The Innocent Chapter 18: Wolfsky on the Outside
Chapter 18: Wolfsky on the Outside
“Have you thought more about opening up during our sessions?” Dr. Dean asked.
Wolfsky looked into the face of Dr. Dean. He had thought about opening up more. Mostly out of fear than anything else. There were a few things on this earth that scared Wolfsky, but the way those doctors were sizing him up in the middle of the night downright terrified him. He decided to play a little of Dr. Dean’s game. If not to keep the other doctors at bay, at least to keep his sanity in check.
Among Wolfsky’s other reason.
“Are you thinking about it or being defiant again?” Dr. Dean asked scribbling notes in his pad.
“Can Wolfsky ask you something?” Wolfsky asked.
“You can,” Dr. Dean said. “But seeing as I am your psychiatrist, I may professionally decline to answer.”
“Wolfsky thinks you will,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky has you figured out. Part of Wolfsky’s job before Wolfsky was arrested was sizing up targets. You read Wolfsky’s file.”
“Some time ago,” Dr. Dean answered. “I was quite fascinated with you when you first entered Havenville. I admittedly still am. Which is why I’d like to take this opportunity to get to know you. To try and help you.”
“You know there is no helping Wolfsky,” Wolfsky said. “You now about what they are doing here. You know about the experiments. You know who Warden Greene really is and what he’s capable of. Wolfsky has seen you year after year after year dogging his shadow along with Kit Marshall. Wolfsky knows what Marshall is after. He likes the abuse he gives the inmates. He gets off on it. Wolfsky couldn’t tell what you got out of it, though.”
“What I get out of my job isn’t relevant,” Dr. Dean said. Wolfsky could tell he hit the nerve he was digging for.
“But it is,” Wolfsky said. “Is this what you wanted to do when you agreed to take this top secret job with Greene or whoever he was before he was Daniel Greene. What was it that drove you to work with such a despicable human? The experience? The chance to go further than you would’ve been allowed on the outside? In the end, do you really think Greene will let you keep your notes? Your experience? Your life?”
Dr. Dean put his pen and pad down. He removed his glasses and looked into Wolfsky’s face intently. “I know what you’re doing,” he said. “You don’t come as far as I have and not know when someone is attempting to manipulate you. I applaud you. It has been a while since someone has been able to illicit such a reaction from me. Tell me, Wolfsky, how much do you know about Warden Greene?”
Wolfsky smiled. “So now Wolfsky has something in his head that you really want,” he said.
“Perhaps,” Dr. Dean said. “Usually I have the means to take it, but you have the ability to render my hypnosis useless. One of the very few. Your friend Xander was hard too. Given time, I would have liked to see how far I could take him until he broke.”
Wolfsky flinched slightly at these words. Dr. Dean noticed and smiled slightly.
“There it is,” Dr. Dean said. “There’s the proverbial chink in the armor. You hold your friend in such high regards. This Xander Zane. Was that his real name? I knew from the day I met him there was something he was hiding.”
“So you and Marshall tried to kill him,” Wolfsky said. “Just to see how he’d react. Is that it? You get your jollies like Kit Marshall?”
“So now I have something in my head that you want,” Dr. Dean said. “It’s interesting how easily the tables turn, isn’t it?”
“You have no idea,” Wolfsky said.
“We have found each other at something of an impasse,” Dr. Dean said. “What should we do about this?”
“Wolfsky would fancy a little game,” Wolfsky said.
“I do not find it wise to play game with my patients, Wolfsky,” Dr. Dean said. “Especially with any that find themselves incarcerated like yourself. I find they do not end where I intend them too.”
“Then go into the unknown,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky knows you’ve wanted to crack Wolfsky for some time now. This might be your last chance. Those doctors keep Wolfsky up at night you know. Watching and waiting. Sizing Wolfsky up like some piece of meat in the butcher shop window.”
“Interesting choice of wording,” Dr. Dean said reaching for his pad. “The butcher shop window? I would really love to delve into your past. Would you like to talk about the incident in New Jersey? You know the one. You were found with the bodies of the murdered family.”
“Wolfsky knows the one,” Wolfsky said.
“Don’t go hardening up on me now,” Dr. Dean said. “Things just started getting good.”
“So here’s how we play,” Wolfsky said now that Dr. Dean was baited. “You get one question. Wolfsky gets one question.”
“Oh this old game,” Dr. Dean said beaming. “Shrinks use this one with troubled patients a lot. Is that what I am to you?”
Wolfsky looked at Dr. Dean’s face.
“The silent treatment again?” Dr. Dean asked. “I have either struck a nerve or you’re refusing to answer me unless I agree to your cliché little game. You are a very interesting subject, Wolfsky. I’ll go along with it. I’ll take the trip down the metaphoric rabbit hole with you. You may be buying time to stay your execution, but I do not think it matters. You see, I have no control over the will of Warden Greene or his agents in Max Lockup.”
“Wolfsky never assumed you did,” Wolfsky said. “Since you agreed to play, Wolfsky will be a gentleman and let you have the first question.”
“Very good,” Dr. Dean said. “There’s so many things I’ve been dying to ask you. Where shall I start.”
Wolfsky raised his eyebrows inviting Dr. Dean to ask.
“I know,” Dr. Dean finally said. “I’ll start off light. What did you do before you were a killer?”
Xander opened Wolfsky’s journal apprehensively. A folded piece of paper fell out and landed in his lap. His name was written across the back in big black letters. He unfolded the note and read it by the pale thin stream of light that came in through his cell window.
If you’re reading this note, it means that Wolfsky is no longer with you. Wolfsky was either killed or taken to Max where Wolfsky will likely be killed shortly. If your intent is still the same, then your resolve must not waver based on revenge for Wolfsky. If Wolfsky is dead then let Wolfsky sleep. Do not let the rage of vengeance blind your judgement as it did for Wolfsky. You have lost a lot since you came to Havenville. More than Wolfsky can understand. Read the words in this journal. When you are finished, Wolfsky hopes you will learn from Wolfsky’s mistakes. These words are for you only. You can share with Leonard and Tajiri if you wish, but keep the journal to yourself. Destroy it if you must, but do not let anyone else have it.
All the best,
P.S. If Wolfsky is in Max Lockup, DO NOT COME FOR WOLFSKY. It is suicide.”
Xander read the note again to make sure he understood and didn’t miss any details. Wolfsky’s overuse of his own name made it hard to follow, but he understood. This was Wolfsky’s life on paper. His very legacy. Xander had wondered about Wolfsky’s past, but was too afraid to ask. He had gotten bits of pieces from conversations and a little from The Chaplain, but Wolfsky was tight lipped about what he exactly did on the outside.
What did Wolfsky think Xander could gain from this journal? It was true that Xander had focused his energies on vengeance since he had found out Warden Greene had his wife and son killed. He had effectively killed Peter Frost in every way imaginable. Every move he had made since he emerged from The Hole was based on his vengeance. Was Wolfsky telling him to give up this pursuit? Wolfsky himself had urged Xander in this direction. Why would Wolfsky want him to pull back now?
Xander stopped thinking of the questions that plagued his mind. With a trembling hand Xander opened the Journal to the first page hoping to get an answer.
Wolfsky steered his home-made scooter down the rubble strewn roads of Barbados with Amanda running by his side. He had made a couple of dollars selling newspapers that morning, so he decided to get Amanda a cold soda in town. Amanda ran on the side of the scooter (which Wolfsky kept at a slow enough pace for Amanda to keep up) past the beach bars and slowed down as not to disturb the tourists enjoying the sun and rum punch. They made their way to the small cabana where Amanda’s father worked.
“What can I get you kids?” he asked. In the long years since he was fourteen years old, Wolfsky had forgotten his name, but he never forgot his smile when they would show up on an afternoon for a soda.
“Two cokes,” Wolfsky said pushing a couple of dollars to Amanda’s father.
Amanda’s father filled two tall cups with a little ice and then with coke from the bar hose. “Here you go,” he said. “Go sit in the shade for a bit. The suns beating hard today.”
“Thank you,” Wolfsky said carrying the two glasses while Amanda pushed his scooter. They sat under the shade of a tree on top of a log. This was their usual spot when Wolfsky had a few extra dollars to spend on soda.
The two watched the water silently. They had been friends for a long time, and often didn’t need to speak to each other. Amanda’s father worked at the bar while his mother cleaned hotel rooms a few miles down the road. At the end of the day they would walk halfway between their jobs to the small home where they lived with Amanda, her two brothers, and three sisters.
Wolfsky wasn’t as lucky as Amanda was to have a large family. His mother had died when he was only six, and left him and his father alone. His father was Haitian born, and didn’t get along with a lot of the local families. This was part of the reason Wolfsky didn’t go to school. His father figured that if he could make a decent living without schooling, then so could his son.
“Do you know what today is?” Amanda asked.
“Wolfsky does not,” Wolfsky said sipping his soda through the clear straw. He savored the taste since he may not have the money to buy cold sodas tomorrow.
“It’s your last day,” Amanda said.
“What?” Wolfsky said. “Oh yeah. Wolfsky forgot.”
“How could you forget your own birthday?” Amanda asked.
“Wolfsky wasn’t thinking about it,” Wolfsky said. It had slipped his mind that tomorrow he would be fifteen. His father had told him for the last few years that the day he turned fifteen he would begin working with his father for Hannigan down by the farm.
“I guess this is our last soda,” Amanda said leaning closer to Wolfsky. Wolfsky got nervous and looked over to see if Amanda’s dad was looking. He saw that he was busying himself on the opposite side of the bar telling some tall tale to a couple on vacation. When Wolfsky turned back around Amana’s lips were against his.
Wolfsky pulled away after a second and saw Amanda’s smiling face. “When you’re not working for Mr. Hannigan, be sure to come find me. You’ll have plenty of soda money, I hope.” Amanda ran off with the two empty glasses to give back to her father. Wolfsky got on his scooter and rolled towards his father’s home.
“You’re home,” Wolfsky’s father said as Wolfsky entered the house. He put his scooter against the wall and walked into the small kitchen where his father was divvying up a small portion of pork and pineapple. Hannigan often gave Wolfsky’s father scrap meat for the two of them to eat.
“You want some dinner?” Wolfsky’s father asked.
“Yes,” Wolfsky answered.
His father passed him a small plate with a section of the cooked pork and a few slices of pineapples. “You make any money selling the papers today?”
“A little,” Wolfsky said cutting the pork.
“That’s good,” his father said smiling. “I didn’t forget what tomorrow is. You’ll be working with me. Hannigan has been busy, so he can use the extra hands. You excited?”
Wolfsky looked into his dad’s face. He could tell he was excited to finally be working with his son. Wolfsky could tell that his father felt that this was a fine birthday present for a boy turning fifteen. “Wolfsky can’t wait,” he said putting a piece of meat into his mouth and savoring the sweet flavor.
“That’s good meat, isn’t it?” Wolfsky’s father said. “Tomorrow I’ll teach you how to properly kill your own.”
“So you were actually a butcher,” Dr. Dean said. “Fascinating. I always assumed they called you that due your affinity to kill.”
“They originally called Wolfsky: The Buther’s Son,” Wolfsky said. “But it got shortened over time.”
“Your young life sounds so -”
“Wait,” Wolfsky said interrupting Dr. Dean before he could gain steam. “Wolfsky answered your question. It’s now Wolfsky’s turn to ask one of his own.”
“Very well,” Dr. Dean said with a sigh. “What would you like to know?”
“Why did you and Marshall have Xander attacked?” Wolfsky asked.
Dr. Dean started at Wolfsky for a moment before speaking. “You are very concerned with your friend,” he said.
“Do not dodge the question or our little game will come to an end,” Wolfsky said.
“I’m not dodging,” Dr. Dean said. “It’s just an observation. That’s all.”
“Why’d you do it?” Wolfsky asked. “I know that you didn’t yet know who he really is.”
“Kit and I both took an interest in him for very different reasons,” Dr. Dean said. “I was very curious about his mind, and Kit wanted to see if he’d make a strong ally or an even stronger opponent. We worked together and devised our little test, and Xander performed admirably. I learned that Xander had made friends with the right people to help protect himself, and Kit discovered that Xander did make a very strong opponent. He wasn’t surprised at all when word got back to us about his true identity.”
Wolfsky sat thinking.
“Was my answer not satisfactory?” Dr. Dean asked.
“It was what Wolfsky suspected,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky never liked the games you play with the inmates. Least of all, the games The Warden devises.”
“I believe it’s my turn to ask,” Dr. Dean said.
“Go ahead,” Wolfsky said easing back on the hard chair and getting as comfortable as the restraints would allow.
“Why did you decide to come to America to become a killer?”
Wolfsky worked along side his father for the next two years of his life. His father started his training by allowing him to assist in the killing of goats and moving on to pigs. Once Wolfsky had mastered the slaughtering of goats and pigs, he moved onto bigger animals. Hannigan was very pleased with Wolfsky’s work.
“That boy of yours is skilled,” Mr. Hannigan exclaimed to Wolfsky’s father as he handed him the envelope with their week’s pay. Wolfsky and his father shared wages since they lived together in their small shack. “I wish I had four more like him.”
“You don’t have enough animals for four more Wolfsky’s” Wolfsky’s father said smiling.
Hannigan was well into his sixties when Wolfsky was nearing seventeen years old. He couldn’t move around as good as he used to, so Wolfsky would busy himself moving boxes or bring bags out to customer’s cars or bikes. Hannigan owned the meat market from his father and his father before him. His great-grandfather came to Barbados in his youth with his young wife, and they decided to make an extended stay of their trip when they became pregnant. There’d been a Hannigan in Barbados running the meat market ever since.
At this point in his life, Wolfsky was working to help keep the house over him and his father’s head. He had become much more serious with Amanda (a fact that greatly pleased her father who always liked Wolfsky), and the two would spend every free moment together. Amanda followed Wolfsky’s lead and began working in the same beachside bar and grille that employed her father (up until he got hurt a year ago and had to retire way too early).
Things didn’t get much better for Amanda’s family when she started becoming sick. It would come and go much like the tides. One day she’d be full of energy and vigor, and the next day she’d barely be able to get out of bed. Their family was having a hard time keeping meals on the table for the large family, so Wolfsky would help out every chance he got (much to the annoyance of his father). Every time Hannigan would give him some meat as a bonus he would bring it to Amanda’s family who reluctantly took it with their thanks.
It was around this time Wolfsky found out the truth about his father.
It was a sunny Tuesday morning when Wolfsky walked into Hannigan’s Meat Market for the last time. He went ahead of his father to help Mr. Hannigan help set the market up before he would go to work cutting up whatever animal was unlucky enough to become tonight’s dinner. He walked in to see Mr. Hannigan lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood. Standing above him were three men. They were all dressed in gray suits.
“Who are you?” the man in the middle asked. He was shorter than the others but had an air about him that told Wolfsky’s instincts that he was the leader of this small gang. He had thick brown hair around the rim of his head. The parts on top and to the front were beginning to thin out.
“He’s the son, Mr. Lance,” the man to his left said.
“Is he?” the leader named Mr. Lance asked. “What’s your name, son?”
“Wolfsky,” Wolfsky said wishing he had the nerve to back out of the door. Wolfsky had proven himself in fights before, but he wasn’t sure if he’d be good enough to fight three men at once. Especially when the two men that stood on either side of their leader looked so intimidating. “What’s wrong with Mr. Hannigan?”
The leader looked down at the form of Hannigan’s body. “Hannigan is having a bit of trouble,” he said. “We only wanted to ask him a few questions. We’d like to ask you a few, too. You want to take a quick ride with us?”
Wolfsky didn’t know what to say. He saw the still form of Hannigan lying on the floor. He wished his father had come in ahead instead of him. Wolfsky thought he heard something in the back, but it was more sensing than anything else. It could have easily been his imagination.
“Someone’s in the back,” Mr. Lance’s associate said. “Could be a rat.”
“Check it out,” Mr. Lance said not taking his eyes off Wolfsky. “We aren’t taking any chances.” Mr. Lance’s associate ran off into the back area of Hannigan’s Market while Mr. Lance addressed Wolfsky once more. “Now where were we? Oh yes. I think you and I should have a talk. There are things you must know. It seems -”
Mr. Lance didn’t get to the end of his statement. The man he sent in to look at the sound nearly flew backwards out of the thick plastic door with a meat cleaver in his right shoulder. If this bothered him he didn’t show it. He got up and immediately ran back into the room.
“No time!” Mr. Lance shouted. “Take him!”
Mr. Lance’s other associate grabbed Wolfsky with an uncanny speed and quickness that Wolfsky wouldn’t have guessed he possessed. Wolfsky was brought out into the bright sun, and was thrown into the backseat of a large car. Mr. Lance followed in the back as the car sped off leaving a trail of dust behind it.
“Is he awake yet?” Wolfsky heard. He felt a hand lightly slapping his face. The last thing he could recall was being in the back to the car. Now all he saw was blackness. He fought against the drowsiness and opened his eyes.
“He’s awake,” the other voice said. When Wolfsky’s eyes finally focused he was looking into the dark-skinned face of a man he’d never met. “My name is Mr. Ralph,” the man said. “I believe you met my partner Mr. Lance.”
“I’m sorry we were interrupted,” Mr. Lance said. “Your father got busy killing my associates.”
Wolfsky tried to get up at the mention of his father, but found that he was very tightly bound.
“Don’t struggle,” Mr. Ralph said. “We only want to talk. We only wanted to talk with you. It’s your father that we came for.”
“He’s been keeping secrets,” Mr. Lance said. “We lost his trail in Haiti some time ago. We only recently found out he was here working as a butcher and keeping off the grid.”
“What secrets?” Wolfsky asked. “What at your talking about.”
“It’s his blood,” Mr. Lance said. “The secret is in his blood. Now it is in yours too.”
“We want you to come with us,” Mr. Ralph said. “We can teach you to hone your skills. We can’t take out what’s already in you, but we can teach you how to use it properly.”
“What about my father,” Wolfsky asked.
“Your father is a killer,” Mr. Lance said. “He killed your mother with what’s in his blood. You’ve been killing Amanda with what’s in yours.”
Wolfsky tried to fight against the restraints again. He thought he felt them loosening, but he wasn’t strong enough to overcome them.
“I’m not trying to anger you,” Mr. Lance said in a soothing voice. “I’m sure you’ve noticed her sickness. You may have been too young to remember, but your mother suffered the same way. The best thing you can do for Amanda is to leave her so she can heal.”
“Your father knowingly killed your mother,” Mr. Ralph said. “He knew what was in him would kill her. He knew what he passed on to you would kill Amanda and any woman you’re with after she’s gone.”
“Wolfsky won’t go with you,” Wolfsky said. “You killed Hannigan. Where’s my father now?”
Mr. Lance sighed. “What happened to Hannigan was an unfortunate incident,” he said. “We were trying to reason with him when he became agitated and attacked once of my associates. The very same one your father has likely killed. By now he has likely burned down Hannigan’s to cover his tracks again. By nightfall he’ll be gone. Off the grid again unless we can get to him.”
“What do you want from me?” Wolfsky said eager to be done with these people.
“Come with us,” Mr. Ralph said. “Your father wants you dead. You’re his last loose end in Barbados. Now that you know the secret the two of you share; he’ll kill you before leaving this island and moving on.”
“What is Wolfsky doesn’t believe you?” Wolfsky asked with a defiance he barely felt.
“You’re free to go,” Mr. Ralph said loosening Wolfsky’s restraints with no hint of fear that Wolfsky would attack.
Wolfsky rose to his feet rubbing his wrists where the restraints had cut into his skin. He now wished he never lashed out.
“We will stay here for a little while longer,” Mr. Lance said. “As my associate said, you’re free to go, but I must warn you of the dangers you face if you choose to return to your father. He’s a dangerous man. He’ll go to any length to keep his secret. This means destroying the only other whose blood holds the very same secret.”
Mr. Lance didn’t bother elaborating further. Wolfsky waited a moment for Mr. Ralph to jump in and add something, but he remained silent and staring as if calculating with his eyes. Wolfsky walked slowly towards the door and out into the bright afternoon sun.
Once outside, Wolfsky ran like he had never ran before. He didn’t know where he was, but he found the main road quickly and ran towards home. He noticed the plume of smoke rising high into the air from the direction of Hannigan’s market. He ignore the voice of Mr. Lance telling him that his father would likely do that. He ran until he got to the red door of the small shack he called a home. He opened the door and entered.
“Wolfsky,” his father said from his seat at the kitchen table. His shirt was still spattered with blood. It looked as if he had sat at the table after taking care of business at Hannigan’s and awaited Wolfsky’s return. Wolfsky or somebody else. “I wasn’t sure if you’d be back.”
“Is it true?” Wolfsky asked through gasps of breath. He didn’t know how he was able to run so far for so long and his lungs burned. “Your secrets? About mom and everything? Are you a killer?”
“Yes,” Wolfsky’s father said with no pause to consider the truth versus a lie. “I was hoping they wouldn’t tell you. They want me dead, Wolfsky. It stands to reason that they’d want you dead too.”
“They want to take Wolfsky,” Wolfsky said. “But it’s Wolfsky’s choice.”
“And you chose to come back to me?”
“Then you’re a bigger fool than I, Wolfsky!”
Wolfsky took a step back as his father rose from the table. He held a long knife that Wolfsky recognized as one of Hannigan’s. It was still red with the blood of the man he killed earlier that day. Wolfsky tried to count how many times he used that very knife to cut open pig’s throats. Now his father meant to use it on him.
Wolfsky’s tired body seemed to act on its own accord once his father lunged at him with the knife. He moved to the side to avoid its blade, and turned to hit his father in the temple with his elbow. Wolfsky had been in many back alley fights with the snobby educated kids, and he had never lost a single one.
The knife fell to the floor with a clang. Wolfsky was a little surprised to see that he had twisted his father’s wrist to wrench the knife free. His father went down to get the knife, but Wolfsky was smaller and quicker. He grasped the knife handle in his hand, and quickly turned around. His father staggered backwards with the knife protruding from his chest.
“You got me, son,” Wolfsky’s father said with a small smirk as he fell to the floor. “Go and be free. I only ask one thing. You know what it is.” His eyes moved to look at the kitchen table. Wolfsky followed his gaze to see a can of gasoline and a book of matches underneath the table where his father sat when he first entered their shack. Wolfsky’s father fell on his side and closed his eyes.
Less than an hour later, Wolfsky was walking away from the flames as they rose from the windows of his father’s small home. Whatever secret his father held in his blood burned away with his body. Now Wolfsky was the sole heir to whatever it was that these men were after.
It took Wolfsky nearly the entire night to walk back to where he last saw Mr. Lance and Mr. Ralph. He only stopped to look over the hill to where Amanda lived. He considered briefly waking her up and seeing her one last time, but he remembered what he was told about him making her sick and the painful way his mother died. After looking at the darkened house for over an hour, he resumed his slow walk back to the warehouse where he was interrogated.
“So that was it,” Wolfsky said. “Mr. Lance and Mr. Ralph brought Wolfsky to America to work with them.”
“So then when you were found with the bodies -”
“That’s another question,” Wolfsky said interrupting Dr. Dean. “It’s Wolfsky’s turn to ask a question.”
Dr. Dean sighed as he did before. He was wondering how long he’d have Wolfsky, and if Warden Greene would notice that his star inmate was missing from his Max Lockup cell for an extended period of time. He still didn’t know what kind of torturous they had in mind for Wolfsky, but he knew it wouldn’t be too long.
“Ask away,” Dr. Dean said eager to ask Wolfsky one last question.
“Why do you go along with Warden Greene’s plan?” Wolfsky asked. “What’s your endgame in all this?”
Dr. Dean laughed a little under his breath. “I think I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately,” he said. “When I first signed on to work for Warden Greene I never thought much about the endgame.
“I was working with the State Correction Departments psychology department for going on five years. I had fresh ideas that stunned my colleagues. They scoffed at my ideas of forced hypnosis and drastic memory techniques to reprogram a criminals mind to make him less criminal and more human. They told me I was playing God when I told them I could completely change someone’s entire personality and traits. I lost my job. My wife took my kids and left me. I was devastated.
“When Warden Greene found me, I was low. Half drunk and starving. I couldn’t get another job in my field. I was probably less than a week away from being homeless. Then the plans to build Havenville were approved. Greene was a shoe in for the warden job after helping set up this fortress of a prison. He even found money from senators to build it. He hired me off the State’s books. The money came from Greene directly.
“But it wasn’t just about the money. It was about reinventing myself. Greene had the most wild ideas on the human psyche and how to manipulate it. He had formulas for gasses that would render the patient unable to move or act under his own control, but listen intently to every word he was told. With Greene pulling the strings, I was finally able reprogram the human mind.
“You asked me why I go along with Greene’s plan. Simply put: because Greene’s plan gives me purpose. It makes me relevant. One day, libraries will be full of books about what Warden Greene is doing here at Havenville, and my name will be right there beside his. That’s my endgame.”
“Do you really think Greene will share credit?” Wolfsky asked.
Dr. Dean flinched. It was true he now believed this, but he wasn’t about to reveal that in this conversation. “Now now,” he said. “One question at a time.”
“Wolfsky forgot,” Wolfsky said apologetically, even though the look on Wolfsky’s face told Dr. Dean that he knew the question had triggered what it was meant to. “There’s probably time for one more round of questions before they decide you’ve had enough time with Wolfsky.”
Dr. Dean thought for a moment. If he were to have one more question, there was only one he would ask. He had wanted to ask it right off, but he thought it would have been better to build up to it.
“What really happened on the night you were arrested?”
Wolfsky looked down when the question was asked. Surely, he knew this was the one that nagged in Dr. Dean’s head (not to mention the heads of any others that seemed to know pieces of it). He had tried to crack open the enigma that was Wolfsky many years ago, but to no avail. There was just no rhyme or reason to the story the police had concocted in Wolfsky’s arrest record.
“There’s more to it than just that night,” Wolfsky said.
“I’m all ears,” Dr. Dean said.
“Very well,” Wolfsky said.
Mr. Lance and Mr. Ralph made good on their promises. Wolfsky was brought over to America and began training in facilities to use the skills he never knew he had. He was taught to push his body to its limits and then some. He learned to focus the energies inside of himself and around his body. He learned to listen to a man’s heartbeat to determine whether he was nervous or lying. He learned how to kill cleanly and effectively.
During this training they came to call him “The Butcher’s Son”. When his body was a finely tuned instrument of death, they called him Wolfsky the Butcher. They brought him in to make a kill when they needed no weapons used. Wolfsky always killed with his hands. He could snap a mans neck as quickly as he could cut his throat. Wolfsky was great at what he did, and his bosses paid him well for it. Wolfsky felt more at home doing this than he ever did in Barbados.
There was only the matter of the secret in his blood.
“Your father was part of an experiment they were conducting in Haiti when he was a boy,” Mr. Lance told Wolfsky the day after Wolfsky had made his first kill. It was a drug dealer in the streets of New Orleans. Wolfsky never asked why he needed to be killed. He always assumed it was a test of his skills (which Wolfsky passed indefinitely).
“What kind of experiment?” Wolfsky asked.
“Irradiating of the blood,” Mr. Lance said. “He was treated with various chemicals and then exposed to varying doses of radiation. It was meant to strengthen his muscles, make him nearly immune to fatigue until he was ready to succumb to it, and give him almost super-human senses.”
“And it worked?” Wolfsky asked amazed.
“You saw the results,” Mr. Lance said. “He was only one of four who survived. Mr. Ralph was another. You were only able to survive your father’s attack because he unknowingly passed the irradiated blood onto you. It’s what killed your mother.”
Mr. Lance didn’t say any more on the subject. He knew where Wofsky’s mind when when these conversations arose. He now knew he did the same to Amanda through nothing more than the act making love. He was passing on whatever the hell was in his blood into Amanda, and Amanda was dying from it.
It didn’t take long for Wolfsky to build up a reputation as an assassin. The underworld of the United States feared the name Wolfsky the Butcher and speculated on who he was or who he worked for. His targets seemed to be random, and there was no pattern. Various mafia outfits tried to track him down but to no avail. Wolfsky the Butcher was a ghost.
Then there was the mission that changed everything.
“It’s only a protection job,” Mr. Ralph said. “We have a client who wants to transport himself and his family to safety. You follow them throughout their trip, and when they are in their new home your task is complete.”
“That’s it?” Wolfsky asked.
“That’s it,” Mr. Ralph replied. “Assuming there are no problems.”
So Wolfsky did what he was asked. This wasn’t his usual task, but he didn’t ask questions. Even if there was the nagging thought in his mind about why he was playing baby sitter to some guy in a suit and his wife and kids. It was only after it was too late that Wolfsky realized that he should have known better.
Wolfsky was to escort the family of five from their home in Washington DC to Vermont where they would be put into a safe house and kept safe from whatever bogey men were after them. He was not to know their names or why they were fleeing DC. Wolfsky followed closely in his own car. When they stopped to eat, Wolfsky ate. When they stopped to piss, Wolfsky pissed. All the while he kept both eyes on the family and the people surrounding them. If anyone made a move, Wolfsky would kill them before they would get hurt.
Or so Wolfsky thought.
The family’s van suddenly pulled off the highway somewhere off the Garden Parkway in New Jersey and pulled into the parking lot of a strip mall that was closed for the night. The car sped stopped in the parking lot and the family got out. Wolfsky got out of his car as well.
“What’s going on?” the man asked Wolfsky. “I just got a call. They told me to stop here. What’s happening?”
Wolfsky didn’t respond. He didn’t know either. Suddenly the phone in his pocket started to buzz and he answered it. There were only two men who had the number.
“Wolfsky,” the voice of Mr. Lance said in his ear. “You have five targets. They are in front of you.”
Wolfsky looked in the eyes of the three little girls who came out of the van. Their father was trying to usher them back in, but they were too scared to be without him. “No,” Wolfsky said so the family wouldn’t hear them. “No kids.”
“You have five targets,” Mr. Lance repeated. “They are in front of you. Mr. Ralph is on his way. If they aren’t dead when he arrives he will do it himself, and he will not do it quickly.” The line went dead in Wolfsky’s ear. He snapped the phone in half and put it down a sewer grate.
“What was that about?” the man asked after he got his three little girls back into the backseat of the car. He approached Wolfsky with his wife by his side. “Are we in danger? Why are we stopped? I want answers!”
Wolfsky walked up to the man who was asking all kinds of questions he would never get the answers to. With lightning fast speed, Wolfsky reached out and twisted his head. He fell to the ground dead without a sound. His wife began to scream. Wolfsky reached out with his left hand and tore her throat out in one swift motion. Wolfsky felt the warm blood splash him as she fell to the ground aside her husband.
Wolfsky walked slowly to the car with the three little girls inside as the sound of Mr. Ralph’s car pulling into the lot filled his ears. He closed his eyes readying himself for what he was about to do. He begged God for forgiveness, and opened the door to the back of the car.
“You made it quick?” Mr. Ralph asked as Wolfsky emerged drenched in blood. Wolfsky had to fight the urge to kill him as well.
“Quickly as Wolfsky can,” Wolfsky said trying to hold his rage in check. He now felt as if he should have waited for Mr. Ralph and simply killed him instead, but something told Wolfsky that it would never happen that way. There would have been a backup. There was always a backup.
“You have a new target,” Mr. Ralph said. “We’ve been searching for this man a long time, Wolfsky. We don’t know what he now looks like or what name he goes by. We don’t know where he is now, but we know where he will be.”
“Why should Wolfsky care?” Wolfsky sneered. The three little girls they made him kill changed his outlook in the seconds since it happened. He no longer cared if Mr. Ralph thought he was being rash, and silently prayed for Mr. Ralph to give him a reason to kill him too.
“He’s the man who irradiated the blood of your father,” Mr. Ralph said. “The one who made it so your father would kill your mother by bedding her. The reason Amanda got sick. The reason you couldn’t have a family. Do you really thing you’re the only one? Use your head, Wolfsky! He’s been doing this for decades. Most of his experiments lead to much horrible results than you.”
“Where can Wolfsky find him?” Wolfsky asked.
“Like I said, we don’t know where he is, but we know where he’ll be. We’ve tracked down an associate of his. He faked his own death some time ago, but we never believed that. We now have reason to believe that Hugo Keene has taken up residence as the Warden of Havenville Penitentiary in Connecticut after stealing the identity of Daniel Greene.”
“That’s why you had Wolfsky travel here,” Wolfsky said doing the math in his head. “That’s why you made Wolfsky commit such a heinous crime. You want to ensure I end up in this prison!”
“We’ve pulled the necessary strings to ensure that’s where you’re sent,” Mr. Ralph said. “The police will be here in less than ten minutes. Confess to your crime and wait. Given time, James Lockhart will turn up in Havenville to join his old colleague. When he does, it’s your mission to kill him.”
Mr. Ralph got in his car and drove off. Wolfsky sat on the curb, waiting for the police to show up.
“You did it,” Dr. Dean said. “I knew you were a killer, but I never thought you’d kill those little girls!”
Wolfsky looked at the floor and said nothing.
“And Lockhart?” Dr. Dean asked. “You’re going to kill him?”
“Isn’t it Wolfsky’s turn to ask a question?” Wolfsky asked.
Dr. Dean was going to make reply about their little game being over, but he noticed Wolfsky had somehow come free of his restraints. He tried to his the panic button under the table, but Wolfsky was on him before he make the move. Wolfsky was on top of him, and his face was pressed hard against the table. He felt the teeth on the left side of his face loosen when his head hit the desk. Wolfsky held his thumb over Dr. Dean’s trachea so he couldn’t scream or even speak.
“Wolfsky only has one more question for you,” Wolfsky said. “How do you want to die?”
Dr. Dean tried to struggle free, but it was useless. There was no freeing himself from Wolfsky’s grip. He felt stupid for putting himself in the situation. Now that he knew Wolfsky’s secrets, there was no reason for Wolfsky to let him live.
“Should Wolfsky twist your head and end your life quickly?” Wolfsky asked. “Or should Wolfsky press his thumb just a little further and have you suffocate slowly? Maybe Wolfsky can let you up and you’ll have a small chance of freedom before Wolfsky tears the head from your body.”
Dr. Dean tried to struggle free again, but the only thing that happened was a warm trail of piss began to pour down his leg.
“You’re scared?” Wolfsky asked. “You should be. You think Greene will let you off this easily? You know more of his secrets that you do of Wolfsky’s. But your life is in Wolfsky’s hands now. Not Greene’s. So where do we go from here?”
Dr. Dean couldn’t answer even if he wanted to. He tried to analyze the situation through the pain and fear, but the fear was winning. Finally, Wolfsky loosened his grip.
“Wolfsky’s giving you two choices,” Wolfsky said taking a step back from Dr. Dean who was now gasping for breath. “You can help Wolfsky or you can die here and now. Choose.”
Dr. Dean massaged his throat and feigned muteness. He thought Wolfsky was buying it, but decided it was wise not tempt fate. “I’ll help you,” he said. “God help me. I’ll help you.”
“Wolfsky believes you,” Wolfsky said. He picked up the pen from Dr. Dean’s notebook and slipped it down his shirt. “Wolfsky knows when someone is lying to him.”
Xander read the final page of Wolfsky’s journal and slowly closed the small book. He knew it would have to be destroyed as soon as he could do it, but it didn’t matter. The story would never leave Xander’s mind. He found himself trying to put together the rest of the story; as if he’d be able to fill in the of the story that Wolfsky didn’t reveal.
Who was it that Wolfsky worked for when he was killing men as The Butcher? At first Xander thought it may have been CIA, but not even they would condone a mission that involved killing three innocent children. It had occurred to Xander that maybe he was part of some criminal organization much like the one Lockhart was in himself. Could it be a competitor? Had Lockhart pissed off the wrong line of criminal? Xander also wondered how he could have so little information on someone that was so notorious when he was a carreer FBI agent. Had they covered Wolfsky’s organization up?
And what about some of the things that went on in Havenville? It went all the way back to Xander’s first day when they checked him in. He thought he’d be assigned a cell from an FBI inside guard (who still hadn’t revealed himself if he even existed), but could it have been someone from Wolfsky’s organization? The guard seemed quite interested in putting Xander and Wolfsky together. Could they have wanted Xander there to point Lockhart out at the right time?
And what about The Chaplain? Did Chaplain Freeman know? How deep did his involvement go?
Xander turned over in his bunk. He only had a few hours until the sun would be up, and he knew these questions would keep him up until then. He made sure to make a note to have a nice long chat with Wolfsky when he saw him again. If he would ever see him again.