the eighty-eighth key, ch. 07

88th key cover image

the eighty-eighth key

part one

chapter seven

Harry Callahan’s return from Southeast Asia marked the beginning of a cold, dark and bitter period in his life, a time marked most of all by very personal loneliness. His mother was gone and his father slipped in and out of anger and depression; worst of all his father rarely visited these days, not even when he’d just returned from sea. Harry went by the house from time to time and every time he found the yard an overgrown mess. It still hurt to see the Everson house next door, too, and he dreaded making the trip out to his old home for that reason more than any other. He would fight past the memories, past the tattered For Sale sign to the front porch and peer in the glass, not quite knowing what he’d find inside beyond heartache and broken dreams. Some trips his father was home and he must have seen Harry over there and he’d come out and meet him in the yard and they’d be angry and depressed together before heading to a seafood shack down on the wharf. They’d drown all their misgivings in schooners of cold beer while talking about how there was nothing better in life than fresh, hot onion rings and a fresh bottle of ketchup. Nothing much mattered at that point; life seemed over and done with, just one more thing that had passed them by on the way to nowhere.

Harry slipped into all the routines on the street like he had never left the city. All the same problems were still out there, waiting, only now Callahan had a little less patience for what felt like petty bullshit calls at four in the morning. A few weeks after his return to the street he responded to yet another family disturbance, and when he went up to the door he was met at the door by a belligerent, knife wielding drunk. The man started cursing Callahan, and Harry simply tossed the man aside and walked into the apartment, found the man’s wife crumpled on the floor, her face a pulpy mass of bleeding contusions. Then the drunk was in the doorway, yelling at Callahan about his rights as a citizen and how he was ‘gonna sue your ass into the ground’ when Callahan turned around and looked at the man.

Who saw the look in Callahan’s eyes and stopped talking.

The drunk still had the same knife in hand when Callahan walked up to him, and Callahan unholstered his Smith & Wesson and beat the man’s face until it looked something like his wife’s, then he dragged the man out into the street and kicked him in the groin once before dragging the writhing form over to a huge commercial trash dumpster. Callahan picked up the man and tossed him inside, then went back and picked the woman off the floor and carried her to San Francisco General, leaving the three other responding officer slack-jawed by their patrol cars. 

He’d never said a word. Not one.

And pretty soon word got out, went around precinct houses and neighborhoods like a wild fire. 

Don’t fuck with Callahan.

When Harry worked a beat the word quickly got out: neighborhoods suddenly grew quiet. Anyone dumb enough to create a disturbance soon went to the School of Callahan; and so-called men stupid enough to beat-up on their wives or girlfriends soon met with the same fate as that first drunk.

And soon enough word spread throughout the detective division, too.

Deep Night shifts, the overnight shift that typically stretches from midnight to eight in the morning, tend to operate under rules all their own, at least they did out in the real world beyond the courts, judges and lawyers that defined the other side of the criminal justice equation in the 60s and 70s, and San Francisco tended to operate somewhere way beyond ‘nice and proper’ those days. And that was not taking into account cops like Callahan, who seemed to operate with huge chips on their shoulders – on their good days. 

Then one night while Callahan was out patrolling a residential neighborhood around four in the morning he passed a streetlight and saw a blanket in the shadows. He stopped and looked at it – until it moved, anyway – then he radioed in and stopped to check it out.

He found a little girl maybe five years old wrapped-up in a tattered, flea-infested blanket and he parted the rancid fabric, found the girl was naked, her body covered with bruises and what looked like little burn marks. Callahan had seen these burns before, and too many times to count by then; they were made by someone holding a burning cigarette up to the skin and pressing in just hard enough to broil the tissue underneath, but this little girl’s body was literally covered with them – even her eyelids.

Callahan picked-up the little girl, heedless of the fleas and other crawling things all over the blanket, then he cupped the girls face and whispered to her: “Can you hear me? Just move your eyes if you can.”

“It hurts,” the girl said, her voice a faint trembling remnant of someone long past gone.

“My name is Harry, and I’m a police officer. What’s your name?”

“Susan,” came the withered, brittle reply.

“Well Susan, you’re going to be okay now. We’re going to take care of you, but first I need you to show me where you live. Can you do that for me?”

She pointed to a house across the street.

“The one with the blue roof?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Who did this to you? Do you know?”

She nodded her head. “Todd did it. He’s my mommy’s boyfriend.” She seemed to tremble a little more, then she held up her head. “Are you Officer Callahan?” she asked.

“I sure am, Honey.”

She smiled as she drifted off, as back-up units pulled up behind his patrol car.

“Get an ambulance,” Callahan growled, handing off the little girl to another officer as he started across the street…

…right about the time a new homicide detective named Carl Stanton pulled up on the scene. He had heard all the stories about Callahan and knew the score, so when he’d heard the call come out he knew Callahan had found something, so he raced to the scene. Still, he kept to the shadows and watched…

…as Callahan crossed the street, walked up the stoop and politely knocked on the door.

Stanton saw the shotgun barrel, but not before Callahan – who grabbed the end of the barrel as he kicked the door in, and in one continuous motion slammed the butt of the shotgun into his would-be-assailants face. Stanton ran up to the porch and got there just in time to see Callahan stick the end of the barrel in a man’s mouth – then pull the trigger.

There was a muffled ‘woompf’, and about all Carl Stanton saw was a pink mist in the air, then a scorched piece of carpet where the man’s head had been. Stanton walked into the house, then went room-to-room until he found a woman’s body in the little bathroom, her battered body a bloody mess, curled up and lifeless in the dingy bathtub.

As a detective who had ‘on-viewed’ the incident, Stanton was the senior officer on-scene so it was his call now, his report to make, so he walked over to Callahan and took the Winchester pump from him and laid it across a chair…then he looked into Callahan’s eyes…

…and saw tears behind a veil of rage…

A sergeant walked in, saw Harry then the detective. “You got this, Carl?”

Stanton nodded. “Call Dell, would you. And get a CSU headed this way.”

“Right.”

But then Callahan turned and walked from the little house, then across the street to the little girl. He took her and held her close until the ambulance came, then he got in back with her and rode with her to the hospital, holding her close all the way. Only after she’d been checked-in and turned over to the docs did he return to the scene, but by that point Dell Delgetti and Frank Bullitt had already come and gone.

Stanton turned his report over to Bullitt, who read it over then carried it upstairs to the captain in command, Sam Bennett.

Bennett read the report, then looked up at Bullitt. “So, he’s the real deal?”

“I think so, yeah.”

“Well, keep an eye on him. He’s supposed to take the sergeant’s exam next month, so if he does good on that you go ahead and start the background check. Keep me posted, Frank.”

+++++

Callahan aced the exam and reported to Academy for another round of classwork, then was back out on the street a month later. Still, he soon found that supervisory work left him feeling cold and more than a little useless. He started jumping calls, backing up rookies on hot disturbances whenever he could, but by then Bullitt had picked up all the signs. Callahan had probably seen too much in ‘Nam, and probably done too much over there to ever fully recover, and he told Captain Bennett as much after he reached that conclusion.

“Have you read his jacket, Frank? Because I don’t think it’s that simple. Yeah, there’s something burning the kid up inside, but I’m not sure it happened over there.”

Bullitt nodded. “So, you want me to sit down with him?”

Bennett thought for a minute, then shook his head. “Pick him up and bring him over for hot dogs. This Saturday, after the game.”

“Got it.”

+++++

When Callahan got up that morning he knew something deep inside had changed; sometime in the night – with Cat snuggled-in tight – before the tears came – when he’d been awash in the ebb and flow of hot-fingered guilt. Smokey bile from the Caravelle crept into his consciousness when echoes of his Looney-Junes tried to push everything else away, leaving the present on very uncertain ground. He listened to her breathing not really sure whose breath he heard – until memory returned as vast and clear as the green sheet pulled over June’s face.

He tried to fight it…that feeling of anomie he felt when thoughts of seeing her in the hospital basement that last time. That always pushed everything else aside. Standing their between the only two fathers he’d ever really known, his and June’s, he’d felt like an intruder, someone who’d stolen away the best years of all their lives and tried to keep everything for himself…

…and that hadn’t worked out so well, had it?

Their last summer together had grown in his mind ever since into something beyond the mythical, into something more like an Arcadian landscape by one of the Hudson River painters that June gravitated to when they went to museums. But by then everything had been twisted and turned in on itself, blasted into something beyond the merely symbolic a year later, but maybe that was because everything seemed to fall apart on a crisp November morning when three bullets rang out from a school book depository in Dallas, just as the president’s motorcade passed alongside Dealey Plaza. They heard about it in the library and June fell into his arms, sobbing along with a few others who suddenly felt adrift in a world they no longer recognized.

But all that mythical stuff was a world away now, one that this Cat knew nothing about, and despite his sudden reawakening he sat in the darkness coming to the realization that he knew less than nothing about this girl. How could you love someone you didn’t even know? What alien substance had invaded his mind and turned off his ability to think? Was that, in the end, what love was? Hormonally induced moral incapacitation?

And just then he’d looked at little sandalwood-scented candles scattered around her tiny room, at all the amber shadows moving to a stilled heartbeat far, far away from this time and space. She would never leave, he knew then; she would follow him wherever he went…no matter how far away he tried to run. There would be no coming to terms with June’s past. She wouldn’t let that happen now.

When Cat woke she lay in bed looking at this stranger, and her feelings could not have been more different. She saw a kind-hearted man, strong enough to carry her into a lifetime of happiness, and she loved the feeling inside when she looked at him. It was a soft thing that glowed, something at once new and familiar, like this round-eye had discovered the secret way to her happy place, and that was enough for her. 

So when he talked of things like love and marriage she knew what he said was true because, she told him, she felt those things too.

So he told her he would come visit her soon, as soon as he could, and she believed him.

And two weeks later he came back to her, though he seemed to possess a very different soul that time. He seemed tired, maybe even more than tired. Like he had seen things no human being should ever see, and when he went away that time he promised to come back and she was happy he said the words but still not quite so sure what those words really meant.

Yet when he came back a month later his spirit was bright and full of laughter, maybe because that other round-eye, the crazy doctor, was with him. They all went out to dinner together and she helped them see some of the things around her city that were still beautiful and clean. They spent a day walking through markets and eating local treats from open stall vendors, and Harry took pictures of her…dozens of pictures, which somehow made her happier than she had ever felt before. No one had ever shown such interest or thought her important enough to photograph, and suddenly being regarded as such left her feeling dizzily exotic, beyond the merely special she had felt before.

Before Harry left that time he said he might be coming back very soon, that he might be returning home to America much sooner than expected, and that there were things he needed to tell her. How he planned to take her to America, how they would make a life together in San Francisco, and what mattered  was how his words shattered her expectations of the future, left her feeling once again more than merely special. She felt like she was the center of someone’s universe again, like there was a molten mass of hot stars gathering in her breast, and after he left that time wild dreams filled her sleep. Dreams of an unknown land, dreams of an impossible future. He wrote down things he said she should have, gave her papers she could show people, and then he was gone.

Gone.

Only this time he did not come back.

+++++

Harry sat for the detectives exam after his return from Israel and, not unexpectedly, he scored top marks once again. He would once again return to the Academy and begin coursework in Methods and Procedure if, that is, he decided to take the position offered.

He wasn’t so sure he would.

He liked working patrol, and in a way it was all he’d ever aspired to. Captain Briggs had tried to recruit him to join Traffic Division, but that meant working on motorcycles and writing tickets all day, and the idea bored him just thinking about it. What, he wondered, was so bad about wanting to stay in patrol?

Maybe Bullitt had some idea of the doubts nipping at Callahan’s heels, because he dropped by more than once – with Cathy – and she asked him to play the piano before they asked him out to dinner. Frank hoped it was a soft-sell, too; he didn’t want to come across as desperate but Homicide had recently experienced a lot of  trouble getting quality personnel into the division. For whatever reason, Captain Bennett seemed to think Callahan would be a good fit, but after going over Stanton’s report, Bullitt now had serious misgivings.

A few weeks after the exam Callahan responded to a medical welfare concern down in the warehouse district adjacent to the waterfront east of Fisherman’s Wharf. A group of dockworkers arriving for their morning shift had heard screaming in the roach-motel next door and called it in; Callahan was first on scene and he talked to the men and soon had an idea where to look. He called-in the information and ran into the hotel next door…

There was no one behind the filthy desk, nothing visible at all except some rancid smelling fried chicken on a desk behind the counter, then he heard another scream, a woman’s scream, and he bolted up the stairs two at a time. He heard an old man telling the girl to not move, and to ‘shut up or else’ – then Callahan kicked-in the door and burst inside what looked like a makeshift hospital room.

The girl on the bed had her feet up in makeshift stirrups and the old man looked up, surprise on his face, as the blood drained from Callahan’s face. 

He saw a young girl in the process of having an abortion, some sort of squalid looking instrument inserted in her vagina, and in a small bedroom off this sitting room Callahan saw two more girls curled up in fetal positions, moaning in fever-soaked agony.

“Get out of here, you fucking moron,” the abortionist cried, “before I call your supervisor!”

“Whatever you’re doing,” Callahan sighed, his voice now a deadly coiling hiss, “stop it right now. Clean her up, and do it quickly.”

“Fuck off, you imbecile!”

Callahan unholstered his Smith & Wesson and walked up to the man, shoving the end of the barrel into his right ear so forcefully it began to bleed. “Do it now, while you still can.”

“Go to hell!”

Moving with a preternatural calm, Callahan holstered his weapon and the man smiled, then Callahan asked the man his name.

“Barton, and the chief is a friend of mine, so you’d better watch your ass.”

Callahan’s eyes flickered when he heard the name, then he grabbed the man by the nape of the neck and by the waistband of his trousers, lifted him from the floor and ran with him towards the room’s only window, an ancient, double hung wooden unit that had seen better days fifty years earlier.

Then he tossed the man through the glass, head first.

People down at street level looked up at the sound of shattering glass and saw a middle-aged man crashing through a shattered fifth-floor window and screaming as he tumbled through the air, landing in a pulpy heap atop an old green VW Beetle. Callahan came out of the hotel a minute or so later and walked over to his patrol car and talked on the radio, then he walked over to the bleeding ruins to feel for a pulse. A moment later he stood, satisfied, and did his best to make sure no one saw his grin.

Delgetti and Bullitt were the first detectives on scene, and by then Frank knew the score, knew about Callahan’s girlfriend’s abortion during their senior year of high school. He could guess how Callahan felt generally, and what must’ve coursed through his mind’s eye when he opened the door and found that butcher at work.

He took Callahan to his car and they sat inside. Bullitt saw Harry’s hands up close then, the bruised finger-tips, the ragged tremble of shock setting in.

“So Harry, the way I see it you might get a clever defense attorney to get you to plead temporary insanity, and who knows…that might work…”

Harry’s eyes flickered as he came back to reality.

“The other option is simpler. Are you listening?”

Callahan nodded. “Yeah.”

“So, you heard a woman scream and kicked in the door. Right?”

“Yup.”

“And that’s when the man ran and jumped out the window, right?”

“What?”

“Listen to me Callahan. That’s when the bastard made a run for it. He must’ve forgotten he was up on a high floor. Got it?”

Harry turned and looked at Frank, only now Delgetti and Stanton were huddled there in the doorway, listening.

“Actually, Frank,” Delgetti chirped, “I was about five feet behind Callahan, and that’s exactly what happened. Right Harry? About five steps behind you, all the way up the stairs.”

“You got that, Callahan?” Bullitt added. “Five steps, all the way up.”

Callahan looked at Bullitt, then at Dell and Carl. “He’s the one, Frank. He’s the one who did it.”

“Did what, Harry?” Callahan’s face was ghostly now, his eyes a blank canvas.

“He’s the one who killed June.”

Bullitt turned to Delgetti when he heard that. “Bring his car in; I’m taking him to Bennett’s office for now. We’ll let internal affairs have at him when he’s settled down.”

“They’re not gonna like it, Frank.”

“Fuck ‘em.”

Callahan finished his stint at the Academy three months later. As usual, top in his class.

+++++

By the time school resumed their senior year, Harry and June had entered a strange, twilit place of cascading emotion, at times more a kaleidoscopic swirl than the steady monotone of drumbeats on the sidelines that mark most last years at school. Maybe because they had never really tried to fit in, they were comfortable being just two more outsiders looking in, and who knows, maybe they got a little lost in that crowd, too.

So, yeah, they kept to themselves, and that really wasn’t too big a deal because, by then, most of their classmates thought of them like they were already an old married couple. There was no “Harry,” nor was there a “June,” there was “Harry and June,” a singular noun. They didn’t show up at school dances because there was no such thing as flirting around the edges of the heart of the matter in their little corner of the universe; they were already far, far away from that pulsing pool of frantic teenaged hormones.

No, Harry and June were on most Friday nights – together – grabbing a slice at Bruno’s before stalking the night with their Nikons, or heading into the city to go to the library if there was an assignment due at school. Whatever it was, it was a couple’e exercise.

But the images they made?

If you’d been there, been able to watch the progression from noble beginner to advanced amateur over the preceding decade you might have seen the changes for yourself, but the term avant-guard comes to mind. Surreal juxtapositions of still life and vibrant decay, or even the dead and the dying. Sometimes very morbid things found their way into the images they made, and who knows why? Like, yeah, some things happen for a reason.

Don’t they, Harry?

Like when June noticed her period was late. But her mother was gone so who could she talk to?

To Imogen Callahan?

For most people, being on the outside looking in is a very lonely place. For June Everson, being on the outside meant being chained to Harry Callahan night and day, locked inside the ebb and flow of his own tortured struggle with his mother, and to their own god-forsaken music.

+++++

Funny how little things like music bind people to time and a word.

The word in the Caravelle Bar after Tet began the slow burn into memory was, however, clear enough. Cat had been on her own slow burn too, until one day a familiar face walked in…the crazy round-eye doctor who always had blood on his hands.

Except this time his hands were clean. So was his uniform. Cat was seeing the writing on the wall all over again, even before he made it to his usual table, before he ordered his Canadian Club on the rocks and began that slow fade into the zone. 

He saw her and smiled, and she saw it was real, something she could hold onto.

“I’ve got a note from Harry,” he said as she sat down beside him, ignoring looks from the bartender and her manager.

She nodded once, her eyes glazed in fear. “So?”

“It’s not what you think, Cat,” he said as he handed the paper to her; he watched her while she turned the paper over and over in her hand, then it hit him: She Couldn’t Read. So she hadn’t read one thing Harry had sent. But…how could she? How arrogant to assume… 

“His handwriting is tough. Could I read it for you?”

She shrugged, then passed the pages back to Parish.

“Something bad happened up here and I’ve been sent home,” the crucial part began, “and they didn’t give me time to come to Saigon…” Parish stopped reading, because Cat had stopped him right there and asked ‘what did Harry do?’

Parish grimaced, tried to look away.

“What did he do!?” she insisted, her voice frantic and stern at the same time.

“Harry was sent to pick up a platoon that was taking fire, or maybe they were. Nobody knows, really.When he got there he saw a bunch of women and children lined up against a wall, and he watched as they were gunned-down. He saw the kids that did it, then he set his helicopter down and went to them. He shot one of them, a lieutenant. They would’ve killed him but he was their ride home, ya know? Anyway, when he got back to Phu Bai he reported the whole thing, and pretty soon some of the troops decided they wanted to kill him. They sent him home instead.”

Cat nodded. It sounded just like something he’d do.

“Anyway, he wanted me to get this to you, tell you to go to the embassy and give them the papers he left with you.”

“I have tried this already, with the papers and without, it does not matter. They will not let me go to America.”

Parish shook his head. “I was afraid of that.”

“Why? It is not your affair; do not be so concerned with me. I always survive.”

Parish rolled the ice around in his empty glass, watched as patterns formed and broke apart and wondered if life was as simple as that. Random molecules coming together in a sea of like-minded molecules giving rise to more and more patterns in the chaos. Nothing more than that. No meaning, no purpose, just fragments of ice in the bottom of a glass…meeting in the night until the motion pushed them on their way again.

+++++

“I talked to someone over at student health services,” Mrs Callahan said. “Call this number if you decide you want to go that way.”

That way.

That way?

If you were rich, she’d heard, you could go to Sweden. They did it in a hospital and there was no one waiting to tell you that you were going to Hell. You flew home in a couple of days and no one would be the wiser.

But not here. Not even here.

She had saved-up enough to get it done. She made the call, got the address and when Harry came by the next morning she told him she didn’t feel well and wasn’t going to school. She rode across the Bay Bridge in silence, in a dirty old Metro bus, and she found the address without too much trouble…a run-down looking hotel not far from the Western Pacific train station.

There were four other girls upstairs already, and the old man took her money and stuffed it in a bag, then told her to undress and put on a bathrobe. She watched him do one girl, then another. He came to her and she lay back, her head on a rumpled pillow, while he put her feet up in makeshift stirrups.

She felt something cold and hard slip inside, then a pinching sensation – and that was it. He was done and he moved on to the next girl. Not a half-hour later he was finished and he told the girls to lay there until they felt better, and by then it would be okay to go home.

But the pinching sensation never really went away.

The pinch turned into a slow burn, then the burn felt like it was spreading. First down her legs, then throughout her pelvic region before it began to arc up her spine. Maybe five hours later she felt like she was burning up inside so she turned on her side – but that hurt even more.

It was dark when she woke up and she had to pee, and when she stood she took one step and passed out.

She woke up on the floor sometime in the very early morning and made it to the bathroom; one of the other girls was passed out on the floor, her skin now blotchy and red, her body rolling in sweat. When June looked in the mirror she saw her face looked the same, red and blotchy, and saw the sweat on her brow.

“You’ll know when to go home,” she remembered the man saying, so she ran cool water from the tap and wiped her face, then helped the girl on the floor to one of the beds before she passed out again.

The sun was up but most of the other girls were gone now, only the girl from the floor remained. She went to her and tried to wake her, but the girl didn’t move now, and her body was cold. Ice cold.

Because she was dead.

There was a phone in the room and she called her house but no one answered, so she called Harry.

She told him where she was and what had happened, then she passed out again.

She knew she was being moved but that was all. She opened her eyes a while later and saw she was in Harry’s father’s station wagon and they were crossing the Bay Bridge now and headed into the city. She tried to talk, tried to tell Harry why she’d done what she’d done, and he whispered how much he loved her.

“I feel so cold,” she said, and those were the last words she spoke.

+++++

Callahan was standing on top of the Bank of America building looking down at a dead woman floating in the Holiday Inn swimming pool a few blocks away, when he felt the spent cartridge underfoot. He bent down and, using a ball point pen, picked it up and looked it over. A 30-06, and he could smell it had only recently been fired, even the extractor marks looked fresh, maybe not even an hour old, then he looked up and saw a note attached to an aerial.

“Jesus,” he said as he read Scorpio’s ransom note.

He called for a crime scene unit to work the top of the building, then waited for their arrival before he went downtown to finish his reports. An hour later he was on the cable car lost in thought.

He stopped off at the corner market and picked up some eggs and English muffins for the morning, as well as a copy of the late afternoon edition of the Chronicle and a few other things, then he walked to his building. The air was heavy, and he guessed more storms were brewing out past the gate, then he saw the homeless lady that had moved into Avi’s little shack under the fire escape and he shook his head. He knocked on the ‘roof’ of the shelter and the old woman poked her head out.

“Yes? Oh. Hi, Harry.”

He smiled, then handed her a couple of candles and a couple of cans of chicken-noodle soup – her favorite… “Smells like rain. Sure you’re okay out here?”

“Where else can I go?”

“I can get you to a shelter tonight.”

“No thanks, Harry. Too dangerous.”

“Well, okay. I’ll check with you in the morning.”

She nodded as he walked off, then disappeared into her own little piece of the world.

Callahan walked upstairs and put his groceries away, then he went over to the little grand and began playing…a ragtime improv that soon drifted through layers of Bach and Bacharach, then the flicker of lightning and the rumble of closing thunder brought him back.

He walked to the window, saw the Golden Gate had already disappeared behind the storm and he looked down at the street and thought about the woman sheltered under the fire escape.

“Maybe I should cook her some dinner,” he said to the walls as he walked over to the TV and switched it on. Walter Cronkite was talking in hurried tones about a new war just breaking out and Harry sat and looked at the screen. There was a map behind ‘the most trusted man in America,’ a map of Israel, and the anchor was talking about a two-pronged attack that had been launched against Israel earlier that day. Egyptians had crossed the Suez in force and armored columns were advancing across the Sinai virtually unopposed, while Syrian forces had swept down from the Golan and were marching towards Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.

He thought about Avi and his mother, both probably sitting in the living room and listening as Phantoms scrambled overhead and raced to meet the threat, and he wondered how many more wars that piano would bare silent witness to. 

Another hammer of lightning and thunder ripped through the evening, and he walked to the kitchen.

He made a big salad, big enough for two, and he thought about the woman huddled down there in the darkness, alone and probably scared, as he put on two steaks.

+

And so, here ends part one of our little story about the life and times of Harry Callahan. Part two waits just ahead, just coming into view. Just beyond those storms on the horizon. Yeah, and somewhere out there maybe you’ll find the eighty-eighth key, too…

88keykobenhaben

© 2020 adrian leverkühn | abw | and thanks for reading…

4 thoughts on “the eighty-eighth key, ch. 07

  1. This is another of your top-of-the-heap projects. Thanks for sharing it! Here’s wishing you the best as you handle the upcoming medical challenges!

    I’m looking forward to part 2 (and 3, and …)

    Like

    • Thanks, Amigo. With all the recent excitement elective procedures on hold for now, so biting the bullet for the time being.
      Currently thinking this will be a three-parter. I’ve mapped it out that way, but who knows. I’ve written the ending about ten times, too. Could be fun, or just funny.

      Like

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