Frisky Friday Flashy Fiction
Happy Friday! The showers have finally stopped, but now we have heat and humidity! Ugghhh….
If you haven’t gotten your copy of the first anthology I’ve ever been in, you have 5 more days before it disappears forever!
We’re winding down the latest episodic story. I haven’t figured out what the next one will be. If you have suggestions, be sure to drop me a line!
Twenty-four hours made a world of difference. My stomach no longer bubbled like an overheating pot of spaghetti sauce, and my headache had stopped pounding. Even the birds sang and the sun shined brightly. But something didn’t feel right.
The sensation was as pervasive as a reoccurring nightmare. Sitting up in bed, I searched my mind for any evidence of something I may have forgotten but came up empty. Then my phone rang, and I knew the call was the harbinger of all things shitty.
Heavy breathing greeted me.
“Who is this?”
“They’re on to you.” The voice was hollow and amplified like a computer voice. “It’s only a matter of time before you’re behind bars, or worse. I’m hoping for worse.”
A dial tone seized my opportunity to respond.
Immediately, I pulled up the list of recent calls. The number was listed as unknown, but the location wasn’t. Mayview Park, North Carolina.
My past was asserting its presence in my life. Again. But I wasn’t worried. I’d always kept it buried. Tamped down the disturbed dirt and left behind a respectful arrangement of flowers. Some things needed to stay dead.
Scrolling through the screens on my phone, I pulled up the Southwest Airlines app and booked myself a flight to Charlotte.
The weather was practically tropical. Although I blasted the air, I could feel the heat through the rental car’s glass. But shit could have been worse. There could have been snow. According to the GPS, it would take me roughly two hours to reach the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. I’d been in touch with Sheriff Amy Fogle. She was more than happy to speak with me, but not over the phone.
I hadn’t wanted to make the impromptu trip, but my boss thought it necessary. Chief Scarlatti didn’t like unsolved cases or the mayor riding his ass. So I booked a flight and didn’t tell anyone—not even Connie or Marisa—where I was headed.
Being a born and raised Californian made me hate to admit that North Carolina was a beautiful place. The scenic view was something I could appreciate. Maybe consider visiting more often. But retirement? That was a long way off. I always imagined myself living in Northern Cali. But if my pension—or that retirement fund my sister talked me into starting a few years ago—didn’t cut it, then maybe I’d give the state a real consideration.
Two hours and ten minutes later, I pulled up to the nondescript building. A truck emblazoned with the words Watauga County Sheriff on the side was parked in front. Exiting the plain-as-fuck tan sedan, I glimpsed a petite female with her blonde hair pulled into a ponytail. She was in uniform.
She smiled. “Let me guess. You must be Detective Calvin Reeves.”
“How did you know?”
“I told my friend with the state trooper’s office you were coming to town today. They, along with my officers, have been keeping an eye on you.”
That explained the constant presence of squad cars. “But how did they know who I was?”
She laughed. “I’m Sheriff Fogle. Call me Amy. I do my research, Detective. Right after you called, I looked you up. Got a picture, too.”
Damn. And I thought I was thorough.
The sheriff jerked a thumb toward the passenger side of the truck. “Hop in. We’ll talk on the way to the diner. I’d offer you a cup of Joe from here, but that stuff is atrocious.”
“Thanks for the heads up.” I yanked open the door and got in.
As Amy drove off, she said, “Just so you know, Janet and Elwood Atkins were kinfolk of mine. Cousins actually.”
“Really? I’m sorry for the—”
“Save it. Locking up Apryl means more to me than condolences.”
The sheriff side-glanced at me. “Apryl has had help with her crimes.” When I flinched, Amy just nodded. “You heard me right. That girl’s been committing dirt for years but has never been caught. I don’t know who’s been helping her, but I suspect it might be someone in law enforcement.”
Well, that put a spin on things…