Hunter Cook woke up fitfully. He had trouble sleeping; you could call him an insomniac. He plodded barefoot and naked to the fridge, pulled out a bottle of Bud Light, popped the top and drank it straight down without pausing for a breath. He opened a second one and sat on his well-worn couch. Flipped on the TV and stared at the eerie glow of snow. He didn’t want to find a channel, he wanted to think. He pulled the job tomorrow. Not necessarily nervous but apprehensive.
He had been stalking Dr. Peyton Hudson for a couple of weeks, off and on. She was a hot bitch and he wished he was doing more than just robbing her. He needed to think…the parking garage at the hospital was too well lit and there were security guards. Right outside her house would be obvious and dangerous. The only possibility that he could fathom was in plain sight, outside of Starbucks on the 16th Street Mall. She habitually parked and walked in there on her way home from work.
He’d have to hope she showed and the streets were crowded. She held her purse half assed, not like those broads that put it over their stupid heads and hung it on their shoulder. Paranoid twits! The Dr.’s schedule wasn’t set in stone but she usually made an appearance between five and seven pm. He would just have to hope for the perfect opportunity and plenty of people on the walks. Now that he had thought it out, he slammed the rest of his beer and headed for his lumpy mattress. Fourteen to sixteen hours and it would be over, at least that part.
Hunter woke up a hell of a lot later than he’d anticipated. Today was finally the day; the waiting had been killing him. On Halloween he had purchased what he thought was a perfect disguise. A snug fitting beard/mustache combo, a couple of those kits that create realistic scars and some colored contacts.
Hunter slipped into his best pair of blue jeans, white wife-beater and his favorite white sneakers. Advantageous for running with the nabbed goods.
He set out his oversized grey hoody. It would be too hot for it but he needed the veil of the hood to hide his face. He gingerly placed it all in a plastic grocery bag, adding a roll of quarters. Hunter set it by the cheap tin door of the trailer. He would have to don his guise elsewhere, didn’t want to raise the suspicion of his “Looky-Loo” neighbors. At precisely three pm he launched his plan.
The excursion started with filling up the gas tank at the station on the corner. That done…he stopped for a footlong and soda at the Subway down the street. He ate, drank then started with the well-practiced scar under his right eye. It was authentic looking. Hunter had a more difficult time with the brown contacts to hide his baby blue eyes. Maybe he was getting nervous. He expertly fit the coal black beard/mustache that matched his hair.
He took I-25 to the Speer Blvd. exit and down to Lawrence Street. He parked on fifteenth and fed the meter the maximum of three hours. Should be long enough.
It was a packed Friday afternoon, he blended in walking aimlessly like all the other goons. On the corner of Sixteenth and Lawrence there was a musician, playing guitar for change. He hung out there waiting, it was around five, he forgot his watch.
Suddenly as expected, here came Dr. Peyton Hudson. Iced Caramel Macchiato in one hand, her purse hanging loosely, opened and sliding down her bent arm. He made his move.
He walked quietly up behind her, positioned himself to very forcefully and rudely elbow the woman in the ribs. Hunter stripped the handbag, secreted it under the ample jacket, glanced back and nonchalantly walked towards his jeep.
He left her sprawled on the sidewalk. She really had the wind knocked out of her and could not call out for help.
TWO WEEKS EARLIER