Good Morning Ted and Jody:
We are off to Vancouver this morning for my post-op appointment. It was to be tomorrow, but they called twice on Friday to change it.
When I went to Portland for my colonoscopy, it was on a sixth floor in downtown Portland on the waterfront. I managed to take some shots thought the windows. Except for the sky tram, I can’t tell you anything except the river is the Willamette. I figured that I need some kind of cup or lens extension to put against the window and shield the interior lights to allow me to take a greater variety of shots through windows to cut down on interior reflections. But, the opportunities are so rare that need will probably not surface very often.
The news yesterday was interesting. The pestilence riles against the fake news yet he cites it, albeit incorrectly, for a source for his alternative facts.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy and warm.
Warmest regards, Ed
015 Agents Clarkton Still Backtracking Alice
Fiction in 993 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Amanda and Brice checked every shop on the walk way between the exit from the public sleeping cubical Alice used her first night out of prison and the open elevator to the plaza below. Other than the Fabrication shop, she had apparently not gone into any others for no one recognized her images. Amanda and Brice knew she got to the library fairly quickly after leaving the Fabrication shop. The time stamp on the library calls she made did not leave her time to do much between her conversation with Jackson in the Fabrications shop and her getting to the library. Amanda and Brice could not, however, help but stop and watch the old painter for a few moments. The man was painting a pastoral landscape in the middle of a metropolis. As they watched he looked up from time to time using his brush as a kind of viewfinder and then returning to applying paint to his canvas.
Entering the library, Amanda and Brice split up. Amanda went to the front desk. Brice went down the stairs to the children’s section.
Amanda Clarkton showed the Librarian at the front desk her ATI credentials and then showing her Alice Beaverton’s images, asked, “Do you recall this woman visiting the library the first of the week?”
The Librarian responded by saying, “Yes, I think it was the first time that crazy woman had been in a library. She ran her hands over,” pointing to the shelves of encased books next to the entrance, “a dozen or so calls for fabricated copies of books. Then she didn’t want to read them.”
Amanda asked, “What else do you remember about her visit?”
“She asked about meeting a woman and child here. I directed her downstairs to the children’s section. They have daily readings for the little ones,” said the Librarian pointing to the stairs that Brice had just descended.
Amanda said, “Thank you.” Then she turned to follow Brice.
The Librarian called out “What did she do?”
Amanda stopped, turned back and said, “She abducted a child. If you see here call the police, do not try to stop her, simply call the police.” With that Amanda hurried down the staircase.
She found her husband sitting on the bottom step listening to the reading of a child’s book. Brice held his finger over his lips and cupped his ear then whispered, “She is almost done.”
“. . . Boys and girls is how the Bluebird and Swallow learned to sing in harmony.” Little hands clapped and children’s voices sang out approval. The voice that had been reading said, “We will read another story when the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 2. That’s two O’clock. Time to use the restroom everyone.”
As children and mothers filed out in a calliope of little people sounds, Amanda and Brice approached the Librarian who had been doing the reading. The Librarian stopped and asked “How can I help you?”
Brice showed the Librarian his ATI credentials and said, “We are tracking a woman who was here the first of the week, Alice Beaverton.”
Amanda handed the Librarian a set of images of Alice and said, “This is her.”
The Librarian nodded and said, “Yes, she was here. She was interested in getting some books for her 4-year-old niece. The woman was totally unfamiliar with standard and deluxe readers. She did not know about buying versus renting the equipment. I explained as best I could and she left.”
Brice asked, “You remember all of that?”
The Librarian responded, “Yes, her eyes were just a bit too intense. I did not believe she was looking for books for a niece. She was up to something, I just didn’t know what. Most of my day is spent with them.” She turned and pointed to the preschool aged children and their mothers. “They are memorable and I remember most encounters, but the woman in the images you showed me was, well, at least a bit off, if you know what I mean? She was scary memorable.” The Librarian paused and then said, “She seemed to be on a mission of some sort—a highly focused goal. She was definitely after something.” She paused again, and then asked, “Why are you looking for her?”
Brice replied, “We are tracking her movements to try to get a fix on where she went. You see, she abducted a child.”
The Librarian put her hand to her mouth and then said, “I knew she was up to no good.”
Brice quickly added, “If you see her call the police. Do not try to detain her, just call the police.”
As Amanda and Brice left the library, Brice turned to Amanda and said, “I guess that tells us what kind of books she bought for the deluxe reader she bought.”
Stopping at a computer screen Amanda held her ATI credentials up and Alice Beaverton’s identity tab and asked, “Computer please list the books purchased by Alice Beaverton.”
The computer provided a list of books and said “There are a total of 603 books on the list you requested. The first 25 are on the screen. Tell me when you want to scroll.”
Amanda asked, “How many of the books that Alice Beaverton purchased are children’s books?”
“600,” replied the computer.
“What are the titles of the three non-children’s books Alice Beaverton purchased?” asked Amanda.
The computer listed them on the screen and read them off “Methods of Disguise by John Sample, The CIA Guide to Clandestine Operations by Varagian Press, and “How To Blend In no author.”
Brice asked, “Computer when were these books copyright?”
The computer replied, “Methods of Disguise by John Sample was copyrighted in 1993, The CIA Guide to Clandestine Operations by Varagian Press was not copyrighted, but published 2011, and How To Blend In no author is a collection of non-copywritten articles from the early 21st Century.”