Authors: Tim Miller
Night of Vengeance
© 2014, Tim Miller
Tim Miller Publishing
San Antonio, TX 78221
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
Cover designed from stock image.
Edited by A.P Editing
Huntsville Prison, Texas
Colt Stillman sat in his cell packing his things into a small bag. There wasn’t much to pack. He had a few sets of prison clothes, some drawings and a few old paperbacks he’d read dozens of times.
“Wow man, you really getting’ out today?” his cell mate, Darren said from his bunk.
,” Colt said without looking up.
“Man, that’s sweet. You’re getting some pussy tonight, ain’t ya?”
“Nope? Whatchu mean nope? Man, if I was out this motherfucker, I’d be fucking everything that moves.”
“Isn’t that why you’re in here in the first place?”
“Haha, right man. You always been a trip. You don’t talk much, but you funny as hell when you do!” Darren said.
A guard came to the cell and signaled for Colt to follow him. Darren gave him a fist bump as he went with the guard. Colt was just coming off of a twenty year sentence. It was hard to believe back then he’d been the sheriff of a small town called Peace, Texas. He’d only been sheriff for a few years and things had been going well. That was until the mayor had killed his wife in a drunken rage.
Being the young, ambitious lawman he was, he was also trying to be a politician. That was something he was not. He should have known, but he tried. He helped the mayor cover it up. He doctored the crime scene to make it look like a home invasion. Except the mayor had other ideas. The mayor had run right to the Texas Rangers, told them the sheriff was having an affair with his wife and killed her.
So the Rangers investigated and found Colt’s fingerprints and DNA all over the place. It didn’t take them long to figure out the crime scene had been moved around. There were suddenly all kind of witnesses from around town who had seen them fighting, or who’d heard Colt threaten her. None of that was true of course, but Mayor Briggs had paid them to say as much. Before he knew it, he was looking at twenty to life.
Prison life had been hard on him. They wouldn’t keep him in protective custody, s
o he did his best in general population. He’d been in a few fights, as the scar down the middle of his face showed. For the most part, he’d kept his head down and served his time quietly, at least on the outside. On the inside, his rage was burning at knowing how Briggs had gotten away with murder. To top it off, Briggs died about ten years later of a heart attack. But, his anger blistered at the people of Peace who turned on him and destroyed his life, people he had helped and had protected.
All that was over now. He’d managed to get parole, and no one from Peace even showed up at his hearing. They had forgotten about him, but he hadn’t forgotten about them. The guard walked him into a processing area and handed him a box.
“Look through there and go over the inventory sheet, make sure all your stuff is there,” the guard said. Colt looked at the list and nodded to the guard. “Is the address on there correct?” Colt nodded again. “Ok, sign at the bottom. Your parole officer will be contacting you within thirty days to set up your first meeting. Right this way.”
The guard began walking again as Colt followed along. They went down a long corridor and out big double doors into the courtyard. Colt carried his box through the yard
and as they approached the fence, the guard nodded to the one in the tower. The big gate rolled open and then closed behind them. The second gate rolled open and Colt stepped outside. He turned and looked at the guard who was already walking back inside.
This was his first time outside those walls since he’d arrived. Part of him wondered how much the world had changed in twenty years. The other part wondered where his ride was. Before the thought passed, a red pickup truck pulled up and stopped in front of him. He tossed the box into the back of the truck and climbed into the cab.
“It’s about time,” Colt said to his brother Clay.
“Sorry, it’s a long drive
,” Clay said.
“Right. Let’s go home.”
“All right man. Hey, the guys want to know if you were serious about tonight.”
“Yes I’m fuckin’ serious,” Colt said. “Why? They getting chicken shit on me?”
“No, not at all. Just sounds pretty wild man. How long you been planning this?”
“Since I set foot in that place.”
“Right. Well, they’re on board. Joe has all the stuff you asked for. He thinks it’ll be fun. He’s used to the big city and dealing with big city cops. This small town thing will be a lot of fun,” Clay said.
“Well, fun isn’t exactly what I had in mind
,” Colt said as he looked out the window.
“I know, these guys like to enjoy their work I guess.”
“As long as it gets done.”
“It will. You sure about all this? I mean, you just got out of a twenty year haul. You want to risk going back inside over an old beef?” Clay asked.
Colt turned and glared at him but said nothing. Clay hadn’t seen that look in years, but wasn’t happy about seeing it again. He shrank into his seat, looking away from his brother.
“Ok,” Clay said. “You’re sure.”
“Just drive. We have a lot of work before tomorrow night.”
Melissa hurried into the coffee shop five minutes late. Her mind hadn’t been with it all day. It was Valentine’s Day, and what was on her mind was dinner that night with Chad. Her thoughts started drifting as she walked right into the door, hitting her head.
“Melissa!” Janine, her manger yelled. “You’re late!”
“Yes! I know, I’m sorry,” Melissa said, rubbing her forehead and trying to get her apron on.
“That’s twice this week. The third time will be your last,” Janine warned.
“Yes, got it.”
“Get on the drive through. We got the lunch crowd coming through.”
“Right,” Melissa said. She pulled on the headset and walked to the window. Trista was standing there looking annoyed when Melissa arrived.
“About time,” Trista said and stormed off. Melissa took the first order. The coffee shop was called “Java Jungle.” It was the only coffee shop in town. They didn’t have a Starbucks, but everyone ordered like it was a Starbucks which was annoying. Just like the first car that came through the drive through.
“Yes, I’ll have a Mocha Frappuccino please,” the woman’s voice said through the speaker.
“We don’t have that item ma’am. Here it’s called Frozen Jungle Mocha,” Melissa corrected.
“Whatever, I want one of those, a large.” Melissa took and filled the order like she had hundreds of other times. The next few cars that came through all had simple orders. Then there was the next one.
“Yeah, I don’t have an order, I just wanted to give you a message,” The man said.
“A message? What kind of message?” Melissa asked, half smiling. She figured it was one of her friends playing a joke on her. She wasn’t sure what kind of joke o who it was though.
“I had to tell you, you’re going to burn in hell tonight. All of you.”
“What?” Melissa said. She looked out the window and saw a blue SUV with tinted windows driving away.
“What the hell?” she mumbled.
“What’s the problem?” Janine said as she waddled over to Melissa.
“Some guy just now. Said we were all going to burn in hell tonight and drove off.”
“Oh, ignore that. We get occasional weirdos here. Don’t pay them no attention. Now get back to work”
The next few hours went by fairly quickly. She was glad
today was her short day and she only had to work four hours. Just before her shift ended, a cop car pulled up outside. The door opened and a short, stocky officer came walking inside.
“Hey Sheriff Briggs, how’s it goin’?” Melissa asked.
“Hey Missy, goin’ just fine, how ‘bout you?” he said as he removed his cowboy hat.
“I’m fine. You know you’re the only one who still calls me Missy?”
“Oh, you’ll always be Missy to me. Ever since you was little that’s what I called you.”
“You’re only ten years older than me. You talk like you could be my grandpa
,” she said, laughing.
“It’s the job, puts years on ya.” He looked up and pointed up at the menu. “Can you fix me my usual?”
“Sure! You’ll be my last customer then I’m out for the night,” she beamed.
“Got yourself a hot Valentines date do ya?”
“I sure do!”
“It’s not with that Chad dipshit is it?”
“He’s not a dipshit Sheriff, and yes it’s with him.”
“Well make sure you take your purse, don’t be surprised if he makes you pay for dinner.”
“He’s not like that,” Melissa said. “He can be a gentleman. When he wants to anyway.”
“Well, you’re a big girl. But be careful around him. I’m tellin’ ya. There’s something not right with that boy. Don’t let him fool ya just cause he’s got a pretty smile and muscles.”
“I’ll be fine, but thank you though. Speaking of which. I gotta run. Good night Sheriff!”
As she grabbed her stuff, Deputy Small came walking in as well. He never usually stopped by. Even though he didn’t have a rank, he was basically the Sheriff’s number two guy. He kind of actually ran the department while the Sheriff drank coffee and did God knows what else.
“Small, what are you doing here? I thought you were going to the town hall meeting.”
“I didn’t go, I remembered what today was,” Small said. He was much taller than Briggs and never smiled. He could have been a poster boy for a law enforcement recruiter.
“What today was? Tuesday?”
the Sheriff asked. Small tried to keep from rolling his eyes.
“No, Colt Stillman got out of Huntsville yesterday. Word is
that he’s coming back to town. He’ll probably be here today if he isn’t already.” Small explained.
Melissa had known Sheriff Briggs for years. His dad used to be the Mayor when she was little. She’d never once seen him looking afraid, or even remotely concerned for that matter. But what she saw on his face just then was more than fear. It was sheer, unadulterated terror.
“He’s coming back here?” Briggs said.
“Yes he is. Now, he’s a free man. But I wanted to at least introduce myself to him. Let him know we’re here and watching.”
“You think he’s up to something?”
“Hard to say,” Small said. “Aren’t you the least bit upset he’s out? He did kill your mom and only got twenty years for it. Is that why you’re all shaky?”
“Umm, yeah, that’s probably it. Just a lot of bad memories from that time. I’d rather not re-live it with him around.”
“Fair enough. All right. I just wanted to give you a heads up. Like most things, I figured you were out of the loop.”
“I’m still your boss
, son. You’re not sitting in the big chair just yet,” Briggs said, having snapped out of his previously frightened state.
“So you keep reminding me. Enjoy your coffee Sheriff,” he looked at Melissa and tipped his hat. “Ma’am.” And walked out.