Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Fourteen

My blog fiction continues...


Chapter Fourteen

by John L. Harmon


    “Do you have something you would like to share with the class, Clyde?” Sheriff Benjamin Straker inquires, not taking his sight off the dark-haired, spectacled man in front of him.

    “She was my sizzlin’ Saturday night date,” Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse explains, not taking his sight off the yellow-blond woman in front of him.

    Ben briefly closes his eyes and inhales deeply.  “Perhaps we should all go inside and sort this out a-sap.”

    Sam’s crisp blue eyes take in the smudged, bloodied countenance of the beige-hatted Sheriff and he realizes that both sides may require assistance.  “Yes, we should.  Christine?”

    “Fine,” she acquiesces in a contradictive tone to her word.

    The scientific duo fall back and separate to either side of the doorway, allowing the law enforcement duo to enter.  Soon Ben and Clyde are near the bar counter, whispering severely to one another.

    “You realized on the way to Stickler Woods that your date may be involved in these disappearances?  Why didn’t you tell me last night?”

    “I don’t know.  I wasn’t completely sure.”

    Sam and Christine stand near the door, giving them an occasional glance.  They also engage in whispering, albeit, in a far more discreet fashion.

    “Guess we feel the same about a man in uniform.”

    “It wasn’t the uniform.  He was short, stocky, and willing.   The internet expedited the rest.”

    After a time, severe and discreet whispering dissipates, leaving curious and suspicious glances.  Finally the scientific duo move together as one toward the bar.  The law enforcement duo perk up, preparing for whatever comes next.

    “Who are you and what the hell is going on?”  Benjamin demands, tired of not knowing what is happening in Sturgeons.

    Christine and Sam give each other a glance before she answers half of the question.  “My name is Dr. Christine Abernathy, and I am head professor of the science department at the State University.  This is my colleague, Dr. Samuel Dwyer.”

    Sam takes over the answer without missing a beat.  “We have theories concerning the recent phenomenon, but nothing concrete.  All we know is that whatever is taking place appears to be natural in origin.”

    “That’s all you know?” Ben asks, somewhat deflated.

    Christine chimes in, “All of our test results are either inconclusive or point to something natural.  Anything else is simply guess-work.”

    Suddenly the bar falls into silence, as if the oxygen has just been sucked out of the room.  This is not what Ben had imagined.  There is no exchange of vital information.  No leads.  No answers.  Just four people in a bar as clueless as the next.

    He turns and leans against the bar counter, trying not to sigh in utter disappointment and defeat.  Near the edge is Gordon’s croquet mallet.  Ignoring his police training, Ben touches it and ponders the fate of the bartender of many years.

    “What happened to lead you here?” he asks, still focused on the mallet.

    “We have a device which allows us to trace the phenomenon while it is occurring,” Samuel answers quietly, empathetic to the emotional tone of the Sheriff.

    Benjamin Straker, pulling a Clyde by fiddling with the croquet mallet, muses over how such a seemingly unthreatening instrument can strike fear in the hearts of an angry mob.  Within this musing he recalls a potentially vital piece of information.

    “Gordon had security cameras installed last year.”
Click CHAPTER FIFTEEN to continue.

Until next time, Readers, be well and Freak Out...


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