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Jay went to the patio as she did every night after everyone else left, but she wouldn’t be playing chess with Buck anymore. The thought choked her up more than all the other secrets she’d carried. Instead of leaving though, she huddled in a corner of the courtyard and waited. Not sure what she’d hear or what she could do, but somehow, she needed to end all the secrets forever.
Her only friend other than Buck had told her that Detective Mark Waters was the key. If he could find out what happened, he could fix everything she was sure. She just wasn’t certain how to go about telling him what she’d found.
The familiar creak of the gate opening made her smile. The maintenance men hadn’t thought to fix the eerie squeal when they’d given the iron a new coat of paint. If anything, it stuck even more, sending a shrill through the area.
Since the weather was still nice in September, the homeless community liked coming here. They enjoyed the minimal privacy of being able to talk amongst each other without business owners shooing them away for loitering.
Buck had always kept everyone in line, made sure they were all gone before the sun came up. And then, when the nights turned colder, his band of misfits, as he called them, would head out to an abandoned mill Buck had found for them.
Buck didn’t belong here, but he’d made the degenerates of society—the people no one else wanted—his family, and she was happy to sit back and watch them interact, and she’d always get one game of chess out of the old man before he fell asleep.
Murmurs filled the concreted area, but Jay remained in her spot. She knew what they were discussing, knew they wanted justice, but also knew they wouldn’t get it. Only one person had any knowledge of who killed Buck, but unfortunately, that person was dead.
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