As Luther walked purposefully toward a little used, and lessor known obscure door in the back of the basement, his Rolex binged...5 minutes to meet his contact in back of the property skirting the woods, under the famous 'hanging tree', so named for the midnight executions undertaken almost a 100 years ago when Moorview dealt with unruly patients.
Luther pulled up his hood and secured his waterproof parka, it was teeming outside, the sky was black,, and in the distance he could see the horizon light up and hear distant thunder.
Sloshing through the wet grass Luther made his way to the 'hanging tree', now denuded of leaves, branches out outstretched in supplication, as if calling Luther to it. He moved to the side closest to the encroaching forest, leaning up against the trunk, out of the blowing wind, and waited to meet his contact.
Luther never knew who it would be, in fact, in ten years he had only met an agency representative twice, the last time had been 3 years ago to announce that a very 'high profile' individual would soon be transported to Moorview, and it was up to Luther to insure he was kept isolated, and eventually disappear.
Naturally, Luther, an expert in such matters of disappearing people 'with extreme prejudice' handled the chore routinely. It took 2 weeks before staff discovered the 'client' was missing, and a carefully prepared trail pointed the way to conclude that the missing inmate had wandered away from the institute, got lost in the woods and finally succumbed to drowning in the raging spring swollen river, just three miles away. The body had never been found.
Luther never thought much about 'the clients' marked for termination. The last one had been a high placed corporate executive that had pocketed millions while delivering substandard military equipment to troops in Iraq that lead to hundreds of death, and worse, horrible injuries. Luther slept especially well after that score was settled, and even received an extra bonus.
"Luther, you're a tad late,' came a breathy voice from behind a clump of bushes.
"On the contrary, I was 15 seconds early...I'll reset your watch when we're done."
"Ha...Luther, you haven't changed...I was just testing you!"
A slight shadowy figure stepped out from behind the brush and approached him confidently. Luther took in the sharp Nordic features and long auburn hair framing the face under the dripping hood, and took a slight, but firm feminine hand in his as way of greeting.
"For our brief purposes, you can just call me Jill, since we're meeting up on this hill."
"In the rain."
"Yes, wet isn't it? Well, they do call it wet work. That's why they send me in person."
"Who and when is it this time. It's been awhile."
"I know Luther, I checked your file. Quite impressive for a part time worker."
"With Full Benefits. Hope my status hasn't changed."
"On the contrary Luther. They sent me to tell you that you've been bumped two pay grades to a GS19, and there's another bonus in it for you, plus the state is upping your vacation time to 60 days a year. Plus sick days, and national bank holidays of course. You've got almost as many holidays as a public school teacher and bank teller!"
"Must be a biggy."
"Actually Luther,, it's a Trifecta...a threesome long overdue for treatment."
'Nice. I like group therapy."
"Well, therapy might be a stretch. We think these patients are terminal, and probably won't last out the month...God Willing."
"When can I expect them?"
"Within the week. We're working out the details with the Justice Department. Assholes. They wanted to try them under Civilian Law in New York as citizens of the US....it's being worked out...they'll be here."
"Well, Jill, thanks for coming to tell me this personally. And tell the boss thanks for the raise...the vacation time is nice too, and thanks for the tax exemption on my health care policy...that was sweet!"
"No problem Luther. Hey...you look a little tense...need a little neck and back rub?"
"No thanks, Jill, been there done that...got more than I can handle right here."
"Pity. I heard a lot about you Luther...good things...can't blame a girl for trying."
"Maybe a raincheck Jill. Washington's birthday is coming up and we could meet in Chicago and dance the light fantastic."
"Been known to."
"Plus Fox Trot."
"Got staying power?"
"Is Chubby Checker Fat?"
"Good! I'll mark it on my calendar, Luther. Until then, good hunting!"
"Wait....Jill...just one more thing!"
"Yes, Luther...change your mind?"
"No...But I am getting a hard on for Dr. Ward. I need an update from the Agency on him...things aren't right."
"Took you awhile Luther. We've been on to him for years. The Butcher of Moorview. Yes,our little Doctor is a mass murderer for money and practices euthanasia even on Easter Sunday."
"Ah....it's clear now!"
"Right Luther. But don't get in a pucker. He's convenient. When we want to fold our little show here, he'll be hung with the blame. Couldn't ask for a better ending, could we?"
" Just another Lee Harvey Oswald! Thanks for the update Jill. I'll be looking forward to our waltz!"
"I'd rather do it to 'Bolero' Luther...a waltz is if you have time for foreplay."
With that Jill faded back into the woods, only the lingering smell of Jasmine mixed with the smell of the electrically charged rain remained.
Luther headed back to the warm confines of Moorview, contemplating the coming days and the preparations he needed to make for his new patients.
Luther loved challenges.