The Master Gunny: Serial Killer Short Fiction By Leroy B. Vaughn
Leroy B. Vaughn, author of The Master Gunny, has published short fiction in print, ezines, podcasts and anthologies. He is retired from law enforcement and lives in the American southwest.
It wasn’t unusual for Karl to disappear for a few weeks at a time, and then show up unexpectedly at Albert’s house. He was drawing a good pension, and he lived very well off of it. After he parked his bike in Albert’s garage, he gave the keys to Albert. They both got into Albert’s state trooper patrol vehicle and Albert took Karl back to his little house, to pick up his old beater car.
Albert asked if the beater would make it to Baja, and Karl told him that there was no doubt in his military mind that the beater would go as far as he wanted it to go. Karl already had his gear and clothes packed into a canvas duffle bag on the seat of the car, and he made one last check of his house before getting into the car and heading for Interstate 8.
Two days later, Karl found a reasonably priced motel about three miles from downtown Portland, Oregon. He opened his bag and took out clean underwear before heading for the shower.
After the shower, he dressed in black jeans, a black t-shirt, black lace up steel toed boots and his black leather jacket. Everything he wore that was exposed was black except for his green knit watch cap.
Karl checked both of his .22 magnum eight shot revolvers, before he placed a small box of .22 magnum ammo and his knife, with the folding tanto blade into his jacket pocket. The knife had a metal window punch built into the handle. He had tested the knife at home, using the window punch on cantaloupes.
He knew how it felt to bust a head with the butt of a Marine Ka-Bar knife, and he had a dead terrorist in Mali to prove it. The jacket had two inside pockets for his revolvers, and padded elbows and shoulders. He knew that the jacket would hold up, if the shit hit the fan and he was ready to roll.
Karl checked both of his .22 magnum eight shot revolvers, before he placed a small box of .22 magnum ammo and his knife, with the folding tanto blade into his jacket pocket.
Karl drove into downtown Portland and parked about five blocks from the courthouse. Before he got out of his car, he placed his drivers license and his retired military identification card in the glove box and locked it. He wasn’t concerned about anyone stealing the car, as he pushed the kill switch that was installed under the dashboard to prevent anyone from taking his beater.
It was a few minutes after one in the morning and the demonstrators were just getting cranked up. Karl had been watching the news everyday since the riots had started and he knew that the professional antifa rioters didn’t crank up the mob until after midnight.
No one seemed to pay any attention to him. Karl had been letting his hair grow out for two months and he hadn’t shaved for three weeks. He seemed to fit right in with the mob, with everyone wearing all black clothing.
He knew what he was looking for and it didn’t take him long to spot a terrorist shining a laser towards the courthouse, looking for a federal agent in order to try to blind him with the laser. Karl worked his way through the mob, heading for the man with the laser. He had his hand inside the jacket as he walked up behind the laser user.
The man aimed the laser at the courthouse, and danced the beam around, trying to intimidate the federal agents that were standing guard around the building. He waited for the fireworks to begin, and as soon as he heard small firecrackers go off, Karl pulled the revolver and fired five shots into the base of the terrorist’s skull. Karl pulled the man back, grabbed the laser and turned off the beam before laying the man down and casually walking away.
He planned to leave the riot at that time, after looking carefully around making sure that he didn’t leave any witnesses. His path was clear as Karl walked towards the other side of the grounds.
He was walking through the grassy area of the park, when he came across a woman wearing a “Mom’s for justice” t-shirt. She was squatted down, peeing on the grass. “What the fuck dude, you never seen a girl pee before” she asked, as Karl lifted her construction worker hard hat off of her head and slammed the window punch of the knife into the top of her head. She wasn’t dead, just knocked out with a cracked skull. Karl opened the blade and slit her jugular, before he wiped the blade off on her shirt.
Back at the motel, Karl reloaded the revolver and placed the empty shells into a plastic bag, before placing the shells in his duffle bag. He liked using a revolver because there was no empty brass to pick up at the scene. He cleaned the knife with alcohol and went to bed.
The sounds of big motorcycle engines woke him up around eleven am. Karl looked out the window and saw a group of bikers parking across the street at a bar. He walked over to the bar and grill and ordered breakfast with coffee.
The bikers weren’t outlaws, just good old boys dressed in jeans and leather vests. The television news was turned on and the bikers cheered when the news reader told the viewing audience that two people had been killed at the nightly courthouse riot.
Karl listened as the pretty blonde woman described the rioter shot in the back of the neck and the woman dead from a slit throat. They were both known members of antifa. As usual, the Portland police had no suspects, and no information about the murders.
One of the bikers asked Karl to join them. Karl told them he was just passing through town, and had stopped at the bar to eat. He listened for the next twenty minutes, while every biker told him how they planned to move to Idaho or Texas, and get out hell out of Portland.
Karl waited until two the next morning to go to the courthouse. By two forty-five, he had spotted another terrorist with a green laser. This terrorist was a good distance from the courthouse and he was using a tree as cover when Karl walked up to him, said hello and placed the barrel of his snub-nosed revolver in the man’s right ear.
He fired four shots before the antifa thug knew what hit him. Karl turned off the laser and quickly walked away from the trees, he knew that something was wrong. He wondered if the man watching him walk towards the street was an undercover cop.
He looked to his left and saw another man that appeared to be following him. He didn’t think that Portland cops would be sharp enough to spot him, from what he had read and heard about them, but he knew that he had been spotted.
He picked up the pace and so did the men that were following him, as he turned left at the first street corner. He made another left and they were still onto him. Karl broke into a run and made a right turn into an alley. He was not going to try to make it to his car and he didn’t want to have to kill any cops, he just wanted to get away.
He turned around to see if the cops were still behind him, when a big white van slammed on the brakes and the passenger doors flew open. He knew it was over when three men in camouflage outfits, with assault rifles aimed at him took him into custody.
He refused to give them any information. One of the men told him that he had to carry identification and Karl told him he was full of shit. “You guys need to go back to junior detective school, there is no law that requires any American to carry an id card.”
“We’re not detectives.” A man sitting in the front seat said as he turned his captains chair around. He was wearing a dark business suit, and Karl knew that he was the honcho. The other men fingerprinted Karl and took photos of him, before the man in the suit told him, “You may as well cooperate. We’re going to find out who you are anyway.”
Karl knew his type. He had seen guys like him all over the world in hostile zones. “You can knock off the bullshit anytime now. You guys aren’t local or state cops. What are you C.I.A.”?
“We’re not detectives.” A man sitting in the front seat said as he turned his captains chair around.
No one answered him. They waited for ten minutes for the fingerprints to come back, before the man in the suit said, “Karl Hutchinson, retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant. Twenty-three years in the Corps, last assignment Raider Battalion. I have your DD-214 right here in front of me.”
“So,” Karl replied. “You know who I am. Take me down to the station and book me, if you think I did something illegal, or cut me loose right now.”
“You’re right Karl, we’re not Oregon cops. We don’t have any plans to arrest you, we want you to work for us.” The man in the suit told him. “We’ve been waiting a long time for someone like you to show up. These shitheads are out of control and the local tree hugging cops can’t handle them. We need a stone-cold killer like you to do things that the local, state or even our federal boys can’t do. We want you to work for us.
We’ll give you five thousand a month in per diem, plus your pay as a master gunnery sergeant. You won’t have to keep receipts or file reports, just kill terrorists for us.”
“Whose us,” Karl wanted to know.
“You know who we are Karl. We don’t exist. This is a black bag operation. You’ve done black bag work before, no questions asked, I’m going to give you a get out of jail free card, a cell phone and a number to call if you have any problems. Mr. Smith will call you and tell you where to go and who to hit. You travel by car make your own motel or hotel arrangements and you won’t need to keep receipts or file reports.”
The man in the suit told him that he had one more job to do in Portland, as he examined one of Karl’s identical snub-nosed revolvers. “Nice choice for close up work. Isn’t any louder than the firecrackers that Antifa likes to shoot off all night long, and doesn’t spit out empty casings. Mr. Smith will provide you with special rounds designed to explode once they enter the body. It’s like little razor blades ripping and slicing through the victim.”
He was told to wait three days before going back to the courthouse, where he would take out the number one antifa terrorist in Portland. They showed Karl pictures of the man, described how he would most likely be dressed and told him that the man was not hard to find. The antifa leader would have a bullhorn to give out orders, and would be using a leaf blower to push tear gas back at the federal agents when they dispersed it.
“We want antifa to know that they are finished. You shoot this shithead in front of his crew, take out anyone that gets in your way, and our boys will provide cover while you get away, if you need help,” the honcho told him. “We want these mother fuckers to know that someone is out there hunting them. It’s time for these snowflakes to take their participation trophies and go home to mommy.”
The man in the suit opened the van door and said, “See you in three days,” as Karl walked out of the van. The agent that worked the computer asked, “Do you think we can trust this guy boss”?
“Why not Stan. Just because he’s a serial killer doesn’t mean that he won’t do a good job for us.”
Karl drove his beater over to the desert side of Oregon and took a room for the next three days. He returned to Portland late at night on the third day, parked his car on a different street, left everything in his glovebox, except his knife and two revolvers, and walked to the courthouse.
It was three fifteen in the morning and antifa had been at it with the federal agents at the courthouse since one A.M. Karl spotted their leader in his first ten minutes at the riot. He was a little surprised at how thin the antifa leader was. Karl was wishing that he could get the chance to kill him with his bare hands, but there were too many people around.
Karl watched the crowd move around on the orders from the man with the bullhorn. The feds were waiting for him also, from fifty yards away. They dispersed tear gas and the antifa terrorist started a gas-powered leaf blower and began to send the tear gas back towards the feds.
He watched another antifa terrorist dressed in all black stay near the leader, watching for any cops that may try to get close to the leader. Karl pulled a revolver out of his jacket with his right hand, approached the antifa leader from behind and grabbed him by the collar.
The bodyguard yelled, “Hey, what the fuck,” before Karl shot him in the left eye, at point blank range. The leader tried to turn his head, but Karl had a firm grip on his jacket collar as he shot the leader in the kidneys, using the remaining seven rounds.
He threw the leader on the ground, and kicked his bodyguard in the face with his steel toed boot, before walking away from the courthouse grounds. Karl knew that the men from the van were watching him, until he got into his old beater and drove away.
Six hours later, his new cell phone rang. Mr. Smith told him to go to the Ford dealership in Redding, California and pick up his new car under the name of Ian Campbell. He would not need any identification to pick up the car.
Mr. Smith gave him the name of the salesman to ask for. He also told Karl to be in Washington D.C in five days. Instructions, photos of antifa thugs and two hundred rounds of special .22 magnum ammo would be in the trunk of the new car.
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