Man on a mission

railroad crossing

More of Andrew’s story

For nearly two decades, Clay Grainger sat in a tiny 6X9-foot cell, surrounded by bricks and steel – no privacy, no secrets. His neighbors heard every fart, every sob, every nightmare.

It wasn’t enough that he hit his worthless attorney where it hurt the most. Killing his women was only the beginning. Grainger lost more than a third of his life behind bars, he lost five million dollars, and Andrew Ransom, Esq., was to blame.

After his wife and daughter were murdered, Ransom vanished, but Grainger’s new arsenal of attorneys thought they had a bead on him. After chasing a ghost all over South America, some jerkwater P.I. claimed he found Ransom just a few hundred miles from the city.

The P.I., Hollis Drake, told the suits Ransom was hiding in plain sight as some crazy street corner shyster. Then the fool, Drake, got spooked by a tarted up tarot reader. Now, no one knows where he disappeared.

The only right thing the new attorneys did was to get Grainger out of prison on parole. He had his own men looking for Ransom and his missing money.

A hit team was preparing to move on what they thought was Ransom’s apartment. Disguised as a pest control crew, they had a reputation of going in quick and coming out clean.

Aldo Sotomayor, a career operative in the Agency, and Ransom’s shadow for the past 17 years, watched the crew unload their faux company van. He leaned on the checkout counter at his bodega in the first floor of Ransom’s apartment building taking mental notes of who the crew members were. He recognized most of them from Agency surveillance data.

Since Ransom cleared out of the apartment, all the security cameras were also removed. Soto regretted not being able to see their disappointment when they saw the place was scrubbed and empty. Even Ransom’s hidden safe had been replaced with new sheet rock and distressed paint.

While Grainger’s hit crew stormed a bare apartment, confused at not finding their quarry, Andrew Ransom’s train pulled into its final station stop. As he disembarked, another smartly dressed businessman followed close behind him. Ransom didn’t recognize Wilson Mayfield. The one-time grocery deliveryman was no longer a scruffy loser. Mayfield looked the part of a corporate wonk.

Ransom’s attention was not on the other commuters. During the long trip, he read a news item about Grainger’s release, and a plan began to coalesce in his mind. When the fortune-teller first passed the key to him, all he could think of was getting back to the city. Now, he wanted to finally put an end to Clay Grainger.

This week’s Studio30 Plus: “Coalesce” and/or “Blend”

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