Shockley staggered out of his unmarked Brown Seville with major unease. He was shaking from alcohol withdrawals. The muscles of his neck were slowly convulsing as his chin bounced up and down involuntarily at the same time. His left ear felt as if it was on fire. It was hot and swollen inside and out from Rinehart's shotgun blast that had grazed him earlier in the day. Shockley needed a drink. Actually, he needed it yesterday. Looks like he had picked one Hell of a day to stop drinking. Why Shockley had picked today of all days to stop was a mystery even to himself. He only knew it was the right time, and long overdue. Chasing Rinehart for almost 24 hours had taken its toll on him. The sun blasting his face at mid-day reflected from hot, newly laid down black asphalt was really beginning to get to him. He could smell the asphalt in his nose, sticking to his nose hairs like unwanted house guests crashing a dinner party. This was how the farmland roads in Nebraska were²miles and miles of straight black and gray roads surrounded by wire picket fences and red barns living in the distance. Red barns painted years ago. Now faded and almost reddish-black, they looked burnt and grossly faded from his viewpoint. Shockley had received the call in his unmarked Brown Seville yesterday morning. He had been parked at the local 7-Eleven downing a 24-ounce Budweiser. He never bothered to hide the fact to anyone in his Omaha district that he was a stone cold alcoholic, everyone knew that anyway. They also knew he was a cop, so they left him alone to do what he wanted. In the middle of drinking the Budweiser, a call had come in over his police radio: Rinehart Carlson had escaped from the state prison a day earlier and had already robbed one bank in the vicinity. While in the middle of robbing it, he had plugged a retired school teacher with a sawed-off shotgun blast. Rinehart had procured the shotgun from one of those same red barns Shockley had
2 trouble viewing in the Nebraska wastelands. While cashing her monthly social security check to buy the monthly ration of cat food,(not for her cat, the schoolteacher didn¶t have one) Rinehart had graciously put her out of her misery and shot out the windshield of the schoolteacher¶s car(along with her head) at the same time. Armed and dangerous. Maniacal and manipulative. Yep, sounds like the Rinehart that Shockley had come to know and love. ³WTF??????? That hoodlum escaped? I put him away more than seven years ago.´ rang Shockley's inner voice with displeasure. So here was Shockley chasing Rinehart for the second time in seven years and hating every minute of it. The last time, Shockley had caught Rinehart while lounging in a local bar right after he had destroyed a church with a gasoline can and a match. Just having a little drinkie poo after lighting up an esteemed local church that had been there over a hundred years. Shockley had come up behind Rinehart and pistol-whipped him when Rinehart came out of the bathroom from taking a piss. That was Shockley. He didn't take any chances. He got the job done. A little beauty mark on the back of a known lunatic's head wasn't going to stop Shockley from doing his job the correct way. Correctomundo motherfucker. Besides, the patrons of the bar had applauded immediately as if they were seeing the end of a Spielberg movie. After a short lecture given by Shockley to a stunned Rinehart on the proper dos and donts of good Christians, Shockley had taken him into the precinct where further lecturing occurred via batons and gun butts from other officers of the law. Seems this time, Rinehart had decided to move up in the world from arson to bank robbery and
3 homicide. Yep, moved right on up. Just like George and Weezy did to the West-side. How Rinehart had escaped from his confines at the Nebraska State Prison that Shockley had helped put him in seven years ago was a story onto itself. It seems Rinehart had a relative within the menacing gates of the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Seems this relative had helped Rinehart escape by poisoning him with a slight dose of Arsenic in his morning mush they try to pass off as Cream of Wheat within the walls of The Nebraska State Pen. Seems also Rinehart's relative was the administrative head cook in charge of assigning inmates to the kitchen. Rinehart's relative had assigned an Aryan-Brotherhood crony to do the dirty work for him. Of course, the magic trick was making Reinhart sick enough without crossing the line and placing to much Arsenic within the Cream of Wheat morning mush so as to kill him. This AB crony was instructed as to the proper amount only to make Rinehart violently sick enough to be taken to a local hospital. The Aryan's knew the Nebraska Pen in which they enjoyed shanking and fucking enemies (and each other) for money and drugs good enough to know that it currently had no facilities as to deter or deal with that type of poisoning. They had done their research. What people on the outside don't know is that some of these guys are fucking geniuses. They don't call em' cooks for nothing. If they can make meth on the outside, they certainly can determine what's enough Arsenic to kill or not kill a 205 pound Aryan-Brother on the inside. Evil geniuses. Rinehart, being a long-time member of an Aryan-Brotherhood click called the Slags on the street, (the Aryan-Brotherhood deferred to sticking together as a unit within the pen and stuck to their own prison name called The Woods)had an apparent longtime familial tie with this good ole' boy Uncle who
4 had been in charge of the kitchen at the Nebraska State Pen since Rinehart was two years old. This good ole' boy kitchen administrator often ran smack and crystal meth into the walls by various means also--he had been doing it for years and years. Once a Slag, always a Slag thought Shockley. The morning of Rinehart's Cream of Wheat poisoning, one of the members of the Brotherhood had accidentally let it out that Rinehart was escaping by this method, and Rinehart's Uncle was brought in and questioned by the Warden. At the same time Rinehart was busy vomiting all over the floor at the local hospital from being slightly poisoned, Rinehart's Uncle had spilled the beans about what had happened. By that time, however, Rinehart had already not-so-quietly slipped out the back of the hospital's exit doors--escaping. They had only put plastic handcuffs on Rinehart. Not only that, they had put them on front-wise. Well, Rinehart had easily lifted some heavyweight scissors laying on the table meant for cutting plaster casts, quickly reversed the angle of the sharp jutting scissors while the doctor and nurse had their back turned away from him, and cut them off in a quick jiffy. Then he coolly picked up a syringe and stabbed a nurse directly in the cornea. The nurse's bloodletting scream had made the doctor wet his pants on the spot, and Rinehart bolted for the hospital exit, off to cause more mayhem and madness in the same not-so-sleepy Nebraska community from whence he came. Fucking geniuses. Plastic handcuffs? Who the fuck had invented those? Some government asshole trying to make himself look good and save money at the same time while convincing the local, county, and federal government police agencies they were ³just as good´ as steel. Shockley had seen dopers break out of
5 steel handcuffs after a week-long binge on Crank, let alone plastics. During a second attempted bank robbery, Shockley had caught up with Rinehart for a quick instant. Shockley knew Rinehart would stick to his own neighborhood for malicious criminal activities. Shockley also knew that Rinehart didn't give a whisper shit about getting caught. For Rinehart, it was the doing of the crime that mattered. Whenever Rinehart did a crime, he was always smiling. Even when Shockley had ³arrested him´ with the edge of his gun butt in that bar seven years ago, Rinehart was smiling. Knocked him the fuck out, and Rinehart was smiling. Shockley caught Rinehart in his own neighborhood--busily dragging a thirty-ish blonde woman with nice tits by her long blonde hair out the double-glass revolving doors of the Umpua Bank on Third Street. Shockley remembered the woman's black high-heels making a grating sound on the pavement as Rinehart dragged the woman along. The woman was screaming bloody murder not realizing this was the day she would be given an instant hand-pulled haircut not endorsed by her local salon. Out of the corner oh his eye, Rinehart saw Shockley coming at him²saw Shockley slowly reaching behind his back to grab his piece. No, that's wrong. Rinehart felt him coming at him and Shockley felt him right back. Rinehart slid to a halt and shoved his sawed-off directly on top of the blonde woman's head. ³Been a long time, Fuckley.´ Shockley stopped dead in his tracks. ³Good boy. You wouldn't want to see this bitch's brains spread all over the bank's parking lot, now would you, Fuckley? No, I don't think the City of Omaha would like that very much at all. In fact, I
6 think they'd be dead set against it...Dead set.´ Shockley felt his gun caress the back of his shirt. He always carried his .38 against his back, rather than in a shoulder holster. Those shoulder holsters were good for nothing besides looks and getting you shot before you could even think to draw. No, Shockley preferred his piece behind his back, for a quick reach around of the non-gay variety. ³You been busy today, Rinehart. I hope your plans don't include taking that woman anywhere.´ Rinehart shoved the sawed-off into the woman's cheek violently. The blonde whimpered and began pleading for her life stating she would do anything for Rinehart not to kill her. ³Seems to me, I got a willing participant.´ said Rinehart. Rinehart knelt down and whispered into the woman's ear: ³Ain't that right, Sugar?" ³ANYTHING...´ whimpered the woman again. Rinehart took the shotgun off the woman's head and aimed it straight at Shockley. ³Or maybe I'll just spray you with a little bit of love, Fuckley. How'd you like that, boy?´ Shockley gauged the distance between him and Rinehart at about 40 yards. ³Spray´ was the right word. The pellets probably would feel like big, sharp needles when they hit him. Hurt and wound, bloodify and cause ugliness--most definitely. Kill--nope. Nonetheless, Shockley played along. ³We got your Uncle Pete, Rinehart. He got rolled over by one of your own Aryan Brothers. Then he rolled to the Warden. Just like dominoes, Rinehart. You played a lot of dominoes in there for seven long years, didn't you? You really weren't planning on meeting up with Uncle Petie later today, were you?´
7 Shockley saw a brief flash of surprise on Rinehart's face, then it was gone. ³Here's what's gonna' happen, Fuckley. First, I'm taking this bitch into that White Bronco.´ Rinehart prodded his head to a parking space occupied by the Bronco. ³Then, I'm going down the yellow brick road to see the fucking wizard, understand? If you try to stop me, or try to follow me in that shit brown car you call a police unit, I'm gonna' make this chick's head look like a nice ripe partially-exploded watermelon, asap. You know what asap means, right Fuckley ole' boy? That means right away. Right fucking away. Dig me?´ ³Rinehart, I don't think----´ Shockley's voice was cut-off by the sound of at least seven patrol cars screaming in fast coming up on Third Street. Rinehart ripped a huge chunk of blonde hair from the woman's head and she screamed. ³Another time, another place, hey Fuckley?´ He kicked the woman in the side of her gut to get her out of his way and aimed once again at Shockley. This time, Rinehart's sawed-off sounded a BLAST directly at Shockley's head. Shockley dove ³asap´ to the ground as the pellets sprayed into his Seville¶s passenger window, some ricocheting off to the outside meat of his aforementioned left ear. Shockley lifted his head slowly off the ground in time enough to see Rinehart jump into the White Bronco and light up the ignition. The Bronco screeched away and vanished into an alley just as the seven patrol cars entered the parking lot. The patrol cars entered not ³asap´ but late, as usual... ³Fuck me.´ mumbled Shockley from his ground position.
8 Rinehart stuck his head out of the Bronco's window and cackled like a crow. His laugh had been known to drive fellow inmates crazy within his tier of the Nebraska State Pen. Tier ³C´, better known as ³Crookville´ within the walls, held murderers, rapists, arsonists(one of Rinehart's former specialties) and thieves, not necessarily in that order. As the Bronco slogged through the back alleys of downtown Omaha, Rinehart thought about what Shockley had said. Was Uncle Pete really found out? Rinehart didn't picture his Uncle ratting him out. I mean, he had been in charge of the commodities within the Nebraska Pig Pen for as long as he could remember²as far back as twenty-five years or so. Though, in fact, Rinehart didn't remember much from his childhood. Anything before about 9 years old was a hazy blur. He had been passed between family members exactly like a Ham Sandwich, everyone taking a bite out of his little frail boy body. His Uncle was the only one who had ever seemed to really give a shit, training him in the special art of making Crystal Methamphetamine and the special nuances of using it all the time. All the time...The deliciousness of it all. The world is mine. I'm going to make Fuckley suffer long and hard. I have a surprise for him when he finds me. A big one. My seven years in the Pig Pen will be repaid to him all in one moment. I will win this game. I am eternal. The wizard will eat his brain slowly... ³Yeah, that's exactly how its gonna be Fuckley. Just you wait, boy.´ Rinehart spoke to his inner voice-mail and left a message with demonic glee. ³Can I get a YEAH-YA?´ he cackled out the window again and sped off into the Nebraska heartland/wasteland, off to see the fucking Wizard. MORE...