The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 8 (Yep, New)

(i can tell you right now this chapter will either get moved to a new location.
Extra points if you can guess why (leave your idea in the comments))

The Alibi – Chapter 8

Ed reached up and caressed a ripening apple. It hung like a glittered like a red and green Christmas ornament in the sun. Except for the August heat and the gnarling branches of the apple tree, Ed remembered a childhood with Christmas treats and presents and goodies and smells of baking and roasting permeating his house. He wondered what became of this brothers and sisters. Christmas was one of the few days everyone came together in the orphanage. There were times he missed it so.

He snapped the apple from its stem and bit into it. Sweet nectar of the sun dribbled down his stubbled chin, over his fingers, pooled in his palm.

Morelli’s Impala came up his dirt road. A short bed lowboy, two men in overalls in the cab, came up behind it hiding something big and roundish under a tent sized tarp. A knuckle boom crane sat at the very end of the lowboy, its crane reaching over the tarp and locked in position behind the cab.

Morelli got out of his Impala and pointed to a large shed at the far end of the road, on the far side of the orchard.

Voss shouted, “If what’s under the tarp is sensitive, better let them know that track’s rutted from tractor tires.”

Morelli called up to the lowboy’s cab. “You got that?”

The driver held a thumb’s up towards Voss. The lumper got out of the cab and stood five feet in front of the hood.

“And you damage any growing thing, I’ll put a shotgun shell into whatever’s under that tarp myself.”

Both driver and lumper gave Voss a thumb’s up.

The lumper got ten feet in fromt of the truck, turned to face it, and waved his hands to guide it forward. The driver kept his eyes on the lumper’s hands and never took the lowboy out of low gear. He let the diesel’s idle drive the lowboy forward.

Morelli came up beside Voss. “Did I tell you the Director sends her thanks?”

Voss focused on Morelli’s abdomen before looking up.

“Will you stop doing that?”

“Going to tell me what’s under the tarp?”

“You want G20 or higher security clearance?”

“And you know for a fact this isn’t going to harm my orchards?”

“I asked. Nobody thinks it could. It’s completely passive. No moving parts. Just…” Morelli stopped, looked down, cleared his throat.

“Just a lot of direcitional and distance sensing gear?”

Morelli frowned at him. “What makes you say that?”

“You didn’t do a deep background check on me once your found out who I am?”

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