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Jensen knew it would be the day he entered this unit with his one suitcase, and the long years had only proved him right.  His career was so dead he wasn’t trusted to deal with this “Raven” in his basement much less begin distributing narcotics or prostitution to the island now that its many construction delays had finally been overcome and the days of full occupancy were near.  Jensen wouldn’t be surprised if, when Rutledge left here after dealing with the “Raven”, he’d leave someone else here to take over the operations.  He choked down the remnants of his glass in a rush down his throat at the thought.  Passed over.

Lightning tore through the sky and brought Jensen back to the present.

“How did you find her again?” Jensen decided to slow down just a bit and sat his glass down. He didn’t want to navigate the streets drunk amidst a storm if it came to that.  Besides, he could all ready tell that he’d had enough; his vision seemed to be closing in on him on all sides.  Everything was much darker along the peripherals, everywhere he looked both inside and out.

“I already told you, Briggs found her on the terrace with a sprained ankle while on patrol.  She was just lying there.” Hoke exhaled the words from the lounge chair.  The grey cigarette smoke was almost immediately consumed by the spreading darkness as it was expelled from the big man’s lungs.

Jensen didn’t much care for Briggs, the man was an idiot who Rutledge employed here as “security” regardless of Jensen’s protests.  Hoke handled Briggs so Jensen didn’t’ have too and that was just fine by Jensen’s recollection.

“Let me get this straight.” Jensen moved back behind his desk, bumping into the edge of the sofa on his way, and nearly fell into the chair that waited there behind it. He smoothed his suit vest down in an effort to collect himself and clicked on the desk lamp to cut the darkness in the hopes of seeing a little better.  It didn’t help.

“This ‘Lady Raven’ as some call her has played havoc with our supply lines for months. She’s taken out three crews in the last month, and god knows how many of our men along the way, yet you expect me to believe that Briggs simply finds her cowering with a sprained ankle right here on our terrace?” As he spoke Jensen ticked the items off an imaginary list by uprising fingers from his clenched fist one by one.

“Most of that is just rumors boss, we don’t know any of that was actually her doing.  I mean look at her, she don’t even way 100 lbs soaking wet.” Hoke crushed his cigarette out in the large crystal ashtray on the corner of the desk. The last plume of smoke hovered around the desk lamp and seemed to be highlighted by all the blackness that filled the room only to then consume the smoke and transform it into shadow a moment later.

“Rumors that Rutledge seems to believe now that he’s back in Serpent City. Don’t forget that, he wants to talk to this dame himself for Christ sake!” Jensen was further agitated and waved his hand at the door to the basement which was now shrouded in so much shadow he could no longer tell where the oak door or its brass handle ended and the walls of the office began.

“That’s why it’s not a good idea to go down there and shoot her between the eyes.” Hoke fished for another cigarette but stopped when he got a look on Jensen’s expression of unease and the thick shadows.

“What is it?” Hoke asked, not yet able to see it.

“Why is it so dark in here?” The desk lamp flickered and the bulb fizzled out mysteriously in time with Jensen’s question.

“It’s the storm, that’s all.” But Hoke stopped mid-sentence when the light bulb fizzled out. “They say it’s the biggest one in years on the radio.” Hoke nearly whispered as he finished his

The End

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