Detective Jenkins and Capt. Rogers
Detective Jenkins and Capt. Rogers had been taking turns drying off their hair with Sarah’s towels and shaking out their wet clothing as they quietly listened to Sarah’s rant. For almost an hour the rain had not relented. Dr. Jacobs stood on the porch eerily quiet, mute even, staring at Dexter who was curled up in a ball outside by the wall of the hotel room trying to stay out of the rain.
Dexter kept an un-trusting eye on Dr. Jacobs. The dog had nowhere near as violent reaction to Dr. Jacobs as it had to Aticus but the dog still kept a healthy distance from him. Any closer and the Doc would be greeted with exposed fangs.
“So…is there any progress?” Sarah hesitantly asked, sipping hot chocolate out of a mug.
“No, ma’am.” Capt. Rogers with his back to Sarah answered before the detective could respond. Sarah had lent her ancestor’s diary to the detective. He thumbed through the pages with growing interest.
“This morning I felt nauseous and I haven’t yet bled. I have to hide myself from my father... I am not sure, I may or may not be with child, but Aticus seems sure of it.”
Detective Jenkins all but ignored Capt. Rogers, who sat down in a rocking chair, engaged in conversation with Sarah. Dr. Jacobs had come in from the rain, but ignored everybody and gazed at the darkness out the window.
“It has only been one and a half months and already my child is lively and moving incessantly, yet I barely show and I hide easily my sin. My extraordinary baby seems to be growing at an alarming rate and I fear Aticus knows it, as well he told me he can smell it in the air around me. I felt pangs out of this Earth, it has been only a few months but I fear I will soon deliver! I need to bathe and get some rest, but those familiar glowing green eyes outside will make it hard to sleep.”
“Aticus, he said his name is Aticus… And that’s impossible,” detective Jenkins sat on another rocking chair and softly whispered, he looked up, interrupting his reading when the door opened.
AJ and Tommy walked in, their fishing poles in hand. They immediately dried up with towels then AJ set the fishing poles in the corner of the room to greet the men while Tommy strolled toward the kitchen with the fish that they caught in hand.
Laughing, AJ asked Sarah under his breath, “What’s up with your boyfriend? He’s acting weird, even for Tommy’s strange ass.”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” Sarah scoffed playfully hitting him in his chest; Sarah turned her head toward Tommy, whose back had been turned from the group, “be quiet, he will hear you.”
Sarah instinctively did a double take as Tommy turned the corner. She admitted he had drastically changed and in most respects for the better. He seemed self-confident. Not a scared, shy, bumbling boy she knew him to be.
“This is a might unusual and informal in the extreme, but I am Detective Jenkins and I think you have met Captain Rogers.” He introduced himself and extended his hand, which AJ graciously accepted.
“Is there any progress with finding our missing friends?” AJ asked the officer.
Capt. Rogers looked over at Detective Jenkins as he exclaimed, “We are working on it, trust me!”
Tommy caught the gaze of Dr. Jacobs as he walked out of the kitchen after he put their fresh catch in the refrigerator and for a moment their eyes locked. Tommy froze as they stared at one another, each one sizing the other one up for dominance and control. Odd sensations came over the Doc. He felt tested in some manner. He felt he was being threatened, threatened for his territory and threatened on seniority. A tense couple of seconds crept by until Tommy, the weaker one, looked away.
“In the back of my mind I cannot help but imagine those emerald eyes watching from below me assuring that our baby would survive my family. I’m nervous; I worry in the pit of my gut I feel a conflict beginning that would tear me and Aticus apart.” Detective Jenkins stopped reading as a nervous unease twisted in his gut.
Tommy had finished putting away the gear and returned to the living room. He tried to ignore Jacobs as he parroted the words that AJ asked the detective, “Any progress finding our friends?”
“Capt. Rogers is working on it.” Detective Jenkins stood up from the rocking chair and sized up Sarah’s friend Tommy.
“I don’t trust anything he’s got to say!” Phillip exclaimed in Jenkins head, “I…”
Detective Jenkins interrupted Phillip’s ghostly voice, “So you and your friends are staying at this motel instead of your inherited property?”
Jenkins question had been directed at Sarah. She was taken aback a moment, she didn’t remember telling the police that she inherited the property, and then sensible reasoning sunk in. They were the police; they made it their business to gather information. Maybe she did tell him about her inheritance. It didn’t matter now, they were here and she was grateful.
“I decided it would be better to stay at the motel while we fixed up my place. I worried about the health of my friends between the lead, asbestos, and the possibility of there being black mold on the premises… I would kick myself if something happened to them…” Sarah paused for a second as she thought about her missing friends and the obvious irony of her statement.
Tears ran down her cheeks, threatening her calm composure. She tried to rapidly blink her eyes but they were quickly inflamed and reddening, “we had five rooms in the motel, I wanted to keep them all in case someone came back but… we just have two rooms now.”
“So is it you and AJ in one room and Desiree and Tommy in the other room?” Detective Jenkins skeptically inquired.
Sarah quickly countered, “You’re right, sort of! AJ sleeps on a cot in the living room by the TV,” she involuntarily glanced at Tommy and under her breath she continued, “To protect me at night.”
Though Sarah said her comments quietly Tommy heard her scathing remarks and quickly added, “I used to share a cabin with Roxy now I am in Desiree’s room … He looked over at Sarah cutting the tension with a hearty laugh, “oh but don’t worry, I have no interest in you anymore. For that matter I’m not into Desiree either. In fact with all the time she spends with Vlad, Vad, Viddarr or whatever the name is of the guy who owns that dingy Wolf’s Den Tavern. I basically feel like I have the room all to myself.”
Sarah crossed her arms as she looked over at Tommy, thinking a moment. He was telling the truth, she could see it in his eyes and his mannerisms. He felt no passionate interest in any one of them anymore. Just a protective sort of kinship that she could see every time he looked at her now that reminded her of an older brother watching out for their younger sibling. The circumstances that surrounded Tommy’s abrupt lackluster interest should have felt odd since he had been chasing her around like a little lost puppy ever since college, but she felt tremendous relief that he was not stalking her anymore. She abruptly turned away from Tommy and walked toward the refrigerator, emerging with a peach wine cooler and quickly downing the bottle quenching her thirst.
With the first question out-of-the-way Detective Jenkins dusted off his investigational chops, almost attacking Sarah, “So how long did it take for you to let their cabins go after they didn’t come back? You throw away all of your friends things as soon as they went missing? Where are their things? You still work on the property, even after your friends went missing?”
“No, no, no! We took all of their things and put them in the van, careful not to damage them. You can have them if it will help you in your investigation.” Sarah peered at detective Jenkins’ for the barrage of questioning visibly hurt and betrayed but she quickly shook it off. “My lawyer, Richard LeBeau, told me he would pay any expenses as long as we fix it up and I kept the place, I wanted to hold onto the rooms a little bit longer. Yes, I do still work on the place; physical labor seems to help sidetrack me some so I don’t go crazy with worry.”
Capt. Rogers scratched his chin deep in thought. Detective Jenkins told him about her diary and the connection to Aticus then and now. Somehow he knew the disappearances, the arsons, the murders were all connected to Sarah, to her diary and to her inherited property, but he feared it would take more proof to substantiate his theory.
“All roads lead to her, you know that, right?” Phillip questioned under his breath as if they could hear him.
Detective Jenkins couldn’t deny it, Phillip had been right. Dexter had made a beeline straight for Sarah’s property when they were investigating the disappearances. However, Detective Jenkins still didn’t know if Sarah was an innocent bystander caught up in this madness or the mastermind behind it all.
As if Philip had read his thoughts, “good luck trying to substantiate this madness, it is like the fairytale, The Boy That Cried Wolf, literally,” Phillip laughed nervously, “Adults have a hard time rationalizing the unexplained. They have a habit of denying the supernatural, even if it is thrust in their face!”
“Yeah, you’re right, son.” Jenkins said to himself.
The phantom conversation had not gone unnoticed with Capt.
Rogers, Sarah, and the others, they just silently stared at him.
“Well, I don’t know about you guys but the rain has let up and I’m hungry. I’m going to fix a fire in the fire pit. It was nice meeting you guys.” AJ said saluting them as he walked out.
As if on cue Detective Jenkins and Captain Rogers looked over at each other and both spoke, “well, we should get going. We left our cards on the table. If you have any more information, do not hesitate to give us a call.”
Sarah followed Detective Jenkins, Capt. Rogers, and the Doctor out the door. AJ made quick work of the fire, now a healthy mingling of yellow, orange and red flames dancing around one another, producing heat for the fish. After Tommy gave the fish to AJ he went over to his and Desiree’s cabin, closing the door.
After everyone had left Sarah looked up at the Crescent Moon, what a lovely sliver of Moon she thought as she walked over to AJ and the fire.