Jan 7th, 2006. 9pm, Tracy City
The Sackler clan crept out from the holes in the mountain, which peered out across Lake Grundy from the rise. Emerging from a passage running from their New York lair, burrowed by the hands of a previous clan, when the small mountain town was set to mining their coal.
Locals saw them as the old coke ovens, used in making materials for steel. But long since abandoned, had been the rows of three foot openings to the bowls, the eyes and the ears, a conduit of fear, watching over all interests of the Sackler’s southernmost base of misdeed.
They had summoned Malcolm to NY for the last time, as warning him seemed to do no good. His antics had now drawn the attention of the Feds, and it was time for Malcolm Burrows to die.
They carried the heavy body of Malcolm with some strain, along the edge of the lake, then waste deep in water they trudged, up a small inlet towards the house at the end of Mellissa Rock road. The place of staging was perfect. As many strange things had gone on here before. One more body would not be unusual.
They carried their load up the dark thin county road, being as quite as they could be, but their skills were rusty, from living stuffy lives as connoisseurs of rare Oriental art. A suave little front, for a most unseemly business. The product, though most profitable, is seen by some, as perhaps the root of most evil alluring. The fat rich clan, now hid themselves neatly, as donors to upper-crust “charities.” Whose funding, being drawn from corrupting networks they well laid, running through opiated arteries, down the Appalachian range. They had found a trick, their hand from NY, slithered down into one pocket and then extended out the other, grabbing for a pile of government money, of which too, they had made the handy arrangement. To the plan of the clan, the pockets were bodies, whose tasks were simple and few. And for this, each one got a cut of the take. Everyone was happy, except Malcolm it seems, the trouble maker had run amok at the seams. As whoever would kill, the Docs high dollar horses, would surly bring ruin for all.
They put Malcolm face down in a pile of rich red leaves that fell, not far from his house, where his sister and her son were now perhaps plotting of their own. Here, beneath the cold barren trees of January, Malcolm took his place to be found. His head wrapped tight in a gray cotton hoody — his fat wallet protruding out his back pocket in pants falling off his ass from being dragged.
The murder would be pinned on the two in the house, as surely they moved in to rob him anyway. It would have been a perfect planting, had they not been spotted with the body — by the unlikely chance a man would drive by. And watching where he went, as they dumped off the body, the same man through the window on the telephone, they saw.
They had to act quick, and modify their plan, as the police would sure to be here soon. One went to the door of the sister and son, and plainly laid out the deal. That to spare their lives they had only one thing to do, to tell a mountain story of a stranger who’d come. And if they did this well, they’d keep Malcolm’s money, and if not then, then there’s little else to be done.
To the door of the man on the telephone they also went, and laid out the facts as they saw them: He had seen a man with a gas can not a body, and if he wanted to stay healthy, just remember one thing, the holes in the mountain are ever so close – and could knock on his door again.
As the Sacklers departed, they heard fighting from the house, where the mother and son divided Malcom’s loot, Good news to the clan, they smiled and knew, would be good for them knowing the fiber of the son. So back in the mountain, and up through their shaft. Back to their lair of endowment. No better than their counterparts. Kings of almost-legal underground trade. In the city, their true lives remain ever hidden. Portrayed as generous donors to the arts. The clan had pulled it off, and deflected their crimes, sealed in a web of plutocracy.
~(Google “Sackler Clan” to know who they are.)
Sgt. Mike Brow arrived on the scene with Scissom, Becky Hill was in the ambulance about to be taken Ehrlinger Hospital. She told Brown in a daze of concussion: there was a stranger who came, who needed some gas, and later he came back and beat her. Malcolm went off with this man to help, and now her brother was missing.
Kirk, Becky’s son, said he was sleeping in the back, when he heard her mother screaming, He came rushing out and fought the man off, someone he didn’t know. But someone he knew, who had lured out his uncle Malcolm. The ambulance left and then Kirk left too, with his bother Kris who came to get him.
Sgt. Brown went into the house, seeing blood on the floor and a small souvenir ball bat, broken in half, in a small round trash can by the kitchen.
When Sgt. Brown left, he stopped by a car parked on the side of the road — and looked around in the leaves. And there he found Malcolm, His head faced down and wrapped in his hoody. A big fat wallet sticking out from his pocket. Pants pulled down as if he’d been dragged.
This was now a murder case, and for small mountain towns, they bring in the state agent for assistance.
Sheriff Myers arrived as did Agent Larry Davis and deputy Cleek. Brown had a lead of his own. The next day they picked up a boy from the valley, who matched the description given, from an informant – a red haired young man of medium build and driving a gold colored car.
Brown was then removed from the case and not long after moved far away.
There are other places too, in nearby locations, where more coke-ovens sit lodged in the rise. Where men were worked to their death by the heat, their bodies heaped in mounds above them.
From their perches the ovens had witnessed many strange things. The strangest perhaps was back around 1965. When an influx of outsiders came up to the mountain, to a school on the end of tiny little road called Justus. What was strange was in order to get to this place, they had to drive by, a sign saying “black man don’t let the sun go down on your ass.” But still they came to this unusual school. As the holes in the ground grew increasingly alarmed I am sure.