Santa Jack - a Repairman Jack story

103K 1K 367


A Repairman Jack Story

F. Paul Wilson

First stand-alone edition December 2013

(Originally part of the novel Legacies)

Copyright © 1998 by F. Paul Wilson 

All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, and imagined events portrayed in this story are either products of the author's  imagination or are used fictitiously.



"Thank God you're here!" Raymond said as Alicia walked though the Center's employee entrance. "I've been beeping you since eight o'clock. Why didn't...?" His voice trailed off as he looked at her. "Christ, Alicia, you look like absolute, total shit." 

That was a somewhat generous assessment of how she felt, but she didn't want to talk about it. 

"Thank you, Raymond. You don't know the half of it." 

She didn't head for her office, but toward the front reception area instead. Raymond paced her. 

"Where are you going?" 

"Just give me a minute, will you, Raymond?" she snapped. "I'll be right back." 

She regretted being so short with him, but she felt stretched to the breaking point. One more tug in the wrong direction...  

She was vaguely aware of Tiffany saying hello as she hurried past the reception desk on her way to the front door. Stepping aside to allow a middle-aged woman and her two grandchildren to enter, Alicia peered through the glass at the street outside, looking for the gray car.  

She was sure it had followed her from home. Or maybe not so sure. A gray car - what would you call it? A sedan? She didn't know a damn thing about cars. Couldn't tell a Ford from a Chevy. But whatever it was, she'd kept catching sight of this gray car passing her as she walked. It would turn a block or two ahead of her, disappear for a few minutes, then cruise by again. Never too close. Never too slow. Never a definite sign of interest. But always there. 

She scanned Seventh Avenue outside, half expecting to see it roll by. Across the street and slightly downtown, she checked the curb in front of the O'Toole Building, squatting at the corner of Twelfth. Its white-tiled, windowless, monolithic facade did not fit here in Greenwich Village. It looked as if a clumsy giant had accidentally dropped the modernistic monstrosity on his way to someplace like Minneapolis.  

No gray car, though. But with all the gray cars in Manhattan, how could she be sure?  

Her nerves were getting to her. She was becoming paranoid. 

But who could blame her after what had been happening? 

She headed back to her office. Raymond picked her up in the hall.  

"Now can we talk?" 

"Sorry I snapped at you." 

"Don't be silly, honey. Nobody snaps at me. Nobody dares." 

Alicia managed a smile. 

Raymond - never "Ray," always "Raymond" - Denson, NP, had been one of the original caregivers at the Center for Children with AIDS. The Center had MD's who were called "director" and "assistant director," but it was this particular nurse practitioner who ran the place. Alicia doubted the Center would survive if he left. Raymond knew all the ins and outs of the day-to-day functions, all the soft touches for requisitions, knew where all the bodies were buried, so to speak. He clocked in at around fifty, she was sure - God help you if you asked his age - but he kept himself young looking: close cropped hair, neat mustache, trim, athletic body. 

Santa Jack - a Repairman Jack storyWhere stories live. Discover now