Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

PURSUIT
5/22/2020 1:00:00 AM by: JOHN OWENS

 

PLEASE WELCOME

JOHN OWENS

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

EXCERPT FROM PURSUIT

Chapter Five/Breakfast Meeting

Detective Decker picked up the phone. He punched in the Number for the Congregation of Light Church.

“Good Morning, Lakeshore Congregation of Light. Sister Mary El speaking. How can I help you?”

“Good morning.  My name is Detective Lou Decker. Sister is it? Are you a Nun?”

“Goodness no. We use the terms brother and sister for all followers of the light here.”

“Oh.  Mary El, is that for Mary Ellen.”

“No, it’s Mariel, but Brother Love has an odd sense of humor. He insists on calling me Sister Mary Elephant.”

“Like the old Cheech and Chong bit. I get it. I suppose the Brother Love name comes from Neil Diamond.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know Mr. Diamond. He doesn’t work here. I’m don’t understand how his name might be connected to Brother Love.  How can I help you, detective?”

“I was wondering if I might set up a time to speak with Brother Love.”

“Concerning? Is it a police matter?

“No. It’s a rather private matter I’m afraid. “

“My, my, aren’t we mysterious.”

“Not really, it’s just personal.”

“His schedule is completely full until the middle of next week. So, if…”

Decker interrupted “I could just swing by later today. It will only take a few minutes.”

“Definitely not. He’s isn’t in today.  Wait a minute. I see there is one cancellation for tomorrow morning.  Would you be able to meet him at Leon’s, say ten-thirty?”

“Sure. Pencil me in.”

“Do you need directions?”

“No, I know the place. I’ll even buy him breakfast. Thank you”

“I wouldn’t be so quick to make promises, Mr. Decker.” She chuckled.

Decker then called to set up a meeting with Herb’s friend Martin Hammer. He left a message when there was no answer, and went outside to cut the grass.

*****

The next morning Decker walked into Leon's House of Pancakes forty-five minutes early for his appointment with Brother Love. This was his customary professional habit, used to check out the meeting place.  The breakfast crowd had cleared out by this time leaving plenty of open space for discussion without eavesdroppers and with good sightlines for Decker.  In fact, there was only one other patron in the place. A middle-aged man sat at the counter pounding down coffee and chaining Marlboro's. At 10:15 Decker looked up from his third cup of coffee to find an elderly Hispanic man looming over his table - if looming is the proper way to describe a man who stood about 5 feet tall.

"Can I help you?" Decker asked.

"I don't know Senor.... Are you Detective Decker?" The man spoke with a thick accent of a Mexican bit player in "I am, but I don't know you, do I?”

“I no theenk so. May I seet down? I am but a tired old man, much too old to work the fields.  That is work for the young men, don't you theenk?" Decker noted the old man was dressed in the manner of a field hand, complete the with a red neckerchief and beat up wide-brimmed white, straw sun hat. For a moment an image of the Pampalona Bull Run flashed before Decker’s eyes. The old man was sweating profusely as he took a seat across the table. The detective was immediately assailed by the reek of sweat and …tequila?"But you did call and set up a meeting with me, didn't you?" the old man continued.

"I don't know if this is a mistake or a joke. I do have meeting but with Brother Love."

 The Hispanic man looked up from the table and transfixed Decker with his gaze. The whites of the man’s eyes glowed with an eerie yellow energy.

“Well who do you theenk I am -- his gardener.  Perhaps you were expecting someone more like... him" the Hispanic man nodded towards the chain smoker at the counter—“Hardly.”

"No, not him. Him."

Decker followed the old man's eyes again to the door this time. There was a tall man in a dress suit standing just inside who looked to be surveying the room.  As he looked towards this man, their eyes met. Decker suddenly felt dizzy and sick to his stomach. The air seemed to ripple in front of him and Decker could see that this gentleman was now staring directly at him.  Decker looked back across the table to address the old farmhand but as he did so, he saw no one there. He looked around the room and the gentleman who had just entered was now seated opposite him.

“What..."

"Oh, that's Miguel, my driver...and no, we don’t have a burro tied up outside."

Looking up, Decker was flummoxed. There was the old man. He stood near the exit, hat in his hands, smiling broadly exposing discolored and missing teeth - nodding and bowing  Vertigo slammed Decker again and he struggled not to vomit. He grabbed the edge of the table to steady himself and said, “I don't know what you’re doing, but this isn't funny, and I don't appreciate it."

“Miguel might disagree. As you can see, he is quite the joker... But, hey, let's not dwell on that. You didn't ask for a meeting to sample Miguel's prowess as an amateur magician. Detective, may I call you that? You look a little green. Were the eggs a bit off?"

"No, I'm just having coffee. It was that switcheroo… I'm not sure what you did or how you did it, but I'm better now."

"Let me order you an omelet then – it’s the least I can do if we've somehow affected your nutrition.  You can't be expected to go around beating confessions out of suspects on an empty stomach."

“Now wait a min..."

"No! Please don't take offense. I fully support you. I understand that sometimes, uh ... ‘initiative’ is needed to get a job done. For example, putting Garza behind bars was a real coup. Somewhat costly for you, I think, but a coup nonetheless."

"I really don't like the tone of this conversation."

"Detective Decker, relax. We're on the same team. You might not understand that now, but let me assure you, you will. And I can also assure you that you will be back on the job before the week is out."

"Now You've lost me." Decker thought the man a bit theatrical, even for a preacher. This prediction about work struck him as odd given Decker’s conversation with his boss earlier that morning.

ABOUT PURSUIT (a Genisis Award finalist)

Lou Decker is a middle-aged American male. He works as a detective in a medium-sized metro area. Following his wife’s death, his use of alcohol and questionable job choices have led to a job suspension. Lou must regain focus when he learns of his sister’s disappearance. His investigation leads to cult kidnappings and along the way Lou encounters a cast of colorful people and dark supernatural events that force him to re-examine his life and choose redemption or dissolution while pursuing his goal of finding his sister.

Purchase Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Pursuit-John-Owens/dp/1098025938/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=pursuit+John+Owens&qid=1585323976&sr=8-2

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pursuit-john-owens/1136490232?ean=9781098025939

ABOUT JOHN OWENS

John Owens is a retired Emergency Physician. He attended Purdue University as an undergraduate and obtained his degree in economics. After a stint in the US Air Force, he resumed his education at the University of Michigan where he obtained both a master’s degree in political science and a doctorate in medicine (MD). He practiced for twenty years as an emergency physician in the urban Detroit area before moving to South Haven, Michigan, where he has lived for the past 18 years. He retired from ER work in 2016. Dr. Owens also served as a county Medical Examiner for Van Buren County for twelve years.

He lettered in baseball for Purdue. As an adult, he worked with area youths coaching baseball and hockey teams for many years.

While working at Oakwood hospital, Dr. Owens chaired the committee that originated the national ER waiting room time program, which originally earned laughs on national TV shows, but has since become a national standard. He has been a board-certified Emergency specialist for over twenty years, is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and maintained an active role in teaching young physicians.

He lives with his spouse of 46 years, Deborah and with her, reared three children. Residing on the shores of Lake Michigan, he and his wife live an active lifestyle and are involved in various church and community activities. They winter in Ellenton, Florida near Tampa

Social Media Links:

Facebook (Author Page):   https://www.facebook.com/John-Owens-Author-101282728173244/?

Twitter:   https://www.twitter.com/@JCOwens007

Amazon (Author/Book Page):   https://www.amazon.com:Pursuit(9781098025939):Owens,John:Books

 

           

 

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