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0200 hrs.

Wispy fog

Whirling, swirling.

Streetlight.

A lone bat.

Looping, swooping.

Night sounds.

Frogs, crickets.

Train whistle, far away.

Radio crackles in still, night air.

Prowler complaint.

Noise outside window.

“I’ll take it.”

“10-4.”

“Backup?”

“Negative.”

Front porch light.

Shadows.

Moth.

Flittering and fluttering.

Flower bed.

Weeds.

Dried and crispy.

Slight breeze.

Leaves ticking, clicking across weathered porch floor.

Wooden swing.

Rusted chain.

Crooked.

Front entrance.

Paint, peeling.

Loose knob.

A knock.

Door swings inward.

Slowly.

Just a crack.

And a creak.

Tiny face, crinkled with days long since passed.

“I heard them again, Officer.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

Damp, anxious eyes.

Faded gray with time.

“They were at the window, like before.”

“I’ll check around back.”

“You’re too kind.”

“I wish my Bill was still here.”

“I know.”

“He’s been gone ten years this week.”

“A good man.”

“Thank you.”

“Coffee?”

“It’s fresh.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Two sugars and a little cream, right?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Be right back.”

Outside.

Flashlight.

Waiting.

Neighbor’s house, dark.

Furnace, humming.

Rattles, then stops.

Quiet.

Two minutes pass.

Kitchen window.

Brightly lit.

Darting here and there.

Full coffee pot.

Silver tray.

Cookies.

Cups.

Saucers.

Spoons.

For two.

Screen door.

Spring, squeaking.

Thump.

“Everything’s okay.”

“Yes, I do feel better now.”

“Thank you.”

Warm smells.

Vanilla.

Fresh bread.

Pumpkin spice.

“It’s just with Bill gone …”

“I know.”

A downward glance.

Wall clock tick-tocking.

A sigh.

A tear.

Silence.

Tick, tick, tick.

“Would you mind if I sat for a minute?”

A sniffle.

“I’m tired, and really shouldn’t drive.”

“After all, how would that look?”

“A cop asleep at the wheel.”

A smile.

Relief.

Just like last night.

And the night before.

And the night before.

At 0200,

Ten years after her Bill passed away.


TODAY’S MYSTERY SHOPPER’S CORNER

Since the holiday season is nearly here, I’ve decided to feature a few fun items for your mystery shopping needs and wants. I’ll post these regularly throughout the remaining weeks of 2018.

So, for day six of MSC, especially for those of you who’re shopping for writer friends who enjoy a bit of research and/or relaxation, here are my picks. By the way, someone asked why I post all Amazon links for the books I recommend. The answer is that they work well for and with this site, but by all means feel free to purchase books anywhere you like. But why not here by simply clicking the links I provide?

First up, a Thin Blue Line Mug.


Thin Blue Line Unisex Crew Socks.


Gnome Police Statue. I have one in my office and you’ve seen him, Sergeant G. Nome, in many of my blog and Facebook posts. (Statue ONLY – fingerprinting supplies, book, drug testing kit, etc. not included).

 


Handcuff Necklace


Kendra Elliot is a longtime sponsor and supporter of the Writers’ Police Academy. I’m a fan.


Also a longtime sponsor and supporter of the WPA is Melinda Leigh. Again, I’m a fan.

Sometimes we catch calls that grab us by the gut and then pull and tug until our emotions are ripped out by their roots. This was one of those calls.

I Want To Go Home

“I want to go home. I want to go home. I. Want. To. Go. Home.”

“Those are the only words she’s spoken in years, Officer.”

“The last time we saw her she was wearing a blue nightgown. She was ready for bed.”

“Yes, all the doors were locked. Well, with the exception of the front door. That’s the one visitors use. But it’s monitored.”

“Please hurry. It’s really cold out. And she’s terrified of the dark.”

“No, she hasn’t had a visitor in over a year. Even her daughter stopped coming by.”

“I suppose we’d searched for an hour or so before we called you.”

Radio crackles.

“No, sir. Nothing yet.”

“Yes, sir. The dogs are on the way.”

Another crackle.

“It’s starting to snow.”

Twenty officers.

As many civilian volunteers.

More on the way.

Two dogs—Bloodhounds.

The best in the business.

Snowing hard, sideways.

Missing for several hours.

Temperatures dip to zero, and then a bit below.

Command post. Hot coffee.

Warmth for frigid hands and numb toes.

Radio crackles.

“I’ve found her …”

Fence. Chain-link.

Litter, scattered about.

Dumpster.

The old woman, nearly ninety.

In the snow.

No shoes.

Blue nightgown.

Glasses half on, half off.

Blue lights flittering and dancing among falling pieces of frozen lace.

Snowflakes on a wrinkled face.

A smile?

“I guess she finally made it home.”

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