Wednesday Briefs: I’m back!

It’s been such a long time since I’ve had the time and desire to write creatively. With grad school over for now, I’m getting back to flashing and Wednesday Briefs. Woohoo!

As a refresh, Wednesday brief stories are based on a prompt and must range from 500 to 1000 words. Several authors take part…be sure to check out the links to their stories.

My story this week is based on a picture of a road, shrouded in fog. I’d like to start writing a new novella based on the location and characters in this week’s story. I hope you like the peek into Blue Crab Cove, Maryland.

wedbriefsmed
Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Honoring Tradition 

(**Note: I wrote this story the weekend before Memorial Day so it’s just a bit late…please forgive me.)

My patrol car gleamed in the morning sunlight. I’d gotten up early to wash and polish every possible surface. Today, I was the lead car in Blue Crab Cove’s annual Memorial Day parade. This was an honor I didn’t take lightly. My father had served in the Navy prior to joining the Oregon State Police. Thinking of him, I paused in mid-swipe, allowing myself a short prayer. Dad had been killed in the line of duty almost five years ago. Holidays like these were still tough for me, but I was determined to pay my respects to all who’d served and paid the ultimate price.

“You ready to go, Lindsey?” My sergeant, Ken Wakefield, walked toward me. “The mayor just arrived. They want to kick things off soon.”

I scanned my car one last time— grateful for my sunglasses. I turned to face my sergeant. “Yep, I’m good.”

He clapped me lightly on the shoulder. “Your car looks great.” He paused, cleared his throat with meaning. “Your dad would be proud.”

I nodded. Tears pricked my eyes, and I didn’t trust my voice to come out sure and strong.

An obnoxious horn blared, interrupting the moment. Thank goodness. My sergeant rolled his eyes. “He sure has a way of making an entrance.”

That was our mayor. Young and full of himself. Surprisingly, he was a hit with young and old alike. Born and raised in this small town, he had no problem winning the election against a retiree who hailed from one of the hoity-toity Montgomery County cities.

I chuckled. “That he does. Let’s get this parade started!” Today was supposed to be my day off, but no way was I turning down the privilege of kicking off the festivities. This morning’s fog had burned off quickly, leaving abundant sunshine and a light breeze in its wake. Perfect weather for a barbecue or sail on the Bay.

“Don’t get too excited, Lindsey. It’s all of ten blocks, and you only have one stoplight to navigate.” My sergeant turned and ambled away. He was bringing up the rear so no need to hurry. There’d be plenty of floats, baton groups, and the high school marching band before he pulled out.

I fired up the V-8 in my Dodge Charger, enjoying the throaty rumble. I hit my overhead lights, powered my windows down, and eased the car to the parking lot exit. Mr. Parker, the school’s physics teacher and parade organizer, gave me a quick salute before waving me on.

I returned his salute with a smile, and got things started.

* * *

The parade route wound through downtown, the blocks passing by faster than I expected. It wasn’t long before I was pulling into the Cove’s waterfront park. The parade, at least for me, was now over, and I’d soon be off the clock.

I pulled into a shady spot, out of the way, and waited for my sergeant to arrive. Before long, he pulled car-to-car so we could talk without yelling and without standing outside in the now rather warm temperature.

“Good turnout along the parade route. It’s nice the townsfolk keep these traditions alive.”

I nodded my agreement. “I remember attending this parade with my grandparents. This was the place to be on Memorial Day.” My brother and I spent the summers in Blue Crab Cove when we were young. With my dad off on a ship, it gave my mom a much-needed break. It also gave them some alone time when he got back from a tour. I’d always liked how friendly the people were, and the way they welcomed me. It was a no-brainer The decision to move back here after college had been a no-brainer. Besides, I had too many painful memories in Oregon that I wasn’t ready to deal with.

“Seems like a long time ago now, doesn’t it?” My sergeant shook his head. “You’re making me feel old, Officer Anderson. Making me feel old.”

I laughed. “Please, Sarge. You don’t look a day over thirty.” And that was the truth. I didn’t know what his secret was, but he looked a good ten years younger than his actual age. “And you don’t act like you’re a day over twenty-five!” That was totally the truth. My sergeant had no problem taking down a drunken idiot or breaking up two watermen fighting over a crab pot. I only hoped I had his enthusiasm, energy, and youthful appearance when I was in my forties.

“Quit kissing my ass, Anderson! You know there’s no openings for a corporal.” He said it with a smile. One of the problems of working for a small police department was that someone had to retire or die for you to get promoted.

“I hear ya.” I turned the a/c up another notch before asking, “You good if I go off the clock, head home?”

“Got some big plans?” He waggled his eyebrows. My fellow officers—my boss included—liked to tease me about still being single. Lord knows I’ve had a number of offers from guys I’ve arrested, but not like I would date any of them. Sheesh!

“Yeah. Big plans. Me, my kayak, and a beer later.” My voice dripped with sarcasm.

He put his car in gear. “Head on home and enjoy the rest of the day. You deserve it.”

I yelled my thanks, but he was already pulling away. Time for me to do the same.

the end

Now check out stories from these briefers!

 

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