Chapter 10

Written by: Lrennes

The Police Officer on duty greeted Powell with a strangely expectant look as he entered the station. It was only the briefest of moments, but the look of recognition on her face immediately tweaked his cautious intuition.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

"Maybe,” he began, “I'm looking for a young man who came in here. Looks a bit like me, only younger."

"Yeah I know who you mean," she replied.

"You do?" he asked, surprised that his vague description had been adequate.

"Yep, came in about half an hour ago. I'll take you to him."

"Will you..." Powell said under his breath. If he wasn’t feeling the need to tread carefully before, the readiness with which she was prepared to arrange a meeting meant that he did now.    

After collecting a large spindle of keys, the young lady led him down an echoing corridor, beginning and ending with two large cast iron gates. She vigilantly unlocked, and then re-locked each one after they had passed through.

“Through there,” she said, motioning toward a solid looking door to her left.


“Through here?” he replied, inspecting the officer sceptically.

“Yep, he’s through there. Don’t worry, I’ll be watching from out here.”

“Is this normal?” he asked, “Private meetings with criminals?”

Alleged criminal,” she replied. “Hasn’t been convicted yet.”

“Fair enough,” Powell muttered, unconvinced by the technicality.


Reaching out, he turned the heavy steel door handle and entered the room. A loud clanging sound signified the moment the door was locked shut behind him.


“I was wondering how long you’d be.”  


Powell looked at the originator who sat at a small, mostly barren table at the centre of the room, illuminated by a lone overhead lamp. It wasn’t at all surprising to see that it was his son but the pistol laid out in front of him struck Powell immediately as being out of place.


“Michael,” he said, speaking the word as though it was an echo from some historic utterance.

“It’s Zeus now,” the young man replied, bitterness apparent in his terse response.


“Huh,” Powell replied with a nod. “And you were expecting me?”

“Of course,” Zeus confirmed. “We're all drawn to certain things, predictably and irresistibly. A long lost son is kind of an obvious one.”

A sullen look of realisation fell over Powell’s face.


“The coffee shop was never the target,” he muttered. “Or anyone else.”  

“No...” Zeus replied, “that was all a ruse to get you somewhere quiet, without a weapon. Worked pretty well huh?”

Powell said nothing. Instead, he nodded again, this time in rueful resignation. 

“Nothing to say?” Zeus asked.

“No,” Powell said, shaking his head slowly. “It might as well be you.”

“That’s what I said too.” 


Zeus rose to his feet, collecting the weapon as he went. His face twisted into a look of resentment as he raised the pistol. 


“Happy retirement, Dad.”

With an unceremonious squeak, the torment that Powell had both inflicted and endured, came to an end.


Well. This completely took my breath away. What a stunning end to a compelling and entertaining serial. Congratulations to everyone who contributed.
Yes, the pace completely belied the huge ending the chapter was building up to.It was breathtaking.
Great piece of work, Lrennes. This is how a serial should end - with a bang! It also leaves unanswered questions that will keep you wondering "What if" for a long time after.Loved it.