logan8-2

~~~

“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” – Ephesians 4:26, 27

He could be at the address Abagail gave him in ten minutes. Brian would’ve needed half-an-hour to walk to the crack-den motel room that his mother helped pay for. Logan knew the place well. Aladdin’s Inn was one of the few spots in the neighborhood where no matter how hard The Brotherhood tried to clean it up, the undesirables continued to come back and flourish there… like cockroaches. The best they could do was keep all those unclean vermin together in one locale. Logan often joked about setting that hell-hole on fire while they all surrounded it and watched it burn. Of course, finding out that the Asian busboy lived there this was no surprise to Logan. The place was full of people like him, run by a money-hungry black man named Otis who let anyone stay there and perform all manner of illegal activities as long as his tenants kept their business indoors and out of sight. In return for a gracious cut of the profits, Otis conveniently turned a blind eye and never notified the police.

Lot of good that would do, anyway, Logan thought. The force is over-loaded with Jews and half-breeds. Next to the niggers and spics with all their whoring and drugs, those pigs are just as corrupt. Bad blood breeds bad blood, no matter how you dress it up.

One day, Logan vowed to go after the local precinct as well, when he could find a clever way to take them down from the inside out. The Brotherhood would be of no service to anyone if they were all in prison. They had to be careful, and selective, in how they rooted out the undesirables.

As the big man cruised up Belvedere Avenue on his chopper, he scanned both sides of the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of the young man with Abbey’s daughter walking beside him. She’d still be wearing that whorish red-dress, disgustingly holding hands with the busboy, and oblivious to the shit storm that was about to rain down on them when Logan caught up.

After finding out that Brian was missing, it didn’t take long for Logan to deduce what had happened: She came in dressed to please, hoping to spot that Asian boy and give him a preview of what was to come. He practically gave themselves away, staring at her like he did. Those two have probably been fornicating behind Abbey’s back for a while now. After the blow out with her mom, Maggie let down the ladder, met up with her Asian boyfriend, and then headed for that fucker’s motel room for an evening of debauchery.

It enraged him when he put himself in Abbey’s shoes, wondering how he would feel after finding out that his daughter was sleeping an Asian… probably six or seven years older than her, and just one night away from getting that girl knocked up, and nine months away from producing another unnatural creation.

From the corner of his eye, Logan caught movement from an alley up ahead, off to the right. He came to a stop at the entrance into the alley just in time to see someone duck behind a dumpster.

“Come the hell out of there!” he yelled. “Don’t make this harder than it has to be.”

Brian bolted from behind the dumpster and ran toward the end of the alley.

“Sonofabitch!” Logan hissed, turning in toward the alley as the roar of the chopper was deafening in between the two buildings. He sped up alongside the fleeing busboy and pulled in tight beside him until Brian was pinned up against the brick wall by the large bike.

Brian slammed into the wall hard and fell to the ground with the wind knocked out of him.

Logan stopped and parked his bike. He reached into a leather covered storage compartment and retrieved a .45 caliber hand gun. He stuffed the gun in his belt behind his back and approached the Asian like an angel of vengeance. Brian tried to crawl away and Logan kicked him hard in the stomach.

“Be still!” he ordered. Logan pointed in his face. “That’s for making me chase you!”

Brian lifted his hands submissively. “I sorry… I sorry… please… don’t hurt… I sorry!”

Logan laughed. “Fucking defective breed with a broken-ass tongue. Perfect. The least your kind could do is learn the fucking language!”

“I sorry… scary… you scary… I ran.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah… just shut up.” Logan knelt down. “Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to ask you questions and you’re going to answer them. Just fucking nod to let me know you understand.”

Brian nodded and began to weep.

“Cut that shit out, you blubbering idiot! Now… tell me where she is?”

Brian gave him a confused look and shook his head.

Logan backhanded him across the face. “Don’t make me repeat myself. Where’s the damn girl?”

Brian shook his head again.

Logan backhanded him again and then stood up before he lost control.

Brian shook like a tortured animal.

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll make this simple. She obviously got away from you, right? When she started to figure that you wanted to stick your little foreign pecker in her ass, she started having second thoughts and ran off. Does that about sum it up?”

Brian was too terrified to answer. His face was a bruised mess of snot and blood.

Logan shook his head in disgust. “Oh for fuck’s sake, I didn’t hit you that hard… not yet!”

“I sorry… I sorry…”

Logan kicked him again. “I told you to shut up! Now, one more time… where did she go? Did she run back to the bar? Did you leave her lost out here? Just tell me which fucking way she went and this will all be over and you crawl back to your hole.”

Brian raised his hands again. “No girl… no girl… I alone… scary… I so scary…”

Logan looked down at the pathetic creature as a very dark thought formed in his mind, causing his face to grow red with anger. He knelt down again and whispered, “Did you do something to that girl? Did you fuck her and then leave her out here somewhere?”

“No… no… NO!” Brian was shaking his head uncontrollably and rocking back and forth.

Logan stood and backed away. “You are one fucked-up individual.” He took a deep breath to steady himself, then retrieve the handgun from his belt and aimed it at Brian’s head. “Look here,” he said.

Brian looked into the barrel of the gun. He was shaking so bad it required all his effort to sit still.

“Where’s the body?” Logan asked.

Brian started shaking his head again. “No… no… no girl… no girl…”

Logan hit him hard on the jaw with the side of the gun, nearly knocking the young man out.

Brian fell to the ground and vomited.

Logan spotted two bloody teeth in the mess and turned away in disgust. “Alright, enough,” he said. He knelt down beside him, pressed the barrel of the gun to the side of Brian’s head and shouted, “You fucked her! You killed her! You hid the body! Where the hell did you put her, you piece of shit? TELL ME NOW!!!”

Brian suddenly became still. He turned his head up and looked into Logan’s eyes with an unreadable bloody face.

Logan stood back up, puzzled by the sudden lack of fear in Brian’s eyes. He shook his head and sighed, pointing the gun at his head. “It’s all the same with your kind. You dogs just think you can come in to my country and do as you please! Your sick breed shits all over my carpet, leaving good wholesome Americans to come along and clean it up! Well, this is my home, asshole! The last damn country left that hasn’t been completely overrun by people like you! Last fucking chance. You answer me… now… or I’ll put your face all over that brick wall.”

Brian sat up with that stone-cold look and simply stared.

“Where is the girl?” Logan said, suddenly growing weary of the whole encounter.

Instead of speaking gibberish, Brian smiled through broken teeth, and said, “God will call upon you, Logan. Repent of your wicked ways and your hatred, and prepare yourself to face the darkness.”

“What the fuck are you-”

Brian pointed past him toward the other end of the alley. “The demon comes for you, but God has set you aside. Repent.”

Logan turned and felt his blood turn to ice.

Walking toward him from the other end of the alley was a tall, dark figure in what appeared to be a trench coat, wearing a long brimmed hat.

Logan aimed his weapon at the slow approaching man, and called out, “Back off, asshole! This is Brotherhood business! Turn your ass around… right now!”

The man continued to approach. His footsteps made no sounds.

Logan backed up a step. He squinted his eyes in the low-lit alley, trying to make out the man’s features, but the stranger didn’t appear to have any. He was just a man made of shadow.

Logan jumped to the sound of high-pitched laughter from behind him. He turned around in time to watch Brian sprint out of the alley.

That’s impossible! he thought. No one is that fast! Especially after the ass-kicking I just gave him.

Logan spun back around and found himself looking into an abyss with two sharp yellow eyes filled with more hatred than Logan could ever possess staring into him.

He fired five shots, point-blank range, into the thing’s face, closing his eyes and letting out a fear driven war-cry.

When Logan opened his eyes, he was alone.

He took a deep breath and then felt his entire body shake under the excessive stress of the encounter.

“What just happened?” he asked the alley.

In reply, Brian’s words echoed in his mind:

The demon comes for you, but God has set you aside. Repent.

Logan could hear police sirens approaching in the distance… a lot of them.

Time to go.

He quickly shoved his gun back into the rear compartment of his chopper and hopped on.

His cell phone rang causing him to jump for the second time.

“Shit!” He reached into his jacket and pulled out the phone. “What is it?” he impatiently snapped into the receiver.

“Logan, where the hell are you?” It was Nathan, one of The Brotherhood’s senior members.

“Where you at?” Logan said.

“I’m at the fucking bar, man! You need to get over here right now. It’s a fucking mess over here.”

Logan immediately felt sick to his stomach. Nathan’s voice sounded strained. “Did Jonas call you?”

There was a long pause followed by a heavy sigh. “Logan… Jonas is dead.”

~~~

The parking lot of Abbey’s Tavern was illuminated with flashing red and blue lights. Several police officers had barricaded a portion of the lot in front of the bar while others were stretching out yellow crime scene police tape across the front entrance. A local news van had just pulled in.

Logan parked his bike toward the rear of a crowd of onlookers behind the barricades. Several members of The Brotherhood were out among the crowd gathering what information they could while suspiciously keeping one eye on the activities of the police and the other on everyone else.

A tall bald man wearing a leather vest with a ‘don’t shoot the messenger look’ on his face, spotted Logan and came over accompanied by Marty from the bar.

Logan got off his chopper and greeted them with a nod.

“Logan,” Nathan said. “Man… I’m glad your back.”

“I’m so sorry, Logan,” Marty said, and then looked at his feet.

Logan looked at the old-timer, who appeared sober for the first time ever, and saw a terrified man who’d just been through hell, reflected in his eyes.

“What’s happened?” Logan asked Nathan, trying to stay collected.

Nathan rubbed his bald head. “You remember John Sumner, the construction worker from Mentor?”

“Yeah,” Logan said. “Stand-up guy. Good hard-working American. I’ve had more shots with that guy than I can recall. Is he dead, too?”

Nathan didn’t know how to begin. “Logan… John lost his shit tonight. Killed four people, including Abagail. Shot her right in the face.”

Logan’s eyebrows shot up. “What? Why?”

Nathan was shaking his head. “We’re still trying to figure this shit out. By the time we got here, it was all done. I wished Jonas had called us sooner… we might have been able to stop this.”

“No,” Marty said. “No… there’s no blame here. I was there. Saw the whole thing go down. No one saw it coming… damn shame…” Marty looked like he was about to collapse.

Logan grabbed his arm to steady him. “Relax, Marty. Just try to paint the picture for me so I can understand this crazy shit.”

Marty nodded. “About ten minutes after you went after that Asian boy, everyone started to relax. Jonas stayed with Abbey, tried what he could to make her feel better while keeping an eye out for her daughter to come back. He even helped her serve a few drinks from behind the bar. Good kid… damn, damn shame. Anyway, everything was going fine, business as usual, then in walks John Sumner looking like he just won the God damn lottery. He strolled on up to the bar, pulled out a wad of cash, and then ordered a round of drinks for everyone… on his dime. Everyone cheered. Everything was fine. I sat right down next to the man, raised my glass and toasted with him for whatever had put him in such a giving mood. I didn’t care… free drinks are free drinks. Anyway, John had a shot of whiskey, then turns to the man next to him, Fred Carter, and says, ‘I feel great!’ Well, when Fred asked him what put him in such a good mood… I shit you not… John looked at Fred and said, ‘I just strangled a teenage girl to death. You should try it sometime… felt damn good!’”

Logan took a step back. “He actually said that? We’re talking about the same John Sumner who’s been drinking with us for years, right? Same one who’s been coming in every other week bragging on those three kids of his?”

Nathan shifted his feet uncomfortably.

Marty nodded with a faraway look. “I’d just spoken to his wife, Susan, in the supermarket yesterday. They were about to go on vacation… I forget where. John was always talking about some fishing trip or another he wanted to take…”

“Let’s get on with it,” Logan pressed.

Marty looked at him. “Logan… when I heard him say that, I thought I’d finally lost my damn mind. There was no way I heard what I just heard. Even Fred couldn’t believe it. I think he thought John was telling a really bad joke or something ‘cause he just gave John a weird look and moved on back to the pool table. Then John looked over at me and said with a laugh, ‘Marty, did you see that? I killed Abbey’s daughter and the man thought I was joking… unbelievable!’ Well… I said, ‘John, your joke’s in really bad taste. Don’t let Abbey hear you talking like that.’ Then I asked him if he was drunk… but I already knew he wasn’t. I’d know. Anyway, I was about to get up, considering how strange he was acting, then he leaned in and said, ‘Wanna know where I put the body?’ I wanted to punch the man, but something was clearly wrong with him. Then he announced, all nice and loud for everyone to hear, ‘What’s a man gotta do around here to be taken seriously?’ Then he got up and went to the bathroom. Well… at this point, I started thinking John might not be joking, so I went and told Jonas… you know… just in case. Jonas didn’t find the joke very funny either. He made a quick phone call and then told me to watch for Abbey’s kid. Then he went back to the bathroom, looking like he was going to kick John’s ass.” Marty paused and shook his head. He wiped a tear from his eye. “And that’s when it happened, Logan. John came out of that bathroom so full of rage and hate… it was like seeing a totally different man. Jonas was just about there when John came storming out with a handgun. He shot that poor kid in the chest three times… I’m so sorry Logan. Jonas never even saw it coming… none of us did.”

“Fucker,” Nathan hissed.

Logan nodded and pat the old man on the shoulder. “No worries, Marty. Tell me the rest.”

Marty nodded. “Well, everyone started freaking out, as you can imagine. They were trying to get out of the way, stepping all over each other. Fred tried to grab the gun and John shot him in the head. Then he shot Ryan Reynolds in the back while he was trying to hide behind the pool table. I’d never seen someone go crazy like that before. He was rambling on and on about seeing demons all over the place… nothing that made any sense.”

“Did you say ‘demons’?” Logan asked.

“Uh-huh. Then Abbey grabbed a shotgun from behind the bar and was about to open fire… but John was faster… damn shame. Anyway, before he could shoot anyone else, a police officer showed up at the door and shot John Sumner eight times.”

“She didn’t deserve this… especially with her kid still missing,” Logan was stunned. He desperately tried not to think of his nephew, or what he was going to tell his mother. “Any word about the girl?”

Marty was shaking his head. “I feared the worst, Logan… especially if what John said was true.”

As if on cue, they all turned to look toward the bar as the local news team tried to get in close and film the paramedics bringing out the bodies on stretchers. Mercifully, they were all covered.

Another one of Logan’s men came cutting through the crowd to get to them.

“What is it, Caleb?” Logan asked.

The older out-of-breath member of the group, stopped, placed his hands on his knees and said, “They found the girl, Abbey’s girl… her body.”

No one said anything.

Caleb shook his head. “That sonofabitch just tossed her in the dumpster out back… red dress and all.”

Marty fell to the ground. “Dear Lord, I need to get drunk.” He started to weep into his hands.

Logan clenched his fists so tight that his hands began to bleed. He took a deep breath. This is all my fault. If I hadn’t assumed it was that Asian…

“What do you want to do, Logan?” Nathan asked.

“There’s nothing left to do,” he said. “Tell everyone to go home.” Logan jumped back on his chopper and prepared himself for one of the hardest things he ever had to do.

He spun the bike around and sped off toward his sister’s house…

~~~

Logan stopped and took in the congregation. “What did I see that night in the alley, with the blood of an innocent young man still fresh on my knuckles?” he started. “Was it a hallucination? A devil? Death itself, coming to remind me that my time would come? That I would pay for all the pain that I had caused… in the name of Hate? I don’t know.” He paused, trying to contain his emotions. “My sister’s son died because that monster I served… that monster I had become… demanded I feed the fire that burned within me. I was dead in my dark deeds of hostility, lost in an all-consuming madness that knew no love, no mercy… and no better way!” He started pacing again. “I was a dead man, can you say… Amen!”

“Amen!” The congregation repeated.

“A dead man, feasting on the living–preying on the weak and despising my brothers and sisters! And for WHAT?” He stopped, and closed his eyes. He continued, speaking softly. “Because I hated them. I hated all of them. And you know what happens when your love turns to hate? Do you, brothers and sisters?”

They all waited. Some raised their hands, praising God. Others silently wept. Some skeptics in the back began to shift uncomfortably, trying to understand the words of this strange man.

Logan crossed his arms and said, “When your love turns hateful… when your heart grows black… that’s when you see only the darkness! You start living with it, sleeping with it, putting it on like a coat… dreaming with the damn darkness!” Logan took a deep breath and settled down. “And then finally… it’s all you know. You’ve grown comfortable with all that black sludge stirring around inside of you like a bottomless pot of bile! Then you start serving it to others… until everyone’s feasting on all… that… HATE!” He stared at them with a hawk-like intensity.

Many in the congregation could not meet his gaze.

Logan’s gaze softened. He smiled and said, “But then… Love comes… Amen?”

“Amen!”

Logan started dancing excitedly. “Oh, that sweet… wall smashing… get your heart pumping… turn that everlasting light on something… LOVE! Praise God!”

“Glory… praise God!” they chanted.

The big man moved back behind the podium and smiled at all of them. “When I look into your faces… it breaks me, and not in a bad way… Amen?”

“Amen!”

“I still remember all that hate and how it felt when I looked into folks’ faces. It makes me sick to my stomach. But now… oh, boy… now… I’m broken! I can’t contain the Love of God that fills me up when I stare into all your precious faces. It’s beyond words what I feel when I stare into all your lovely, diverse faces!” Logan began to weep, overcome by the Spirit of God. “I’m in awe of it… God’s love… God’s mercy… His forgiveness.” He closed his eyes. Logan took a deep breath and continued, “There’s hatred in this house beneath the dead world. I know, because I can still taste it in the air and it makes me sick. I know you can, too. Hatred and Madness… they are one in the same. I pray that we not continue to let it live among us. Search your hearts. Are you in that dark place, feeding on the fruit of Hatred? Perhaps my words cause you discomfort because of what you’ve grown comfortable with? Whatever the case may be, brothers and sisters, let us root it out and evict that darkness from our lives.” He paused to let the congregation reflect upon his words.

Finally, he bowed his head and said, “Father, help us find our way into your Love. Lead us away from the darkness and all its awful offspring, and deliver us from the madness of this world. I ask that you would root out the evil among us. That you would speak to those who would choose to heed the poisonous counsel of Hatred, and conspire to do harm, and heal their hardened hearts. Protect those in harm’s way, oh, Lord…”

~~~

Next Episode 36-3

Previous Episode

~~~

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 36-2: Uprising” Copyright © 2017 Scott Scherr, from the novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Four: Phantoms. All Rights Reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Comments
  1. Gylion says:

    I have the feeling Logan would make a fine Cult Leader.

    Like

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