|Murder at Easter
Author: Far Wanderer PM
Small town cop Charlie Walker has no worries until his daughter finds a body while hunting Easter eggs. Then it's up to Charlie to find out who silenced his friend. Complete.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Crime - Chapters: 6 - Words: 5,390 - Reviews: 8 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 04-21-11 - Published: 04-16-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2908034
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Charlie felt like he was swimming rather than walking. Possible, the storm had grown even more fierce. Thunder and lightning now joined the torrent of rain. The German shepherd running with him whimpered and had her ears laid back, but she kept at Charlie's heel.
He aimed for the Morris house. Gunner raised the dog. There's probably no sense in going through his house. The clubhouse is as clean as a whistle. So I'm going to try Roger's own house.
No one answered the door. That didn't surprise him. Even after her husband had died the day before, Priscilla would be the first to arrive at the church for the Easter play. Some people just have to be seen. Slipping his hand under the front door mat, Charlie found a key. He fitted it into the lock and swung the door open. Hilda shook the water from herself in the spotless entranceway.
Charlie led her to the kitchen first. From what the coroner said about the contents of Roger's stomach, he probably swallowed the cocaine in the dessert that Priscilla made. It doesn't mean that she put the cocaine into it, but it's worth checking. Hilda made a complete circle of the room and returned to Charlie without alerting. Well that's that.
After a quick sniff at the living room, Charlie took Hilda to Roger and Priscilla's bedroom. Hilda sniffed at the bed and drawers but didn't alert. Charlie found nothing more unusual than the size of Priscilla's wardrobe. She had an entire dresser devoted to jewelry, and she had both closets for her dresses, while Roger only had two drawers for his clothes. But Charlie found no sign that Priscilla had removed any of Roger's things. A wedding photo of the couple still hung above the bed.
Hilda did not alert in Ethan's room either. As could only be expected of Priscilla's child, not a toy or article of clothing littered the floor, but, peeking inside the drawers, Charlie found that the boy had stuffed his belongings away in hopeless tangles of socks, electronics wires, and scratched cd's.
"You may not be ready for this work, after all," Charlie told Hilda. He led her back out into the rain and stood for a moment on the steps, trying to decide what to do next. The Post Office, just down the street, caught his eye, and the two of them trotted toward it.
The small brick building proved to be no trouble to get into. The mailroom was unlocked, a matter that Charlie guessed was a federal offense. It wasn't long before entering that Hilda pulled her leash out of Charlie's hand. She stopped in front of the cart of mail awaiting the overnight truck.
"Have you found something?" Charlie asked. The dog circled the cart, scratching at the canvas sides. He reached into the cart and pulled out a handful of envelopes. "Is this it?" Hilda ignored him and continued pawing at the cart. Charlie pulled out a large package and held it up to her nose. "What about this?" Hilda sat down, looking at Charlie expectantly. "I don't have a reward for you." He gave her a quick scratch behind the ears. "Good girl."
Looking at the package, he read the name on the return address with a cold feeling in the pit of his stomach. This explains everything. It explains why it was the mailman who found out about the drugs. Franklin has a mail-order coke dealer. Charlie ripped open the box and sifted through the contents, confirming his guesswork.
Charlie fixed a bowl of water for the German shepherd and shut her in the mailroom. "Be good, girl. I've got an Easter play to crash."
He dashed down the street to the church. A cardboard circle teetered at the front of the sanctuary as the stone that covered the garden tomb. Rebekah stood beside it, wearing the best tinsel halo and wings from the Christmas costumes, with her knees wobbling nervously. Their parts done, the other children, still dressed in costume, watched from behind the piano. Ethan Morris had a far-off look on his face, contemplating a future without his father. The parents watched the front of the room intently. Missy had Charlie Junior bouncing on her knee. Charlie sat down next to her. "I need to talk to you."
Missy shook her head. "Rebekah is about to say her line. All she says is 'He is not here but risen.'"
Charlie picked up his son and carried him to the front of the room. Confused, Rebekah took him in her arms without a word of protest, just a tear starting to run down her cheek. Everyone in the room watched as Charlie marched out of the church, grasping Missy firmly by the arm.
She had to yell over the rain as they huddled in Charlie's police cruiser with the doors locked. "Charlie, what is going on?"
He drummed his hands on the steering wheel. "You know all about it. I understand now why your baskets have become so much in demand. I found the prize that you hide inside those little cotton bales. Roger found out, and you couldn't let him tell me." He felt his anger dying out. "Is small town life just too boring for you?"
Her eyes flashed with fire again, more menacing this time, but she didn't answer. They listened to the rain fall together for what seemed like only a few minutes. Rebekah and Charlie Junior came out of the church, kept close by Priscilla Morris. Streetlights popped on as the light of day failed. Finally, Charlie cranked up the cruiser, ignition catching on the third try.
"It's time for good-bye," he said.
"Are you sure that you want to do that?"
Of course not. I have my town to protect, though. He threw the car into gear and took his wife out of Franklin.