By Cindy and Walt
It was 00:01 AM on day eight found Eddie fast asleep all warm and toasty in his newly insulated share cropper’s house. He was dreaming of the day when his house was complete, and he could sit on the deck in the back yard and watch his goats graze. Eddie hadn’t been joking when he said he planned to raise goats.
First he had to finish his house then find the money for a fence over the whole property. Five acres of Chain link fence wouldn’t be cheap even if he did it himself. He knew that so he was going to go with a goat pen first for their safety and heavy chain attached to junked wheels so they could graze during the days.
The same midnight found May and Mike giggling like children over the remarks in an adult chat room. The giggles lasted till 1 AM when May returned to her warm bed to sleep. She was surprised that she had found Mike good company. She was at least a third older than him. Still he was harmless and didn’t really seem to be running any games on her.
It found Wes in Salina’s bed making love to her. Well he thought of it as making love, but Salina thought of it as getting screwed by a man she respected, if not loved. Wes had allowed her to do her work during the evening. At that moment he was showing her what he could do with her body.
She, of course, wasn’t just lying in one place quietly allowing it to happen. She was a totally willing participant. She even did things she didn’t usually do on a first date. She was acting very much like the perfect crack whore slut. She did whatever it took to get what she wanted. In her case it wasn’t drugs. Well maybe it was the best drug of all, one her own body manufactured. The free flow of endorphins was truly intoxicating. She wondered if she could be charged with driving under the influence of great sex. Then she wondered how the hell they would test for it.
Lucille was sleeping on her side of what she felt was a cold king sized bed. If I ever fall in love and get married for the right reasons, I’m going to sleep with my husband in a twin bed, she thought. Since she couldn’t fall asleep she simply got out of bed and had a drink. She looked at the empty king sized bed and wondered who her husband was screwing that night, not that it really mattered to her.
Eddie arrived at the office first, after having stopped on the way in to purchase coffee and a small box of cake donuts. Since there was likely to be only three of them in the office, a half dozen donuts had sounded about right. He had bought plain cake donuts because he didn’t like sweet icing on his donuts. The others would just have to live with it. He bought two chocolate cakes, and two spiced as well a plain yellow cake pastry.
None of them had any extra sugar of any kind. He told himself it was his way of keeping his weight down. In truth Spring would do more for that than anything else. In his case physical activity defeated the munchies every time.
While Eddie, Wes, and Salina munched on donuts and coffee, May and Mike were sitting uneasily over breakfast at the Downtown Grill in County Seat.
May: Do we need to talk about last night. Because if we do, let’s do it now and never speak of it again.
Mike (Smiling): I don’t need to talk. I’m fine with how our first date went.
Mike actually laughed confidently which bothered May immensely. She just didn’t know how to respond so she shook her head and looked at him sarcastically.
May: Tell me again why we drove all the way here for breakfast.
Mike: This place was mentioned in Sylvia Porter’s biography report. We have to eat somewhere and someone might remember her here. You know killing two birds with one stone. Also getting a feel for where she started is a good thing.
The black waitress came to the table to get their order.
Waitress: What you out of town Lawyers going to have?
Mike: Okay out of town I get, since you probably know everyone who comes in, but what makes you think we are lawyers?
Waitress: Do you really want to know?
May: Sure give us your homegrown deductions.
Waitress: Well he looks like a nerd, and you look like you sittin’ on the sharp end of a fence post. What with your little black tailored power suit and all. The only things brings folk like you here is the Judge sittin’. We be the County Seat after all.
May: Well I’m a Lawyer and this is my nerd bitch.
She probably enjoyed saying it too much. She winked at the waitress who broke into a real laugh.
Waitress: Well, he do look that way now that you mention it. So what y’all going to have?
May: If you have a breakfast special, I’ll have that.
Mike: The bitch boy will have the special with black coffee and some information.
Waitress: What kind of information?
Mike: Did you know Sylvia Porter?
Waitress: Course I knowed Miss Sylvia. Everybody round here knowed her. Best damn Sheriff we ever had.
May: So you knew her as a Sheriff?
Waitress: Honey I knowed her from the first day she came to town. She come running in here on her first day as a Deputy. Had a big ole black stray dog running behind. He wasn’t chasin’ her. Like all you stray dogs he knowed she was going to feed him. I fixed him a plate of left over eggs and stuff. Silvia gave me two tips. One from her and one from the dog. I found that dog a home. I could almost always find her strays a home. Them strays just attached themselves to her like they knowed they was going to be safe.
Grill cook: What y’all want with Sylvia, she be dead. You can’t fuck with her no more now.
He was holding what was obviously a very sharp knife used to cut things for the stew pot. Or maybe to cut the heads off Yankee white trash, May thought.
Mike: We are looking for a friend of hers, Rose Seabold.
Grill cook: Never heard that name.
A look passed between the two cafe employees. It signaled that the information well had dried up.
A customer seated at the counter turned to look at the two of them.
Customer: You see that sign across the square? The one that say the Fox and Hounds Pub.
Customer: That’s owned by the Brit and his friend Jeremy. They knowed Sheriff Porter real well. Most likely if anyone knows that Rose person, it will be one of them.
She and Mike concentrated on the greasy food. It was delicious but May could almost hear her arteries hardening. After breakfast they went back to the B&B to discuss their next move.
May: What kind of B&B gives you a voucher for a greasy spoon cafe two blocks away?
Mike: I don’t know May. I never stayed in a B&B before. But take a look over there. That is a Farms Cooperative Savings and Loan.
May: So what?
Mike: I never saw that in either of their financial reports. It was pretty close to where they both lived for a while. It might be the tie in if they both had secret accounts in there.
May: That’s out of my realm of expertise but trust me Michael you still haven’t stayed in a real B&B. So what’s next bitch nerd?
Mike: Since we don’t want to hang around for a Court Order for the records and I can get them anyway, I guess we go visit the brother and sister act, Jeremy and Alice.
May: You going to call and make an appointment?
Mike: I think we might do better just showing up on their doorstep.
May: Unless they aren’t home, or are just heading out the door, or something else.
Mike: If that is the case we shall adapt, as Wes says. He says it’s all about being able to adapt.
May: What is this, you and the burned out CIA man getting to be asshole buddies?
Mike: Before I met Wes, I would be pissed by that. Now I just think it is sad that you don’t have anyone you respect. So let’s get over to Jeremy’s and see what is going on with them.
May: (shaking her head) You are getting all Zen on me aren’t you?
Mike: Wes says when you are deprived of something it is natural to attack those who have what you want. Whenever you are attacked it is usually about envy or sex. I would love to think your attack was about sex, but most likely you envy my relationship with Wes.
May: Right, you are one sick puppy.
May insisted on driving, so Mike just tried to stay in the moment. He wanted to remember where Jeremy and Alice lived, if he ever returned to Farmer’s Grove with someone who would let him drive.
The long driveway led from the county road to a very nice modern designed house. There was a Bentley parked in the circular driveway in front of the house. May rang the bell. The two of them waited until a woman answered.
May: Hello my Name is May. I’m with the Department of Justice. I am here to see Mr. or Miss Littlejohn.
Alice: Well Miss May, I’m Alice Littlejohn and my brother Jeremy is here as well. So which of us would you rather talk with? I would think you might like Jeremy better.
May: How about we make it both of you.
Jeremy: (walking up behind Alice) So what can we do for you?
May: You could start by inviting us in. Then by telling us all you know about Rose Seabold and Sylvia Porter.
Alice: Why would we do that? We have no idea who you are or why you want to know about them. We are also very particular about who we invite inside.
May: We are investigating Rose Seabold’s possible connection to Swamp Dog. Is there something in there you are hiding.
Jeremy: Do you by chance have an arrest warrant for one or both of us? Or even a search warrant?
May: No of course not.
Jeremy: Then you should go get one, because I have nothing to say without being placed under arrest. At that time I will require a lawyer, before I talk to you.
May: Your lawyer wouldn’t happen to be named Rita would she?
Alice: Yes, actually she is. Did you know Rita grew up within twenty miles of here?
May: No I didn’t know that.
When May and Mike decided they were getting nowhere they went back to the car, it was still mid morning. May started the car then drove out of the drive and onto the county road.
May: Where to now?
Mike: There is a place around here somewhere called the Village. Rose was instrumental to the development of it. Surely someone there will know her.
Wes waited until Eddie left the office, then kissed Salina goodbye. He hurried down the stairs to catch up with Eddie. They rode in the minivan to the airport then they spent two hours waiting to board the plane.
The flight took less than four hours. It seemed as if they spent more time waiting than they did in the air. When they arrived Wes went to rent the car. He had more experience with airports than Eddie. Well at least his experience was more recent.
Eddie drove the Econobox rental from Mobile to Mossberg. Once there they found the local Café where they began their interview. Even though it was after five the place was still open. The fry cook had a pretty scarred face. They weren’t burns. It appeared he had been beaten more than once.
Eddie: (talking to the waitress) Hello, my friend and I would like a couple of steak sandwiches and cokes.
Waitress: Okay, I haven’t seen you around before.
Wes: That’s because we are not from around here. Do you by any chance know a Rose Seabold? She might have been calling herself Iris Martin.
Waitress: Sure I know Miss Martin but I don’t know you. You two sound like cops.
Eddie: Fair point . We are from Washington and we need to ask her a few questions. But we are not cops. We just work for a Senator.
Cook: (after he walked from the kitchen) If you find that woman remind her she owes me money.
He turned and looked at the waitress who scurried off. When he was sure he had made his point, he returned to the kitchen. When the check came, Wes signed the credit card receipt.
Wes: So you don’t know where Iris is now?
Waitress: None of us know.
Eddie: Would you know a good place in town to stay?
Waitress: If you want to stay in town, you will have to stay at the fish camp. Or you can drive over to College Hill. They got a couple of Mom and Pop motels. Only they ain’t Mom and Pop no more. They are all Paki.
Eddie: How do we contact the manager of the fish camp?
Waitress: Well you go to that bulletin board and take a card. Then you call.
Wes: Okay. Sounds like a real class operation.
Eddie: This from the man who told Mike he once fell asleep outside an Afghan bad guy’s house, and woke up in a camel pen filled with dung.
Wes: That kid talks too much.
Eddie: Hell he idolizes you. Careful what you say to him, he believes all of it.
The owner gave Eddie directions to the Fish Camp along the Alabama River. The small house had been remodeled to add small kitchen areas to the three sleeping rooms. Since the weather was better recently, there was only one room available. It was very much the same story as with Mike and May. Of course neither group knew about the other at the time. Eddie and Wes didn’t mind the two sets of bunk beds, since they each got a bottom bunk with no one over them.
Unlike the others Eddie and Wes went to bed early. They had plans for a full day the next day.
Back at the Farmers Grove B&B Mike and May were discussing the lack of cooperation from anyone who knew Rose. They had decided to give up on the interviews for the day. The new plan was to start over the next day with the Village. Mike was sure someone in the Village would remember Rose.
In the meantime May used her tablet to enter the adult chat room used by Sylvia and Rose to pass messages. She signed in with the screen name, DivorcedFemLawdog. Just as she expected the men came out of the woodwork to chat with her. Mike heard her punching the screen almost non-stop for hours.
Salina had a really quiet night. She had hoped to stay busy but it was a boring night till 11 PM when the insistent knock on the door pulled her out of a stupor. Not a drug or alcohol stupor but one caused by a flashback. The knock first was a part of the flashback, but it finally pulled her out of the flashback. She finally went to the door. It was so late she was pretty sure she knew who was at the door.
Salina: Who is it? (She said through the cracked the door)
Male voice: You know who it is puta. I came to collect the rent.
Salina: Not tonight Raphael. I’m tired.
Raphael: Unless you want to spend tomorrow with a broken door open up right now.
Salina stepped back and Raphael pushed into the room. Once inside he went to the refrigerator, then helped himself to a beer. He then leaned back against the counter and drank it.
Raphael: Word is you got a white boyfriend. Is that true?
Salina: He isn’t a boyfriend just a man who helps me with the people who come looking for help.
Raphael: You know you are my puta. If I hear he has been here again, I will kill him. Do you understand?
Salina: (staring at the floor) Yes I understand.
Raphael: Good now pay your rent.
Salina walked across the room, stood in front of him, then lowered herself to her knees. She unzipped his shiny black pants and removed his only average sized penis. She took it in her mouth and began to suck and move her mouth on it. She had to work several minutes before he became fully erect.
Once he was erect he began to move his cock inside her mouth, effectively using her mouth as a vagina. Once he was really into it he couldn’t last long he came with a grunt. Salina’s mouth filled with his semen. She swallowed it to complete the ritual.
Raphael: Good. You are paid up for another week.
Once he had gone Salina went into the bathroom forced her finger into her throat and threw up several times until her stomach was empty. Maybe it helps keep her from getting anything or maybe it was her only means of rebellion but it too was part of the ritual.
The road trip was in full swing. Nothing had been accomplished but they were in full swing. Well as far as Eddie and Wes went they had found out where Rose ate her breakfast most mornings simply by asking the owner of the fish camp. It was something called the Dairy Queen, about five or six miles away.