Knock Knock: Episode 17: High Fliers

70084617_511760469651288_3672858763691294720_n.jpgIt was a bleak day. Not just weather wise. I was watching from a window that looked out upon the entrance of the COURT HOUSE as day one of the trial dawned. It was like waiting for the hearse to arrive at the graveside. The crowds had already begun to gather in front. Some of them were morbidly curious onlookers. Some of them were protesters. A violence was brewing between those who were there in support of TABITHA and those who wanted justice to be done quickly and efficiently. The toxic mixture of outrage and revolution was flowing through them.

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“You want to see her put on the performance of her life?” asked Lydia.

I smiled at the idea. Even then both of us expected Tabitha to arrive with airs and graces. I wanted to get a close observation but, as a witness, I had to be kept under lock and key with Lydia, who had been instructed by her superiors to accompany me at all times. I was glad to have her with me. At night in the hotel room I was contained in, my mind gave way to lonely thoughts.

To my surprise, although there were many calling the Boss Lady a murdering psychopath and baying for her blood, there were so many others who still hailed her as some kind of hero. She was a hero to the people of the Shanties for being bold enough to provide them with what they needed to survive. She was a hero to victims of sexual assault and violence given her own story, and her willingness to do whatever it took to open people’s eyes to what was a huge problem in the Shady City. That was no excuse though. In the eyes of the law two horrific crimes do not cancel each other out. She wasn’t in the Shanties any more. She was in the north, and there she was seen as a monster.

I was busy watching a woman screaming angrily, “Just take her out and hang her!” She had a child of about eight by her side doing the same thing. They could have been genuine but there was something set-up about those particular protesters, something that didn’t look quite right to me. Their clothing, positioning, banners and dialogue was all too neat. It wasn’t beyond the OWEN family to have set up stooges among the protestors to deliberately heighten the emotion.

“Here she comes,” said Lydia with a hand on my shoulder, pulling me from my thoughts.
Cries of blood lust rang out as the crowd pushed forward.

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Clang! Metal shuddered as someone outside hurled something heavy at the transport van. It caused Tabitha to jerk forward feeling as though it would hit her head. She could hear the angry voices outside, although slightly muffled. They called her the slut of the Shanties. They wanted to hang her. They wanted to burn her like a witch of old. Mob mentality had consumed them completely. More bangs against the walls as the transport drove through the crowd to the entrance of the Court House.

Fists were pounded against the sides. There was a splat as someone threw the rest of their latte at the narrow windows. She would never admit it to anyone but Tabitha had never felt so alone. There was no one around to support her. No Penns, no aunts and not even DENNIS. It had all come to being enclosed within a metal box. The rabble of hatred heightened and the venom became more potent.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

The crowd had pursued the van to the door.

“Get her out!” they chanted. “Get her out!”

Tabitha wanted to remain within the metallic tomb but the van shuddered to a halt.

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The two escorting Bailiffs took their time from the slam of their doors to walk around the van and open up the back doors.

Clank, twist and suddenly the rabble became roars. As Tabitha’s eyes adjusted to the light she could see the sea of hatred she was cast into.

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Without saying a word the Bailiffs fetched her and pulled her onto her feet. She was dragged out of the van. They slapped at her, the pulled at her hair and they kicked at her.
There was a plant though. There was one among them on Owen Inc. coin to deliberately keep the crowd irate. It was he who threw the can of soup – full. It hit Tabitha across her face causing her to fall over. The Bailiffs halfheartedly pushed the crowd back but whilst they were lifting Tabitha onto her feet, another – feeling bold because of the rabble-rouser – ran at her and kicked her in the face.

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Before the violence of the crowd escalated further the Bailiffs finally rushed her inside to await her trial.

It was a long and painful walk from CPD custody into the hands of the Law Makers. The wounds were not nursed. She wasn’t even checked for damage. Judge Doyle wanted Tabitha to remember she was now in her domain.

Many a broken spirit had entered the draughty, emotionless halls of the Court House. Even more were broken before the bench of JUDGE DOYLE. The question on my mind then was how long would Tabitha’s spirit stand under the scrutiny of the Judge’s icy gaze.

***

Being unable to attend the trial personally until it was time for my own statement the following account is made up of the statements of those in attendance and court transcripts.

The hall was awash with nervous energy as Tabitha’s trial came to session. The only one who seemed unaffected by it was the lady herself who sat on her bench as though ready to watch a production play out before her.

ATTENDANCE:
Judge Doyle: Presiding
City Prosecutor
Counsel for the Defendant: RONALD OWEN
Defendant: Tabitha MC
Clerks and Bailiffs
Clerk: “All rise! Court is now in session. Judge Doyle presiding.”

In a flurry of black robes, The Judge entered the room and for a moment the slightest breath could be heard. Karyn Doyle took her bench; her terribly scarred left eye and the wound on her neck on full display. Tabitha glared at her but The Judge didn’t respond.
The trial was opened under the proper procedure. The charges were read:

Embezzling city funds.
Inciting violence.
Murder in the second degree.
Murder in the first degree. Three counts.

Judge Doyle addressed the murder charges first.

Judge Doyle: “Murder in the second degree of Mel Wallace – a clerk of this court.”

Mel had been the woman I had gotten the video of. Tabitha and MARCUS PENN had taken her to Clifton Alley running along the side of the club and had slit her throat. The video footage of this incident had been the final piece of evidence the LAW MAKERS needed to bring Tabitha in. It was second degree because the eldest Penn triplet had been the one to wield the killing blow.

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Judge Doyle: “Murder in the first degree of Rob and Linda McInney, as well as Lynn Watson.”

Rob and Linda were Tabitha’s parents. It had been Dennis who had told me of their demise at the hands of their daughter as well as the nanny who had been put in charge of the wayward girl.

The Judge addressed Ronnie Owen as Tabitha’s counsel.

Judge Doyle: “How does your client plead?”

Ronnie Owen: “Ma’am, I would like to ask the court to allow us more time to prepare for this trial. There are extenuating circumstances and my client warrants a proper defence.”

The City Prosecutor stepped forward.

City Prosecutor: “Ma’am, the defendant was read her rights upon arrest. She was informed of all charges and my colleague has had ample time to prepare.”

Doyle addressed Ronnie.

Judge Doyle: “Is your client ill informed?”

Ronnie Owen: “No ma’am but on the charges of first degree murder there was an investigation at the time. John Watson, husband of Lynn confessed to the murder of Rob and Linda McKinney as well as Lynn Watson.”

Judge Doyle: “The confession was revoked and further evidence found. There is no statute of limitations on those charges.”

Ronnie Owen: “Ma’am I call for a mistrial until I can be properly prepared for this new evidence,” he tried.

The man with the Owen name really did try.

Doyle’s lip curled.

Judge Doyle: “I suggest, counsellor, that you make your client aware that there are consequences for her actions. The charges stand. If you are under prepared then you need to familiarise yourself with your client’s case history.”

It seemed Dennis had tried to navigate his way around CPD by telling them everything he knew about the death of Tabitha’s parents, including where they were likely to find the remains. His testimony gave the Law Makers reason to add the murder to Tabitha’s charge sheet, potentially sending her away even longer. The coroner’s report confirmed stab wounds. The nanny’s husband was pardoned and released. He suddenly had a solid alibi for the night in question.

Ronnie was not done.

Ronnie Owen: “As far as the charges of inciting violence, the so-called Free Fall Massacre was not a massacre at all. It was declared a terrible, drug induced accident at the time.”
The Free Fall Massacre was an incident that occurred at the Beckingridge Tower just as the Knock Knock club reopened. There were whispers of Tabitha being the cause of the deaths of 59 people.

Judge Doyle: “How does your client plead?”

Ronnie Owen: “Ma’am I do urge the court to approach this matter with a clear head.”

Judge Doyle (unmoved): “How does your client plead?”

Ronnie Owen: “Not guilty, ma’am on all charges.”

Judge Doyle: “Return to your benches counsellors, and we will begin.”

Both lawyers gave their opening statements. The City Prosecutor as expected painted Tabitha as a monster. He described her as spoiled, murderous and lacking moral conscience. He asked the jury to consider that she didn’t care for the people of the Shanties the way she would have it seem. He asked the jury to consider the bodies she was responsible for but not yet charged with.

Ronnie called objection on this.

The Judge sustained. The trial was to be kept to the matters at hand.

The City Prosecutor mentioned my own part. He also discussed the death of Madeline and the statement I had given to the police at the time, discussing Tabitha having put the knife in Maddy’s hand, forcing me to defend myself against her.

Throughout the statements, Tabitha kept her gaze forward to The Judge. Doyle ignored her. During the City Prosecutor’s statement she was seen whispering something to Ronnie. I found out later that she was asking, “Where the fuck did they find Ma and Pa?”
In Ronnie’s opening statement he asked the jurors to keep an open mind. He urged them to remember the shelters, food programs and support the Knock Knock club provided.

“That wasn’t that psycho bitch that did that. That was the Baroness,” someone in the audience called out.

Doyle slammed the gavel down. The noise of its fury echoed.
Judge Doyle: “I will have no outburst in my court room. Do that again and you will be removed.”

(She turned to the sea of judging faces that were the jury). “The jury will disregard that comment.”

Ronnie continued. He played the angle of desperation anyone who had been to the Shanties would be familiar with. I wasn’t sure how much the jury would buy the rags to hero, standing for the little man story of Tabitha’s. She was, after all, a girl from Filton with every possible advantage that money could buy.

Even if he stood there all day explaining Tabitha’s reasoning, what her aunt tried to do for her, and those she had protected in her own sordid way; her parents were still butchered, the Free Fall Massacre had still happened and Mayor Feltz and his seventeen year old daughter Amber were still missing. This was all at Tabitha’s hand. The trial was going to be sticky.

I was most curious to find out Chick Owen’s thinking behind allowing his brother to defend her. It would have been so easy to put an Owen in there and watch her fall but from what I could see Ronnie was defending her to the best of his ability. Being kept in confinement at the time prevented me from calling on The Cappy to find out.

And with that Ronnie was pulling every lawyer trick he could, starting with a little public relations damage control. The trouble was, Tabitha was as guilty as sin. How long would the crowds outside calling her name stand in solidarity when the final hammer fell?

***

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A chilling breeze blew through the Court Room. There was no comfort to be found in the dungeon of mahogany benches. Even the thick wine-coloured curtains that hung over the windows offered little cheer. The Boss Lady herself watched from the defendant’s bench like some wild animal in a zoo. There was anger in her grey eyes, that much was obvious but there was something else there too. It was something deep rooted. Fear perhaps? Like most cornered animals her first thoughts were escape.

ATTENDANCE:
Judge Doyle: Presiding
City Prosecutor
Counsel for the Defendant: Ronald Owen
Defendant: Tabitha MC
First Witness: EB
Clerks and Bailiffs

City Prosecutor: “The city calls their first witness, ma’am.”

Judge Doyle urged him to continue.

City Prosecutor: “We call ERNEST BECKINGRIDGE to the stand.”

There was a shuffle from the benches and a murmur of voices as a middle-aged man with greying, fair hair, dressed in a grey pin stripe suit crossed the aisles and was first to step up to the witness stand. He had warm features but great bags underneath his eyes. He was a man who had seen a lot. His shoulders were hunched like he had the weight of the world on them.

City Prosecutor: “Mr Beckingridge, you are CEO of the Beckingridge Financial Firm correct?”

Ernest Beckingridge: “Yes sir, that’s correct.”

City Prosecutor: “Can you please tell the court what happened the night of the Free Fall

Benefit held at BECKINGRIDGE TOWER in City Main? In your own words.”

The prosecutor looked back at the jury and scanned their faces for reaction.

Ernest looked to Tabitha.

Ernest Beckingridge: “My partner and I weren’t in attendance. We were going to LUEN on an early flight the next morning.”

Ronnie stood and raised an objection.

Ronnie Owen: “Ma’am, I fail to see what relevance this witness testimony has when he wasn’t there at the time.”

City Prosecutor: “The witness has a keen insight into what happened. Not just on the events of the Free Fall but also what happened afterwards.”

Judge Doyle: “Overruled. Mr Beckingridge you will answer the question.”

Ronnie sat back down as Ernest cleared his throat. He took a sip from the glass of water that had been provided for him.

Ernest Beckingridge: “I was awoken around eleven pm by my secretary Bernadette. She informed me that clients had been leaping from the top of the tower.”

City Prosecutor: “Did she explain as to why?”

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Ernest Beckingridge: “A number of years ago an employee of the firm embezzled a large amount of money from the company. The case is still ongoing. We were lucky to have a new investor pull us out of the water as it were.”

The City Prosecutor stroked his chin.

City Prosecutor: “And these replenished accounts were the ones the defendant stole from?”

Ernest Beckingridge: “Yes sir.”

The prosecutor raised his voice so that it boomed across the hall.

City Prosecutor: “Could you please tell the court who had been this guardian angel for the firm? Where had this rescue investment come from?”

Ernest Beckingridge: “OWEN Inc.”

***

“We’ve got a great chance here,” said Mr Heath to his wife.

Mrs Heath agreed. It was a huge opportunity for them. It was one of the biggest investment accounts they had ever handled but her mind had been elsewhere. “Have you heard from Taylor?” she asked.

Their son, a 21-year-old finance student at FILTON University, was supposed to be coming home to their City Main apartment for the weekend but he never turned up that afternoon. They had of course tried contacting him but received no response.

“He’s a man now,” Mr Heath reminded her. “He’s probably gone off with his friends for the weekend instead.”

“But it’s not like him not to call and let us know,” replied she.
Mr Heath glared at his wife. She was thinking of checking her phone again.

“This is the fifth time,” he barked. He was counting. Mrs Heath reached into the Luen designed clutch bag she carried, encrusted with real diamonds and removed a silver device. Still no notifications.

“Albert is waiting at home for him in case he turns up. He will be fine,” assured Mr Heath. What his wife didn’t know was that Taylor and some of his uni friends had been tasked with couriering some poor quality heroin into the Shanties – ‘needles’ they called it locally, because it was mostly injected. Mr Heath was beginning to think Taylor and his friends hadn’t taken the proper precautions. Their instructions had been to wear old clothing, not to wear jewellery or carry expensive items and speak to no one but their contact. Mr Heath didn’t like involving his son, but a group of youngsters could blend in better at Kirkton Apartments – where the exchange was to take place – than a business man from the north would. Besides, one day Taylor would take over his father’s business and so he had to learn all aspects of it. Taylor was no stranger to it anyway. He had been an effective courier since age twelve. He enjoyed the money and unlike many of his peers he didn’t have everything handed to him. He had to take on his share of the work. He earned his lifestyle and at great risk sometimes. Taylor Heath was not pampered through life – no sirree. Still, the Shanties were dangerous and it had been the first time Taylor and his friends had taken goods that far south. But it was also where the call for needles was highest. The people of the Shanties didn’t want to escape the poverty trap. They wanted to hide themselves and lie in it.

But they had bigger concerns. They had brought in Lynette Fullerton, of the Fullerton Bridge and the construction company that handled the biggest projects across the city. A stern old bitch with a real nasty bite Mr Heath observed, but with enough money to make life very sweet indeed. There was also Joshua Coby. New money. The young man was a software developer and when his apps and game designs went big he made more money than he’d ever seen in his life. More money than he could handle suggested Mrs Heath. That’s where the husband and wife team came in. They would be able to help him manage such a big fortune.

The Beckingridge Financial Firm had set sights on a project in the south that would brighten the area; make it a trendy spot for good time folk rather than a den for thieves and whores. It had been done before in Swantin. The Chamberlain Docks still belonged to prostitutes and traffickers at night but during the day there was a buzz in the place and the fashionable walked the streets.

To do this the firm needed investment in construction and design. That’s where the mismatched team of Fullerton and Coby would come in. The Heaths were experts at forming relationships.

Tabitha stood watching over the meeting. They were losing the support of Lynette Fullerton.

“Your family brought the city together. They built bridges Mrs Fullerton. We would love for you to be a part of connecting the north and south,” Mr Heath was saying, linking his fingers together to demonstrate his point. Fullerton was still sneering at the very idea of being associated with the Shanties. Now it was Mrs Heath who was making the plea.

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“All the way to City Hall there have been cries to rejuvenate the south. On his campaign trail Mayor Feltz has made great strides in showing what improvements it could make to the poorest in the city.”

Lynette scoffed. Mrs Heath bit her lip. She probably shouldn’t have brought politics into it. She chastised herself. How likely was it that a Fullerton was a Feltz supporter anyway?
Joshua took over. “I can see what you are trying to do,” he said thankfully. “The Fullerton Bridge worked wonders for the Cardyne area. It made us part of the Coldford community.”

Mr Heath beamed. “Yes and we can do the same again. We could be at the forefront of a new, modern Coldford.”

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The door to the balcony opened briefly, allowing loud music and screams to enter briefly. The meeting downstairs continued uninterrupted. The door had closed again as quickly as it opened.

Tabitha rolled her eyes. “What a fucking douche bag,” she said referring to Mr Heath.

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REGGIE PENN crossed the overpass carrying a woman over his shoulder. Drugged? Drunk? Probably both. She was one of the BECKINGRIDGE FIRM workers from the party upstairs. Reggie’s skin was ghoulishly pale in the low light compared to Tabitha’s darker complexion.

“It’s going to break,” he said.

Tabitha raised an eyebrow. “I bet you it doesn’t.”

Reggie looked down at the meeting below. “Drink says it does.”

Tabitha smiled. “You’re on.”

Reggie carried the woman to the ledge and launched her over the side. She plummeted down and crashed onto the table below.

“Huh,” Reggie shrugged. “The table didn’t break.”

“Told you,” replied Tabitha. “No cheapo shit in here. It’s reinforced.”

Meanwhile, downstairs shock had captured the meeting as the four stared at the body.

“What the?” Mr Heath recognised her. She was one of the client support team. They assumed she had gotten too drunk and accidentally fell from the over pass.

“I’ll call an ambulance,” said Mrs Heath. All Mr Heath could think of was that there was no way they were getting their investment now.

“Well, hello cunts.”

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The meeting was interrupted once again. A young woman, probably in her early twenties had entered from the upper floor. She was wearing an expensive red dress and grinning at them with a gap-toothed smile that seemed more chilling in its whimsy.
“What’s going on here?” Mr Heath demanded to know.

Tabitha looked at the body of the client support girl. “I’d say it looks like you’re fucked. All four of you.” She turned to Joshua Coby. “Well, except maybe you. I actually kinda like you.”

“I’m calling the police!” Lynette announced.

“Oh shut the fuck up you ugly old troll,” Tabitha growled.

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Mr Heath raged. He charged across the room to the girl. He drew himself closer to her but she was not intimidated. Instead she wrinkled her nose.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” she said. “What have you sprayed yourself with?”

Mr Heath growled, “You’re dealing with a very dangerous man here.”

Tabitha chuckled. “Is that so?”

“You’re done!” Mr Heath yelled. “You’re done!”

Before he could strike Tabitha there was a firm grip on his hair, tugging at the roots and his head was pulled back so sharply pain fired through the muscles of his neck. He had made an insurance claim for whiplash before. It seemed this was what it actually felt like.

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“Who’s done?” asked Reggie, scowling at him.

“I was just getting started,” commented Tabitha matter-of-factly. “This fucker is killing my groove.”

Mr Heath began to sob. He lost care of looking like he was in control for the sake of his wife and clients. Beckingridge was so large and vast it was unlikely anyone could hear him.

“Please,” he begged. “What do you want?”

Tabitha shook her head at Reggie. She opened her arms and shrugged.

“Now he asks.”

Reggie laughed. He flicked Mr Heath’s bottom lip.

“Bluh bluh bluh. Help me!” Imitated the youngest triplet in a high-pitched voice.

Tabitha turned to the others at the table.

“You may want to listen up because I have my own pitch to give.”

Still with a firm grip of his hair, Reggie led Mr Heath back to his spot at the table. Lynette recognised Reggie. He was one of Reginald Penn’s triplets but she wasn’t sure which one. Not that it really mattered.

She had had dealings with the Penns before, or at least her son did. Francis was leading the Fullerton Construction team and they had just bought a prime piece of land in the north of Coldridge Park. It was the same area the Faulds Building, within which the Penns lived in the penthouse, looked onto.

“That’s a shame,” Rita, the mother, had mused when she saw the construction signs go up. “I really like that part of the park. It is always kept so nice and it’s so lovely in spring.”

The beautiful garden she had started a committee to plant was to be bulldozed over to make way for industrial units.

Reginald wouldn’t stand for Rita looking onto grey buildings that would no doubt lie empty for some time attracting the artist youth and their spray cans. He wouldn’t have her beautiful view from the top of the city spoiled. She would keep her gardens.
Reginald approached Francis with request to move on but he refused.
The equipment was brought in. The area was blocked off.
Reginald made another bid for him to move on but the Fullerton blood was thick and stubborn. Francis still refused.

Then, the day before construction was to begin the fences, signs and pop up office were taken down. By noon that day it was as though Fullerton construction had never been there. Lynette received a call from Francis’ wife Hannah. He had been taken to Coldford General Hospital. His right arm and four fingers on his left were missing. He said it had been an industrial accident but Lynette knew that wasn’t true.

“You may want to take a seat,” Tabitha urged. “I’m heading this meeting now.”

The table was set.

“Who are you?” Asked Lynette.

“I’m just a simple girl who wants to make you a counter offer. You see the so-called rejuvenation project these fucktards are talking about is a crock of shit. It would raise property prices in the area but in doing so put thousands of people out of a home. The houses would become unaffordable for the poorest like they did in Swantin. Where else are they going to go?”

“What else do you suggest?” asked Joshua. He was trembling but he tried to remain focused.

He spoke to the Boss Lady but he kept his eye on Reggie Penn, who was now pushing Mr Heath into his chair so forcibly his head was almost in his lap.

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“Either you splash the cash or give your life.”

“You cannot threaten us!” Lynette sneered.

“Who’s threatening?” Tabitha asked. She turned to Reggie. “Did you hear me threaten anyone?”

Reggie shrugged his shoulders with a smile.

“I don’t threat. I make promises and I promised the good people of the south I would bring them compensation.” She sharpened her attention to the party-goer. “Did you know that your granddaughter is befriending girls in my neck of the woods, deliberately getting them hooked on drugs and coercing them into starring in porn films? After she makes money from them she leaves them high and dry, addicted, and humiliated without a pot to piss in. You will pay for the lives you and your like have ruined one way or another. You could say I’m collecting for charity. I just happen to be a little aggressive in my fundraising.”

“Why should we give anything to you? Get out of here!” barked Lynette.

Reggie snarled at the construction heiress but Tabitha shook her head signalling for him to take no action. He kept his eyes on Lynette but he was patting Mr Heath’s head and stroking his hair so roughly he was pushing his head into his lap again.

“It’s a pity this place is so damn big you can’t hear what’s going on upstairs.”

‘The party?’ Mr Heath thought. ‘Did those upstairs get started on the closing deal festivities already? Did they know what was happening?’ He had heard some music earlier and raised voices but it was a party. That was to be expected. As their captor said Beckingridge Tower was large and a company on such a grand scale needed their walls thick enough and ceilings high enough so that no one could overhear the decisions that were made in that room that affected millions of lives.

Reggie produced a phone from his back pocket and threw it across to Tabitha who caught it in her well-manicured talons. She pushed buttons and switched on the loud speaker. The ring echoed around the hall, much like being caught inside a church bell.

Rrrrrrrrrring!

It rattled.

Rrrrrrring rrrrrrring!

All eyes were on Tabitha. Even Mr Heath who Reggie had allowed to straighten his back but had wormed his fingers around locks of his hair so that his head was held in place.

“Hello?” Marcus’ cold voice, absent of emotion, came through the speaker.

“Hello handsome,” Tabitha said as though they were having a pleasant conversation elsewhere. “How are you?”

“Fine,” was the eldest triplet’s cool reply.

Things were not fine. Men, women – colleagues of the Heaths – were screaming and crying out. Above the music they could hear a woman’s gargling shriek that sounded as though she was being gutted.

“Negotiations here are starting to get a bit sticky so could you show these people just how fucking serious I am?”

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“Alright, take a look to the window there and you will see what your other option is,” said Tabitha.

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This time, as mighty as the Beckingridge Tower stood screams could be heard as bodies fell past from the upper floor of the penthouse suite.

A wave of confusion washed over the meeting room. They found it difficult to believe what their own eyes had just shown them.

“So?” Tabitha asked. “What’s it to be?”

***

Bodies rained from the tower that day. The rich elite of the city were given the choice. Their lives or their money. Most chose to go broke.

“Maybe having nothing will teach them a bit of humility,” Tabitha had said at the time, which was an ironic statement from one of the most egotistical people I’ve ever met.

“Well there’s some cheques that won’t bounce,” said Reggie with a sardonic grin.

Allow me to offer some rational thinking. Most of those affected by the massacre were owners of corporations and large firms. To give away every penny wouldn’t have just left themselves in dire straits, it would shock wave into their workers and clients, and so some brave souls would have chosen not to let that happen. It was this shock wave Tabitha had been hoping for. She wanted to hit Owen Inc where it would feel it most.

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Refuse or not. Donate or not. Support their poorer neighbours in the south or not. Either way, blood stained the courtyard of Beck Tower. No charges were brought at the time against Tabitha because she wasn’t in the same room. The Penns avoided arrest because the team they had brought with them served witness that the party was drug and alcohol fuelled and things got out of hand.

Toxicology reports confirmed this. No one who survived dared point the finger. Life was going to be difficult enough without their wealth to prop them up though hard times. The police couldn’t do anything because no physical coercion could be proven. Forensic accountants couldn’t do anything because the funds that had been taken were officially registered as charitable donations. As the Beckingridge Firm stock prices plummeted too, Owen Inc. who had invested heavily were almost brought to financial ruin.

Quickly following the Free Fall Massacre were the attacks on Judge Doyle. Three times the Headliners tried to kill her. They cut the brakes of her car and watched as it rolled into the lake. She didn’t drown. She crawled back out of the lake and still she stood. An assault in City Main as she left her offices slit her throat but she managed to escape, seek help and still she stood. Finally, with help from the Macks they tried to catch her in a car bomb. The explosion detonated as expected. They managed to take her eye but The Judge lived. After all was said and done still she stood. The newspapers at the time reported on the assaults. They started to refer to her as the unkillable Judge Doyle.

And so with a political candidate in Mayor Feltz and the Beckingridge Firm at heel, Tabitha had a vice like grip on the city. But politics are dirty and Beckingridge Tower could fall in so many different directions. Enter an iron judge to remind the Boss Lady just how the rules were made.

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Coming next: Whilst we catch our breath we’ll let the Law Makers take care of business.

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In the meantime, the series is free to read HERE on Vivika Widow Online or you can download for kindle by clicking HERE.

KNOCK, KNOCK: Episode 1: Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock: Episode 2: Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock: Episode 3: Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock: Episode 4: Take A Bow

Knock, Knock: Episode 5: A Room With A View

Knock, Knock: Episode 6: Picking Up Strange Women

Knock, Knock: Episode 7: No Kids Allowed

Knock, Knock: Episode 8: Kids These Days

Knock, Knock: Episode 9: Shootin’ The Breeze

Knock, Knock: Episode 10: Calling Last Orders

Knock Knock: Episode 11: Shady City Blues

Knock Knock: Episode 12: Going Down

Knock Knock: Episode 13: Got the Fever

Knock Knock: Episode 14: Laying Down the Law

Knock Knock: Episode 15: Still I Stand

Knock Knock: Episode 16: Start Spilling

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