Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Season One, Episode Four: Riot

Bentley reached for a knife, pulled the door open, grabbed the surprised man by the collar of his shirt and pulled him inside, forcing him down on his knees on the carpet.
‘Who are you? And what are you doing with this?’
‘Your sister.’
The man coughed.
‘Where is she? What did you do to her? Are you her murderer?’
‘She told me to give you this.’
He held the figurine of the three elderly men out for Markus to see. Bentley ripped it out of his hands and put it on the table without letting his visitor out of his sight.
‘Who are you?’
The man coughed and spitted blood while whispering a word.
‘Rye what? Say again.’
Bentley pulled him up by his collar and threatened to smash him into the table. The man nearly choked.
He spat blood on the carpet.
‘A riot? Where? What's that got to do with me?’
Markus pulled the man's head up by his hair while pointing the knife at his throat.
‘Riot. It's my name,’ the man uttered in a hoarse voice before closing his eyes. ‘Let me go. All she wanted me to do, was to give you this object.’
Markus let him kneel on the carpet. Riot or whatever his name was, had a hard time capturing his breath. Riot. Were there really people named like that?
‘Riot. Your sister never told you about me?’
‘If you knew her so well, what can you tell me about her killer?’
‘The guard did it.’
‘What's his name?’
‘I know where you can find him.’

‘How did you get here? I didn't see your car.’
Riot waved at the window.
‘I parked it way out of sight. Your sister told me not to approach you by car.’
Right she was.
‘You seem to know a hell of a lot about my sister.’
Markus was still holding the knife as he helped Riot to the door. The man spat more blood on his carpet.
‘You go get a doctor to look at you,’ Markus shouted as the man stumbled his way off the property.
He locked the door and inspected the figurine of the three elders. It wasn't damaged. He looked at the bottom, not in the hope of finding a secret compartment, he knew the object too well for that, but maybe his sister had taped or written a message on its bottom. No such luck. She hadn't had the time. Markus slapped his fist on the table.
Two total strangers had found the way to his house in just one morning. This place was cursed. Markus had to get out of here. He rushed upstairs and packed his luggage. Clothes and weapons. He packed his knife.
He hadn't counted on leaving again so soon.
He took a quick stride around the kitchen. Ripped open the refrigerator. A plastic pot with four balls of marzipan inside. That would get him through the day. He shoved it into his bag.
Markus went to the back of the house, into the garage which housed an eight-year-old Honda hatchback. The car was anonymous enough not to draw any attention, not too luxurious for the countryside, not too cheap for the city. The perfect vehicle for a man like Markus Bentley.
He was not a countryside man, but this location had helped him keep his distance from the city, from the people he hated seeing again.
He didn't need to tell the farmer about his departure.

Two villages away, where he wouldn't bump into the farmer or any other vague acquaintances, Markus Bentley stopped at a store. It had the wide top-to-bottom glass windows of a convenience store, but what it sold were the knickknacks of country living. Handy goods for handymen and handywomen. Knives and scissors in dozens of shapes and sizes. Fifty-five ways to cut up something. Anything.
There were about five rugged men shopping around, none of them acquaintances. Markus went to the back where the flashlights were. Past the cooking utensils and the batteries. He was weighing a big yellow torch in his hand when he heard the clerk at the desk sputter.
‘Moses, man,’ he heard the clerk shout.
The next second he saw, heard, and felt the car plow its way into the store, through the windows, rocking the whole structure before coming to a full stop just before the cash register. Markus kept his head low. He saw the driver's door swing open, sending more shards of glass across the clerk's desk.

NEXT: Markus Bentley meets Charlo' in Episode Five of Concentric before October 20.

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