Search Chapter 14 – Wednesday, 23 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 13


 

Search Chapter 14 – Wednesday, 23 January 1974

Stephanie sat in Gio’s dorm lounge and looked up as he came down the stairs. “Did Jeri talk to you yet?”

“About what?”

Stephanie rolled her eyes. “You want me to say it?”

“Yes, in fact. That way we’ll both know what we’re talking about.”

She whispered, “About me being pregnant.”

“Are you sure you’re pregnant?”

“Didn’t you tell me I was pregnant?”

“I’m not you. Do you know you’re pregnant?”

“Is two months late pregnant enough for you?”

“Are you regular?”

She looked at the worn carpet and shook her head. “Talk about conversations I never thought I’d have with my best friend’s boyfriend. Yes. I’m regular.”

“And what do you want to do about it?”

“I want to get rid of it. What do you think I want to do about it? Aren’t you the voodoo man? Aren’t you suppose to know these things?”

Something Gio’s grandfather said echoed back at him. Do not do what you’re not asked to do? Was that it? Something about asking people three times? To make sure they understood what they were asking for? “Let’s go outside.”

“Don’t you want a jacket?”

“No need.”

They stood in the damp, ocean-filled, mid-January cold.

“What do you want me to do? Specifically. Don’t mince words, don’t speak in metaphors, use clear, plain, direct English. Tell me exactly what you want me to do for you, okay?”

“I’m pregnant.”

“Okay.”

She closed her eyes and shivered. “Well, go ahead.”

Wet, heavy snow fell. A flake, then two, then more. They brushed her shoulders like epaulets and gave her a white, crystalline crown.

“Go ahead and what?”

“I said I’m pregnant. Do something about it.”

“What, specifically, do you want me to do?”

“Can you make me…you know…un-pregnant?”

“Un-pregnant? Never heard it called that before.”

“Nobody knows. I haven’t told anybody except you and Jeri. Can you take care of it for me?”

He stood still and stared but his eyes woudln’t focus. He felt…he sensed…movement. Felt himself moving. Something. Something not sensed since childhood. Since Grandpa.

No, not moving. He stood still, his eyes on Stephanie. She moved.

He widened his gaze. Everything moved. Everything but him. He was the center? Everything happened around him?

He shook his head, no.

Too solipsistic, that.

No, he also moved. Differently.

But he stood still.

And moved faster than light.

Parts of him separated and flowed around Stephanie, whirled around her, ghosts made of wind.

He shimmered. He held it within.

I remember.

I remember.

Stephanie stared back at him. “What do you mean, no? You’re not going to help me?”

The shimmer focused. The ghosts made of wind. It collected on them. They flew off, showed him things. He watched through their eyes.

“Donnie suspects.”

“What?”

He looked at Stephanie through someone else’s eyes. Saw not-his hand reach out, cup a breast, tweak a nipple.

“He’s noticed your bras are filling out more.”

“What?”

“Especially that black one with the nipples cut out.”

Stephanie put her arms over her chest and mashed herself down. “How do you – ”

Another ghost, another body. “Yeah, he even told some people at his club – he goes to Myopia, right? – about it. Said your cups runneth over. They wanted to know if he was going to help you get rid of it. He laughed.”

Her face reddened. She wrapped her arms around herself and shook as the cold penetrated her bones.

His head wagged from side to side.

“You did that before, when you found the speedtrap on the way home. What’s going on?”

His eyes closed. He swiveled his head, one ear forward then the other, a blind man seeking out the source of a sound.

“He said you might be interested in doing a party. Entertaining all six of them. He’d get a cut, of course. Soemthing…a finder’s fee?”

She shrieked.

“They have a standing suite at the Suisse Chalet in Danvers. Party there at least once a month. He said he thought you were ready.”

She sat in the slush at her feet. “Ready?”

He felt himself slowing, returning to the earth, returning to the cold, returning to the wet, heavy snow falling, melting on him as soon as it touched, his ghost-bodies came back to him. One entered him. He doubled over with the impact.

He heard his grandfather whisper to him. “Lento.” Slow.

He opened the shimmer, gave the bodies a point of entry.

His grandfather whispered. “Esatto, Gio. Come quello.” That’s right, Gio. Like that.

The ghost-bodies entered him. Shared their information. Showed their travels. He focused on the red-faced woman-child before him.

“Something about being double-vagged? Not sure what that is, really. Seems to involve acrobatics or flexibility, something like that.”

Stephanie screamed and ran.

Gio’s legs folded under him. He sat in the snow. A raven landed in front of him, cocked its head right, left, right again, seemed to nod and flew off.

Two dorm mates found him curled into a ball quaking in the snow.


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Search Chapter 13 – Sunday, 20 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 12


 

Search Chapter 13 – Sunday, 20 January 1974

Harding met Morelli in the Augusta barracks parking lot. “Heard you had a busy night, Tobes.”

“Rollover on the interstate. Tire blew, they lost control. Folks had their seatbelts on, though. They got out alive. End of the dinner hour so there wasn’t much other traffic. And we got there quick. Passersby in both directions stopped at the next exits and made calls. Other folks put out flares.”

“You got artwork?”

Harding pulled a folder out of his inside coat pocket. “Right here. Giving them to the accident investigation boys. Hey, want a laugh?”

Morelli frowned at him.

“Not the accident.” He put that folder back in his coat pocket and pulled another folder from the other side. “The tow truck driver. He’s a piece of work. Asked if this was going to be in the paper. Wanted to know if I could get a picture of him and his truck in with the story. Hounded me like a son-of-a-bitch until I said yes.”

Morelli shrugged.

“Take a look.”

Morelli’s eyes popped. “He skivved down to his tshirt in last night’s cold?”

“He wouldn’t dropped his pants if I let him.”

Morelli shuffled 8x10s. “Truck’s not much to look at.”

“He’s registered with Gardiner. Something happens in the town limits, he gets a call, automatic.”

“Is he posing?”

“Yeah, said he’s a body builder or something like that. A regular Arnold Schwarzeneggar.”

“Definitely looks like it.”

Morelli tipped a photograph on its side. “You got a magnifier?”

Harding reaching into an outer pocket and handed over a Sherlock Holmes style lens.

“Mother of Christ.”

Harding stood beside Morelli and looked through the glass. “What? What is it?”

“His truck’s got vehicle plates.”

“Oh, yeah. He said he collects them from old cars, wrecks. Buys them from dealers through the mail. I didn’t know there was a market for that kind of thing. He swaps them out every few days. His rear plate is regulation, though.”

“Get his name?”

“On the back of each photo next to the date.”

Morelli flipped the photo over. “How about an address.”

“That’s in my notes. Lives in West Gardiner somewhere with a roommate. Todd something. Want me to look it up?”

“Please.”


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post. Protected posts in the My Work category require a subscription (starting at 1$US/month) to access. Protected posts outside that category require a General (free) membership.
Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. Non-protected posts (there are several) are available to everyone. Enjoy!

Search Chapter 12 – Saturday, 19 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 11


 

Search Chapter 12 – Saturday, 19 January 1974

Pam watched the grandfather clock tick. She taught Stephanie how to tell time with that clock. She taught her boys how to tell time with that clock.

She hated that clock. For years it stood in her living room, tall and proud, loudly ticking, afraid of nothing, never hiding, its round face looking down at her and constantly reminding her what time it was, how much time had passed, how long she’d have to wait.

Her biggest problem with the clock was Bill’s pleasure in it. He found it and restored it. He already made plans to pass it on to Stephanie when it came time for her to marry.

She stood before it and spit on it. With any luck it’d stain and his repeated polishings wouldn’t be able to get it off.

The clock’s hands merged. Straight up twelve. It began to chime. Even that annoyed her. Bill found a clock with St. Michael’s chimes. Not Westminster chimes, not the chimes everyone knew, not the chimes everyone recognized, said “how nice” once and never again.

No, Bill found a clock with St. Michael’s chimes. Every time people came over they commented on the chimes. People who’d been over the house a hundred times still commented on the chimes. And Bill, like a proud father, would tell the story of the chimes and the clock and how the original bells were part of American history and he’d beam and stand beside his clock and run his hand on it and talk about the feel of the grain and the type of polish used and the size of the weights and how the left one powered the hour chime and the right one powered the quarter hour chime and how the center one actually powered the hands of the clock.

She opened the clock cabinet and adjusted the weight heights just enough to upset the clock’s delicate mechanism a few minutes each day. Not enough to be noticed when Bill wound the clock, just enough to frustrate him with their repeated miniscule inaccuracy.

She closed the cabinet and spit on the clock again.

It started the actual hour count when the phone rang. She hurried into the kitchen before Bill would hear it in the garage.

“Yes, Papa?”

She held the phone to her face with two hands like a little child, nodded and listened.

“So my boys are safe? You’re sure of that?”

She listened again and sighed. “Okay, Papa. You know what’s best.”


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post. Protected posts in the My Work category require a subscription (starting at 1$US/month) to access. Protected posts outside that category require a General (free) membership.
Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. Non-protected posts (there are several) are available to everyone. Enjoy!

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.”

***

Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post. Protected posts in the My Work category require a subscription (starting at 1$US/month) to access. Protected posts outside that category require a General (free) membership.
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Search Chapter 10 – Thursday, 17 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’ve completed thirty chapters so far and it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.

Read Search Chapter 9


 

Search Chapter 10 – Thursday, 17 January 1974

The raven stared at Gio from its branch across the freshly snowed lawn from his dorm room. Gio rubbed his eyes. An exam tomorrow and he would fail it. He already knew, why bother. Physics made no sense to him. Not all of it. Some of it was…wrong? Inaccurate? How to phrase it. Once he walked Singing Beach alone, a night early in the school year, before meeting Jeri. Stars made a mosaic of the sky and the full moon shone like a quiet, nocturnal sun. It spoke to him. He fought not to listen.

Then the sky shimmered and he was high in the cosmos with them, the earth passing beneath him. The moon whispered, “This is how you make antigravity. This is how you make faster-than-light travel. This is how you make teleportation. This is how you make time-travel.”

He watched, fascinated, unable to look away.

The moon showed him something, a small machine, like a circuit board but not, the pieces changing places as the moon spoke. “You see? They are all the same thing, just arranged differently.”

Always the same pieces, just arranged differently.

All things modern science said couldn’t be.

“That’s how it is with all things. We are all the same, just arranged differently.”

Then he was back on the beach wondering what happened.

The raven looked out to the marsh and Gio followed its gaze.

A figure stood in the water. A woman’s shape. Female. Made of water. Standing, watching him.

He shook his head. It was gone. He looked back to the raven. It, too, was gone.

A dorm mate knocked on his open door. “You got a visitor downstairs in the lounge, Gio. Young lady. Quite the looker.”

Jeri? Jeri wasn’t suppose to come by.


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Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. Non-protected posts (there are several) are available to everyone. Enjoy!