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Saturday, December 28, 2013

On The Road Again

An Important Notice to Readers...


     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.


Thank You,

             
Beckett answers the door for a morning visitor
   
    The little sliver of sunlight from under the shade wasn't quite enough to wake her from that almost in-almost out, drowsy state of consciousness.  Instead, she cuddled in closer, tucking herself into the warmth of her husband's body, and allowing a slide back into foggy slumber.  Had anyone else been around, they might have noticed the Cheshire grin on her face, the proverbial kitty who swallowed the poor unsuspecting canary.  But as it was just the two of them, her reaction to the activities of the night before remained a treasured secret,  and with a sigh, she buried her face in his chest and let herself doze.

    It was the sound of a car's engine that shook Beckett instantly from his sleep, followed by a sharp series of raps at the wooden door.  Before Maureen could fully comprehend the sequence of events, Beckett put a hand over her mouth, and rolling her in the bed's top sheet, pushed her to the floor, with pantomimed instructions that she should slide under the massive frame.  If the bizarre nature of this so-called honeymoon had taught her anything, it was that her husband's lead needed to be followed.  Without a sound, she tightened the sheet around her bare form, and took her spot as ordered.

    From that position, she heard him fumble with the bedding, then watched him pad on bare feet to the door at the front of the room.  Without the slightest hesitation, he opened the door with one hand, the Glock G22 tucked into the back of his waistband, only to find an agitated Alberto standing on the stoop of the building.

    Seeing Beckett clad only in his boxers, the man looked at his feet, stammering out the words.  "I apologize, Colonel, for the early...interruption.  But we've had news.  Of the urgent kind."

      Beckett waved the man in.   "It's fine, my friend.  What's up?"

       The man hesitated,  his eyes skirting the room for the woman he met the night before.  "Your bride, Colonel?  I am free to speak?"

        "Go ahead, Al.  There's little I can keep from her at this point."  Calling across the room, he added, "You can come out, baby.  It's just Alberto.  The man you met yesterday."

         Wearing only the thin sheet, Maureen's voice called from under the bed.  "I'm perfectly fine here, Ted.  What's your friend doing here so early in the morning?"

         Beckett nodded, and the man continued.  "Seems you've rattled a few dangerous cages, Colonel.  Noise in the area says El Culebra has a price on your head.  A rather substantial one.  We need to move up your extraction before anyone is the wiser."

         "Damn.  So my cover here is shot?"

         "It appears that way, Colonel.  El Culebra's men have been showing your passport around.  Your lady's too.  I've been ordered to move you to a small air strip near Izamal.  Mostly crop dusters and a few sea planes.  We figured it would be the easiest way out of the country."

          "How soon do we need to leave, my friend?"

           "As soon as possible.  I'm to transport you myself."

            "And your sure El Culebra has possession of our passports?  There's no mistake?"

            "No, Sir.  I've seen them myself.  It is the safest plan of action.  The sooner we leave, the better."

            "Okay, Alberto.  You're right.  Just give us a minute to dress, and we'll be on our way.  Sweetheart, you heard the man.  You need to come out and get dress.  We're leaving shortly."

            From under the bed, Maureen opened her mouth to complain, but swallowed the words as a gun was fired, followed by a solid thump.  Frantic, she pushed her way out from under the heavy box springs.  There on the floor, not two feet from where she was hidden, lie the body of Alberto Arroya, an oozing bullet hole between his eyes, no doubt caused by the gun in her husband's hand.  Her mouth went dry, and her tongue felt like a dry wad of cotton, as she watched a pool of blood seep across the tiled floor.  "Is he...he dead?"

            Beckett nodded.  "I'm sorry you had to witness that, baby, but if it's any consolation, he drew first.  I was just faster.  Had no choice.  He was planning to kill us both."

          "But...but wasn't he supposed to be a friend of yours?  Somebody you trusted?"

           Her husband shrugged.  "Yeah...well that friend bullshit doesn't hold so true in my line of work. El Culebra must have offered a great price for our heads.  That's the way it works here, baby.  Sold to the highest bidder.  You need to get dressed pronto.  I'm sure once Arroyo doesn't return with news and photos of our demise, someone else will come looking."

            Maureen tried to keep her voice normal, but the sound that came out of her mouth sounded strangely three pitches too high.  "I still don't understand...how did you know he was gonna kill us?  It sounded to me like he was trying to be helpful."

            "It was his lie about the passports.  About El Culebra's men showing them around.  That would be impossible, as I have our passports hidden in the car outside."

________________________________

      By the end of the afternoon, Fr. Kevin and Roxanne were no closer to solving the mystery of the strange key, then they had been earlier that morning.  Visits to both of Dollyville's banks had proved fruitless, although they had determined that the key was, most likely, to some type of safety deposit box.  Unfortunately, it was not a fit to any of the boxes here in town.

      The bank manager at Paul Revere Savings and Loans had remarked that the key was for an older, vintage style of box, something from the 1940's was his guess.  That pre-dated it to any of the banks in the local area, as the oldest one hadn't been built until 1963. He suggested they do a search online, focusing on banks built in the late 1930's, or early 40's.  Now, over coffee and doughnuts, the two discussed their next move.

      "Honestly, Kev...I think we made great progress here.  At least we can rule out a large number of banks that were built more recently, and focus on the older ones.  That's a start at least."

       Wiping a dab of jelly doughnut from the corner of his mouth, Fr. Kevin shook his head.  "That still doesn't verify exactly where the box is, Rox.  There must be hundreds of old banks here in Massachusetts.  This key could fit a box in anyone of them.  It's like looking for a needle in a haystack."

      "You're giving up way too easy.  I still hold to the theory that the box is located somewhere close enough for the key holder to have access.  Otherwise it doesn't make sense to store anything in it if you have no ability to retrieve it in a timely manner."

        "I suppose that makes sense."  He pulled a smart phone from his pocket, and with a few swipes across the screen, brought up a map of the state.  "So where do we look next?"

         Roxanne leaned over, and studied the screen.  She pointed to a section of the map, and shook her head.  "These are all small towns.  Smaller even than Dollyville.  We could check, but it's my guess that  they don't have banks big enough for a whole safety deposit box system.  And several of them are suburbs of Boston that didn't exist 40 years ago. "  She sipped at her carmel mocha latte, and stared long and hard at the lit screen.  "Boston makes the most sense.  It's two only two hours away, and has multiple old banks."  She held the key up for both of them to examine.  "It just has that old proper feel to it...just like the city itself.  I say Boston is where we should look next."

        "Well, that's out of the question.  I can't spend days tromping from one bank to the next on some wild goose chase.  I've got responsibilities, you know.  Belkins is supposed to be be back in a week about the audit.  Plus, I need to be here for morning Mass.  It's impossible to get a substitute to come in during the summer months.  As much as I'd like to solve this mystery, Rox, I just don't have the time."

          She was quiet for a few moments, sipping her drink while the wheels turned in her head. Then, she reached across the table for his phone.  "May I?"

           He nodded, and watched as she searched page after page, scribbling information on the back of her napkin.  After several minutes, she slid the phone back to him.  "Okay...I've researched the general basics about all the banks in the Boston city limits.  There are only fifteen old enough to have boxes that require a key like this one.  If we leave right after 8:30 Mass, we can catch the 9:05 into Boston.  That would give us the whole day to check out these old banks, and still leave plenty of time to catch the last train back at 8:15 PM.  You'd only be gone for one day, Kevin.  Surely you're entitled to some personal time, aren't you?  Besides, it will give you an opportunity to check in on your mom.  See how she's doing after all the excitement of the wedding."

       There was little doubt he should have known better.  Roxanne was as capable as his sister Maureen in making him do things he knew he'd be better off not doing.  But a huge part of him was intrigued by the mystery key. It was the whole draw people seem to have over the desire to find buried treasure.  Plus, the crazy wedding, and his sister's mysterious disappearance on her honeymoon had left him edgy and anxious.  A day off to play detective seemed like a fun alternative to fussing over dusty ledger books.  Without much convincing, he let himself be sucked into her plan.  "Alright, Rox.  I'll give you the one day.  But if we don't find any answers in Boston, I'm through with this all.  I gotta focus on getting through this audit thing with the diocese."  He put his hand out for her to shake.  "One day, got it?"

        She giggled, and grabbing his hand, gave it a shake.  "It's a deal, Fr. Kevin.  One day is all I ask."


Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

   

12 comments:

  1. esta luna de miel no deja de sobresaltar a la pareja, estoy deseando ver como salen de esta sanos y salvos
    seguro que el P. Kevin encontrara ese banco , tengo mucha curiosidad por ver que se esconde en esa caja de seguridad

    besitos y felices fiestas

    Mari

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    1. Lo mejor para usted en 2014, Mari!

           Gracias por todo su apoyo en el pasado año usted. No puedo comenzar a decirle lo mucho que aprecio sus lindos comentarios cada semana. Buena gente como usted es lo que me mantiene escribiendo cada semana.
           Yo creo que es hora de que el señor y la señora Beckett para regresar a casa, ¿no? Esto tiene que ser el peor de luna de miel de todos los tiempos! Mientras tanto, esperemos que el Padre. Kevin y Roxie pueden encontrar la caja fuerte de la derecha.

      Abrazos a usted,
      VR
      Best to you in 2014, Mari!

      Thanks for all your support in the past year you. I can not begin to tell you how much I appreciate your sweet comments each week. Good people like you is what keeps me writing every week.
      I think it's time that Mr. and Mrs. Beckett to go home, right? This has to be the worst honeymoon ever! Meanwhile, hopefully the Father Kevin and Roxie can find the right safety deposit box.

      Holiday Hugs to you,
      VR

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  2. Hi Vicki!

    Whew! Did not see that coming with Beckett killing the guy. I'm sure at this point Maureen has got to be wondering what the heck she got into with marrying our intrepid adventurer!

    Still loving the Roxie and Kevin adventure! A little worried for Kevin about his audit though :-)

    Happy New Year to you Vicki and I can't wait to see where 2014 takes your writing! Hope things are going well for you and quieting down a little. I really hope you had a great Christmas too!

    A big hug to you my friend,

    Susan

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    1. Happy New Year, Susan!
      Thank you loads for all your kindness and support in the past year and a half. It is hard to believe that I've been at this blog for that long, mainly because lovely readers, like yourself, keep coming back every week. Please know I am truly grateful for the support.
      Both of these story lines have been fun to write. I've had the Beckett and Maureen one in my head for quite awhile, but the Kevin/Roxie one is a relatively new idea. It's a challenge to keep both story lines going at the same time, but lots of fun keeping everybody in suspense.
      Hope the pillow venture is going well. Look forward to seeing some photos.
      Health and happiness to you and yours'
      VR

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  3. Happy New Year! Whoa... just finished catching up from the majority of December. You have two involved stories going on, and they are both intriguing, but I have a bit of a soft spot for Kev/Roxy for some reason. The key story is getting kind of fun, I like that! OOh.. and action and drama for the Becketts. Keep the good writing flowing, even tho it may be a bit hard at this time. :)

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    1. Hi B,
      Glad to see you back here. December was a fleeting month. It's hard to believe the holidays are over, and the return to school is just around the corner. (with temps of 7 below zero- SHEESH!)
      I am enjoying both story lines. One allows me some practice writing vivid action scenes, (something I really need to work on) and the other is a workshop in mystery suspense. I will rely on my faithful reader's patience as I experiment with these two genres. Though I have to admit, things got so crazy that one week n December, that I considered dong away with the honeymooners. Luckily for Ted and Maureen, dear hubby talked me out of it. LOL
      Hope your New Years was pleasant,
      VR

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    2. LOL... I kinda love the fact that your hubby intervened! Back to having to catch up, though!

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  4. PS I can imagine the Roxy doll giggling with Fr. Kevin. I think you create a great picture. I am not sure how to feel for Maureen at this time, dont know if I should be empathetic or fearful for her. But I think this whole ordeal is going to transform her into a pretty decent spy by the end of it all. Maybe they can be a Mr/Mrs duo!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks B! I work hard at making my characters real enough for people to car about and visualize. Can't tell you how many novels I've read where I didn't really care what happened to the characters. Movies too. In the movie Gravity, I didn't care if the Sandra Bullock character lived or died. Never connected with her at all as a "person"

      When Maureen met Beckett, her life, as she knew it, changed for ever. For better? Or for worse? Only time will tell.
      Glad you found time to catch up. Talk soon.
      VR

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  5. Oh Boy! I did not see that shooting coming! Whew! I'm glad Beckett got the other guy first! Is Maureen going to cooperate now so they can get home safe????
    As for Friar Kevin and Roxie.... and the key... it has to be the Key to it all!!! (Sorry I couldn't resist that pun!) I really do wonder how it all ties together...? Fascinating and fun!!!

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    1. Happy New Year to you Betsy!
      I want to thank you for all your loyalty to my characters and story. I so do appreciate the continuing support.
      The Fr. Kevin/Roxie story is a new-ish idea. Have a fun way for this to all go down. Glad everyone seems to be enjoying the dual story lines.
      Enjoyed the progress of your Tree House this year, and the running story that goes with it. Hope you'll keep up the fun in 2014!
      Best to you and yours,
      VR

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  6. Gosh I am sooo late still trying to catch up with all the Christmas posts :)) Wow I bet Maureen got a big shock if it was me I think I would scream forever so fair dues to her :) I don't think she will ever look at him the same way again. Very exciting story. Kev and Roxy really seem to be having a great time please don't let him muck it up lol.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.
    Hugs Maria

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