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.
|Beckett observes the activities...and conversations... in the rectory|
He considered his next option. As the town's sheriff, he could insist, and the fact he was also the guy's brother-in-law, might lend weight to situation. But experience had taught that he'd gain a lot more information by stealth observation. With little fan fare, he turned and headed back to his car, making no attempt to hide his departure. He drove a few blocks away, sliding his distinctive black Mustang in the busy parking lot of the town's shopping center, and made his way back on foot. Part of him felt silly running the whole covert operation thing on Kevin. After all, the guy was Catholic priest, and his wife's brother. It wasn't likely he was involved in anything seriously questionable. Then again, he thought about the whole kidnapping thing with Marzano, and how the parish priest had gotten himself involved with syndicate money. Images of Cassie floated in the back of his mind, and a hundred warning bells went off in his head. If there was any chance at all that the psycho bitch had reappeared, then he needed to know exactly what was going on.
Beckett walked the half mile back to the rectory, coming up on the street just behind Holy Family. Unlike urban neighborhoods, the properties butted up next to the ones behind, with no alleys or walkways between them. Holy Family was set on four lots, with the church in the front, and the small house that served as the rectory in the rear. That property had been owned by the diocese for nearly 75 years, and the grounds boasted several full grown trees, and over grown hedges, allowing the sheriff to
easily come up to the buildings without being observed. He had been pestering the priest to remove some of the brush since he had moved there, siting it as a major security issue. But at this precise moment, he was grateful O'Kenney had chosen to ignore him, and he was able to make his way toward the back of the building without being seen.
He paused at the window furthest in the rear, the large bay that gave him a complete view of the rectory's kitchen. From where he stood, he could easily see into the room, which was currently empty. Remnants of a breakfast meal were still left out on the table, but there was no sign of the priest. Beckett moved quietly to the other side of the house, to the windows that overlooked the parlor and front hall, and hoped his brother-in-law had not decided on an afternoon nap, as the second floor would be harder to access. Luck was with him, as he spied the priest cross-legged on the floor of the room, a sea of books, papers, and maps spread around him in a complete circle. His full attention was focused on the screen of a lap top propped on his knees, and the sheriff could hear him muttering and swearing in Gaelic, a language he had always professed to know only bits and pieces of. He stopped, taking hefty swigs from an opened bottle of Grey Goose Vodka, wiping his mouth with the back of his wrist, and grunting in appreciation.
Crazy enough, it was the bottle of vodka that alarmed Beckett the most. Anyone who knew Fr. Kevin O'Kenney, knew the man detested vodka, the reason a favorite family story amongst the large Irish clan. He himself had heard the story first hand, shortly after he had started dating Maureen. It seemed that after high school graduation, Kevin, and a group of his friends had headed to the Cape for a beach party, as was the local custom. During the celebration, the new graduate had imbibed nearly an an entire bottle of rot gut vodka, resulting in him being embarrassingly ill for several hours afterward, and vowing never to touch the wretched spirit again. It seemed inconceivable that in the week or so since he and Maureen had been gone, her brother would have developed a taste for this particular selection of alcohol. His wife was right. Something was off in her brother's behavior.
He watched the man for several minutes, contemplating what he should do next. As odd as the behavior was, it still wasn't against the law for someone to sit in their own home and drink vodka. He considered using a ruse to get the man to leave the rectory so that he could have a chance for further conversation,or even exploration, but before he could dial the number, the priest's cell phone blared from a spot on the floor. His brother-in-law seemed startled by the sound, and paused before picking up the phone and placing it near his ear. From his spot next to the window, Beckett strained to hear the conversation.
"Hello? Ah..it's you. No. I haven't found anything. You?" The priest ran his hand through unkempt red hair, and then took another long drink from the bottle next to him. "Miracle? No, my love. We both know there are no such things."
From his position at the window, Beckett felt a mental whack to his head. Did the priest just call someone "my love"? Hell, this just put a whole new spin on everything going on. A woman in Kevin's life? It was unthinkable, and on the same hand, made perfect sense. The woman. She had to be Maureen's friend, Roxanne. The priest's blast from the past. He had teased the guy unmercifully about her coming to town for the wedding, but never had truly believed there was any way the guy would break his vows. When it came to his vocation, Kevin had seemed the genuine thing. On the other hand, he was still a human being, with the same feelings and desires as everyone else. Was this the reason for the man's odd state? He put his ear near the glass, hoping for additional information, but feeling a tad guilty for eavesdropping on someone he considered a friend.
"Are you well? Safe? Yes...it is quite strange, all of it. But wonderful. No, I don't know how long it will last. Or even how it happened. But there must be some logical answer to this all. The universe is an orderly place, we just lack the sense to understand it."
Wow, Kev. Mr. Romance you're not. I guess not a lot of practice, huh?
"No, faic tusan...you best stay where you are at. The less that know, the better. We must be cautious." There was a deep sigh, and the man continued. "Yes, I understand... I long for you too. But I need some time to...to get things in order. It is best that way."
Hell. This is gonna cause a big pile of shit.
"Yes. Soon. Very soon. Then we can disappear. You have my word, love."
The conversation ended on that note, leaving Beckett wondering just how he was going to break news of this sort to his pregnant wife. Or even if he should.
There wasn't much time. Of that she was sure of. Kevin had looked awful, and there was little doubt that his condition would get steadily worse with each passing hour. Finding a longitude and latitude map of Boston had proved impossible, and she thought of how she had taken the access of the internet for granted back in her time. Within her heart, she was positive the library was the right spot, the portal in which she and Kevin traveled. But the skeptic in her wanted...no needed... verification. And now it seemed this important objective was going to be impossible. Though the public library was open, access to the types of materials she needed was not within her reach as the impoverished, immigrant class she was. Yet another freedom she had taken for granted in modern day Boston.
She would have to go with her common sense and gut feeling on this one. It had, on many occasions, been the key to difficult situations, and for Kevin's sake, she hoped her luck would hold out. They had made plans to meet on the corner closest to the bank, at 4:30, in hopes of re-staging the original moment this all had happened, and when she had left the library, it was already well after 4. Now, as she hurried toward the meeting spot, apprehension that none of this would work, built in her head like a ticking bomb. So focused was she on the situation at hand, she never noticed the man following several steps behind her, and when the shove came, she wasn't at all prepared.
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus
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