Search Chapter 11 – Friday, 18 January 1974

Search is loosely based on a real incident. The incident remains, the story is greatly different.

Enjoy. And remember, it’s still a work in progress. These chapters are rough drafts. I completed a rough draft of the entire novel on 1 June 2021, ~ 8:30pmET. It’s ~103k words, 42 chapters. I mention in earlier posts “…it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.”

It’s seen and done.

Read Search Chapter 10


 

Search Chapter 11 – Friday, 18 January 1974

Kagan read through the reports, sighed, and checked his watch against the office clock on the wall in the bullpen he shared with six other agents. Two minutes to go. He tapped his pencil on his inkblotter once for each second and counted down as he did so. He glanced at each of the other agents in the room, each at their desk, and wondered what kept them going. Already four years past retirement, the Bureau allowed him to stay on to close outstanding investigations. Done, done, and done.

Then his boss and his boss’ boss and his boss’ boss’ boss shuffled assignments around. In the midst of finding something for him to do, this case came in. They asked if he wanted it and he jumped.

It humbled him and he jumped. The most decorated investigator north of DC and east to Ohio and he jumped.

Janey, his wife of thirty-five years, had Stage 4 cancer. It looked like a goddamn plant on the pictures they showed him; the son-of-a-bitch had vines and roots all through Janey’s body and flowers blossomed everywhere. His wife of thirty-five years, his beloved Janey, was slowly dying in Beth Israel hospital in Boston’s Longwood area and the Bureau wanted him to have all his benefits for her sake.

Same as the folks at the synagogue. Really Janey’s synagogue. But now he went and prayed regularly. They had to give him a yarmulke. He didn’t own one. Whatever the FBI didn’t pick up the synagogue did. It was charity. He knew it was charity. Never in his life did he accept charity.

Now he accepted it. From both. For her sake.

He pulled out his wallet. Behind his license was a small leather patch labeled “Lee Jeans.” It came from the rear pocket of the jeans she wore the first time they met. “This way I’ll always have a piece of your ass in my pocket.”

It was a joke. They both laughed. They both told the story.

He rubbed the patch.

The clock ticked. Time for his weekly call to a Wenham, Mass, phonebooth to check in with his informant. If nobody picked up by ring three go to plan B.

He counted the rings like Lily Tomlin as Ernestine the Phone Operator. “One ringy-dingy. Two ringy-dingies. Three ringy…”

“Hello?”

He put a pad of paper on his desk and took a pen from his shirt pocket. “How’s the snowfall this time of year?”

“Not bad for a kid from Sabrosa.”

Kagan clicked his pen. “Go ahead.”

***

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