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.
|Police sketch of the gunman|
Beckett leaned back in his chair, and watched through his office window as one of his deputies helped Kevin maneuver his broken foot into the back seat of the patrol car. He remained stoic and white faced, while the two women fussed over the best way to position him. A quick call to the ER had secured them immediate attention, and if all went well, the priest and his entourage should be safely home in the next few hours, giving the him the same amount of time to do a little investigating of his own.
A tiny finger of guilt wiggled somewhere in the back of his head. He knew he should be grateful that the situation had gone down as it had. He owed O'Kenney that much. The fifteen minutes it took to get from the station to the medical center had been like an eternity, the condition of his wife the only focus in his head. When they pulled up, and he saw her calmly standing outside, not a hair out of place, waving to him as he slid to the curb, the relief had been so overwhelming, he was momentarily embarrassed, and glad to be in the car alone. In fact, all things considered in the gravity of the situation, the hostages looked remarkably calm.
They had all given similar statements attesting to how the drama had unfolded. Two gunmen had entered through the main doors, and had announced a hold up. The clinic staff immediately went on lock down, and called 911, leaving the patients in the waiting room at the mercy of the two perps. The taller of the two seemed very nervous, and when the opportunity presented itself, had fled through the same doors he had just come through. The remaining gunman had rounded up the hostages against the back wall, but then selected O'Kenney as a bargaining chip. That was the spot the story entered a gray area. The four remaining hostages claimed the priest and the gunman had discussed things between them, but none could say what was said, being too far to hear the whispered conversation. O'Kenney claimed in his statement that he tried to convince the man to surrender, but that instead, the man had taken off toward the restroom, and had apparently escaped through a window that opened up to a vacant wooded lot behind the clinic.
It wasn't unheard of. Two punks... into a crime way over their heads... decide to take an easy way out, and flee before law enforcement shows up. But something about this whole thing bothered him. Years of training made him feel he was missing an integral part of the picture. Beckett flipped open the folder on his desk revealing the drawings his sketch artist had made of the suspects from the hostages' description. Most were useless, showing little of the faces of either men, due to the hoodies pulled low across their faces. Spinelli's description offered some minor points of the remaining gunman, detailing a squared chin, and a faded scar that ran from the left corner of the lip up toward the cheek. And then there was the drawing the artist had made from Kevin's description. He pulled it from the pile, and laid it on top of the others.
It was true that the priest had more 'one on one' contact with the gunman. Had spoken to him face to face. But the quality of the details in the sketch went beyond a victim's memory. He had seen enough of them to know the difference. The drawing had a definitive personality, as if the person doing the describing knew the party on a more personal basis. This wasn't the first time O'Kenney had seen this face, and that troubled him greatly for a myriad of reasons. Since he and Maureen had returned from their honeymoon in hell, something was different about the man. There was that heavy drinking episode that his wife insisted on curing with silly fairy magic. At the time, he had written off the need to lose himself in the bottle as a reaction to something that had gone on with Mo's friend, Roxanne. But now, he wondered if there wasn't more to the story. Since that time, the man had seemed more guarded, more secretive about his thoughts.
There was another explanation to consider, and this recent event gave him fodder to consider. He had known since he had first met the man that the priest smoked weed on infrequent occasions. It had never worried him, and if anything, made the man seem more like a normal human being. But in light of his recent odd behavior, and today's events, there was the possibility his wife's brother's had gotten himself involved in something much darker. Today's attempted robbery had been all about drugs. That was clear. Each of the witnesses had stated that the gunman had demanded Oxci, short for oxcicontin, a narcotic with high street value, and a popular choice among the prescription junkie crowd. Was Kevin a user? A seller? Neither option was good. Kevin was the light of Maureen's life, and therefore, also his responsibility. If the dumb shit had gotten himself into real trouble, then Beckett would just have to dig him out.
The last thing he wanted was company. When Deputy Franks finally dropped them off at the rectory, it was the promise of his bed, the television, and solitude, that forced the last few steps up the walkway and in the door. He was glad when Maureen took off in the direction of the deli, and hoped that Roxanne would do the same. But no dice there. She took his keys, insisting on getting him settled before she made her way back to the B and B she was temporarily calling home. If that was all that was on her mind, it would have been okay. But he could see from the set of her mouth that she had something to say that wasn't going to wait.
There was no way he wanted her anywhere near his bedroom, so he contented himself with being settled on the couch. Once she had stuck a pillow under his cast, and one behind his head, she dragged a chair from across the room, and barely made herself comfortable in it, before she began her tirade.
"What in the hell were you thinking, Kevin?"
The painkillers he had gotten in the ER had just begun to take effect, and the drum throbbing in his leg was reduced to a light pounding. He knew where she was going with the conversation, and he wanted no part of it. "Look Rox, it's been a crappy day, and I've had all I can handle for one 24 hour period. Can we have this discussion another time?"
"No we can not! I saw the drawing, Kev. The one the police artist sketched. It was...was Fr. Murphy...you... during the time travel! Why in God's name would you do that?"
He knew if he told her what he thought, she'd think he'd gone off the deep end. But he was too tired, too worried to lie. She was the only human being he could trust with the truth. "I'm feeling... well...uncomfortable telling you this, Rox...but the man today...the guy with the gun...it WAS Fr. Murphy. I'm sure of it."
She sighed, and rubbed a hand over her forehead, the strain of the day marking her face as well. "Look, Kevin...I know it was a terrifying experience. And you don't have to be ashamed in feeling...overwhelmed. But you and I both now what you're saying is impossible. It can't be Fr. Murphy. He's dead, Kev. Buried a long time ago. I told you...I visited his grave. He died the same day we traveled back."
"I know what I saw, Roxanne. I looked at that face in the mirror enough times. Saw the world through his eyes. That face is imprinted on my brain forever. You didn't see the guy today close up like I did. It was all there...the eyes, the brows, the nose. Just the scar was new. Murphy didn't have a scar."
"What you're saying is crazy shit, Kev. Dead people can't come back and time travel. They don't come back and do anything. They're dead, and their souls rest in heaven. You, of all people, should believe that."
"I'm not saying I understand how this could happen. Just that I know what I saw. And the guy I talked to today...in the clinic...was Fr. Murphy. They even sounded the same. I could hear the background brogue mixed in with the Boston dialect."
He was sorry he told her. He could see he doubt in her face. Could clearly see the worry etched in the frown she wore. He watched as she got up from the chair, and began to pace the room. When he started to talk, she shushed him with a wave of a hand. She stared out the window for several minutes, lost in thought, then suddenly turned to face him.
"There is another possibility, you know. One that makes sense. That is... if anything about this whole time travel shit can be labeled sensible."
|Roxanne ponders the possibilities|
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2014
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