Slow Coming Dark (Excerpt)
The next morning Matt Redmond came into his office and found a note on his desk. Contact the Director, urgent, private cellular number. Matt dialed the number. “Yes, Phil?” he asked.
“Matt, I’m at Senator Helms’ place,” said Hightower. He sounded haggard. “His private home, not his office. Please come over here right away and tell no one where you are going.”
Twenty minutes later Matt pulled into a graveled driveway on a shady, tree-lined street in one of Raleigh’s inner city neighborhoods, up to an unpretentious but spacious and well kept two story home of nineteenth century vintage. He knocked on the door and was astounded when the door was opened by United States Senator Jesse Helms himself, a slightly built, dignified old man leaning on a cane, a humorous glint in his eye behind thick spectacles. “You must be Matt Redmond,” he said, extending his hand that gripped Matt’s firmly despite his years. “I remember those fedoras, used to wear one myself when I was your age. Glad to meet you, son! I’ve heard a hell of a lot about all them darin’ exploits of yours!”
“It’s an honor to meet you, sir,” said Matt, flustered. “Ah, I got a message from SBI Director Hightower...?”
“He’s in the parlor,” said Helms, beckoning Matt inside. “Come on in. Matt, we got a hellacious problem we’re gonna need your help with.” He opened the door to the living room. Matt saw Hightower sitting in an armchair. Then he heard a baby give a short cry. He turned, and a stunningly beautiful young woman in a pale beige pants suit rose from the sofa, holding a bundled infant in her arms. Her hair was long and blond, her eyes crystalline blue, and her face was a frozen mask of haunted pain and fear. She looked like she was about to turn and flee out the French doors. The first thing that hit Matt was that this woman was terrified out of her wits. Then he recognized her. “You’re Alice Silverman,” he said.
“You’re Matt Redmond?” she whispered.
“Yes, ma’am,” he said quietly, taking off his hat. “How may I be of service to you?”
“You can save my life,” she said dismally. “They killed Carla and Serafina. I heard their terrible screams as they died, while I was running away with my child in my arms. Now they’re trying to kill me, and kill my baby.”
“Who?” asked Matt urgently. It was as if Hightower and Helms weren’t even in the room. “Who is trying to kill you?”
“Bill Clinton,” she whispered. “He wants me dead. He wants my baby dead!”
“Why?” asked Matt gently. She looked up at him in anguish. “I know Clinton and his works, ma’am. You needn’t fear you won’t be believed. Why is he trying you kill you, and why does he want to kill the baby?”
Her eyes and her voice were dead with utter misery. “Eleven months ago, Bill Clinton raped me. After he was through, Hillary Clinton raped me.” She held up the wiggling bundle. “This is Bill Clinton’s son. Now he wants us both dead. I have come to you because you are the only lawman in the country who will believe me, and who has shown that he has the courage to stand up to them. If you don’t help, then my child and I will die. Will you help us?”
“Yes,” said Matt.
-from Slow Coming Dark