"The Annual Fear" (10) © Rolly A. Chabot
Good Morning Welcome
Another of those mornings when the call to get up early happened. Hated to climb from a warm bed but such is life. Another restless night of wild dreams and tossing. I guess the body has its way of saying enough but the mind argues.
Another chilly morning here and they are calling for snow this coming week and a heavy frost. I guess the flowers had better smile now. Once it hits that will be it for this year. One more run through the tomato patch to get the last of the stragglers. Off fishing again tomorrow. This time for the monsters of the deep our Canadian Northern Pike. I need a few more to smoke before freeze up.
Make yourselves comfortable as we look at another chapter in The Annual Fear. I think there are things about to happen in the sleepy town of Cedar Rapids. Cuddle in close and know that you are loved.
Chapter 10: "Mondays"
He arrived at the office shortly after eight, the Fax had ran several times during the night with more information from the FBI and the Vegas Police Department. Seems as though the plot was getting deeper. Someone on the inside was snitching on all that was being planned for Cedar Ridge.
This was going to be big without a doubt, he scanned each sheet and sent them to the Judge’s house Fax line, he would stop in later and discuss the situation with him. Seems as though Joe Mullen was a high roller, bigger than what first was thought. He had some connections to several well-known gang members spread all over the US. It looked as though it was a major syndicate, which had attempted to come into Vegas as well hiding out in small cities and towns. They would go unnoticed until it was to late. Many such cases were reported on the sheets he held in his hand. Dan Sidon had much to learn as it was happening in his town.
Wanda was way out of her league on this one and was heading for total and complete collapse. According to the snitch she was planning a big take over by having a major share in the stakes. Her and Joe Mullen were deep into the mob in Vegas for money and this would pay off the debt once it was signed sealed and delivered. Dan could see the connections now that he had all the facts. Wanda certainly was no lady. She had alternative motions in mind. She was nothing but trouble and from what he could see she was willing to use her position and power to get what she wanted.
The snitch had said there were rumors flying around that Wanda and Joe were about to attempt a power play by having a controlling interest. The snitch also said they were on the hit list of the racketeers for even thinking up such a scheme. That would mean that Wanda and the now newly introduced Joe Mullen were about to make their move. His coming to town spoke volumes something as happening. Dan sat and thought about this but was still baffled by her behaviour.
Dan sat back and thought of the implications if something like that were to take place in his town. The last murder here had been 47 years ago, when two drifters passing through town got into a fight at the feedlot east of town. That had opened a huge investigation that revealed a connection to the drug trade as small as it was at the time it had uncovered a can of worms that took investigators several months to unravel.
Dan called the Judge, who answered on the first ring. “I see we have more trouble brewing than we care too hear about Dan. First on the agenda after this meeting is to get you some backup, do you have anyone in mind.”
“Yep just the man, Wes Phillips, I would trust him to do a good job, he already has all the training he needs. lives right here and is well connected with the community and the people we have here. Both he and his wife have a good sense and a feel for the community."
“Good, Wes is a wonderful man.” I hear you and him had it out to the last shoe was thrown over at the Church yesterday, you are both ringers for the work. Did you get the pun Danny Boy? Again came that Judge's laugh that unmistakable laugh he had come to too well.
“Thanks for the affirmation, you have far more wisdom than you know. Speaking of having a pulse on the community you are a man who has been here a long while and I know you see things the average person overlooks."
“Well son it all comes from the Father above and years of sitting on the other side of the bench. Making choices sometimes have been hard, considering God has His own rules and yet I have been called to pass sentence according to the laws. My prayer has always been that I have done so according to what God has called.”
“Well Judge, the sentence you passed on down to me was the best thing that could have happened to me.”
“I know Dan and look at you today compared to the many who failed to see the right side.”
“There have been many who failed to see the real side of life, crime has taken many a good young men down with itself. It is happening all over America today. Often because of unresolved family issues. You know the fatherless society we are living in. I was one of the fortunate ones. At least I had a father who cared for me. What I did was to attempt to defend Windstar. Had nothing to do with being without a father.
“Proud of you son, really proud of the way it has all come around. You have done well, very well indeed.”
Dan made a tour through town, the motor on his Blazer just idling and the rumble of the pipes spoke he had power under the hood. He was pleased he had Benny down at the speed shop beef it up. His eye was on all the restoration of the flooding. The second bridge was just being set into place. Jeff and his crew had worked all weekend to get things back in order.
Dan pulled up and waved at Jeff who came over and gave him a high five. “The sound of that engine tells anyone you are approaching. I need me one of those just to turn the teenagers loose in me. We nearly have this one under the belt my friend, starting to see the water fall. I hear this one was all your fault with some monster Redwoods you have on the property.”
“Maybe so Jeff but they were there long before this town and they will be there long after as well. Some saplings Dad left there when we were kids and now they are the monsters you talk about. Many a home around here have been built with them as well, people need to remember that. When I look at them I think of Dad and there is some great comfort in knowing the stand today because of him and the commitment he had to stake his claim here in the valley."
“Sounds like you have a passion with them Dan, it is good for a man to stand tall when he takes a stand.”
“Certainly do when it comes to those trees, I have run off many a logger looking at cashing in. It is one of the last stands of good timber left in the valley. They do not make them like that anymore.”
“Good for you, well we are all but finished here, toss a little pavement here and there pack it in and we are getting ourselves back home. Dear wife and family waiting and it will be good to get home.”
“It is what drives a man Jeff having a wife and family and all. Make sure you come around and let’s do a little fishing this summer. I have plenty of room on the farm for you and the motor home. The family had a great time the last time. This life is hard to take you know, you are more than welcome to camp out anytime.”
"I will keep that in mind, say what is this I hear you have a small turf war happening here with a few outsiders. Word has it your Mayor has a history and looking to take over the area.”
“So she thinks is my answer, the law won the west and we will win again sending them home with tails between their legs. We are a small sleepy community and that is the way it will stay. We have survived all our lives with local work and the revenue from the local fishing. We have no need for condos and casinos to make it here. Stay tuned is all I can tell you. We are not the likes who accept change, especially the change some are looking for."
“We were at the Green Wiener last night to get a bite to eat and watched the show. I think the young buck over there might have spent the night with her.” He motioned towards a good-looking kid of about twenty who was obviously dragging his feet on the job today.
“Have him stop in at the clinic and get his shots if he did, no one is sure where she has been, well at least we know she has been around. Poor kid, I bet he learned a few things last night if that was the case."
Jeff stuck out his hand saying “Next time Dan, thank the townsfolk for putting up with us. I will take you up on the offer and maybe next year we will be back get in some fishing and look over the valley. Tired of the city life, maybe time for a change.”
“Much as I enjoy having you here in town, I would prefer to have you as a non working guest. Say hello to the wife and kids and thanks again to your crew for being behaved while here. Certainly makes my job easier."
“Will do," as he turned whistled and spun his hand in the air meaning, "Wrap it up boys we are leaving town.”
The young fellow he had pointed out earlier took off his hard hat, wiped his brow and headed to the truck, dragging his shovel. He looked like he had been drug through the wringer. Dan wondered what Wanda looked like. Of course she was used to that lifestyle but this young man had met his match for certain.
Dan went to the office and cleared all the paperwork off his desk that had been building. He had never been known to keep a clean desk. Paperwork had never been a strong suit. Beth would stop in on occasion and within minutes she would clean up days of work. She was so organized. She would always be joking about him never being able to find his gun to go to work. “One day dear husband you will blow off your foot looking for it and it has been hanging on your belt the whole time.”
Dan smiled as he poured another coffee thinking about Beth and the teasing they were able to conjure up with each other. He often found himself thinking of her in heaven and what she would be doing organizing things there. He closed his eyes and he could see her face, the smile radiating everything around her. She had been a great blessing to him.
Just then the signal on the police Fax sounded and another smiley face came through signed with a big “J”. He picked up the phone and placed a call after the first ring came the soft voice “Chief Ronny Jessup’s office, how may I direct your call.”
“Boo” he said, then a pause.
“How may I direct your call”, she asked again with a bewildered voice. He changed voice and said I would like to order a ham and pineapple pizza, extra cheese please.”
“Thin or thick crust Dan. That resonating voice you have is getting familiar. Getting harder to fool me." Was her response and she laughed at his antics.
“You have a nice laugh Jennifer, my fax has been busy” as he looked on the floor there were several pages with smiley faces on them.
“Well was thinking maybe a smile would do you some good after all the reports you have requested. Be careful there as these people are not the normal crowd. Maybe for here but very much out of place there according to what Ronny has been telling me.”
“I hear you there, seems as though they slipped into Dodge without anyone seeing them, will be hard to slip them back out.”
“God always wins in the end Dan, been praying His protection over you and Cedar Ridge and that all stays quiet and they look for another place to settle.”
‘Well in the meanwhile we just need to be aware of the dangers they bring. Careful is my middle name.”
“You sound like Ronny, ever once in a while he gets out with the boys and the action, comes back all pumped up. Boys will be boys is all I can say.”
“Better be off here Jennifer as I need to do one more patrol and then I think I will knock it off for the day. I have several smileys to go on for a day or two, just wanted to say Hi.”
“Hi back, call me anytime and thank you for the invite to come fishing. Already told Ronny I was taking a few weeks in July off to catch a fish or two. That smug grin came over his face when I mentioned you and Cedar Ridge, any idea what that means.”
“Nope, not something us men talk about other than knowing we look forward to the breath of fresh air in comparison to the mundane life we live, tell Ronny I will call in a day or two after I sort through a few things here.”
“Bye Dan, God bless you and keep you safe, good speaking with you, call me when ever you like.”
Dan slipped the phone into the cradle, stepped out onto the street, took off his hat and wiped his brow. Just then Wanda came out of her office, turned and started to walk towards her car. She was dressed in a white skirt and blouse; both fit her very snug. The skirt was far to short exposing her shapely legs, sporting what must have been 8-inch heels. Yes she was a good-looking lady but again one with a past. He watched her slip into her car making sure she gave him the best of view. She was one that knew how to turn heads indeed.
She backed out of the stall reserved for the Mayor, she looked his way, rolled down her window and called out to him. “You should arrest that pervert that is watching a lady.”
He tipped his hat, called back “Or arrest that lady flashing it all over town, making sure that she shows the wares she has to offer."
With that she squealed her tires as she sped off up the hills, her BMW waiting to have a ticket passed on for stunting. He toyed with the idea but then decided against all the paperwork and the thought of having to face her again stopped him from chasing her down.
The battle lines had been drawn and the fight would be on in a few days. The broom of the law would be coming down heavy on her and her crowd, there would be plenty of time to do battle he thought as he pulled up the lane, as always there was Jake with the stick. It was good to be home. No matter the day Jake was like many other dogs in the country. All he wanted to do was please his master. Funny thing abou a dogs love, they could teach much to human es about love only if they could listen and pass i along to each other. Jake had been the strength to him in so many ways over the past few years.
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