The last thing I expected to hear, after three minutes of my doorbell’s manic chirping jarred me awake from sleep and had me dragging my feet to the front door, was Horace’s voice saying, “Ray, man, need to borrow your boat.”
Horace stood on my front porch in an Atlanta Falcon’s jersey and jeans, his eyes fixed on me as I struggled to blink open mine. I yawned widely. “Horace…the sun’s not even up yet. Why do you need my boat?”
“Found out where that scumbag Seth is hiding. Grab some stuff and let’s get out there now.”
I glanced down at my boxers and T-shirt that were my excuse for pajamas. Guess I’d have to get dressed.
About an hour later, Horace and I were skipping over the choppy waves of the lake towards Duat, a small island right off the coast which harbored a seedy underworld of thugs and dealers. It was just the kind of place Seth would hide. Even the cops tried to steer clear of there if they could.
“Horace, sit down, will ya? You’re rocking the boat,” I called back to him. But he stubbornly stood, his eagle-eye fixed on the strip of land forming out of the fog. He doesn’t say anything, but that look on his face expresses his thoughts clearly: I’m going to kill that son of a bitch.
I slowed the boat down as we advanced on the island, quieting the motor. I forced Horace to look at me. “Look, don’t get in over your head. I know Seth deserves to pay for what he did to you…”
“To my father, Ray,” he coldly corrected me. “Chopping him up and tossing his pieces throughout the lake qualifies him for a lot more than just ‘deserving to pay.’”
“I know, I know. But there’s a reason he’s called ‘Death Seth,’ among other things.”
Horace leans in until his beak-like nose is touching mine. “I’m not afraid of that pig. I’m not letting him get away again. Tonight, it’s over.”
I stare into Horace’s eyes. Sometimes I can “see” how things will turn out for somebody, if I look deep enough into them. I can see that determination, that hunger, than unbending will in Horace, and something tells me he could steamroll over every miscreant on Duat.
“Do what you will,” is all I tell him.
I stayed behind on the boat, ready for a quick getaway in case all hell broke loose…which it did. The last image I remember is Horace barreling down to the shore, leaping on the boat, and screaming at me to go, and I could see the smoke rising above Duat’s trees, and the orange glow of fire dancing among the fog.
I glanced at Horace’s blood stained jeans, his gashed-up body, and his crimson-soaked jersey in his lap, something rolled up inside of it. When we were well out onto the lake, he unrolled his jersey and dumped Seth’s severed head overboard into the deadly depths.