Good Morning Ted and Jody:
It was very relaxing to have my one hour conversation with Juli yesterday morning. Then too the massage left me in better shape than I have been in four weeks when I had my last one. It was also fun to catch up on the war between her husband and her mother and the irresponsible antics of her teenage step daughters. Juli did such a good job on my poor tired muscles that the sun came out out in celebration. Since it was still out when we got back from lunch, Nancy and I drove up into the lower cascades, to about 1500 feet and took a couple of series of shots Photoshop was able to stitch together into panoramas for me. The first is a panorama of the Toutle River Valley. The second is a panorama on a hillside on which a waterfall is almost visible, if you know what you are looking for. But, unfortunately, Nancy got the start of a bout of vertigo and we had to come back where she spent the rest of the afternoon and evening lying down trying to quell it. Around 8:30 she felt good enough to go to bed (I’m guessing her meds kicked in). To be fair, she has had a good run of about 10 years without an occurrence until a few weeks ago. So, I am guessing she needs to return for a consultation and see if she can’t eek out another ten-year run.
I have been laboring under the mistaken notion the Democratic Central Committee of Cowlitz County is meeting tonight. It is next week. Oh well, better to be ahead of the game than behind. I did download an FEC form and figure I have to meet someone to be the Treasurer and Secretary of my campaign organization—that is going to be the most difficult part of this campaign.
I am back on track with the numbering of Agent Amanda’s story (if going from 19 to 17a to 18a to 20 is really back on track).
I trust this finds you warm, healthy, and happy.
Warmest regards, Ed
020 Alice Reads More Obituaries & Millie Takes a Sip
Fiction in 1089 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Alice Beaverton was given to talking to herself. A bad habit she picked up in close to four years in prison. “I have to stop talking to myself. I kicked the night noises in less than weeks, I ought to be able to just think instead of talking things out loud. What will Jessica Ann think when she . . .”
“What Mommy? What did you say?” asked Jessica Ann who was on the bed in front of a television set in the back of the RV.
“I said, I love you Baby Jessica Ann. Is the show any good?” ‘See, it is already a problem,” she thought.
“It is a funny bird and a dog. The dog chases the bird,” Jessica Ann giggled. But the dog always falls. It is funny. The bird says ‘beep, beep’ all the time.”
“That’s nice Baby. That’s nice,” Alice said. “Now, what . . .” Alice heard herself and changed to thinking. ‘Now where are the obituaries for Southern California?” She hit a few keys on the laptop she had put on the side table next to the passenger seat in the RV. ‘Ah, here we go.’ “Computer give me the list of obituaries for Asian females between 28 and 35.”
Silence followed her command. ‘Computers in the early 21st Century are not quite up to what I am used to,’ she thought. Her fingers began the search. One by one, she read the age the moved to the next obituary. If the age was in the right range, she looked for a photo or name that showed or suggested Asian descent. Not finding either she moved to the next obituary.
Every ten minutes or so she checked on Jessica Ann. The third time she checked on her daughter, Jessica Ann was fast asleep. Alice lay her down, covered her up and turned down the volume on the Road Runner Blu-ray that was playing. She had purchased several Blu-rays with cartoons at the suggestion of a couple of young mothers in the electronics section of the very large store she went into for groceries and such.
Returning to her search for another several hours netted her four names and a mild headache. Two of names listed US cities as place of birth. For each of the two names she set up an email account. Once the email accounts were in place she went to her Silvia Chu PayPal account and sent enough money to each of the new email accounts to cover the cost of ordering birth certificates and then some. ‘I’ll set up mailing address in the morning and then set up PayPal accounts when I have the full address information for these two names. Then I can order birth certificates for each. Those store front mail box services are great. They will give me a street address and a number, just as if there were an apartment there,’ she thought with a huge smile on her face. ‘I wonder if two is enough.’ Alice sat down in the passenger seat and resumed her search.
Edith Gunderson handed Millie a cold can of cola
from the vending machine in the hall. “Here, Millie. This might help you get a grip.”
Millie looked at her supervisor. She pulled the tab on the can of cola, took a sip and said, “I heard you talking about time travel and then all was quiet. I came in and you were gone. I almost convinced myself there was an explanation when you all just popped into existence. “She held the can up and said, “This might do a better job of getting a grip if it had a touch of something to give it a grip.”
Brice asked, “How was she able to hear us talking?”
Edith Gunderson pointed to the corner of her desk, “An intercom that is always on and always recording.”
Brice raised the palms of his hands in the universal gesture for ‘Why?’
Edith Gunderson nodded her head and said, “A very long time ago a parent threatened to kill me if I did not testify that he was a fit parent. I agreed and then went upstairs to the detectives who fixed my intercom so it would not show that it was on. They also put a recording device in Millie’s desk to get it all on tape. After he was arrested and sent up for threatening to kill me if I didn’t do what he wanted, I thought it best to leave it in place. It has come in handy a few times. “
Brice said, “You could have warned us?”
“First off I had no clue there was something about to happened. Then when you started talking about being from the future, you will recall I thought you were nuts. I now think I’m nuts,” said Edith. “But now we have Millie in a mess.” She turned to Millie, “I think there is a bottle in the bottom file drawer on the right. Would that help.”
Millie nodded. “But just a touch, it isn’t Five O’clock yet.” And Millie giggled a bit.
Amanda picked up the clue and went to the file cabinet, opened the bottom drawer and pulled out a fifth of scotch. She read the label, “Single Malt. What does that mean.”
Brice answered, “The good stuff from Scotland, I should think.”
Edith turned to Brice and said, “I thought you were from the future?
Brice said, “We still know the good stuff when we see, smell or taste it.”
Edith said, “It has been there 15 years and it is for medicinal purposes only.” She took the bottle and poured a smidgen in the cola can and handed it to Millie.”
“Thank you,” said Millie taking a sip. “From what I heard, you are going to have a hell of a time convincing any one about the time traveling child abductor. I suggest you just make it local and fill out normal paper work, send photos, descriptions and alias to the detectives upstairs. They never ask to see our legal paper work.” Millie took another sip of her cola and smiled.
Edith said, “I’ll handle it. Give me the photos and the list of names you must have for her.”
Brice handed Edith a sheaf of paper from his under the arm portfolio, and asked “What else do you need from us?”
Edith took the papers and said, “Sit tight and keep her,” pointing to Millie” sipping. I’ll be back in 30 or 40 minutes.”