Freaks Must Die
In Freaks Must Die, Matt Cahill intervenes in a robbery… or is it? He ends up botching a ransom exchange for a kidnapped boy, then things get even worse as an innocent man is killed and a child’s life is put in jeopardy. Matt heads to New York City to rescue the boy and make amends.
Freaks Must Die - Chapter One
The hotel sat at the top of a hill an hour west of Philadelphia on a patch of ground not part of anyplace, looking out on the interstate.
It was one of a chain that catered to the just passing through crowd, promising free breakfasts. The street leading away from the hotel ended in a T intersection at the bottom of the hill, the cross street leading back to the highway.
The trucker who’d given Matt Cahill a ride had dropped himat the exit ramp, telling him he could get a good cup of coffee at the hotel.
The trucker was right. The desk clerk, a young woman with anxious eyes, quizzed Matt about wanting a room.
“Just coffee,” he said.
“Over there,” she told him, pointing to a coffee station. “It’s supposed to be for guests only. You can have some,but you’ll have to move on. There’s no loitering here.”
He was a big man and had an edge about him that made some people nervous even when he was clean and pressed.
Dressed roughin an old barn coat, sweatshirt, and jeans and looking worse after not showering or shaving for a few days, Matt didn’t blame the clerk for being uneasy. He filled his thermos, thanked her, and left.
He walked down the hill, past the frost tipped grass and low cut shrubs lining the sidewalk, across the street, and halfway up the slope that backed up to the highway.
It was six o’clock on a cold Sunday morning in November. He didn’t mind the subfreezing temperature. He’d been colder.
He sat on his duffel bag and sipped his coffee, waiting for dawn, when he’d head back to the interstate to catch his next ride.
Matt saw the fat man first. He came out of the hotel’s revolving front door, turned onto the sidewalk, and started down the hill towards the intersection.
He was wearing a suit, no topcoat, and pulling a wheeled sample case, swiveling his head from side to side as if he was on the lookout.
Matt wondered who or what the fat man was looking for, since the streets were deserted except for a stray dog trotting through the shrubs, nose down.
Maybe he was just being careful because whatever was in the sample case was worth a lot of money. But that didn’t explain where the fat man was going, becausethere wasn’t anyplace to go. Not on foot, wearing a suit and pulling a sample caseat six o’clock on Sunday morning.
It wasn’t any of Matt’s business, but that didn’t stop him from being curious. He didn’t have anything else on his mind except where his next ride might take him. The fat man didn’t bother looking in Matt’s direction. Even if he had, he wouldn’t have seen Matt. The darkness made him invisible.
The fat man hurried along, glancing over his shoulder, losing his footing for an instant on a patch of ice and flapping one arm like a drunken penguin.
The stray dog raised its head, ears pricked, as if enjoying the show, losing interest when the fat man regained his balance.
He was halfway down the hill when another man got out of the passenger side of a car parked near the hotel.
Number Two man was tall and lean, wearing jeans and an open leather jacket. He blew on his hands, stuffed them in his jacket pockets, and fell in behind the fat man, measuring his pace, gradually closing the distance between them.
When the car edged away from the curb, trailing both men, Matt stood. He was pretty certain how the next few minutes would play out. Number Two man would catch up to the fat man. The car would pull alongside them. Number Two man would grab the sample case and jump in the car, and off they would go.
Number Two man might leave the fat man unharmed or he might stick a knife in him. There was no way to tell. The fat man didn’t look like the kind to put up a fight, but if he was, he’d end up either in the backseat of the car or facedown in the street.
Matt figured the grab would happen just as the two men on foot and the car reached the intersection.
After the grab, the driver would floor it onto the entrance ramp to the interstate.
The hotel was the perfect spot for Number Two man and his partner to jump the fat man. It was isolated, nothing around it, not even a gas station.
If the fat man lived to call the cops, they’d be miles away before the first siren sounded. And if he didn’t, odds were they’d never be caught.
As plans went, it was a good one. They’d picked a location and time of day that minimized the chances anything would go wrong. They’d thought of everything except the one thing they never could have thought of — Matt Cahill.
Amazon Customer Reviews
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