Posts Tagged ‘murder/suspense’

Murders in Progress…

November 4, 2012

Out of Gas

(Episode 11)

The bus dropped Leland off back at the Sheriff’s office.  Leland called Ramey, while Ruth tossed him the keys.

‘Ramey,’  Leland said into the phone, catching the keys.

“I’ve put on a pair of flannel pajamas’ and poured myself a big glass of wine and started a roaring fire and I’m just sitting here, “ Ramey lisp, in the slightly feminine voice.  “It’s been quite a couple days!”

“…You sound gay,’” Leland said, completely thrown.

“I’m not leaving the house today, Leland.  I need this quiet time to recoup, and to re-center!  I feel I’ve undergone a horrible psychic invasion,”  Ramey lisp.  Leland could hear the wine gurgle as it was poured.

“Ramey.  I need to see you, now.”

“And I don’t see what good I could do for you there, now,” Ramey spit it out like a mad cat.  “It’s all over now!  It’s too late.  I’ve been deflowered.  I just hope that monster didn’t give me some kind of disease.”

“Ramey, you get your ass in here right now, or I’m coming out there.”

“You know, where was the Law when I came to you?”  Ramey hissed.  “Huh?  You couldn’t be bothered.  You had pressing business. ..”

“How do you know Nancy Loomis, Ramey?”  Leland growled.

“What does it matter?  It’s too late now.  I’m dead!”

“What?”

“You heard me.  The monster beat me.  God my jaw hurts.  Then cut my head open, and pulled my brains out, and cut my head off…”  Ramey cried shrilly.  Then Leland heard the gurgle of more wine.

“How do you know all that?  ….   Ramey?  Are you there?!”

“Yes.  So I’m just sitting here, curled up here, now, on my pillow … (gurgle)…ing this wine!”  Ramey sighed.  “And not going anywhere!  Because let me tell you, I feel as if I’d been raked over the coals.  I feel humiliated, and abused, and horribly battered, and sore all…  (gurgle)  …and frankly,” Ramey whispered in a low voice, “pissed as all Hell! I think, Leland,” his voice slowly rose.

“And I’m the only male nearby,” Ramey whispered.

Leland said…   “What?”

“ I’m really worried.  Perhaps you could come out here, Leland.  Because I’m really worried.  She’s saying terrible things, and swearing…”

“You’re both there, at the house?”

I’m not going anywhere,” Ramey whined.

Leland didn’t know what to say.

“I’ll get there as soon as I can, Ramey,” Leland promised.  He didn’t know whether to whisper or shout.  So he did both, repeating himself twice.

Leland left the office, after leaving instructions with Ruth to Call Doc Chatham and have him patched to the patrol car.  Then Leland hit the lights on the squad car and with sirens screaming headed out of town.  Three miles out, he ran out of gas.

“That damned Ruth!”  Leland beat on the wheel.  The patrol car was stopped by the side of the road, in the midst of nowhere, lights flashing.

Leland got out.  As he stood there, he noticed what looked to be two guys approaching slowly in a faded pickup streaked with manure.  Leland unsnapped his holster, as the pickup rattled to a stop there in the road beside.

“You got a problem there, Shair-eef?”

As it had approached, Leland realized it was just Bob Weeds with his Great Dane, ‘Vomit’, who always rode sidekick.  Bob Weeds spit a slurry of tobacco juice out the window and smiled.

“No problem,” Leland replied.

“Cause a lot of us was wonderin’ whether or not you had made any progress on thet headless murder a week or so back, and hadn’t heard anything.  Some of us was thinkin’, maybe you’d run out of gas.”  Bob nodded at the can of gas.  He looked about to laugh, but bit it off with a glance from Leland.

Leland stepped around the truck, invading  Bob’s territory, and smacked the hood as he passed, smiling broadly.   Bob jumped.  Vomit started barking.

“Shut up!  Vomit.  Damn it, would you shut up!!”

“Well, we just about got the head and neck connected Bob.”  Leland drilled Bob Weeds with his eyes, staring in the window.

“That’s good.”  Bob nodded.  “That’s a start I guess.”

“Yes it is, Bob.”  Sheriff Leland agreed.

They did the stare down.  Finally, Bob was the one to blink.

“Uh, so good.  Good,” Bob said gruffly.

“And we’re looking to having more definitive developments to report in the next few days.”  Leland had to shout this latter while staring directly into Bob Weeds eyes, which had followed him nervously as Leland has strode around the hood of the pickup.

“Shut up! Vomit.  Would ya shut up!!”  It took Bob Weeds some doing to quiet his dog..

“Well, that’s good.  That’s real good…”  Bob mumbled as he turned his glance back to the roadway and put the truck into gear.  “So we’ll be seeing you now, Sheriff.”

Leland gave him a pleasant, nothing’s wrong, how are you doing neighbor wave – and Burt Weeds drove on.  Then Leland started filling his tank with the spare 5 gallons he kept for stranded roadside motorists.

This was a bit of puzzling behavior for Bob Weeds to be exhibiting, Leland considered.   He usually just slumped around with his head down doing whatever a hen-pecked dairy farmer did around here for a life and a livelihood.   With few friends but a long family history in the valley, everyone knew who Bob Weeds was.   There wasn’t much more to it than that, usually.  But it struck Leland now that he was acting downright cocky.  Downright cocky was what usually proceeded downright arrested.

‘Which really doesn’t  fit Bob Weeds’, Leland thought as he replaced the gas caps.

Photo by Carl Nelson

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Murders in Progress

September 24, 2012

Episode (4)

Does the Name Nancy Loomis Mean Anything?

          “Does the name Nancy Loomis mean anything?”

          “Sir, do you have some information you wish to share with the Kimmel County Sherriff’s Bureau?”

          Ruth liked the word ‘Bureau’ better than the word ‘Office’.  It sounded vaguely Federal which, she felt, gave it more ‘Oomph’.  Sheriff Leland didn’t.  But then again, Sherriff Leland never answered the phones.  So Ruth figured the two of them were whoever she said they were. 

          “I don’t know.”  Ramey was on a disposable cell phone he had picked up in the city.  He had a box of them.  After watching all of the TV shows he figured one could come in handy.  And he had been right.  He couldn’t have these calls traced back to a practicing dentist.  That could cause all sorts of difficulties.  “I’m not certain, I mean.”  Ramey was looking out his car window at a flower stand.  He was working his way, left to right, through the various hanging baskets of assorted flowers, slowly pronouncing the name of each.  This seemed to keep the flashes of horrible imagery, terrible things really, from overwhelming his thoughts.  “Petunia,” he said softly.  “Chry-san-themum”…

          “Sir, you’ll have to speak more loudly,” Ruth said in her Passive Aggressese, getting a bit annoyed.  After all, this was Federal Business.

          “I don’t know!”  Ramey shouted.  Then tried to calm himself, moving onto the next hanging basket of florals.  “Begonia…  I mean, I’m not sure.”

          “What information is it that you wish to share with the Kimmell County Sherriff’s Bureau?”  Ruth said again, mustering all of her authority.  These ‘informants’ were so flakey.  She had often told Sherriff Kimmel, ‘sometimes I wish we could just haul them in and beat it out of them with a rock!’, which had gotten a laugh.  But she also wondered if Sherriff Leland hadn’t become a pussy.  After all, she was the one in the trenches. “Is there information that you wish to share with the Kimmell County Sherriff’s Bureau?”  She growled more loudly, “…sir.”

          “I don’t know.  I mean, I’m not sure if I do or not.  If the name Nancy Loomis means anything to you, that is, if it figures in a current, by that I mean an, on-going investigation, then, I figure, I do.”

          “I know what current means, Ramey,” Ruth said, finally discarding all of her patience.

          Ramey looked at the cell phone as if he had been cheated.  He had asked the fellow in the city directly: ‘Is this phone traceable?’

          “How do you know my name?” Ramey asked, the disbelief creeping into his voice.

          “You’re my dentist!” Ruth barked.  “Everybody around here knows your name Ramey.”

          Ramey flushed.  “Well fine, then!”

          “What is it you want Ramey?  … for the fourth time.”

          “I need to know if the name Nancy Loomis, figures in any way into your investigation,” Ramey’s voice trailed off softly, “of the recent murders…”

          “I’m sorry sir, but ….”

          “Ruth, it’s me, Ramey!”

          “And I told you, I know who you are, RAMEY.  But we can’t reveal any information on an ongoing INVESTIGATION.”

          “Well then, for Pete’s sake! Ruth.  Just tell me if the name Nan-cy Loo-mis  figures in any way in what is currently happening in the investigation.”

          “That would be to reveal information.  This phone is for incoming information: tips and leads only.  Now if you would like to leave a tip or a lead, or any other information you may have or know of relating to the current INVESTIGATION, I would be happy to write it down and relay it to Sherriff Leland.  Do you have any of that information?”

          “I don’t know!”

           “Well then, perhaps you could call us back when you do know, sir.”

          “That’s not my job, that’s your job,” Ramey pointed out.

          “Are you phoning to tell me my job Ramey?”  Ruth’s voice went from Passive Aggressive Bureaucratese to actively hostile in a quick second.  Which was a relief, Ramey felt.

          Ramey quickly said the names of three more flowers.

          “Okay, Ruth.  Let’s do it this way.  You’re into me for $300. of past dental work on two old fillings with a deteriorating crown coming up that could fracture any second, given the nature of this ‘fractious’ conversation.  Now do you really want to give the only practicing dentist within 50 miles – as the crow flies – trouble?”

          “Are you trying to threaten a Federal officer, sir?!”

          “YES!” was Ramey’s curt reply.  You didn’t stay in a dental practice long without learning to play trump.

          Ruth ground her teeth, then stopped, remembering what Ramey had just said.  Then Ramey could hear her polished nails clicking on the desk as she thought it through.  The one with the big phony rock on it struck loudest and last.

          “Okay Ramey,” Ruth said.  “I’ll give Sherriff Leland the message.”

          The finger with the big rock on it struck once again.  Then, dial tone…  Ramey smiled.  Sherriff Leland was a patient with a lot of gum problems.  He’d get back.

Photo by Carl Nelson

Murders in Progress

August 29, 2012

Editor’s Note:  We are starting a new column here, Murders in Progress, by serialized murder writer, Eldon Cene

Gravel road with two pickups.

            A grisly murder had occurred just down the road from where Joe worked afternoons as cashier at the Mini Mart.  And then, just yesterday, the severed head had been found in a field just a quarter of a mile from the path Joe walked home alone after work in the late afternoon.  The rumor was that the head had been severed with a large hunting knife, at least that was what the coroner was rumored to have said.  So of course all of the hunters in the area were put on watch. 

            And since the head was that of a (formerly) comely woman, it was presumed the perpetrator was a man.  And when two different makes of tire treads but just one brand of beer can were found at the scene, (plus cigarette butts which had been used to burn out the  eyes – and then planted, ‘arranged’ actually, on the burns), everybody was looking for smokers who drove pickups, liked to hunt, and who drank beer.

            This narrowed it to just about everybody in the area who had testicles… and several who didn’t.

            Joe sighed and inhaled deeply, as he set off down the narrow gravel strip of road which was part of the route between the Mini Mart and his home.

Photo by Carl Nelson


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