Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prologue From TANNER, My Current Work In Progress

            He stepped through the revolving door of the Harbor Lights Club and into the small, dimly lit lobby. Happy Days Are Here Again resonated down the stairs, filling the lobby with the festive song. Anderson Spangler’s campaign was in full swing and one of his biggest supporters, Attorney Jonathan Graber would be here in all his glory.
            He made his way up the stairs to the second floor and peered in the banquet hall. There he saw Graber, walking beside Spangler, working the crowd.
            He smiled, turned and walked back down the stairs and around the corner to the cubby hole at the back of the staircase. Here he would wait. They said good things came to those who waited. He smiled again and leaned against the wall.
            He watched two women, who he’d seen on many occasions working in the bar’s kitchen, stride toward him, their shift obviously over. One sat down on the bench in front of the cubby hole and waved at her friend as she walked through the revolving door.
She sat on this bench every night to wait for her daughter to pick her up. Not tonight. He leaned over to whisper in the woman’s ear. “You don’t want to sit here tonight. Walk home.”
The woman’s eyes grew wide with fear. She grabbed her workbag setting next to her on the bench and, without looking to see who spoke to her, hurried out the back door.
He heard a number of people come down the stairs and peeked around the corner. Half of the group went into the bar and the others left through the revolving door.
Seeing the lobby empty, he hurried over and locked the revolving door, then stepped back to the cubby hole. “Thanks for coming, Jon,” he heard from the top of the stairs and removed the .45 from the shoulder holster under his jacket.
            Jonathan Graber reached into the inside pocket of his suit coat when he entered the lobby, cursed and stepped into the bar. He walked back out a few minutes later opening a pack of cigarettes. Finding the revolving door locked, he moved to the glass door beside it.
            The man under the stairs moved quickly. He stepped up behind Graber and triggered the .45 point blank at the back of the attorney’s head and was out the door as Graber crumbled to the floor.
            Panic in the lobby was immediate and he barely had time to hand the gun off to the young man running past him and climb into the black Lincoln that appeared at the curb in front of him. The big car squealed off into the night as the panic-stricken crowd flooded out the door of the Harbor Lights Club. As the Lincoln sped around the corner, the blinds closed in the second floor window across the street.