Book two of the 51 series.
Sheriff Lindsay Gold sat in her office looking at the file belonging to the one person who wanted to come to work for her. Losing Deputy Keith Abernathy had been a blow to her and everyone that worked for the sheriff’s department. When he had quit, others quickly followed suit. She read what she had in her hands and she agreed with the decision that Big Bob and Little Bob had made about who to hire. Over the past few weeks she and the Bobs had called at least two dozen people that had applied to work there in the past and all of them said no. A few that had been working as reserve or volunteer deputies had even said they wanted to quit doing that. Lindsay hoped that this person would want to work there for a while even with all of the weirdness that had been taking place in the county.
Lindsay heard the door chime on the department’s main door. She looked up to see a very short lady standing at the counter speaking with Cat, the day dispatcher. She saw Cat turn and walk toward her open office door.
“Sheriff, there is an Annie Huggins here to see you,” Cat said when she reached the door.
“Thank you Cat. Can you please direct her this way? She is hopefully Keith’s replacement,” Lindsay said.
Cat nodded and walked back to where the lady was waiting patiently. They spoke briefly and she began to follow Cat back to the Sheriff’s office. Cat motioned for Ms. Huggins to enter the office and closed the door after she had entered.
“Ms. Huggins, it is nice to meet you. I’m Sheriff Lindsay Gold. Please have a seat,” Lindsay said motioning to the chair in front of her desk. “You do know that I have called you because we have an opening for a road deputy?”
“Oh yes Ma’am. I have always wanted to work in law enforcement and this is a dream come true,” Annie gushed. “I have heard that there have been some strange things going on here, but that is okay, I don’t mind.”
“Oh really? What have you heard about our weirdness?” Lindsay asked with a smile.
“I did hear about some strange animal attacks, and a few things about aliens. Oh, and there was this one thing I heard about strange lights and ghosts. I also heard that the old sheriff quit and no one would take over, so the county appointed this woman that was crazy because she believes in stuff, but I’m sure that isn’t you. Was it you? Oh my gosh! I am so sorry. I’m sure you’re not crazy. And I’m sure there is nothing really going on here. Those things can’t really happen can they?” Annie said without taking a breath.
“First let me clarify that I am the crazy woman that was appointed as interim sheriff. There have been some, how should I put it, unusual calls would be a good way. There have been sightings of some unidentified animals, but those usually come from people that don’t have a lot of experience in that department. As far as the other weird calls that you have heard about we do seem to have more than our share in this county, but those do usually have a perfectly logical explanation,” Lindsay told her. “Now, this is a job interview so tell me a little about yourself and your training.”
“Well,” Annie began, “I grew up in northern Missouri but always spent my summers down here with my grandparents who live on the Sycamore River. I love that river. I am twenty-one which I know is young, but I loved training to be a cop and I have always wanted to do this. Anyway I like to go hiking and going out on the river and nothing scares me, like ever. I’m also a lot tougher than people think I am. They see I’m so little and think I am a wimp, but I’m not. By the way, I’m less than five feet tall and weigh 92 pounds. Is that a problem? Is there a size requirement to work here?” Annie stopped and looked at Lindsay with concern.
“You are fine. There is no size requirement and I don’t judge someone because of their age or size,” Lindsay said. “Honestly I think you might fit in around here. No one that works here is ever judged by the way they look and Cat is the perfect example. You will understand after you get to know everyone. I have read your application and resume and really after meeting you the only question I have is when can you start?”
“I can start now! Are you kidding?! This is like the best day of my life,” Annie said clapping her hands.
“How about you start tomorrow morning at 8am? That will give us a chance to find uniforms and equipment that will fit you,” Lindsay answered her.
“That is perfect I will be here. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to tell my family!” Annie said as she stood up.
“We will all see you then,” Lindsay said as she stood and walked Annie to the door of the building.
“I will see you tomorrow bright and early. I can’t believe I got the job. Will I be working by myself or will someone be training me?” Annie asked when they reached the side walk.
“You will be riding with and training with our Chief Deputy, Bob Smith, to start with. We call him Little Bob because we have another deputy named Bob. I think you and Little Bob will do well together. You make me think of one of his daughters,” Lindsay said.
“Cool well I will be here tomorrow. I can’t wait to meet everyone else that works here! Bye!” Annie called out as she bounced to her car and got in.
Lindsay stood and watched her get in her car and pull out of her parking space. She had doubts about the decision she just made but she really needed someone that wanted to be there. Annie Huggins was the only one that wanted the job. Now the big question was how she would react to some of the calls that were out of the ordinary. She turned and walked back inside where Cat was standing behind the counter smiling.
“Bob will you please come up to the counter,” Lindsay called out.
Little Bob walked around the corner with a cup of coffee in his hand and asked, “What may I do for you this morning Madam Sheriff?”
“I am so glad you are in a good mood because you may not be after I tell you who I hired,” Lindsay told him. “Her name is Annie Huggins. You will be training her for the next week and by the way she may talk even more than your oldest daughter so be prepared.”
“More?! Is that even possible?” Little Bob asked with a concerned looked on his face.
“With her it might be. After she trains with you for a week, I want her to train on the other two shifts for a few days. Make sure that she never rides with Andy. He is just now talking to women and I don’t want him to stop,” Lindsay instructed.
“Cat will you please teach her a few basic things just in case she does need to answer or transfer phones at some point?” Lindsay asked.
“Of course, but first, is the use of duct tape on her allowed if she won’t stop talking?” Cat asked Lindsay.
“No it is not. Do either of you have any other questions that don’t involve tape, gags or restraints?” Lindsay asked Cat and Little Bob.
Cat and Little Bob looked at each other and then at Lindsay. “No,” they said in unison.
“Okay, good. I will be in my office beating my head on my desk and praying that no one else in this department quits,” Lindsay said.