Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #15 (5.1)

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.

Two weeks have passed since Roy's blind date. See how the world is treating him and what he's up to in this week's The Sheriff. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to! Their links follow my tale! And if anyone is interested in becoming a part of the group, the more the merrier, give me a shout! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #15 (5.1)

Two weeks after the ill-fated blind date at Partners, Roy found himself in Tucker Falls again, but this time for business reasons. He’d received an unexpected call from the sheriff requesting he meet him for breakfast. The invitation had piqued Roy’s interest, as well as his curiosity. He had a good working relationship with nearby law enforcement , both local and state, but the officer he was most in contact with was the sheriff of Tucker Falls, Harlan Sinclair. Their meetings were mostly held in the sheriff’s office, though, so this was unusual.

Harlan was in his late forties, and had been sheriff for some twenty years.  His chestnut hair, which he kept cut just below the ears, was starting to get a little gray, and maybe he had a bit of a belly, thanks to his pretty wife’s good home cooking, but he still cut quite the figure. He was popular with the people he served, but he was also known for being a no-nonsense kind of guy who didn’t tolerate inappropriate behavior from anyone. Roy appreciated that in him, which was one reason they got along so well.

They met in a small diner situated within walking distance of the sheriff’s office. The d├ęcor wasn’t fancy, but the food was good old-fashioned home cooking, and the service was great. Everyone there knew Harlan, it seemed to Roy. They made a point of saying hey as they walked past the booth where the two men sat.

“Morning, Sheriff,” a young woman with a two-toned blue-and-brown hairdo greeted him. She turned a bright smile on Roy, then noticed his uniform. “I stand corrected. Two sheriffs this morning.” She seemed very chipper for so early in the morning, but Roy figured that was better than having someone bite his head off at the crack of dawn. “Start you out with coffee?”

“Works for me, Callie,” Harlan responded, turning an inquiring glance to Roy. “You?”

“Coffee would be great,” Roy agreed.

“Awesome! Be right back, take your time looking over the menu.” She laid a plastic-coated menu in front of each man, then turned and sashayed toward the waitress station across the room.

The two men made professional small talk until they received their coffee. Once Callie took their breakfast orders and sauntered away, Harlan got down to business.

“Tell me something, Roy,” he began. “You having any problem with drugs in your neck of the woods?”

If Harlan hadn’t looked so serious, Roy would have laughed. Drugs? In Burnham? The only people he’d ever taken drugs off of were people passing through the small town, not any of the residents. And not very often at that.  He supposed it was possible someone in town smoked pot, but he seriously doubted even that. So obviously it wasn’t a problem.

“Not that I’ve noticed,” he said at last. “Why do you ask? Is something up?”

“Maybe,” Harlan said. “Well, something is, I just haven’t figured out what.”

“What do you mean?” Roy reached for his cup and took a long drink of the hot brew, letting it warm his insides.

“There’s been a string of burglaries lately. At least I think there is. A string, I mean. Definite burglaries. People’s houses being broke into, a few small businesses too. Most of what’s being taken is stuff that’s easily sold and not very traceable, you know? I just wondered if someone was feeding a drug habit. Or maybe some hot shot dealer from one of the big cities decided to hang his hat in Tucker Falls.”

Roy frowned. That could be a problem, not just for Tucker Falls, but for Burnham too. He didn’t like the sound of that one little bit. Although Tucker Falls was a bigger town, and had more deputies, cooperation between the various sheriffs’ departments was instrumental in enforcing the law.

“What can I do?” Roy asked.

“I appreciate the offer.” Harlan gave him a smile of relief. Obviously the subject was one he’d been wrestling with. “To be honest, I’m not quite sure what I need help with. I really wanted to apprise you of the situation, ask you to keep a special eye out. I know you patrol between here and Burnham, and I know you see things. I really respect you as a lawman, Roy, and I trust your judgment.”

“I’m very flattered, Harlan,” Roy said sincerely. “I will definitely keep an eye out when I’m on patrol.”

“That’s all I can ask,” Harlan said gratefully.

Just then their food arrived. Callie set their dishes on the table, refilled their coffee, then left.

“How’s them kids doing?” Roy asked as they ate.

“Growing like weeds.” Harlan laughed. “We got little Harlan his own bike, and he thinks that’s the best thing since sliced white bread. Missy’s already reading now, and she’s only three years old. By the time she gets to school, she’s gonna be the smartest kid there.” The sheriff’s pride in his children was obvious as he spoke. “So, when you gonna settle down and have some young’uns of your own, Roy?”

Roy snorted. “At the rate I’m going, never,” he said. “I’ve just about given about on meeting Miss Right. Lately, it seems like all I can find is Miss Wrong, and I’ve seen enough of them to last me a lifetime.”

“Well, never say never,” Harland said, punctuating his words with his fork. “When the time’s right, you’ll find the perfect woman for you.”

“Yeah, sure,” Roy said agreeably. “Maybe someday.”

When pigs fly.

to be continued

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