My brother and I called to discuss a recent business matter. No one was home, but we thought it rude to not let you know that we were here.
The alarm system is pretty good. The lock on the back door could do with a touch of oil.
You have a lovely home and your wife photographs beautifully, doesn’t she? We were dismayed to see that there were no signs of children in the home, and we trust that this is simply a matter of free will rather than any other factor. Men can father children into their eighties, and she’s certainly young enough to bring glory to your bloodline, isn’t she?
Please contact us. Your home is so inviting, it robs a man of his inhibitions.
My brother’s more than mine, Sheriff.
He folded the note and put it into his pocket. He drew his gun, kept it close to his side as he peered through the windows. He stepped away from the door and reached for his phone. She was number one on his speed dial, due to his profound enjoyment of playing the doting husband and how she would call him if she heard a noise.
‘Hey, baby, where are you?’
She chuckled and she heard the clink of glasses.
‘I’m at Robyn’s, it’s her baby shower, remember, I did say.’
He struggled to keep his voice even but he squeezed his eyes shut and willed himself calm.
‘Yes, yes you did. OK, just like it when you’re home.’
She giggled and cooed.
‘My big brave sheriff.’
There was a point, roughly between two and three glasses of wine where Turner would enjoy the virtues of a younger wife, some measure of damp, percussive pleasure to offset the tantrums and the dark moods. At that point, he was simply relieved that she was not in the house.
‘I’ll fix my own dinner. Call a cab, okay?’
She giggled and his lips went back on his teeth with distaste.
‘Honey, I can walk from -‘
He told her no. That she was to get a cab and his tone was the one that he used when describing how they were going to raid a meth lab. She knew better than to disagree with him when he was like this. An officer had been killed, and John had always fostered a closeness with his men that she envied sometimes. He ended the call and unlocked the front door.
He brought the gun up, smoothly arcing from corner to corner, muscle memory took over and he examined the house with a brusque economy. When he was sure that he was alone, he put his gun back in the holster and sagged against the marble kitchen counter. He put his hands over his face, breathed in to calm himself down.
Which was when his phone rang.
Garret’s cracked, ugly voice made the fillings in his teeth vibrate.
‘You stay away from my home, you fuck.’
Garret gave a reedy laugh.
‘Well, we had things to discuss and my brother and I are creatures of necessity.’
Creatures was the right word. John shut his eyes against the tight band of pain that had dug into his temples, each breath Garret took was another twist of the knife.
‘Yes, you are. I’ll meet with you. Usual place and time.’
Garret chuckled again. Disconnected the call.
The doorbell rang and John looked up. His phone rang again.
‘Let me in, Sheriff.’
John’s drew the gun as he walked to the door.
He opened the door and looked down at Garret, his broken dental work was rusted fish-hooks threatening to fall from infected meat.
‘Well, that’s no way to greet an associate, now is it?’
John had not raised the gun but he wanted to. He could taste the adrenaline in his saliva, muscles cramping with the need to react but he kept his demeanour neutral.
‘We don’t meet here, you know that.’
Garret cocked his head to one side and put his hands out, grinning like a child with a secret.
‘I know, but then I don’t be able to give you the information that you’re really going to be interested in.’
Garret giggled and John recoiled from the sound.
‘Where my brother is, and who his fare is for the evening.’
(For previous episodes, visit https://mbblissett.com/ogden-review/. Please leave comments, reviews and missives below.