Dear Ted and Jody:
Yesterday was a long day. It started at midnight when Nancy had a nightmare. She didn’t wake up and has no recollection of it, but I did and do. When I heard her cryout, I got up and went to the chair and put my hand on her shoulder. I don’t know if that helped or if the nightmare simply ran its course. I suspect it was generated by six days spent largely in the self-lifting recliner. I was up off and on all night checking on her.
The nurse came Monday afternoon and she is still ahead of the game on the clood clotting numbers. The physical therapist came Tuesday afternoon and absolved her from one of her exercises. But, he replaced it with a substitute that will generate less pain. So, that is good.
The tree and foliage decorations on WA 504 has extended beyond the quarter mile between the RV park and Hall Road and now there are evergreen trees and leafless tress decorated for a seven mile stretch. I saw two different women decorating in two different spots when I went into town yesterday. I don’t know it this is spontaneous or if some group has organized it. One of Nancy’s quilting buddies might know. Nancy will call and ask her in the next day or so if she doesn’t stop by again.
All our snow is gone. Even the large balls that folks made snowmen out of and the piles where it was pushed off drives and parking lots. None-the-less, the porch and front steps were icy this morning—freezing fog until late morning. I know this is no consolation to you given your feet of snow and arctic conditions. However, that is living anywhere near a Grate Lake.
I am attaching the 8th in the Amanda Saga. It is up over 7,000 words now.
Warmest regards, Ed
Booking (8th in the Amanda Series)
Fiction in 1,160 words by T. Edward Westen, 2016
Patrolman Eddie Philipson led Amanda White, whom he though was Amanda Clarkton to the basement booking desk at Police Headquarters. He entered her name as Amada Clarkton of 1246 Brentwood. “What year were you born, Mam” he asked the handcuffed Amanda White.
Amanda White responded, “I am 44 years old, young man.”
Patrolman Philipson counted on his fingers and entered the year. “Day and Month?
Amanda White raised an eyebrow and told him “Christmas Eve.”
Patrolman Philipson looked just a bit concerned when he picked up the arrest warrant to enter the warrant number in the computer. “Funny, he said, they got your age wrong on the warrant.” He pushed on. “Next we take your photograph.” He led her down the booking desk about a yard and pointed to two feet outlined on the linoleum. “Stand in those, please Mam.”
Mrs. White asked, “Where is the number to hang on my neck?”
“Oh, we stopped using those years ago. Now the camera imprints one on the bottom of your photo.” With that he showed her the photo on the computer screen. Indeed, a date and number were printed on the bottom of a not very flattering likeness of Amanda White.
Amanda White shrugged.
“Now Mam, we need you to come this way to inventory your belongings.” Said Patrolman Philipson as he led her into what appeared to be a large dressing room. The room contained a rack of orange jump suits in various sizes, flip flops and bins that held boxes and a police matron about the size of a Sumo wrestler. There was a second door. Amanda White knew that door led to the cells.
The police matron said, “Thank you patrolman. Remove her cuffs and leave the room.”
Patrolman Philipson did as he was bid and shut the door behind him.
The police matron instructed Amanda White to disrobe “Down to your undies and bra please and put your clothes and shoes in this box” pushing a box with a padlock on it toward her.
Amanda White disrobed and folded her coat, dress, sweater and stocking neatly and put them in the box on top of her shoes. She was shivering a bit.
The police matron said, “before we can put one of those one I need to see what is under your bra and panties and if you would, bend over so I can make sure you have nothing concealed” as she put on a pair of latex gloves. “Say, what’s this? Where is your belly button?”
Amanda White replied “Tummy tuck some 15 years ago. The scar is simply not there any longer. They had a marvelous cream from some melon grown in Peru,” as she bent over.
After a few minutes of indignity, the police matron pulled off her latex gloves told Amanda “The racks are by size.” She pointed to the numbers over each rack. “Try one on, if it fits, fine, if not, go bigger or smaller.”
Amanda’s experience with institutional garb drew her to one size bigger than her dress size. It fit.
The police matron laid a piece of paper on the table. I need you to sign this inventory of your stuff,” handing Amanda White a stubby pencil like those at lottery ticket machines.
“But it is blank.” Amanda stated as she pushed the paper back toward the matron and put the pencil stub on the table.
“Fill it out then.” The matron said.
Amanda, took the stub, pulled the paper back and began writing. After a few minutes, she handed the paper back to the matron. The matron looked at it and said, “Most of this stuff like your purse, wallet, cell phone and keys is with the patrolman who brought you in. I’ll initial the stuff I see, you ask him where your other stuff is?”
Amanda White had 12 years dealing with guards, and the matron was that, a guard. So, she simply nodded and kept her mouth shut.
When the matron finished initialing the items of clothing she handed Amanda White a swab and vile “swab your mouth and put the swab in the vile, then cap it.”
Amanda White did as requested. ‘Now they have another sample of my DNA. They should become confused very soon.’ Out loud, “Here,” she said handing the closed vile back to the matron.
The police matron then said, “Now, we go into the next room where the doctor will have some questions.” And led her through the door Amanda White had assumed led to the cells.
Once through the door, the police matron handed Amanda White’s paperwork to a woman wearing scrubs.
The woman in scrubs, said, Now, Mrs. Clarkston, we have some . . .
Amanda White interrupted, “I’m not Mrs. Clarkston. I am Mrs. White.”
Edith Gunderson followed the second patrolman to the property room.
The second Patrolman “I can do this. You don’t need to come.”
Edith Gunderson, “I’ll witness your inventory. The purse hasn’t been out of my sight since you retrieved it from the kitchen. Did you pick up anything else?”
The Second Patrolman, “I put her cell phone in it?’
Edith Gunderson, “May I see that?”
The Second Patrolman opened the purse and pulled out the cell phone and handed it to Edith Gunderson. Edith turned it on and noted it opened to a Google search for recipes for brownies with nuts. ‘Yes, that is something a mother would be looking at.’ As she punched the icons to open the recent telephone calls, she noted ‘she just got off the phone before we got there. A one minute and 23 second call. Maybe . . .” she pushed the icon to redial the number. While it was dialing she got out her cell and snapped a photo of the number. She waited. Finally, the receiving end switched over to voice mail. She hung up. She then looked at the contacts and found only three. No names, but contacts numbered ONE, THREE and FOUR. ‘Curious,’ she thought.
Edith Gunderson was about to open the contact numbered ONE when the Second Patrolman who had been listing the purse and the items in it on an inventory sheet interrupted her. “I don’t think we are allowed to do that without a warrant, Mam.”
Edith Gunderson looked startled and then recovered quickly. “Right, I just thought we might get a clue about where Mrs. Clarkston’s Mandy is. No harm, no foul.” She handed the phone to the Second Officer and started to leave.
The Second Officer called to her, “Mam, I thought you want to witness this inventory.”
Edith Gunderson made a 180 degree turn without slowing down. “Right, I almost forgot why I was here.” She took the paper from the Second Patrolman and put her initials next to each item and signed the bottom. Handing the form back she said “Forget me head were it not tightly bolted on,” and made her exit.