Soul Collectors Episode 04, With a Little Help from a Friend - LetterPile - Writing and Literature
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Soul Collectors Episode 04, With a Little Help from a Friend

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DW, an Army vet, has published 7 novels. His day job is teaching elementary school. In his spare time, he camps with his wife of 30+ years.

Mort Identifies the Man Who Shot Him

Many months and painful physical therapy sessions later Mort reported for duty with the narcotics squad. The visits with the psychologist had been even more painful than physical therapy. After the funeral for Lori and Shannon, Mort could focus on only one thing, bringing the people who’d shot him and murdered his wife and child to justice, his justice.

Arrests were made, but mistakes were also made. Instead of going to trial, the suspects were released. Mort had been furious, but he’d buried his anger, letting it burn inside him, and he’d bided his time.

Collecting the information he needed had been a cinch for Mort. Not letting on what he planned to do once he had all the information had been a tad more difficult. Once he knew what he needed to know, Mort put his plan into action.

Using his contacts in the special operations community, Mort took a vacation and left the country to visit an old SAS friend in Northern Ireland. The first time Mort returned to Boston no record of his having left Ireland nor entered the United States was made. He saw no one he knew. But he knew where to find the man he was looking for.

Mort followed Pietre’s movements until he established the man’s pattern. The night finally came to act, and Mort was ready. Pietre left the restaurant he typically frequented on Thursday evenings alone, as usual. Mort knew Pietre’s next stop would be a strip club two blocks down from the restaurant. Pietre owned a stake in the club and visited every night after dinner.

Pietre

Pietre

Mort Meets His Family's Killer

Using a pellet gun, Mort had, over the previous couple of nights, knocked out certain street lights along the route between the restaurant and the club. At the end of an alley between an abandoned storefront and a closed pharmacy, Mort waited. As Pietre walked past, oblivious of the danger he was in, Mort pounced. Before Pietre could react, Mort had dragged him far down the dark alley and slipped zip ties onto Pietre wrists. An old, oily rag had been shoved into Pietre’s mouth to keep him from calling out. Mort dragged Pietre to the end of the alley, dropped him to the ground, and stomped on his shin hard enough to break it.

“That ought to keep you from running off until we finish our business.”

While Pietre stayed curled into a ball from the pain of his broken shin bone, Mort secured a drive-on rag around the thug’s head to secure the gag in place. In the faint light coming from a street light on the other side of the wall at the end of the alley, Mort assessed his target and then took off his mask.

Pietre’s eyes flew open wide when he realized who’d grabbed him. He tried to stand, tried to shout, but Mort kicked his broken leg and Pietre went down with a whimper.

“Judging by your reaction, I guess you recognize me. No need to ask if you know why I wanted to talk to you, is there?”

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Mort Shows Pietre How He Will Die

Pietre shook his head.

“Good. There isn’t much I need to ask you either. I know you’re the guy who shot me. I know you’re the guy who torched my house and burned my family to death. And I know who hired you to do it. I’ll deal with him later. I wanted to take care of you first.”

Mort pulled out a Fairbairn fighting knife, a gift from his SAS friend when they were in Iraq together, and showed it to Pietre.

“Do you know what this is?”

Pietre nodded his head vigorously.

“I am very good with a knife like this. I’ve been taught by the best. And I’ve had more than my share of experience using one.”

Pietre stared at the knife and swallowed hard.

“Now, if I were the kind of sadistic bastard you are, I could drag this out all night. But I’m not that kind of person. I just wanted to make sure you knew it was me who ended your miserable life, and how.”

Mort grabbed Pietre’s hair and forced his head back. Then he plunged the knife through Pietre’s lower jaw, upper palate, and into Pietre’s brain. Mort moved the blade left, right, front, and back. By the time he pulled it out, Pietre was quite dead.

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Deed Done, Mort Seeks Absolution

Carefully picking up Pietre’s corpse, Mort dumped it into the trash-lined bottom of the dumpster next to the abandoned storefront and carefully closed the lid. With luck, he’d be back in Ireland sharing a drink with his SAS friend before the body started to stink.

Mort’s friend met him on the beach when Mort came ashore from the fishing boat that had picked him up at sea after he’d left the military transport while it was still en route to Lakenheath. Neither his being aboard the plane nor his departure from it was logged anywhere. As far as the airmen on board knew, they’d just been doing a favor for the SAS, a favor never to be mentioned to anyone, anywhere.

“Mission accomplished?” Mort’s Irish friend, Owen, asked when Mort clambered from the dinghy used to row him ashore.

Before answering, Mort thanked the man at the oars as the dinghy headed back out to the fishing boat.

“Mission accomplished,” Mort replied after taking his friend's outstretched hand.

“Where would you like to go first?” Owen asked.

“I think I’d like to see a priest,” Mort replied. “I’ve got a few things to confess.”

“You want to see a Catholic priest, do you? You know you're in Northern Ireland, right?”

“I know,” Mort said. “But I’m sure you know where there’s at least one Catholic priest somewhere here in County Donegal.”

“I know just the place,” Owen assured his American friend. “The Franciscans will take good care of you, and we can probably get a meal while we’re at the Friary.”

His time among the Franciscans did Mort a world of good, body, and soul. He almost hated to leave when his vacation was over.

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Mort Talley's story continues in Part 5, A Different Line of Work