Episode 4, Part 1
Kelly pulled into the Martello Tower parking garage and wound her way up to the top level. She eased into a spot next to the elevators, cut the engine and sat behind the steering wheel sobbing until she had no tears left to cry.
She took the elevator up to the thirtieth floor and stood at her apartment door jiggling the key in the lock, but the dead bolt wouldn’t unlatch. Kelly glanced up and saw the notice that had been affixed to her door:
NOTICE TO EVICT PREMISES
Payment of rent in arrears in the amount of $1,150 is due and payable immediately. If this back rent is not received in full within 7 days from the date of this notice, the premises will be cleared of all personal items and listed as vacant. You will not be able to reclaim your personal property at that time. Remit payment to the Leasing Office immediately to regain access to the premises. Failure to do so in the required time will result in forfeiture of the unit.
“Oh, fuck. Not now. Jesus.”
She pulled oot her phone and called her sister.
“Hey. I’m in a little bit of a jam. Can Nia stay there with you tonight?”
Maple Ridge, B.C.
Theresa threw her arms around her sister and held her in a long embrace.
“Hi, Stacy! It’s so great to see you! Thanks so much for driving oot here with Brooke. Eddie, come help us with the bags!”
They stepped into the foyer of Theresa’s spacious split-level home while her husband dutifully fetched their luggage from the trunk.
“So how was the trip?”
“In that case, what do you say we kick back in the kitchen with a bottle of wine?”
They settled down at the table as Theresa uncorked a bottle of Chardonnay and poured three generous glasses.
“So, Brooke, what’s this ‘little project’ you have for me?”
“Sorry for being so vague aboot it on the phone, Theresa, but it seems cell phone towers in Manitoba are few and far between. Before I left Toronto, I scoured all the social networks for anything I could find aboot Kelly – you remember Kelly, right?”
“How could I forget?”
“Of course. Anyway, I don’t know if she’s married and using a different name or what, but my detective work was a bust. You know I would never ask you to do anything unethical, but—”
“—but you’re going to anyway, right? Listen, Brooke, I get so few benefits from the cheapskates at ICBC that sometimes I feel compelled to invent my own. Usually, that comes in the form of extra copy paper for my home office, but maybe this time, I’ll access the driver database for…extracurricular purposes?”
“That’s my baby sister!”
Vancouver International Airport
“Ashley, I don’t understand. Why didn’t you tell me aboot this on the phone?”
Ashley stared down at the table and fidgeted with an empty Stevia packet as she tried to formulate a sensible reply.
“i guess i just didn’t feel like talking aboot it.”
“Well, when is your court date?”
Dylan shook his head in exasperation and took a sip of his coffee.
“You know you can’t run away from this forever, right? The judge is gonna issue a bench warrant that will be transmitted to every police department in every province in the country. You can’t hide oot in my garage until this one passes over, Ashley.”
“i’m scared, dylan. and you’re all i’ve got. i need you to tell me it’ll be okay.”
Dylan sighed and grasped Ashley’s hand across the table.
“It’s gonna be okay, Ashley. I promise.”
Kent Institution Correctional Facility
It had been two weeks since Chris had spotted Tony in the courtroom and though both were housed in general population, they hadn’t crossed paths in the prison common areas so Chris had started to let his guard down. At night as he’d lay on his cot waiting for sleep that never came, he often wondered if Tony hadn’t gotten himself arrested at Roxane’s behest, a thought that only served to make his sleepless nights feel even more interminable.
Chris put on his jacket and lined up at the door to the recreation yard. The guard did a head count and swung the steel door open to let the inmates file oot.
In keeping with his self-imposed isolation, Chris wandered to a quiet corner of the yard and leaned against the razor-wire fence as he lit a cigarette. He idly watched a couple of inmates playing poker at a picnic table a few yards away until he spotted a hooded figure approaching fast from his left. Thinking fast, Chris pulled up the cuff of his pants and reached into his sock for the slender makeshift shiv he’d been carrying for the past week or so. He slid it inconspicuously up his leg and held it with two fingers against his inner thigh. He looked back in the direction of the possible attacker who seemed to have disappeared in the brief moment that Chris had turned his attention to ferreting the concealed weapon from his sock. Scanning the yard, he still saw no sign of the man and began to wonder if paranoia was just working overtime on his imagination.
Chris walked back toward the fence and lifted his thumb, letting the blade slip down into his shoe. As he popped the cigarette back between his lips, he felt a sudden sensation of breath on the back of his neck and spun around. Tony wore a sadistic grin as he raised the shank and sunk it rapidly into Chris’ throat before turning on his heel and disappearing into the throng of prisoners in the yard. Chris collapsed to the ground as a stream of blood erupted from just below his Adam’s apple splattering a mosaic of crimson into the dirt surrounding his motionless body.