The reporter was dead set on running him down until the bullets started flying. Divine Fury.
May 14, 2013
A VG Serial: Divine Fury
ENZO LEE HEARD Harper’s voice and the crowd’s loud reaction as he reached the edge of the crowd where he had last spotted the Chicago Cubs cap. He’d been wandering in the crowd, soaking in the atmosphere of the event and waiting for Harper to appear. Then, he spotted the cap, the mirrored sunglasses and the same face that he remembered from the quick glance he’d taken behind him on Tunnel Road just before he was thrown head over heels through the line of redwood trees.
Lee made his way quickly through the crowd until he could grab the jerk by his jacket and berate him for near killing Carr and him. After he was shoved, tripped over someone’s leg and fell to the ground, Lee had almost lost him. When he got back to his feet, he just guessed left and headed that way in the crowded plaza. After a couple of minutes, he caught a glimpse of the hat in the distance and redoubled his effort to fight his way through the crowd.
When he came out, he scanned the area – first, east toward the bay and then west toward the downtown area. Deep in the adjacent park, almost through to the other side, he saw him – the driver of the green van hurrying away. Lee set off after him at a trot.
As he passed through the park, Lee could feel all the soreness from the biking incident four days earlier. His shoulder hurt with each jarring step. He saw the cap disappear into the shadows at the end of the park and he kept heading in that direction.
As Lee hurried through the evening gloom, it occurred to him for the first time that maybe the guy he was pursuing was Walberg. He couldn’t match him to the photograph that had run in the paper. But without the hat and sunglasses? With his head shaved and mustache gone? Maybe. It was possible. But it didn’t make sense. Why would Walberg have targeted him, running him off the road like that a few days earlier? He had figured it was just a crazy driver. God knows there were enough of them around. After all, Lee wasn’t anyone famous or controversial. Not like Harper. But the coincidence of the guy showing up at the rally for Harper just seemed too great.
He slowed a little. Be careful, Lee told himself. Just see where this guy goes. Even if he got into a car and Lee could just get the license number, that should be enough to find him later. If he wasn’t Walberg, he and Carr could go after him for reckless driving, assault…something. The son of a bitch deserved something for nearly killing him. If he was Walberg, Lee could tell Connors and let the police deal with him.
Lee watched as the man in the blue cap moved down Jackson Street and then walked diagonally across Walton Square. He continued north on Front for another two blocks.
After spotting the person trailing him a block away for the third time, Walberg knew he was being followed. He looked and listened for someone else but there was nothing. He assumed it was just the one. It must be the reporter. If the police were on to him, they’d already have called in reinforcements. There would be cars, lights, guns. It had to be the reporter. Stupid fuck.
Walberg turned left down Vallejo and ducked into an alcove just off the sidewalk. He leaned with his back against a wall and pulled out his Beretta. He inhaled deeply a couple of times to fully catch his breath. He set the backpack on the ground and turned back to face the way he’d come. He leaned his face against the brick wall and waited.
When Lee turned onto Vallejo, he looked down the sidewalk to the end of the block and saw nothing. Where had the guy gone? He stopped and listened. It was silent. No footsteps in that direction. Lee crossed to the other side of the street and kept moving forward.
Walberg saw him coming down the opposite sidewalk. It was dark and there were parked cars in the way but he had a clear shot directly across from where he waited. He would wait until Lee was right across the street, and go for him then.
Lee saw the movement in the shadows when Walberg lifted the gun. Through the gloom, he could see him pointing something at him. He wasn’t going to wait to find out what it was. Lee took off down Vallejo at a dead run. Behind him, he heard the pop of the gun once….twice. After a few more seconds…a third time. He didn’t look back.
“Christ!” thought Lee. “I don’t believe this!” He was both terrified and chagrined that he’d put himself in this situation. What was he thinking? He’d walked right into this. It had to be Walberg. Then, he tried to put all irrelevant thoughts out of his mind. He knew he was running for his life. His only thought was to fly like the goddamned wind.
Walberg fired twice from where he had waited and then ran over to the opposite sidewalk. When he reached it, he could see Lee in a full sprint moving away from him. He fired again but Lee was too far away. Walberg took off after him trying to close the distance.
Chapters of the serial are published Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
You can learn more about Divine Fury on Amazon.