Good Morning Ted and Jody:
It was good to hear your voice this morning, and it looks like we are getting closer to a date for your visit. We are looking forward to your visit.
This morning I got up and filled out the information form to take with me to the physical therapist. I sat there and blithely checked off that my health is good and then checked off all the things wrong with me (fortunately, their list is not as long as mine). Then when I got to physical therapy, I climbed the stairs and got all out of breath and sat there thinking I really need to redo the information form I had brought with me. The form and heavy breathing reminded me of a friend telling me, a week or so ago, that his doctor said he was in pretty good shape for a man in his 90s. The thing is my friend is just barely 70. Maybe, if I inflated my age, I would be relatively in better shape. Nonetheless, the physical therapist gave me some exercises that are designed to help, as far as the pictures show, a woman in her late 20s, er, develop something. I guess it was my ponytail that threw him off. If I need a bra at the end of the two weeks, I’ll know he misdiagnosed my gender. If all else fails, I am supposed to walk. It seems I can’t get a religious exemption from walking.
The morning was cold, below freezing. It seems our cloud cover deserted us overnight. SO, that left Dawn as the thin red line. Since that movie had already been made, I chose to wait for clouds. I was not disappointed for this is Washington, and it is not yet July. The clouds began to move in from the west throughout the day, pretty ones below slate clouds. Tomorrow we start another week of rain, so let us hope there are at least separate fronts with leading and trailing edges of clouds next week.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy, and the winner of the lottery so you don’t have to book the companion ticket but can buy your own airline instead.
Warmest regards, Ed.
002 First Responder
Fiction in 1109 words by T Edward Westen, 2017
Andy Kellogg watched in horror and fascination in his side mirror as, gun in hand, Officer Elmer Diggs cautiously made his way from his squad car towards the driver’s side of Andy’s cab. When Officer Diggs was slightly behind the cab’s front door, he yelled, “Driver put your hands where I can see them.” Out of the corner of Officer Diggs’s eye, he caught motion in the back seat. He swiveled pointing his gun now at the back window and bellowed, “You in the back put your hands on your head,”
Andy, keeping his hands on the top of the steering wheel, plainly in sight, said, “Do it, Mr. Millard, but do it slowly. The last time he had his gun out he killed a coffee pot and two windows.”
“Trigger happy, is he?” Asked Frank Millard as he slowly put his hands on the top of his head.
“More like nervous, ” replied Andy.
“What are you two talking about in there?” demanded Officer Diggs. “No talking. You, driver, keep your hands on the wheel,” said Officer Diggs as he moved his hand to pull the driver’s door open. He pulled on the door handle, but the door didn’t budge. He grumbled, “Hey are you trying to pull something by keeping the door locked?”
“Elmer, it’s me, Andy. You know these cab doors stay locked unless I hit the switch on the armrest. But, If I lower my hand to hit the switch to unlock the doors, you’ll shoot me. “
“Andy, what are you doing with a dead woman in your cab?” asked Officer Diggs.
“Put the gun down, and I’ll unlock the door,” said Andy Kellogg. “Elmer, stop pointing that thing at me. “
Officer Diggs waved his gun at the passenger in the back seat. “What about him?”
“He’s was minding his own business when the dead lady showed up,” said Andy.
“What do you mean, showed up?” Asked Officer Diggs waving his gun this way and that.
“I’m not saying another word until you put that gun in the holster,” said Andy. And nodding his head to the back seat, “neither is he.”
As Andy took a stand against being shot, an ambulance pulled to a stop. Neither the driver or the paramedic exited. They sat there waiting for the officer waving his gun around to settle down. The medical asked the driver, “Isn’t that Elmer Diggs?”
The driver replied, “Yes, it is. I suggest we wait until he holsters that Smith and Wesson Police Positive .38 Special Revolver. Last time he drew it he broke two windows and a coffee pot. Maybe we should back up a bit.”
Officer Diggins was a bit frustrated. “OK, I’ll put it away, but you keep your hands where I can see them,” he said as he holstered his sidearm, but did not snap down the holster’s auto lock.
Andy asked, “OK if I lower my left hand to unlock the doors?”
Officer Diggins nodded and said, “No funny business, I can draw like greased lightning.”
Andy cautiously lowered his left hand, and the snap of the lock mechanism was audible in the silence. As Andy slowly opened the driver’s door, Frank Millard opened the rear passenger door, and both men stepped out at the same time.
Seeing Officer Diggins’ gun was holstered, both the driver and the paramedic exited the ambulance and ran toward the car. “Where is the victim?” asked the paramedic?
Andy pointed to the passenger side of the cab and said, “I don’t think you can do anything but get her out. If she’s not dead, she ain’t human.”
Officer Diggins, Frank Millard, and Andy Kellog watched with fascination as the paramedic and ambulance driver tried to get the dead woman out of the front passenger seat of the cab.
“This woman has been dead for at least 4 hours. You say she just, er, showed up in the seat?” asked the paramedic.
“Not five minutes ago,” said Andy. “We had been waiting at the light on Monroe.” Andy hooked his thumb in the direction of the stop light at Monroe Street and said, “I stepped on the gas, and she just appeared in the seat from thin air. I pulled over and called it in, five minutes ago, tops.”
The paramedic looked at Frank Millard and asked, “Is he right–five minutes?”
“That would be my best guess, but it seemed longer with the officer her holding us at gunpoint,” replied Frank Millard. “Time stands still when there is the possibility of a bullet headed one’s way.” With that, he looked at Officer Diggins and lowered his eyes in disapproval.
Andy jumped in, “Look at your watch now and then call Angle she would have logged when I called it in.”
The paramedic asked, “Whose Angle?”
Pointing to the telephone number on the side of his cab, Andy said, “That’s her number. She is our dispatcher and telephone operator; she logs everything. .”
The paramedic looked at his watch and made a note.
A car with a flashing light on the dash pulled up, and Captain Mohamad Batan got out of the car and approached Officer Diggins and asked, “What do we have, Elmer?”
Patrolman Diggins pointed to Andy Kellog and Frank Millard and said, “Those two with a naked corpse in Andy’s cab. The paramedic says the corpse has been dead for at least four hours, but those two say she dropped in five minutes ago.”
Captain Batan looked at the two men and said to Patrolman Diggs, “And you let them talk to each other?” Looking at Officer Diggins head to toe he frowned, and he asked, “And, why is your holster not locked?”
The paramedic interrupted before Officer Diggins could respond, “Excuse me Captain, but we won’t be able to get her out of that cab for at least 8 or 9 hours unless we cut her up and I don’t think the corner would appreciate us doing that.”
Captain Batan shook his head and said, “You guys take off. We’ll let the crime scene crew deal with getting her out of the cab back in their labs.”
While the Captain was dismissing the paramedics, the crime scene unit van arrived, Officer Diggins snapped down his holster’s auto lock, and Andy and Frank were talking by the side of the cab.
Captain Batan said, “Officer Diggins take that man” pointing to Frank Millard, “to an interrogation room at the detective squad downtown. I’ll take my old friend Andy. It is time to stop them from comparing notes. If nothing else they are both material witnesses to murder.”