One Hundred One
None of the other guys in the neighborhood wanted anything to do with ‘The Organization'. It wasn't a popular thing to be a part of anymore. His friends were weary of the stories their fathers told of the glory days; they all wanted something different for their lives.
Not him. As far back as he could remember all he dreamed about was becoming a soldier and working his way up the ladder of the organization. At twenty years old, his father had gotten him a job as a guard at Pentonville Prison. It would provide ample opportunities to grow hard and to legitimately learn the ways of the criminal underground. Under the guidance of the other guards in the organization, he became a quick learner.
When the chance came to prove that he was serious about his ambitions, he jumped into things with both feet. He became a pipeline of information for the ‘family' headed by Anthony Sorrell. He had been tested and tried by those inside and outside the organization, but remained loyal to his responsibilities to Mr. Sorrell. In return, Anthony Sorrell had rewarded him with a chance to cement his place within the organization. This chance.
The door was answered after the second knock. “It is done, Mr. Sorrell,” the young prison guard announced quietly. He had taken a moment in his car to change out of his prison uniform.
“Come in, come in,” Anthony Sorrell invited warmly. He instructed the young man to take a seat. “Give me details, please.”
“The tall black detective was the one who came to identify the body,” the young man began without preamble. “He went to the morgue and he sat and watched the videotape showing Corinthos' death. He watched it a bunch of times,” he added.
“Were you in the room?” Sorrell asked.
“No,” the youth replied carefully. “I was told this.”
Sorrell understood. That meant that one of the other prison guards on his payroll had been in the room. “Continue.”
“All of a sudden the guy announces that he wants Corinthos' body taken to this funeral place not too far from the jail. The warden says that's fine once the detective signs some papers.” The young man shrugged. “A few minutes later the warden calls me into his office and introduces me to Detective Taggert. The warden tells me that I am gonna accompany Taggert to the funeral parlor.”
Anthony Sorrell sat back and digested what he'd just been told. “Was the ride to the mortuary productive?”
“Not really. The detective didn't say much. And once we reached the funeral parlor, the mortician already seemed to know what Taggert wanted done.” The young man met Anthony Sorrell's eyes. “I didn't much care for that, so I made it my business to stay as close as I could to Corinthos' body.”
“That was very wise of you.” Sorrell nodded in approval. “Were there any objections?”
The guard shook his head. “I don't think the detective remembered I was there. His face was like stone through the whole thing.”
Anthony Sorrell tilted his head to one side. “I trust that you were able to verify Corinthos' death before leaving him at the mortuary?”
“I didn't need to.” The young guard hastened to explain. “As soon as the detective signed some papers, they took Corinthos' body to the furnace and cremated him.” He anticipated Sorrell's next comment. “The detective insisted on staying in the furnace room to watch. I guess he wanted to make sure.”
“And I didn't leave until he did.”