Updated date:

Mary Had a Little Lamb: Chapter Ten

This, Then, Is the End of This Series

I’m ready to stop with this portion of the book. We’ll put a bow on this series of short stories, and set it aside until I’m ready to write the book. Sometime this summer, I’ll pick up where this leaves off and write Part Two of this book, and I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks to all of you who have followed along. This “ending” won’t be satisfactory for any of you, but it’s necessary to get me to the next part of the book, so my apologies in advance.

Let’s do it!

Another tranquil murder scene

Another tranquil murder scene

Angel Hernandez

By the time we arrived at Bitron’s house, the identity of the latest victim was known. Her name was Angel Hernandez, she was six years old, and her parents had frantically reported her missing four hours earlier.

Now they knew where their baby girl had gone.

Dawn parked at the curb in front of Bitron’s house. Across the street the park was empty. A middle-aged couple walked hand-in-hand down the block. I could smell a barbecue nearby, and the sounds of Creedence Clearwater singing “Black Moon Rising” provided background music from a home next door. I saw those things, heard those things, but they barely registered, so dark was my rage.

“How do we play it?” Dawn asked me as we got out of the car.

“I’m done playing,” I said as I looked at his house. The lights were on, three cars in the driveway, two at the curb, all of the players congregated. I could smell lavender as I approached the home. I remember that distinctly, the sweet smell, so at odds with the purpose of our visit.

Bitron answered five seconds after my first knock.

My fist crushed his nose two seconds after the door opened, his smile turning crimson red as blood splattered, his body flailing backwards, me following, another blow to his left eye and he was down and I was straddling him, raining blows, barely aware of Dawn screaming, blows, more blows, I might have said something, no idea, no thought, just the satisfaction of his bones breaking under my blows.

Out of Control

Dawn’s hands on me, saying something, me pushing her away, then stronger hands, more hands, pulling me away from Bitron, his crumpled body on the entryway floor, his face pulp, outside finally, the air refreshing, again the smell of lavender, and handcuffs.

I realized, finally, that I was in the back of a patrol car, my hands cuffed behind me, Dawn outside talking to a uniform, three other detectives nearby, looking at me sadly, shaking their heads, time slowing finally, and with it the realization that I just shit on the whole case.

Dawn opened the door.

“We’re going downtown, Bill. The Chief will meet us there. Bitron is headed to the hospital and no doubt his lawyer is writing up his lawsuit as we speak. It’s hard to believe, but you managed to make Bitron a victim. Come on, you ride with me.”

City Hall ass-chewing

City Hall ass-chewing

Downtown, City Hall

“You’re suspended, O’Dowd, without pay pending investigation.”

The Chief was not happy. I figured nothing I could say would make things better so I didn’t respond.

“What in the holy hell were you thinking, O’Dowd?” He was screaming now. No, not happy at all.

“I was thinking someone needed to scramble that scum’s eggs. I was thinking someone needed to permanently turn out his lights so no other little girl would have to be violated. Beyond that, Chief, I wasn’t thinking too much of anything. I was too busy making sure my punches connected.”

I didn’t think it was possible for a human face to turn so crimson.

“YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY, ASSHOLE? You just gave this Bitron guy a free pass. Even if he is guilty, and may I remind you we have no proof of that at all, you just made him the poor victim, and made it practically impossible for us to approach him without getting slapped with a harassment lawsuit.”

The Chief looked at Dawn, started to say something, stopped and looked down at his desk. He shook his head, ran his fingers through his graying hair, finally looked back up at me.

“Jesus, Bill, you lost it. There isn’t a damned thing I can do for you. Get in touch with the union rep and get yourself a union lawyer. I want your gun and badge now. Dawn?” He turned to my partner. “Get him out of here, and make damned sure he doesn’t even drive near Bitron’s neighborhood.

Back Home

The drive home was a quiet one. The lab guys were still working the crime scene on the front porch, the body removed but an outline of Angel on the door, so Dawn and I went around back, entered through the kitchen door. She went to the bathroom, came back with a wet washcloth, some bandages, and some hydrogen peroxide, told me to sit down, and washed the cuts on my knuckles. She didn’t speak, just concentrated on the task, her forehead scrunching as she went about the job. There were tears in her eyes as she did so.

Ten minutes passed. Fifteen.

“Are you mad at me?” I finally asked her.

She wrapped my right hand in gauze and taped it off. A tear slid down her cheek. I went to reach for it but she told me not to touch her.

“No, Bill, not mad. Frustrated as holy hell, but not mad. I’m as convinced as you are that Bitron and his friends are guilty, but you damned near made it impossible to touch them with your stunt tonight. What in the hell? How are we supposed to nail those bastards now that they’re untouchable?”

I kissed her forehead and got up, grabbed a couple beers out of the fridge, put one down in front of her, and then started putting together a garden salad. Tomatoes, lettuce, onions, carrots, all fresh, sliced and diced them, some hard-boiled eggs chopped up, tossed them, added my special dressing, and joined her back at the table with two plates. My knuckles hurt like a sonofabitch, but I figured whining about them would be a waste of time.

I took a bite of the salad. Damned good! Washed it down with a strong pull of the brew. Not the greatest culinary combination, but the beer went down smooth and the salad didn’t care. I looked at Dawn. She looked at me. The grandfather clock in the living room ticked.

“There’s a way we can nail them, Dawn, but I don’t think you’re going to like it.”

“After what you pulled tonight, asshole, I guess I’m ready for just about anything. Tell me!”

Judgement Day will arrive in the fall.

Judgement Day will arrive in the fall.

A Permanent Solution

I slid back from the table, leaned back in my chair, and finished off the beer. Got up and retrieved another one. Dawn waited. The clock kept ticking. Outside I could hear the tech guys finishing up.

“Did you ever work with Lyle Peterson?” I asked her.

She shook her head.

“No, no I didn’t. He was homicide while I was still working the gang unit. Actually, I think it’s his job I got when he retired what, a year ago, maybe a little more than a year, shortly after his wife was murdered, right?”

“Yep, that’s right. Messy shit, that was. His wife was murdered by a serial killer, some guy who had a hard-on for Lyle’s surrogate son, a guy named Eli Baker. The guy, Jeremy something, vowed to kill everyone this Eli Baker loved, make him suffer the losses, and Lyle’s wife was caught up in all of it and killed. Anyway, Lyle retired and now he runs a private investigation firm here in Olympia.”

“And you want to what, hire Lyle Peterson to find evidence on Bitron?”

“Not exactly!”

“Well what, then? Get to the damned point, Bill, or I swear to God I’ll shoot you myself.”

“Lyle works with Eli Baker and Baker’s wife, Liz. She was also a cop here in Olympia. I’ve heard they also added a guy named Striker to the firm, a real piece of work, Striker, literally a killing machine for the government, a mercenary who is barely restrained on the best of days.

“Anyway, Lyle and his group, they have a reputation, nothing ever proven, mind you, that they handle impossible cases, handle them in a permanent fashion. No one has ever nailed them with evidence, but in certain circles it is assumed that they are their own justice system, working in the shadows. I was thinking of calling Lyle, telling him about our dilemma.”

“Let me get this straight, Bill. You want to hire a group of vigilantes, hire them to take Bitron and his group off the board permanently? Is that what I’m hearing? Because, if it is, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear you. This conversation never happened.”

I finished my second beer.

“Did you see her body, Dawn? Did you see the damage that knife did to her when he pinned her to our front door? I’m guessing it broke two of her ribs on the way in, pierced her heart, quite possibly nicked her spine on the way out. Did you see the ligature marks on her frail neck? Did you see the goddamned streak of blood on her nightgown? The crusted blood on her face where he struck her? She was six-years old, Dawn, and Bitron and his group used her as a pawn in their sick game, and you tell me this conversation never happened? Tell that to Angel and the other little girls they’ve killed, Dawn! I’m sick and tired of this shit and I want Bitron scrubbed off the face of the earth, and if we can’t touch them then I know who can.

“I don’t want to hire them. I just thought I’d have a beer with Lyle and mention our problem. That’s all! What happens after that, well, I can hardly be blamed for that, can I?”

She finished her own beer, went and got another one, for her and me, set them down on the table, looked at me long and hard. The tears returned and her face went soft. She took a deep breath, shuddered when she let it out, peeled the label off the bottle and looked at me.

“I’m in. Call Peterson! What’s the harm in having a beer with an ex-cop, right?”


It is an ugly topic and I thank you for following along. Thanks for the great suggestions some of you made. I’ll consider them and incorporate them into the book if I can. I greatly appreciate all of you.

How did the killers actually commit seemingly impossible murders? If you want to know bad enough you’ll buy the book when it comes out. LOL

And if you ever want to read more about Eli Baker, Lyle Peterson, Liz Myers, and the man named Striker, you can find them in my “Shadow” series of novels, the first of which is “Shadows Kill.”

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 05, 2020:

Peggy, my wife won't read these stories or any of my Shadows books,so you are far ahead of her. :) Thank you for supporting my dark side.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 05, 2020:

I can understand the rage of Bill and why he pummelled Bitron, but he risked his career in doing so. At least he had momentary satisfaction.

What a great promotion for your book, "Shadows Kill." I did not know if I wanted to start reading books about darker subjects like that, but after reading this series, I think you just changed my mind.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 02, 2020:

Thank you Genna! You are greatly appreciated.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 01, 2020:

Thank you, Bill. I am off to buy this!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 01, 2020:

No worries, Genna. This was published as the first 1/3 of my latest thriller novel "The Magician's Shadow."

Genna East on February 29, 2020:

Hi Bill...

I'm curious...was this published as a book? I thought I read in a comment that it was, but I'm so out to lunch lately, what with work demands and all, I might have missed it. My apologies, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 03, 2018:

So do I, Mary!So do I!

Thank you!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2018:

Another aspect of crime we often find difficult to understand and what the police complain about. I hope something will work out.

Shannon Henry from Texas on June 12, 2017:


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2017:

Shannon, mea culpa, my friend....but there will be an ending to this one, just not until December, and it will continue in the Shadow series as long as I'm able to write...so there!!!! LOL

Shannon Henry from Texas on June 12, 2017:

I'm just now able to get to your so-called conclusion. Thanks a lot, Bill. I think maybe I'm through reading crime thrillers that have no good endings! LOL.....I just got through reading a book that killed off the main character at the end. Never saw it coming!!!!! According to the author's website, she had to do it. It was necessary and clears the way for a new series. ...Oh yeah, also turns out this book was the last in a series and I didn't even know that because it read like a stand alone novel. Geesh! You writer-types and your necessary unsatisfactory endings! LOL

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 24, 2017:

I do know what you mean, Sha. I just need to find more time because with the farmers' markets I'm falling hopelessly behind in my writing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 24, 2017:

That happens from time to time with me too, Lori. I think HP falls asleep at the wheel from time to time.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 24, 2017:

Well sheesh indeed, Lori. :)

Lori Colbo from United States on May 24, 2017:

Oh I got this mixed up with another story. I already commented twice. Sheesh.

Lori Colbo from United States on May 24, 2017:

I don't know why I've missed notifications on this story. I need to go back and read from chaper three on.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 24, 2017:

Helluva cliffhanger, Bill! I'm tickled to death that you're sending the lamb into the shadows. You know what I mean....

I'll definitely be looking out for the book!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 14, 2017:

Thanks Lawrence. Glad you approve. Unfortunately we'll have to wait about six months to find out what happens.

Lawrence Hebb on May 14, 2017:

So that's how you're tying them in! Awesome!

I really enjoyed this, and can so feel for how O'Dowd feels, I'll definitely be looking out for this one.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 27, 2017:

Thank you so very much, Ann. Actually, I'm buried right now with tons of work for a new customer...a favor for a friend...so my creativity is on hold for a month of so. My latest Shadows book will just have to wait while I make some cash being offered.

So you have some extra time while I turn to freelance writing for some money...and then there are the farmers markets, which start next week, and they will take two of my writing days away from me. Sigh!

Anyway, thank you!


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 27, 2017:

All very true points, Dora. I'm afraid it does happen with some regularity here in the States.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 27, 2017:

Darn it, Zulma, that's what I meant all right. I'll go change it. Thanks for catching that....we'll see if the marketing ploy works. Even if it doesn't, it just felt right to go in that direction. Thanks a bunch, my friend, and have a great weekend.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 27, 2017:

I want to read all these books, bill, but I haven't even managed to finish 'Resurrecting Tobias' yet, to my shame. The books are piling up on my bedside table and I'm knee-deep in packing boxes, actually unpacking boxes now. I'm not offering excuses, just asking you to slow down your creativity or I'll be playing catch-up for ever!

No, not really; I'm the last person who would wish to slow down your creativity. You write on so many levels and from so many angles, it's awesome (to use an American expression I rarely say!).

Great story. I wasn't disappointed, it was a great way to keep the thread going with a hint of more action to come and a good hook to your next installments.


Have a thoroughly thriving Thursday!

Ann :)

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on April 27, 2017:

Gee, I'm kinda all over the place here.

I get why Bill did what he did. I can't help but applaud him for it. But at the same time I was like 'damn, man, what are you doing?!' Then to suggest Eli Baker? Stroke of genius on your part. You're creating your own universe. I love it!

Boo on leaving us hanging like this. But on the other hand, you'll probably get more sales on your current series. People are going to want to know more about Eli Baker and crew. Shrewd, very shrewd.

One small detail, if I may. I believe you meant 'Bad Moon Rising' not 'Black Moon Rising'. The latter is a movie and not a very good one, at that.

Really well done, this chapter.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 26, 2017:

I am surprised that this pent up rage in law enforcers do not spill out more often. Or maybe it does and we just don't hear about it. It's understandable, though not recommendable. Good true-to-life story!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 26, 2017:

I will for sure, Jo! Thank you so much.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on April 26, 2017:

Let us know when book is completed. We'll be waiting.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 25, 2017:

Thank you so much, Michael my friend! Yes, it was Bev and yes, I owe her a debt of gratitude. I love this community and you are an excellent reason why I love it.

Blessings my friend

Michael-Milec on April 24, 2017:

Absolutely fabulous ending, a desirable read when my body is exhausted of laboring and this chapter gave me opportunity why relaxing to recuperate and put some dots together. Such as a cop breaking facial bones of a presumably "innocent manslayer". That will keep our noses in tension while the book is published. More importantly what I see here is a brilliant way of self advertising "if you want to know bad enough you'll buy the book..." My dear friend, wasn't it your Bev who have talk you into the joining HP as an excellent prospective writer who was looking for exposure without being accepted by great advertising agencies? Just thinking. A sparkling idea these appropriate ten chapters of May Had A Little Lamb. See you then.

Blessings always.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 24, 2017:

Thank you Vellur! I greatly appreciate you following along.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 24, 2017:

Dark and spine-chilling story, kept me guessing who could be the killer. Great write and all the best for great success in the novel series.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 24, 2017:

Never behind, Audrey! It will always be there waiting for you. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 24, 2017:

No it isn't, Nadine, but thank you! This is the rough draft of the first half of the book. The whole book won't be published until summer's end.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on April 24, 2017:

Wow you are good! Is this complete story already published on the kindle? If so please let me know.

Audrey Howitt from California on April 23, 2017:

Well, I am behind in my reading I see--hmmmmm

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 23, 2017:

Isn't that the truth, Maria. It won't be long and we'll be lamenting the end of summer....sigh....I'm not all that fond of approaching seventy, my friend.



Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 23, 2017:

Thank you Missy, and Peace and Blessings to you as well.

Missy Smith from Florida on April 22, 2017:

Thank you for a preview from your future upcoming book, Bill. I'm actually glad you left it here. I think it was the right move. It ended here kind of like a movie or book that doesn't have a specific ending, and the viewer or reader has to assume one for themselves.

Good Luck with the book; Peace and Blessings to you!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on April 22, 2017:

Looking forward to the continuation and conclusion of this disturbing, yet riveting, story.

As time flies, Fall will be here before we blink.

Have a peaceful evening. Love, Maria

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 22, 2017:

Thank you Larry! I really appreciate you following along.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on April 21, 2017:

Wonderful read!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 21, 2017:

Maybe when I was younger, Lori, I would have been willing to do the research necessary to locate the story in another city, but not now. :) It's an eassy out for me and I'm willing to take it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 21, 2017:

Wow, Genna, thank you so much. You just made my day with your very kind words. I promise not to let you down when this becomes a book.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 21, 2017:

Thank you again, Randi.....I wouldn't want to meet you in a dark alley if you like this vigilante angle. LOL

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on April 20, 2017:

As much as I hate to see this stop for now, I think this is a good place. I like the way Bill and Dawn are thinking.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on April 20, 2017:

Wow! With the image of that little girl on Bill's front door, his reaction wasn't that surprising despite the (at-minimum) battery charges and the likely loss of his badge. Still, I can't put my finger on it, maybe it's my overly suspicious mind, but I sense a major twist coming with "what if's" still lingering in the shadows. If Bitron truly is Houdini, then Bill just gave him the perfect "out" -- unless......

The plot thickens, again, in this rapid pulser that never lets up. And I like the connection to "Shadows." Writing doesn't get any better than this, Bill. Can't wait to read the book! :-)

Lori Colbo from United States on April 20, 2017:

I get the laziness deal. I just started a story that takes place in Tacoma although I haven't yet divulged the city just that it's the pacific northwest. You're right, it's easy to write what' familiar.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 20, 2017:

Thank you Lori! Truth be told, I was too lazy to think of another name for this one, and I've never used my own name in a story. LOL Chalk one up for laziness. As for Olympia and Tacoma, most of my stories take place there. It's just easier for me to write about a familiar area and, again, that streak of laziness shows up. :)

Blessings to you as well

Lori Colbo from United States on April 20, 2017:

I sympathize with Bill. This would be a book I couldn't read for the fact they would trigger a childhood assault. However, what I read here was very good writing. I felt like I was inside Bill's shoes. I hope justice will reign in the end.

I thought it interesting the location is Olympia and the guy's name is Bill. The opening photo is so Pacific Northwest. It reminds me of the houses in my Tacoma neighborhood growing up.

God's richest blessings to you dear Bill.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 20, 2017:

Efficient, it is for sure. Saves the city money in court trials, too. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 20, 2017:

I am indeed, Flourish, and I'm terribly sorry. :) Thanks for following along.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 19, 2017:

Bill, you're leaving us hanging until summer?!?

Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on April 19, 2017:

Wow that's one way a cop will get fired. Can't wait to find out the rest. Okay I admit I love the vigilante direction. That's one way to get the job done quickly, just saying.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2017:

Manatita, I'll make a note of that. I like it....a recurring bad guy who can't stay jailed.

Good one my friend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2017:

I'll need it, Pop. Thank you!

breakfastpop on April 19, 2017:

Good luck with the book...

manatita44 from london on April 19, 2017:

Ah! A sorry end, but again, you're planning a sort of vigilante demise of Bitron, right? Make sure that they get some evidence, even if shady. Looks better that way.

'but the beer went down smooth and the salad didn’t care'. Some more than powerful words in this entire piece. Until then, Auvoir!

P.S. Here's a taught. Paula just said: 'Holland strikes again.' You can have Bitron's helpers caught and him escaping for a sort of part two: "Bitron strikes Again."

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2017:

Thank you very much, Venkatachari M. Blessings to you!

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on April 19, 2017:

A good break in the story with an introduction to new characters and challenges ahead.

Wish you success with this book.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2017:

Aww, thanks, Ruby! I hated to end it now, but the ending will just have to wait its turn until I finish another project.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2017:

Sorry about that, Shyron, but thanks so much for your kind words. Stay tuned....late summer, early fall, all shall be revealed.

Blessings and peace to you!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 19, 2017:

Bill, that was my fist hitting the smug AH, I know it screwed up the case, but can't help the way I feel. Yes I will read your book.

Blessings my friend

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 19, 2017:

I hated to see this thriller mystery end but fully understand. It will be a great book and I'll purchase it. And, BTW, you're a great salesman. lol...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2017:

Thanks Sis! You would really love Liz Myers in the Shadow series. She is definitely your type of woman, take no shit, take no prisoners, the equal of any man....yep, you would like her. :)

I'm thinking this book will be completed in the fall. Hopefully before then, but the fall is more realistic.

Suzie from Carson City on April 19, 2017:

Brilliant!! and I expected nothing less. BTW, I always manage to connect with at least one of your characters. This time for me, it's Dawn. I love her~~my kind of woman!

Being patient for this book will take some strong control tactics but as all of your work is~~it will be well worth it! BAM! Holland strikes again!! Love ya, Sis

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2017:

RoadMonkey, it definitely could be a fatal flaw in his genius. The new characters, Eli, et al, do not take prisoners. :)

Thank you so much for following along. You are appreciated!

RoadMonkey on April 19, 2017:

Think I am going to have to find out more about Eli and the others! Story has been great so far and it's totally understandable why he lost it and put Bitron in hospital, ezpecially after that taunt of placing the latest body on the door. Very stupid of Bitron to push so far, maybe a flaw in his "genius"!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2017:

Eric, I really do appreciate you taking a ride with me on this one. Have a great day, buddy!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 19, 2017:

Thanks so much Bill for this great ride. Maybe it is a good place for a break so I do not become part of the conspiracy of desperation.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2017:

Well, Janine, I hated to end it here, but other things need to be done, and I either had to continue for another twenty chapters here on HP or give it the attention it deserves later on. Thanks for riding along on this dark journey.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on April 19, 2017:

Totally understand why you ended where you did and now should be very interesting to say the least when you release this in book form. Until then thanks for the story so far and Happy Wednesday now!! :)

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