Wednesday Briefs – The Newcomers

It’s Wednesday Briefs time and another look into quaint little Blue Crab Cove, Maryland. This time I used “tornado” as a prompt for the story. And yes, it falls nicely within the word count.

I hope you enjoy Officer Lindsey Anderson’s latest adventure!

wedbriefsmed
Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

The Newcomers

by

Denise L. Wyant

Lighting cracked like a ringmaster’s whip, the strike much too close to my house. I couldn’t help but jump as the lights flickered. This was going to be a miserable evening for anything, but especially work. The rain pounded down in dense sheets. I knew I’d be drenched before I even got into my police car. My poor orange tabby, Murph, was hiding under my bed, wedged between boxes. That cat had the best ears of any feline I’d ever had. He ran for shelter at the first hint of a thunderstorm. With the way today’s storm raged outside, I’d rather be in hiding, too. At least I didn’t have to worry about a tornado. We didn’t get too many of them in Maryland.

Suck it up, Anderson. Police work—and crime—don’t stop just because of a bad storm. And, unfortunately, my sergeant wanted to meet with me promptly at three. No dilly-dallying around the house for me. Not today.

I grabbed my raincoat and cup of coffee. Pausing beneath the shelter of my front porch, I pressed the remote to unlock the doors and then made a mad dash for my marked patrol car. Once inside, I realized I had survived without getting completely drowned. Score one for me!

The drive to headquarters was uneventful; although, I did have to navigate some rather large puddles. One looked large enough to swallow my car so I put in a call to public works. Didn’t need a rescue later. Certainly didn’t need a kid on a bike falling in, either.

By the time I parked at HQ, the rain had let up a bit. I headed inside for the meeting with Sgt. Wakefield. He hadn’t told me why, exactly, he wanted to see me so I couldn’t help but be nervous. Ugh, stupid sweaty palms! At least I could blame those on the rain, on the off chance someone noticed.

“Anderson, is that you?” My sergeant’s bellow was hard to miss.

“Just pulled in, sir. The roads are horrible! I thought I was driving through a monsoon!” Not that I was late, but I still felt the need to justify my arrival. Guess bosses can do that to a person! Something about authority that makes you want to explain yourself. And damn those butterflies in my stomach. I was rambling like a nervous Nellie, and for no apparent reason. Sheesh! Just cause your sergeant calls a meeting doesn’t necessary mean you’re in trouble . . . at least that’s what I was telling myself.

“Come on in and close the door.” He pointed to the worn chair across the desk. He was already comfortably reclining in his chair.

“What’s up?” I asked as I sat down.

“Have you been out to the Morrow property for any calls lately?”

I took a deep breath—this wasn’t performance-related—and promptly started sneezing. After the fifth one, I was able to sniffle out, “No, I don’t think I have.”

“You got a cold, Anderson?” Sgt. Wakefield leaned forward in his chair, his eyes carefully appraising me.

“No,” I sneezed two more times. “I was fine until I walked in here.”

“So you’re saying your allergic to me, is that it?” His normally placid features were now pinched, and a frown turned the corners of his mouth down.

“No, not at all.” However, I’d been fine at my house and on the drive in. And what do you know? Another sneezing fit.

“This is ridiculous,” he huffed. “Let’s go stand outside. The overhang will keep us dry, and maybe the fresh air will do you good.” He shoved his chair back and strode out the door, not bothering to wait for me.

Rut roh. I hurried to follow him out, managing to grab some tissues from a box in the workroom on my way.

I sniffed and tried to gracefully blow my nose. Once I could take a deep breath and not sneeze, I asked, “The Morrow property . . . is that the bay front farmhouse at the edge of town?”

He nodded. “That’s the one.” He adjusted his gun belt and then continued, “We’ve had some odd calls out there lately. If you get dispatched out there, make sure you have another unit respond with you.”

While I appreciated the heads-up, I wished he’d be more specific. “Who’s living there now? I thought it was for sale.”

“I haven’t gotten a name yet. Seems to be an extended family. According to the realtor, they’re just renting the place.” He kicked a stone out into the rain. “I have a funny feeling about them.”

“Can do, sir.” I might just have to take a drive out there before darkness makes things too eerie. It couldn’t hurt to snoop around in the daylight.

He grabbed my shoulder. “I’m serious, Lindsey. Watch yourself out there. Something’s off with them.”

That warning sent a chill racing up my spine. Sergeant Ken Wakefield was the bravest man I knew, outside of my dad. If he felt uneasy, well, no good could be happening on the former farm.

to be continued . . .

Be sure to check out flashes from these Briefers!

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