The Disappearance of Patricia Clark Part 2 — A Langston Grimes Story
Part 1 can be found here
I flicked my half finished cigarette on the sidewalk and crossed the street just in front of the metro bus I had been timing. After I got off the train and started making the walk to my apartment the night before I noticed I had picked up some surveillance. He was a young looking man with broad shoulders and a complexion that implied the Midwest. He was tall enough to stick out after a few blocks, which is why I picked up on him. He was young because I was able to lose him in about ten minutes and wasn’t able to pick up anyone else after an hour of walking around Brooklyn.
I wasn’t taking any chances for the meeting at the Pig Belly. My employer had texted me a time of 18:00 at noon and I gave myself a few hours to make sure that I didn’t have any surveillance on me. I wasn’t able to pick up anyone following, but I did the best I could with my reversible camel trench coat and making well timed street crossings. The thrill I got from walking down the street was felt similar to my time of being a chemical weapons consultant during the war. When I was a consultant a house wasn’t just a house — a house was a place where chemicals could be stored and weapons could be made.
My job was to go through houses that had been flagged by marines who had done a quick inspection and found weird bottles of chemicals. A bunch of times it was just people cooking amphetamines. But a few times I was able to find weapons caches and a few other times I found the necessary ingredients for improvised explosive devices or small amounts of chemical weapons precursors. Most of the time it was just the thrill that somewhere in the house something could be lurking and it was up to me to find it. Maybe the guy who was I thought was tailing me wasn’t actually surveillance and I was being paranoid. The information I had could lead to an investigation of the sitting president and a potential impeachment — paranoid was something that was going to creep in no matter what I did.
The hostess of Pig Belly was a short cherubic looking woman with a pixie hair cut, rosy cheeks, and a hostile glare at the door.
“Do you have a reservation?” The woman asked with obvious hostility.
“I’m here for the finger painting event.” I told her with a neutral voice.
The woman’s demeanor changed. She smiled and looked a bit nervous, “Please follow me sir.”
She led me through a somewhat empty restaurant. A few men were at tables eating what looked like normal meals and laughing. There were a few people eating at the tables and the bartender was just watching sports on the television behind the bar.
The hostess knocked a pattern on a black door at the far end of the dining room and placed her hand against a soft pad. A metallic click resounded and the door opened a crack. A bass heavy trance music filtered out from behind the door that hadn’t been audible before the door opened. The patrons in the restaurant kept eating. The bartender kept watching sports. This was normal for them.
The door swung open and the music trickled out from darkness and the hostess waved for me to follow her inside. The other side of the door was dark and it took a few moments for my eyes to adjust. Dim yellow tracking lights illuminated that we were in a hallway. She gestured for me to follow her into the darkness and I took my hat off and checked my pocket with the flash drive to make sure it was there.
The hallway led to a staircase with the same lights that led us further down. The music was getting louder with each step. The hostess opened another door and the music washed over me like a tidal wave. There were pulsing lights and the smell of sweat permeated throughout the room. The lights of the room pulsed to the music and the hostess grabbed my hand and started leading me through a crowd of people that were barely wearing any clothes.
Arms grabbed at me and I kept my hands clenched over the flash drive in my pocket and my wallet in the other pocket. The smell of sweat and delirium was overpowering as we worked our way through the dance floor and the hostess led me through another door flanked by two men in athletic clothes that looked as if they ate only the animals that they killed.
The hostess opened the door they were guarding and gestured for me to go inside. The room was sparse with a dark polished concrete floor and a large table dominated the room. The table was filled with monitors with a lone man sitting in a big black chair watching the people filling his screens. I could see a few cameras focused on the frenzied dancing I just walked through, but there were a few other monitors that just showed empty beds in rooms, the kitchen full of cooks smoking cigarettes, and the dining room upstairs with a few people at tables.
The man turned in his chair and stuck his hand out, “Hey Langston it’s good to finally meet you. My name is Turkish, but for some reason everyone calls me The Turk. And before you ask I’m not Turkish at all — my parents were just creative.”
I felt a chill go down my spine when Turkish said that he was known as The Turk. I had a few friends on the police force still and there were rumors of a few ruthless syndicate bosses that trafficked in drugs, people, exotic fruit, rhino horns, ivory, raw chemicals, and gemstones. These bosses essentially ran the whole east coast. The Turk was known as an elusive syndicate boss that was tied to illegal imports, but no one was ever able to know if he existed. No one had seen him and if they had they weren’t talking.
I had just shaken his hand.
“Nice to meet you Turkish. I have some information on Patricia after combing through her apartment. I’m guessing the police aren’t involved?”
Turkish laughed and shook his head, “So what do you have Langston?”
I handed over the flash drive that I had backed up before I had left my apartment, “Just so you know I think I picked up a tail based on who is on that flash drive. I managed to lose him last night and I made sure I didn’t have any surveillance on me today. This is pretty sensitive stuff on there.”
Turkish plugged the flash drive into one of his monitors and started flipping through the pictures. He saw everything I seen the previous night. He let out a low whistle when he saw the current President of the United States standing over Patricia and he turned back around in his chair.
“So Langston, you just delivered great news to me, but I still want Patricia back. I’ve got a feeling she is currently hiding out in Italy if memory serves right about where she told me she would go if she was ever in trouble.”
“I really appreciate the job you offered me here Turkish, but I’d rather not go. This is some stuff that’s above my pay grade,” I told him with as much respect that I could muster.
Better to escape now with my five grand than to get killed by some goon later. It wasn’t worth the five grand.
“Oh, right. I guess there is some more risk in there for you. How does a quarter million sound to fly to Italy and bring Patricia back for me?”
The tingling in my spine went from the cold pin-pricks that usually come out of fear to a warm excitement.
“And cover my expenses?” I blurted out.
“Sure, whatever. How about sixty thousand advance on the fee and ten thousand for expenses. You don’t have to keep any receipts,” Turkish said with a smile.
He was probably underpaying in his mind if I got Patricia back, but I wasn’t going to argue over a quarter million dollars, “Is she really your sister Turkish?”
“She’s the only family I’ve got left. You stay in this business long enough and there are only a few people that you trust. I never agreed with how Patty made her money, but who I am to judge?” Turkish said with a smile.
I smiled and stuck out my hand, “It’s a deal Turkish.”
To Be Continued…