It wasn’t long before a tall Hispanic man in white medical clothes wheeled out an older gentleman. There was an oxygen tank tied to the back of the wheelchair, the clear tubes running up the back and around the man’s neck, the ends stuck in his nose. His hair was thinning, cut short, with a mix of black and gray. The face wrinkled, with sun spots which showed on every inch of skin that was exposed. His right hand tapped slowly on the arm of the wheelchair, his lips moving as if he was singing to himself. Red sweatpants covered his legs, a purple t-shirt with the Colorado state symbol adorning his top half. If this was Simon Lions, it would seem a long shot that he could be pulling off the current string of murders.
“Are you Jarvis Mann?” asked the orderly.
I nodded my head.
“Simon was thrilled to have a visitor today. Weren’t you Simon?”
His eyes looked my way, but he didn’t speak. His mouth still moving to whatever song he had playing in his head.
“He can stay out here for maybe forty-five minutes. He loves the sun, but it doesn’t love him. But it’s hard to deny him his small pleasures.”
“I’ll keep an eye on the time and then wheel him back in,” I said, while checking my phone. It was close to eleven.
“Don’t get him too worked up. Too much excitement is not good for him. Isn’t that right, Simon?”
Simon’s eyes looked up, but he still didn’t speak. I was beginning to wonder if it might be a one-way conversation between us.
The orderly locked the wheels and walked away, checking on some other patients in the courtyard. Simon continued his song, his eyes looking off into the distance. I really wasn’t sure where to start. He wouldn’t know me, so I figured I’d go with that first and see what reaction I’d get.
“Mr. Lions, my name is Jarvis Mann. I’m here to ask you some questions.”
Still nothing from him.
“I hope you can hear me. If I need to speak up, let me know.”
A complete zero. A total blank expression.
“I’m here because of some murders. Jonas Diaz sent me to talk with you.”
This time the words got a reaction. His face changed, his eyes lit up and the mouthing of the song stopped. It was as if the mannequin had come to life. He looked around and saw the orderly was out of hearing range and leaned forward.
“How is Jonas?” he asked, in a deep, gravelly voice.
The reaction and the words shocked me. It seemed as if he had come out of his trance-like-state when hearing the name. Unlike with Jonas, he was able to speak clearly.
“He is good. Sends his regards.” I said shortly.
“I’ve enjoyed our visits though the years. He made life interesting and challenging with his persistence. He is a smart man.”
“Almost as smart as you?”
There was a slight smirk of cockiness on his face now. “Close. But of course, few people are.”
“Maybe I can challenge you too. Match your intellect.”
“Perhaps. What do you do, Jarvis Mann?”
I felt like telling him I caught killers for a living but decided against it.
“I’m a private detective.”
He leaned back in his wheelchair. “Jonas hired you?”
He looked thoughtful. “I recall another from back in the day. He was no threat to me. Will you be?”
“Time will tell.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish