I settled back in my car seat and let memories flood my mind. Most were pleasant, at least where Rachal was concerned. The backfire of a car down the street brought back another jarring memory. The reason I was here.
It had been decades since I’d spent summers with Racheal and the old gang—Morgan, Rachal, JoAnn, and me. Morgan never stopped trying to make a buck, and he didn’t care how legal it was. I’d bailed him out of a mess, which should have gotten him killed.
It’s hard to believe that there were killers among us in a small southern town like Lakewood. The kind that buries bodies in the woods and never blinks an eye.
I should know. I was one of them.
Morgan owed some gamblers and loan sharks a lot of money. I acted as a go-between and bought him more time to pay off the debt, but they wouldn’t wait. One night, I was at the gazebo with Rachel and Morgan. We’d been to the movies and stopped to sit under the stars for a spell before heading home. They came looking for Morgan.
People reported what sounded like gunshots late that night. The police never found anything, except for a random bloodstain on the gazebo’s steps.
Now decades later, I was back to collect the debt Morgan owed me. Rachael left town not long after the incident, but Morgan had stayed and gone legit and now owned the largest lumber yard in the county. It was worth a small fortune, which was a lot in this poor county.
I met Morgan on the steps of the gazebo. The bloodstains from that night had long ago faded by weather and years of foot traffic, but I knew where they were.
Morgan shook my hand. “It’s good to see you.”
“You said you need my help?”
“Yes. I have more bodies to be buried.” I gestured toward my car.
“You drove into town in broad daylight with a body in your car?!”
“No choice. I can’t bury him near me. The cops would find him.”
“Who is he?” Morgan calmed down a bit.
“No need for you to know. Let’s say, a certain businessman from the city has disappeared without a trace.”
He looked at the car, then at me. “You killed him?’
“I’ve killed a lot of people over the years. Seems I’m pretty good at it, and the pay is good. For this guy, it was personal. He knew about the guys I “disappeared” years ago. He started asking questions that would have led back to you and the men I killed for you. So….”
Morgan swallowed hard and thought for a minute. “We recently logged and replanted an area deep in the woods. No one will be going back there for at least thirty years.”
I smiled. I knew Morgan would help because he owed me. I smiled.
“Lead the way.”