Near 500 words: Buddy’s dead, now what?

Episode #26 of The Writer

It was almost midnight when the police finished questioning TW (aka The Writer). He told the police what Buddy had told him. That there were two men leaving his house and one had slugged him. And now he was dead.

Sitting in the Denny’s, picking over his eggs, nothing made since to him. Two of the closest creatures in his life, Cat, then Buddy, were dead. And it was possible that their deaths were connected. But why? And why would two men be going through his house.

He lifted his coffee cup to his lips and drank, then set it back down on the table. He asked himself a question. If I were a character in a novel, what would I suspect was going on? And what would I do next?

If this was the plot of a novel he was writing, the two deaths definitely would be connected. That meant that the two men had been in his house before. They had let Cat out and sliced her with a blade. Maybe they had taken her with them and she escaped. Yes, that’s what happened. The thought sickened him.

And Buddy had surprised them. They were not expecting Buddy to drive up to his house. That also meant they knew where he was. Probably because they had someone watching him. So they had plenty of time to search my house.

But what were they looking for?

It was becoming obvious that the two men took the postcards and the two wooden carvings. What was it about the postcards? Why did they want them? And were they watching him right now?

Of course, they were.

Okay, knowing all this, what could he do about it?

TW was tired. He drove the several blocks to the motel the police had sent him to, almost falling asleep at the wheel. He pulled into the motel parking lot. The police had decided that he was not going to go back to the house since it was a crime scene.

He got out of the car and went into the manager’s office. The manager gave him a key. “It’s one of the rooms around the back.”

The second floor room was sparse. Two beds and two dressers, a TV and a lamp.

He locked the door behind him and slid the chain into place. Then he turned off the lamp and dropped onto the bed.

He woke up with a pounding in his head. After a minute or so, he realized that it wasn’t in his head. It was at the door. He pulled back the curtains to see two uniformed police officers outside.

He opened the door and the two men stepped inside. “We need you to come with us. The sergeant has some more questions.”

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Give a listen: Rhiannon Giddens

It’s been a bit of time passed since I posted a musical spotlight. I came upon the amazing Rhiannon Giddens on NPR. Giddens has a great voice that can take any song she chooses and turn it into a jewel. And she has the talent to take on any genre of music and deliver. Here are five of her deliveries. Enjoy!

Trees on the Mountains.

Woman of Constant Sorrow, by Sxip Shirey featuring Rhiannon Giddens

Leaving Eden by The Carolina Chocolate Drops (with Rhiannon Giddens)

S’iomadh Rid (The Dhith Om / Ciamar A Ni Mi)

I’m On My Way.

Near 500 words: TW and His Friend

Episode #25 of The Writer

TW (aka The Writer) left Christine Baxter’s office late. He looked at his watch. It said 6 p.m. As he got into his car, he realized that he was starving. When had that happened?

The time he had spent in Dr. Baxter’s office had passed way too fast. As they discussed the postcard and what it revealed, the two of them came to the conclusion that they had to get together the next day in the library to continue their research. Where it would lead neither knew. But they knew it would lead somewhere unbelievable. They were on the edge of a major discovery. All because of a postcard.

There was a steak in the freezer. He’d thaw it out and throw it on the grill. This was the first time he’d wanted to eat since Cat died. What had she gotten herself into and what had happened to the postcards?

He veered to the right, barely missing a pedestrian. Get your mind on your driving. You can think about Cat and the postcards and Dr. Baxter’s information after you get home, he told himself.

He turned into his street and saw Buddy’s car parked in his driveway. Good. He would have a chance to discuss the recent events with Buddy. He pulled over and parked on the side of the road because there was no room in the driveway behind Buddy’s car.

Then he saw the body. It was Buddy.

He jumped out of his car and ran over to see Buddy lying on the grass. Buddy was shaking his head.

TW kneeled down to see if Buddy was okay.

“Give me a hand,” Buddy said.

As TW lifted Buddy off the grass, he asked, “What happened?”

“Damned if I know.”

TW waited till Buddy cleared his head, then he helped his friend inside. Buddy sat down on one of the dining room chairs. TW went into the kitchen and poured water onto a washcloth and took a bottle of water out of the refrigerator.

Sitting across from Buddy at the table, he listened as his friend gave him the story. “I had some papers to give you. They’re from Dr. Hollings. As I got out of my car, I saw two men leaving your house. I dialed 9-1-1. When the dispatcher picked up, one of the s.o.b.s slugged me. Where’s my phone anyway?”

“I’ll get it.”

A minute or so later, TW laid the pieces of Buddy’s phone onto the table.

“Shit,” Buddy said. “I just got that phone too.”

“Why don’t I take you to the hospital, then I can call the cops.”

“Guess that’s best. I sure have one hell of a headache.”

A half hour later, TW was talking to the doctor. “Is he going to be all right?”

“I think so. But it’s best he stay overnight, and we do some x-rays in the morning.”

“Can I see him?”

TW walked into Buddy’s room. “You’re going to be alright. I just saw the nurse who’ll be taking care of you. Maybe I could get hit over the head and she’d take care of me.”

“You’re not going to steal–Damn this head.”

Buddy’s chin dropped to his chest.

TW rushed out into the hall, yelling, “Nurse, nurse. Someone.”

 

Sun, yellow sun

Sun, yellow Sun
Chase the dark away
Open the morning curtains
Give us another day

Sun, yellow Sun
Part the sea of clouds
Flowers bend hello
The oak stands unbowed

Sun, yellow Sun
Bright above our heads
Your children, the robins
Their songs sunlight fed

Sun, yellow Sun
Pass the noonday line
Shadows on your trail
Done with morning’s climb

Sun, yellow Sun
Sinking into bed
Day closed behind you
Your footprints orange and red

Sun, yellow Sun
Asleep for a time
Slip off into dreamland
Let Moon complete the rhyme.

Near 500 words: Library Work

Episode 24 of The Writer.

Librarian Buddy Grady had been a colleague of TW’s (aka The Writer) for fifteen years. In that time, they had become close friends. Maybe the only one TW had at work. Now that TW was taking a year off, Buddy wondered who he would talk to about all his women problems. Two divorces and he was still looking for that perfect woman that would bring paradise to his life.

These thoughts went through his mind as he searched the archives for a thesis on Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. It was called “The Old Man and the Big Fish.” The author, a former graduate student of Dr. Morale’s, argued that Ernest Hemingway’s novella was actually his Moby Dick. The old man was Captain Ahab; the boy was “Just Call Me Ishmael”; and the fish was the White Whale.

After doing a half hour search in the archives, Buddy didn’t see it.

“Dr. Grady,” Seymour called.

Buddy looked up. “Yes, Seymour,” Grady said to the sad sack of an intern.

“Dr. Hollings is looking for you.”

Grady straightened his tie. He never came to work casual but always wore a tie. To prove that he was serious. Not only to others but to himself. Though he was a competent librarian, Dr. Hollings always intimidated him. Grady felt the director didn’t think he was up to being a “real” librarian. Little did he know it but the director made all his staff feel that way as he talked about the way libraries used to be back in the days of card catalogues.

And it wasn’t enough that Hollings wanted him to take up the slack for TW, but now he was going to make Grady his personal whipping boy. It was five p.m. and he wasn’t up to any more distractions. He had several other orders from faculty to fill before he could head home.

Dr. Hollings stood beside Grady’s desk.

Standing at attention, Buddy asked, “How can I help you, Dr. Hollings?”

“I’ve got some paper work to be signed.” He passed the papers over to Grady and asked if he would get TW’s signature.

“Of course.” Grady let out a sigh of relief and took the papers and slid them into his briefcase. “I’ve been meaning to get over and see him anyway. I have several books he asked for.”

“Good.” Then Dr. Hollings smile his satisfaction that he had again put the fear of the Lord into Buddy He turned and began whistling as heheaded toward the front door and on his way home.

The paperwork was as good an excuse as any to leave for the day. He’d get back to the faculty requests the next day.

On his way out, he stopped and flirted with the new librarian. Just out of college, she was what was known as “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.” He gave her one of his boyish smiles and she returned with a smile of her own.

“Would you care to go out for a drink Saturday night?” he asked.

She hesitated.

“Oh, it’s okay,” Buddy said. “Don’t want to date a co-worker.”

She laughed. “It’s not like that.”

“Oh?”

“You see, I,” she hesitated, then her voice dropped to a whisper, “I like women.”

Buddy Grady laughed. “I’m so sorry. I just got a divorce and I’m only now getting up the courage to date. Well, goodnight.”

As he opened the door and stepped into the late afternoon, he said, “Too bad.”

On the way over to TW’s, the radio played “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” “Yeah, right,” he said.

He drove up to TW’s house and pulled into the driveway. TW’s car was not there, but two men came out of the house. “What they hey,” he said and jumped out the car.

The two men saw him taking out his cell  and punching in 9-1-1.

Before the dispatcher could answer, one of the two tackled Buddy. The other grabbed his phone and smashed it against the concrete.