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.”


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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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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!

Search Chapter 9 – Sunday, 13 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 8


 

Search Chapter 9 – Sunday, 13 January 1974

Gio sat on the cold, bare ground in the Weintraub’s backyard, the exposed grass brittle under him. Jetta sat in front of him. They stared into each others’ eyes. Jetta kept offering to shake.

Sam watched from the den. “How did he get her to do that? I never got her to do that. You bring a Svengali into my house, Daughter?”

Jeri came up beside him, a head shorter, holding a glass of orange juice. Sam put his arm around her, pulled her in, and kissed the top of her head.

“First, Dad, he’s not Jewish. Second, …”

“Second?”

Jeri shook her head and leaned into her father. “I don’t know. There’s a second but I don’t know what it is. I couldn’t imagine him being a Svengali. He spends too much time helping people.”

“Helping them do what?”

“Silly things. Little things. He always knows when I’m going to have my period.”

Sam pulled away from his daughter and looked at her. She snickered. “Don’t worry. I’m on the pill.”

“I’m feeling so much better.”

“He knows where people lost things.”

“I lost money in the stock market.”

“He can find things.”

“Your mother keeps hiding my cigars.”

“He knows when people are sick. Every time somebody in the dorm has bad cramps he just touches them and the cramps go away.”

“He holds stock in Midol?”

Jeri pushed her father away. “I’m serious, Dad.”

Sam rubbed her back. “You like him?”

She looked at Gio and Jetta sitting in the backyard. He rose up and Jetta bounded around him, a puppy with her master. “Yes.”

“So do I.”

Jeri’s brother Steve came through the kitchen. “Pop, there’s no room for my bike in the garage, not with yours and Mom’s cars in there. Okay if I store it in the basement for the winter?”

“Put rags under it. No oil stains. And make sure you drain the tank. Your mother hates the smell of gasoline in the house.”

Steve hurried downstairs. Sam and Jeri heard Jetta barking in the driveway as Steve pulled Sam’s Chrysler out of the garage and pushed his motorcycle in. A stair’s height separated the garage floor from the basement the motorcycle was having none of it.

Gio put his finger to his lips and Jetta quieted. “You need help?”

Steve, breathing hard and red faced, had the front wheel through the door but nothing else. “Love some.”

Gio stood at the bike’s rear. “What can I hold onto that won’t break off when I lift?”

Steve stared at him, shook his head, and snickered. He pointed to the wheel mounts on either side.

“You guide it in when I lift. Ready?”

Steve smiled, nodded, and rested his hands on the handlebars.

Gio squatted, grabbed the wheel mounts, and stood. He held the bike’s rear end a foot off the ground for a minute and stared at Steve. “Any time you’re ready.”

Steve, his eyes bulging, grabbed the handlebars in earnest. “Yeah, right, right. Sorry.” He pulled and Gio walked the bike into the basement.

“Here?”

“Yeah, here’s good.”

Gio put the bike down. “Come on, Jetta. Upstairs.” He took the stairs two at a time, rounded the bend, went up the second story and into the guestroom, Jetta always at his heels.

Steve, sweating, came up and into the kitchen. He poured himself a long drink of water, guzzled it, took another.

Sam cocked his head. “You okay?”

“The man’s fucking strong.”

Sam nodded. Listened overhead to where Gio and Jetta played in the guest room, and nodded again.


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Search Chapter 8 – Saturday, 12 Jan 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 7


 

Search Chapter 8 – Saturday, 12 Jan 1974

Stephanie sipped hot chocolate from a mug her mother left in the dish drainer by the sink. Cute little thing. Had a funny little stream image on it, the kind that changed as you moved the cup around. “Jeri’s coming over with a friend this morning.”Pam sipped coffee standing at the sink and looked out the back window. Their house’s shadow outlined the demarcation of cold and warmth, frost and mist, on their back lawn. “That’s nice.”

Bill came in from the garage. “What’s nice?”

Pam continued watching the line of cold and warmth slip away. “We’re having guests.”

“Jeri’s bringing over a friend. He may be able to help find Ed and Tom.”

Bill, in the middle of pouring a cup of coffee, put his half filled cup down and turned to her. Pam, cup clenched in her hands at chest level, spun to face her daughter. “You didn’t say that.”

“Who’s the friend?”

“Gio. Gio Chance.”

Pam turned back to the window. “What kind of name is that, Gio Chance?”

“His name’s really John. Everybody calls him Gio. Jeri thinks he can help.”

Bill looked at his half-filled cup waiting on the counter. “What the hell do you care what his name is? Jeri says he can help. She’s a good kid. We’ve known her and her family for years. Do you think she’s going to get some kind of fool involved?”

“He goes to Ramsey College, Ma.”

Pam lowered her cup. “And he’s dating a Jew?”

Bill glared at his wife. “Stephanie, What time will they be here?”

Stephanie gave the mug a quick quarter turn to see if she could catch the image in mid-transition. No luck. “Ten, ten-thirty, somewhere in there.” She put the mug in the dishwasher.

Bill picked up the phone, dialed the police, and started talking as soon as someone picked up on the other end. “Sergeant Dykstra? Yes. Bill Thompson here. Yes, I understand, no news, of course. I have some news, though. We’re getting someone to help us find our boys. Just letting you know as a courtesy. How do they say it? There’s another dog in this hunt?”

Dykstra’s voice increased in volume as Bill hung up the phone.


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