(Last week: Chartan reflects on his loss of freedom as he increases his work hours to provide for his family.)           

Chartan’s two days off were spent doing family things: food shopping, trip to the beach and watching movie videos. He didn’t have time to think about the future until he was a mile from Sloan’s parking lot. He had a fare in 30 minutes—three business women who were to be driven to lunch in Berkeley. The last three businessmen had died in the limo’s back seat—there was no way he could get that out of his mind. At least the day’s passengers would not be men.

He walked into the limo office, expecting Sloan to ask about his time off, instead, his boss blurted out, “Gina wants you to call her.”

Chartan stopped dead. He’d left the apartment five minutes ago. What could have happened and was it bad? He sensed evil was near. He grabbed the office phone.

“Gina, what’s wrong?”

“I had a wonderful weekend with you and Jake and just wanted you to know that before you started driving.”

Chartan broke out into a broad smile that stretched his face. “Love you.” He hung up.

“Everything okay at home?” asked Sloan.


“Great—you’ve got a big fare today that might lead to more business in the future.”

Twenty minutes later Chartan was standing outside the long, sleek black limousine parked in front of largest office building in the city. He was replaying Gina’s last words when three women bolted out of a glass revolving door. Two middle-aged women wore blue skirts with white blouses. The woman in a dark dress bore a striking resemblance to Elisa. In fact, the way she stared at Chartan when he held the limo door open for her sent shivers through his body. It was her although she had said nothing to him. The evil that had been with him briefly in the limo office was back in full power.

Chartan patted the side of leg. Elisa was an enigma, a temptress who had tried to kill her ex-husband and who had a eerie fascination for Chartan. He would be ready for her tricks.

To be continued next Sunday…       



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