Archive for the ‘Post 8.9’ Category

Saturday, March 31, 8:32 a.m.

I knock on Jack’s motel room door.

“Jack?” I call. “It’s me. Sorry, I didn’t bring your car back. I hate stick shifts. Why do they even make them anymore? They’re impossible. Jack? You up?”

The door opens. I’m yanked into the room.

By Leo.

He kicks the door closed. I can’t be sure whether I yelp in terror or just stare at him in mute shock. He leans against the door, trapping me. Leo isn’t pointing a gun at me, but he acts as if he is. He looks like a menacing member of the Trench Coat Mafia.

Columbine killer photo

“About time you got here,” he says.

“Where’s Jack?” I say.

“How the crap should I know?” he says. “You’ve got to help me. I pissed them off. They’re on their way here right now!”

Leo looks utterly panicked. I am confused.

Leo stalked Jack. And me. He photographed us and sent us threatening texts. He stole Lucy’s school records. He tracked Jack all the way through two counties to this obscure motel. He must have hacked my credit card records to do so. Maybe he knows where I live. Maybe he’s going to kill me.

“What did you do with Jack?” I say.

Leo claws impatiently at his floppy hair.

“Nothing! I haven’t seen that worthless S.O.B. in…wait. Are the two of you staying here together?” Leo cocks his head at a lascivious angle, his fingers meeting to twiddle under his chin. “I thought you’re married.”

“I am!” I say. “Jack’s staying here. Alone.”

“This is Jack’s room?” Leo asks. He sounds confused.


“But you paid for it with your credit card,” he says.

I knew he hacked my account! Now I’ll have to cancel everything. What a hassle.

“And your cell phone’s here,” he says, pointing at my phone, which sits abandoned on the side table.

“Our phones got switched last night,” I say.

“But his car isn’t here,” says Leo.

“I stole—borrowed it. It’s at my house. Where is he?” I say.

“I don’t know, I said! I don’t care! You’ve got to help me—he’s useless.”

Stone cold killer Leo, the murder of my hypothesis, yet again strikes me as barely able to kill the mood. I ought to fear for my life. Instead, I roll my eyes and huff over to the bed where Jack lay sprawled the last time I was in this room. I sit.

“You’re a stalker,” I say. “You investigated Jack.”

That was supposed to be my job.

Leo, still barricading the door with his redoubtable scrawniness, lets out a snort.

“Big deal. He’s an ass-jack. He deserves it.”

“You sent him all those creepy texts,” I accuse.

Leo hesitates.

“Technically,” he says.

“You took that photo of us on his porch,” I say.

Leo grins.

“Oh, holy yeah!” he says.

“I was handing him his car keys, pervert!”


“So that means you also took the picture of him outside the bar in Ballard,” I say.

Leo blanches. The color in his already pasty face actually drains, like a weird species of chameleon turning white to match the door he’s leaning against.

“Yeah,” he says.

“But,” I say. “In the picture, Jack’s standing over a man in a green suit. I thought you’re the man in the green suit.”

“No!” Leo chokes. “No…he’s…he’s coming for me. I made him mad. You’ve got to help me.”

Despite Leo’s essential dorkitude, my skin crawls.

“What do you mean?” I ask.

Leo sinks to the floor, his back still pressing hard against the door. He wraps both arms around his knees. He’s not trying to keep me in, I suddenly realize. He’s trying to keep “them” out.

“They’re going to kill me,” he whispers.