Olly Olly Oxen Free! As a kid, while standing on the sidewalk outside of our friend’s house we called out a version of Olly, Olly Oxen Free! Our call for friend and fun; Olly, Olly all come free. Mom’s and dad’s alike were annoyed by this freedom call sometimes sending us away until we had the manners to come up the steps and knock on the door. While others would send their child out just to shut us up. Summer through fall we stayed out until the streetlights came on.
After visiting my soon to be 2-year-old granddaughter, I started to wonder what affect our new world will have on her. Will she stand on the sidewalk with her bike calling out the freedom call or will she ask her mom to text the other mom for a play date?
M loves my phone, especially the photos it stores she wants to page through them while I exclaim what is in the photo. She never tires of this game, especially when the photo is of her.
What do you get a 2-year-old who has everything, for her birthday? Should I start a College fund? Our Universities no longer promote learning through freedom of thought and speech.
She is too young for me to give her a tablet, even if she were not too young, I don’t think I would want to contribute to the decline of the call of freedom.
I have decided to give her homemade cinnamon rolls and time with granny reading to her. My last visit she would bring me a book to read and sit next to me while I read the book. Once I finished she would take the book back and bring another. We lost count after 22 books that day. This gives me hope that M will understand the call to freedom.
Split ends Chapter 3
I was at my desk in the squad with Ralph lying at my feet when my phone rang. It was my partner Detective Stewart. I answered: “He Stew!”
Stewarts said: “Hey, bring Ralph on over to the Humane Society on M30 I want him to sniff around.”
I laughed and said: “So you no longer think this is a parlor trick anymore?”
Stewart said: “Not this time. I am getting a funny feeling about this. So tell me why you think Ralph lingered on the footrests of the recliners?”
I said: “Anyone that has had a dog and sits in the recliner will transfer the scent of the pet onto the surface of the recliner. Feet are great for the transfer, whether in shoes, stocking feet or barefoot. “
Ralph and I got out of the car and as I turned to go in Ralph pulled on the lead. I followed in the direction he wanted to go. There were 6 outdoor kennels each had a structure like a shed with a lean-to. Ralph went to the last kennel there was a yellow lab with visible scares on its shoulders and hindquarters. Stewart joined us with the director of the Humane Society in tow.
Stewart did the introductions. Her name was Donna Milford she has been the director for 5 years. The little lady that Ralph came to visit was brought in as an abuse case. Neighbors had called the police saying someone was beating a dog. Her name is Wilma.
I asked: “Were there any other dogs brought in under the same circumstances recently?”
She said yes another female named Fred who is a Great Dane, Greyhound mix who had already been adopted out to one of the volunteers that come in to walk and feed the dogs.
Ralph was sitting close to the gate of the kennel and Wilma was on the other side of the gate just as close. I called my sister and asked if she would like to adopt Wilma. My sister laughed and asked why. I told her she cried and said: “Of Course.”
I told the director my sister will come later to fill out the forms. Donna smiled and nodded and said: “Wilma will need patience, she is a bit shy and skittish but very sweet.”
Stewart asked about the volunteer. Donna filled us in regards to how long he has volunteered and where he lived. I followed Stewart to the location the volunteers’ name was Matt Simpson. Matt came out on the porch when we knocked his dog barked he shrugged and said: “That’s just Fred wanting you to know who is in charge.”
I smiled pointing towards my car and said: “That’s my Ralph she does the same thing.”
I could tell Matt genuinely loved dogs. He came off the porch walked over to my car to say hello to Ralph. I have never seen Ralph go as ballistic as he did when Matt came to the window.
Matt backed up and said: “Wow you weren’t kidding.”
I looked at Stewart; he looked back at me with a knowing look. Matt was no dummy he knew something was up at that point. His eyes reminded me of a deer when caught on the road. Matt crossed his arms as he headed back to the house and said: “Well officers if I can be of any further assistance.”
I spoke up and asked: “Where were you Tuesday night at around 11 pm. and Thursday night around the same time?”
Matt turned to me, I could tell he was seething and said: “What business is that of yours.”
Stewart said: “Matt you should lock up and come with us down to the station, we need to ask you some questions.”
Matt asked: “Am I under arrests?”
I answered: “No but you sure could help us out if you would.”
Matt said: “If I am not under arrest than I will come down when it is convenient for me.”
Matt did come to the station by that time we had a search warrant which worked out well, as the search was done we sat down with Matt and his attorney. Asking all the pertinent questions and receiving noncommittal answers. Gotta love attorneys!
As the interview was concluding a uniformed officer knocked on the door, handed Stewart a thin folder. The CSI found blood in the drain of the bath tub, clothes piled up in the corner of a closet that did not seem to belong to Matt. Some were women’s clothes while others were men’s that looked to be a size bigger than Matt. We started the interview all over again. I received a text from Donna in regards to who the previous owner was of Wilma. As it turned out the previous owner was the last victim.
After a lengthy interview and some great CSI work we plea bargained it down to 2 counts of Manslaughter,. Matt was pissed at anyone who would abuse an animal especially dogs he said it was up to someone to finally do something about it. So he methodically stalked the victims, dosed them with a canine tranquilizer, brought them to his house and killed them, washed them down dressed them and took them to their homes where he staged them. He did not want to torture them he just wanted to be sure they could not torture any other animal.
Split ends chapter 2
Once we finished taking photos and our notes we went back to the squad room to compare what we saw. Two people never see the same thing when they view a room, movie, book anything that our sense’s view. Information is taken in at a different rate and maybe with different outcomes.
Stewart and I are no different that is why we work well together.
Stewart: “I noticed the victim had no wedding ring, his zipper was up, every button was buttoned on his shirt right up to his neck, the neck was too small for the victim, which leaves me to wonder if it was his shirt or that the shirt was brought with the perp.”
Me: “I noticed the hairs were canine as was on the last victim, multiple canines, the Jack Daniels was not opened, and the glass was a rock crystal not cheap and had not been used. The room was dust free, there were no dog hairs on the carpet, or stuck to any of the furniture nor hiding in a corner like tumbleweed.”
Stewart laughed and said: “You of all people would notice there was no dog hair in the corners of the room.”
I smiled and said: “I was thinking about picking up Ralph and take him to the first scene and then to the second scene to see how he reacts.”
Stewart asked: “What are you expecting to find out from Ralph.”
I said: “See if there is any recognition either of the perp or of any of the canine scents that may have been left behind.”
I stopped by my sisters Ralph was thrilled to see me, he looked a bit bored. The weather had been nasty and I know Ralph loves his job especially when he gets praised for finding something. While I was doing this, Stewart was going to local pet stores, shelters and rescue’s with photos of the victims to ask if anyone has seen or knows the victims.
I ducked under the crime scene tape and released Ralph into the room with the command: “Go look” I watched him sniff the coffee table lingering on the vase, then sniffed the recliner lingering on the footrest, he then went down a hall into the master bedroom and sniffed on the floor left of the bed. He came went out of the bedroom down the hall into the kitchen and sniffed at the cupboard doors that opened to view under the sink there were two stainless steel dishes. Ralph grabbed one dish in his mouth and held it. Ralph does that with his dish when he wants his food. My guess is there used to be a dog in this house. I petted Ralph and gave him a treat telling him he was a good boy.
I texted Stewart with what we found. I told Stewart we were on our way to the second crime scene.
Stewart replied by saying he had been at 3 facilities thus far with no recognition. He said he was on his way to the Humane Society.
As with the first crime scene I ducked under the crime tape and released Ralph and again gave the command ‘go look’ he went up to the coffee table lingered on the glass, and then he went to the recliner and lingered on the footrest. He turned sniffing the floor that leads up the stairs to the hallway, at the end of the hall he sniffed the carpet that was right outside the master bedroom. My guess is we will find dog dishes somewhere in the house. Sure enough, when we went back down the stairs Ralph went to a door just off the kitchen I opened it and found the laundry room, under the laundry room sink, were two plastic dog dishes. Ralph picked it up in his mouth just as he did at the first crime scene. This time Ralph scratched at the back door to be let out, he ran to the farthest right corner of the yard and started digging. We found the dog. I called CSI to come back out, check the foot rests on the recliners the vase at the first scene and the tumbler at the second. They had not moved anything yet at my request something told me this has something to do with animals, the only thing that was moved was the victims.
Split ends chapter 1
I have had three days off following an incident on the job; anytime there is a shooting where an officer has been involved the officer either gets put on the desk or gets time off. I chose the time off, it came back as a good shoot. I had walked onto a crime scene scanning it as though I was playing the game ‘whats wrong with this room’ the only difference is you do not have another photo to compare it to unless the resident has photos on the mantel with the same room in the background, which this one did. The officers who were on the scene first said they cleared the house but from the corner of the room, I saw movement, instinctively I pulled my weapon the curtains billowed from a gust of wind, as I saw the gun rise at the same instant I shot. The perp came in through the open French door, probably because he forgot something. That something turned out to be the knife he used in the attack on his wife. After their son took an inventory he found that there was jewelry missing and a few other expensive items. Our final assertion was he planned it to look like a home invasion and he would file an insurance claim on the items taken which were worth over 500 thousand dollars.
I pulled on the handle of the exterior door of the squad room the wind caught it Detective Stuart grabbed it as he was coming in behind me. He is my partner now for 2 years he looked down at me and said: “Good morning Mills how was your time off?”
I answered: “It could have been better had the weather cooperated but all in all I got stuff down around the money pit I call home.”
He smiled and said: “That is why I rent, screw all the work I would rather spend my time off chasing tail. Oh, by the way, it looks like you and I will be chasing tail together.”
I laughed and said: “Really? I usually go for the opposite sex.”
Detective Stewart said: “We caught a case last night I will catch you up on all that I found at the scene. I asked the CSI to remove only the Victim and leave everything else in place until you are finished with the scene.”
Stewart has been on the job for 15 years he takes meticulous notes and photos as does the CSI. I have been on the department for 10 years. Our partnership began because his partner died of a heart attack and mine retired. Stewart was apprehensive working with a woman at first but he quickly warmed up to me when he found out I was into dogs and guns, even used a scent dog on occasion looking for bodies or a missing person. Ralph the German shepherd is my sister’s dog or should I say we have joint ownership since I am Ralph’s handler and trainer but with my hours Ralph needed a stable environment and Julie can give him that since she is a stay at home mom.
I read Stewarts notes and scanned the photos, the crime scene seemed to have been staged. A woman around the age of 40 was in a recliner that was reclined; no blood which suggests the body had been moved. There were fresh flowers on the coffee table, white roses with a note attached, the note said, ‘beg if you have to it will not matter.’
Stewarts notes agreed with the CSI report, they found multiple hairs on the body of the victim all were canine not from the perp. As I was finishing the report and Stewarts notes a call came in with another victim.
We walked into the crime scene, CSI was already there the officer standing at the door said to me: “Sorry Mills I promise I cleared the room I don’t know how I missed him.”
I answered: “Not your fault he came back in through the unlocked French door.”
He said: “From now on I will check all doors and windows to make sure they are secure.”
I smiled and waved thanks. We walked into the living room and it was staged as the last one, only difference the victim was a male around mid-thirties he was in the recliner which was reclined instead of flowers there was a new bottle of Jack Daniels with an empty class, a note that said: ‘Just know I don’t give a Jack’
He too had multiple canine hairs and none from the perp. There was no blood, again this victim was moved.
I am second but I am first
As I grew my soul and being
Did come into existence with love
My bubble kept me safe
I could not see mom or dads face
But I heard them say I love you
As I grew I knew their voices
And Madison’s touches with wet kisses
Our mom’s belly was a chamber
I heard the echoes of love and laughter
Mom told Madison about me
I know everyone is waiting to see me
They have met me through God’s love
God divides joints, bones, and marrow
Man chooses what to keep for his tomorrow
Love draws me to my time on earth
Peace is still before my birth
As I arrive kicking and screaming
My parents will guard my life’s meaning
Madison will be waiting with her smile
I will wonder what’s going on for a while
Mom and dad’s love and instinct will show the way
Madison will love me anyway
At first, she might be mad at me
There used to be only three
But soon our connection will be firm
From there we will join into a pact as sisters
Only to bring to confusion all who witness
Love will prevail as we grow
Madison and I will be best friends
That I know
Old Willie’s Mart Chapter two
The mattresses with the plastic still on them reminded me of our honeymoon with oil and visqueen. Oil up and slide around, it makes the good times interesting. The cleanup is extensive because once you think you have all the crevices oil free something starts to smell like essential oils gone rogue.
After belching and farting from the salsa and bean dip we were ready to get comfortable and watch the next video. Most videos they use for luring people to buy the TV’s are G rated. I am guessing the kids demand the movie and the parents like the big screen and imagine their preferred programming. I scrounged through the back and found Red. I love that movie, retired CIA operatives. After that movie, Jonathon wanted to role play.
I hid out in the cosmetic aisle pretending to be a model and Jonathon came around the corner dressed in camouflage and he asked: “Mam can I help you?”
I knew right away what he wanted because he had spike heels in his holster instead of a gun. Hey, Lube is plentiful over the counter, so I am golden. What to do at 2am that you would not do at home? Jonathon concurs that sleeping is not an option since this is a once in a lifetime adventure, which may lead to jail time so we must make the best of it.
The one thing we did not expect is Big Willie who owns the place to stop by. I heard the footsteps coming down aisle 4. I looked at Jonathon with his half-eaten grin from our latest fantasy, the grin was suddenly wiped off his face and reality were taking its place for both of us.
Big Willie was in the building and when I say big I mean all 300 pounds of him. Jonathon decided to meet Big Willie head on, he walked down aisle 4 and said: “Hey Willie my name is Jonathon Teel my wife Leona and I got locked in at closing time we were both in the restroom.”
Willie stopped took a look at me standing a few feet behind Jonathon and I said: “I started a tally of the things we took for our consumption. We will put back the rest of the items.”
Willie said: “I will help you put things back that you used. For the record, the security cameras caught your escapades.”
Jonathon and I looked at each other and then back at Willie. Jonathon was the first to realize that Willie was messing with us.
Jonathon said: “Really? What took you so long to get here?”
Willies said: “Hey I love free porn.”
It must have shown that I was embarrassed because Willie said: “Mam I don’t have security cameras. “
I asked: “What are you doing here at 2am?”
Willie answered: “After my wife passed away I can’t sleep so I come in do some paperwork for a couple of hours. I then go back home to nap until it’s time to open up for the day, being that we are closed on Sunday I do inventory and paperwork. “
I said: “Well, I will write down our address and I will be expecting you over at 6 pm for a good Sunday dinner.”
Willie accepted the invitation and he said our Saturday’s dinner was on him.
Once we got home Jonathon and I crashed and slept until noon. Willie came for dinner promptly at 6 and we decided to include Willie every Sunday for dinner. I am hoping one day to introduce him to my cousin Martha.
Old Willies Mart Chapter one
My husband and I got out of work at the same time; we decided to meet at Old Willies Mart to pick up some party supplies (old people weekend stuff) for our Saturday night special. Usually, we pick up beer, rotisserie chicken, and or pizza and then we go next door to the 24-hour movie rental. Tonight we were both running late as soon as we got there we both had to take a leak. I went into the ladies room he went into the men’s room. I am glad we still have that distinction.
The decision making happened when we walked out of the restroom; I looked around and noticed no one at the registers, the emergency lights were on and I heard my husband say: “I think they closed up and we are locked in for the night.”
I looked at him and laughed and then said: “Well, we could call 911, or, go to the camping section pull out a tent, cots, and a sleeping bag, pitch it in the electronics section, hook up a CD player to the 90 inch TV.”
He said: “I will do the technical stuff you go get the munchies and other supplies, but Leona make sure what you chose we can afford. I don’t want to be busted for stealing.”
I am glad my husband is adventurous even though we probably should call 911 or at least an attorney to understand the risk, but damn this might be the best Saturday night for two 60 plus-year-olds. As I was running through the isles as though I just won a free shopping spree I took the time to log into my Blog on Blogster letting my Blog friends know what had happened. Many warned me that we would be in trouble if we did not call 911 right away while others egged us on.
They had already put away the rotisserie chicken so I grabbed some bread, cheese, prepackaged lunch meat, pickles, chips, beer, bottle opener and paper towel. At that point, I figured if we needed anything else I could just run and grab it and add it to the list of what I already took since I started making an itemized list of items and their cost as I went along.
Jonathon was pragmatic he checked to see what movies were already out of the packages; the movies they run as shoppers peruse the store, he also used a DVD player that was already being used by the store. Yep, he is a thinker. The tent would not fit in the aisle in front of the TV so he settled for two bean bag chairs and for sleeping two sleeping bags with a yoga mat as a mattress for each, for one night it will have to do but I may opt for a lounge chair with a yoga mat and a sleeping bag both can easily be replaced for sale.
As we were settling in Jonathon said: “Leona we need to get our stories straight, let’s tell the first people to find us here that we left our phones in the car.”
My eyes went wide and I said: “Oh darn I just posted something on my blog at Blogster.”
He said: “Okay we can either say that our batteries died or say we left them in the car. I will be telling the truth but you could hide yours in that cavernous bag you call a purse.”
I loved that idea and I figured I could do both, make my battery die and hide my phone in my cavernous purse. Eventually, reality will kick in and we will worry about the consequences but right now we are enjoying our bucket list.
I said to Jonathon: “ I am having such a great time it’s as though we are having a private party in someone else’s house.”
He said: “Funny you should say that I was just thinking we should try out the mattresses and pretend it’s in someone else’s bed.”
I said: “Oh and help me get the standup mirrors and place them in the right spots. But make sure you wear a condom we don’t want any incriminating evidence.”
We both laughed and this was one time I did not need a shower afterwards. But I did use the ladies room for a cleanup and stood on my tippy toes for a blow dry.
Body Language Chapter 5
The first night I slept like a log after I became accustomed to the noise of nature. The rain finally stopped the wind calmed and my body succumbed to a sound sleep.
It was still dark when I woke up to sounds emanating from the kitchen. I slowly got up and peeked around the door jam. Jake was standing in the kitchen in his black BVD’s. What a beautiful sight first thing in the morning. I went back to my room got dressed and did my best to make myself presentable. By the time I came out of my room the sun had started to rise, the kitchen was filling up with a golden hue through the small window. The aroma of coffee drew me to its liquid wakeup drug. Jake came into the kitchen and much to my dismay he was fully dressed. I decided then and thereafter this insanity is over I was going to find myself a guy.
Jake’s big grin and deep good morning greeting did not help my libido at all. I really need to get a life beyond work. I sipped my coffee and allowed it to burn its drug through my every vein. After the second cup, I started to feel human. I finally sat down on the sofa and slowly drank my second cup. Jake laughed and said: “I take it you’re not a morning person?”
I smiled and said: “Nope, never have been. Some mornings my poor mom would have to literally pull me out of bed, stand me up and push me gently forward towards the bathroom, as an adult coffee helps me to get my motor running.”
Jake smiled and nodded and I said: “How long do you figure we will be staying here?”
Jake answered: “Depends on how fast Townes is caught and taken into custody. He seems to be good at what he does. I am concerned that he is good enough to figure out where we are. It would not take me long to figure it out if I were in his shoes and from what I understand Townes has a military intelligence background.”
My breath caught in my throat and the coffee went down the wrong pipe I started to cough and excused myself. I went into the bathroom to do my morning business and blow my nose. When I came out Jake was standing by the door, he had his finger to his lips to shush me. He took my shoulders and ushered me into my bedroom motioning for me to get into the closet. I sat down on the floor of the closet he threw pillows around me and a comforter over me and closed the door; I assumed all that was for protection. At that moment I was glad I already peed because I was scared shitless.
Everything was silent until I heard a door being busted in. Footsteps quickly came in the kitchen area, I could hear controlled breathing and sidestepping then again the steps came forward into my room. The room filled with the sweat of evil and expectation of death.
I heard a thump and then a thud and the dragging of something large. Suddenly everything went silent again; all I could do was cry. Finally, I heard Jakes’ voice say: “It’s me.” The closet door opened and Jake pulled me to himself, he took me to the living room set me on the couch.
He said: “Sit here I have him tied up outside. It’s going to be a long day.”
I nodded, he took my cup refilled it and his. After he handed me my cup he went back outside. It took a couple of hours before cars pulled in the driveway. The first car two men with vests that said FBI on them got out they walked over to Jake and spoke to him, then one of the men turned and walked toward the house.
He came in and sat on the couch asked me questions I had already answered a few times. It was a very long day, at the end of the day Jake asked if I wanted to stay or go back to the city. I said I really wanted to stay. I told him I had nothing to go back to just yet since my apartment was still a crime scene and my boss was in the hospital healing from the beating Townes gave him.
After 2 weeks I was finally ready to see what life without my best friend would be like. I needed to mourn and heal. Brian was kind enough to get a professional cleaning crew to clean my apartment. Linda had already been buried and her personal things removed from the apartment. Today I will visit her grave and say my goodbyes, tomorrow back to work and life.
Body Language Chapter 4
Once we got in the car and were on the road out of town I finally asked: “What’s happened?”
Jake said: “Detective Reed was found dead in her apartment. The same way your friend was killed. Townes is nowhere to be found.”
I said: “Crap”
Jake was looking straight ahead the oncoming lights flickered on his face leaving me only a moment to take in the similarities yet subtle differences between Jake and Brian.
I said: “At first I thought you and Brian were twins. But now that I have had a moment to look at you I realize you are not.”
He smiled continued to look straight ahead and said: “I am a year older than Brian. Maybe when he grows up he will be as handsome as I am.”
We both laughed my stomach was in a knot my head was pounding from too much wine and this whole thing is just too much to believe. I stayed quiet for the rest of the ride. It took over 3 hours before we pulled onto a two-rut road which leads to a log cabin. The sun was starting to awake from its slumber.
We got out of the SUV Jake grabbed our luggage; I was on the porch when he reached out and unlocked the door. The room was small, with a fireplace, a sofa, and two overstuffed chairs. The kitchen was off to the far right; it was as big as the living which incorporated the dining area two rows of cupboards, stove refrigerator. Jake had enough time to fill the refrigerator with food; can goods were still in the bags on the dining table as was coffee and paper products. There was a small window above the sink and a side door leading out of the dining room the door did not have a window just a peephole.
Back in the living room, there was a small window facing in the direction of where we came in. Jake busied himself and started to build a fire in the fireplace; he said: “Pick what room you want they both have full-size beds and are the same size. “
I chose the one closest to the bathroom. I dropped my things in the room and went back into the kitchen to put the canned goods away and make some coffee. I was starving so I asked Jake if he was hungry, he said he was. I made breakfast.
There was no television or internet service my phone only had one bar. Jakes phone was operated by satellite he said he used it while hunting and hiking he said even though it was pricey he felt it was worth the cost. At this point, I was glad because without his phone we would not have contact with the outside world and we would not know what was going on. I could not deal with a satellite phone due to the size if it doesn’t fit in a small pocket it’s too big. I mentioned that to Jake he said: “I have a cell phone for use in the city the satellite phone is only for use when I am far from everything. I prefer to be far away from everything.”
We ate our breakfast and discussed the events leading up to this road trip.