Book Four: Part 8 - Rhyming Evil - Chapter 9
Another Weekend In Montie
It was business as usual at the Twenty-Second.
Summer came in full swing in the last two weeks. During that time, there had been a few arrests for public intox, one domestic dispute handled, three different felony arrests (besides Kelso’s. Someone tried to steal a speedboat belonging Jean, the Mayor, and her husband, Frank Marsh, while they were away on a small vacation. Another man, obviously new to the area, was arrested by eleven police officers for trying to rob Benny’s Pub. One should never rob a place where police congregate).
Everyone, including Devon and J.W#. were on their assigned route. J.W. made a short explanation of how he needed to stop off at the Davenport Animal Clinic and speak with Patrick Davenport for a few minutes. It wasn’t a problem for Devon.
Just after eleven, both J.W. and Patrick talked about the file that held the last bits of information concerning Daniel Watson. His exact location at impact, time of death, personal effects listed, as well as other items extracted from the car, later given to Daniel’s mother. It was pretty much things Patrick already knew.
“There is one thing that isn’t in the report.”
Patrick looked intently at J.W.
“My partner, Andre Devon, called the crash site in. I was kneeling next to Mr. Watson, and found a small trace of his pulse still beating, but it was very faint.
“I leaned in close asking if he could hear me. I was telling him that help was on the way. All he said to me was, ‘tell Patrick, my mother. I love them very much.’ Then he inhaled sharply, his eyes opened wider from the severe pain he was in, and then he died.
“It never occurred to me when you and his mother came to claim his body, that you were the same Patrick in question. By then, I had nothing more to do with the case any longer. Accident. End of story. I know that might have sounded harsh, but we deal with a hundred or more fatalities in this county every year. Some that leave a life intact; others that doesn’t.
“Mr. Davenport, I truly am sorry for your loss. I know how it is to love someone as deeply as you did Daniel.”
Patrick’s eyes were like twin water buckets filled to overflow. With the back of his right hand, he wiped away the tears, cleared his throat, and regained most of his composure.
“Thank you very much for this, Officer Roberts. This means a great deal to me to know the truth, to know his last words, that he died thinking of his mother and me. In life, he always placed us first.
“He would do that silly Spock line from a Star Trek movie where he would say, ‘Patrick, the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few’.”
J.W. stood up.
“If I may ask, Officer Roberts, but what do the initials stand for?”
“James Woodcock. Woodcock was my mother’s father’s name, but I prefer, J.W.”
Patrick looked at him, smiled somewhat and extended his arm, and hands clasped. Neither man was certain at that moment, but the handshake felt warm, and seemed to last longer than either one expected.
“Have a good weekend, Mr. Davenport.”
“Please, call me, Patrick.”
“Very well then, Patrick.”
“Be safe out there, J.W.”
As J.W. opened Patrick’s office door to leave, he turned slightly and smiled at Patrick. “Our boss tells us the same thing every day.”
Over at the Pit-Stop, Stevie was talking with a few of his friends when his cell phone buzzed. It was Ellie. Let us just say, his friends and the world, took a back seat, as his concentration and conversation was on her, and how her vacation was going.
He was to have gone with them, but because of his accident, it was best thought that he stay close to home this time in case anything unexpected happened.
They were talking a mile a second, as if they haven’t talked to one another in decades. Isn’t love such a grand thing?
Johnathan Prescott and Dianne Andrews, would take the weekend away to the Belvedere Arms Hotel in Erie. Johnathan rented one of the four newlywed suited the Belvedere Arms advertised. Three days, two nights, $1,650, not counting meals. It didn’t matter. He wanted Dianne to get an idea of what a small portion of their honeymoon would be like after they get married.
For Dianne, if he could, he would place the universe at her disposal. That might be a little over the top, but what wasn’t, was the sheer fact he knew he would give his life for her without question, hesitation, or reservation. Then again, Johnathan had plans on being around for a very long time.
Once J.W. came home from work, he called Michael, and told him he couldn’t meet with him this weekend. Instead, he decided to drive north and enjoy some alone-time. In preparing for his getaway, he also let the brief conversation, and the tone of the meeting with Patrick, play over in his head.
About the same time as J.W, Patrick walked through the front door of his house, when no sooner, his cell phone rang.
“Hi, Pat. I hope you had an incredible day. I called, because I booked us a reservation in Brighton, at McNamara’s. It is an elegant restaurant. I’m sure you will love the ….”
“Cliff? I’m sorry, but I’ll have to pass. Not really into going out tonight.”
“Oh. Not feeling well? I could come over, make you some soup, pamper you, and ….”
“That’s quite all right, Cliff, but I can take care of myself. I received some personal news that has me in a quandary, and I need time to sort through a few things.”
“Then call me when you are up to going out, please.”
Patrick could tell by the tone of Cliff’s voice; he was both disappointed and angry at being stood up. Patrick simply thought that Cliff would just have to get over himself.
It was late night that found Baker and Ed, side-by-side in bed, with Stevie sound asleep in his room. Except for breathing, were a pin to drop to the floor it would almost be deafening.
Finally, Baker turned to Ed, whispered in his ear, “Guess now is a good time to tell you, I love you.”
“I didn’t know you were debating the subject.”
“Well, the thing is, I have a serious question.”
“Bring it, Jan. Remember? No secrets.”
“I know, and it’s a simple, well, maybe not so simple question. But you’re thirty-seven, and I’m thirty-five. Until a few weeks ago, I never considered this, especially after Freddy almost killed us—you, but now, more than ever ….”
“Geez, Jan. Just ask me the question.”
She punched him lightly on the arm.
“Never rush a woman who wants to have another child.”
“Okay, I won’t. But what has that got to do with your being … Wait! Another child! Are you telling me we are going to have a baby?” Ed sat upright in bed with a look of excitement and expectation. The first thing his good hand did was to caress Baker’s stomach.
“Relax. No, at least not yet. But I love you so very much and because of that, I want to have a girl, or another boy in this family that is directly from your seed, your heart, your soul. I want to raise a part of us.
“One day, Stevie will be gone. He will have his own responsibilities, his own family. And when that happens, I would love to have a little one running around the house to drive us crazy.”
Ed smiled and wrapped his arms around her and kissed her on the top of her head.
“So, you’re talking, when then?”
“Stevie graduates school next year, and he’s looking at different colleges. I’d like for us to try to make a baby next year by summer’s end.
“When I get to mid-term, say five to six months, I would take paternity leave, or just quit the force altogether. It isn’t as if we need the money.”
“Jan, I’m not saying yes or no; but we have one big hurdle to get over before that would happen, that, being Freddy. I don’t need to go into details because we know what I’m meaning.
“If we get past him, and if you still want a baby next summer, then by God’s will, and a lot of luck, we’ll have us a baby.”
Baker leaned up and Ed tilted his head a little lower and they kissed. Baker would tell Stevie before the weekend was over. After all, they too, shared many secrets as well.
By Saturday daylight, a brisk steady rain began to fall. Clouds kept the sun at bay, until Monday.
It was that kind of weekend. People still went grocery shopping, or to a movie, but all the outdoor fun things were put on hold.
After all, even the weather isn’t always perfect.
Monday – July 9th
Captain Page’s Office – 8:59 a.m.
Captain Page read the note for the first time. Baker had read it twice.
this is riddle number 3. time 2 get the game in gear, time 2 create a little fear. Time 2 rearrange another school with a brand-new look—and do not think me the fool—but look for the fuse as I stay amused. Hey diddle-diddle, is it just a riddle? (can we say BOOM!!) u have until Wednesday noon. My rules, that’s why it’s so soon! HAHAHAHA!
“This is the second school he’s targeted, but why? Is this a student, a former teacher? Some bent out of shape parent that’s lost their mind?”
“I don’t know, Baker, but we need to get every available unit to search all of the schools. Once we can locate it, we can have the Bomb Squad from Stanhouse, standing by to defuse or deactivate it, depending on how it’s wired.”
“I’ll get up with all the units and have some stationed around or nearby the schools to direct traffic.”
“I’ll call Stanhouse PD.”
One minute later, Satchell was on the phone.
“Stanhouse, PD. Sargent Millhouse, speaking.”
“This is Captain Page, in Montie. Is Detective Don Baters in?”
“Hold on. I’ll patch you through to his phone.”
Four rings later; “Special Investigations. This is Detective Hendren.”
“Hello. I’m Captain Page, Montie, PD. Is Don Baters available?”
“Hold on a second.”
Thirty seconds pass.
“This is Detective Baters.”
“Don, my brother, how are you, my friend?”
“Hey there, you nappy-headed freak; what’s going on?”
“Nappy-headed! Is your wife still polishing that chrome dome you call a brain?”
Laughter on both sides of the phone were heard.
“Seriously, Don, we have a situation, and we can use a little help.”
“Name it, Satch.”
“We have a potential bomb threat here. There may be a bomb hidden in one of our schools. Lieutenant Baker is deploying units to do a sweep. If we find it, we’d like to have your Bomb Squad there to defuse it.”
“Say no more. With a few words to Captain Giles, we can get a crew to you within the hour.”
“Great. They’d be on standby until we locate the hot pocket.”
“Understood. But you do know Stanhouse will send you a bill for this, right?”
“Yeah. Doesn’t bother me. The mayor will handle it. I’ll let her know shortly.”
There was a slight pause when Satchell said, “Tell you what, when this is over, let me buy you lunch this weekend. We can talk over old times since the Academy, and since ….” Satchel voice hitched.
“I get you, Satch, no need to say more. I’ll be looking forward to this weekend. I hope things there end up being a dud and that there are no injuries, or worse. I know bomb scares are the last thing you need. It’s bad enough with all the terrorism around the world as it is. I keep hearing that the NSA has found dozens of terroristic covert operations across the country, but I’ll be damned if any of it is ever in the news.”
“I hear you. It would be nice if our good old government would fill us in from time to time, but hell, that would require someone to write a script for them to read, and that would cost just way too much.”
“True. Just be careful, Satch. Damn, it’s almost as if someone’s put a curse on Montie.”
“Thought that a time or two myself. I’ll call you Friday, and have something set up for lunch. Friday good for you?”
“Works for me.”
Satchell hung up the phone. Don could be right. Maybe someone did put a curse on Montie. A real curse that cannot be removed.
Millard Elementary – 5:39 p.m.
Through a joint effort, three of the four schools had been gone over at least three times, where every inch was scoured. It was a blessing that school was still in summer recess. Several of the police officers looking inside Millard have children that go there.
Every closet, every chair with a built-in desk lid, every office drawer, every locker, every bathroom had been checked and triple-checked.
When it came time for the auditorium; they found it. It was behind a mesh screen directly below stage level when one of the officers cried out, “Found it! Over here! It looks like a set of wires running to somewhere!”
One officer got on his radio and called in to the Twenty-Second.
“This is Officer Mason in Millard Elementary auditorium. We have located the device. I repeat, we have located the device.
Millard Elementary – 6:16 p.m.
Baker, Captain Page, Don Baters, and the Bomb unit were huddled in a circle.
“Don,” said Jim Harrison, lead man on the bomb squad, “if you won’t mind, we’re going to wrap things up, go home, and call it a night.
“And Captain Page, this is one sick individual to be pulling a prank like this.”
Baker agreed, nodding at Don Baters and Satchell. “Thing is that next time it might not be a prank. The first one wasn’t.”
“Granted,” said Don, “but if you need us down the road, don’t hesitate to call us.”
“Trust me, Don, we will if we have to.”
“Tell me, Satch, just where is this lunch going to be?”
“I have two places in mind. I’ll call Friday and let you know which one.”
The two men shook hands, and went their separate ways. Baker’s red Hummer was parked next to Satchell’s official car.
“I take it you two have known one another for a while.”
“Sixteen years. We graduated from the Academy together, and even served at our first police station together for two years, before we were both transferred to different divisions. I went to the 86th in Albany; Don hit the 53rd in Manhattan’s lower east-side. Next thing we know, we’re thirty miles closer.”
“Yes, it is. Sometimes, it keeps getting smaller.” (What he didn’t mention is that his wife was Don’s sister.)
Officer Andre Davis and Ryan Clinton had the so-called bomb in a box in the back seat of their car, as they made their way to forensics so that they could dust it for prints, and possible hair fibers.
It was a bowling ball with four, three-foot wires, two green, two blue, taped to the ball, along with a card attached that when opened, it read: BOOM!
2916 Murphy Lane – 7:25 p.m.
After the family listened to the late-breaking news about a bowling ball that had been recovered at Millard Elementary; and was made to resemble a real bomb, is now in the hands of police. There were no fatalities, and Jennifer Ralston added, “The closest to an explosion was a card taped to the bowling ball saying, boom, in capital letters. Not very creative, not very smart, and a silly idea. If we get any updates to this story, Channel 08 will bring it to you live.”
The original show they were watching returned, and one of the three privately thought, ‘Silly idea, huh? We’ll see next time how silly it is.’