Chapter 24: Avoiding the Question
“Hold still you pansy!” Jordyn snapped as Ian twitched again, laying on the bed.
“How about you dislocate your shoulder and then come back and tell me how it feels?”
“I have. If you can’t stay still, you’ll be in pain longer.”
Ian grumbled and closed his eyes tight.
“AHHHHHHHHHH!” he yelled as the bone was put back in its socket.
Ian winced again, favoring his sore arm. The majority of the pain had gone away, but it still hurt. Over on the other side of the room, Joey was putting a bandage on Brian, who was still lamenting over his broken machine. Off in another corner, Sheriff Glendale sat in a chair, silent and staring absentmindedly at the floor.
“Hey uh-Ian?” Joey said after a brief silence.
“Who told you guys about the affair with Janet and the Reverend?”
“The Deputy. Why?”
Joey was quiet for a moment, thinking.
“How would he have known about it?” she said finally.
The room was silent as they all let this sink in.
“You’re right…” Ian realized. “And we still don’t even know why he’s a suspect on our list…”
“I vote that we go talk to him in the morning.” Brian said, raising his hand. “I can’t deal with anymore ghosts or dead bodies or…”
He left it right there, but they all knew what he was thinking.
Ian rubbed his arm, his chest tight with worry.
How was he going to get his brother out of this one?
Off in the unknown of a dark expanse, Roderick was on his hands and knees, throwing up black goop.
“At least you’re still alive…” the ghost girl that he had come to know as Molly said quietly, patting him on the back.
“Yeah. All of the others that Kishnu tried that with all died.”
“Well that’s… good to know…” Roderick groaned, coughing.
The entire experience had been horrible. It was like being shoved in the passenger seat in your own body-still able to feel and see…
The look on Ian’s face as he stood over him…
Being unable to do… anything…
And to top it all off was the discomfort and pain. He imagined that it was similar to what the ghost girls felt every time they were made to do something. It was like, feeling an itch, but being unable to move, or being squeezed by some giant hand, all with the feeling of drowning.
While the parasite had been inside him, he had seen a little into its dark mind-into its plan.
It was not good at all.
If his friends and brother didn’t figure this out quick…
...everyone in Pinnacle Gulch was going to die…
The next morning, the five of them all drove down to the police station. Sheriff Glendale was very eager to talk to his deputy, especially with his apparent knowledge of the affair.
“Jeffery-is Jonah here?” the Sheriff asked of the redhead at the desk, followed by the four people investigating the mystery.
“Uh… yeah-I think he’s in his office filling out some paperwork.”
With that, the Sheriff led them into a small room, where they all crowded around to talk with the Deputy.
“Oh hey Barry! Dang-you brought in a whole party with ya!” the Deputy said with a smile, his graying blond mustache swishing back and forth. The Sheriff did not sit down. He simply stood over him with his arms folded.
“Jonah, how did you know about the affair with my wife?” the Sheriff asked bluntly, catching his deputy by complete surprise.
“What? I-I’m sorry-I only told the detectives for their investi-.”
“Answer the question.”
“Ok! Ok!I heard it from Ms. Wickersham before she disappeared. Happy now?”
The Sheriff sighed and sat down in one of the chairs as the other four in the room leaned against the walls.
“Sorry Jonah-I’m just-stressed. I just found out that the affair didn’t even happen.”
The deputy looked at him in confusion. “What?”
“We found my wife’s body.”
“What kind of gun do you use?” Jordyn asked suddenly, causing them to all look at her.
Slyly, Jordyn took out the little bag with the bullet in it.
“Evidence.” she said coldly. “What kind of gun do you use?”
“Now detective-don’t go sayin that…” the Sheriff began.
He paused as he noticed his deputy wasn’t saying anything.
The Deputy was staring hard at the bullet in the bag, his mustache twitching slightly. After a moment, he gave a little nervous chuckle, stepping out from behind his desk.
“Now… you’re not… insinuating anything… are you?”
“You tell me.” Jordyn said, her eyes narrowing.
Suddenly, the Deputy grabbed Brian and pulled out his gun, holding it up to his head.
“HOLY FLIP WHAT THE FREAK?!” Brian exclaimed, throwing his hands up.
“Nobody move!” the Deputy spat, inching towards the door.
The Sheriff sat frozen in his chair, staring at his rogue deputy.
“You-you’re the one who killed Janet-weren’t you?!” Jordyn exclaimed, her hands balling into fists. The Deputy didn’t answer as he backed out of his office.
“Deputy Ledford?!” a surprised voice squeaked from outside the office.
“Quiet Jeffery. And don’t move.”
The four people in the office tensely watched as the Deputy made his way outside. They could hear a car starting, which is what drove them to action. They all made it outside just in time to see Brian sitting shocked on the curb while the police cruiser zoomed off.
They all stood there for a moment, not believing what they had just seen.
“Well I’m guessing the deputy is the murderer then.” Brian said, breaking the silence, a dazed look on his face.
“We-we don’t know that for sure though.” Ian said hesitantly. Jordyn rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips.
“Really Ian? He just avoided a direct question at the murder of Janet Glendale and took off after threatening the life of a civilian. That doesn’t scream guilty to you?”
Ian scowled. “I just like to make sure of things…”
“Well there is one thing that can help us know for sure.” Joey piped up, turning to the Sheriff. “And that’s Mr. Glendale’s memories…”
The Sheriff nodded, a hard look on his face.
“Yes. I-I need to know…”
The five of them watched as the dust from the Deputy’s escape finally started to settle.