Book one of the 51 series.
Lindsay Gold was at home when she heard knock on the door. Standing at the door were two gentlemen she knew well. She didn’t really like them but she knew them. They were Bill Marks and Roy James, members of the county commission, and they rarely had anything nice to say to her.
“What can I help you gentlemen with today?” she asked with irritation in her voice.
“May we come in? We need to speak with you about something,” answered Commissioner Marks.
Lindsay politely stepped to the side and motioned for them to enter. That was where the politeness stopped.
Lindsay looked and the two commissioners and plainly asked, “What do you want?”
Roy was looking at the floor as if he were trying to memorize the design in the rug when Bill looked at him so as usual Bill did all the talking.
“First let me say I’m sorry the sheriff fired you. Recently some things have come to light and have made us realize those reports of yours were right. I read them, and I know what they said. And I think you were telling the truth,” said Bill.
Lindsay put her hand up. ”Stop right there. Why this sudden change? You told me that I was either high or crazy when you talked to me about that. You and the sheriff both told me that I should have never put anything like that in a report and I was going to embarrass the county.” She looked at Bill and Roy, who was still looking at the rug, and asked, “Where is the sheriff anyway? I have the feeling he doesn’t know you’re here because if he did he would have already called me and told me to not talk to you about this.”
Bill nudged Roy in the ribs to make him look up, at least briefly. As soon as he looked Lindsay in the face, he immediately looked back down at the rug. Bill scowled at him and turned back to Lindsay. “Well there is a problem with the sheriff.”
Lindsay’s head tipped to the side, “What kind of problem?”
“Well, we are still trying to figure that out exactly. He had a friend call him last night instead of calling the sheriff’s department. He said there was something prowling around his house but couldn’t tell what it was. The sheriff went out there and something attacked him and his patrol car. When he called me, he was talking so fast I could barely understand him. All I could catch was that it was big, it was real, you were telling the truth and he quits.” Bill paused and let out a sigh.
“I called him back this morning and he was calmer, but he said he quits as far as being the county sheriff. He never wants to set foot back in that office or take another call again.”
Lindsay stood shaking her head disbelief. “So why are you telling me all this?”
Bill looked as if he were at loss for words. He took another deep breath and let it out slowly, almost as if he were trying to figure out what to say. He looked back up and Lindsay and slowly started speaking. “We need your help with this. The sheriff thinks whatever he saw and what you say you saw is the same thing.”
“Why do you want my help? I was fired. Remember? This shouldn’t be that hard. The Chief Deputy takes over until an election can be held and if it was an animal, call the Conservation Department to deal with the attack on the sheriff and the patrol car.” Lindsay was looking at Roy the entire time she spoke. “Roy does that sound right to you?”
Roy answered “It sounds wonderful if the Chief Deputy hadn’t told us he will quit rather than take over that department. Oh, and the game warden told us that it was probably a domestic animal that ripped the light bar and door off the patrol car.” He looked up and looked Lindsay in the face. “Something happened and no one will talk about it. I am telling you that I am sorry you were fired. That should not have happened. We want to ask you to step in temporarily, if you can, as sheriff. Please.”
“Wow. Are you telling me that in this whole county you think I am the only one that is qualified to be temporary sheriff?” she asked as she looked back and forth at the commissioners.
Roy smiled. Bill answered “There were several we asked before you, but none of them will do it. We told them what happened to the sheriff and they laughed at us. They all refused and a few even told us to come here and talk to you.”
“Do you need an answer right now or can I call you in a couple of hours?” Lindsay asked as she looked at Bill and Roy. “I’m not telling you no. But I need to talk to a couple of people before I say yes. After what happened the last time I worked for the county, you should understand.”
Bill grabbed her hand and started shaking it. “I completely understand. You can take all the time you need today. If you want you can call me in the morning with your answer. Thank you. Thank you.”
The two county commissioners turned and Bill began to open the front door.
“Wait a minute, why are you so happy? I haven’t said yes yet.” Lindsay questioned.
Roy turned and smiled, “Because you are the only one who hasn’t said no.”
Bill and Roy continued out the door, closing it behind them leaving Lindsay standing in her living room with more questions than answers about what just happened. Her first step was to sit and both laugh and cry. Why was this happening? She then began to realize that she really wanted to do this. She knew it was a temporary. But she had loved working for that department as a deputy. She was also thinking of everything her family went through after she was fired. Not only was the sudden loss of income a hit to the family but word quickly spread about her being fired, and her son and husband were harassed without mercy. It seemed liked half of the county thought she was crazy or on drugs and seeing things and the other half were firm believers that what she reported was true. Her family was the first group of people she needed to talk to.
Lindsay sat on her sofa, holding her phone, trying to figure out what to say to her husband who was at work. She looked at her dog lying next to her. He wasn’t a pure bred or even a pretty dog, just some white hound mix, but he did know how to make someone feel better.
“Crook”, she said as she rubbed the top of his head, “I really want to do this, but what do I say to them? What if they don’t want me to do this? I can’t blame them if they hate the idea. I guess I had better call Wren and tell him. I won’t bother the kid until he gets home from school.”
Crook raised his head and looked at her, groaned, stretched and laid his head back down.
“I know exactly how you feel bud,” Lindsay told him as she dialed the phone. She was shaking as the phone rang. The offer was so exciting to her but she was more afraid to tell her husband about it than anything she could remember doing before. The voicemail picked up. She only half listened as she tried to figure out what to say when she needed to leave the message. She managed to get out “It’s me. Call me as soon as you can I need to tell you something.”
She sat there trying to come up with something to say when he called back but couldn’t think of a word. He had been so angry at the county and then at its citizens for their actions. How was she going to tell him that she really wanted to take the job? It was crazy. Why after everything that happened, go back to that department?
Just then the phone rings. She looked down and saw it was her husband calling back. No more time for thinking.
“Hi, Babe,” she answered.
“Hey, have you heard anything about what is going on with the sheriff’s department? I have been hearing all kinds of rumors including the sheriff quitting and Bigfoot killing someone,” he said before she could get anything out.
“Well that is kind of why I called. Bill and Roy came by to see me a little while ago. Bigfoot did not kill anyone. The sheriff did quit. Something did attack him and his patrol car. They also offered me the job as temporary sheriff.” She just paused and waited for a reply.
“Did you say yes?” He asked.
“After I tell you all that, that is the only question you ask?” sounding a little confused.
“That really is the only important one. I know how much you loved that department,” he replied with concern in his voice.
Lindsay took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I did not say yes. I also did not say no. I wanted to talk to you first. They are giving me until morning to give them a final answer.”
“Take it!” came after a short pause from Wren.
“Take it! If they came to you they understand they need you. Don’t wait until morning, call them now. Tell them you will do it. I am going to see if I can get out of here now and come home. We will talk more then but don’t let this chance go. You will have the job you have always wanted and the beauty of it is you are replacing the man that fired you because he quit. I will be home soon. Take a deep breath and enjoy this.”
Lindsay saw the picture of her husband on the phone screen and smiled. As usual his first thought was of her and not what he had been thru because of her being fired. The next thought she had was what she was going to tell her son. Hopefully he wouldn’t be to angry but then again he is a teenage boy so you never know how it will go.