STORMY WEATHER by Glen Ebisch / Mystery / Released Jan 18, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press
“There’s something you have to see,” he said
He turned and got down off the porch. I remained in the doorway, certain there was nothing that this guy could show me so essential to my wellbeing that I had to trot outside before finishing breakfast. The guy must have sensed I wasn’t following, because his ponderous body slowly swung back to face me.
“You really do want to see this.”
Reluctantly, I climbed down from the porch and followed as he lumbered around the side of the house. Fortunately the April morning was fairly warm, since all I had on were a sweater and jeans, but I could already feel my sandaled feet getting cold and wet from the heavy dew. A small man sat on top of the backhoe, staring at the ground in front of the machine. He quickly leapt off the equipment and ran toward me.
“You’ve got to see this,” he said, dancing from foot to foot with excitement. That seemed to be the message of the day.
Over the years I’ve come to doubt people when they tell me that. I remembered Bobby Miller saying exactly the same thing to me when I was eight, then waggling the largest dead rat I had ever seen in front of my face. Some things stay with you. This guy even reminded me a bit of Bobby, having the same ferrety grin.
I hung back as the two men walked up to the trench they had started to dig not ten feet from my kitchen wall. They both stood on the edge of the hole staring at something. Reluctantly, I joined them and took a quick glance. The body was face down in the dirt, which, for one crazy moment, made him seem even deader. I caught my breath and glanced away, absorbing what I had seen. A second later I found my courage and looked back at the body.
“The ground was a little sunken,” the small man was saying. “Somebody hadn’t tried real hard to put the dirt back. So I knew there must have been some digging here recently. But I never expected to find a body.”
“I wouldn’t think so,” I said.
I found that focusing on the conversation made me calmer. I’ve always prided myself on being analytical, not giving in easily to my emotions.
“What’s that?” the big guy asked. He grabbed a long branch and reached in the hole, turning over a dirty object near the body’s head.
“A shame. He was a fan,” the man said, as we all recognized the muddy Red Sox logo on the cap.
“Why don’t we roll him over and see who he is?” the little guy said, almost jumping up and down with eagerness.
“I think we should wait . . .” I began, but realized I might as well have been humming Mozart, as the munchkin jumped into the hole to follow his own suggestion.
The body rolled over and stared at the sky.
“Don’t know him,” the big guy said.
“Neither do I,” his friend added.
“I do,” I said through clenched teeth, looking into the dead eyes of Travis Lambert.