January 4Posted on: January 5, 2013
When I had put my coat on this morning to feed the chickens, I found a couple slips of paper I had put in my pocket the last time I was at the office. Phone messages, but I had forgotten about them. One was from Pastor Carolyn, the other from Don White at the County EM office. I was curious what he wanted; I was pretty sure I knew what Carolyn wanted.
John was not at all happy that I wanted to go to the office, without him as my bodyguard. I reminded him that all the attacks had taken place at night, and I would stay at the office once I got there. He saw my reasoning, reluctantly. I hated to deceive him, but I had no intention of going straight to the office! I did stay there once I got there though, so it wasn’t really a lie.
I drove to Jason’s first. It had been over a week since they had been over for Christmas, and I needed to know they were ok, just a mother’s concern. As I neared his place, I saw the burnt out shell of the Brewer house, ringed in police-tape. It was way too close to them.
With Angela at home to watch Jacob, Jason was out cutting wood for the stove. The house was on the chilly side, so I didn’t take off my coat.
“Did you bring any food with you?” was the first thing Angela asked. I told her no, but suggested she make a list of what they needed and I would get what I could together. She snorted, “Mom, we need everything. I should have listened to you about stocking up.” I knew better than to say I told you so. She seemed jumpy, but not irrational; this was good, maybe she didn’t need her meds as much as she thought! Jason came in just then with an armload of snowy wood. After setting it down near the stove, he gave me a hug. I asked them about the fire, but they had both slept thru it. There was nothing more I could do there, but I reminded Ange to get a list together and I left.
My next stop was Carolyn. Luckily, I tried the church first, and she was there, helping out in the Stone Soup Kitchen.
“I’m glad to see you!” she gave me a brief hug. People seem more inclined to hug or touch lately. “Let’s go upstairs to talk. I was hoping to see you at church last Sunday,” she left that trail off. I’m just not a church goer and she knew that. Once private, she got to the point. “Food donations have really fallen off, Deborah. Is there any chance you can help us out again? We’ve had some fish, but it’s been so cold the fish aren’t biting like they were.”
“My own supplies are limited and dwindling, Carolyn.” Her face drooped with disappointment. “But would another bucket of rice help? I think I’ve got some bouillon too, that will be the last though. I’m sorry.” I remembered what John said about our pasta supply, and thought maybe I’d add a box of macaroni, but would leave that for a surprise; and before she could respond with any of her usual replies as to my saintliness, I excused myself and left.
The township offices were in an uproar. Seems that there was yet another fire last night, the Catholic Church, this time, but there was also a witness! Vinnie saw the bomb being tossed, and was able to get the fire out before much damage was done. Paul and Donna have made an arrest!
I found our team of deputies in a back office, with Billy Simms hand-cuffed to a chair. Donna spotted me and came out, closing the door behind her.
“Billy? Are you sure?” Billy was in his late 20’s and never caused any real problems, even when he drank too much at the Jack, but I’d heard he’d been a troubled teen, getting into fights and vandalizing public property. He seemed stable in the past years and lived alone in one of the older homes on the edge town, working odd jobs to pay the rent.
“He’s already confessed, now he’s just babbling,” Donna took a deep breath. “Once we picked him up, Gary went thru the house looking for meds or drugs. What he found were empty prescription bottles, and confirmed that Billy was being treated for schizophrenia and paranoia. He was on a literal cocktail of mood stabilizers. Every fire target was totally random. He thought someone was after him, but didn’t know who, so just drove around until a voice in his head told him to stop. Weird, huh?” then she smiled, “but we got him now, in part to your lists; he showed up several times. I just don’t know what we’re going to do with him!”
“What do you mean?”
“We don’t have a jail; we don’t have anything up here. I’m afraid if we try keeping him here, even overnight, the town folk may lynch him!” Donna looked tired. “Paul thinks we should take him into Marquette, and let them deal with him.”
“That might be for the best. Congratulations on the arrest Donna. You and Paul deserve our gratitude! Oh, and you might want to call Sherriff Lacey before you make the long trip to town with your prisoner.” Suggesting to call reminded me I needed to call Don back.
“Don, Deborah in Moose Creek, returning your call.” He picked up on the fifth ring, I’d almost hung up. “I hope you’ve got good news for us up here, like some food?”
“Uh, no, sorry. How would you like a job?” he got right to the point, I must say that for him.
“A job? What do you mean?” I had a job.
“I need help; an assistant; you’ve already had most of the training; you’d be perfect.”
“Well, thanks for the confidence, Don, but I’m needed here. I must decline.” I tried to be as polite as possible; I still needed to be on good terms with him for more supplies.
“Just think about it, okay?” and he hung up, just like Teresa use to do. He got that part of the job down quickly.
John was delighted as I was with the news of the arrest. It was a night to celebrate: Steaks on the grill (we’re down to six now, and two roasts), a baked potato, and some canned coleslaw, topped with one of the few bottles of wine left. I didn’t tell him about the job offer, though to me it’s just an offer I’m not going to take.
2 thoughts on “January 4”
At least the fire starter was someone mentally ill, and not some whack job with a grudge who was just plain mean!! A little easier to forgive the mentally ill… Story Deborah has LOTS more food than anyone else it seems… She may need to start thinking of other ways to hide it. Basement maybe??
OK, fire guy caught. Now we have the food problem. People are getting HUNGRY!