After getting sidetracked by life, I finally got back to Murder, Myles, and Me. Avery’s story is developing more, but you will have to wait for the next installment to see how things go with Officer Friendly.
Remember, Wednesday Brief stories have to be 500-1000 words and based on a prompt. This story incorporates two prompts since it was written over two different weeks. The first prompt is “duck, gun, & flag” and the second is “want some sugar with your coffee?”
Without further delay, Part 2 of
Murder, Myles, and Me
Kelsey and I situated ourselves on the dock opposite each other with our backs leaning against the old wooden posts.
I crossed my legs, mirroring Kelsey’s position. “So, what’s your gut feeling on what happened to Ad?”
She sighed. “I hate to say this, Gavin, but I don’t think it’s good. He could be dead.”
I rubbed my heart. It ached, like a part of me was missing. I didn’t tell Kelsey that—didn’t want her thinking I’m crazy, but I knew deep down that Ad had left us. Permanently. “I think he’s dead.” It was so hard to speak those words. Tears glistened in my eyes. “Let’s start by fleshing out the five W’s.”
Kelsey began. “First off, who? Let’s operate on the assumption he went missing and was then killed. By whom—that’s the question.”
Nodding, I continued. “Second W: what? We’ll assume murder, by what means? A gun? Drowning?”
“I think ‘when’ may be the easiest. The police investigation began Monday, three days ago. I heard he had to be missing forty-eight hours before they’d take the report. That puts his disappearance around Thursday or Friday.”
“Did he open the bar Friday?” I asked.
Kelsey thought. “No, I don’t think so. Dad mentioned Colin tended bar that night. Ad wasn’t around.”
“Okay. Let’s go with Thursday.” I wished I’d brought a notebook with me to jot down our ideas. Instead, I pulled out my smartphone and started typing.
“Where…hmm…You need to get some details out of Officer Friendly. I haven’t heard if his cabin was ransacked or not. We know he wasn’t taken from the bar.”
I tapped my fingers on my knee. “How do we know he didn’t get lost in the woods? He still enjoyed hiking, right? Maybe he was attacked by a bear or fell and broke his leg, dying before help arrived.”
Kelsey grinned. “I can help with that one. I heard some of the volunteers talking about that before you walked in. The local search and rescue group already checked his favorite trails. No sign of him. Plus, all his gear was where he’d left it, stored neatly in his shed.”
“Baby steps, and we’ll get there.” I made some more notes on my phone. “So I think we’re safe in assuming foul play and not an accident. That leaves the biggest question. Why? Why would someone want to hurt Ad? He didn’t have any enemies, did he?”
“Well, what do all those crime shows on TV say? ‘Follow the money’?” Kelsey paused as Ma and Pa Mallard swam by, quacking softly as they searched the water for their next meal.
I murmured, “Must be nice to be a duck…you’re mated for life, and you’re only worry is finding food.”
Kelsey snapped her fingers. “Stay focused, Gavin.”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes, Detective Kelsey. Please, continue with your hypothesis.”
“Smart ass.” Her words held no heat, and she quickly turned serious. “I think money is the angle. Ad had a nice little nest egg, thanks to the bar. Hell, maybe someone wanted to put the bar out of business so they could open their own place.”
I shoved my phone in my pocket and stood. I needed to do something. Pacing up and down the dock, I thought about what she said. Money had to be the key. After several moments, I stopped in front of her and knelt. Speaking softly I asked, “Do you remember that old story, the one that used to float around town when we were kids?”
Kelsey scrunched her eyebrows. I could tell she was searching her memory. Finally, she shook her head. “You’ll have to refresh my memory.”
“The one about the small plane with the Canadian flag on the side. It reportedly crashed high in the mountains. The pilot was a multi-millionaire, fleeing the authorities on his way to Mexico.”
Her eyes grew larger. “Yes…yes, I do!” She leaned in, “I remember Mom and Dad talking about it. Several of the town residents went in search of it. The man was supposed to be carrying several suitcases of money. All unmarked bills, nothing larger than a fifty.”
I glanced around the dock, ensuring we were still alone. “If memory serves, Ad told me about it. One time after dad had beaten me pretty badly, I soaked in a tub of Epson salts. I think he was trying to distract me from the pain.” I stood and walked to the end of the dock before turning around. “What if he wasn’t telling me a tall tale? What if he really found the money?”
Kelsey rose and walked to the end of the dock. “That’s a hell of a motive for murder, but I think it’s a bit farfetched. We should focus on the bar.”
“If you’re sure…” For some reason I felt like we were overlooking something, but I couldn’t decide what.
“I’m not one hundred percent sure of anything at this point. Hell, what if Ad is being held captive? You know he’d kill us for thinking so little of his survival skills.”
He sure would, however, I couldn’t get away from the hollow feeling in my heart. I glanced at my watch. “Shit, I better get going so I can meet Officer Friendly for dinner.” I lightly punched Kelsey in the arm. “Thanks for helping me out with that…some kind of bestie you are!”
Laughing, she pointed and backed away from me. “Oh, no. That was too much fun, watching you blush and fumble for words. No way was I coming to your rescue.”
I shook my head as she broke into a jog, calling over her shoulder, “Have fun at dinner, Gavin! Maybe he’ll ask if you want some sugar with your coffee?” she cackled, apparently proud of her stupid innuendo.
Groaning, I was thankful she didn’t mention cream. Good Lord, Gavin, focus.
to be continued…
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