December 26

Posted on: December 27, 2012

I fixed a big breakfast, hoping it would last the kids until supper.   While Angela collected their belongings and Jacob’s toys, Jason put some gas in their car, then filled the 5 gallon container he’d brought, as I watched from the back door.

About noon, they were ready to leave.  Jason mentioned that he took a little extra gas, as I knew he would; he’s always been very honest me.  Well, mostly, I still wonder why he didn’t tell me about Angela leaving.

After they left, I told John I needed to go to the office for an hour or two.  When he looked confused, I realized he didn’t know I was the Emergency Manager for the township.  When I explained the situation, he just nodded and asked if I wanted him to come with me.

“No, that’s not necessary, but we need to cover something before I leave,” at that he got a big grin.  “Not that,” I blushed.  “You need to be armed.  What would you prefer: automatic or revolver?” when he said auto, I asked “9mm or 22?”  I smiled when he said a 9mm.  I got up, reached into the clock and pulled out a gun.  His eyes widened.  I thumbed the safety on, ejected the clip, and ejected the chambered round, handed it to him, butt first.

“Beretta 92FS, nice gun!”  He pointed it at the floor, sited it down, weighed it.

“Will that do?”

“Nicely!  Do you have a holster for it?”

“I’ll get one.” While I was in the back finding the matching holster, he had reloaded and laid it on the table.

“What are you carrying?” he asked. I showed him my KelTec 9mm, and he grinned.  I slid it back into my shoulder holster.

“I know you don’t need to be told to not let anyone in you don’t know, but I have to say it anyway,” I shrugged. “You’ve seen the supplies: those are for US, John; you, me, my family; that’s what I’ve prepped for.  Your job today is to protect all that,” I grinned, then kissed him. “I won’t be gone long.  I hope.”


I pulled into the township parking lot, noting it was unusually full.  Inside, I pulled Darlene aside and asked what was going on.

“Where have you been?” were her first words.  I reminded her where I lived, then told her no one plowed my road and I couldn’t get out.  She blinked.  “That won’t happen again.  Sorry.”  She sank into her over-sized chair. “It’s been a busy weekend.  Have you driven thru town yet?” I shook my head no.  “Someone has been trying to burn down the town!”  WHAT??!!  “Shoreline Treasures, was the first casualty, then the real estate office.”  I was more distressed that the real estate office suffered: it was a great building!  Originally a bank, it was built to fit the area, a log cabin.  It was beautiful.  When the bank pulled out, it made its way into several, unsuccessful, businesses, before settling into a real estate office, which maintained now for over ten years.  Shoreline Treasures was a gift shop that was closed during the winter anyway.

“Any suspects?” I asked, dazed.

“Well, since it started right after Beamers Bash. Paul and Donna are going over the ‘guest’ list, figuring someone got really drunk on the keg of beer Beamer hauled out and then got pissed off over something;  Which of course half of what’s left of the town is pissed off.” Darlene looked like she hadn’t slept in days.

“When did this happen?” thinking back to Kathy mentioning a party at The Jack.

“Christmas Eve,” she shook her head. “Of all the nights!  It’s disgraceful, considering how well the town has pulled together!”

“Darlene…… do they have any suspects?” I asked again.

She looked sullen and didn’t answer for what seemed like too long.  “Yeah,” another long pause, “Vinnie.”  She took a deep breath, “but it’s only a suspicion right now. You know Vinnie, a hot head.”  Yes, I know Vinnie, but I thought he had come around.

“I’m confident Paul and Donna will figure it out,” not sure if I sounded sure myself.  “I need to contact Teresa.  Is there someplace I can have some privacy?” Maybe she could shed some light on what happened to Angela. Darlene smiled, stood, and gave an exaggerated bow, then left the office.  I quickly dialed the County Emergency Manager.  The phone rang and rang, unanswered.  I hung up and dialed 911.  “This is Moose Creek Emergency Management.  I’m trying to reach Teresa and her phone isn’t answering.” There was a pause, some clicks and a male voice answered.

“Don White.”  Someone I knew!

“Don!  Deborah in Moose Creek.  I’m trying to reach Teresa.  What’s up?”  I had a bad feeling, a very bad feeling.  The line seemed to go dead.  “Don?”

His voice broke, “We found Teresa yesterday.  County ME said it was a heart attack.”  Oh shit!! She was younger than me.  Crap.

“Oh, …… now what?” what can I say? Another emotion to bury:  Teresa wasn’t just my boss, she was my friend.

“I’m acting EMC.  Is there anything critical you need?” he did sound overwhelmed.


“You and everyone else,” Don sighed.  “I’ll see what I can do, but no promises.”

“Thanks.  Please, send my condolences to Teresa’s family,” and I hung up, stunned.  My last firm contact – dead.  What next?


I didn’t want to stay away from home too long.  I was gone only two hours, and I still wanted to survey the damage.  It was bad.  I stopped in the offices again on an after-thought.

“Darlene, is there any way I can borrow a snow mobile from someone?” I asked.

“For how long?” she wondered.

“An hour or two, that’s all,” I assured her.

“Come back tomorrow and I’ll have Clayton bring ours up.”  Would her husband want to know why?  I just wanted to get John back to Eagle Beach to collect some more of his own things.

“We’ll be here at ten.”

“We????” I heard her as I walked out the door.


Back at home, I backed my car into the barn.  Checked on the chickens, and went to the house. Oh, it was toasty warm in here!  John had filled the wood, kept the fire going AND had pulled out some chicken from the coolers for our dinner.  I walked into the house, and into his arms.

Dinner was late.

3 thoughts on “December 26

  1. “any and all romance will be kept very low key. This is a story of survival…”
    p.s. I was wondering when anyone would think of a snowmobile !
    & why didn’t Deborah interrogate Angie at last ???

  2. yes it does, Carol. And for those who feel that we are now ‘getting to the good stuff’, any and all romance will be kept very low key. This is a story of survival first and foremost.

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