Rattling Snakes Cage 3 Ch. 04byshandal©
Davy is trying to get hold of Patrick and Jerry to warn them that a revengeful Snake is coming their way. This is a romantic crime thriller in three parts, and this chapter is the penultimate chapter before the explosive climax.
Who will come out of this alive...
Rattling Snakes Cage Part 1, 2 and 3 are copyrighted and any reproduction or adaptation in any form needs the permission of the author.
The flight into Miami was a long one, with a stop off at Heathrow for an hour to change planes. Snake napped occasionally during the flight and walked out into the early hours of the next day, the lost hours due to time difference making his body heavy and tired, and he made his way over to the car rental office, paying for a MPV with blacked out windows and seats that could fold down.
Climbing into the car he started the drive down to the Keys, over Highway 1, totally ignoring the natural beauty of the tidal flats or the islands dotted in the distance as the sun arose, lighting up the incredible magnificence of the Overseas Highway as it wound in a long line in front of him over the sparkling sea.
As Snake drove South Jerry and Megan lay asleep, his hand resting protectively on the curve of her pregnant belly. Patrick and Rachel lay in their bed, feet tangled, and Rachel's long black hair stark against the white of the pillow as it spread out around her face; Patrick lay in a deep and heavy slumber after the hard nights work at the bar.
All oblivious to what was heading their way.
Davy ran his hand through his hair for the hundredth time, his head pounding as he sat in the interview room of the Police Station in Ronda. "I've told you I don't know who or why my club was deliberately set on fire. It wasn't me. I've been here with a young lady for the last couple of days. I've told you go back to the Hotel and ask her."
"Señor Price, we have gone to the Hotel, but it seems the young lady has left, leaving no forwarding address. Do you have her address where we can contact her?"
Davy sat back stunned, "No....she's someone I met at the club last week....I don't know where she's staying."
"You have her full name? We can then see if we can find her to support your alibi."
"Alibi?....What do you mean alibi....I've told you I did not burn down my own club."
"The name of the young lady?"
Davy looked at the Spanish Detective, a hot flush causing red to rise up his neck and colour his cheeks. "I don't remember her surname....just her first name.....Susan...."
"You don't remember her family name?"
"Yet you were spending, as you claim, five days with her?"
"But now she's gone."
Snake pulled into the non-descript motel on one of the small string of Keys, pulling out his case and booking into a room. As soon as he entered the shabby room he pulled off his jacket and shoes and flopped down onto the bed exhausted, falling into a deep and dreamless sleep.
He didn't see the bright sunny morning, or the people walking down to the where the boats were moored so they could go out fishing, nor the divers unpacking their diving gear from the backs of their motors, carrying them down to the waters edge and looking out at the sparkling waters that spread out before them hiding the coral reefs that the divers would soon be swimming around, admiring the many multi coloured fish and sea life that festooned the beautiful reefs.
Juan drove into the parking place in the early morning just outside his apartment. He lived under Patrick and Rachel's place, and shared a small back yard. Taking out the small cloth wrapped package from where he had hid it under his car seat, he ran inside his home and pulled down the blinds that would hide him from the sight of anyone who might look in.
Sweat dribbled down his back and the palms of his hands were wet with worry, an hour ago his friend had handed over the first package of coke and he was not sure where to hide it or what to do with it. He had lied to his friend telling him that the two guys from the bar were happy to deal it from there, and he hoped that Patrick and Jerry would change their mind once they saw the package and could picture the extra money they all would make.
But where to hide it in the mean time, and how to get the money to pay for it by the end of the week.
He didn't want it in his place. Just in case. Paranoia was taking hold of him and he wanted the stuff out and away from his home. But where could he hide it?
Pacing the small front room, the drawn blinds making it shadowy and claustrophobic he tried to think where to hide it, finally deciding to hide it in the men's toilet in the bar. He knew he could put it wrapped up in plastic inside one of the cisterns there until he had a chance to re talk to Patrick and Jerry and convince them to join in with the new venture and put in some cash.
Pulling the blinds back he looked across at the bar to see if it was open yet, but there was no sign of the men and the door was closed, so putting the package under the sink, covered with a pile of cleaning stuff he grabbed his keys and went down the road in his truck to buy some strong weatherproof plastic and waterproof tape to secure up the package ready to put it in the cistern.
Danny sat in the cell waiting for his solicitor to appear driving up from his office over in Marbella, so that he could represent him in the interviews with the Detectives at the Ronda Police Station. He sat in the small cell on the side of the hard bed and ran his hand through his hair trying to figure out who could have possibly set fire to his club and why. He couldn't come up with anyone. He hadn't offended anyone. He'd paid his dues and kept his nose out of anyone's business. None of it made sense to him, unless it was a rival club owner trying to put him out of business.
After a while the door opened and he was invited back up to the interview room where he had a half hour meeting with his solicitor. Then the meeting with the detective reconvened.
"Mr Price are you acquainted with a Señor and Señora Cox who reside in Marbella."
"Davy and Shirley....yes of course, they're friends of mine....you're not trying to pin this on Davy....he would never do this. Why aren't you trying to find out who did this to me. I keep telling you I had nothing to do with burning down my own club."
"When was the last time you saw them?"
"Davy and Shirley? Last week after they got back from Florida. We went out for a meal down in Marbella, at the fish restaurant just off Orange Square. Why do you ask?"
"Can you think of anyone who may want to hurt either yourself or your friends the Cox's?"
"What do you mean hurt? Are Davy and Shirley hurt? Are they Ok?"
"I'm sorry to inform you that Señor and Señora Cox are dead. They died yesterday in their home, in a fire there just a couple of hours before your club was then set fire to."
Danny felt the blood drain out of his face, and his body turn cold with shock, "Davy and Shirley dead, they can't be......"
The Detective looked at the man in front of him, shock clearly running through him at the news of the deaths of the English couple. "Would you have any idea Señor on who would want to set fire to your club and kill the Cox's in a fire?"
Shaking his head he sat there in shock, "Davy and Shirley never hurt anyone, they were just a retired couple living in Marbella....."
"That's not what we understand.....I believe Señor Cox was a well known fixer for the British Community....is there someone that both you and he might have angered enough for them to set fire and kill them, and try to kill you?"
Clamping his teeth together so that his jaw started to hurt Danny stared at the man sitting opposite him. The Detective continued, "Maybe someone who is tall, dark haired and according to a witness from whom he bought the fluid used to set fire to your premises; he has a vivid tattoo on his neck."
Danny stared dry eyed ahead, his mind reeling with shock, 'it can't be' he thought to himself, 'he's dead....we left him dead."
"Señor.....do you have any idea who this man may be?"
"No....no idea...." But he knew. He knew the bastard must have survived that last knife fight with Patrick and come back for revenge....and if he was looking for revenge he knew he had to phone Patrick and Jerry as soon as he could.
Rising to his feet he asked, "Can I go please....you know it wasn't me...it was some maniac that you should be looking for....so if you've finished?"
"Before you go I would like to take a statement from you....please sit down Señor Price."
Danny sat down looking at the watch on his wrist. He knew he had to get hold of his two friends over in Florida and warn them as soon as possible.
Patrick strolled over to open up, waving across at Juan who sat on his front steps smoking. Jerry joined him as he started to unlock the door and he remarked to his friend, "Another day, another dollar...."
Looking up at the sky Jerry replied, "Wind starting to build, maybe a storm coming."
"More customers then coming out of the rain...." And the two men started getting the place ready.
Megan stood rubbing the massage oil into her skin. The baby bump was getting bigger and the baby was moving more and more, making her and Jerry laugh when her tummy took on a decidedly lopsided look. Pulling on her panties and slipping on her bra, she looked down at the plump breasts that now more than filled the white lacy garment. One of the side benefits of being pregnant, Jerry loved her more full breasts, and so did she. Walking over to the window she looked out onto the street that ran down the side of the bar, watching as Jerry stepped out of the back door of the premises to put out a big bag of garbage into the large bin. As if he sensed her watching him he turned and waved, then blew a kiss up at her. Waving back she smiled, and then turned around to finish dressing.
Snake woke up slightly disorientated and then took off his crumpled clothes, walking into the bathroom of the motel bedroom and turned on the shower. After a cranking creaking noise the tepid water came out the showerhead and he stepped into the small shower unit with its mould in the corners, and the missing tiles up near the shower head and washed the sweat and grime from travelling all the way from Europe to this small motel on one of the Florida Keys dribbling off the coast of the USA.
Walking up to the bar Juan asked for a beer and put the black leather bag down next to him, "Looks like a storm Juan. You taking out anyone today?" Patrick asked.
"Nah....keeping my eye on the weather though....forecast is heavy rain later on.....I might do a little repair on the boat until then."
Passing the ice cold bottle across the bar Patrick nodded, "So you don't think we need to batter down the shutters....the wind is blowing up."
"Nope...should blow and pass us by, looks like it's aiming for the Caribbean further South, we'll just get the tail end."
Juan drank the beer down and picking up the bag told Patrick, "I'm going to the John for a piss before I go down to the boat. See you later." And he entered the men's checking to see if he was alone, taking out the plastic wrapped and sealed package from the black bag and climbing up onto the toilet pan he reached up to put it in the old fashioned cast iron cistern high up on the back wall.
Bit by bit people wandered in to the bar, taking the opportunity to get out of the building wind, and about mid afternoon the rain started to come down in blinding sheets, so that by four o'clock the place was packed to the rafters and the two couples and the chef were rushed off their feet trying to keep up with the orders.
Davy finally got out the Police Station and grabbing his mobile dialled Patrick's mobile, but it just rang and rang with no answer. Trying Jerry's he got the same, it just rang. Walking up and down in the street outside the Police building in an agitated manner, causing the eyebrows of his Solicitor to rise he tried to remember the home numbers for the two couples or the bar number, as they were not programmed like the mobile numbers into the phone, but they were written down in his Filofax in his now burnt down and destroyed office in the club.
Getting into his Solicitors car he kept trying to contact the two men as he was driven over to the Hotel to collect his things from the room, settle up the bill, and collect his car for the drive back to Fuengirola to see the damage to his property for himself.
In the bar the noise was heavy, the music from the speakers mingling with the laughter and sounds of people enjoying themselves, the pounding noise of the rain heavy in the background. Patrick's mobile was in the back office and Jerry's under the bar, but they never heard them ring as they moved around the buzzing bar and restaurant, the rain pouring down, the air humid and muggy, the sound of the occasional roll of thunder in the distance, as they served the customers who had escaped the deluge in the lively atmosphere of 'The Easy Escape' bar and restaurant.
At one point Megan who was pouring out drinks and had sat down on the stool behind the bar to take a breather heard Jerry's mobile ring and she reached out to pick it up from where it lay on the shelf, but just then Rachel called out, "Two Rum Runners, one Bud and a Vodka shot....table four." And she wearily got up from the stool and started to prepare the round of drinks forgetting the ringing mobile.
The man answered his mobile and heard his clients voice rumble in his ear, "Meet me at The Parakeet Motel, room six in half and hour." Then the phone went dead. Sighing he knocked back the last of the beer in his glass, stood up and left the noisy bar, giving one last look at his targets as they worked the customers, and then stepped out into the pouring rain making his way quickly towards his car parked down the road.
Patrick leant over to whisper in Rachel's ear as they both stood in the kitchen waiting for the orders of Big Conch Fritters and Rum Glazed Spicy Shrimp to be dished up so they could serve them to the waiting crowd of hungry diners, "Crime is a lot easier than this....not so long hours and it pays a lot more...."
"And ends up giving you a twenty spot in Wandsworth, sleeping by yourself on a hard bunk bed....keep your mind on the straight and narrow....and on the lovely money that's rolling in right now due to that heavy rain."
"Yes Ma'am....three bags full Ma'am." And he took the plates of spicy smelling food and walked out to place it on the table of the four young divers who were working up a sizable drinks tab to go with the food they had ordered.
Davy looked over the charred and damaged premises, the musty smell of smoke, charred walls and furniture, and the squish of water under feet giving the place a damp and dreary feel. Turning to the fireman on his right he asked, "How long before I can get the builders in to start the repairs?"
"A while Señor....after the Police teams have finished the full forensics....and the insurance assessors give the ok."
Davy grunted, turned and walked out, getting the mobile from his pocket and trying for the twentieth time to get hold of Patrick and Jerry to warn them that Snake was alive and possibly coming their way.
The man pulled his car up at the run down motel about ten miles from where his targets lived and walked along the row of small bedrooms on the lower tier of the cheap holiday place. Stopping outside number six he raised his hand to knock when the door opened suddenly and his client stood there in the gloom of the dingy room, eyes glittering from some inner fire inside of him. Taking a large gulp the man stepped into the room, a feeling of unease running down his spine.
Snake closed the door behind him and asked the man if he wanted a drink, then pouring out two whiskeys into two toothbrush glasses asked him, "I want you to go through with me the everyday movements and times of the people I asked you to observe. I need to know exactly what they are likely to be doing at any point of the day or night. Describe the outlay of the premises, both where they work and live, and all the surrounding area."
The man nodded and got out the folder from his briefcase that he had laid down on the small round table by the window as he had come in, and taking a big sip of the warming golden liquid he told Snake, "Its all here....the first target is the one that always opens up at about eleven thirty each day, and is the last one there along with target two to lock up at about twelve thirty each night....."
And Snake listened as the man rolled out all he had learnt about his targets, intent on working out the best time to strike....
* Juan shuffled back and forth on his feet nervous as the dealer he usually bought his M J from haggled on price. "I got a steady supply coming in; you have to be a fucking good price for me to be interested. How often can you get it in for me and what quality?"
"Good, the qualities good...."
"I don't take your fucking word for it you dickhead, I need to try a sample."
"No... fucking next year you prick....what do you think?"
"I need to get it for you; I don't have it on me."
"Then bring me a sample tomorrow....we'll talk cash then..."
Snake put the 'Do not disturb' sign on his door and threw the case into the back of the hire car, then climbed in to the drivers seat and pulled out of the Motel car park, driving past the investigators car where he had left it, making his way towards his last but one destination.
Back in the motel room, folded up into a ball, the spare blanket that was usually kept on the top shelf of the closet thrown over him, the investigator lay slumped; his throat cut from ear to ear, the blood seeping down his body to pool around him behind the closed closet door where his body lay.