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.


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post. Protected posts in the My Work, Marketing, and StoryCrafting categories require a subscription (starting at 1$US/month) to access. Protected posts outside those categories require a General (free) membership.
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Search Chapter 7 – Friday, 11 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 twenty-seven chapters so far and it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.

Read Search Chapter 6


 

Search Chapter 7 – Friday, 11 Jan 1974

Gio drove north on I-95, Jeri beside him and Stephanie filling out the Comet’s front seat by the passenger door. Jeri caught him staring at the Sheraton Inn off Maine Mall Road in South Portland.

“Never been this far into Maine before?”

“My grandfather brought me up here sometimes. To visit friends.”

“Most people coming to Maine on business never get further than Portland. They get as far as the Sheraton and have people meet them there.”

“Looks like a satellite, doesn’t it? Big cylinder, all black with silvery edges and lines, and antennae sticking out of it? Never saw a round building before. Except in pictures.”

Stephanie chuckled. “Yeah. Maine’s an education for everybody.”

Jeri pointed at the approaching four lane divide. “Take 295. It’s quicker.” She checked the speedometer. “About an hour.”

“You drive this road a lot?”

Stephanie pointed at the mall on the right. “Maine Mall’s the only real mall in the entire state. You want to go shopping, you shop there, and we know all the ways to get there.”

“Don’t tell me you two played hooky your senior year.”

Stephanie brushed one hand over the passenger side dashboard. “It was either that or Pin-the-Tail on the bucktoothed moron.” She checked her hand for dust. “I told my parents you’re coming up this weekend.”

The odometer clicked a mile.

“Do you think you can help? Jeri said you could help.”

“I said he might be able to help.”

Stephanie sat forward, her eyes on Gio. “Well can you? Jeri said you’re some kind of psychic.”

Jeri spun towards Gio. “I never said that. I swear I never said that.”

He patted her thigh. “I believe you, Sweetcheeks.”

Stephanie slumped back in her seat. “I-95’ll get you there, too. More buck-toothed morons that way.”

Gio eased up on the accelerator. He sat up and moved his head back and forth slowly, a cow lowing in a field. A moment later he smiled and sat back.

Stephanie watched him over Jeri’s shoulders. “What’s going on?”

Jeri scanned the highway. “There’s a police car up ahead somewhere.”

A half-mile further a state police cruiser hid behind some trees off the side of the highway. A Statey stood out from the trees, his hat pulled forward and down so the brim sheltered his eyes, which were further protected by dark-tinted wraparounds. He held with a radar gun in one hand and a mike in the other.

When the Statey was no longer visible in the rearview, Gio tromped the accelerator. “We can still make it in about an hour.”

Jeri looked at Stephanie out of the corner of her eye and smiled.
Continue reading “Search Chapter 7 – Friday, 11 Jan 1974”

Search Chapter 6 – Tuesday, 8 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 twenty-seven chapters so far and it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.

Read Search Chapter 5


 

Search Chapter 6 – Tuesday, 8 January 1974

Dykstra drove to Norris Point on Cobbosseecontee Lake and stopped a few curves in. A Maine State Police car was visible on the side of the road blocking access to a recently walked path through the woods. The Point was shaped like a grasping hand and the path went out towards the thumb. A Maine State Police officer walked back up the thumb and over to his car.

“You’re a little out of your jurisdiction, aren’t you, sergeant?”

Dykstra read the officer’s tag. “Morelli? We got a call about an abandoned car somewhere out here. What are you doing here?”

Morelli snorted little steam jets into the cold, Maine winter air. “Well, ain’t that at tickler. We got the same call. Must be important for a desk sergeant to make the trek. You didn’t send uniforms?”

“Do I know you?”

“You didn’t answer my question and last time I checked, MSP outranks local authorities.”

“Sorry, didn’t expect to see anybody out here. Caught me by surprise. What did you find?”

A middle-aged man wearing wool pants, heavy, calf-high boots, and a parka sloshed up the path, three cameras tightly strapped to his parka and one with a telephoto so large it bashed against him like a loose limb in a storm. “Got all I need, Tony.”

Dykstra looked past Morelli. “You’re Harding, right? With the ‘Journal, right? What pictures did you get?”

Morelli shook his head at Harding.

Harding shrugged and got in Morelli’s state police cruiser.

Dykstra nodded towards him. “What’s he doing here?”

“His job. You?”

“I don’t want a pissing contest, Morelli.”

“Good. Neither do I and I got this covered. Appreciate your help and all. Ask your chief to call my OIC if he wants to see the report.”

Dykstra turned his squad around and drove off. Once he could no longer see Morelli, Harding, or the state cruiser in his rearview he grabbed his mike. “Yeah, I need you to make a call for me, and I need it to be a private conversation. Can you do that?”
Continue reading “Search Chapter 6 – Tuesday, 8 January 1974”

Search Chapter 5 – Monday, 7 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 twenty chapters so far and it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.

Read Search Chapter 4


 

Search Chapter 5 – Monday, 7 January 1974

Jeri Weintraub watched the tall, thin girl in the long technicolor scarf, mittens, and matching knitted hat walk from a ruby red Monte Carlo into the Stop&Shop. “Couldn’t be.”

She grabbed a shopping list and her wallet from the passenger seat and followed. A couple of glances up and down the aisles revealed nothing so she went about her task; buying various feminine hygiene products for her Endicott Jr. College dorm mates. Once a week somebody drew the short straw and borrowed a college van to go shopping. If the trip was to nearby Liberty Tree Mall, the van would be full. But picking up tampons and pads at the north Beverly Stop&Shop? She was on her own.

She swung her cart down the Health&Beauty aisle and got out her list.

“On the rag, Weintraub?”

“Thompson? Stephanie?”

The tall, thin girl’s head poked around the aisle’s end cap. She pulled off her woolen hat and long, blonde hair fell down her shoulders and back. “Hey, Jer.”

“I thought that was you in the parking lot. You were out west, weren’t you? Working at a ranch? Something like that?”

“More like Camp Jesus for Wayward Daughters, but yeah.” She glanced at the list in Jeri’s hand. “Heavy month?”

“Buying supplies for my dorm. I’m at Endicott now. What are you doing here?”

“I got a job nannying a couple of kids in Wenham. How much time do you have? Want some lunch? My treat. You know about the Capri?”

“Heard about it during orientation. My boyfriend takes me there a lot.”

Stephanie’s right eyebrow lifted and she faked a German accent. “We have a boyfriend now, do we? You will tell us everything. Everything, do you hear? Everything!”

Twenty minutes later they’d placed their order for a large, extra cheese, well done, and were sipping Tabs in a dark booth at the back of the Capri. Stephanie toyed with her napkin, the salt and pepper shakers, the Parmesan cheese holder, and their straw wrappers, arranging, rearranging, then putting everything back in their original positions only to repeat it again and again.

She kept her eyes down, not on Jeri, and singsonged, “So what’s his name, what’s he like, does he roll over when he’s done, show me his sex face.”

“What’s going on, Thompson?”

Stephanie placed a hand on her chest and affected a southern accent. “Why whatever do you mean, Ms. Weintraub?”

“You’re pale, you’re breathing shallow, and you’re twitchy. You start doing drugs since I saw you last?”

Stephanie affected a Boston accent. “When did you become a doctah?”

“Since I started dating Gio. He pays attention to things like that. So what’s going on?”

“Gio, eh? The last boy you dated was a Javier. You got a thing for foreigners, Weintraub?”

“He’s not a foreigner and quit changing the subject. What’s going on?”

“You haven’t heard about my brothers?”

“Eddie and Tom? Are they okay?”

Stephanie’s eyes watered. She hung her head and whispered, “They’re missing.”

Jeri sat beside Stephanie and put an arm over her shoulder. “Sweet Jesus, Steph. When did this happen?”

Stephanie filled in the details, each point marked with a gut shaking sob. She clung to Jeri like a child seeking its mother’s breast.

“And the police know nothing?”

“Idiots haven’t done a thing in three months.”

The pizza arrived. Jeri shook her head at the waitress and mouthed, “Can we get that to go?” The waitress nodded and carried the steaming pie away.

Jeri held Stephanie and waited until her sobs were under control. “You mind if I tell Gio about this?”

Stephanie laughed through her tears. “I thought he was a doctah.”

Jeri watched the waitresses moving back and forth, other customers eating pizza, subs, pasta. She shook her head. “He’s…different.”


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post. Protected posts in the My Work, Marketing, and StoryCrafting categories require a subscription (starting at 1$US/month) to access. Protected posts outside those categories require a General (free) membership.
Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. Non-protected posts (there are several) are available to everyone.
Want to learn more about why I use a subscription model? Read More ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes Enjoy!