Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #28 (8.1)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

This week, Roy takes Dustin to see the Sheriff of Tucker Falls, to see how to take care of Jordan and his gang. But what is going on with Roy and Dustin? Find out in this week's chapter of The Sheriff! Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to! Their links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

The Sheriff #28 (8.1)


Sheriff Sinclair seemed about Roy’s age,a little grayer, and not as good-looking. Too soon to tell much else about him. Dustin decided to keep his mouth shut for once and let Roy do all the talking.

“Harlan, this is Dustin,” Roy began, wasting no time. “The one I told you about on the phone. Dustin, this is Harlan Sinclair, sheriff of Tucker Falls.”

“Nice to meet you,” Dustin murmured automatically.

“Likewise,” the sheriff replied. “Dustin, I appreciate you contacting Roy about this, instead of trying to handle this situation yourself. Sounds like this guy’s quite the manipulator. And this may be just the break we’ve been looking for. Right, Roy?”

“Seems like it,” Roy agreed.

It felt good to hear he’d done something right for a change, on top of the long list of the errors he’d made. “So the other night wasn’t the first time?” he ventured to ask, although he already suspected he knew the answer.

“I don’t think so,” Sinclair said. “If I’m right, he’s responsible for a whole string of burglaries lately. So what is this guy’s name, Dustin?” He held a pen in one hand, poised to write.

“Jordan,” Dustin replied.

“Last name?”

That took Dustin back, and he felt his cheeks grow warm. For a moment, he didn’t say anything. Sinclair gave him a quizzical look. Dustin felt stupid even as he cast a beseeching glance toward Roy.

“I don’t… I mean… guess the subject never came up.” Now he was more than a little embarrassed. How cheap did that make him look? He didn’t even want to know what Roy must be thinking about him right about now.

“Never mind,” Roy said smoothly, before Sinclair even had a chance to make a comment, assuming he intended to make one. “What about an address? You ever see where he lives?”

Dustin felt as though he’d just been tossed a lifeline. He nodded with a little more enthusiasm. “Yeah, I’ve been there.” He rattled off the street address, and was gratified to see Sinclair jot it down.

“No big deal, we can get his name from this.” The sheriff turned to his computer and began to type. Dustin risked a glance at Roy, afraid of what he might see there, but he saw no censure, only understanding.

“He has a couple of friends in on this,” Dustin volunteered. “Rusty and Lenny. If that helps.”

“Yeah, once I run his name, they might be under known associates,” Sinclair said. But Dustin couldn’t stop looking to Roy for his approval.

“Here he is. Jordan Lambourne. Address on Sycamore. Looks like an apartment complex, is that right, Dustin?”

Dustin forced himself to turn toward Sinclair and nod. “Yeah, he has an apartment. Lenny and Rusty live nearby.”

“Any priors?” Roy asked. It took a second for Dustin to realize the question wasn’t for him.

“Looks like juvie stuff, nothing too serious. Doesn’t seem like he did any time for anything, though.”

“Maybe his mother had it taken care of,” Dustin suggested. “I think she’s the overprotective type.”

“You met his mother?” Roy asked.

“Yeah, same time I met him. They came to the store to get him a birthday present. Money didn’t seem to be an object.”

“There are parents like that,” Sinclair conceded. “Cover up anything and everything their babies do. Spoil them, pretty much.”

Dustin wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case with Jordan. Nobody ever seemed to say no to that face, and he’d never learned how to be anything but selfish.

Suddenly he remembered something that must have slipped his mind. Jordan was coming for him at ten o’clock. He’d be good and pissed if Dustin wasn’t there. He broke out in a cold sweat just thinking about what he might do.

As if he could read Dustin’s mind, Roy said, “I’ll make sure you’re there on time, don’t worry. We just need a plan. Right, Harlan?”

“Right.”

“You mean like have me wear a wire or something?” Dustin said.

Sinclair chuckled. “Son, we’re not quite so sophisticated here, I’m afraid. We have to rely on good old-fashioned police work. For now, you’re going to go along with him, do what he says. Then when it’s time to do the job, we’ll have him.”

Oh great. He had to spend more time with the bastard. Just what he wanted. Not.

“What if he suspects you’re on to him? What if he figures out I talked to you?” Dustin felt himself slipping toward the edge of panic. Unexpectedly, Roy gripped one of his hands and squeezed.

“Listen to me,” he said in a commanding voice that drew Dustin’s attention without question. 

“Nothing’s going to happen to you. I promise that. And when he picks you up today, I’ll be close at hand. I’m not letting you out of my sight, trust me.”

Why did Dustin feel  immensely safer just hearing those words?

to be continued

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