a cold, dark misty night,
screams haunts the neighborhoods,
black cats rule the fears of man,
and potions drunk changes a life.
Evil controls what you think you believe,
but that belief is taken to a darker side,
and the soul becomes blackened,
Turkey’s lives given up
to appease the masses
as families join together,
Celebrating a joyous moment,
never giving thought
a turkey did have a soul;
to feed the masses,
which, upon the next day,
forgetting the reason for celebration.
The night sky, bespeckled,
children awaiting a jovial man in red,
parents exhausted, happy this moment,
this last second of hope for joy,
No more jostling in the crowds,
deciding last minute gifts,
the overall preparation of decorations,
a tree glistening when lights turned low,
awaiting for that sound—that invisible movement,
as a man in red is never seen, yet,
items are left behind,
only to be discarded months later.
Witches cackle their own “ho-ho-ho” as their brew has taken hold of humanity.
# 5: Just How Big or Small Is It
For years so it seems,the age-old question "Does size matter" actually comes into play this time around. And no, this has nothing to do with sex. Let us proceed.
Encompassing an estimated 1,218.37 acres (1,904 square miles), the Grand Canyon is capable of holding 1 – 2 quadrillion gallons of water. If you poured all the river water on Earth into the Grand Canyon, it would still only be about half full.
The smallest thing that we can see with a 'light' microscope is about 500 nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth (that's 1,000,000,000th) of a meter. So the smallest thing that you can see with a light microscope is about 200 times smaller than the width of a hair. Bacteria are about 1000 nanometers in size.
The Michigan Micro Mote is currently the world’s smallest computer at just 2mm x 4mm and requires an average of just 500 pico watts in operation and just 35 pico watts in standby or about a millionth of the power of a mobile phone on standby.
For a computer to be classed truly as a computer it must have an input, a processor to handle the data from the input and then output the results somehow. The Michigan Micro Mote has a processor, a radio for wifi communications, a solar cell and battery for power, a photocell for communications and can have a variety of sensors like pressure, temperature, imaging etc making the Micro Mote a fully self-contained computer that can run on just the normal lighting in a room.
With the largest telescope ever, The Arecibo Observatory should look familiar even if you’re not an internationally renowned scientist. It’s appeared in a handful of fairly popular movies, most famously in Golden-Eye and Contact. In the real world, it’s located in Puerto Rico and is the largest radio telescope on Earth. In fact, it’s so big it was easier to turn an existing limestone sinkhole into a telescope than to build one completely from scratch. The telescope’s main function is to track planets and asteroids passing Earth, with the latter focusing on those that could potentially damage our planet, though it’s also been used as a broadcasting station. In 1974, scientists used the facility to translate and send pictures to M13, a cluster of stars 21,000 light years away.
Sequoia trees are the biggest living things on this planet (by volume). They can grow up to 275 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter.
Manmade, Three Gorges Dam, this dam spans the Yangtze River in China and was built at the cost of $37 billion (U.S.). Considered the biggest hydroelectric dam ever built, it displaced 1.3 million people. It even has the capacity to slow the very rotation of the earth by strategically shifting significant masses of water.
Book Four: Part 8 - Rhyming Evil - Chapter 36
Friday - August 10th
The Squad Room – 8:33 a.m.
“We are running out of time. Anyone have any ideas as to where our killer may be? Anyone?”
She looked around the room
“There is something we’re missing to all of this. Something that may be as obvious as the noses on our faces, something that could be so ordinary and we’re just missing it. C’mon people\, think! What have you seen that isn’t the way it should be?”
There was a stillness in the air before Damien Sorrenson spoke up.
“I don’t know if this is anything or not, but my partner, Jack, stumble over a rapper from Taco’s Supreme. It was out there at Brewster’s Gun Club. When he threw it in the trash, he noticed several more wrappers. Probably just kids hanging out; what with the place closed and all.”
Wrappers. Baker remembered.
“Anyone happen to know where the closest Billy Burger’s is?”
“Sure,” Jack Mallory said. “Same place as Taco’s Supreme. Palymera.”
“I found a bunch of wrapper’s there Wednesday, and now you two find taco wrappers. I don’t think kids would be out there two days in a row from Palymera. Doesn’t make sense to drive almost fifteen miles when they have better places to have a picnic or a party.”
Baker looked around the room.
“Devon and J.W., Mallory and Sorrenson, Lowery and Banyard, Clausen and Klugston, saddle up. We’re going to Brewster’s. Wear your flak-jackets and helmets.
“It’s now 8:46. I want all units approximately one-half mile away from the property by 9:15. Clinton and Davis? I want you at the entrance off Highway 60 to make sure no one other than us and emergency services go up that road.
“The rest of you run your routes. Be safe out there and keep our streets safe.”
She looked at Dianne.
“Come with me.”
She walked into Satchell’s office.
“Captain, you might want to get in your car and follow us to Brewster’s. I think we’ve found our potential killer.”
Satchell stood up, saying, “I’m right behind you.”
The wrapped package held in his hand, he put in his desk drawer.
Brewster’s Gun Club – 9:25 a.m.
“Mallory and Sorrenson, go around to the back side of the building, maintain your position there. Keep your radio, and this goes for all of you, to open channel 05, but keep it set on low.
“Devon and J.W., front side. Lowery and Banyard, left side, and Clausen and Klugston, right side.
“I’m going to try and talk whoever is in there into coming out without any possibility of someone getting injured or killed.
“Dianne, hand me the bull horn.”
“If nothing else,” said Satchell, “the bull horn will get their attention. Then we could call them on the phone.”
Baker nodded and brought the bull horn to her lips and flipped the on switch.
“This is to whoever is inside the building. This is the police. We have the building surrounded. There is no chance for escape. Step out of the building with your hands locked behind your head.”
Every officer in position were at the ready. Each man held a riot gun at port arms, ready to be used. Like them, Baker, Satchell, and Dianne had the safeties off on their own weapons and like everyone else; they were counting the passing seconds.
No one came out.
Baker wondered if anyone was really inside, but she kept at it.
“I repeat. Step out of the building. Place your hands behind your head. There is no chance for escape. Do not take lives of those you love. I promise you, come out, and there will be no violent repercussions.”
They heard a scream, then a shot was fired. Every weapon was now trained on the building entrance to the range rooms.
In the back of the building, Mallory radioed Baker.
“I found an opening back here. It’s a small crawlspace, but I’m sure I can fit through it.”
“Take it, but listen, Mallory. Before you take out the primary, check the situation first. A shot has been fired but that doesn’t mean anyone’s been hurt. Relay back to me what you can see.”
“Roger that, Baker.”
Satchell handed Baker his cell.
“Phone’s ringing. Take it.”
Baker grabbed and listened to it ring eight more times before someone picked up the landline.
“Help us! Please!”
It was a young voice, probably a child. A boy.
“There—there is a gun against my head, and—and I, I, I’m supposed to say I de-deserve to die! But I don’t want to die! Help me!”
Baker shouted loudly as she could into the phone.
“Whoever you are, answer me! If you kill those people with you, you will never see the light of day again. You will spend the rest of your life in prison! Is that what you want? In prison, reliving this moment the rest of your life? Is it?”
Baker heard cackling laughter.
“This is funny, honey!” The phone disconnected.
Baker heard a female voice. On her radio, she heard Mallory.
“Baker, my view is so-so, but what I see is Jimmy Brewster, and he’s down. He’s either been shot or suffered a brutal blow to his head. I can see blood.
“I can see a woman holding two hand guns. One looks to be a .45 semi-auto mag, and the other; not sure, but it might be a Lugar, vintage German style.”
“Okay, Mallory. Do you know if the woman is Jimmy’s wife, and can you see his son?”
“Never saw his wife before, and I can’t see the boy, but I can get a clean head or heart shot. Just say the word.”
“Hold, Mallory. Wait for my signal.”
She looked to Satchell and Dianne.
“It’s the Brewster’s. All three of them, I’m sure of it. Mallory did see Jimmy. Lydia is holding them hostage.”
“She’s been drinking for years, ever since Blake was born without legs. Now, she’s unstable. We have to stop her, Baker,” said Satchell.
“I know. Mallory says he has a clear shot, but I have to try once more to talk her down.”
She hit speed dial on Satchell’s cell. This time she got a response after the first ring.
“We all have to die. It’s the only way. I’m a terrible mother. Jimmy’s not a father, and Blake has been tortured by all of this. Don’t you see? It’s the only logical choice left. First is the man who helped me spawn my poor child. Then Blake, to end all his pain, suffering, and ridicule. Then me.
“Can’t you see? After that, we’ll be a real family, in heaven. It’s the only way!”
Baker could feel her anguish and listened to her voice as it was choked with a flood of tears.
“Lydia! Listen to me. If you kill Jimmy, you also kill a man who has been a friend to many people. You kill him, you kill a good and kind memory to many of us.
“And Blake. What about Blake? He’s made friends in school. He gets along in school with my son and his friends. My son, Stevie, has told me how funny and how much fun it is to be around Blake at school. A lot of kids like him. You would be killing—no, forget that; you would be robbing him of his chance to choose and make a difference with his own life. It’s what every mother wants for their child. To see them grow and make their generation a little bit better than the one before.
“Don’t take that away from him, Lydia. As a mother, you gave him life. Only God has the right to take Blake from you and Jimmy. Just come outside and let’s talk. Let’s end all this.”
“Jimmy’s already dead.”
Baker jumped, a startled look on her face as she stared at the cell.
She hit the talk button on her radio.
“Mallory! Tell me you did not just fire! What happened?”
“Never saw this happen before, Baker. I swear!”
“Dammit! What? Talk to me!”
“She just put the .45 in her mouth and pulled the trigger.”
Brewster’s Gun Club – Two Hours Later
Carl and his F-team were all over the place . The County morgue wagon arrived, and after Carl checked over Lydia Brewster’s body, he signed a release form where the ME would cite the obvious cause of death.
Two ambulances pulled in. One for Jimmy, the other, Blake.
“I loaded the van to spend a week at the Pocono’s. The van’s in the barn. Things were all
right until after we got on 60. Lydia pulled a gun out of nowhere and started shouting orders at us.
“We came here. She had me carry Blake from the van to the range room. Then she threw handcuffs at me and had me handcuff Blake to one of metal legs. Then she smacked me in the head. When I came back around, I was cuffed to Blake’s left hand with my right, and my left hand was cuffed to another metal leg.”
“Was, or did she give you any indication as to the what and why with all of this?” asked Baker.
“Prior to keeping us locked down, nothing I can think of. I’d leave the house every day like clockwork, and she’d either be dead drunk or almost there. Blake would comment sometimes she was passed out before he left for work.
“I know our marriage went to hell shortly after Blake was born, but I tried to keep us together. I guess I didn’t try hard enough.” As a passing thought, he added, “The keys to the barn are in Lydia’s pocket.”
One of the paramedics step forward saying they had to get Jimmy and Blake to the hospital.
Jimmy’s head injury from the bullet, wasn’t as bad as it first looked to Mallory. The bullet creased his scalp, but he would still have to have x-rays to make certain there wasn’t any other damage.
As to Blake, the boy was traumatized by the events and would require several days in the hospital as well as professional counseling.
Driving back to the Twenty-Second, Dianne said, “Kind of amazing in a way, that Lydia could be so drunk and yet follow up on every riddle she ever wrote.”
“Dianne, it’s hard to tell which Lydia was doing that; the sober or the drunk one, but either way, she almost managed to do what she had planned. And now, it’s over.”
Lydia Brewster wouldn’t be tormented any longer.
Chapter 2: Camila, The Way Old Fairy Tree?
With Graham long behind me, I continue on my trail to the fairy tree. The closer I am, the more I realise how majestic she is. She stands like a queen-- firm on her roots upholding a trunk that stood the tests of time. She stands above everything else in her vicinity, with her branches wide like a queen on her citadel’s balcony. If she doesn’t know where Jo is, I don’t think anyone does.
I hover over the cold river, dark and deep, shielding a moon of its own. The moon underneath seems considerably closer to reach out to rather than the one in the sky. It makes me wonder why no one might have attempted the same. I hold myself from investigating the possibility right there, right then. It was bare and empty, after all. What will it change if I successfully reach out?
I am now only a few feet away from the fairy tree. And another few feet away from Jo. I bring myself to a halt when I reach a distance from where she could hear me, “Ma’am, have you seen a little girl?” The fairy tree doesn’t answer. She seems to be stargazing. I decide to ask a bit louder this time, “She is a young girl. She is missing.”
That gets her attention. Not much, though. She asks me something widely different, “Isn’t it beautiful?” I am unable to understand what she is trying to convey. “What is?” I ask. She is a wise lady. The ones with wisdom always make the simple things appear cryptic. Perhaps, it is what this is.
“The stars. The night sky. The cold wind. Look around. With your eyes open.” She says. Is this a riddle? Does she mean that I am not looking hard enough? But where is Jo? The tree continues, “Did you find what you are looking for?” Now, it’s a bit terrifying. Not terrifying. I am not terrified. But it feels weird, like a murderer asking whether their prey is happy tonight.
“I am Camila. And you?” Camila! What? Why? Camila literally means young. And she is old. Way old. Her barks seem to have wrinkles like that of Jo’s grandmother. This is hopeless. This psychic tree is not taking me anywhere. Why is everything so fruitless tonight?
I walk away from her. Some part of me still anticipates a call from behind, finally sharing the relevant details. But she doesn’t. She goes back to gazing at the blank sky the moment I take a few steps away from her. Hopeless. A small blade of grass is called Graham, and a too old fairy tree is called Camila! Who even names these people?
I know the chapter feels like a let-down after what might have seemed like a nice start. I wrote the beginning a few weeks ago, but I could never finish the chapter after that. So, this is much more of a rough effort to get things done rather than a well-written chapter. I hope you guys forgive me for that (: The chapter does follow the outline, just not good enough... I will try and make up to it with the next chapter ^-^ Hope you guys like it!
It Has Finally Happened
For over 55 years, I have delved, looked into, wondered and written about many things. From a birth to death, from love to hate, sadness to joy, and all points that intersect.
I have written so much, offered up advice to other writer's on how to publish, how to better their own writing, while all during this time, I kept my own writing, so to speak in the background, and for the longest time, unwilling to put myself out there for the world to see, other than here on Prose.
Today, that all comes to a screeching halt.
I have now officially put one of my collections of poetry on a website that distributes to several store fronts for sale. Scattered Thoughts, although it isn't the same Scattered Thoughts I am doing here (I have three Scattered Thoughts collections, hopefully that will take care of any confusion).
I have to give kudo's to a couple people, one being TW, for telling me about D2D (Draft to Digital). The site is easy to navigate and my collection, withiin less than 24 hours was listed with five store fronts. And will more than likely have more added by days end, and the days ahead.
Two others, Voidkin_Killer (who did the design cover for all the Scattered Thoughts and EstherFlowers1 for her contribution ... I couldn't have done this without your help.
So now, it's official, after probably writing a billion or more words in my lifetime (that's just a guess, don't take me literally), I can now say I am a published author.
Over the course of the next three months, I will put up the remaining Scattered Thoughts, as well as a collection of short stories and the first book of my Evil Series. From there it will vary as to what I will submit and when.
It's a good feeling and now comes my shameless plug.
If you like what I write, then I am sure you will like what is in this collection. It's only $2.99. This is the link and right now you have several options with whch store front to purchase from. That can all be found here: https://books2read.com/u/bpzXMk
So I say to all of you writer's and poet's, if you have ever had the thought to make a dream you have come true, this is one of those times when you can finally crosss that threshold and make it a reality. This link can change your life, or at least get you started in the direction you have privately thought about. https://www.draft2digital.com/
And while writing this two more store fronts have been added.
Life suddenly became better.
Tweaked A Four-Year Old Piece
Time Flies By
The essence of time,
A holder of thoughts,
seconds stored by memories,
remembered minute by minute.
Images come forth, hourly;
days to think of what if’s,
weeks to plan the what may be.
Months after to decide,
if years past,
those years to come;
if anything, is really worth the effort.
hands go round the clock.
Time, flies by.
We laugh, we sigh,
privately we cry.
One day we die.
Is it really worth the effort.
Days of “what if” images—
week by week planned out,
month over month to decide,
if years past and years to come,
will have been worth the journey.
hands go round the clock.
Time zips by as to remind—
we’ve lived, laughed, loved, cried,
and run ourselves out of Time.
In the process of writing this, it caused me to think of several songs:
and one more to make a "baker’s" dozen ...
what would time be without this guy:
On This Day: May 10th … Strange Holidays
Clean Up Your Room Day
National Lipid Day
National Women’s Checkup Day
National Shrimp Day
Here we are, the day after Mother’s Day, and already, Mom is back in mother-mode when she tells you to clean up your room, and mom, while you are at it, get looked over today. That goes for all you single ladies as well. Staying healthy from what I understand is a good thing. Okay, now onward and upward!
National Lipid Day
Dyslipidemia is an abnormal amount of lipids (e.g. cholesterol and/or fat) in the blood.
In developed countries, most dyslipidemias are hyperlipidemias; that is, an elevation of lipids in the blood. This is often due to diet and lifestyle. Prolonged elevation of insulin levels can also lead to dyslipidemia. Likewise, increased levels of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) may cause dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia and is the major cause of Cardiovascular Disease worldwide.
Preventative measures including health education, emphasis on the role of physical activity, diet, and timely visits to a doctor all aid in living a healthy life. (Again, get a checkup today!!)
To learn more about this: https://www.lipid.org/
National Shrimp Day
We use the word “prawn” loosely to describe any large shrimp, sometimes known as “jumbo shrimp.” Some countries use the word “prawn” exclusively for all shrimp.
Preparing the shrimp for consumption usually involves removing the head, shell, tail, and “sand vein.” There are many ways to cook shrimp. Standard methods of preparation include baking, boiling, broiling, sauteing, frying, and grilling. Cooking time is delicate for shrimp, and they are at their best when not overcooked.
A healthy food, shrimp, is low in calories and high in omega-3, calcium, iodine, and protein levels. Shrimp is also known to be considered good for the circulatory system.
Four popular dishes for your taste buds are: Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp Cocktail, Shrimp DeJonghe, and Seafood Gumbo—all of which can be Googled for recipes.
As Bubba Blue from the movie Forest Gump would say, “Shrimp cocktail, shrimp scampi, fried shrimp, broiled shrimp, spicy shrimp…” The ways to use shrimp are practically endless.
Do you still have your old Nintendo and a few Mario games? If so, time to break them out and play again!
The character, known today as Mario, first appeared in 1981 in a game called Donkey Kong made by Nintendo.
Dedicated fans knew Mario before his time as a plumber. At his creation, Donkey Kong portrays Mario as a carpenter named Jumpman. Then in 1983, Nintendo launched a new game in which bad guy Jumpman, reinvents himself into an Italian plumber who rescues princesses.
Italian plumbers, Mario and his brother Luigi face numerous obstacles in the games produced by Nintendo. Over the years, gamers help Mario cross several different landscapes all to rescue Princess Toadstool or Princess Peach, depending on which game is played. No matter the kingdom or galaxy, the games are entertaining and challenging.
Many will admit, they find the characters endearing. The storylines provide hours of fun and continue to be a part of the pop culture landscape.
With over 210 million copies of the Mario game series sold, Mario ranks as one of the most popular video games of all time.
Fun fact for you: Similar to Michael Michaels or Adam Adams, Mario’s last name is his first name. Luigi and Mario are known as the Mario Brothers making Mario’s last name Mario.
More Strange Holidays Coming!
Book Three: Part 6 - Facing Evil - Chapter 28
Monday – January 16th
Montie High School – 8:59 a.m.
“Hey, coach. Coach Miller!”
A tall, heavyset man, nearing forty, with a thinning scalp, turned his head in the direction of the voice.
“Oh, yes, Stevie Baker. How are you, and what can I help you with?”
“Ah, Coach Miller, Bradly Jensen came up to me Friday. He said you had expressed an interest in having me on the team, either as a first or third base line coach.”
“Yes, forgive me, I almost forgot. I have so much going on in my head right at the moment; but yes, I am interested. After how you worked so well with Coach Claymoore and the Pythoner’s, I feel we can work you into either position, learning play signals to batters, and when and when not to advance runners from base to base, or home plate for that matter.
“Would you be interested?”
“Sure, but it would depend when the season ends. Coach Claymoore wants me back.”
“No doubt as his assistant, and playing.”
“I’d only play if I’m needed in clutch situations.”
“Spring training begins the last week in March, and our first game is April 20th, against Stanhouse.
“Tell you what, I have a meeting with Principal Marlow in a few minutes. If you’re still interested, stop by my office before you leave school today.”
Stevie agreed as his last class was at 2:30. Watching Coach Miller walk down the corridor, he couldn’t help but feel good about himself. His mind was made up. The rest would be up to the coach.
Bethany’s – 11:23 a.m.
The Doll-Maker Shop
He drove right to her home as if he has made a habit of dropping in like an old friend. Parking in front of the Townhouse in the circle as before, he strode confidently along the cobblestone walkway to the office door.
Freddy felt excitement, almost to the point he felt if he concentrated all his will at this moment, he could have an orgasm against his silken shorts. But he didn’t.
In two more days, Phase Two would be in operation.
Placing his gloved hand on the office doorknob, he twisted it and stepped inside and heard the bells playing again. This time it was a different song where he sang the words in his head. Your so vain, you probably think this song is about you, about you.
As he turned back around from closing the door, he faced the counter, and there stood, Bethany.
“Good morning, Mr. Murray.” She then pointed to three boxes to her right, stacked on top of each other. “Your order is fulfilled. Please, come closer and take a look at my work.”
At first, Freddy couldn’t make his legs work. That lasted all of ten seconds. Then he was right there, lifting the lid on the top box.
“This is … incredible. Your detail is excellent, flawless. I am highly impressed.”
“Hold your praise, Mr. Murray, until you have looked at the other two.”
Freddy nodded, and placed the first doll back in the box, with Stevie’s exact features (without a leg), and put it to one side.
The next one he opened, was Manning. Bethany scored another ten.
He paused for a moment knowing who was in the next box. When he took off the lid, there she lay, immobile, staring, almost as if the eyes were real (Bethany guaranteed life-like creations, remember), and the eyes seemed to lock onto his own. Eyes that almost seemed to move about, as if trying to get under the mask he wore, and see the real him.
He had to turn away, closing the lid on the box at the same time and looked at Bethany.
“I stand by what I said before; you do absolutely incredible work. You even have the clothing from the photographs exactly right. Nice touch with the crutches.
“You truly capture the essence of life in your doll portraits, Bethany. Thank you ever so much.”
“You are certainly welcome. If you ever require my services again, I’m sorry, but I only do this for a customer one time. It is a standard policy I have had a very long time.”
Freddy nodded that he understood, then picked up the three boxes, thanking her one last time as he left her shop, and laid the boxes on the floorboard of the backseat, and headed for home. The dolls would require additional work that only he could do.
Bethany watched his departure until out of sight, and mused to no one except the air circling her, and with a thin-lipped smile of his words about her capturing the essence of life.
As she made her way from her shop to inside her home, she cackled loudly, “You really have no idea about the true meaning of the essence of life, Fredrick Uri Kristen. None whatsoever.
“Be grateful. Your life would do me no good.”
Shelby’s Gas & Go – 12:21 p.m.
Corner of 9th & West End
For being downtown, and just on the fringe of The Project’s, Shelby’s did a substantial business, but Shelby’s has also been robbed six times in the last twenty months. Today, make that seven times.
Well, almost seven.
A dark brown, 1979 Pontiac, was parked illegally in front of the store, engine running, a young black teen behind the wheel. Inside were his two friends; one holding the cashier at gunpoint, while the other one grabbed the register to throw inside the car to make their escape as quickly as possible.
That was fatal mistake number one.
Whipping the register toward him, he didn’t account for its weight or its cumbersome size. He couldn’t get a firm grip and before he realized it, he was thrown off balance, right into the one holding the gun.
Both boys went crashing to the floor as the register landed on the one the teen’s arm that was holding the gun. Not only did the gun fly out of his hand, but the register broke his foreman. But that wasn’t all. Fatal mistake number two.
When the gun hit the floor, it accidently discharged a round and the result was a stray bullet in the right buttock of the one teen who grabbed the register to begin with. Fatal mistake number three.
Henry Clausen and Terrance Klugston were patrolling that sector of town, and spotted the Pontiac illegally parked in the lot. Fatal mistake number four.
As they pulled in, the driver, instead of trying to drive away, bolted from the car, and started running. Clausen, who was driving, just veered his car in the same direction the boy was headed, cutting off his escape. Klugston hopped out, drew his weapon, and told the boy to drop to the ground.
The boy (barely twelve by the way) stood stock still on the ground as Klugston put handcuffs on him, and then put him in the back seat of the squad car, and radioed for backup.
As Klugston was dealing with the boy, Clausen, edged closer to Shelby’s front doors. Everyone knew this place was notorious for being robbed; why they never moved to a different location was way beyond him.
Taking a quick look inside, without giving much of himself as a target; if whoever was inside were too fire on him; but what he saw surprised him. Rolling on the floor he saw a young black male, holding his ass, leaving a trail of blood wherever he rolled. His partner tried helping him get to his feet, but even that was semi-comical.
Clausen rushed inside, gun aimed at the two suspects, and told them to lie face down on the floor. He quickly took in the scene, and mentally he asked himself why the register was on the floor.
Two other units showed up.
“Hey, man! I been shot in my ass, man! I need a doctor, man! I’m like bleeding all over the place, man!”
One of the backup units called for an ambulance.
As it stood, the one had a cast put on his forearm, the other, who proclaimed he was damn near dead, had thirty-eight stitches.
He would be a long way away from being dead, but he and his friends were sitting in jail, charged with six counts of armed robbery, and one attempted count of assault with intent to commit bodily harm.
The youngest of the three was placed under the custody of the Youth Services Division. The other two were over eighteen and were facing ten to twenty years on each count.
Captain Satchell Page’s Office – 2:29 p.m.
“We finally have some good news for a change. I just got off the phone with Carl at the medical examiner’s office. The new equipment for the lab finally arrived. Carl said with any luck, starting tomorrow, or Wednesday, he can begin doing testing on any and all DNA evidence collected without sending samples up north any longer. We have finally caught up to the twenty-first century.”
“It’s about damn time, Satch,” commented Ed.
“I second that emotion,” said Baker. “And I know all the words to that song, too. Want to hear me sing?” She grinned.
“No!” Both men said it at the same time, and then all three laughed.
“Anyway, Carl wanted to know if we would like to meet him at Benny’s Pub after work tonight. He calls it a celebration of sorts.”
Baker and Ed looked at each other and made two small nods.
“I’m sure we can leave Stevie long enough for at least one drink. Tell Carl we’ll be there.”
Looking at the time, Baker said, “If you two will excuse me, speaking of Stevie, I’m going to pick him up from school.”
140 Ochie Woods Lane – 5:19 p.m.
Freddy finally finished his final touch-ups to the three dolls. Three dolls he almost felt like pulverizing with his bare hands right now, but he held his rising anger in check. He could already envision the look of utter shock, appall, fear, and revulsion when sweet Janis looked inside these boxes. He wished he could be on hand to record the moment.
One thing Freddy did notice; there wasn’t any mention on any of the boxes the dolls were placed in, or any type of seal or marking that would denote Bethany’s name or The Doll-Maker. Just as well. It wouldn’t do to have the dolls somehow traced back to Bethany and find out about him that way. It would mean changing identities as well as scrapping his plans, and if that happened, that would blow the lid off his anger.
Another thing he noted about Bethany; she wasn’t listed in the Yellow Pages, and he couldn’t find an ad from her in the Montie or Stanhouse newspapers; but most puzzling, he couldn’t locate her online, anywhere.
All Freddy knew is that the dolls wouldn’t tie back to her, where she would have to tell them he bought them. Big deal. No one knew where he is. The real Freddy, that is. Within a week, Craig Murray would disappear. Poof!
The Baker-Manning Home
111 Homestead Lane – 8:26 p.m.
As Baker and Ed walked into their home after leaving Benny’s Pub, the first thing they saw was a plate of finger-sandwiches on the kitchen counter, and Stevie, apparently finishing up a call with Ellie.
“Yeah, me too, Ellie. See you in school tomorrow.”
“Me too, what, bub?”
“Hi, mom. Oh, that’s how I say, I love you to her.”
“Really? And I suppose when she says to you, I love you, it comes out; I’m jiggy with it.”
Stevie howled with laughter.
“No, mom. She says, I do for you.”
“Huh?” broke in Ed. Am I missing something here? Whatever happened to just saying, I love you? That can’t be so hard, can it?”
“No, but we like our little code. It’s no worse when you guys say, ditto, almost all the time.”
“I get it now. Well, I don’t, but okay.” Ed looked at Baker. “Do we really say ditto, a lot?”
He shook his head, and walked to the kitchen and grabbed a few of the sandwiches.
“Hey, bub, Ed tells me you told him some good news about school. Do you think you’re up to coaching for the team, and hold down your studies? Then come fall, basketball and studies? Seems like a load. I’m not against it; just worried you might have a meltdown one of these days.” Then she spoke a little louder for Ed’s benefit. “You are the one that says ditto, not me.”
“It’s all good, mom. Trust me, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I could handle it, otherwise I would have turned it down. Outside of family, and Ellie, my studies are important to me. Pretty soon, I’ll be looking at some colleges. And, when the time comes, when they look at my GPA, I want to be a good prospect to get a seat i9n a good university.”
“When the time comes,” said Ed as he came over with a plate of finger-sandwiches and handed them to Baker.
“These are really good, Stevie. Maybe you should consider a culinary arts school.”
“I’ve thought about that too, Ed.” Thanking Ed for bringing her the sandwiches, she turned back to Stevie.
“As I was about to say, when the time comes, every single college you apply to will want you. Have you given any thought where you would want to go?”
“Not really. I mean there are some in the south like Duke and North Carolina State. Then there is South Carolina, and Georgia Tech. A few out west like UCLA, and Washington. Then there’s Penn and Ohio State. Sometimes, I get to thinking about Harvard and Yale, maybe even Notre Dame.
“But I think it’s still a little early to get too serious. That’ll happen after this year when I become a senior. Either way, my grades are important.
“With all I have learned from you at home, and from what I get out of my classes, when the time comes; hopefully, that will be enough for them to see the kind of person I am, and who and what I want to become.”
“And what, or who do you want to be, bub?”
“I’m thinking maybe a d-tec-a-tive, like you and Ed, or maybe a judge, or, maybe one day, the governor.”
And so new revelations were expressed and new concerns perhaps. But if nothing else, his words did tell Baker, her son is growing up.