|Title In Progress
The summer night was scorching in the year 1920, in the town of Saffron, South Dakota. Saffron was just beginning then and everybody knew everybody, and they all got together on Sunday after church for lunch, rain, or shine. The settlers were people who were kind and very, very friendly. The elderly were respected and cared for by every citizen, except for one man.
His name was George Gaper. This man was very mean and disliked by the entire town. He did not mind though because he liked no one, except for Angel. Angel had long flowing brown hair, gorgeous deep blue eyes, and pale skin that every time the sun hit her skin, it made her look like she was sparkling like a million diamonds. Every time he saw her, he would stop doing whatever it was he was doing and stare at her. Of course, she did not notice him or any of the other people who did that, because she already had a man on her mind. It was arranged, of course, for her to marry the mayor’s son, Paul Davidson.
The mayor’s son was not the most alluring person in town. The most alluring person in town was Mark Gaper, George’s son. Angel did not care though. She loved Paul with all her heart. They had gone out only twice when Paul proposed to her. It was in the local drug store. It was crowded that day because it was well over 100°F, in the shade. Anyone who was anyone was in there, cooling off with ice cream or soda pop. Their choice was a peanut butter chocolate malt, to share of course.
He told her to go sit down and he would wait to pay for the malt. When he got the malt, he took it to the table and sat down next to Angel. When they were close to finishing their malt, the baker and his wife walked out from the back room with a cake that read, “Will you be my wife, for life, Angel?” She looked him in the eyes and said, “I thought you’d never ask.”
Therefore, the wedding plans started and it reached the time to where they were addressing the invitations. They paused and thought for a while when they reached for the invitation that was supposed to go to George and his family. Finally, after two hours of debating Angel and her fiancé decided to send an invitation to the Gaper family. When the time came for the wedding, they became even more nervous because when George and his family had received the invitation, strange things had been happening.
For one thing, when the family called to say they would be coming to the wedding, the phones kept ringing but nobody was on the line. In addition, when the couple was looking at clothes for the wedding, Angel’s house was broken into but nothing was stolen. They talked about getting security around both houses and Angel agreed to ask her father for some officers to protect both of their houses. He reluctantly agreed.
He said, “We are already low on officers but since it is for my little girl and my future son-in-law, I guess we can spare a few extra officers.” Therefore, the help came from everywhere. It even came from other cities that had heard the news. It was all very strange having the town so busy and full of people and life. Storeowners got more business than they usually did, even in the holidays.
It was all very strange though when things started to go missing. No one had any idea about who was stealing the things. Everyone was baffled. That was until Angel saw George wearing some of the missing jewelry. It just so happened to be exactly identical to her cousin’s, Mary, who had driven in for the wedding; it was reported stolen 3 days before.
Angel ran to her father and said, “I know who has been stealing everybody’s things. I just saw him.”
Her father replied, “Now princess, calm down and tell me everything, from the beginning.”
Angel started from the beginning and when she got to the end she said, “I know George is the one who did it. I know it has to be, unless, it is his son Mark. I just know it is one of them. Oh Daddy, what is it?” Her father was close to tears.
He said, “We just found out this morning that George had an accident last night. I do not know how he got into the accident, but he is at the Double A Sanatorium. You can go check if you want.”
“OK, I’ll go check it out daddy.” Angel said.
At the Double A Sanatorium, Angel got the surprise of her life. George had a family, other than his son.
Angel asked Mark, “What happened? How did this happen?”
Mark said, “All I know is that there was note saying goodbye, and that he couldn’t live without his true love. He keeps saying that he had a diary of hers but it is nowhere to be found. He has been acting weird ever since we got the summons to your wedding. Angel there was something in the note I think you might like to know. Can I come over sometime? Say 3:30 pm. today?”
“Sure, I guess. I’ll tell the guards you are coming,” said Angel.
“Alright, see you then Angel,” said Mark absentmindedly.
At exactly 3:30 pm, Mark arrived at Angel’s place. Unfortunately, Angel did not answer the door, Paul did.
Paul said, “What in God’s name do you want with my fiancé?”
Mark replied, “I have come to tell her something that has to do with everything that has been happening lately. So if you don’t mind, may I see her now?”
Paul said, “Yes, I suppose you could. Do you mind if I sit in, you know just to make sure nothing happens?”
Mark said, “Since you are letting me talk to your fiancé, I suppose it would be alright with me.”
Therefore, up the stairs the two men went, up to the bedroom parlor where she waited for them. She was surprised to see Paul and Mark talking as if they were old friends. She just could not ever imagine it, not even in a million years. She did not care though when she remembered what Mark was here for. He was not here to talk with her fiancé, but to tell her some weird secret about his father’s death.
Angel said, “Good evening, gentlemen. How are you?”
Paul replied, “I am fine and may I say you look lovely this afternoon.”
Mark was silent.
“Mark, why didn’t you respond when I asked how you were?” Angel asked.
Mark replied, “I thought you had directed that question to your fiancé. I am fine though, but I must agree totally with Paul. You look like an Angel today and every day.”
“Why, thank you Mark,” replied Angel. “So Mark, you said you needed to tell me something that was in the note. You said it applied to everything that has been going on lately. What is that about?”
Paul sat down next to Angel and stared at Mark. After a few minutes, Mark began.
“In the letter, my father admitted several things. The first thing he admitted was that he was madly in love with someone in this town, other than his wife. He said that he was very sick and not wanting to die without saying something to the woman that he loved more than my mother. This of course is a shock and a mystery of its own.”
“I have not had the pleasure of meeting your father, you can be sure of that. I have only seen him on the street as I pass by,” said Angel.
Mark continued, “He had told me two weeks ago, when we got the summons, that he had something that belonged to his secret sweetheart. He said that his secret sweetheart was going to be married soon and that he must do something. He didn’t say specifically what it was only that it meant more than life to her.”
“Well do you know what the item is or more specifically, where it is,” Paul inquired.
Mark sat in silence thinking if his father had somehow let something slip out about where or what it was. He could think of none. When he looked up from racking his brain, he had a sorrowful look on his face. Angel asked why.
Mark responded, “My father never said what it was or where it was. I wish I knew what it was so I could solve this mystery.”
Angel seemed distraught by what was going on. Just as Mark was about talk again, the servant in the house announced that Angel’s father had arrived. At this, Mark looked shocked.
“Why is your father here?” asked Mark.
“I asked him to come here in case something important was said,” a deep, gruff voice said from behind them.
Paul, Mark, and Angel looked at each other with fear in their eyes. Angel’s dad may have been there but that was the least of their fears. They decided to prolong the meeting until they found out whose voice it was. They stopped talking and started listening for the voice to speak again, but no sound came. They listened for approximately 15 minutes in silence before talking again.
“I want to know what is going on here!” demanded Angel’s father.
“We don’t know sir. We are just as mystified as you are,” replied Mark.
Her father then rounded on him, “Who and what are you doing here?” Mark was shocked that he did not realize who he was, after all Mark had been over there before.
Angel saved him from answering the question by saying, “Daddy, this is Mark from school and he was telling me about a letter his father had written. It has to do with him having something that belongs to the true woman he loves. We don’t know who it belongs to and we don’t know what, or where it’s.”
Her father turned to Mark and apologized for being so irritated with him a minute ago.
“You may call me Jacob, if you want to.”
“Jacob, may we continue with what we were doing before you got here?” asked Paul. “I really want to know what the rest of the letter says. Maybe there is a clue in it as to who or what the item is, or maybe where it’s hidden,” said Angel. Jacob gestured with his hand to continue with what they were doing.
“My father told me the other day that he had a dairy that he took from his secret crush’s house. He also said that if I ever needed to know something important about the diary or his secret, to go to a secret hut out in the forest, but he did not say what forest it was in or where it was in that forest. I am guessing though that it is in this forest twenty miles from here. I think it’s on the outskirts of Doubloon City.”
At this, everybody gasped. Mark looked puzzled and asked if he had said something wrong. Paul and Angel sat there in silence.
“Doubloon City is a pirate community and very dangerous to even go near. People who have gone there usually end up dead, or broke, or both. That is why everybody is frightened to leave town and why it was so hard to get help on security. Most people had to pass Doubloon City to get here. Most people will probably stay here rather than go back home.” Jacob said.
Angel, Paul, and Mark were amazed he knew so much about the city when he had never went anywhere outside the town. Jacob explained.
“You see kids, I’m not who you think I am. I used to live there before I met Angel’s mom. When I found out she was expecting a baby, I packed all our things up and moved here. I thought we would be safe here but I was wrong.”
Angel asked, “You were mistaken about what dad?”
“For the last month, towns all over this area have reported having ‘unexplained deaths and robberies’, and I am afraid that if we, as a town, don’t do something we may end up losing more than any town yet,” said Jacob.
They all gave the impression of being mystified, but before Jacob could go on, there was a knock on the door.
“I’ll get that for you Angel, in case your friends and you want to talk. I got to get back to work anyway.”
After Jacob had left Angel’s room, Mark stood up and said,” I don’t know about any of the murders and robberies and such but what does that have to do with us?”
“I don’t know, but wouldn’t it be cool to go on a adventure of our own to an area like Pirate City once we get through this mystery of our own?” asked Paul.
“It sure would be cool, but before we continue can we take a bathroom break? That story scared the dickens out of me,” replied Mark.
They opened the door to go to the restroom when they heard many shots being fired.
Before any of us could even think about it, Angel had started down the stairs. Us followed her but could not keep up with her.
“Gee, she must be an avid jogger or something because I can’t keep up with her,” said Paul.
“I concur. She sure is faster than any of us in our school.”
“I guess they should let women try out for any of the teams that the school offers.”
“Let’s promise to give girls a break from now own about watching their weight and needing to exercise. Ok?”
Before they could say anymore, they found Angel staring at a headless body in the front entryway. Without a second thought, Mark reached into a closet and pulled out a 45.
“What the hell do you need that for?”
“In case the psycho that fired that shot is still here.”
They walked down to the second landing and looked around.
“No one is here, not even Angel. Not a good sign.”
“I don’t like it one bit. Angel is missing and we have the dead body of someone. I do not think it is going to look very good if the police come and find that we are the only people living. They’ll think that we shot him and got rid of Angel.”
“Would you calm down? We are going to be here when the police arrive, but it will look like we were victims as well.”
“What do you have in mind?”
After some brilliant planning, they were ready to put the plan into action. First, they would have to call the police.
“Hello, I would like to report a shooting. It was about 15 minutes ago and the person that owns the house is the head of police. We need an ambulance, fire, and police.”
“Why do you need fire?”
“The house is on fire.”
There was a long pause and all you could hear was the sound of typing and breathing on the other end.
“Someone help, there are two kids in the house screaming for help! Send help now!”
“Calm down sir, the requested help is on the way. Can you see where you are at?”
There was silence at the end of the line. They put the phone down and started screaming through the handkerchiefs they had found. They then hung up the phone.
“Did you start the fire Paul?”
“You bet I did. It is burning very well too. I poured gasoline from one of the cars and then lit a match so we could catch the house on fire. Now to make it look like we were victims, how are we going to do that smart guy?”
“Here is some duct tape and some rope. I will do you up and you do me. But first, we need to look as if we were injured in the fight for our lives.”
After some quick cuts and a black eye on each, they placed the duct tape and ropes on the other. Now all they had to do was wait for someone to come.
They did not have to wait long though. They had barely been done when they heard the sirens in the distance. There was only one problem to their plan, me. I had witnessed what went on and came up to where they were and confronted them.
“I know what you guys did. I will tell the police. All that happened was that dad got his head shot off. “
“You won’t tell anyone or we’ll come back and kill you. Got it?”
“We can’t let him leave out of our sight can we?”
“No, we can’t. Hey Peter, come here.”
Without warning, they ruffled me into the rope and duct tape. They also slit my hands across the palms.
“You say anything and we will kill you! Not a second thought about it. Got it?”
Not a moment too soon either, the firefighters broke through the door and found us three boys. Once we were outside, the police removed the duct tape and ropes. They then asked us a few questions.
“Boys, did you see or hear anything?”
Mark and Paul looked at me and politely said “No.”
I said nothing.
“I’m sorry boys, but we have to take you downtown so we can ask more questions. We will provide everything you want as long as you cooperate with us. Ok?”
Downtown was only on Main Street, but the ride there was super long to us. They did not want to say anything to each other. After all, they were supposed to be enemies. They were far from that though. Back at the house when they were planning their way out of trouble, they decided that since they were working together now and was in this together, they might as well be friends.
They arrived at the police station on Main Street and were brought in to a holding room.
“I feel as if they suspect us. Don’t you Mark?”
“Yeah, but you can get out of anything, you’re the mayor’s son. I am just the son of the most hated man in the community.”
“I hate it!”
“What do you have to hate about?”
“I hate always being referred to as the mayor’s son. I hate that this marriage is arranged. I do not even like Angel to tell you the truth. She is always using me for the money. It sucks!”
Nobody spoke another word until a police officer came and brought us separately into a questioning room. They were not even allowed to talk to each other. Before both boys entered their questioning room, they gave a warning glance towards me. I gave a big gulp.
Each questioning session differed for each boy. The session for Paul went like this.
“Please state your name, age, address, and sex”
“My name is Paul Davidson and I am a 15 year old male who lives at 8251 N. Huckleberry Lane.”
“What is your relationship with the headless victim?”
“I was his future son-in-law and I want to know where Angel is!”
“Angel is missing? What do you mean?”
“I mean, she ran downstairs after the shots rang out and that was the last I ever saw of her.”
“Do you know what might have happened to her? Could she have runaway? Could she have locked herself in another room? There are many locations and situations that could have happened to her.”
“Why do you people have to interrogate us? We were the victims! We didn’t see anything!”
“Did you see anything of the suspect or hear his or her voice?”
“Why is that helpful? It won’t bring Jacob back!”
“Do you want to take a break and clear your mind?”
“Yes, and I also want my daddy. I’m frightened.”
“Alright, I’ll call and get your dad down here while you take a break.”
Meanwhile, Mark’s interrogation is going even worse.
“State your name, age, address, and sex.”
“My name is Mark Gaper and I am a 17 year old male. I live in a shack on the outskirts of town with my six brothers and five sisters. They are all younger than me.”
“That’s real nice son, but now I want you to tell me what you know about what happened today.”
“I think I need to talk to Paul before I say anything.”
“Let me see if Paul is free and then you can.”
A few moments pass when the police officer came back in.
“Alright, Paul is taking a break too! We won’t continue until the mayor gets here.”
In another room down the hall, my questioning was proceeding. Mine was going even worse than the two other boys combined because I was silent as a dead person would be. They decided to wait until the mayor got there to start my questioning. They let me into the break room with the two other boys. We then started talking about their questions and how they have got out of answering questions so far.
“Hey, Mark how is your questioning going?”
“Fine Paul. How is yours going?”
“Good, but they are treating me like a rat. What about you Peter? Say anything yet?”
Nothing but silence came from my mouth. I had a blank expression on my face, but mostly in my eyes.
“I can’t believe he is actually keeping quiet about it. I have known him for a long time and he usually cannot keep a secret. But then again, he has not told anyone about me and Angel sleeping together when her old man was out of town. Hey, good job Peter, keep it up and you may live long enough to have kids of your own someday.”
“Maybe, but I doubt anyone will want to marry him when he is suddenly struck dumb.”
Laughter came from both boys. I said and did nothing. I was not the only weird thing they had to worry about though. The cameras in the break room were on and recorded the whole conversation. What was unknown to them was that daddy was watching everything they did and said.
A cop named Darin asked, “Well sir, what do you think we should do about the three boys?”
“Let them stay a few days in the slammer. Maybe they will talk to us then. If you could though, have the others prisoners welcome them.”
“Whatever you say, sir,” replied Darin.
“Boys, break time is over. You are going to stay here for awhile.”
While he was saying this, three other cops that were originally questioning us came and put the handcuffs on them. They came quietly and made no fuss. When they got to the cellblock, the police released us from their handcuffs and showed them where they were staying, and then the cops locked the door.
We just sat there, in the cell, waiting for something to happen. They were hoping the other would say something. No one said a word. They sat there in silence, looking at the cold, gray walls around them and the vertical bars in front of them.
Finally, a cellmate came over to the cell and held out a hand to Paul. Paul shook his hand while never taking his eyes off the man’s eyes.
“Relax son, we are not going to hurt you. Once you spend some time in here, you start to soften up. I was put in here for murder. I had no heart they said. I do now, that is for sure. I have to pay my debt to society though. By the way, the name is Luke, but my friends call me Luke. I more or less run our cell block than those pigs do.”
“Luke, what is your payment to society?” asked Mark.
“Life for a life kid,” Luke said.
“How long do you have?” Paul asked.
“Until whenever the city decides to end me,” replied Luke.
Three weeks had gone by since they were put into jail. The thing was they loved it! When the cops came to see if they were ready to talk they just shook their head no. They were still in there when daddy came by.
“Son, why don’t you talk and tell the cops what they want to know so I can have my son back in my house and not in this vile, rancid place.”
“No! This is my home now. At least they are kind to me here and do not ignore me every single minute of the day. I do not think you even realize who I have become. I am not a little boy anymore. I’m a man who has had his wife stolen from him, and I’m not going to sit around talking to no pig!”
At this, the mayor did not know what to say, so he just left.
Paul, Mark, and I lived in the jail peacefully with Luke and the other prisoners. One day though Paul had an idea.
“Hey, Luke can you come here for a moment.”
“Sorry kid, but the government decided it was his turn to go. He is being led to the gallows right now,” said a prisoner named Tartan.
At this, Paul took off on a sprint. He reached the gallows just as Luke was being led to them.
“Wait!” Paul screamed, “I wish to speak, if you will let this man live. This man is the kindest, most gentle, loving person I have ever known and probably will ever know in my entire life. If he dies, you will have killed your future leader. I am HE!!!”
At this, Paul ran up to Luke and threw his arms around his neck. He refused to let go even with the promise that Luke would not be killed, but given another punishment instead.
“First, make Luke’s sentence to watch and reform us kids. There are only two of us so it shouldn’t be that hard.”
“Sorry to interrupt you, but there is three of you that we are holding, not two,” said a cop watching the fiasco.
“No, Peter is innocent. We started the inferno in the house. We made ourselves look like we were the victims. Mark and I were there when the shots rang out! We started the inferno! The only thing we did not do was murder the old man, and we did not hide Angel! Now release Luke and Peter!”
Strangely, the police did as Paul said. This was done probably since Paul said he would talk. Luke got his new punishment of watching and reforming Paul and Mark. I was released into the care of Paul’s father. Paul had insisted on that. He had made it perfectly clear that I was to be his father’s new son. I, of course did not say a thing because I had a plan of my own. As for Paul and Mark’s punishments, they did not like it at all. They had to do 4500 hours of community service; they had to serve a 7 month sentence and were put on probation for 25 years.
As for Angel, nobody has seen or heard from her. After her father died, they assumed that she was long gone. They put a marker for her by her father.
I hate to tell them that it is a waste of time, since she is not gone or dead. She came to my room after she saw dad’s body lying on the floor. I told her to stay in my room until I got back. I said I would check it out. I hid in the coat closet when I saw the two boys coming down the stairs. When I went back to my room, I told Angel to go hide in our secret spot.
After I was released, I went to our secret spot to find Angel. She was still there and looking very thin. We then moved as one with the cover of darkness so that nobody could see us. We went deep into the woods and lived off nature for five months. Finally, a man who was hunting came and took us to his house. We said we were orphans. This, in fact, was true. Mom had died when I was 4 months old. She had a disease called dysentery. We grew up and eventually moved away from the nice old man. I have not heard from Angel since she got married to a biker dude. I hope she will come back to Saffron next week. I feel it is time to return home after so long.