Tag Archives: crime fiction

Knock Knock: Episode 12: Going Down

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The chill wind the night was bringing whistled. It could have been the adrenaline of the chase finally wearing off but Agent LYDIA LOWE could have sworn the heat wave that had been swarming over the city was finally breaking.

“You swore loyalty to me you rat faced bitch!” Tabitha hissed at her as she was led up the steps of the Coldford Police Department with a firm grip. The same steps I had descended with the Boss Lady just the previous day after my wife, Theresa, had been murdered. Lydia didn’t respond to the vexation the way I assume Tabitha had hoped she would.

The agent remained calm.

“I never swore anything to you,” she replied, pushing her prisoner on, still with a firm grip around her arm. Tabitha of course protested.

“Anyone who flashes their tits on my stage, loyalty is a given.”

CPD had cleared of the busyness of the day staff. There were still a few low lights and some detectives working at their desks on cases requiring long hours.

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68437759_2301131113458603_8516192915515506688_n.jpgLydia led Tabitha to the office of DETECTIVE HICKES.
“You are going to regret this,” Tabitha was still saying. “I have a lot of sway in this city.”
“Oh, you’re something alright,” agreed the agent distractedly, looking for Hickes.
“You bet your ass I am. Before I’m done you are going to wish you had stayed in your fucking northern hole.”
Lydia – still eagerly awaiting Hickes – replied, “What are you going to do? Pull my hair? Push me in the mud?”
Tabitha scoffed. “God! What a fucking tramp!” she exclaimed to herself. She turned then and looked behind her. “Oh, hi Hickesy,” she said with a grin.

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Detective Hickes had arrived in a fluster. He ignored Tabitha and spoke directly to the agent.
“Reynolds has been taken to General. I had to sort out the others.”
By the ‘others’ he meant Simon Penn, Paddy Mack of the Mack and Sons brewery as well as some of the other Macks that had given them trouble when they raided the Knock Knock club. “I have holding ready for her,” he explained while brandishing a set of keys.
Further into the belly of CPD, Tabitha was shown to what would be her residence for the foreseeable future.
“I want to call my lawyer,” Tabitha stated, taking a seat on the bed. “This is barbaric. I haven’t even been processed properly.”
Hickes finally acknowledged her. “You are being processed right now,” he told her. To Lydia he said, “I’ll send the paperwork over to Judge Doyle within the hour.”
“I need to call my lawyer,”Tabitha piped up again.
Hickes became frustrated. “You are a category A prisoner. In the city of Coldford that means we can hold you for at least 48 hours without giving you jack shit. More than that, if you don’t sit on your ass and stop running your mouth. It’s over Tabitha. Stay quiet and don’t make it any more difficult on yourself than it needs to be.”
Tabitha leaned back on her elbows. “A take-charge man? When did you grow such big balls?”
“Will she be secure enough in here?” Lydia put to Hickes.
“She will. I’ll have someone on the door twenty-four hours. Havitz can take the first shift. As soon as she’s tried she will be moved to the Monte Fort.”
Tabitha sat back up again at the mention of the infamous women’s correctional facility. “You sound so sure of yourself. Those big balls of yours must be ready for bursting.”
Both the detective and the agent turned to her.

“It’s over Tabitha,” Lydia reminded her again. “The game is over.”

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Tabitha rolled her eyes. “Then before you go and break out the parade you may want to take a look in the KNOCK KNOCK holding and help out your little reporter pal.”
“SAM?” Lydia looked to Hickes. “He left with that little girl.”
“Wrrrrrong!” Tabitha sang. “He tried to leave and made a pretty shitty job of it, too.”
“They were just going to open up the hold when I left,” said Hickes.
Lydia shook her head. “I better get back over there.”
Hickes followed Lydia out. Securely locking the door behind them. Two CPD officers stood on the door with guns ready.
“No one caring about little Sarah then? Just me? Mother fuckers!” Tabitha could be heard calling as she was locked in.
Tabitha took a look at her surroundings. As someone who had been running amok in the Shady City for so long there was little satisfaction in having her in custody. Perhaps it was because they knew she was dangerous until behind Monte Fort bars. Most people would be beginning to question some of the choices they had made. However, even then, even at that late stage, Tabitha assumed the fight was far from over. It was just that the battlefield was changing. The evidence against her was set.

***

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I had heard the commotion spilling in from outside. I had heard gunshots but there was nothing I could do. I assumed someone would come soon but time passed and I began to think Tabitha had fought off whatever attack had come. Still there was no word. Still dressed only in my underwear, I looked again at MADELINE’S lifeless body. I shivered. It was an internal shiver that reached into the core of my body. In the past twenty-four hours I had lost so much pursuing a story on the KNOCK KNOCK club. If I had known then what was still to come, I don’t think I would have been able to go on but, as I said, the story had to be told. Finally there was an explosion at the door. Tabitha had refused to give up the keys to be difficult and her minions weren’t cooperating either.
“Why the fuck should I make it easier for any of them?” she had asked. “They brutalised my staff, wrecked my club and they want me to play nice?”
Things couldn’t get any worse for her. Why should she make it easier for anyone else?
LYDIA was the first to enter. My mind was still a little hazy from SIMON PENN’S knock out. I was still a little punched drunk, probably concussed too.
“She attacked me,” was all I could say. “Madeline was going to kill me.”
Lydia took a look at Madeline and had already deduced the story. She pulled me to my feet.
“You’ll be alright, Sam,” she said. Her northern BOURNTON accent was warming. Her soft, naturally cheery voice reminded me that I wasn’t alone. Perhaps it was that that gave me the fight to go on.
“Tabitha is in custody,” she said and, whilst those should have been the sweetest words to my ears at that point after everything she had done to me, I couldn’t help but feel unsettled.
Crossing through the club was like crossing a field in the aftermath of a battle. Chairs were overturned, blood soaked the floors, and men and women beaten into submission cowered in the corners with guns pointed at them.
“They came for Tabitha?” I asked of Lydia.
Lydia knew where my thinking was leading. “She has a lot of tricks up her sleeve. CPD couldn’t be too careful.”
I took note of the club members who were surrendering. Were they innocent? Perhaps not but was it really for the guns of CPD to decide that? They came for Tabitha. They had her. So why were CPD still holding club members?

***

“You could make this easier on yourself,” said Hickes.  “Just confess.”
Tabitha folded her arms across her chest and sat back on her bench.
“Why don’t you tell me what I’m confessing to?”
Hickes groaned with impatience. He stood and leaned on the table. “You know what you’re in for,” he said.
Tabitha shrugged. “Driving too fast?”
Hickes clenched fists. “Damnit Tabitha, make it easier on yourself!”
Tabitha laughed. “Look at you all in a rage. The little vein in your head is popping out and everything.”
“They’ve been after you for years. They are looking for any excuse,” Hickes reminded her. Now that they have you they will make an example of you.”
Tabitha fell silent for a few moments. “I notice you said they and not we. Whose side are you on?”
“I’m on the side that doesn’t want to see this city torn apart,” he replied with a sigh.
“It’s a pity,” she said, lifting her hand to inspect her fingernails.
“What is?” enquired the detective.
“What will happen to everyone my club protects. My AUNT TEE used that club to give shelter, food and support to so many. People like your sister for instance and your adorable little nephews.
“Eunice was grateful,” Hickes said.

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Tabitha puckered her lips. “My HEADLINERS were only too happy to help. I even made sure Stanley paid dearly for what he did to her without you having to get your little detective hands dirty. When you think about it, I’m kinda like a super hero.”
Hickes shook himself off. “Let’s not lose track here. You are no hero. Stanley beat Eunice and those kids but what you did to him? No one should… “
Tabitha gave a laugh. “Yeah, it was quite creative, wasn’t it?”
“What about the innocent people that died when a floor of the Weir Hotel was blown?”
Tabitha shook her head. “If they were staying at the WEIR, trust me they weren’t innocent.”
Hickes growled. “You don’t get to make that judgement.”
“No? Then who does? Judge fucking cyclops?” Tabitha returned with venom, her reference meaning Judge Doyle of the Law Makers. The very one who had authorised her arrest.

“Helping some people out doesn’t give you the right to murder, steal or destroy this city.”
Tabitha didn’t reply at first. Hickes thought he was beginning to get through to her.
“I need to speak to someone,” she said.
Hickes shook his head. “I told you, no calls.”
Tabitha leaned forward. Her expression softened. The bravado still lingered but it was lower than before. “For the sake of Eunice and those kids.”
Hickes’ nostrils flared but he too softened. “Who do you need to speak to?”
“I need to see my Aunt Agnes.”
AGNES WILDE was partner to Tabitha’s Aunt Tawny. They opened the club together and treated the Boss Lady like a daughter. Agnes was still on the board of the club, better known as the Broker.
“I can’t…”
“Just five minutes…” she hesitated. “Please.”

#amreading the #thriller #graphicnovel #knockknock by @VivikaWidow


Sam is on a mission to find the missing mayor and you can now have the complete season 1 of the Knock Knock series on the go! Download for kindle at the link below. Free on Kindle Unlimited.

Members Eat For Free

Amber was thrilled. She had never been anywhere quite like the Knock, Knock club before. She was only seventeen so when the doorman stepped aside to allow her in she was exhilarated.

An invitation had come through the post. Her father was Mayor of the city so he was invited to all sorts of places. She brought the handsome Kevin with her. He was ten years her senior and she was sure Lacey – her elder sister – certainly wouldn’t approve. Lacey wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like the KNOCK KNOCK CLUB. She had aspirations of taking their father’s office one day. Being seen in the Knock, Knock club and with the characters that frequented wouldn’t fit Lacey’s picture. Amber was more daring though. She fell in love with the club instantly. Even with the smell of stale beer and sticky floors. The neon flashing lights and empty stage excited her.

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“You folks are looking a little lost.”

Amber felt a long arm slip around her shoulders. The sleeve of the man’s well tailored suit brushed against her.

“We’re new,” Amber said lowering her head so the man wouldn’t notice how young she was. She and Kevin were led to a table for two close to the stage.

“Since you’re first timers you can have be best seat in the house.”

Kevin seated himself first. The club manager pulled Amber’s chair out for her, swinging it slightly so she could have a better view of the stage.

“My name is DENNIS,” he announced. “I’ll send someone to take care of you but if you need anything give me a shout.” He said this directly to Amber.

Amber smiled, forgetting her caution under the lower lights. Dennis held her gaze. The manager role slipped momentarily and a brief flash of concern showed. Dennis was older than Kevin but much better looking.

“Times must be tough in this city if this dump is the place to bring a pretty girl,” Dennis jested.

Amber giggled. Kevin was not amused.

“Enjoy the show.”

The lights dimmed further. An in house band called the Knock, Knockers gathered at their instruments.

A woman walked onto stage. The chatter quietened.

“Good evening,” the woman introduced. She walked across the stage with all the ease she would have in her own home. “I see a lot of familiar faces out there,” she continued in a husky voice. “You would think you would be sick of our lousy food by now but we love having you,”

The audience reacted in good cheer.

“You didn’t come to listen to me spill my guts so let’s get started.”

She moved back from the edge of the stage in dance steps. The music fired up. The ground began to vibrate. The performer erupted into song.

A scantily clad serving girl brought them a watered down whiskey each and some meat and gravy. It wasn’t much but since the financial recession had hit the Shady City it was better than most people had that night. Kevin moved his meat around his plate with a disapproving sneer.

Amber was too busy watching the performance to eat. She was too busy enjoying herself to consider that her father – the mayor – had been responsible for the desperation so many people found themselves in. It was fine for Amber to enjoy the Knock, Knock when afterwords she could return to the large house she lived in in the Upper West. So many of the city didn’t have homes to go to.

When the performance finally ended the band changed their music to something a little more down key. The lights brightened, informing the patrons that it was time to leave. The performer came from backstage to mingle. She was wearing the same red dress. Her hair hung loosely around her pretty face. She stood at the bar with Dennis holding a gin and tonic, poured in a square glass. Kevin was impatient to leave but Amber wanted to meet the woman.

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Her back was turned. She was in deep conversation with Dennis when Amber approached shyly. The manager notified her of Amber’s presence with a flick of his head. The performer turned. She greeted Amber with a grin. There was a large gap between her front teeth that offered her a girlish quality.

“It was my first time here,” Amber said. Under the woman’s gaze she found herself quite nervous. “I really enjoyed your performance.”

“Thank you,” replied the performer sounding a little exasperated. She turned to Dennis. “Who is this?”

“I would love to be just like you,” Amber blurted with childish awe, snatching her hand.

TABITHA laughed. Dennis remained stoic.

“Oh honey, there will only ever be one of me.” She pulled Amber closer to her. “Amber Feltz, right?” The Mayor’s youngest daughter?”

Amber tried to pull away but Tabitha kept a tight grip on her arm.

“I should go,” Amber tried pulling away again.

The club was clearing quickly and none of the patrons seemed to notice she was being held.

“So soon?” Tabitha asked. Her crimson nails started to dig into Amber’s flesh. “Join me for a drink won’t you?”

Amber was pushed onto a bar stool. Tabitha stared at her closely.

“It’ll have to be water for you though. You are too young for the hard liquor from what I read.”

Amber sobbed. Tabitha’s grin widened.

“Don’t worry.” Tabitha put her hand to her mouth as though speaking secretly. “Who am I to judge?” She turned to Dennis. “You like them young, don’t you?”

Dennis shook his head.

“I have to go,” Amber said. “Kevin is waiting.”

It wasn’t until then the mayor’s daughter realised Kevin had gone for their coats quite some time ago and hadn’t returned.

The door man closed the door on the last of the customers and left without a word. The club was now empty but for the manager, the performer and the mayor’s daughter.

“Please! I have to go,” Amber pleaded once more.

These were the situations she had been warned of. These people were the reason Lacey would never come to places like the Knock, Knock club.

“People will be looking for me.”

Tabitha leaned in close to her.

“Honey,” she said. “If you expect anyone to give a rat’s ass where you are right now you have come to the wrong club.

***

Amber was taken to a small room away from the club’s main floor. There were no windows in it and the lamp gave an irritatingly yellow glow. There was a plate on the table covered with a white handkerchief.

“What would your father say if we didn’t give you our best hopsitality?” asked Tabitiha.

Amber felt hands on her shoulders. Her gaze was focused on the covered plate. She was pushed down onto a small wooden chair. Tabitha pulled the handkerchief away. On the plate, basted in blood was Kevin’s hand. She recognised it instantly. Her stomach lurched.

“Take a bite,” Tabitha urged with a wicked laugh. “The food here is lousy but we do our best.”

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Amber could try to run but she would feel silly for doing so. She was a silly teenager. A silly girl indeed. Suddenly the club that was so fascinating at first was Hell on earth, with its echo and it’s filthy, empty hall.

***

“She was missing for three weeks!” SAM CRUSOW gasped. He held a pad of yellow paper on his lap with a pen poised over it. “The police never said anything. When the mayor disappeared did noone thing to say, ‘Oh and his daughter has been gone a few weeks too.”

Eric Waddle, editor of the Coldford Daily crossed his arms over his chest. He glared at his best reporter.

“I’m warning you Sammy.” he said. “None of these details will be printed in my paper. If I see them elsewhere I will hold you responsible.”

Sam nodded hesitantly. He hated when his boss called him Sammy.

Eric went on. “I only tell you this because I’m a friend of the family and I want you to tread carefully. Mrs Feltz is speaking to no one else.

“How am I to cover the story when I can’t publish all the facts. How could no one care about a seventeen year old girl missing?

Eric ignored his first comment. “Amber always was an impulsive girl,” he replied to the second. “She was seeing some older guy. She’s probably sunning herself on a beach somewhere.”

“Do you believe that?” Sam put to the editor.

He didn’t.

Want to find out what happened to Amber next?

Complete season 1 of the Knock Knock graphic novel series is free to read HERE.

Or click HERE to download for Kindle.

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