The Diet Cola Killer (working title)
by joel wilson
Three months have passed and Detective Noah Jacobs has had no luck in finding the killer of Ima Riggins. The finger prints and DNA he had obtained at the scene found no matches. There was another unsolved murder in Pinktown that had happened on the same day. The circumstances of that murder did not match those of the Ima Riggins murder so the police were unable to connect the two. The previous killing had been due to a poison that had been placed in the coffee cup of a receptionist working at the offices of a well known architect. The only thing similar about these two murders is the fact that there are no clues and each killer has not struck again the past three months.
Leroy was sitting in his favorite diner enjoying his lunch when he saw that man again. He remembered the night that he dumped his wife and child at the diner. Leroy had wanted to do something then but was unable to because he stopped to help the young mother and her child. He was sitting across the room, eating lunch with his buddy. Leroy was able to recognize him by the jacket that he wore and the stupid look on his face. Leroy was out eighty dollars because of this asshole and he was going to get his money back somehow.
His voice was the type that carried and Leroy overheard parts of their conversation. They were bragging to each other about their sexual encounters with different women. The man who wore the jacket was addressed by the name of Kenny by his buddy and Leroy took note of it. To Leroy it was like listening to old war stories.
Most of the stories Leroy figured were just made up. Then he overheard Kenny describe in such detail about how he had had his way with a college girl just the other night. As he listened, Leroy could tell that he wasn’t just describing the sex but was describing the rape. A deep feeling of anger began to build up in his stomach. Leroy went to the cashier to pay his ticket and then to the restroom to throw water on his face. He stared at himself in the mirror. As he left the restroom he noticed the two men were no longer at the table. Looking toward the door he saw them just as they were leaving the diner. Leroy walked outside as well and watched the men as they climbed into the Dodge Ram pickup that had the huge tires and was taking up two parking spaces.
After following them a ways Leroy could see that they were going down a country road. There were open fields along either side of the road and in the distance he could see a freight train that appeared to be coming his way. Leroy stepped on the gas pedal and sped past the men. Kenny thought he was trying to beat the train so he sped up also. Leroy was driving an older model Pontiac Catalina and had enough horsepower to be sure he kept them behind him.
During their efforts to pass Leroy, Kenny’s focus shifted away from the freight train that was approaching the crossing and instead on road rage at Leroy because he couldn’t get around him. Then just before the tracks, Leroy locked up his brakes and brought the car to a rubber burning stop. Black smoke filled the air around the crossing. Kenny saw what was happening and stomped on his brakes contributing to the screeching noise of rubber burning against the road and adding to the smoke. The smoke cleared and Kenny and his buddy’s hearts were racing. They had nearly run over the Catalina but managed to stop just short of that. Looking ahead, they saw that the railroad crossing gates had closed in front of them and behind them as well. Leroy’s car was blocking the road ahead of them. They were trapped. Kenny looked to his side to see where the train was and it was already there. The freight train hit the truck at full speed straight on, forcing an explosion and the truck shattered in pieces. Leroy drove away as if nothing had happened.