Mystery and Crime Fiction posted June 6, 2021 Chapters: 2 3 -4- 5... 


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Past and Present Collide

A chapter in the book Running Blind

Running Blind ~ Chapter Four

by Sally Law


The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

Previously, in Chapter Three~

Anyone who knew Duran Gibbons personally observed his regular schedule. Locking his gallery's doors at precisely five o'clock, he retired to his back office with a cup of peppermint tea.

Reclining on his couch, he thought he'd wait for the call. He dozed, but not for long, waking to the feel of gunmetal against his cheek.

"What are you doing here? You must be patient with these transactions!"

"Where's the original Andre Dupree, Duran? You said it would be here by seven o'clock. Guess what? My cell phone has remained silent. The ungratefuls: they never call--they never write...."

"I have arranged for a heist. I expect them here at any moment. The owner will give it up, no doubt. She's not into bloodshed, and would never put the other officers at risk."

"Other officers? The broad is a cop?" The man leaned in uncomfortably close.

Mr. Gibbons found it difficult to breathe and swallowed hard. "Yes...a cold case detective... with Lafayette Township PD...."

"How nice," said the soulless criminal. "Perhaps she'll still be around to find you in a couple of decades."

"No...! Please...!"

BAM!

{Chapter Four}

{River Ridge, Louisiana. July 1990}

The summer days at the hostel were centered around the expected arrival of Olivia's child in the sweltering month of September. Aside from the occasional morning sickness and headaches, Olivia felt good enough to apply for the church's organist position, and had saved enough money to purchase a second-hand crib. Lyle surprised her by sanding it down and oiling it. Without fanfare or trumpets, Lyle knelt by the finished crib and proposed with tear-filled eyes. "Will you marry me...?"

"We will," she said, patting her rounded belly. "It's a unanimous decision."

She knew this wasn't the natural order of things, but Lyle loved her and the baby, even though the child wasn't his. The wedding was planned for the following Sunday.

Shirley came directly from the church and helped Olivia with her hair and makeup, and into a pretty stretch lace dress she'd found at a consignment store. "You rest for a bit, Livvy. I'll send Albert Lee to get you once the clergyman arrives."

Sitting on her bed for the longest time, she tried to let go of a terrible memory that had recently surfaced inside her. The young man who tipped me the gold wedding band... we were married! I thought he'd looked at me with guilty eyes. How could he have left me in that terrible asylum all alone? Still, no name came, only the coldness of his expression.

"That's not a marriage, it's a stupid piece of paper," she said out loud. Reaching over to the nightstand drawer, she pulled out the man's ring. Boldly, she flung it out the open window.

She took a moment to blot her eyes and reapplied pressed powder. Exhaling the angst, she let it go. A new day had come....

The happiest voice from her first day in River Ridge came through the door; pulling her back into the present. "Ya know, miss, I'm glad you're going to be sticking around these parts. Remember, you promised to fix my broken screen door!"

Olivia paused at the door. "Is that right? I may need to send my husband over to do the job. I can't see my toes for squat!"

Al smiled from ear to ear as he handed her a bouquet, laced with pink peonies. "Let's get you married...!"

Olivia held on to her friend Albert Lee Reynolds until she reached her groom, disappearing into that magical place where two souls become one.

And she gave Lyle her whole heart without any hesitation, and Lyle gave his to her. It was unconventional in every sense, yet so full of joy and rich with love.

The bride and groom signed the certificate of marriage and paid the fee. The new life of Olivia Henry had been recorded in the legal records of the state of Louisiana.

**********

{Port Orleans. June 2021}

The gulf sunset was a gorgeous sight, an array of reds mingled with gold, lending promise for the fair weather ahead.

Unaware of the panoramic view from his yacht, was the incurably wicked Tony Alfanzi, hurrying to wash the blood splatter from his designer clothes. It was no good, no good at all. He decided to douse them with lighter fluid and burn them in a metal trashcan, finally throwing the smoking mess into the sea.

He calmed himself with a two-olive martini, then counted the cash he had taken from Duran Gibbons. He had to make it look like a robbery gone wrong.... "If only Mr. Gibbons had given over the cash without a struggle," the news reporter would state, shaking her pretty little head and pointing at the crime scene.

These local reporters... they're held together with hairspray and teleprompters.

Scrolling through Duran Gibbon's list of contacts, he found the owner of the coveted oil painting by Andre Dupree.

Mrs. Sally Law, a.k.a.,The Blind Girl.
17 East Main Street
Lafayette Township, LA

Note: Mrs. Law is the sole heiress to Louisiana artist, Andre Dupree, and owns the entire estate, art collection, and diamond fortune. She's also a Detective, serving on the force of Lafayette Township PD, local philanthropist, and black belt member of Louisiana Aikido Federation.


The criminal narrowed his vision, and set aside the watered-down cocktail. Typing in her name, he continued with an online search.

So... there's much more to be had here. Wow! Fifty-two floral paintings!

**********

{Country Road 15, near River Ridge. June 2021}

Our tired and spent CSI team finally rolled into downtown River Ridge just as the sun was setting. The Sheriff knew we were coming and greeted us at the door.

"Oh my.... you're covered in Louisiana muck!"

"I suppose we are! It's been a helluva day! We are certainly glad to see you, Sheriff. I'm Lead Detective Mike Lembowsky of Lafayette Township PD, and this is my investigative team. We'll be staying in your fine town for a few days, traveling back and forth to New Orleans. We also have two young men with us who would like to turn away from their criminal behavior."

"How refreshing! I'm Sheriff Lyle Henry. I was a pastor until about ten years ago. Glad to hear of the change of heart," he said, acknowledging Floyd and Boyd. "Detective, you and your team must try our famous barbecue. It's on the house for Louisiana's finest. I'll rustle up a plate for the young men after they call their parents."

Sheriff Henry processed Floyd and Boyd Clarkston with care, easing our burden.

We checked into the adjacent motel and showered. An hour later, our ravenous troop headed for our complimentary meal at "Al's Barbecue and Such." Jazz and the smell of savory cooking filled the air. The restaurant's staff brought out extra chairs to accommodate our large group dining street side. I invited the Sheriff to come and eat with us; but he declined, saying he needed to get back to attend to his wife. The way he said it, implied a disability.

"Your wife, is she well?" I asked.

"She is. Like you, Olivia's had to cope with eyesight loss. It's been very hard on her. My evenings center around her. Our daughter, Danielle, cares for her during the day."

"I would like to pay her a visit. I recently went blind and know of the constant adjustments. Perhaps King and I can stop by tomorrow...?"

To be continued....

**********

{Main Characters}

Detective Sally Law, that's me, also known as the Blind Girl, Lead Detective for Lafayette Township Police Department: Cold Case Division. I'm also heiress to the Andre Dupree Art Collection and fortune.

Detective Jackson Law: my husband, and a consultant to the force.

King: my guide dog, Superdog, and ace crime-solver.

Detective Lieutenant Mike Lembowsky, Homicide, Lafayette Township Police Department. He also lives next door to us on Main Street in Lafayette Township.

Detective Lieutenant Janelle Harris and her German Shepherd, Vanta.

Suzy Fleming: My personal assistant.

Detective Lieutenant Miles Jean-Baptiste, Lafayette Township Police Department: Cold Case Division.

Mr. Duran Gibbons: Former curator and owner of The Duran Gibbons Gallery of Fine Art. Mr. Gibbons is deceased.

Floyd and Boyd Clarkston: Local criminals for hire, now seeking a better life. Waiting arraignment in River Ridge.

Criminal mastermind, Tony Alfanzi, aka, Anthony Fabio, and street name: Tony the Tiger. Likes to work alone unless it suits him to do otherwise. He has recently set his sights on The Blind Girl.

{Louisiana of 1990 and now}

Olivia Smith Henry: Amnesiac and missing person, Camille Jean-Baptiste.

Albert Lee Reynolds: Owner and proprietor of Al's Barbecue and Such; his wife, Shirley.

Pastor Lyle Henry: Formerly the Pastor of River Ridge Mission Church and the community hostel. He is currently the Sheriff of River Ridge. He lives with his wife Olivia; and their daughter, Danielle.



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