Book Four - Part 8 - Rhyming Evil - Chapter Five
Wednesday – June 27th
The Squad Room – 8:36 a.m.
“As you can see, we are doing better.”
“Jeeze-Louise, Baker,” cried Devon. “This is just what it is; practice runs. If something like this really happened, do you honestly believe we could realistically keep everyone alive? That’s asking us to do the impossible.”
“I understand your point, and you are probably right. What I believe is that everyone in this room would do all they could to save as many lives as possible in a real-time situation. Being real, I am asking that you do the absolute best you can during practice, and if this ever does happen, then step it up a notch. When this thing is over, it will be Captain Page and myself that will take the heat if this doesn’t fill what the city council’s wants and needs.
“Once they finish the last addition inside the shelter, along with the air-conditioner ducts; if that can’t keep people alive during any kind of catastrophe, nothing we can help with, will.
“This is only practice. To teach the citizens of Montie when an actual alert is sounded; they know what to do, and where to go in the quickest and safest way possible. Keep in mind, next week, residents from our different suburbs will have an allotted time to reach the shelter as well. We will help some people; others will come in on their own. For that, traffic control will be in full force to give directions where to go.
“Everyone is being mailed a preparedness guide with a map and contact information. And the Mayor has expressed that the shelter itself should be completed within the next five to six weeks. Once it is in case of a real emergency; we will do all we can to assist residents and businesses; but everyone will pretty much be on their own to get to the shelter when the air-raid warning sounds.
“If you have checked your inbox, you know your new rotation for today. Any questions?”
“All right, then. Let’s get out there and be safe and keep our streets safe.”
Davenport Animal Clinic – 11:23 a.m.
Devon and J.W. walked into the animal clinic and informed all employees it was time to evacuate the building.
They went from room to room, office to office. When J.W. came to one door, he saw the name Patrick Davenport, the same person he saw last night. Opening the door, he saw Patrick standing, grabbing a bag of potato chips, and a cell phone to his ear.
“On my way, Terry. I heard the police.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Davenport, but you have to hurry, please.”
Looking up, he walked quickly to the hall and in doing so, spied the metal nameplate on J.W.’s shirt.
“Officer Roberts, if, if it is at all possible, could you stop by my office later this afternoon? There is something I need to speak with you about.”
“It would have to be after five, unless it is police business, but right now, we have to get you out of here and over to the shelter.”
“After five would be good. In my office, then?”
J.W. agreed, believing his office would make for a neutral meeting.
After the evacuation of the animal clinic, J.W. and Devon searched the entire building again, and found four people hiding behind partitions in two of the animal housing areas, and another, no less, in a cage between four homeless dogs.
Finished there, they went to seven other businesses, one deli, and a bank. They managed to find three other people hiding on purpose. Looking at their watches, J.W. and Devon knew they still had another hour and eleven minutes before the practice run would be finished for the day.
Sallie’s Emporium – 3:45 p.m.
Stevie stood in line with Ellie as he waited to get Edward Carter’s latest book signed by him. Five people were ahead of him.
“So, this is the guy you spent thirty dollars on a book for? Is the guy that good?”
“He is Ellie. His last one, ‘The Devil in Shadows’ is his last of a four-book series in Shadow Masters, his ghost hunter series.”
“I’m not into the dark side, Luke,” she grinned.
Finally, Stevie stepped up to the desk, when Edward Carter, without looking up, reached his hand out for a book to sign. Still, not looking up, the opening page awaiting words, a pen in Carter’s hand, he said, “What would you like me to write.”
“Oh, how about, Ellie, I do think you will enjoy this book. Give it try.”
Ellie poked Stevie in his side, and then Edward looked up.
“This must be the young lady in question, and … wait a second; I remember you. It was here, almost a year ago. I signed one of my books for you. Your mother is a police officer, correct? She arrested two people who tried to rob this bookstore.”
“You have a good memory, Mr. Carter. I guess you being a writer and all that; have a good memory plays a big role in what you write.”
“It does help, but trust me, a good imagination is the key.”
“Mr. Carter, please don’t write in there what Stevie asked you to write. Forgive me, but I’m not into reading horror stories.”
“That’s perfectly all right, miss, I understand.”
Glancing back to Stevie, he bent his head to the book and began writing. Then he looked up and handed the book to Stevie.
Stevie opened the inside flap and smiled. The inscription read: From one good friend to another. Best Wishes, Eddie C.
“Thanks, Mr. Carter. This means a lot to me.”
“No, Stevie, thank you, and thank your mother for me. She saved many lives that day, including my own.”
They shook hands, and Stevie and Ellie left Sallie’s, got into Stevie’s car, and he drove her home.
Edward Carter, ever since that incident a year ago, has been tracking Montie, and what had been happening in the city ever since. Though he was scheduled to be in Erie in two days for another book signing, Edward also had plans of writing a non-fiction book about the exploits that go on, in, and around Montie. He still had permissions to secure, but he felt when this tour was over, he could spend the fall into most of the winter; putting together a blockbuster read. But to do that, he still had to talk with the Mayor, the Chief of Police, members of any crime units, the DA and perhaps most of all, the boy’s mother.
Since the first book in his series was picked up for filming in September, with a possible release the following spring, Edward Carter believed he would write Montie’s story so well, that it too would make him a millionaire a hundred times over.
He kept smiling at the thought as he signed another three books in a row. He knew he was sitting in the middle of a goldmine.
And it was all his.
Davenport Animal Clinic – 5:09 p.m.
Someone knocked on Patrick’s door, and he yelled from his side, “It’s open.”
In stepped J.W., dressed in civilian clothes, and Patrick couldn’t help but appreciate the change in his appearance from professional to just Joe-Citizen, at least for the moment.
Motioning to a chair, J.W. sat, crossed right leg over left, smiled slightly and asked, “Mr. Davenport, what exactly did you want to speak with me about?”
“Several months ago, and I know I can say this with clarity that you can understand, my best friend, life partner and lover, was killed in an accidental car crash. You, and whoever your partner was or is, were originally on the scene at that time.”
The understanding of clarity Patrick spoke of, was grasped quickly by J.W., after seeing one another in Rastabella’s.
“You’ll have to forgive me, but I have been involved in a lot of cases, sometimes it’s difficult to pull a specific one out of my head. If you could give me his name, and date of birth, I can check our data-base and get you any particulars.”
“His name was … is, Daniel Watson. Born May 2nd, 1980. And please, once you check, if there is anything, anything at all that might trigger a memory, or perhaps a few last words he may have said, anything; I would very much like to know.”
“I’ll do what I can, Mr. Davenport. I can’t guarantee anything will just pop up in my head.”
“I understand, Mr. Roberts. It has been a while.
“Here is my card. It has the office number with both my home and cell phone numbers. Please, call me whether you remember anything or not. I just need to know that is all. Call it my own personal closure.”
“I understand. Been there myself. Losing your partner never goes away, but given time, it does seem to settle in a place that we pull out from time to time to revisit all of the best of times shared in life.”
“Nicely put. Thank you for coming by, and again, anything at all you might find or remember will be a great assistance to me.”
Both men stood, shook hands, and their eyes locked briefly.
J.W. then turned and walked out of Patrick’s office, back to his rig and went home.
Patrick sat behind his desk and before he left for home that night, he thought two things: he hoped J.W. would find something, and if he hadn’t already met, he would certainly be attracted to J.W.
Best Western – 5:26 p.m.
Edward Carter hung up the motel phone in his room after speaking with Mayor Marsh. He was able to set up an impromptu meeting with her, a couple city council members, and was assured that Captain Page and Lieutenant Baker, and former Detective Manning would also attend.
Carter had strong hopes of getting permissions. He had a dozen forms to be signed to relinquish permission for any information that would not be deemed detrimental,
demeaning, or harmful to anyone in any way. And Carter would express his assurance that no police work that was still under investigation would be used.
But Montie is filled with explosive stories waiting for an audience to read, and he was just the man to make sure they were read.