Mad Dog, page 1
The predominant difference between a Feral and a mad dog is that a Feral, being driven by its inherent savage instincts has reverted from its domesticated state to its innate wild nature, whereas a Mad Dog is simply an insane animal driven solely by the demented nature of its insanity.
Alan, however misguidedly, had seen himself as the former. He also saw himself as unique, something that was as important to him as it has been to the many deranged serial killers that had preceded him. Those that followed him however had no such delusions. They were driven solely by the desire for vengeance, using methods that only the truly insane or deliriously fanatic could attempt to justify. They were truly inhumane.
The sad reality is that in this case, like Alan, they all believed they were pursuing justice.
Alan strolled nonchalantly into Manchester’s Ringway Airport at 06:45 on Wednesday 15th March for his 11:15 Delta flight DAL65 to Atlanta. He didn’t particularly like to arrive early but it gave him a chance to organise himself and take stock of his surroundings and today that could be of vital importance.
Only 24 hours and fifteen minutes had passed since Jay had left the luxury of the Connaught Hotel in London and less then four days since him arriving at the same airport. Jay was of course no longer interested in any of those details, having died some ten hours earlier. Alan having assumed his identity was about to put the finishing touch to his masterpiece, but first he was going to have to get out of England, and he could only do that by giving a convincing performance in his new identity as Jay.
His arrival coincided with the change of shift, something that worked very much in his favour. Those that had been working through the night had seen, during their breaks, the television coverage of the events surrounding Howtowdie Farm where, according to Police reports, Alf Fowler had died in a fire at the premises, Janice had been discovered alive and relatively well and that DCI Harris and one other officer had been hospitalised following an unsuccessful attempt to save Alf from the flames. Those that entered however had seen no such coverage, having left their homes at 05:30 in order to arrive in time for work. His passage through the check in area was, as a result, smooth and trouble free and he promptly, having checked in his luggage, moved on to the departure hall to examine his options for an escape in preparation for the remote possibility that he needed to make one.
Twenty yards, five TV screens all showing the looped news reports of the events surrounding his supposed death and several pointing fellow travellers, where enough to convince him that neither an escape would be possible nor a prolonged stay in the departure area advisable. He therefore immediately headed for the departure lounge, passing through the obligatory scans, checks and passport controls in a matter of uncomfortable minutes. His next stop was the Delta Airways desk where he was confronted by the fixed smile and numb brain of Mandy Chambers, a twenty three year old Barbie, complete with flowing blond hair, tight waist and blank stare. Mandy was still suffering the after effects of the seven WKD´s she had consumed the night before, the last of which in the ladies toilets while her miniscule white lacy tanga was being unceremoniously ripped off her, prior to what she swore was the best sex she had ever had, or at least that’s what she told Captain Dan York, Delta Airline pilot, 43 years old, married with three children and without even the slightest intention of screwing the drunk, blond, big titted tart that he could vaguely recall was called Mandy, again.
It was only when Mandy saw his image on the TV screen on the wall behind his head that she started to pay attention to him and started to understand his desire to be allowed into the VIP lounge in order to avoid unnecessary attention from his fellow passengers and above all from the press that he was sure would be arriving in the immediate future. After a short conversation with her superior, Ms Sarah Malen, she personally escorted him to the VIP lounge. It was with great reluctance that, after introducing him to Barbara Fellows, Delta Airlines Senior Lounge Staff Coordinator, she left what was to be her claim to fame for the next few days.
Once installed in the VIP lounge and in possession of a much needed snack and coffee, Alan had time to reflect on his last few hours. His escape had not been precisely planned, more a combination of circumstances mixed with a little initiative and a large amount of good fortune. He had certainly taken full advantage of his good fortune, after all he couldn’t possibly have envisaged Jay’s part in it nor could he have fully anticipated D.C.Harris´ deranged, impetuous and equally unfortunate attempt to clutch him from the flames, but nonetheless, he managed to use all the events to his benefit and finally retake control of his situation and once more drive events in the direction that he had intended, or at least in the direction of one of the options that he had foreseen and planned for. He had been in the lounge for almost an hour when he became aware of the presence of a slim badly dressed individual who was clearly making every attempt to not look like he was paying attention to him and what was worse, who he vaguely remembered.
Mark Wakefield, independent political journalist and gay lover of Philip Heath Leader of the Conservative Party, had been at Ringway Airport by pure coincidence when he became aware of the rumoured presence of Alf Fowlers brother. He and Philip had decided that they needed a break and as usual it was he, with his lack of commitments, who decided to take a holiday. His intention had been the same as on many occasions in the past, catch the first available flight that caught his fancy. Not only did it avoid the possibility of having to argue with Philip over his choice but it also resulted cheaper buying last minute seats. He hadn’t even started his process of elimination which started by eliminating anything and everything popular and then by eliminating degrees of danger i.e. war zones and then finally being guided by price. Either that or by following the first handsome and single bloke that he thought he had a chance with.
Wakefield specialized in political journalism and maintained his strict independence irrelevant of his relationship with Philip, however above all he was a journalist and Jay was too big a story to allow him to escape. Alf or Alan, whatever he wanted to be called, was so big a story that he was even within his gambit as a political specialist.
The first thing he needed to do was to find out where Jay was flying to and by which airline, then he had to organise to be on that flight and if possible seated next to him. He would have to be both inventive and unscrupulous, the former not usually being a problem and the latter being what he considered a virtue of his.
Normally he would have called Philip and asked him to pull some strings, but that having been one of the causes of their discussions the night before, ruled that option out. He therefore went straight to the source and called Harvey Jacobs at MI5. Harvey was neither one of his favourite people nor someone that he could ask for favours from, however, he was someone who would have an interest in anything related to Alf Fowler and therefore someone he could strike a deal with.
No sooner said than done. After promising to keep him informed of any developments at least twelve hours prior to going to the press, Harvey directed him to the Delta desk where he was greeted by an awestruck assistant who not only immediately confirmed his flight but also guided him directly through customs and to the door of the VIP lounge where he himself insisted on being left in order to not call attention to himself. So it was that Wakefield sat near to Jay, expertly in his own opinion, avoiding drawing any attention to himself.
Alan debated with himself whether to ignore this stranger or in his role as Jay, engage him in conversation, something that he was convinced that Jay would have done. The problem was that he still couldn’t remember why he knew him or where from.
-Good morning- said Jay in the direction of the stranger,-Jay. Jay Riley, how are yo
-Fine thanks, nice to meet you- replied Wakefield, - Mark, Mark Wakefield. I’m sorry if I was staring a little but aren’t you the brother of that Alf Fowler bloke? -
-Well actually I was his half brother, he died last night apparently. His name was actually Alan, Alan Jacks-.
-I’m sorry but I’m afraid tact isn’t my strong point-.
-Yes I noticed, don’t worry but if you don’t mind could we talk about something else? What do you do and where are you going?-
Wakefield could see no reason to lie as Jay seemed more than a little innocent and wouldn’t think past him being a political journalist.
-Well I’m a political journalist and I’m off to Atlanta for a break. I or rather my partner and I need a bit of breathing space and so I decided to get away for a while. I came to the airport this morning and simply picked the first flight that called my attention. I’ve never been to Atlanta, you-?
Alan’s vague memory clicked into focus. This guy was the gay lover of the leader of the opposition, a real snake of a guy; he’d seen him on several of those awful gossip programs that filled the afternoon television schedules. Of course Jay, being American and new to the U.K. wouldn’t know that and so he had to play dumb, but what was more important was that it was highly improbable that he was in the VIP lounge by anything slightly resembling coincidence.
-Well, I’ve been to the airport. I flew in and out of it the other day as I flew into the U.K. and that’s precisely what I will be doing today. I’m going back home to Ely-.
-Ely? What’s that? -
-Minnesota, home! -
-Anything interesting there? I might join you if there is- said Wakefield laughing. -
-Actually first I’m going to Minneapolis to see an old friend, countryman of yours, Jock, and then I’ll head up north to the most beautiful countryside in the world. -
-I doubt that Jock is a countryman of mine. I suspect he’s Scottish and he more than I would take offence at being called the countryman of an Englishman. The countryside sounds interesting though, probably just what I need to forget about things. Any wild animals? -
-Oh yes! All sorts, we’ve even got some wolves, in fact Jock runs a wolf haven in Minneapolis-.
-Sounds more interesting by the moment, -said Wakefield, trying desperately to ingratiate himself, -tell me more. -
Which is precisely what Alan did. As he continued an inane diatribe about the mountains, woods, aureoles and fauna of Minnesota he mentally wove Wakefield into his plans, yes Wakefield could be very useful, very useful indeed.
Any doubts that Alan may have maintained about the nature of his coincidence with Wakefield, disappeared when they were ushered to their adjoining seats.
-Brilliant, -exclaimed Alan, -who’d have believed it? -
-Amazing-concurred Wakefield, -we couldn’t have been luckier. -
By the time they arrived at Atlanta they had become firm friends and Wakefield had decided to join his mate Jay on his return journey home. Alan ensured that the moment he told Wakefield that he had always suspected that his half brother Alan had killed their father and indeed suspected where he had disposed of the body and that his firm intention was to go looking for him on his return.
The words PULITZER PRIZE and EXCLUSIVE flashed through Wakefield’s avaricious mind, and his fate was sealed.
Although their flight arriving earlier than scheduled it still allowed very little time for them to catch the Delta flight 376 to Minneapolis that was due to depart at 4.07pm especially as Wakefield still had to buy his ticket. It also meant that Alan was unable to buy the provisions that he was going to need once he arrived at Minneapolis.
Wakefield enjoyed a short nap on their flight from Atlanta to Minneapolis, a sleep interrupted by the persistent images of wolves surrounding him, circling him, and to his horror, finally attacking him as Alf Fowler laughed in the background. A strangely lucid dream that he dismissed as a consequence of his conversations with Jay but that nonetheless left him with an uneasy chill.
Alan didn’t sleep; he sat silently contemplating his next moves and in particular, considering how long he was going to allow Wakefield to form part of his plans. It was clear that he was better off with him as a companion than being followed by him across America and especially to the Wolf Centre where he had work to do, but equally he was going to have to be free of him at some stage. By the time they arrived Alan had it all clear in his mind.
-Mark, -started Alan, -you’re going to need some warm clothing here and we’re going to need some transport. When we arrive it will already be dark and the temperature will be dropping from the giddy heights of it’s maximum of about 4ºC to the nightly temperature of -5ºC, and that’s nothing compared with when we get to Ely, there the temperatures range between a high of zero and a low of twelve below. I’ve been thinking, In order to save time, I’ll go and get you some suitable clothing at the Kittson County Clothing shop at the Mall, I know them and they’ll give me a good price and you could go and hire a 4x4, a Dodge Durango would be good. That way we can save some time and get on the road faster, before the night sets in completely. What size shoes do you take?-
-That sounds fine, -answered Wakefield, -Size 8. -
-That’s a 42 isn’t it? Cuz I think that’s a 9 here, you know what they say; everything is bigger in the US. -
-Yeah, 42. -
As a result, despite arriving at Minneapolis St Paul International at 6.09pm, they were on the road at 7.00pm in a spanking new black Dodge Durango with Wakefield warm as toast in his brand new TOG´Z coat and boots.
Alan could hardly have purchased another brand. He hadn’t been at the Highland News Group long when his work brought him into contact with a friend of his boss, James Stewart of Weathermac Ltd. Weathermac Ltd manufactured, as suggested by their name, waterproof outer clothing, and were looking at the possibility of selling through the internet. That in itself was not massively interesting to Alan as the technology for this was readily available from any of a number of IT companies, what sparked Alan’s interest as he had lunch with James was his description of a new fabric they were developing for their hunting range. For years they had been trying to perfect the technology of removing all scent from their garments making them less easily perceived by the prey, when someone had suggested that the best way to develop the garments was precisely the opposite. The best way to develop them was to make them smell, to make them smell of something that carnivorous animals would find irresistible, to make the garments attract the animals. They were therefore experimenting with the impregnation of the garments with the blood of sheep whilst trying to retain the impermeability of the fabric. The problem was that the blood was continually causing the materials to form fungus and rot. Alan suggested that they use extracts from the sweat glands of the sheep as it was the sweat that they produced when scared that attracted other animals. The irresistibly attractive sweat of fear.
After several months of trials Weathermac perfected the technique and prepared to patent the process and produce some sample garments. It was then that Alan proposed that he be allowed to market the line for them in America on an exclusive basis through internet. James Stewart felt beholden to Alan, after all it was he that had produced the solution to their problem, and agreed to allow Alan the rights to sell the garments. For this Alan registered a line of clothing under the brand TOG´Z, togs being the international measurement of thermal resistance for quilted products, something that his range of products would be and then set about thinking up a name for a company through which he could market them, he felt convinced that he could trust James but equally knew that putting prospective clients in touch directly with the manufacturer was a sure way of getting himself removed from the equation.
Alan decided to play with anagrams of Matthew Jacks and Mark Jacks, producing a list of possible combinations;
Matthew Jacks producing:-
Met Jack Whats,
Whet Jacks Mat,
Shack Jam T
Jem Shack Twat,
Heck Jam Whatts,
Sack the Jaw tm,
Jew Attacks hm,
Take mash jkt,
Tack them jaws,
It immediately jumped off the page at him. By incorporating Mark he could produce Warmth Mark Jackets.
It was ideal and he wasted no time in registering a company in Matthew and Mark’s names. The following year he registered, with the help of Jock, an American office through Gregory Brine associates of Duluth who occupied themselves with the paperwork as Alan’s business expanded due the universal acceptance the garments received within the hunting community, a community of more than 600,000 in Minnesota alone. All the profits that the company made were destined for one purpose, financing the purchase of a ranch in the hills near to a lake, close to Ely, where he and the twins could discreetly retire to. It wasn’t long before the financial position allowed Alan to instruct Messrs George Brines Associates to purchase on behalf of the company a property he had located in Canada, relatively close to the border and therefore relatively close to Ely. The chosen ranch that nestled on the mountains side on the edge of the woods above Entrut Lake, Ontario, was quickly renamed Josie’s Rest Farm and during the following years was completely renovated and fitted with the latest computer equipment. The added bonus being that none of those involved, other than the soon to be bereaved Jock, were aware of Alan’s involvement.
Alan drove even though he hadn’t been nominated as the second driver having neither been seen by the car hire office nor Wakefield having sufficient of his details to name him. After a slow but steady journey across the centre of Minneapolis they arrived shortly before 8.00pm at the Vadnais Heights Holiday Inn Express where they had agreed for Wakefield to stay the night whilst Alan would go to visit Jock, a visit that Wakefield understood, due to the deaths of Alan and the twins, was likely to be both intimate and sentimental and therefore needed to be private.