My continuing piece of fiction continues...
by John L. Harmon
Deputy Clyde Woodhouse, attired in a light blue uniform, sits in the passenger seat of the lead vehicle in the Sturgeons Police fleet. The slick black SUV, easily the sweetest ride of the five vehicle force, is emblazoned with SHERIFF in bold white lettering on each side, just in case anyone misses the cherries on top.
The 24-year-old, dishwater blond man is short, stocky and cannot stop thinking about the change in hierarchy at Headquarters. He doesn’t know what to think of the strange tale that provoked Sheriff Lawrence’s resignation, but he now wonders if that departure elevates his position to Chief Deputy. Clyde, fiddling with an air vent, doesn’t want to voice his thoughts, finding it an inappropriate time, so he talks about anything else he can think of to keep the creeping silence at bay.
“I signed up for an online dating service and snagged myself a date for tonight,” Clyde states randomly. “Her profile pic is sizzlin’ and she seems a brain to boot.”
“Good for you, Clyde,” Benjamin Straker, clad in beige and topped with the sturdy hat of Lawrence, responds distantly. The Acting Sheriff is far too distracted by the last several hours and the winding roads to respond in any other manner.
“Maybe you should give online dating a whirl, Ben. There is something for every taste out there.” Clyde quits fiddling with the air vent and gives his superior a glance to see if there is a positive reaction.
“Mm…” is all Ben can say, only half-listening to the mindless chatter.
Clyde Woodhouse has known Ben Straker long enough to understand that when a case is on the other man’s brain not much else can penetrate it. Even Sheriff Lawrence had often ordered Ben to relax and unwind from time to time. With these facts in mind Clyde reaches for the bagged evidence situated between them.
“Why can’t we just give Ol’ Ned Dobson his ballcap back?”
This question, along with the harsh crinkling of plastic, forces Ben out of his confusing thoughts. “It’s evidence, Clyde, along with Mr. Dobson’s lawn chair in back.”
There had been no sign of Ned’s fishing rod, nor any evidence of darkening water. As for Bob Kinney, neither he nor his sickly-green rowboat were anywhere to be seen, but his dark green truck and boat trailer were found on the other side of Lake Pontoon.
“What are we gonna do now, Ben?” Clyde inquires, placing the bagged ballcap back on the seat.
A sigh older than his 27 years escapes Ben. “Drag the lake in a recovery effort.”
Hard reality in the strange incident completely silences the occupants of the SUV for several minutes. During this interval a large white van drives by heading in the opposite direction.
Clyde Woodhouse completely fails to notice the conspicuous vehicle. Ben Straker, on the other hand, notes the out of county license plate but nothing more, at least consciously. The law enforcement duo continue into Sturgeons, oblivious of the intention and destination of the ominous white van.
Lake Pontoon, all calm and clear, is soon descended upon by two lab-coated individuals, each carrying identical metal containers and both blatantly ignoring the yellow police tape around the dock. Seemingly caught up in a game of mirror image action, they simultaneously set down their gear, snap on the protective gloves, hunch down, and open the metal containers to reveal a multitude of objects and gadgets for various purposes.
The man, 31-years-old, six feet tall, spectacled, with a mop of dark hair like a 1960’s insect rock group, deviates from the mirror game by glancing back the way in which they came. The woman, slightly older and taller, perfect vision, with yellow-blond hair pulled back, notices her coworker’s distraction.
“No dilly-dallying. The police may return shortly,” she states with a frosty air, only because their work is vital.
“Maybe they should return,” the man suggests with a becoming smile and a gleam in his blue eyes.
“You know how I feel about a man in uniform.”
The woman returns his smile, with a gleam in her brown eyes, for she does know. It is one of only a handful of aspects they have in common.
After this personal exchange ends the scientific duo embark on what needs to be done.
Click CHAPTER FOUR to continue.
Until next time, Readers, be well and Freak Out,