Last week, as you'll recall, after a little interlude in the men's room, Stan and Ollie were waiting for Egbert to appear. See what they have to say to him in this week's edition of Stan and Ollie. And I have news too! I mentioned starting on the prequel to this story, and I now have a name for the series - Dead Vibrations! And the prequel will be called: Starry Starry Night. I'll keep you updated as I progress. So far, two chapters done!
So now on to this week's chapter of Stan and Ollie! Then don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to. Enjoy!
Stan and Ollie #16
“If you’re looking for a story, I’m afraid I’d rather not…” He is soft-spoken, his voice fraught with obvious pain. And yet he remains the Southern gentleman to the end.
“No, no, we’re not reporters,” I hasten to assure him. “Far from it.”
“Then who are you and what do you want with me?” He glances between us, but I’m the one doing the talking. I’m taking the lead, because I feel it’s safer that way.
“Is there somewhere we can talk? Somewhere more private?”
I see his hesitation, and I understand it. I’ve given him no real reason to either trust us or spend any time on us, and he’s probably thinking this isn’t a good time anyway. Unfortunately, as bad as he might feel now, what we have to say isn’t going to make him feel any better. But at least it will offer some sort of closure.
“It’s about Consuelo.” I decide to add a little extra incentive. I watch as his eyes go wide, fill with a look of despair.
“Please,” Ollie implores.
Egbert takes a deep shuddering breath. I watch as he looks into Ollie’s piercing blue eyes. He must see something there he trusts because he nods “We can use the church. I wanted to go by anyway. We can talk freely there. If you know something about Consuelo, I want to hear it.”
We agree to meet there. He gives us the address, and we head back to the hotel and pick up the car. And an unwanted passenger, damn the luck. But I make no comment, deciding not to waste my breath, as she curls herself about his neck like a flea-bitten stole.
The Greater Glory of God Church sits just outside of Cortez, in a very bucolic setting. The sun is just beginning to set as we arrive, bouncing off the stained glass windows, creating faux rainbows that reflect against the immaculate white siding. I pull the car around the back of the building. Egbert is there, waiting for us.
We get out of the car together, and I feel Ollie stiffen. He’s staring at the church, seeming a bit nonplussed and not himself.
“What is it?” Trying not to panic, I place a steadying hand against his arm, look into his face. He fights to control his breathing, before responding.
“The door. The one I saw.” He nods toward the church. I see it now. It looks like it might be an entrance into the basement, set beneath the level of the rest of the structure, into a concrete wall. This must be some sort of a clue, but what does it mean?
I glance sharply around me. I hadn’t paid close attention to our surroundings; I do so now. At one end of the parking lot stretches a small wood. And, if I’m not mistaken, I hear the gurgle of a creek or stream. My first thought is of Consuelo. Hadn’t Ollie said she was in or near water? His eyes reveal he’s having the same thoughts as I am.
We need to talk to Egbert. Like right now.
He walks toward us, chin held high, back stiff. He’s a brave man, I can tell. Hopefully a strong one, as well. This won’t be easy.
“This is where you were to wed, isn’t it?” Ollie asks as he joins us.
“This is where we’ll be married, yes. First, who are you?”
If he wants to talk out here, that’s fine. For now. No one can catch us unawares, and there’s nowhere even a sleazy reporter like Hatcher can have hidden a listening device. I put nothing past her.
“I’m Ollie, he’s Stan, Mr. Montauk.”
He hesitates a moment. “Call me Egbert.”
That’s a start, anyway.
“What do you know about Consuelo? Do you know where she is?” His anguish is unmistakable, as he searches our faces for some clue as to his fiancée’s whereabouts.
“We’re looking for her,” I say cautiously, “just as I know you are too.”
“Of course I am. I love her. I have to find her.” For a moment, he trembles, caught up in the violence of his emotions. “No one believes me when I say she’s in some sort of trouble. I know what they think. They’re not shy about telling me. That Consuelo was just toying with me, that it’s a little bit funny that she would even be with me and now she’s found someone new. But that’s not true, I know it isn’t!”
“It’s not true,” Ollie assures him, laying a reassuring hand upon his arm.
“Why do you believe me when no one else in this damn town will listen? And why do you even care? You’re not from around here, what is this to you? Are you looking to get into Bodean’s good graces? If so, I fear you’re wasting your time.” His voice is bitter. “He’s too busy impregnating young women to worry about his only child.”
We exchange glances, but reveal nothing. Yet.
“Egbert, I’ve spoken to Consuelo,” Ollie says at last.
“You have?” He eagerly reaches for Ollie’s hands, his excitement evident. “You’ve… seen her? Talked to her? How is she? Where is she? I must go to her. Take me to her, please… please…”
Oh God, this is the hard part. I refuse to let Ollie bear it alone. I add my hand to theirs.
“Egbert, there’s something you need to know. About us. You see, we’re detectives, but of a very special nature.”
“What do you mean?” He turns baffled eyes on me.
“I know this is going to be hard to believe. Trust me, I know, I was very skeptical myself, at first.”
“Skeptical? Of what? I don’t understand.”
“What Stan means is that we specialize in a field that is highly unusual and not widely accepted.”
“We operate on what you might call a supernatural wavelength.”
“What does that mean?”
The ball’s in my court now.
“He sees dead people.”
to be continued
Now go visit the other Wednesday Briefers:
Elyzabeth VaLey m/f
Chris T. Kat m/m
Cia Nordwell m/m
Victoria Adams m/f
Tali Spencer m/m
MC Houle m/m
Lily Sawyer m/m
Michael Mandrake m/m
Until next time, take care!