Chapter ten---One day in August
7:47 PM | Author: Jeff
It was the middle of August, the air was so thick you could almost cut through it with a knife, coupled with extreme heat, the nights were sleepless, the days torture, August was the month that everybody in Twin Oakes wished they were someplace else.
Jay was fifteen; he and Paul had just finished wrestling tryout for Twin Oaks Junior High, they walked home each trying to trip the other over, the stifling heat seemingly having no effect on them, their faces beaded with sweat, both of them smiled ear to ear. Paul and Jay had made the team and that’s all that mattered to them today.
For months now they had practiced after school, Pops had coached them, for months they had sweat, been bruised and sprained or pulled almost every muscle in their bodies, but they had made the team and there was no force of nature that could dull their elation now.
As Jay and Paul reached the Peterson farm, they were past by Sheriff Sterling in his big police cruiser, sitting in the passenger seat was a young man, who stared out the window at Jay and Paul as the cruiser passed. The man wasn’t in uniform and Jay wondered if he was a criminal of some sort that Sterling had caught. If he was a criminal then something must have happened at home as it was the only other property on this road, Jays Heart skipped a beat for a second, ‘Pop’s’ he thought, but then his reason kicked in, the guy in the cruiser wasn’t very big, Pop’s would have easily taken him down if he was breaking in.
“Must have been someone important, to be riding up front” Paul said, as if he felt the panic that was coursing through his best friends mind. “Must be a detective or a politicion or something” he added.
‘That made sense’ thought Jay his panic slightly alleviated. “Better get home and see what gives” he said quickening his pace with Paul in tow. By the time they were half way to Jay’s place they were running.
Jay burst through the front gate and saw Pops sitting on the front porch, his expression so grave that Jay and Paul instantly forgot about making the team, forgot about the heat and the burning in their muscles, both boys loved Pop’s, looked up to him as a formidable man, unshakeable, Paul had never seen Henry Sutherland look as he did now, though Jay had, the memory of the last time Jay had seen Pops look like he did now sent shudders through Jay’s body, It was a very hot day, but Jay was sweating for a different reason. The last time Jay had seen that expression on Pop’s face they had been standing in a doorway as strangers.
Pops looked up slowly as he saw Jay and Paul enter the front gate, their eyes wide, he noted that Paul looked confused but Jay looked scared, Pops lightened his expression, willing calm through his heavy heart and forced a smile.
“Hi boys” Pops said
Neither Jay nor Paul replied, Pops felt his will failing him, his heart was sinking.
“Paul, I’m sorry but I need to talk with Jay alone, you’d best get on home” Pop’s gaze never left Jay, who stared at the dirt below his feet.
“It’s a hot one; better grab yourself a soda for the road.”
Paul nodded and began walking towards the side door that lead into the kitchen, “Thanks, Pops” said Paul who had also taken to Henry like a father, his own father being such an abusive drunk. Paul took a soda and began on his way towards the front gate and the long walk home, his mind swimming with a mixture of concern and curiosity.
“Give my best to your mother” Pops said as Paul past by.
“Will do.”
Pop’s and Jay watched silently as Paul disappeared down the road, once he had disappeared from view Pops turned his attention to Jay.
“Sit down a moment Jay, we need to talk” began Pops
“Who was the man with the Sheriff Pops?” asked Jay.
“He was a detective from New York. Jay, please come sit down with me a minute”
Jay could see Pop’s pain welling just below the surface, slowly, he sat next to his grandfather, Jay already knew what had happened.
“She’s dead isn’t she Pop’s” Jay said his voice betraying no emotion.
“Yes” answered Henry Sutherland unlike Jay’s his voice was filled with rage barely restrained. They both sat side by side staring off into the distance.
“Was it Hank?”
“The Detective suspects him”
“Was he arrested?”
“Not yet, the detective wants to ask you some questions about your mother and Hank”
“Why?” asked Jay a little taken aback.
“I’m not sure; I told him I’d ask you first”
Pop’s turned and looked Jay in the eyes, those green eyes so much like his own. Henry’s eyes welled with the onslaught of tears, his daughter was dead and with her a part of Henry died too.
“You don’t have to talk to him if you don’t want to”
“What was his name, the detective?” asked Jay
“Sabian, Jack Sabian” Pops handed Jay a business card, “He gave me this, got his number on it, if you want to help he said you can call him anytime.”
Jay studied the card, though his thoughts were elsewhere, he was lost in a place he had spend the last six years trying to forget, a dark smoky room with tattered stained curtains.
They sat there for what seemed like the longest time in silence, each lost within their own thoughts
“How did she die?” Jay asked. He had hoped since she left, that she would find some sort of peace, though she had never uttered a kind word to Jay, she was his mother, the only one he had.
“He said…” Pops began to choke on his words, “She was beaten and strangled”
Jay studied the card once more, deciding not to ask anymore of Pops, he could see Pops was only barely holding it together. He put the card away in his wallet; he’d ask Sabian about the rest of it.
“By the way Pop’s”
“Yeah” Pop’s only half coming out of his trance like state, he was bordering on shock.
“Paul and I we made the team”
Pops looked at Jay a smile on his face, “I never doubted it my boy”.

Later that night Jay called Sabians number, the phone rang three times and then was answered, the voice on the other end sounded groggy.
“Sabian here”
“Hi detective Sabian this is Jay Sutherland, you came by the house this afternoon”
“Yes Jay, I am sorry about your mother”.
“So am I” Jay swallowed deeply, “You think Hank Killed her?”
“Possible, but Jay I prefer not to talk about these things over the phone, would it be possible for me to come meet you tomorrow around noon?”
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On December 10, 2007 at 8:46 AM , Kathleen said...

I'm supposed to be doing all sorts of things--writing cards, laundry, decorating and what happens? You put up Chapter 10! So much for my schedule. Ooh, it's a good one, though that's for sure. What a cliffhanger. Can't wait to see what Sabian has to say. Really good tense stuff, but with just the right poignancy.


On December 20, 2007 at 7:30 AM , Elise said...

Another wonderfully written chapter. I could easily curl up and spend a day reading your books... xx

On December 20, 2007 at 8:12 AM , Grilled Pizza said...

Just read the whole thing from start to finish and im hooked!


Reader Reviews!

"Wow. That's awesome. I like how you write, it's unique and descriptive and paints an image for you. when i was reading this first chapter, i could just picture this becoming a blockbuster movie or something." ...Toni Brolin

"I'm utterly and completely hooked! The characters are so defined and the relations between them are extremely deep. Keep writing. I can't wait to read more. x"...Elise

"What amazes me about your work is that you have an incredible capacity to get into the minds of your characters, regardless of age or gender. That is truly a great talent."...Kathleen

I'm supposed to be doing all sorts of things--writing cards, laundry, decorating and what happens? You put up another Chapter! So much for my schedule. Ooh, it's a good one, though that's for sure. What a cliffhanger. Can't wait to see what Sabian has to say. Really good tense stuff, but with just the right poignancy."...