell at you. Don’t do it. You don’t need that right now.
He picked up the phone. “Call Helen.”
The phone rang once, twice, three times…after the fourth ring, he was about to hang up when he heard a sigh from his car stereo speakers.
“What the hell do you want?”
“Hey. I just… how’s Everett?”
A pause. Then, “What’s this sudden concern for your son all about?”
“Come on. Don’t be like this.”
“Be like this? Be like what? I’m just wondering why now? After three months of not hearing from you, all of a sudden you call up like ‘Hey, how’s Everett?’ How do you think he is, Logan?”
“I don’t know, because you won’t tell me.”
“You’re the detective, can’t you figure it out? Let’s see, here’s a couple clues: He’s depressed because he doesn’t think his father cares about him, and I’m finding it harder and harder to make up excuses in your defense. And he’s acting out at school because of it. You know he got in a fight the other day? Our son. A fight!”
“Oh yeah? How’d he do?”
“You piece of shit.”
Helen hung up, and Logan sighed and turned on the radio. “Now I remember why we broke up,” he muttered as The Eagles launched into Take It Easy. He groaned and changed the station several times before settling on one that was playing some old country song he was unfamiliar with but found tolerable.
The conversation with Helen had gone about like he’d expected. Don’t even know why the hell I called.
But he did know.
He drove two miles out of town until he came across a cow pasture with a fairly deep-looking pond. He got out, walked over to the collapsing barbed wire fence that surrounded the property and hurled his gun into the water.
He’d have to get another one soon–he felt naked when he wasn’t packing, and there was some crazy shit going down in Axton, Oklahoma. He didn’t want to get caught with his pants down.