Monday, September 16, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Thirteen

My hotbed mess of blog fiction continues...

Chapter Thirteen

by John L. Harmon


    Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse sits in a generic grey car, with POLICE painted on its sides.  His hazel eyes are alert and focused on the white van and the entrance to Gordon’s bar.  This particular street is empty, but a more-than-dull roar can be heard in the distance.  The sound of vehicles and people…the vibration of fleeing humanity.

    He shudders, thinking about everything as he fiddles with the turning signal switch.  It would be easy to join the mob and get the hell out of Sturgeons, but there are too many questions that need answering.  One of which he may have a personal stake in.  This is something he should discuss with Ben, but hasn’t figured out how to broach the subject.

    As the Sheriff enters the Chief Deputy’s thoughts, he emerges from a nearby alleyway.  Walking slowly, but steadily, Ben’s physical appearance is initially lost on Clyde.  He is simply blinded by relief that his superior made it through the hotbed mess of Sturgeons apparently unscathed.


    Exiting the generic gray car, Clyde Woodhouse is, for the first time, stunned motionless.  No fiddling or fidgeting occurs as he sees that the Sheriff is far from unscathed.

    His slacks are dirty and ragged, while his shirt is untucked and ripped on one side.  Dirt is smeared on his grim face, giving texture to the blood from a gash near his left eye.  Benjamin Straker has seen better days.

    Upon leaving Headquarters and realizing the SUV was blocked in, Ben was confronted with the scared and ill-tempered citizens of Sturgeons.  They hollered at him.  They cursed him.  They illogically blamed him for Bob Kinney, Tommy Schroder, Bertha Waterbottom, and a few other disappearances, including Gordon, that had not been officially reported.

    Even after cutting through the initial street madness, Ben had to dive out of the way of several missile-like motorcycles.  Then as an act of final indignity, for all involved, Tommy’s father and a group of men followed him from the vehicular bedlam, itching for old-fashioned justice.  Ben was forced to knock out two of them and restrain Mr. Schroder with wrist straps before Mrs. Schroder showed up, stopping the bare-knuckled fight before it escalated beyond control…beyond fists.

    Yet, despite his ransacked appearance, the beige hat of Lawrence sits proudly upon his head.  This one seemingly small detail lets Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse know that Sheriff Benjamin Straker is not down for the count and there is no need to press for details.

    The two men exchange silent nods as Ben comes to a stop beside the hood of generic gray.  He gives a glance to the large white van in front of Gordon’s bar.

    “Inconspicuous is not their strong suit.”

    “No, it sure isn’t,” Clyde agrees with a breathless chuckle.

    Ben reaches a raw-knuckled hand up to adjust the beige.  “Are you ready to find out who they are and what they know?”

    “Ready as ever.”

    The law enforcement duo maneuver across the street and down half a block.  Ben gives Clyde a firm look as they reach the bar entrance.  Before either can react, the door suddenly swings open and they come face to face with the scientific duo.

    “We’ve been expecting you…” Christine, the yellow-blond woman, begins and then looks down upon the shorter man, “…Clyde.”
Click CHAPTER FOURTEEN to continue.

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



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