Andrew Vachss uses storytelling to teach, to protect, and to make the world a better place. Today,we celebrate the publication of his new novel, The Weight, with part two of his original story “As the Crow Flies,” continued from yesterday.
I knew who he was. Just like I knew Alfred Hitchcock hadn’t been his first one.
I didn’t need his name, because I had his path. His kind, they always move in straight lines. You may not know where they’re going, but you always know where they’ve been.
The local paper keeps the crime reports on a separate page. Not big crimes, like an armed robbery or a murder. Around here, something like that’s so rare it would make headlines. The “Crime Beat” page is just a printout of the entire police blotter. Drunk driving takes up most of it, with some domestic violence sprinkled in. Lately, a lot of meth busts, too. But you also see things like shoplifting, disorderly conduct, urinating in public . . . any petty little thing you could get arrested for.
The library has a complete archive, going all the way back for years and years. I read three years’ worth. Found seven little notices that qualified: five “animal cruelties”–no details; it wasn’t that kind of newspaper–and two fires they called “arson, unsolved.”
After I marked the locations on my close-terrain map, I could see they were all within a two-and-a-half-mile area. You wouldn’t need a car to cover that much ground, no matter where you started from.
I began leaving the door of my den open all the time, even when I wasn’t around.
Under the bookshelves, there’s a cabinet. It has a lock built into it, but I sometimes forget to use it. You can tell that by looking–the key is still in the lock, sticking out.
There’s magazines in there now. All kinds, from Soldier of Fortune to Playboy to the stuff I bought on that last visit to the city.
It took a couple of weeks for one of those new ones to go missing. Whoever took it would never notice that I had removed the staples and replaced them with a pair of wire-thin transmitters.
Those transmitters were real short-range, but I was sure I wouldn’t need much. I knew he was close. Continue reading “As the Crow Flies (Part II)”