Good Morning Ted and Jody:
It rained like a son of a gun today. I did venture out for photos but alas I only took one shot, and that was inside. This photo could use a caption, but I prefer to let you make up your caption.
Nancy had a short-lived bout with vertigo this afternoon about lunch time. It highlights that she needs a solution soon or will have to forgo her trip back to the Midwest for Rene’s wedding April 1st. (I think it is a very appropriate date for a wedding but dare not express this thought out loud.) they should have read theMRI by now; again, we will just have to be patient. (Adding to my definition of patience, “patience involves suffering while doctors play golf.” But then I am too cynical.)
I downloaded a piece of software to proofread and edit what I write as I write it. I used it to write today’s Agent Amanda episode. I did figure out that I still make mistakes. I suppose that means the software is human too. (Actually, I learned I should write and then use the software on finished pieces so I can help it find the stuff it can’t find on its own.)
The weather ought to warm up for you and dry out for us any month now. I just hope that month is in this calendar year.
Stay happy, healthy, warm and well fed.
Warmest regards, Ed
038 Where is King Solomon when you need him?
Fiction in 1617 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Frank Thompson had filed both a missing person report and a child abandonment complaint on Walter Beaverton. While Jessica Ann was the “hit of the ball” at the police station, ‘She still is just a confused little girl,’ he thought. It was close to 11 O’clock when Child Protective Services picked up Jessica Ann. So it was that same hour when Frank Thompson was able to leave police headquarters. ‘I didn’t want to leave the kid with people she didn’t know only to be taken by someone else she doesn’t know,” he thought. ‘Besides she will be confused enough in the morning. Spent the day with a mother she just met and now her father is not there. Sometimes I hate this job.’
As he headed home, he thought ‘It is going to be when the morning police shift comes on duty that anyone will really know the find and arrest Walter Beaverton. On the off chance, he returns home; I’ll go back to his place and hang around for a bit. He has to come home sometime.’
On the way to Walter Beaverton’s home, Frank passed by an all-night diner. So, he stopped for a coffee to go. ‘That should help keep me awake,’ he thought.
Arriving at Walter Beaverton’s home around 11:45, Frank sat on the man’s steps, sipped coffee and waited. At 11:53 P.M. Walter Beaverton almost stepped on Frank Thompson who was sitting, on his top step and sipping coffee. Walter said, “Wass you doingink here. Move.”
Frank got up. He could smell the alcohol on Walter Beaverton’s breath and said, “Excuse me,” stepped aside and opened communications with the police department. “Yes, I would like to report Walter Beaverton has been found. He is at his home address right now.” Frank listened for a second, “Yes, sir, I reported him missing. Apparently, he was out tying one on. He just staggered home. I also filed the child abandonment complaint against him.” Frank listened. “Yes, that was his daughter at the station for a couple of hours tonight.” Frank smiled as he listened. “Right, I stick with the scum while the officer is en route.” Frank closed communications and turned to Walter Beaverton who was trying to get his eye in the right place for a key scan to get inside. Frank shook his head and watched Walter still trying to gain entry into his own home. Finally, Walter fell asleep on his porch.
After a short night’s sleep,
Frank Thompson opened communications with his office. “Nettie, The case I was supervising went well. Unfortunately, the father never showed to get his child back. I turned the child over to protective services and had the father arrested. Now, I think the court might need to get involved. She is such a sweet little kid.” Frank listened and then as, “No, not all four-year-olds are cute after spending a day with them.” He listened and then said, “See how quickly we can get on the judge’s calendar. I’ll talk to the mother as soon as I can arrange to see her in person.” After a few more moments of listening, he said, “Right, call when you have a date. And, thanks, Nettie.” He closed communications.
While he was getting a much-needed cleaning in the personal hygiene unit, he tried to formulate a plan for talking to Alice Beaverton about her drunken husband. ‘I guess I’ll have to play it by ear,’ he thought.
Finishing up his morning routine, he opened communications with Alice Beaverton. “This is Frank Thompson, the man who . . .” Alice had interrupted him. “Yes, it was a nice day. I need to have a person to person talk with you. Could we meet over coffee?” He listened and then said, “Right, I know where that is and can be there in less than 30 minutes.”
Arriving at the coffee shop across from the police station,
Frank found Alice already there and drinking what appeared to be a cup of latte. Alice waved him to her table and said, “They have a new item on their beverage menu—hot chocolate with marshmallows. It is quite good. “
Frank chuckled and said, “I have a friend in the ATI who introduced that stuff to this century. I tease him about not thinking to patent it to make a profit. I sometimes think when it comes to work he has no sense of humor, for as he puts it ‘that would be breaking the rules.” Frank picked up the menu and said, A cup of black coffee, please.”
A voice, coming from the menu, asked, “Will there be anything else?”
“For now, just coffee,” Frank said. Turning to Alice, he said, “What can you tell me about your ex-husband?”
Alice gave Frank a puzzled look, “I last saw him the morning I went to court and receive a five-year sentence for grand larceny. They took me to prison right after sentencing. Walter never showed up even to wish me luck. The next thing I knew he filed divorce papers. The divorce was put on hold for nine months until Jessica Ann was born. Then the divorce was finalized, he got custody. He never even sent me a hologram of her. You saw him yesterday; you know more than I do.”
“What I am interested in is what kind of person was he before and what habits did he have?” clarified Frank Thompson.
Alice looked at Frank, again with puzzlement painted in wrinkles and stretch marks across her face, “Why are you asking about what he was like before?”
“I figure a wife, even an ex-wife from four years ago would have the inside scoop on a fellow. A wife would be closer to knowing his good and bad points. So, humor me. I do need to look at him closely,” said Frank.
Alice, sighed, “He could have been a good husband. He was stingy. He worked all the time. When the pressure of lecture preps got to him, he drank until he couldn’t walk. Sait it helped him by relaxing him. Relaxed him into a stupor. Then he went to sleep. When he came out of it, he went right back to being stingy and a workaholic.”
Frank started to respond“So, he drank back . . . “
“Excuse me Frank, but I need to speak with Ms. Beaverton,” said a voice he recognized from behind him.
Frank turned and exclaimed, “Anderson Fleishman, is it because she is drinking your precious hot chocolate with marshmallows?” Frank got up and stuck his hand out. “By golly, it is good to see you. I’d say it has been a long time, but in your line of work, it may have been ten minutes ago. But, for me, it has been too long.”
Special Agent Fleishman pointed to Alice’s cup,”So they finally put it on the menu. I have been pestering them to do that for ages.” Turning to Frank, he repeated jabbed his index finger at Frank’s chest, “You were right, I should have patented the stuff. I’ be rich and retired by now if I had.”
Frank gestured with his hand and said, “Sit down, join us.” Nodding to Alice Beaverton, “You two obviously know each other. What’s up?”
Special Agent Fleishman looked at Alice and said, “I have some more questions about where you were and when?”
Frank looked at Alice and said, “That’s right, Officer Diggins told me you had an implant yesterday morning. Is that where you picked up your taste for hot chocolate with marshmallows?”
Alice smiled broadly and said, “No, I got the idea from the smell of a woman at another table drinking it and asked her what it was.” Turning to Special Agent Fleishman, “What do you need to know, Special Agent?”
“Where is the deluxe reader you bought and filled with children’s books?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
Alice pointed to Frank Thompson and said, “The last time I saw it he was carrying it with my daughter in a picnic basket at about 6:00 P.M. yesterday. Why do you want to know where that is?”
Special Agent Fleishman turned to Frank and asked, “Where did you leave it?”
“The property room at the police station,” he replied.
“The police station! What happened to my Baby Jessica Ann?” blurted Alice Beaverton.
Frank Thompson, taken aback, manage to say, “Jessica Ann is fine. Her father did not show up so I had him arrested and Jessica Ann is in the caring hands of Mildred Keen, one of my assistants.“ Turning to Special Agent Fleishman, he asked: “Why is that reader important, Anderson?”
“Seldom does it serve me well to betray what and why I ask questions in an investigation. But, Frank, there is a 100 percent overlap to plagiarism of titles loaded onto that particular reader.” Special Agent Fleishman then turned to Alice Beaverton, “When you went back to the Boxer Rebellion did you let the stories on the reader loose in China?”
Alice Beaverton started to laugh. Indeed she laughed for several minutes. When the Special Agent and Officer of the Court were finally able to get her to stop laughing, she explained: “In Beijing in the Boxer Rebellion people were getting their heads cut off. I could just see all 100 of the stories on the reader escaping and running for their lives. I am sorry, but that was a very funny image.”
Frank Thompson, sat quietly for a moment thinking “Grand larceny and plagiarism on the one hand and stingy and drunk on the other. Where is King Soloman when you need him. Thank God, there will be a real judge to decide this.’