Written by Carter Pierce
Guy Harmon arrived in Pinedale a little after 10 pm. The air was still warm from the long, hot day, but it wasn’t quite stifling, even in his black trench coat.
He stood on the sidewalk under a streetlamp, appearing inconspicuous, acting just like the other people he saw. Some were travelers waiting for the bus to make its stop. Others were locals exiting restaurants or closing their business doors for the night.
There was a quaint little store across the street called the Cowboy Shop. The windows were dark. Behind him there was a lawyer’s office with a wooden sign hanging above the door reading “WM. H. TWICHELL ATTOURNEY.” Those windows were also dark. The Mexican restaurant just down the road was still open, but people were leaving.
Pretty soon all the big businesses would be closed for the night. He’d still have to deal with saloons and night clubs, if there were any night clubs in this little town, but the people who frequented them were not likely to bat an eyelash if they heard a scream in the night.
He checked his watch.
The bus would be here any minute.
And on it, probably looking for a hotel room for the night, would be a young man by the name of Dmitri Molchalin. Wanting to get some sleep before his big day tomorrow. His information from the police department said Molchalin had a meeting where he was supposed to sell some wares. He worked for a big company in Denver. Software or something. Harmon hadn’t paid attention to those details. He didn’t need them.
The bus was exactly twelve minutes and three seconds late to the moment it came to a complete stop at the curb. Tired passengers offloaded, and new ones got on. Guy Harmon picked out the few wearing suits and carrying briefcases, and quickly checked three of them off his list. One was a woman, and the other two were men in their fifties. Molchalin had been a young man. Even after several years he wouldn’t pass for fifty.
That left two possible matches. One went right, and the other went left.
Harmon bit his lip. He’d have to take make a gamble. Something he wasn’t exactly known for doing well.
The guy who’d gone right was wearing a dark blue suit, carrying a black briefcase. The briefcase didn’t have any lettering on it. He had short black hair, a nondescript face.
The guy who’d gone left was walking quickly, vanishing into darkness past the streetlamp. Harmon couldn’t tell if his suit was grey or white. The briefcase had a few letters printed on the side. The word apart, maybe. That triggered a memory. it was Molchalin alright. Harmon recalled the name of the company he worked for: it was Appit. Mobile app development, whatever that meant. Harmon wasn’t exactly up to date on modern technology.
But he didn’t give himself time to think about it: he was already walking after the guy, his long strides eating up the distance. Soon he was right behind him.
Like a hunting wolf.
He grabbed the young man’s arm, turning him violently into an alleyway. “Let’s stop here for a moment, friend.”
Dmitri Molchalin whirled about, dropping the briefcase and plunging his free hand swiftly beneath his suit jacket. He whipped out a small revolver. “Let me alone.”
“Or what, you’ll shoot me?” Guy’s lip curled in distain. He didn’t release his grip on the young salesman but dragged him sideways into the alleyway.
He never saw Molchalin pull the trigger.
Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved