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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.
- Taylin Clavelli
- Cia Nordwell
- Chris T. Kat
- TC Collins
- Jon Keys
- Ravon Silvius
- Mann Ramblings
- Kazy Reed
- Nephy Hart
- Julie Lynn Hayes