A harvest moon hung low in the night sky as I parked my pickup in the driveway. It had been a long day after one of Robert’s mares got kicked. She was doing better and I wanted nothing more than a hot shower and clean sheets.
I climbed out of my truck and stretched, enjoying the cool breeze. I’d just turned to go inside when I felt the short hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention.
I wasn’t alone.
I hadn’t heard anything but I had the uncanny feeling I was being watched. Having caught the scent of danger, I went still. On alert.
Was it a burglar? A peeping Tom? An animal foraging for food? I had no idea, but I intended to find out.
Just then Frank D’Angelo and his neckless crew stepped out of the shadows, moonlight glinting off his Rolex.
“I told you to pack your things and get out.” Frank’s voice was soft, chilling.
“I don’t take orders from you, D’Angelo.”
His eyes looked flat, dead and dangerous. Snake eyes. “Let me tell you what’s going to happen to you if you don’t get out.”
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“You’re going to wake up some morning – but you won’t be in your own bed. You’ll be someplace far away. Staked in the hot sand. Screaming. But no one will hear you. Ever.”
I stepped toward him and leaned so close that I could smell the garlic on his breath. “Give it your best shot...”