Phantom Island-Story 4-Part 3-“Derek”

Upon seeing what was left of Vivian Lansky, Derek felt his resolve kick back into high gear. Byron was a maniac who needed to be stopped.

The examiner had determined that Byron had been in a rush to be rid of Vivian, as evident by how quickly she had been found; among other unsavoury details that Derek could have gone his whole life without knowing.

He suddenly felt the need to check on Kelly. His initial thoughts were that she would be able to defend herself easily but now he wasn’t so sure.

“I’m going to question him.” Derek told Kast as they left the examiner’s office.

Kast stopped walking and stared into Derek’s eyes. “That is the single craziest idea I’ve ever heard! After seeing what he is capable of, your genius idea is to just go to his house and ask him to his face about his latest victim?!”

“Yes.” Derek said matter-of-factly.

“I can’t approve that request.” Kast replied.

“Yes you can.” Derek said. “You can also help with the rest of the plan.”

“Oh. There’s more to this insanity?” Kast said in disbelief.

“Yes. I need you to wrangle the other officers and get them over to Cliffside. It’s probably best not to tell them why right away.”

Kast rolled his eyes. “No kidding.”

Derek continued. “I’m going to ask him about his investigation of Vivian. The mentioning of her name should be enough to anger him.”

Kast stared in horror and shock. “You WANT to go to his house and anger him intentionally?! I believe that makes you the craziest man on this island!”

“Maybe.” Derek replied. “But I have a feeling that Miss Kelly will play a key role in my get away.”

Kast shook his head as Derek’s idea began to make sense. “That would put her in direct danger.”

“I realize that. That’s why I will take her with me when I leave. We will be providing distraction for one another while at the house and he will definitely follow when we both leave.” said Derek.

“He surely will.” replied Kast.

The two men parted ways and began to implement the first stage of Derek’s plan.

Derek pulled up to Byron and Kelly’s house and looked around before getting out of his car. The sun had started it’s decent over the back side of the roof, casting shade on the front of the house. If he wasn’t aware of the danger inside, it would look like any other well-kept family home.

He took a deep breath and found his way to the front door. It was silent inside, which made him worry that something had happened to Kelly. He hoped he hadn’t gotten here too late.

After a couple more knocks, he heard someone descending the stairs. He took another deep breath and tried to focus on looking like he was just a rookie who had come to ask a pro how to conduct a case; a role he had initiated a month ago at the station.

He had decided it was time to meet Byron face to face and allow him to conclude that Derek wasn’t a threat. He wanted Byron to be under the impression that he looked up to him and admired him.

Sadly he had admired him, at least the officer side of him. Seeing Vivian today changed that and now he would have to struggle not to show his disgust when talking to the man.

Byron answered the door in nothing but black silk pajama pants. “Great.” Derek thought to himself as he realized just how muscular Byron was. “There goes my self-esteem too.”

“Officer Derek Fisher. What can I do for you?” Byron asked in greeting.

Derek wasn’t surprised that Byron had remembered his name. The man was eerily meticulous with details and had a memory that elephants would envy.

“Just Derek, please.” he said.

Byron smiled and cocked an eyebrow, waiting for Derek to tell him what he wanted.

Just as Derek opened his mouth to respond, he heard soft footfalls coming down the stairs. He was hoping it was Kelly when he noticed the change in Byron’s demeanor. It was her. Byron lit up, changed his guarded stance at the door and invited him inside.

He stepped inside and tried not to appear on edge as Byron closed the door behind him.

“Kelly, this is Derek Fisher. He is the new hostage negotiator in our department.” Byron announced.

Derek reached out to shake Kelly’s hand, relieved to see that she was alright. She offered coffee that he politely declined as he silently hoped that she would stay near enough to him for his plan to work.

Just then, Byron invited Derek to the basement to show him the anniversary gift Kelly had gotten him.

Derek tried not to show his worry at what kind of anniversary gift one killer would give to another or his gratitude toward Byron for getting straight to the point. The basement is most likely where Byron had kept his victims and getting a look at it while the man himself was present to comment would be an interesting first.

“Sure.” said Derek casually. Then he added, “And happy anniversary” while making quick eye contact with Kelly.

As he followed Byron down the basement stairs, he listened for Kelly’s footfalls behind him; they were incredibly light, but they were there.

They reached the floor and Byron pointed to the large case and saw rack that was still surrounded by shredded wrapping paper.

So, Kelly was definitely aware of Byron’s habits and was helping him to be more organized. Great. Now he didn’t feel so comfortable knowing that she was close behind him. There was nothing he could do now; he was trapped between the two of them.

Byron walked over to stand in front of the case and started explaining which saw and knife went where. When Derek glanced down to the spot Byron indicated, he heard Kelly scream “No! Stop!”

He looked back over to Byron who looked like hate incarnate. His face was twisted into a menacing snarl and his arm was raised above his head; a hammer in his hand.

Derek moved away quickly, grabbing Kelly by the hand on his way back up the stairs; but she refused to budge.

“Come on!” Derek yelled.

“You go ahead.” Kelly replied calmly.

Derek wore a confused expression the entire way out of the house.

Once he reached his car, he stared back at the house in shock. What on Earth just happened in there? Why did Kelly stay? How did she make him leave like that?

The questions swirled in his mind as he tried to regain his focus. He came here with a plan and though Kelly had not came out with him, he felt that he made enough of an impression that Byron would follow all the same.

He pulled out of the drive-way and started toward Cliffside. His mind was still reeling as he drove and when his phone rang he jumped at the sound. He rolled his eyes at himself and took a deep breath before answering. “Hello?”

“I hope you’re ready for this.” Kast said.

“Yeah.” was all Derek could manage.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“Yeah; just a little shaken at the moment. Did he call?” replied Derek.

“You’re lucky shaken is all you got. So far that is. Yes, he called and asked where our rookie was in a voice that could have easily been the devil’s.” said Kast.

“Good.” said Derek.

“If you say so.” Kast retorted.

“I do. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get Kelly out of the house. I don’t know how she did it, but she told me to go without her and I just did.” Derek reported.

“Well, it sounds like she made her choice and there’s not much we can do for her.” Kast said sadly. “How far away are you?”

“I’m pulling around that never-ending curve as we speak and will see you in a minute.”

“Be careful of that curve; they don’t call it the devil’s spine for nothing.” Kast said in a voice fit for a camp fire ghost story.

Derek hung up the phone and continued his trek, more grateful with each passing second that this wasn’t the only road to Cliffside.

The closest and quickest route was the one he hoped Byron was taking right now. It would take him to the top of the cliff, where he would be at distance from the officers who feared him.

Derek had learned enough about Byron to know that once he was there, retreat wasn’t an option; for either of them. That was something they had in common; a ‘no surrender, no retreat’ mentality.

As he drove out of the curve, he saw all of the other officers grouped at the bottom of the cliff, looking stunned and terrified. Derek looked up to see that Byron had beaten him here.

This was it. Derek pulled up and parked beside Kast’s squad car and wondered to himself if this was what cowboys used to feel like as they walked into a shoot-out.

He got out of the car and walked over to Kast who was trying to hide his guilt over his part in this set up. Byron’s expression had gone from evil to betrayed to rage as he spotted Derek.

Kast handed the mic to him as he looked down and away. “It’s all you rookie. I hope you know what you’re doing.”

Derek hoped so too. He felt a momentary shot of pain as he took the mic and unwelcome memories flooded him. He shook them off and started to speak when he noticed that Kelly had joined Byron on the cliff. They were kissing; not a good sign.

*Thank You for reading!*

End of Story 4-Part 3

Copyright©2019 Jennifer Treece

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