Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Yesterday I saw a Pileated Woodpecker not 30 feet from the house on a dead tree. I rushed in to get a camera to get a close-up rather than use the always present in my shirt pocket cell phone; in the 10 seconds I was gone it was gone. I guess I should have whipped out the cell phone and gone for less of a close-up and just got his. photo. To the best of my recollection, this is the fourth one I have seen. Two back when I lived on Coe Road and two out here.
This morning I go to see the cardiologist. A few years back I saw “my” cardiologist four times a year. He was a nice old man whom I first met when he stood in for my primary care physician about seven years ago. On that first visit, after he finished with all the medical stuff, he sat down, leaned back and asked, “Where do you stand with God?” Well, my immediate thought was, ‘What aren’t you telling me. Come clean Doc, how long have I got?’ instead of that or my usual “I don’t have any imaginary friends’ response, I asked, “Why are you asking?” He told me he always asked his older patients as their standing with God, and by that he meant ‘had they been saved,’ was a bit more important for their soul’s destination was a stake. I again restrained myself and politely explained I was a cross between an agnostic and a Norwegian (a Lutheran three times removed). A few years later when my gatekeeper to medications (primary care physician) referred me to the cardiologists for care and treatment of high blood pressure, arteries, and heart mechanics, this same fellow was the one I saw. He had me come in every three months. I was never sure if he was attempting to keep my alive with medical treatment or to save my soul. None-the-less we seemed to get on well. He retired. My three-month visits stretched out to become one in 18 months. It seems the cardiology practice was short a doctor or two or three or more. Indeed, the only visit I have since he retired was with the nurse practitioner in the cardiology unit. Well, that was over a year ago. Apparently, they have hired more doctors as they called a month or so ago to schedule an appointment for today. Now if things run true to form, this person will want to have a sonogram to see how my heart is evacuating blood and an EKG to see how the bottom of the graph is clipped off by my history of high blood pressure and will then have a nurse or medical assistant call with the results. No matter, Nancy is away and it is good to get out of the house and talk to another human being even it if is a cardiologist. The real danger is the possibility of my being prescribed more diuretics which will increase the bathroom visits as I lubricate my throat from reading aloud.
I trust you are well, happy, rested and knee deep in crocuses.
Warmest regards, Ed
048 Alice Located Again and Arrested
Fiction in 1250 words by T. Edward Westen. 2017
Detective Eddie Philipson waited in the squad room for Edith Gunderson to join him. He had left a note for Millie to send Special Agent Fleishman up ‘if,’ as he wrote on the note. ‘He pops in.’ He checked his notes on the RVs and autos with which Sylvia Chu played change the plate. Fifty-five and the number grows daily. ‘My she was a busy lady,’ he thought. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a shape block the light in the doorway to the stairs. He looked up and waved at Edith Gunderson.
“What is so pressing we have to have a meeting up here?” asked Edith looking around.
Pointing to his computer terminal, Detective Philipson said, “Law Enforcement Access. We have 55 plates that we can link back to Sylvia Chu. I have fed the locations where they were found into this thing and expect to have a map soon. I have asked for vectors showing where the vehicle started the day and where we found them. Perhaps we can use it as an arrow back to where she switched plates.”
Edith Gunderson moved to where she could see the screen. “My it does it in real time,” she said as she watched the vectors form on the screen. “Why do you think she is back in this time? Judge Henderson had her fitted with a device to alert ATI if she time jumps. So far, no alert from them. That means she is still back in the future.”
“Not if there are two of her,” replied Detective Philipson.
Edith, still watching the computer screen said, “I suppose two of her could explain the pattern of two central locations for switching the vehicle license plates,” she said pointing to the pattern on the computer screen.
Detective Philipson nodded in agreement.
“You know, when I had dinner with Judge Henderson he explained that there were some interesting legal issues when a person doubled back on themselves in time, “said Edith Gunderson. “One is that the person you lapped, so to speak, is younger than the person doing the lapping. If the person doubling back does not return to his or her normal time two of them will continue to exist rather than just one as is more normal.”
“So, what legal issues does that pose?” asked Detective Philipson.
Well, suppose the older version of the individual committed a crime,” suggested Edith. “Then when the authorities prove he or she committed the crime in court and have the younger version in court, they can’t find the younger version guilty of what the older version did because the younger version hadn’t don’t it.”
“It sounds to me that if Alice is up to that, why would she let her younger self be the fall guy for something she did?” asked Detective Philipson.
“That’s the point, the younger version of her would get off Scott Free,” replied Edith.
“No harm no . . .” Detective Philipson started to say when Special Agent Fleishman appeared standing next to Edith.
“I see now how you drove my secretary to drink,” said Edith Gunderson. “Popping in like that could give one a fright from which one might never recover. Anyway, good to see you Special Agent. Is Alice still back where she belongs?”
“It looks like you were expecting me to come back. How did you know?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“Know what?” asked Detective Philipson. That there were two of Alice? Or that one was still in this time?
“Yes, all of that,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “I just found out that that Alice Beaverton used her identity tab up line in six public sleep cubicles to prep her for a time travel implant. Since she already had the prep, she did not need to redo it. So, we figured that the younger Alice Beaverton that the older Alice Beaverton sprung from prison got the training and now has an implant.”
Detective Philipson whistled. “Maggie came up with this scenario without even knowing about time travel. Wonders will never cease.” He looked pensive for a minute. “Yes, she said the one who turned herself in was to draw attention away from the one that is hiding.”
Special Agent Fleishman said, “We thought being with her daughter was the motivation. But the one who turned herself in is with Jessica Ann. What keeps the other one going?”
Edith Gunderson said, “That is easy. Alice brought her daughter back and lapped the child. Then she switched the two so that both she and her younger self would have Jessica Ann all to themselves no matter what era the inhabited.”
Special Agent Fleishman looked stunned. “How could you possibly know about lapping? But, that is what we concluded as well. So, how do we find the younger Alice and the older Jessica Ann?
Edith pointed to the computer screen. She moved in until her right index finger was on the screen and said, “I’d look right there.”
“Why there?’ both men asked.
” Because it is halfway between the two locations where all the license plate swapping started.,” replied Edith.
Special Agent Fleishman said, “There is no time like the present. Shall we?” All three vanished.
Special Agent Fleishman, Detective Phillipson and Edith Gunderson appeared
In the middle of the playground at Rogers and Sons RV Park. Detective Philipson pointed to one RV which had a sign out in front of it that read “Camp Host” and said, “Let’s find out if there is an easy way to find Alice and Jessica Ann.”
The camp host sign was in from of an older model Air Stream upon which was painted another sign “Doug and Eleanor.” Detective Philipson knocked on the RV’s door. A short, fiftyish woman with lime green hair answered and said “I’m sorry we are full and won’t have a spot until the 5th.”
Detective Philipson held up his detective’s shield and said, “We don’t need a spot. We do need some information about one of your campers.”
The woman’s eyes narrowed and a frown contorted her forehead, “Guests, we call them guests. No open fires or tents, this is place people live. We don’t have campers.”
“I do apologize, we are trying to find one of your guests. An Asian woman with a little girl about four years old.”
“Melissa isn’t in any trouble I hope. Nice kid and he daughter is just delightful.” Replied the woman.
“No trouble, just some official business. Which unit are they in?” asked Detective Philipson.
“The two-tone maroon unit next row over, number 16,” the woman replied pointing.
“When we get to her unit, Edith, you knock and I’ll stand right by the door so I can put my hand on her to keep her from pivoting without taking me with her,” said Special Agent Fleishman.
Edith waited until Special Agent Fleishman was in position and then knocked.
Alice Beaverton, AKS Sylvia Chu, AKA Melissa Hickson opened the door and said “Yes, how can I help you.?”
Special Agent Fleishman reached out with his left hand and grabbed Alice’s hand. “Alice Beaverton, you are under arrest for child abduction, plagiarism and a whole host of local charges.” As he spoke he wrapped a binding around his right hand while holding on to Alice. When he finished, there was no way for Alice to get away from him.
Edith asked, “Where is your daughter?
Alice shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.