After his high school reunion, Gregson didn’t know what to do with himself. It was like being plopped into a movie theater, and then the action flick ended, and the credits went up, and there was the FBI Warning: Don’t copy this film or there will be a 250,000 dollar fine. Gregson hated to relive his past.

When he wasn’t solving crime, he read the National Inquirer.

He soaked in a hot bath, circling articles in red pen: Alien wears human suit, Car defies gravity, Mysterious killings in Canada.

Would the click-bait never end? The killings captured Gregson’s imagination.

He continued reading…

Malloy describes the bodies as being sliced apart—snow sprinkled with red rain for two miles.

“We are dealing with a predator who stalks their prey and murders patiently,” Malloy said.

Gregson puffed on his cigar, then pushed it into his ashtray.


“Yeah—this is Gregson.”

“I heard that half of your graduating class got murdered at the reunion.”

“That’s right.”

“And you caught the murderer?”

“She was about to kill me, when Detective Talbert stepped in.”

“Gregson—I have a case for you…”

“Murphy, I’m losing my touch. I can’t see the angles anymore.”

“This is different. How are you at hunting?”

Gregson leaned forward. “Why?”

“I came across your file at the Bureau, with my new security clearance—benefits of getting promoted. You never told me that you ran special ops in Russia and trained soldiers to kill.”

“It’s part of my past, I want to forget,” Gregson said. “Besides, it’s classified.”

“Not anymore. Not to me. Did you really teach kids how to survive with primitive weapons?”

“Modern and Primitive.” The PI looked at his apartment wall, where soldiers were kneeling in the snow.

“You never told me you were in the military, Gregson.”

“That’s because I wasn’t. I was a civilian contractor. You should know that—you have my file.”

“I know. I was just testing you.”

“I don’t like to be tested.”

“Gregson—the longer I know you, the more interesting you become. Will you meet me at Langley?”

“Okay—if all expenses are paid, and I have a fully-stocked bar on the airplane.”

“Consider it done. I’m looking forward to working with you, Gregson. Meet me in 0600 hours next Monday.”

“I play golf next Monday.”

“Cancel your tee-time.”


Gregson hung up. He looked at the thinner version of himself on the wall. It was a different life. Why was the past visiting him? He sensed, he would need to be sharp, like a hunting knife or a tomahawk. It’s the feeling of being hunted. All predators know it, because there’s a thin line between predator and prey.  

Gregson spied his K-Bar, sticking out of his work bench. He grabbed it. Felt the weight in his hands. Then threw it, across the room, at himself.

“I killed you. Why are you coming back?”

2 thoughts on “Chapter 1 Hunting the Past

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