Dale Rogers the new chief.
Mayor Laura Jamison
Lester Haines Sightly heavy night officer.
Mike Simpson day officer. Gym rat also a short 5’4”
Lucy Kerby chubby young secretary.
Jim Sloan evening officer
Adams the realtor.
Wesley Brown handyman.
Andrew Rice my roof repairman and plumbing repairman
Betty Booth the Sergeant at arms of Happy Valley
Colonel Williams rep for Happy valley
Diane Rogers his ex wife
Sarah Rogers his daughter
Wilson Thomas Daine’s bf
Allison Dempsey lucy’s temp
Raul andrew rice helper
Juanita Rauls wife
Myra Rauls daughter and Sarah friend.
Randy Reynolds Sarah’s bf
Mallo and Silvers the SBI Agents.
Marty the SBI computer nerd.
Angelo Martinez the pornographer
building 513 main st
Ed Marx and his son Eddie
Gayle Arnold widow on the pier
The morning after the rolled roofing fiasco, I ran through the film at 5x speed. I didn’t see the truck or anything else significant, so I dressed for work before taking the bike out. I was most vulnerable on the bike I admitted to myself.
The nausea I felt on that roof convinced me living in fear wasn’t my style at all. It was going to be difficult to get past it, but I intended to try. The danger of being my friend, I would have to mitigate by not getting too close with people. When I ate at the diner, a Russian mob hit was a possibility. Mostly because I did it often before that morning. I decided to eat less often there. When I needed a greasy burger fix, I would call ahead for take out.
It was a good thing. I neither had nor wanted a steady girlfriend. I did still have hopes of a normal home life. Well as normal a home life as possible for a man with a price on his head. It could have been worse. I did have Betty. She was in the same fix as me. She seemed to understand our position better than I had at first. She should, she had a few more days to come to grips with it.
I was about to leave on my morning bike tour, when Betty came down the stairs. “Shouldn’t you wear spandex when you ride a bike. You do have a nice sexy ass,” she said.
“I do not have a sexy ass. I have a manly ass, so no spandex shall ever touch this ass,” I said rolling the bike out the rear or the building. There wasn’t any traffic, so I spent my time looking around the parking lots of the down town business. I also looked in the driveways of the houses inside the town limits. I even did a turn around the Happy Valley campus. I called it a campus because they call it that. To me a campus was a college, not a retirement village. That just meant that I was out of step, something I didn’t mind at all.
I rode my bike to the alley at the rear of the diner. The plan was to pick up the sausage and egg biscuit, which I had phoned ahead to arrange. The black waitress stood on the wooden deck while smoking a cigarette. She held my white paper bag while she puffed away. I handed her the three one dollar bills for the two dollar biscuit.
“So this is convenient for you. You get your nicotine fix and get paid for it as well,” I said.
“Chief you are so funny. If I could afford it, I’d buy a ticket in the lottery,” she said smiling.
“All my other friends seemed to have done that,” I said.
“I know too bad they ain’t cheaper,” she said.
“True Dat,” I said. As I carefully rode away with the paper bag wrapped around the handle bar.
When I arrived at the station Lester was seated at Allison’s desk. Allison was nice and cooperative but she wasn’t Lucy was my only thought about her. I nodded to Lester as I passed.
“Chief, I noticed something last night. I might have found the big black truck you wanted,” he said.
“Really?” I asked as I made coffee.
“Yes, I think it belongs to the Farmers Exchange store out on hwy one east of town,” he explained. “I saw it in their parking lot over night. I drive by it on the way to Shirley’s Pancake House.”
“Wonder why the owner was cruising main street at 2AM?” I asked.
“No idea, you going out to ask?” was his reply.
“Most likely,” I answered. The exchange took a while since there was no hurrying Lester or me. I started on my biscuit while I waited for Mike to show up. Since he wasn’t a marked man, I planned to send Mike out to the FX. I might ride along to spice up his day, I decided while waiting.
After taking a few reports Mike and I pulled into the FX store parking lot. The owner of the farm supply store was a man. He appeared to be in is late in his fifties. Of course it was just a guess.
“I’m Chief Rodger from Ansonville,” I said offering him my hand.
“I’m Ed Marx. I used to be Big Ed Marx before my heart attack,” he said.
“Yeah that does tend to happen. I hope you are okay now?” I asked.
“I am. So what can I do for you?” he asked me. I notice Mike began to wander around the store. He stopped to talk to a boy under twenty years old. “To be honest it’s about your big pickup truck. We had a report of one like it driving around town a couple of nights ago. It was very late and the truck was driving slow. You know like it was looking for an address or something.” I stopped talking and waited for Big Ed. When he didn’t answer I asked, “Were you driving around town at 2AM night before last?”
“No actually that truck belongs to the company, but my son Eddie drives it. I can’t imagine him driving it on Main Street at 2AM. Though.” Big Ed replied.
“Well I’m sure my patrolman is asking him that now,” Mike saw me step away from big Ed. I then moved in the direction of car. Mike saw me so he broke off the interview.
When he slipped into the driver seat, he said, “You got a problem chief. Eddie drove his girlfriend by your place to show her where you lived. You and your building are a big deal to kids in the area. Since they might get caught in the crossfire, they feel they are living dangerously. At least a little bit like you and Betty.”
“Are you telling me to prepare to become a minor tourist attraction?” I asked.
“Could be,” Mike suggested.
“The world is so fucked up,” I said.
“Oh yeah,” he agreed.
My cell phone rang, it also showed the name Allison. “Yes Allison?” I asked.
“The mayor wants to have a meeting with you at 3PM,” she said.
“Assuming nothing comes up, I’ll be there,” I agreed. I broke the connection.
Two minutes later the phone rang again. I looked at the screen, then said, “Hello Jim what can I do for you?” I asked.
“All of a sudden I have a confidential informant,” he said.
“Really, so what’s the tip?” I asked.
“A couple of Redneck Militia wannabes are planning a hit on you or Betty Booth,” he said calmly.
“Now this might be interesting. Do you have any details, or is it just a couple of good ole boys day dreaming?” I asked.
“The guy claims to have heard them buy a pipe bomb. He said it was made by a former terrorist. He learned to make them in Syria or someplace like that,” Jim said.
“Before I go calling the ATF guys, how good is the information?” I asked.
“It was really detailed. He said the guy selling the piper bomb told his redneck friends he was raising money for the Jihad,” Jim explained.
“So I guess these guys are playing the pool?” I asked.
“So my source says,” Jim replied.
“Get some names and addresses and we will get a search warrant. If we get that far, I’ll call the SBI for manpower and experts for the raid. Oh Jim, thanks for keeping your eyes and ears open.”
“Nothing to it boss,” he said.
“Plus if you get rid of them, you have a better chance of winning?” I asked with a laugh.
“That to,” he said also laughing. It had become one big morbid joke.
Jim didn’t grasp that I found it less humorous as time went on. I suddenly had to worry about Russians and Rednecks. That would be a good headline for my obituary, I decided.
“Allison, tell the mayor I have a fire that needs tending to, but I’ll meet her tomorrow now matter what else happens,” I said into her voice mailbox. I didn’t feel the need to talk to either Allison or the mayor.
Jim came in early and went before a judge. He brought the informant with him. The informant wasn’t named in the warrant, but the sitting judge demanded that he tell his story in his chambers. I hoped no one put two and two together. If they did the equation could end with murder.
Mallow could only get me a highway patrol officer to bring a squad of men on such short notice. I hoped she would be able to come zooming in to question the two rednecks. That is if we found anything. The highway patrol officer and I led the search on the two conspirators house, while Mike and Jim assisted in the jihadist search.
We didn’t have a military arms expert, but I felt sure there were a couple of fully automatic rifles in the militia house. We also found a large pipe bomb sitting on the coffee table as if it were an ash tray. Since they had to transport it, the Highway patrol officer called in the SBI bomb squad to assist due to it’s danger. I was forced to stand by while all that went on.
I had the two men transported to county lockup for interrogation and detention. I charged the two rednecks with threatening a duly sworn officer of the law. That was just to hold them while all the evidence was processed.
Mike and Jim’s bomb maker was the more dangerous of the three. He was charge with the illegal possession of bomb making material. I wanted to speak to the three of them, but I didn’t dare.