Good Morning Ted and Jody:
‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring except for the lady with a walker clumping through the house and the cat scurrying to get out of her way. Speaking of which, I am off to my talk person this morning, so have to scoot. Will see about a proper missive later.
In the meantime, I have attached the next installment in the Amanda Saga (or cliff hangers inc.)
Warmest regards, Ed
TV Coverage of Pandemonium 14th in the Amanda Saga (still need a title)
Fiction in 1091 words by T. Edward Westen, 2016
At every automobile accident, drive-by shooting, 4-alarm fire, mini-mart robbery or peeping tom incident it is always a tossup whether first responder vehicles or media trucks arrive first. When the incident requiring first responders is at a police station, court house or fire station, the first responder vehicles are already there; but media trucks seem to be on the scene before police can cordon off the area.
Jeremy Eastman was studying for a trigonometry exam in his apartment six blocks from the court house when he heard the call on his scanner. He grabbed his Canon with a 30X, optical zoom and literally ran the entire way. Arriving at the scene he found the police trying to pull Channel 2 back so they could form a parameter. The Channel 2 reporter was arguing squatter’s rights and it took four police men locking arms to walk her back behind the new line of yellow tape. Jeremy had the presence of mind to shoot the spectacle in HD video of four uniformed men locking arms and walking forward forcing the female reporter to retreat.
Jeremy Eastman could see the blanket over the form on the ground. Looking up, ‘Someone fell or jumped’ he thought. ‘I can probably get a better shot from up there with this lens.’ He turned and left the scene and went to the front of the building. Entering, he was surprised that there was no security. He heard voices. He stood still and looked around and listened. Yes, there were voices ‘Wait, they were all at the back window observing the scene in the alley.’ He gently pushed the turnstile and it moved, making no noise. No alarms sounded as he moved past the security barrier. He stopped and looked around ‘Hell, I could have gone around. Dummy.’
Jeremy moved to the bank of elevators, and as he was about to push the button to call an elevator, he thought ‘No, no noise. They are rubbernecking out the back windows just like I would, but doubt they wouldn’t want me here. I’ll take the stairs.’
On the second level, Jeremy’s running to get there caught up with him. He noticed several offices still open and decided on the elevator for the rest of the assent.
Reaching the roof door, Jeremy Easton opened it and immediately smelled the stale odor of tobacco. ‘My, my he thought, they even disobey the smoking ban at the center of government.’ He chuckled. ‘What better . . .’ His thought was interrupted.
“Who are you?” A female voice he thought he recognized came from a dark corner by the parapet and chimney.
“Jeremy Eastman,” he pulled out his student ID card and held it high. Then he realized where he knew that voice “Ms. Gunderson? Is that you?”
Edith Gunderson stepped into the half light of the open roof. “Yes, Mr. Eastman. You do get around with that student ID. Do you have a cell phone?”
“Yes Mam.” He replied
Edith Gunderson sagged and fell to the roof croaking out “Call 911. A man tried to kill me.”
Before Jeremy Easton could hit the first 1 in 911 the roof door burst open and for all the world he thought the whole SWAT team came through at the same time.
“FREEZE” The man yelling must have a bull horn in his throat.
Freezing for Edith was no problem, she was already down. Freezing for Jeremy involved a SWAT team member knocking him off his feet and holding him down while a second team member stripped him of his cell phone, camera, keys and wallet.
“We are coming to you live
From the Hall of Justice.” The reporter from Channel 2 declared. “We know a man has died in a fall from the roof of the building. The police are not releasing his name yet and we do not know if this was an accident, suicided or murder. Back to you David.”
At that point Mrs. Hastings muted the television set and remarked. “That looks like the door we came out when we left the Hall of Justice yesterday Mrs. White.”
Brice Clarkton looked frustrated. “Ladies, I have to tell you that Mrs. this and Mrs. that is driving me batty. Do you not have nick names? Do you always have to be so formal with each other?”
Mrs. White held up her hand. “Brice, you must understand that when you are talking to yourself you never answer. However, when we talk to ourselves, there are now five people who can answer and when Mandy gets older, six. So, since we are all the same in our minds we would all have the same nickname—Mandy.”
Brice Clarkton brightened up. “Yes, I get it you are all Mandy. Where, by the way did you come from Mandy?”
Mrs. White, Mrs. Hastings, Mrs. Anderson and his wife all began to answer at the same time “I don’t know.” Then they all laughed and at the same time said, “See.”
“OK, I get it.” Said Brice. “When I say Mandy, I, like I have observed you, will refer to my daughter. However, I will call my wife Amanda, just like I always have. Indulge me ladies.”
All four nodded.
“Now, what have you all, excuse me, what have you done to figure out where you came from?” Asked Brice Clarkton.
Mrs. White responded. “The four of us have discussed it. But that doesn’t get us very far. I suppose your wife cold add something, but to be frank we are at a stone wall. We all remember sitting on Santa’s lap and asking for a father and then getting one.”
Amanda Clarkton interjected, “I asked too, but I didn’t get one.”
Mrs. Hastings said, “There, there, dear, you missed a lot. Fathers are wonderful.”
Brice Clarkton jumped back in. “You say you talked to each other. Have you ever been hypnotized?”
The three older women looked at one another with puzzled expressions on their faces. Finally, Mrs. White asked, “What would that do? We have very good memories.”
“Details,” Brice Clarkton said, “details that you don’t know are important. Let me call a guy I know.”
Mrs. Anderson cautioned “You realize we have been keeping a low profile. Mrs. Smithers figured that out very quickly. I am different and people here don’t like different.”
Brice Clarkton chuckled, “You’ll like this guy, he’s, well, different. He may not notice that you . . .”
Mrs. White interrupted pointing to the television. “Look, it is Ms. Gunderson in handcuffs.”