The Watchers 15

It’s like she’s two different people

Taylor hated to be the bearer of bad news, but there was no way around it. He flashed his trademark smile as he walked in the station determined not to let the dread he felt brewing in his gut show on his face. 

He knew Blackfoot wasn’t going to like his news one bit. The hospital security tape for the night Davenport was corrupted, but that wasn’t all. The bookstore called him and the Crossroads tapes were gone too. They’d been destroyed by someone on staff.

Taylor didn’t believe that for one moment, but what could he do? It wasn’t like he could jail anyone for what he suspected to be true. However, he had a feeling the “lost” tape would probably appear anonymously on some gossip site in the next few months. It was certain going to bring a pretty penny to some pimply former employee.

“So not one but both of them either lost or missed the tapes of Davenport?” Blackfoot said. “I swear this case is going to kill me,” he said sitting on the edge of his desk. “I just don’t get it. Between evidence getting lost and a victim, who won’t talk to us, we seem more concerned about her safety than she or her entire family put together.”

“Still no word, huh?”

“None whatsoever,” Blackfoot said. “Ballistics got back to me. The bullet found on Davenport matched the gun.”

“Damn,” Taylor said laughing. “Well, that’s what we hoped. I went to the bookstore and the manager first said the cameras malfunctioned, but then he admitted, you know after I questioned him for a bit,” Taylor said clearing his throat, “that one of the tapes malfunctioned and an employee tossed it. They gave us the backup tape, but it’s no good to us. Not a clear frame in it.” Taylor took one of the two seats facing Blackfoot. “Then I ran over to the hospital just on a whim and they said flat out there was no tape.”

“No tape?”

“Their exact words were, ‘what tape?” Taylor pulled out a peppermint from his jacket pocket. Unwrapping it he popped it in his mouth.

“At least we still have the yo-yos locked up.”

“They’ve given all they got,” Taylor said. “The woman just blubbers about someone promising her she could have Trina’s designer purse, and her boyfriend keeps saying he was set up. They’re both losers if you ask me,” Taylor said standing. “I mean who tries to rob a woman in the middle of a crowded store in the middle of the day in the suburbs?”

Blackfoot stood and grabbed his coat from the back of his chair.

“C’mon let’s go.” Blackfoot said. “I can’t sit in this box a minute longer. You hungry?”

“Sure,” Taylor said surprised by his partner’s abrupt change.  “Where we going?”

“Does it matter?”

“No,” Taylor said looking defeated, “although I have a feeling even if it did, you wouldn’t care.” Blackfoot smiled for the first time that morning.

Ten minutes later they arrived at their destination. “You just don’t give up do you?”

“Giving up don’t get cases closed.” Blackfoot held the door to the Davenport’s diner for Taylor to enter.  The diner was packed with the usual lunch crowd.

Davenport’s opened in 1985 but it hadn’t changed much since then. Like most of the businesses in the center of town it was stuck in a time warp, but beloved even more because of it. There were pictures of local officials enjoying plates of their famous twice fried chicken, greens, macaroni and cheese, and big pieces of Mrs. Davenport’s famous buttered corn bread through the decades.

The décor was a running history of the town. Pictures of little league baseball teams and framed pictures of newspaper clippings heralding accomplishments over the past decades. There were mirrored walls behind the counter on the wall that made the diner look two times bigger than it actually was.  It was on the small side but not a single square foot was wasted. There were booths along one wall and then two aisles of tables that ran from the front door to the kitchen. All the tables and booths were full, but Blackfoot was able to find two spots at the counter. They had to stand for a few minutes but soon they both had a stool to sit on.

It was because it was such a local favorite; Blackfoot couldn’t imagine anyone taking a hit out on one of the Davenport daughters without someone in town knowing something.

That is, unless, of course, the person or persons behind Trina’s trouble was an out of Towner, which concerned Blackfoot.

After they placed their orders, they both sat quietly watching the flow of customers. It was a steady level of chatter filling the room making it unnecessary to try and carry on a conversation. Taylor pulled out his phone scrolling through his screen while they waited. 

Once their food arrived and the waitress had moved on, the two men dug into their plates. Blackfoot always enjoyed eating at the diner, but he had to admit he was hoping to run into the matriarch. Unfortunately, Taylor learned from the chatty waitress the boss lady was not coming in today.

Apparently, the elderly woman had taken a few days off. She’d been doing it quite a lot lately according to her employee. It was a piece of information that Blackfoot found odd, since as long as he’d known Mrs. Davenport the woman never took off from work. She was there every day for most of the day at that.

The story was that she wanted to spend more time with her family now that Trina was back. Blackfoot could understand that especially with recent events, but it didn’t make him any less suspicious especially since Trina had just gotten back in town this past week, but he learned Mrs. Davenport had been cutting back on hours for the past two months.

Taylor pulled his phone out with a frown on his face as he wiped his mouth before furiously tapping on the screen.

“What you got there?”

“It’s called the internet,” Taylor said laughing. “You heard of it” Blackfoot grinned shaking his head.

“Ok, smart ass. I’m older, not old. Big difference.”

 “Here we go,” Taylor joked back, “Look here. The paper did a story on her. You know local celebrity and stuff…”

“Local celebrity, huh,” Blackfoot said shaking his head. “What else it say?”

“Hey, I know you’re a pop culture snob, but not everyone thinks like that,” Taylor said. When Blackfoot only smirked as Taylor continued, “She came back two months ago for a short visit, but she’s here until the new season of her show starts filming. Says they’re on hiatus until spring.”

“Your girlfriend said Mrs. D started cutting back on her hours a couple of months ago.”

“Yeah, but her granddaughter’s been living with her since she was born, and don’t forget Leena.

“Besides the woman’s husband gone and she probably just wanted to get away from work for a while. Hell, I don’t blame her with all of the drama that daughter of hers has stirred up on TV. A woman like Mrs. Davenport I’m sure couldn’t sit well with her daughter’s behavior. I mean have you seen that show?”

“An entire episode? Can’t say I have,” Blackfoot said shaking his head.

“C’mon, man. She’s the star of the show. If it weren’t for her there was no reason to watch it. That woman is a firecracker and not in the good way.”

“There’s a good way?”

“Man, you don’t get out enough.” Taylor said noticing Blackfoot’s sharp glance. “I mean the women on that show are crazy, and Trina was the craziest of the cray-cray.”

“Cray-cray?”

“Crazy on steroids. In fact, if you hadn’t told me about how quiet she was in your interview I wouldn’t have believed it was possible Trina could close her mouth long enough to let someone else get a word in edgewise.” At Blackfoot’s confused look Taylor continued. “I mean it man, you need to watch the tapes. That woman is certifiable.”

Blackfoot finished his juice but Taylor’s words gave him pause. The Trina he’d met was nothing like what Taylor was describing. His description didn’t fit with the woman he sat with yesterday. He just didn’t get how someone could change personalities so drastically in one week. The woman Rusty described meeting was more like Taylor’s description, but nothing like what he saw. It was like there were two Trina’s.

Unfortunately, the address Rusty had given him hadn’t panned out so he didn’t have anyone to corroborate his story.

It was just so strange. When Trina saw Rusty, she acted like she didn’t know who Rusty was. Blackfoot didn’t blame her considering how their night went down according to the EMT, but still it was odd.

From what he remembered years ago, Trina seemed to be a nice young lady, but she was a kid back then. Apparently, a lot had changed.

He needed to talk to her again. Something just wasn’t sitting right with him. He just needed to talk to her one more time – alone. He knew it was the only way he would be able to find out what was really going on.

Trina knew something, he was sure of it, but either she didn’t realize it or she just wasn’t talking.  he last thing he wanted was a repeat incident like what happened at the Crossroads, or for someone to take another shot at the young woman only this time at close range.

“It’s like she’s two different people in one body,” Taylor said around the last bite of his BLT sandwich.

Blackfoot agreed. He just knew something wasn’t right. He also knew he wasn’t going to be able to stop until he figured out what it was.

Published by Southern Fried Honeybee

Hi, I’m excited you’re here. I write for fun and hope you enjoy my work and are thoroughly entertained! Welcome!

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