Henry took a couple of pictures of the cauls. He told Luna that he needed to head into his office and made her promise not to leave the house. She said she would read a book. Henry took the paper with him, he turned on the shower, and only then did he read the ‘Big News’
The headline read ‘Missing’.
An accountant with the prominent Manhattan law firm of Smith, Havershome and Blickstein is missing, and the Police commissioner Jonathan O’Rourke has indicated that the entire department is scouring the city. Mr. Alexander is wanted in connection with the racketeering and money laundering case against famous mobster Tommy ‘The Knife’. He has crucial evidence in the case and the commissioner has asked the entire community to be on the lookout for the missing accountant.
The article went on to provide a bunch of conjecture regarding the case, most of which wasn’t at all accurate, but did fill out a fairly thin story. At least now, Henry knew which mobster was after Mr. Alexander. Tommy ‘The Knife’ was a ruthless thug who preferred to use a barber’s straight edge to a gun. He had risen up through the ranks by collecting for the most powerful loan shark in the city and now ran a veritable army, made up of the dregs of society. Henry took a shower and shaved. He told Luna that he was off to the office and made her promise to stay inside, again. She did.
The snow had ceased to fall. The streets were wet, but traffic was light, as most had taken off work and stayed home. The drive was easy and Henry’s thoughts turned to the case. What could be the next clue? He thought about the journal. He needed to get it to the DA, but first he wanted to go to the office and see if anyone had been around to see him. He also wanted to go meet Miss Culberson, as it appears the Journal doesn’t have anything to do with her father, and he wanted to find out who put her up to hiring him.
Henry parked his car in the alley down the street from his building. He rounded the corner and immediately saw the crowd gathered around the front of the charred building that used to hold his office. He didn’t stop to ask what had happened. He knew the answer. He went to his apartment, which was only 5 blocks away. He kept the apartment in the city as his official residence. Henry made sure that he spent at least one night a week in the place, just to keep up appearances.
He was careful. He used the back entrance. There wasn’t anyone around. The back stairs were empty, but Henry was extra careful. He listened for anything out of the ordinary. It was quiet, except for the baby crying in 5B. When he stepped onto the landing he didn’t see anyone. Henry pressed his ear carefully against the door and again he heard nothing, not so much as a mouse in the house. It turned out that there weren’t any mice, only rats. He opened the door and walked in. The door closed behind him.
“Mr. Wood, you owe me two tires.” came from the man sitting in his comfy chair.
Before Henry could come up with a clever response, the man to his right, welcomed him with a sock to the gut.
“It seems youz been sticking your nose where it don’t belong, Mr. Wood.” said the man in the chair.
Henry was about to say answer, when he got another greeting to the midsection.
“You tell your buddy Big Mike that he messed with the wrong guy. If he wants a war then we will give him one.”
The thug behind Henry brought something down on the back of Henry’s head and he dropped to the floor.
The knocking at the door caused Henry to come to. He moaned and said, “Come in.”
Big Mike walked in as Henry was trying to sit up. He looked around the apartment. “They tossed your place pretty good, eh buddy?”
“I was thinking of having a decorator in anyway.” Henry said.
“I told you that they were some bad guys.” said Mike, while helping his friend to his feet, and continued, “Maybe you best tell your buddy what you have been up to?”
Henry and Mike turned the kitchen table back upright and got a couple of chairs. He grabbed the bottle of bourbon from the counter and two glasses. “Was there anybody hurt in the fire?” Henry asked.
“No, it must have started around 3 am; we don’t know the cause yet. You think it was your new friends?” Mike asked.
“I don’t believe in coincidences.” Henry threw back the shot.
“Now what have you found out, that has gotten Tommy’s people on your back?” Mike asked as he poured Henry another one. Henry filled in Mike on the details, including the message they left for him. Mike promised to look into Miss Culberson for Henry. Henry told Mike about the journal and explained that he had it hidden and that they needed to get it to the DA. They each had another shot and sat without saying a word.
-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com