Double Trouble: Chapter 47

Wednesday Briefs

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Chapter 47

Darrin was startled when Mitch exploded out their back door yelling.

“Darrin! Darrin! Where the hell are you?”

He leaned against the hoe he had been using and then answered. “I’m here. Calm down.”

He raced toward Darrin, who still wasn’t certain if this was good news or not. He skidded to a stop waving his phone in front of them.

“It was Jim. They found him. In Lawton. They found him.”

Darrin let his excitement build a little, but refused more than that until he knew more. “Who? Who’d they find?”

“Ben’s father. They found him in Lawton.”

“Are they sure?

Jim cocked an eyebrow and glanced at Darrin. “Are they sure about which, whether it was Ben’s dad, or that it was Lawton?”

Darrin took a moment to collect his thoughts before going on. “Sorry. I’m a little worked up about all this. So you have Ben’s dad in jail?”

“He’s cooling his heels in the county jail. I’m sending a few people to pick him up once they let me know he’s ready.”

Mitch walked over and rested his hand on Darrin’s shoulder. He glanced back and Mitch picked up the questions.

“What is he charged with? Do you have enough evidence from Ben’s murder?”

The sheriff gave them a grim smile. “Drunk driving. Just outside Ft. Sill. The MP’s called the local police.”

“Evidence?” Mitch persisted.

Jim lifted an eyebrow and stared at Mitch for a moment before answering. “Not yet. There are still a few things to tie him to the murder–and Danny’s kidnapping.”

Darrin snapped to attention. “Danny? Danny doesn’t have to testify does he?”

“He might. It’s hard to tell at this point. Let’s trust the system for now.”

Anger surged through Darrin. “Trust the system? Trust the fucking system? You must be kidding me!”

“Darrin, calm down. Jim hasn’t exactly spent his days at the diner drinking coffee. They have him now. We want to make sure he doesn’t get out on a technicality.”

He bristled at the idea. “He gets loose and I’ll kill him myself. I’ll hunt the bastard down like a sheep-killing coyote.”

Darrin thought he’d detected a slight smirk from the sheriff, but thought it would be better if he didn’t pursue it. After a few moments of quiet, he turned to the pair.

“It might be a few days, so be patient. I’ll let you know if anything happens.”

Mitch tipped his hat. “Thanks, Jim. We appreciate that you are keeping us updated.”

Darrin was chagrin at how he’d reacted. “Mitch is right. Sorry I lost it. We appreciate your help.”

“Okay. Just remember it might take awhile.”

They nodded as the sheriff walked back to his car and drove off. Once the dust had settled, Darrin turned to Mitch. “You better run. I feel a whole house cleaning coming on.”

“Oh, shit. I’ll be working on the fence in the calves pens.”

Darrin stood outside beating a rug to within an inch of its life. Three days of waiting had become three days of cleaning and his mood had deteriorated. He actually didn’t think Mitch was doing any better as he heard the crackling sound of a welder as he worked on a few long overdue repairs in the horse stalls.

He wiped the sweat from his eyes and checked the western horizon as he had every few minutes for the past several days. Only this time he saw the sheriff’s car barreling down the road. His gut tied itself in knots at what news the sheriff might bring. The seconds seems to crawl past as the vehicle moved closer and closer.

“Calm down. You look like a thirteen-year-old who just got caught in the hay barn with his pants down around his ankles.”

He glared at his husband. “Good God, Mitch! Don’t mess with me. This is all bad enough as it is.”

Mitch smirked at him, completely unrepentant. Before another word could be spoken, the sheriff had parked and was making his way to them. Darrin couldn’t read his expression this time, which was pretty unusual. His typical cheerful demeanor was missing, but there was an air of satisfaction too. Baffled, Darrin waited calmly.

The sheriff stopped a few feet from them, tucked his notebook under one arm and nodded at the two men.

“Afternoon, how are things?”

“Jim, can we cut through the Oklahoma pleasantries and you just tell us what’s going on,” Mitch asked.

Slightly surprised, Darrin glanced over to see an equally stern expression on his husband’s face. He turned back, dreading the sheriff’s news even further than before.

“Well I definitely have news. Ben’s dad escaped from the Comanche county jail.”

Darrin roared forward, his entire being engulf in his fury. “What the hell? Did you have Barney Fife watching him or something? It took a fucking year to find the bastard. How long do you think it’ll take this time? That’s about the dumbest–”

Jim motioned him into silence before his tirade could build. “We found him…mostly.”

“What do you mean you mostly found him? That doesn’t make any sense.”

Mitch grabbed his arm and gave him a squeeze of warning. “Let Jim talk. I have a feeling he has something important he needs to tell us.”

The sheriff nodded and continued. “Like I was saying, he escaped the county jail. They’re still investigating that, biggest mystery in a long time.” He paused for a moment and looked from one to another.

“But we did find him. On the wildlife refuge. Or at least what was left of him.”

“What happened?” Mitch asked.

“Looks like he was attacked by one of the buffalo. The body was pretty tore up. Looks like it took him a while to die too.”

Darrin stood in shock for a moment before blurting out, “Who found him?”

“One of the Dog Soldiers…”

If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

Double Trouble: Chapter 46

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 46

Darrin paced at a furious rate. Ever since the old pickup had been found, his nerves had been stretched to their limits. Josh and Trent were being extremely watchful of the kids, but Darrin still worried.

“You know all this pacing isn’t going to make the lab work go any faster, or the police any more able to find out who took the pickup.” Mitch held out his palm toward Darrin. “I know you think it was Ben’s father. But they can’t find anything. They are real big on finding actual proof in this part of the country.”

He glared at Mitch and let out a slow hissing sigh. “You know, sometimes you just aren’t that funny.”

Mitch paused and lifted a brow at him. “I’m always funny, you just don’t want to be cheered up sometimes.”

“And this would be one of those times.” Continue reading

Double Trouble: Chapter 45

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 45

Mitch locked his tight gaze toward the front as he followed the black and white sheriff car through the window high grass.

“Grampy, how much further?”

“Not long, Danny. And remember you’re staying in the pickup. Sheriff White Cloud just wants me to take a look at something. We’ll only be a minute.”


Mitch glanced over at his riding companion. “What are you asking, Danny.”

“What does he want you to look at?”

“A pickup they found.”

“Is this about Ben?”

Mitch glanced at the young boy and saw a mask of fear over his face. “It’s nothing to worry about. They just want me to take a look and see if I’d seen it before. You can wait in the pickup. We can even lock the doors if you want.” Continue reading

Double Trouble: Chapter 44

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 44

Danny carefully looked all around before opening the screen door and stepping onto the porch to repeat the process. The dog appeared at his side and some of the tension seemed to leave the boy. Mitch felt another presence step beside him. He glanced to find Trent. A soft sigh arose from both of them as they watched.

“He’s getting worse isn’t he,” asked Trent. “He’s so afraid.”

“Well, he doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I’m glad the dog is there so he will at least get out into the yard.”

“How is Sammy? Is she dealing with it any better?”

Trent shrugged. “Not really. She won’t spend time with her friends. She and Danny seem to be watching out for each other.”

He sifted his gaze from Danny to Trent. “Danny asked me to teach him how to shoot.”

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him that we’d have to talk to his parents.”

“Great, one more time Josh and I have to be the bad guys.”

“I wouldn’t do that to you. I’m trying to help.”

“I don’t want Danny to have a gun. That’s ridiculous for—“

Trent stopped his tirade when Mitch squeezed his shoulder. “I never said a word about Danny getting a gun.”

Trent blew out the breath he’d been holding. “I know. I’m over reacting. I know how careful you are. I’m just at my wits end.”

They were startled out of their conversation by a blood curdling scream as Danny ran for the house. He ran past them and into the bedroom as the two men stepped outside to see what had scared him. As they stepped off the porch, they saw the white and black sheriff’s car roll to a stop.

A knot formed in Mitch’s gut as Sheriff White Cloud stepped out, with an arm filled with paperwork. He hoped this was good news, they could use something to offer the family some closure, but the investigation of what happened to Ben had not gone well. Nanna had not been exaggerating when she said the sheriff was taking the search for Ben’s killer seriously, but it was a difficult case. After so many false leads and disappointments, Mitch refused to get excited anymore. He’d gotten his hopes up only to have them crash too many time. But he’d gotten into the habit of screening the information before Darrin heard it. He’d been better since he’d talked with Nanna at the Christmas party and Mitch didn’t want to lose ground.

Mitch stepped off the porch and walked out to shake the man’s hand. “Hey, Jim. How are things today?”

“Got some news. This might be a good break.” He said without the usual greeting.

“Okay. What’s up?”

“One of the deputies down around McAlester was doing some checking for me. I keep bugging them about where they found the body.” The sheriff paused for a moment and shook his head before continuing. “Anyway, he got to asking around and this time managed to shake something loose. He got to talking to an old woman, a Seminole I think. She’d been away visiting family the last time. But she remembers something happening and a strange pickup near the quarry where they found…” he hesitated again. “Where he was found.”

Mitch tried to keep his emotions under control. “Did you get something?”

The smile on Jim’s face was almost feral. “Oh. I’d say we got something alright.”

Mitch stood for a minute before losing his patients. “Well? What’d you find?”

The sheriff’s expression stretched out until Mitch was ready to reach over and bonk him. But before Mitch lost it, Jim started. “She was sharp as a tack, remembered a lot of details.”

“That’s good. It’s gonna be tough to find which pickup it was. But it’s the first real lead in months.”

“Oh, you don’t understand. This woman was sharp like Nanna. Not only could she remember the details—“

Trent threw his hands up in the air. “Oh for God’s sake. What?”

“She wrote down everything. She keeps a book that she writes in each day. Kind of like a journal. I couldn’t believe it, but she had the license number.”

Excitement swelled in Mitch. “You have the tag? Have you traced it down?”

“We do, and we have. Traced it back to around Lawton. We have a warrant out for their arrest.”

“Holy crap! Who was it?”

The sheriff became grim. “We think it’s Ben’s father.”

If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.