Tag Archives: Novel

Chapter Seventy — One: The Plastic Bag

31 Oct

Brenda Chiatovich: Now you know one reason my daughter's picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Brenda Chiatovich:
Now you know one reason my daughter’s picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez: So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches. Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez:
So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.
Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

 

 

 

DeVry put the plastic bag on Collars desk, explaining what it was. Collars nodded. “Soon as I can,” he said in dismissal. DeVry left, closing the door gently behind him.

Collars stared at the bag. If what DeVry said was true then what was in that plastic bag could put Morgan one step closer to the Chief’s job and one step closer to selling out the police station to the highest bidder. On the other hand, if the plastic bag were fraudulent, the police department, and the city, would be safer in the future.

There were times when Collars wished right and wrong were easier to keep track of. The good of the many. The good of the few. For some people it was a clear-cut choice. For others, there were no clear choices.

A choice between something bad in the present, and something worse in the future.

Of course if Morgan were ousted out of the force under serious enough shadow he wouldn’t be able to get back in even if evidence arose some time in the future to clear the Davenport girl.

Collars sighed heavily and picked up the bag.

Time to make a decision, time to decide what the right thing was to do and then to do it.

Collars turned the clear plastic bag over and over again staring at it fixedly. His frown deepening, his jaw tightening, as he did so.

 

© 2016 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Seventy: In The Know

24 Oct
Brenda Chiatovich: Now you know one reason my daughter's picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Brenda Chiatovich:
Now you know one reason my daughter’s picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez: So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.  Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez:
So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.
Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

Peaches loved her smart phone, she always had the newest. She loved the apps that made her phone so smart. She was always willing to pay top price for the best ones, even those were cheap for what they did. What the hell, daddy paid for it anyway.

A jealous unfriend once made a remark to her a year ago, when she was sixteen that “Daddy wouldn’t always be there to buy everything for her.” Someday she was going to have to pay for things for herself.

Peaches slapped her down with a comment that maybe someday the girl’s mother would find a man who provided more that just a half hour’s entertainment in the bedroom once a month. Besides which why wasn’t her mother working in a corporate office earning huge bonuses every year the way Peaches mother did.

The incident did give Peaches pause for thought though. She did not intend to work the way her mother did, and she sure wasn’t going to quit spending. She would be clear for another ten years if she played her cards right. Mommy and daddy would care for her through graduate school until she was twenty-six. By then she would have to quit playing baby girl and find herself one hell of a Sugar Daddy of her own.

That was the biggest reason the asshole who was going to interfere with her plans for the future had to go. And why that bitch Davenport, who knew way too much, had to go too.

It was while she was hiking to her car, on padded footwear guaranteed not to leave as much of a print as a moccasin would, she listened to her blue tooth. As soon as she left the cabin she keyed in the app that gave her the local police, fire, and ambulance, frequencies. If there was anything she needed to know, she wanted to know it now.

Which is how she learned the fugitive Davenport was in custody in the hospital. Peaches did not hesitate. She drove straight there.

There was only one real witness to Peaches and anything she may have done. One possible fly in Peaches coffee. L C Davenport.

Maybe, just maybe, there was a chance to get rid of her. Quickly.

Wouldn’t hurt to go see.

Peaches pushed the speed limit.
© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Sixty — Nine: Guarded

17 Oct

Brenda Chiatovich: Now you know one reason my daughter's picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Brenda Chiatovich:
Now you know one reason my daughter’s picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez: So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.  Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez:
So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.
Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

 

 

Morgan and Delavera were on their way back to town to deliver the flash drive to Collars when the call came. Davenport was in custody and in the hospital in serious condition. They changed course.

The hospital was crowded. It seemed to be a night for knife wounds, beatings, two cardiac arrests, and one passed out drunk.

DeVry and his partner Peters were the designated guards. DeVry did not smile. “Collars said you might show up.”

“We are here.”

“He thinks you have a special interest in the case.”

“I do.”

“He said if you did show up to tell you to take over. And don’t screw this one up or he’ll have your head.” DeVry was in professional, “This is my job. I’m doing it,” mode. He did not take the pronouncement as a joke. Neither did Morgan nor Delavera.

“Can do that. Delavera has a flash drive for you. You take it straight to Collars and tell him he has to listen to it immediately.” Morgan looked at Delavera.

Delavera shook her head in a gesture of defeat. She searched her pockets. Pulled a plastic bag with a flash drive in it out of her left. Handed it to Morgan, who examined it through the plastic carefully. He was relieved to see it was undamaged. Clipped to the bag was a small ticket. Morgan signed it, handed the pen to DeVry.

“We want the chain intact. Make sure Collars signs off on it.”

DeVry nodded and did so.

“You sure this is a good idea? Asked Delavera.

“Yep. DeVry and Peters would only be watching to make sure she doesn’t escape. They don’t have orders to protect her from a killer and they wouldn’t worry about it without orders. If we told them they might up their vigil but they wouldn’t put any stock in it.”

“Excuse me,” Delavera told him, pulling out her cell phone. “My cousin is calling me.”

She spoke spanish far too fast for him to follow, although what he did catch made him wonder why she appeared to be discussing the quality of cigarettes when to his knowledge she had never smoked.

Morgan went to L C’s bedside. “Are you okay?” he asked.

“Hurt.”

“Doctors say there is nothing serious. How much do you remember?”

“Every,” there was a pause as L C drew another breath, “thing.”

“That is good. We will need a statement from you later. Right now you better rest.”

Doctors came and went. Nurses came and went. Morgan examined the identification of each person as they entered.

“Why you doing that?” asked one nurse. “The other policemen didn’t.”

Morgan shrugged. “Everybody does their job the best they know how.” The nurse said nothing but the look she gave him had wtf all over it. 

Both a doctor and a nurse were in the room when an old Mexican grandmother tottered into the room hanging onto the door, “¿Dónde está el baño?” she asked in a weak and shaky voice.

Morgan frowned at her, wondering why anyone would look for a bathroom here.

“She is just an old lady,” Delavera said. “Let me get this one.” She took the old ladies hand, folded it in her own, and said, “Todo está bien, abuelita. Ven comigo, por favor.”

Morgan kept an eye on them, but nothing seemed suspicious as Delavera led the old lady down the hallway toward the waiting room where the bathrooms were. He turned back to the doctor and nurse. Everything seemed fine. Morgan wondered why he felt so on edge.  

“That should help you with the pain,” the doctor said to L C. “Can you talk now?”

“Yes. Much better.” Her smile was tentative, her voice was hopeful. 

The doctor turned to Morgan. “Try not to upset her. She has been through a lot.”

“It’s okay, doctor. What I have to say should calm her down and make her happy.”

The doctor nodded. “Good.” He left.

Delavera came back into the room. Morgan rounded the bed where it would be easy to look into L C’s eyes, which were both pleading and hopeful. Delavera joined him. Delavera held L C’s hand.

“We found the flash drive with the confession on it. You should be okay now.”

L C Squeezed Delavera’s hand and cried silently.

 

 

 

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Sixty — Eight: The Old Couple

3 Oct
Brenda Chiatovich: Now you know one reason my daughter's picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Brenda Chiatovich:
Now you know one reason my daughter’s picture is here. But wait, there is more.

 

 

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez: So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.  Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez:
So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.
Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

 

 

The old couple hated driving after dark. They had done their best to make it home before the sun set, and were within five miles when it turned night. The two of them sat in the car looking like a matched set of salt and pepper shakers: Grey hair, black rim glasses. They had recently celebrated their fiftieth anniversary together: Married at a time when a twenty year old man marrying an eighteen year old girl seemed a natural, normal, thing to do.

Today they had been visiting their grandson and his new wife who seemed such a nice girl.

They were two miles away from home when something rolled into the road ahead of them.

He slammed on the brakes, trying not to hit the object.

They sat, at first, shaking. He was holding the steering wheel, she was holding her purse. They tried to peer through the darkness and uncertain headlights to see what they had almost run over. It was too close to the bumper for them to see it.

Slowly he opened the door. “Don’t let anybody in, you hear.” He said.

“Oh, Herbert. I wish we had taken that thing our grandson tried to give us. He said it would call 911 from anywhere.”

“Could be, my dear, but even if we had it, by the time anybody got out here to us what ever was going to be done would have already happened. You just stay put. I’ll go see. Mayhap it is nothing.”

“Oh, I know it is something awful.”

Herbert made sure to lock the door. He didn’t let on what she said bothered him, but he was painfully aware, over fifty years of marriage, that her instincts were more often right than his logic.

What he found was a young woman. Her eyes were wild, but she was not struggling. He rolled her over, away from the front bumper of the car. Her hands and feet were tied. Simple knots for an old sailor to undo. He did not have a pocket knife and he did not need one. Soon he had her loose and on her feet. His wife peered through the window at them taking it all in.

He took L C around to the passenger side to show his wife so she could see for herself it was just a girl with him. Together they laid her across the back seat.

“Did you hit her, Herbert?”

“I don’t know honey. Question is do we go to the house and call from the phone or go back to town to the hospital.”

“Hospital. We don’t know who did this to her. They could be anywhere. We will all be safe at the hospital. I do hope the poor girl is going to be okay. She looks like she has been through hell and back again.”

Herbert nodded and turned the car around.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Sixty — Seven: The Ute

27 Sep
Brenda Chiatovich: Now you know one reason my daughter's picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Brenda Chiatovich:
Now you know one reason my daughter’s picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez: So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.  Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

Tiffany Chiatovich Melendez:
So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.
Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

“We need to get that flash drive to Collars,” Morgan said, eying the dark sky.

“I don’t trust him.” Delavera eyed the plastic bag with the flash drive in it.

“Ah, Collars is all right. He just thinks I got my last partner hurt is all. It’ll pass.”

“I don’t think that is it, Morgan. I think he has a lot more against you than that. I don’t know what it is but he hates you.”

Morgan laughed. “What could he possibly hate me about? Even if he did he is still a professional. He sees the evidence he will be a policeman and follow procedure wherever it leads. That’s what cops do.”

“He is a white man.”

“So am I. The kids in my neighborhood would have thought you were white too. They never heard of the ‘Mexican’ standoff thing. Odd, isn’t it that you can be a white person in one place and not in another?”

She looked up at him, serious coffee brown eyes unwavering. “Know what I am besides Mexican? I’m Ute. You know what the Utes are famous for?”

“Being Native American Indian?”

“Believing the white man. One group of Utes realized the white man was going to win. They believed all the promises the white man gave them about how they would be rewarded if they helped capture the Navajo. They weren’t on good terms with the Navajo at the time and it seemed like a reasonable deal.”

Morgan listened. “What happened?”

“The whites gave the Utes rifles, told them to help round up all the Navajos and bring them in. The Utes kept their part of the bargain. When it came time to march the Indians on the Trail of Tears, the white man turned their rifles on the Utes. Told them to drop their weapons and join the others.”

“That was a long time ago. It was a different world then.”

“It is a long time ago to you. Cortes was a long time ago too. Tell, me, Officer Morgan, were you ever beaten up in grade school by a bully?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“You remember it, don’t you?”

“Sure, why not?”

“I bet you the bully. He don’t remember.”
© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Sixty — Five: With Nowhere To Go

28 Jun

Now you know one reason my daughter's picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Now you know one reason my daughter’s picture is here. But wait, there is more.

So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.  Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.
Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

 

 

 

 

“Looks like the car stopped in the middle of nowhere, on a back road, just inside the city limits,” Delavera frowned at her equipment which consisted of the GPS finder and her nine-inch smart tablet.

“ETA?”

“Ten, fifteen minutes. Depending on the road.”

“She could switch cars and be anywhere.” Morgan was not happy.

“Maybe her and her boyfriend are playing huggy bear smacky mouth.”

“Never heard that expression before.”

“Want to know a good Spanish word for it?” Delavera looked innocent.

“I know a good Spanish word for it.”

“Ahh. I thought maybe you know more Spanish than you let on. Are you holding out on me?”

“Lets say if we ever meet a Mexican who can’t speak English I’d rather have you talk with him than try it myself.”

Eventually they found the abandoned car.

Delavera spotted the flash drive under the driver’s seat. There was another wedged tightly into the back of the seat. She plugged them into her nine inch smart tablet. One contained nothing. On the other she accessed the only file it contained. They listened without a word from the beginning, “Fancy meeting you here. Peaches Pardot,” To the end, ”It wasn’t murder, honey, it was a mercy killing.” Which was where the conversation was when Lonnie fumbled the recorder and dropped the flash drive under the seat.

For the first time since they had met each other Delavera lost all pretense in her attitude. “My God. She is out there somewhere with a murderer and it is almost dark.”

By the time the tow truck arrived it was.

 

 

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Sixty — Four: Three To Get Ready

22 Jun
Now you know one reason my daughter's picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Now you know one reason my daughter’s picture is here. But wait, there is more.

So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.  Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.
Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

They had been silent for a while, when Peaches turned to L C “You are way too cocky, you know that?”

L C stared at her blankly.

“Yeah. You think some superhero is going to come busting through the wall any minute and save you, don’t you?”

L C Frowned. She had been wondering exactly what Wilbur was doing at the minute. Had he called the police? Was he following them? Hopefully he was doing both. For a second she felt a small fear Peaches could read her mind. Could she somehow know?

Peaches smiled. She pulled the car over. “I have something I need to do, do you mind. You know. I have to pee.” She wrinkled her nose at L C.

L C did not like the situation. Should she talk and try to get information to Wilbur? What? They were stopped? If he were listening he should know that.

Wilbur, aka Lonnie, did not know that. He wasn’t listening. He had placed the recorder on the passenger seat and had ignored it from then on. It had not occurred to him to go to the police. All of his life the one group of people Lonnie never went to, never confided in, was the police. He had followed the car. He was compelled to do that, even though his knees were shaking. He had no thought beyond that one goal. Keep the car in front of him in front of him.

When it went on a back road he went on a back road.

When he turned the corner and the car was stopped in front of him he slammed on the brakes in confusion. There was only one person in the car. In the passenger seat. It had to be L C.

His first thought was to get out of the car, grab L C and run. His second thought was to back the car up and get out of there now. While he wavered between the noble and the cowardly things to do, something appeared next to his window. When he looked he almost passed out.

Peaches had known there was the possibility she might become a suspect at some point. So she kept nothing where it could be directly associated with her. She stashed different things in different places. Places that would be easy go get to but unlikely to be found by someone else. Money, clothing, whatever she might need. She had decided to become the ultimate girl scout, or the ultimate ninja.
She had given thought to the idea that someday she might be followed by someone she would want to trap. So she buried the rifle in a waterproof container in the perfect spot to trap someone.

Lonnie.

He stared at the rifle barrel pointed at him as though it were a cobra and he were hypnotized.

Peaches had been sitting behind the bush when Lonnie drove up and when he pulled parallel to her she simply stood up, smiling, pointing the gun at his nose. She enjoyed his expression of disbelief and horror. She knew he was going to be fun to kill. Slowly.

She motioned him out of the car. He did. She motioned for him to turn around. He did that too. When he did she hit him with the barrel of the rifle. While he lay moaning on the ground she tied his hands behind his back. She searched his pockets, found nothing of real interest. No money, no drugs, no weapons.

Just a wallet. She pocketed it without looking at the Id.

“Get up. Get in the backseat of my car.” He complied. “Stretch out on your stomach.” When he did she tied his feet together. “You can just lay there until we get where we are going.” He tried to look around so he could see her. When he did she shoved the barrel of the rifle in his nostril. He pulled his face away quickly. Peaches laughed, a sweet, tinkling laugh.

He asked, “Was it you in the cabin with us?”

Peaches leaned over and asked in a breathy voiceless whisper, “Why honey? You want me to audition?”

Lonnie began to cry.

Peaches went back to the rental car.

Still no guns. No money. No drugs.

Peaches decided that in the future, when she chose victims, it would be ones who could supply her with things she could use.

At first she wondered what the object in the front seat was. It looked like it could have been something on the order of a cell phone or a generic music player. When she picked it up she heard Lonnie and L C talking.

“Did you call the police?”

“The police. Lady do you know how many warrants I got out on me? Course not. Even I don’t know how many warrants I got out on me. I can tell you this. They wouldn’t listen to me. They’d book me. End of story.”

“Wilbur, I think we are in trouble.”

“You sure as hell are,” chuckled Peaches to the recorder.

© 2015, All Rights Reserved

Chapter Sixty — Three: Two For The Show

14 Jun
Now you know one reason my daughter's picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Now you know one reason my daughter’s picture is here. But wait, there is more.

So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.  Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.
Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

“This is a neat gadget,” Delavera was working with the GPS tracking device while Morgan drove. “She could be heading out of town.”

“Lets pull over and get a coffee and snack. This could take a while.”

“Think we can afford the time?”

“Whatever she has in mind we won’t get there in time to stop her. The best we can do is catch her if she does something wrong.”

“Collars is going to say if we were faster we could have stopped her.”

“Stopped her from what? Leaving the city limits? Until she leaves the city limits she hasn’t done anything to stop her from. If she leaves the city limits we will know she crossed the line before she does. Up in the woods where she is it isn’t posted on signs, you know.”

Morgan pulled into the last coffee shop on this end of town.

“You too smart for your own good. One day you will bite your own tail off thinking it belongs to the dog in front of you.” Delavera advised with a bit of coquetry. She swung her hips meaningfully and defiantly as she strode into the building.
© 2015 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Sixty — Two: One For The Money

31 May

Now you know one reason my daughter's picture is here. But wait, there is more.

Now you know one reason my daughter’s picture is here. But wait, there is more.

So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.  Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

So, did you guess? My Mom and my Grand Pop wanted the perfect name for the bad girl in this story. So they picked one of my nick-names, Peaches.
Oh, yes. I have other nick-names, but one will do for now.

 

 

“Wrong?” L C Blinked. “ Are you saying you didn’t kill him?”

“Oh hell, I killed the bastard all right. Wasn’t in cold blood. I enjoyed every minute of it. He had it coming and I gave it too him. He thought he was smart. He thought he had my mother and father right where he wanted them. When I went up to the cabin to confront him he told me all about it.

“And while he had me there he thought he had me where he wanted me. Thought he could do anything to me he wanted to and I’d like it just to help keep my mother and father out of trouble.

“Did he have everything back ass wards.

“He thought I came up to beg him. He thought I would be happy to spread myself out for him so he’d be nice to mommy and daddy.

“He didn’t know I wasn’t there to beg him. I was there to kill him. I was prepared for it. Was he in for a shock. When I was done with him he was begging me to let him die. It wasn’t murder, honey, it was a mercy killing.”

L C wondered how a young girl, two months shy of her eighteenth birthday could say such things and the whole time maintain such a sweet, innocent expression on her face.

Lonnie was so excited he was bouncing in the seat of the cheap rent a car. He picked the recording device up from the dash and kissed it. “Yes, yes, yes. We have you.” And when he did so he separated it, dropping the flash drive on the floor. He looked around frantic. He couldn’t see it. Then he remembered he had another one. A couple. In his pocket. Quickly he reached in his pocket. He pulled out a couple. Chose one, reloaded it into the slot where it went on the device hoping he hadn’t missed anything.

Somehow he managed to break the body of the new flash drive off leaving the metal piece stuck inside the recorder.

“Are you going to turn yourself in?” L C was asking when Lonnie got the device working again.

“Absolutely not. See you made a big mistake bracing me here.”

“I can’t see how. I know this campus. I’ve been here before. Couple of years ago I was thinking about getting an education. Wasn’t blessed with a college fund but I was hoping.” L C couldn’t keep the wistful tone out of her voice.

“Everything changes.”

“Such as?”

“They are building a whole new wing on the campus. Huge project.”

“How does that effect us?” L C Suddenly felt a chill in her chest.

“You, Miss Davenport think you are safe because we are on camera. You think everything we do is being video taped. Six months ago you would have been right. But not now. Because of the construction very few cameras are working.”

L C had never known about the video cameras and was relying totally on Wilbur, whom she did not know was Lonnie, to record everything verbally. She realized now that some form of video might have been a good idea.

Peaches pulled out an impressive looking semi automatic pistol from her purse.

“You will kindly get in the car all by yourself. You will save me the trouble of having to drag your bleeding corpse into my backseat. I don’t really want to have to clean it. Blood is so sticky.”

Speaking of blood, L C could her blood drain out of her extremities.

“Someone will hear the shot.”

“Of course they will. But I will only need one. Half the campus will stand around wondering where the sound came from before they decide they have better things to do. Then they will all go on about their business. By then you will probably have bled to death in my back seat.”

L C nodded.

“Please walk around to the passenger side and get in there. I want us to look as normal as possible as we have a pleasant drive together.

L C did as she was instructed.

“Roll over on your face.” L C did so.

“Hands behind your back.”

When L C got her hands in position she felt stiff twine being wrapped around them. Then she was shoved forward and her feet pulled together and tied.

“Let me sit you up, my dear, so when I want to I can look you in the face when I talk to you.”

When Peaches sat down behind the wheel of her car she took a cigarette out of the pack, put it in her mouth. Then casually pointed the pistol at L C’s eye. Smiled and pulled the trigger.

L C jumped.

Peaches laughed as a small blue flame popped out the barrel of the pistol.

She lit her cigarette with it.

“You pathetic fool. Did you really think I would risk bringing a real gun on a college campus?”

Peaches was still laughing as they pulled out of the parking lot.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

Chapter Fifty — Nine: Chief

19 Apr

Did you notice my daughter's picture? Yep, she is here.

Did you notice my daughter’s picture? Yep, she is here.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

 

 

Officer Morgan walked past the squad room into the bull pen past Chewy’s desk. He was early. A common occurrence for him when it was his turn to have the kids. At least they were both school age now. He did not have to worry about day care facilities. But he did have spare time between dropping them off and starting his shift. Not enough time to do anything constructive, but time. So he was early again.

Morgan was six-foot plus a pinch to grow on. Blue eyes and blond hair cut into a three-quarter inch butch. His hair was always perfectly cut, his mother saw to that. It wasn’t that he liked the cut itself. It was the fact it was convenient. He didn’t have to comb it and it was quick to wash. It had the added advantage it made him look more like a cop. Seen as he did not always act the part, he might as well do his best to look it.

Everyone in the room was busy doing something, typing, talking on the phone, talking to each other, rustling papers, cussing under their breath at computer monitors, texting, all very low-key but busy busy busy, except for one. She sat on the edge of a desk doing something intently with her nails. She looked like a teenager ready to pop bubble gum out of her mouth any second. Morgan figured she was in trouble again about something. Every partner she had complained about her.

He was picking his way across the room to his own desk, moving around people and chairs as he had almost every morning, not actively listening to what was going on until he passed close to DeVry who was saying, “Ballistics says the bullet found in the head of the prostitute matches the bullet found in the head of the horse. Fired from the same gun. At about the same distance.”

Morgan paused, wondering if he heard correctly, “The head of the horse?”
“Yeah.” DeVry looked up from his partner, a much shorter man seated in a chair. DeVry sat on the desk, causing him to tower over the other man like a giant. “You remember that horse Mr. Somebody named… Corrigan I think. Anyway you must remember. He was making a big fuss about his horse being shot in the head.”
Morgan looked down at Peters. They were both serious. “We ran ballistics on the bullet from a horse? Must be some expensive horse.”

“Nah, and nah to that too, but the guy has money and he paid for it, so we did it.” Smiling, he added, “I wonder if he loves his wife as much as he does his horse. A real cowboy, that one.”

“Morgan.” Chief of Police Collars had a voice developed to be heard, and everyone who heard it winced. “DeVry and Peters have a case to work on. Leave em alone.” Collars was a square man with a perpetually loosened tie, rolled up sleeves, buttons looking like they were threatening to pop… He looked like a man who ought to have a cigar jammed between his teeth. Perhaps he was an ex-smoker. That would explain why he was so anti-cigarette. It was often said ex-smokers were the most fanatic non-smokers.

“Yeah,” whispered DeVry, “We gotta go find out if the horse and the prostitute were working the same corner.”

“I heard that.” Bellowed Chief Collars. “Get out there and do something… You’re wasting your time sitting in here cracking stupid.” He held a piece of paper in the air. “You. Morgan. You got nothing better to do?” Collars waved the paper in Morgans face. “Here is a crank call. Some idiot’s dog won’t get off a porch.”
Morgan thought about his desk full of undone book work and the fact he wasn’t even on the clock yet and smiled ruefully.

He snatched the paper out of Collars’ hand. As he did so he realized it was an act very close to insubordination. Morgan himself could not have said if it was an act of defiance, standing up for himself, or simply allowing Collars to “get” to him.
Collars continued to bellow, “Your gold bricking partner may never get back here,”

Morgan cut him off, ”I’ll take Delavera.” Except for Morgan and Collars every eye in the place went to the Mexican girl doing her nails. She took a deep breath, which augmented her natural assets, and did nothing to distract anyone’s gaze, then she slowly, carefully, looked up at Morgan and Collars.

“You do that. You bring her back in one piece, you understand?” There was some snickering. Collars ignored it as he locked eyes with Morgan.

The stare down was an open challenge, in front of everyone, a dominant male thing. Morgan was not even tempted to stare back defiantly, a teenager’s trick used by young people who did not know how to really stand up for themselves.
Instead Morgan smiled one of those smiles he used on strange women who eyed him when he strolled into a bar when off duty and out of uniform. Maintaining the smile he strolled out of the room, not once looking back; not at Collars, not at Delavera. Morgan knew every eye and ear in the room was fixed on the exchange. This was confirmed by Collars further bellow of, “Get back to work.” and “Delavera, your partner is gone. Catch him before he leaves you.”

There was another snicker. This time a solo.

When he reached the car she was scampering up behind him.

“Puto,” she whispered under her breath.

Morgan did not acknowledge he understood. He wasn’t sure to whom she was referring, himself, Collars, or someone else. He also knew enough Spanish to be aware that, like English, what was said wasn’t always exactly what was meant.
He started the car as she swung in.

“Where are we going?” she asked. She did not “look” Mexican, she looked like she could be Mexican, and her English betrayed no accent. He thought, as he had thought before, that feature could be useful under the right circumstances.
He passed her the paper. “You tell me.”

She studied the paper; frowned. “All the way up there? Is this even in our jurisdiction?”

“Call dispatch and find out.”

Morgan had been divorced long enough that he had no immunity to her smell, which was excellent; her looks, which were way better than average; or her figure, which, if it weren’t centerfold material it would take a professional to tell the difference.

Delavera pulled out a nine-inch smart tablet and fussed with it for a few seconds. Morgan assumed she was going to use it as a map.

“Take the highway north.”

He did.

“Not sure if I should thank you for asking for me to go with you or not.”

“Probably not.”

“Okay, why?”

“Collars doesn’t like me. That’s okay, I don’t like him either. Right now he is mad at me and you have a reputation of being hard to get along with. He was going to give you to me anyway. I just saved us the embarrassment of having you dumped on me and you the embarrassment of being pushed on someone who didn’t want you.”

“Save yourself the embarrassment, you mean.”

“Have it your way.” Morgan allowed his shoulders a quick twitch that passed for a shrug. “It worked out better for both of us and took some of the wind from under his wings.”

“Why is he mad at you.” She slouched down in the passenger seat in a very uncoplike manner, sidled her eyes out the window, looking more like a teenaged brat he was detaining than a trained police officer.

“My partner had a choice. He could say I did something stupid, or he could say he did something stupid. He chose to say I did something stupid. Collars blames me for him getting hurt.”

“Which was it? Turn here.” She pointed. “Who did something stupid? You or him?”

He turned onto a side road not looking at her. His peripheral vision picking up all the information he needed. “Doesn’t matter.”

“What did you write in your report?”

“That my full attention was on the person I was arresting. I was unable to see what he did.”

There was silence while she digested the implications.

“You telling me you are always Mr. Noble?”

“Nope.”

“So why would you be noble with me? Or with him?”

Morgan smiled and looked at her, blue eyes to brown eyes,
“You haven’t pissed me off yet.”

She held his gaze. “So you think I will or you think I won’t?”

He looked back to the road. She stared at him fixedly.

“I think you’re already pissed. I think you are angry at the whole world and ready to kick out at anybody because you can’t kick whatever it is has you in its grip. Am I right.”

“So who do you think you are? The mentalist or that phony psych guy?”

“I think I’m a cop who has seen a few really pissed off people. Last girl I met acted like you are was fifteen, and her daddy decided she looked just like her mother when she was fifteen and he thought they ought to do the same things together.” He concentrated on his driving.

“So you think you are going to bring me out here and I’m going to spill my guts out to you and then what? We going to be great friends or something?” She concentrated on him.

“Nah, I’m just going to try not to piss you off any more than I have too.” He did not return her searching stare.

“Yeah. I don’t think you’re doing too well.” She turned to stare out the window.

“So tell Collars I’m an asshole. He will probably give you a commendation. Give him reason to fire me. Tell him I was looking at your butt when you got in. Then tell him I tried to look down your cleavage. He will give you a promotion.”

“My shirt is buttoned up.”

“Good liar never spoils a story with facts.”

“So what is with you? The girls say you are a single father”

“Yep.” He sucked in his lower lip.

“So you looking for a mother or a mistress or what?” Her attention was turned back to him, studying him.

“Just looking not to do something stupid again.” He kept his eyes to the road, not even catching her in his peripheral vision.

Delavera rolled down her window.

“So what did you do stupid the first time?” She was staring out the window again, hands palmed together in her lap.

“Wish I knew. Somewhere along the line I decided to be a cop and she decided to be a drug addict. Now the poor kids spend half their time with cops and the other half the time with people who think cops are the bad guys.”

“Ouch.”

They rode in silence.

“You aren’t mad as hell?”

He thought before he replied carefully, “I honestly don’t know how to feel.”

“I’d know how to feel. I’d be pissed.”

“So I don’t know my own mind.”

“Yeah, well I’m still married.”

“Doesn’t sound like a reason to be angry to me.”

“Yeah. Right. I’m married to a worthless gringo who has blue eyes like you. He has never worked a day in his life and all he does is criticize me.”

“What is to criticize?” Morgan looked at her carefully, “It sure doesn’t show from here.”

“He is sick of Mexican food. Wants me to cook more American. I told him I work all day. Why don’t you cook some ‘American food’, I’ll come home and eat it. One day I cooked some ‘All American food’ and he got mad ‘cuz I had tortillas on the table. I forgot the bread.”

“Buy him a hamburger on the way home tonight. That’s American.”

“Turn here, on that dirt road.” Morgan figured they were close. She was now sitting up straight in her seat.

Morgan had to slow down to negotiate the ruts and rocks.

“Maybe you two just married the wrong people. Maybe you should call it quits.”

“He is a racist pig. But he kept it to himself until I was pregnant with my fourth baby. Then every time he gets mad he calls me a Mexican and my kids Mexicans. Then I try to teach the kids Spanish and he gets mad ‘cuz he doesn’t want them talking that stuff.’”

“I know a lot of people speak Spanish and not all of them are Mexican.”

“When I first met him he had me teaching him Spanish. I thought ‘How cute he wants to learn my language’. As soon as we were married he quit.”

“Too bad.”

“Too bad I married him. He is such a racist pig I should have cheated on him. I should have brought him home a nice fat little black baby.”

They rounded the corner. Two men stood by the side of a cabin, next to the steps. One was smoking, the other stood hunched, and there was a large dog, its tongue lolling, sitting on the porch staring at the door as though waiting for its owner let it in.

Morgan winked at Delavera, “At least we have settled one thing.”

“Whats that?”

“You have reason to be pissed off at the world.”

“Nah. Just you gringos.”

“Time go get out and be professional. We will try to pretend we don’t notice they are gringos.” The two men were obviously hunters. Their rifles were leaned up against the porch, within sight but well out of reach.

Morgan noticed that she almost smiled as she swung herself out the door of the squad car.

“What is going on?” Morgan asked the men.

The man in the heavy brown vest used his cigarette to indicate the slightly younger, slightly thinner, man.“ He can tell you. He thinks his damn dog is Lassie or Rin Tin Tin or something.”

The other man, smiled engagingly, “Not Lassie. He is a boy. His name is Harry.”

“Yeah, Harry. Know why he named the dog Harry? Because my name is Tom, his name is Dick,” he stressed the other man’s name, “and my sister married him for crying out loud.”

“So what is wrong with Tom, Dick, and Harry?” asked Dick.

“What is with the dog?” asked Morgan.

“Does he bite?” Asked Delavera.

“Nope.” Dick answered her.

“Stupid dog won’t get off the porch. We are supposed to be up here hunting, not dog sitting. Anyway numb nuts here thinks his dog has psychic powers or something and is wasting our day because the fool dog won’t get off the porch.”

“That your car?” Morgan indicated the SUV parked a few foot away.

“Nah. Probably the guy owns the cabin.”

Delavera petted and talked to the dog, calling him Harry, and knocked loudly on the door saying, “This is the police. Open the door please.” There was no reply from within.

“So how did you two get here? Why are you here?” asked Morgan.

“Followed this stupid dog my brother-in-law thinks is a canine genius. We came in one of the other roads, hadn’t even intended to come this way. Now we’ve wasted half the morning over nothing. I swear the only reason I tolerate him is because of my sister.”

Dick winked. It was unclear who, if anyone, he was winking at. “The only reason he tolerates me is because his sister and his wife are best friends. They are like sisters and he is afraid my wife thinks more of his wife than she does of him.”

“No puedo entender porque eso seria.” Delavera told the dog in a tender voice.

Even without a basic understanding of what she said Morgan could have detected the sarcasm in her voice.

“What did she say?” asked the smoker.

“I told him he is a very good doggie.” She stood up, went to the window to look in. Harry followed her.

“We already did that,” Said the smoker again, taking a last drag off his cigarette, he spit in the palm of his left hand and then put the bright red butt out in it. He had followed Delavera and was within a foot of her, yet he was unaware of the fleeting look of disgust on her face. Like Morgan she had excellent peripheral vision and did not need to look directly at him to see what he was doing.

Morgan had two reactions to this, one was disgust, the other slight admiration for the practicality of a woodsman or hunter making sure his cigarette did not start a fire in the woods. He was also aware Delavera would have no such qualms. She would be disgusted, period.

When Tom reached into his pocket Delavera stepped back from the window, placing herself to his side. Had he pulled a gun he would have quickly found himself face down on the ground with his gun and hand behind his back. It was not a gun. It was a small plastic container. He put his cigarette butt in it. As he did so he jabbed his chin in Delavera’s direction. “Tell her it is rude to talk that gibberish in front of people who don’t understand it.”

“I was talking to Harry,” she said. “I wanted him to teach me how to speak dog but he is reluctant. Perhaps you could help?” Morgan noted Delavera suddenly had an unmistakable accent. As Tom turned red, Morgan was able to understand why Delavera’s last couple of partners had wanted to strangle her. She knew where people’s short hairs were and didn’t hesitate to tug on them. He remembered his grandmother reaching around to the back of his neck when he got out of line as a kid in a public place and giving the hairs on his neck a solid yank.

“Let me get your names. Write all this down.” Morgan used his official police officer voice, brought out his notebook. While their attention was on Morgan, Delavera dropped off the end of the porch and disappeared around the side of the cabin.

“If Dicky Wicky here would teach his dog to mind we never needed to call you and waste your time or ours. We’d all be on our way. Probably have a nice big buck by now.”

 

Dick smiled. “Harry is up about something. I didn’t want to break in and I don’t want to leave someone behind who is in trouble. I hope its not too late and everything turns out okay.”“Windows open.” called Delavera from the side of the cabin. The three men went around to where she was. She had pushed the window partway open but was unable to reach further. Nor was she able to hoist herself in.

Tom frowned, “Can you just go into someone’s house like that?”

“We have cause. Car is outside, no one answers inside and you two made a report.”

“I didn’t make any report. I think it is all a waste of time.”

“Let’s hope you are right.”

“Aren’t you supposed to go through the door or something?”

“We would prefer to do minimum damage. Why break down a door or wait for a locksmith when we can climb through the window?”

“You gonna talk all the day or you gonna do the help your partner though dee window, Meester Morgan?” Her accent was becoming thicker and more fraudulent by the minute. Still it was the man who complained about her talking Spanish that immediately offered to help her through the window.

Delavera pooched her lips at him. “We are dee professional policemans all trained right. My partner he will help me. You stands over there, out of dee way.” She indicated an area well away from the men’s rifles. They complied. The bigger man sullenly, the other cheerfully.

Morgan knelt in the basic lunge position, offering his left leg as a platform while his right leg and right hand were free next to his holster. She stepped up in one quick motion and quickly put herself waist deep into the window.

She was no more inside than she was saying, “Back, back, get me down outta here.” Her accent was gone.

Morgan grabbed her by the legs, in a not altogether professional manner and got her back down on the ground. She held herself against the wall with one hand and spewed. He waited until she was done.

“We need forensics,” she said. “And you two… Don’t even think about going anywhere.”

Tom groaned as he pulled out another cigarette, shooting a glare of hatred at his brother-in-law, who beamed proudly at Harry.

 

 

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