Larry doesn’t find anything unusual when he peruses Sammy Moore’s expenditures. A little kinky maybe, but nothing incriminating or illegal in any way. It is a surprise when he gets a call from the doctor who treated Sammy for his plunge from the balcony, and the man wishes to talk to him off the record. Dr. Wayne…Larry rolls the name around on his tongue, as if he represents the newest flavor of the month. The cop feels like the whole thing is an ancient pictograph he isn’t seeing. He can feel the cold stone, the deep grooves, and the past spirits of other living beings. At the same time, Larry feels that he fails to read the ancient map which floods his vision.
“Why do I get the feeling Sally isn’t who she says she is?”
Larry rolls his desk chair over to a bank of computers, types in the woman’s name off the business card, and gets a read-out that does not fit the Sally that acted as informant. He continues to scan the facts and runs into a current status: DECEASED.
“Who is this woman?”
He spins the business card around in his fingers, while he gets a Voice Stream message saying the woman is not answering her phone and to call her back later. Larry thinks about his upcoming marriage, and how beautiful Tina will look in her full-length gown.
His tail man calls again, just as Larry tosses the business card onto his desk.
“I saw Sammy bury something out in his parents’ backyard.”
“You see what that something was?”
“Don’t know. It was inside a bag.”
“A small bag?”
“It definitely was not a body. If that’s what you’re getting at?”
“What time was this?”
“Near dark, last night. I’d say around seven or so. We going on a dig?”
“When the timing is right. You won’t forget the exact spot, will you?”
“Naw…But it will cost you!”
“You devil.” Larry says, before he hangs up the phone.
Larry finds it funny that crank calls begin the minute his engagement hits the newspaper. He wonders if a woman he had once dated is calling to hear his voice and not say a word. Complete silence often unnerves him, from the other end of the line. In his experience, guys—generally—had more balls, and would not avoid confrontation in such a passive and annoyingly silent way. Larry knows it can be any one of the many women that assumed him without really getting to know him.
“You need a life!” becomes Larry’s classic line. He uses the phrase to amuse himself. He uses the line to dispel anger. After all, Larry finds enough stress just being in law enforcement without playing phone ghost.
Sammy Moore walks out of another tattoo parlor with a new piece of body art. He knows, if he somehow gets back to his time, the art could be the death of him. So… he settles for keeping the tattoos in places he can easily cover with clothing—in case he gets his wish. A song he heard hangs on the tip of his tongue. ‘I have you’re tattoo on my arm…Because every time I turn around you disappear.’
He does not want to lead the secretary on, but he desires to pursue the subservient nature of the woman a bit further. Out of the thousands of women who crossed his famous path, she stands out in his mind. She probably has a suitor, no how. The man usually is not very organized. Hindsight kept the woman’s number in a safe place, one where he could find it later.
In an alien world, Cledus gets butterflies in having to approach the woman for a ‘real’ date. A warming up process was never in the cards, even on the open prairie. It takes several hours to nurse his bravery before the impersonating icon’s palm catapults up the phone and takes it into his hand.
A guy doesn’t answer at the other end of the phone line, which Cledus takes as a good sign.
“Hi…How are you, Ruth?”
“It’s Sammy Moore!”
“This isn’t one of my friends pulling a goof?”
“No, you gave me the best shower of my life!”
The other end of the line goes silent.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to be s…o forward!”
The woman clears her throat.
“Sammy, what do you want?”
Cledus is a little taken aback by the woman’s abrupt response.
“I want to see how yur doing? If you’re seeing anybody? If you would like to go out on a jaunt with me?”
“Oh. Sorry for my bout of obnoxiousness.” She lets out a large pocket of air. “There is something you should know.”
“You have a boyfriend?”
“Well…No. It would be best if I tell you over dinner.”
“O.K. Saturday a good night for you?”
“That’s fine. What time you picking me up?”
“How about seven?”
“Why don’t we make it seven-thirty? Terrace Apartments, Unit 5C.”
“Seven-thirty it is.”
“I see your album is doing well.” The woman coughs, then adds, “I’m so glad.”
“I’ve got to go. Got an appointment.”
“Talk to you on Saturday.”
Humbug Sammy first met the woman eight years before; he still hasn’t gotten over the feelings the mere thought of her invokes. Presently, he cannot help but wonder what she wishes to tell him? Cledus sensed a voice shift over the telephone, which left him a bit rattled.
The new Bruno gives him a thumbs up, and asks, “Does it look good, Boss?”
Sammy gives the man his patented entertainer’s smile. “Well…she didn’t tell me no.”
Bruno II wonders if any woman knows such a word in reference to Sammy Moore, and he highly doubts it. He looks over at his boss.
“We need some sort of signal, in case you’re in trouble, Sammy. Also...I don’t want to step into the middle of one of your intimate moments.”
“I agree, Chuck.” Cledus grins, knowing the man often answers to the nickname. “I’ll let you know with a flick of my ear, when I want to steal second.”
Bruno II is so serious he fails to get the rock singer’s humor.
“Nah. I will crack my knuckles—instead. And, believe me, it’s pretty loud.”
“Yes…Boss. What if you want to get even more intimate?”
“Let me think on that one. We have a few days.”
Cledus turns from his bodyguard and thinks…I got it. You like to watch?
Cledus falls asleep listening to Van Hagar. Amazingly, his brain somehow brings up the song ‘Why, Can’t This Be Love?’ He closes his eyes. He envisions the secretary coming to rest in the crook of his arm, as the tune repeats and repeats the universal and time transcending question.
A woman gets into her Grand Am, dawns some goggles, and she smiles. Jerica, Sally, and Katie are just a few of the names she used over the years. The way she swings her hips, very few people pay attention to her name. Like aesthetic poison, women are jealous and guys froth at the mouth—like snakes anticipating an easy meal.
An informant told Jerica about a new complication she must deal with ASAP. But she still smiles, with the thought she is in total control and stands sentry—appointed by a terrorist organization to seek out Omar Redding and find the perfect venue to attack a stadium with a hidden bomb the man carries into the stadium himself. Jerica thinks it brilliant the bodyguard’s death will be pinned on Sammy Moore, as well. Authorities will not believe such a vicious and calculated act emanated from the singer. Then again, she wonders if some of the jealous ones would want to believe it’s true. She finds comfort in knowing police will appraise with their eyes and fumble with planted evidence. She thinks it through even further. Jerica realizes, even if they figure out the whole terrorist thing, she will be on a plane traveling to the other side of the world frothing at the mouth at the possibility of living like an oil barren’s queen.