Member Blog Post
The Sheriff Confronts the Mayor
Mayor Albert Cromwell’s sitting behind his desk taking four more antacid tablets; which he’s been downing ever since hearing that the police and fire departments were dispatched to that place. And his recent phone call from Senator Jack Steinman, eldest son of the late Phillip Montgomery Steinman, hasn’t helped with his continuing indigestion being brought on by his nerves.
While waiting for the sheriff to arrive, Mayor Cromwell’s thinking about how things have gotten so far out of hand; and wondering if they’ll be able to keep things from blowing up in their faces. His thoughts are interrupted by a knock at the door.
“Excuse me, Mayor; Sheriff Faulkner is here to see you.”
“Send him in, Ruth.”
After his secretary leaves, the sheriff enters the mayor’s office. “You wanted to see me, Mayor?”
“Yes, Lloyd; take a seat.” He points to an empty chair in front of the massive desk, and then picks up a pitcher of lemonade, “Care for a glass of lemonade, Lloyd?”
“No thank you, Mayor. I’m fine.”
The mayor pours a glass and takes a sip; soon finding his stomach in discomfort from the acidity of the drink. He grabs his stomach with one hand, the arm of his chair with the other, and leans back, raising his buttocks slightly off the chair, with an expression of pain on his face.
The sheriff stands up. “You okay, Mayor?”
The mayor lets out a short, low groan and says, “Yeah; I’m okay. Damn indigestion.” He motions for the sheriff to sit again, “Please, Lloyd, have a seat; I’m fine.”
The sheriff sits as the mayor pushes the glass off to the side. “So; I heard there was a little episode out at the Lazinski’s this morning. Something about their barn collapsing?”
“Nobody was hurt, I hope.”
“Thank God; glad to hear that.” He takes two more antacid tablets, along with a sip of water, and then continues, “So, what happened; how’d it collapse?”
“Probably because there weren’t any nails in it?”
“No nails in it?”
“No nails; so we’re pretty sure that’s why it collapsed. What we can’t seem to figure out is why there weren’t any nails in it. It’s like they all magically disappeared.”
The mayor turns pale. Sheriff Faulkner leans in, resting his forearm on the mayor’s desk.
“Look here, Mayor; just what in the tar nations is going on at that place?”
Mayor Cromwell’s losing more color in his complexion while little beads of sweat form on his brows. His voice cracks as he asks, “What do you mean, Lloyd?”
“What do I mean? Let’s see; I know, how about this…can you explain to me where all them nails went to?”
The mayor remains quiet, looking down at the blotter on his desk.
“No answer huh? That’s okay; we’re kinda baffled on that one ourselves. How about this then; care to explain to me about them two little dead girls communicating with Mrs. Lazinski and her daughter out there?”
The mayor pops his head up. “What dead girls? What are you talking about?”
“Mary and Chelsea. Care to tell me anything about them?”
“I have no idea what your talking about?”
“Look here, Al…Can I call you Al, Mr. Mayor?”
The mayor nervously replies, “Sure Lloyd; Al’s fine.”
“Good. Well, Al; when you called and asked me to help yawl out with your little situation, I agreed to come up and be your town’s sheriff. But I’m starting to get the feeling that you didn’t fill me in on everything.”
Looking down at the blotter again, rubbing his hands, “What are you saying, Lloyd? We told you everything. What…”
“Al, Al, Al,” the sheriff stands up, places both hands palms down on the edge of the desk and leans over, “Look at me, Al.”
The mayor sits there; barely able to look at the sheriff.
“Is that house really haunted or not?”
Letting out a short, nervous laugh, “No…No, Lloyd. Come on; don’t tell me you seriously think…That’s ridiculous.”
“Is it now?”
“Absolutely; it’s totally preposterous.”
The mayor loosens his tie and tugs at his shirt collar, while the sheriff watches with a condescending smile for the squirming politician.
“I see;” still unconvinced, the sheriff nods at the apparent incredulous Mayor Cromwell, while sitting back down, “then what?”
“What’s going on out there, Al?”
“How should I know?”
“You’ve been the mayor for some sixteen years now; right?” The mayor nods. “Well then I think you should know a little something about what goes on here in Woodland…oh wait, I’m sorry…Beaver Ridge; is it?
Don’t be yanking my chain. Yawl said the town’s been having trouble selling that place because of rumors floating around about that house, and asked me to help yawl keep a lid on whatever it was, which I blindly…and reluctantly I might add…agreed to do; but I’m wondering now if that there house really is haunted. And if it isn’t, something’s sure as hell going on there yawl ain’t telling me. What is it, Al?”
“There’s nothing going on but some damn rumors about it being haunted; keeping that house a burden to the town’s bank, that’s all.”
“If you say so; I’ll buy that…for now. But God help you if I find out anything otherwise.”
“You won’t. I swear; that’s it, Lloyd.”
“Okay.” The sheriff leans back in the chair, balancing it on its two back legs, and folds his arms across his chest, “What about Hopkins?”
“Hopkins?” The mayor downs two more antacid tablets. “What about that buffoon?”
“Well now: that ‘buffoon’ claims to know things.”
The mayor laughs, “That idiot wouldn’t know his asshole from a hole in the ground.”
“I don’t know; Hopkins is a pretty smart guy…and whether you believe it or not…a damn good officer.”
“Ha! I find that hard to believe. A ‘damn good officer’…He’s a joke. What he should be doing is retiring…He’s got enough years in; doesn’t he?”
“Now, Al, your opinion of Mike wouldn’t have anything to do with what happened with your son some years ago; would it?”
“No! And how’d you hear about that; did he tell you anything? What did he say?”
“Relax; he didn’t tell me anything. Was a damn shame what happened to that young girl though.”
“Yeah, well it was that idiot’s fault for doing what he did.”
“What’s that; chase a drunk driver?”
“Screw you, Lloyd; that accident would’ve never happened if Hopkins just listened and followed his orders. He nearly ruined my son’s life that night.”
“As opposed to that little lady who was crippled and missed out on her opportunity to go to medical school.” The sheriff pauses, looks around the room, and then looks at the mayor. “So, what is it Chas is up to these days; starring in gay porn flicks or something, is it?”
“Fuck you; leave Chas out of this!”
“Sure, Al. But what about Hopkins; how much does he know? Does he know about our little arrangement?”
“Well, fine then.” Sheriff Faulkner stands up and puts his Stetson back on, adjusting it, “That’s all I wanted to know. I’ll be taking off now. Have a good day, Mr. Mayor.”
He goes to the door, stops and turns around. “For your sake, Al, I hope you’re right about Hopkins not knowing anything.” He turns and leaves, closing the door behind him.
The mayor reaches over and takes two more antacid tablets with water.