Book Four - Part 8 - Rhyming Evil - Chapter Seven
Friday – June 29th
The Squad Room – 8:36 a.m.
“Today is the last day for the evacuation drill. Like you, I am glad this is ending. It’s tedious work, but something had to be done. Everyone did a wonderful job to avoid causalities. Once this is over, everyone will be back on a regular shift and schedule.
“Those of you off this weekend, see you Monday morning. Other than that, there isn’t anything new to report. With that said, get out there and stay safe, and keep our streets safe.”
And so, it went. Police cars went to specific places along with emergency ambulance services, and fire trucks. Add to that, a staff of medical personal from Johnson County were hand as they had been all week at the evacuation shelter. When the air-raid siren blared, everyone went into action.
Johnathan and Dianne, had the area that was previously assigned to Devon and J.W. Their first stop was the Davenport Animal Clinic. Once they had the building secured, and everyone was clearing the building, Dianne got on her radio and called for Animal Rescue Services.
“How many wagons do they have?”
“Send them all. These animals deserve to live, too.”
As they left the building, Dianne looked at Johnathan and said, “I saw the cutest cocker-spaniel in there. Later, I’m going to come back and adopt her.”
Michael Collins was in his office when two officers, Chad Evans, and Bryan Hanson, walked in explained that he had to leave.
“If you two don’t mind, I’ll pass on the festivities today. I have already survived four days. I have too much work to be playing anymore games.”
“Sir,” said Evans. “We have our orders. Please, follow us.”
Michael looked up from his desk, and with a cold, calculating look, he stared at Evans, saying, “I happen to be the ADA in this county, and in case you don’t understand; that means Assistant District Attorney.”
“I understand, sir. But we have specific orders that everyone in the entire downtown area is to be evacuated to the shelter.”
“I understand your orders. You have a job to do, and so do I. You go do what you have to do and let me do mine.”
Evans looked at Hanson. Hanson grabbed the microphone to his radio.
“This is Adam-29. We have a hostile who refuses to go enroute. Requesting info as to what to do, over.”
Baker heard the call on her radio and patched into Adam-29.
“Adam-29, this is Lieutenant Baker. Who is the hostile?”
“ADA Michael Collins, Lieutenant.
“Yes, I can give you, his number.”
Less than ten seconds, Michael’s landline rang.
“This is Michael Collins. How may I help you?”
“Mr. Collins, I am Lieutenant Baker.”
“Good, someone in authority I can speak with. There are two of your police officers here making a request I leave, and honestly, I don’t see the point in all this any longer. And I am backed up with my work, no less.”
“Are you finished, Mr. Collins?”
“Why, uh, yes.”
“Pay close attention to what I am going to say. You will go with the two officers, or I will inform them to arrest you for obstruction of justice, and for putting countless other lives in harm’s way. Since you are the ADA, I’m sure you understand those charges and what the sentence could be if convicted.”
“Lieutenant, this is preposterous, and ….”
“Mr. Collins, you are wasting my time, and putting two of my officers in jeopardy. If this weren’t a drill, the three of you, in all probability, would be dead by now with the amount of time you have wasted. Now, I am ordering you to go with them, or I will order them to place you under arrest and taken to jail. Your choice.”
Evans called on his radio as he, Collins, and Hanson, were approaching the outside.
“Lieutenant, everything is now secured. Mr. Collins has decided to come along with us.”
“Thought he would change his mind. Excellent work, guys.”
Baker looked at her watch. 11:52.
It would take her about ten minutes to drive over to the textile mills burned out building. She knew she should have checked it earlier, but with everything going on, it didn’t become a priority.
Driving past the evacuation center, seeing it filling up, she made her move to drive to the mill.
With traffic off the roads, she could be there within five minutes.
It was, according to her watch, 11:59 and seconds when she parked directly across from where the front doors of the mill use to be.
Ten seconds before noon, she started to make her way to where the last partial wall still stood by itself as if in defiance.
At one second before noon, she had taken all of five steps across the street, when an explosion had erupted. Stone, and clumps of rock and dirt blew in her direction as she dove for the asphalt.
Baker grabbed her radio to call in when a good-sized chunk of concrete hit her in the side of the head. She didn’t remember anything else.
Johnson County Memorial Hospital – 1:57 p.m.
“Lieutenant, you’re fortunate. it was just a glancing blow to the head. Twelve stitches is twelve stitches, and I had to remove five small pieces of concrete that entered your left side, along with dirt and particles of other debris.
“Here is a prescription of naproxen, for any pain you may have, and another for antibiotics. It’s good for another refill, or as needed. But the best thing you can do is rest.”
Baker reached up and felt the bandage covering part of her left scalp. Then she looked down at her bloodstained shirt. Not really one of my best days, she thought.
“We had to cut away a portion of your hair to put in the sutures, but one of the nurses did it in a way that when you brush or comb your hair, no one will notice.”
A very friendly face pooped into the room.
“Hey, Jan. How are you feeling?” He walked over to her, gave her a quick kiss on her lips, then turned and asked, “Doc, can I take her home now?”
“Hi, Ed, and yes I feel like I was hit in the head with concrete.”
“Yes, you can take her home. Just have her avoid exercise or activity the next several days.
“And Lieutenant, see me a week from Monday. I want to do another x-ray. The nurse here, will give you your appointment slip. Just try to relax this weekend.”
On their way home after calling Satchell, telling him she would be in Monday morning, which made Ed grimace at her while he drove; Baker gently rubbed her latest battle scar, stared out the passenger-side window and was talking softly.
“You maybe want to ratchet the conversation up a little bit, so I can get in there with you.”
“Sorry; was thinking if I paid more attention this week, this would have never happened. Stevie even pinpointed it right away and I never gave it any serious thought, until now.”
“Jan, this whole week has been helter-skelter. The evac thing, business meetings; even that thing with the writer. And I hate to break this to you, but we can’t be everywhere at the same time.”
“I know. It still bothers me that I didn’t take the so-called riddle more seriously. If there is a next one, I will.”
“After today, you can bet on it.”
As Ed pulled onto their driveway, both he and Jan stepped out of his Volvo, and this was part of how the weekend started in Montie.
The Weekend in Montie
Friday night wasn’t any different for people than any other Friday past. People came home from work, sat down to an evening meal, either alone or with family, or as a couple.
Some would watch the local evening news on how “Operation Evac” was a rousing success.
They would listen to a fitness instructor give healthy tips on how to lose weight. Then came local sports on how Montie’s baseball team would be going after their sixth straight win,
and the weatherman, getting his ten minutes of nightly fame, saying, “Break out your fishing boats and suntan lotion. Another beautiful weekend ahead.” And, in the middle of this, the recent explosion was mentioned, and that police Lieutenant Janis Baker had sustained minor injuries.
In other parts of Montie, people readied themselves for a few days away while others would stay close to home.
Patrick and Cliff, decided to drive up to Albany for the weekend.
Michael called J.W., asking him to spend the weekend with him, but J.W. had declined, saying he had things he had to get out of the way, police business. One of that being going over a computer report on the accident that had killed Daniel Watson.
J.W. vaguely remembered Daniel saying something before he died, but he couldn’t remember exactly what it was. And why he never mentioned it before, he couldn’t say. He was present when Patrick and Daniel’s mother both came to identify and return Daniel home for burial. Oddly enough, Daniel’s mother said she would rather have the funeral in Montie.
Slipping into a pair of Nike’s, he got into his rig, drove down to the Twenty-Second to pull up the report. Maybe there might be something in it that would trigger a memory.
Across town, two people sat down to a home-cooked dinner, and easy-listening music played, as Johnathan, at Dianne’s home, were having conversation about their future plans.
Before Friday night ended, they would both step up their relationship, and for the first time, make love to each other.
The first time was wild, wanton, and very needful. The second time was softer, slow, more an exploring of each other’s emotions. With the moon at its apex, having spent their desires and their passions, they fell asleep; arms and legs tangled together.
Part of Saturday was spent in the final preparations for July fourth. City workers were getting paid double-time to get all the banners put in place, certain light fixtures set up where in both early morning and late evening, they would be lit up with festive outlines of historic features. A ten-foot light statue of Our Lady of Liberty, as well as a hanging feature of the Liberty Bell would be set in place in the middle of the city park. In other portions of Montie, you would see light fixtures of the American flag, where the colors would blaze brightly, especially in the evening air. Montie, if you never knew before; is very patriotic.
Standing Room Lake was packed by late morning with boater’s, and swimmer’s; along with the suntan (the wanna-be) gods and goddesses. Every cottage, condo, cabins, and split-levels were rented out until the end of September.
Sandcastles built on the beach by small children, volleyball games played, dogs chasing after frisbees, or couples walking barefoot in the wet sand. This Saturday and those to follow, are days enjoyed without wonder, or worry.
No one much cared about the elections coming in November. They would take care of business then. This was July. A time for fun. A time to celebrate another year of their freedoms that men and women fought and died for. Not just the Revolutionary War, but all wars, past, and present.
Edward Carter, who sat in another hotel room, was awaiting a radio interview by phone, already knew Montie’s history with war.
Of the 3,923 people from Montie alone that had fought in every war since 1773, 781 names are inscribed on a special memorial wall to the left of the main entrance to the Montie Arena. This way, visitors who came to various shows, concerts, and sporting events, would see the names listed under each war. Two-hundred-ninety-three men, and eighteen women, who gave their lives to help make both Montie, and a Nation, a better place to live.
Yes, Edward would author the story that would put him on easy street the rest of his life.
In the backyard of his home, Andre Devon, his wife, Vanessa, and their daughter, Jenny, along with their parents, were together for the holidays. Devon was flipping chicken, six-ounce sirloins, hot dogs, and hamburgers.
Family time is also important in Montie as well.
At one of the many gravesites, a man walks to one headstone, drops slowly to his knees, laid a small bouquet of flowers next to the headstone that reads:
June Baters Page
July 12, 1975
June 30, 2009
She Sings with the Angels
Satchell sat quietly with his left hand resting onto the headstone.
Another man walked up beside him, and in a moment of solitude; where a look in the eyes, a nod of the head, said more than words ever could.
Softly, Satchell said, “I can still hear you, June. The music never stops.”
Standing, he wiped away a single tear that slowly stretched across his cheek, then smiled, and both men then walked away.
There are some things Edward Carter will never know to write about.
And of course, there were those moments with Stevie and Ellie.
If you observed them and how they acted and reacted with each other, as well as with their friends, you would almost believe they were closer to thirty than going on seventeen, which Ellie would be on July twenty-first. To be certain, they had their fun and have that teenage energy, but both were maturing beyond their years.
And, on this patriotic weekend, each thanked their parents for being who they are: parents, teachers, friends.
Human emotion is such a grand plan at times.
However, not every weekend, including this one, is filled with fun and gaiety, with a historical moment thrown in the mix.
All over the world, people are doing other things, either by choice, chance, fate, or, by demand. And where most are enjoying their Saturday, somewhere else it is already Sunday. In this case, it is also winter upcoming, and people dress accordingly.
Canberra, Australia, a beautifully laid out city is home to Australia’s government. But to a tourist, it is a mecca of absolute beauty. They have a little bit of everything you will never see or find at an Outback Steakhouse.
For one individual, Nelson McGuire, his stay will be brief, and the life of one Judson Masterson, will be even briefer.
Judson had been a bad boy with other bad little boys, and Nelson is there to end Judson’s tryst.
When a new day dawns and the government reconvenes their weekly agenda, someone will find the Honorable Assistant Finance and Claims Adjustor, in his office, throat slit, the crisscrossing slash marks across his chest, and of course, Judson’s written confession, moments before he breathed his last.
At least Judson didn’t sire any children to bring into this world or his own depravity.
Come Monday, Nelson would be on a flight to the Philippines for a very well-deserved vacation. Only Nelson McGuire, this time, would be J.W. Roberts, American on vacation.
Once, back in his $400 a day suite, Freddy laughed loudly at the idea of being the man who nearly ended his life.