Cassie & Dragon: killer fugitives in love and at-large

by Craig Hartranft on November 3, 2015

in Crime Fiction, Fiction, Mystery and Suspense, Story Ideas

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Cassie & DragonInside, Cassie heard and said to the son, “I’m going to check on your daddy, okay, Aaron.” He nodded. “See if he’s okay. Alright?” He nodded again but he was shaking, his eyes reddening with tears. She put a hand on his knee, and asked, “You’re a big boy, right?” Another nod. “You can count to one hundred, right.”

“You mean, like for hide and seek?” He sniffled.

“Exactly. Like hide and seek. You count to one hundred, slow, as slow and quietly as you can. If I’m not back to get you before you’re done, you come out when you get to one hundred. Okay. Somebody will be there to help you, if I’m not.”

The boy rubbed at his nose and eyes, and muttered, “Okay.”

“Good boy.” She patted his knee, then grabbed a paper cloth from the dispenser and handed it to him. “Start counting,” she said and left the bathroom, closing the door quietly

“One … two … three … four …”

Outside, Dragon was wiping the blood from the Lehane book on the carpet. It wasn’t coming off as he liked, at least not entirely. He pulled the tails of his cotton shirt from his jeans, wiped the book again, and tucked in his shirt. Cassie saw the father on the floor moaning in pain.

“Jesus, Dragon. Is he going to die?”

“Shouldn’t. At least I don’t think so. He’ll be breathing out of a tube for a some time and eating pudding. Probably isn’t going to humping his inbreed cousin of a wife any time soon.” He took her hand. “We got to get out of here.”

She held fast, not moving at first, still looking at the father. Said, “You should kill him.”

“What?” Dragon stared at her.

“He’ll identify you.”

“Yeah. He could, but the kid could identify you too. I suppose we should kill him, too.”

“We don’t kill kids,” Cassie said.

“Yeah, and I’m not killing him. I should. But no.” He looked passed the book racks for customers or employees. There was still nobody nearby. Dragon released her hand and went to the father.

He grasped at the man’s pants and lifted him to one side. He wheezed, still trying to get more air to his lungs. Maybe he would die after all, Dragon thought. He found the father’s wallet, took out the driver’s license, then stuffed the wallet into his own jeans pocket.

Reading the license, Dragon said, “Okay, Jeremy A. Munson. My girl here wants me to kill you.” He saw the man’s one good eye stare and twitch at him. “Says you’ll tell the police about me.” His eye twitched more rapidly. “I don’t think you’ll do that.” A grunt. “You see, I have your name and your address. Besides, if you would tell the police about me or her,” tossing a thumb to Cassie, “it would mean I’d have to kill your boy, too.” Another struggling, louder, grunt. Dragon nodded. “I think we understand each other.”

He dropped the license on his belly, and said to Cassie, “Now. Can we go?”

“Sure, baby.”

Both knew better than to hurry when hustle wasn’t necessary. They went out the same way Cassie came to the bathroom, from the romance aisle to the bookstore midway. Passing the remainder table at an easy pace, Cassie took the Lehane book from Dragon and shoved it under the pile of the same, the ones unstained by a man’s blood.

They approached the inside mall entrance, and the information desk. The stout woman with the pink face was now paging through a People magazine, when Cassie stopped.

“Wait baby,” she said taking Dragon’s hand. “I want to ask the girl something.”

“Seriously? Now?” he returned in a low voice.

Hearing Cassie, the girl said with a strong Southern drawl, “Yes ma’am. What can I help you with.”

Cassie put her finger to her chin, looked gently to the woman’s waist, and asked, “You like french fries, honey?” She turned up the tone of her own Southern voice.

“I sure do.” The clerk smiled.

“I thought you did. You sure look like you love them a lot.” Cassie twisted sarcasm into her South Carolina drawl. The girl didn’t catch it. Dragon did and pulled gently at her wrist. The clerk noticed a wet red smear on the back of his hand.

“Who has the best fries in the mall, sweetheart?” Cassie asked.

Which caused the clerk’s attention to return to Cassie. “That would be French Fry Heaven down by Sears,” the clerk said grinning. “The chili cheese fries are awesome.”

“I’ll bet they are. Thank you, darling.” Cassie flipped a wave with her hand.

“Sure. Ya’ll have a nice day.”

Dragon gave Cassie a smirking smile at her brashness, and tugged her arm. “Let’s find those fries, Cass. I’m kinda hungry, too.”

“What do you want with those fries, baby? I side of lovin?” She drew closer and give Dragon a light, flirtatious, kiss on the cheek.

The clerk smiled, and someone screamed.

There was another shriek, but not by the same person, but the sound of a child. The clerk, her name was Angie Butterfield, gasped, “Oh my god. What was that?”

“You better check it out,” said Cassie over her shoulder. Angie skirted around her booth and darted down the midway.

“You want to see what’s happening,” Dragon said.

“Nope. I want french fries,” Cassie replied.

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