I am the part-time (and only) help for the Ravens Cove police. In the winter, I go in once or twice a week. So, the story that follows can only be described as serendipitous.
The day started normally enough. As always, I stood in front of the station and fumbled through my bag for the ever-elusive keys. (I know I should put them in a specific pocket but it is winter in the Cove and ever-so boring. So, I made up this little game: I see how fast I can dig the keys out of my ‘bottomless pit’ of a purse. I get a mocha if it’s less than thirty seconds.) I grabbed the key ring on the first try. Exhilaration coursed through my body and I high-fived my reflection in the door. Just as quickly I dropped my prize back into the ebony depths.
I swung around to watch as a fire-engine red Dodge Charger sped toward the station — and me. I froze. All I could think to do was plaster my body against the door and suck in my stomach. (Like that would make me less of a target?) I think my life flashed before my eyes. I turned my head to the side and closed my eyes. I heard tires on ice and then silence. I opened my eyes to see the car sitting pretty as you please in front of the general store which is about ten feet from the police station — and me. Still plastered to the door, eyes as wide as saucers I’m sure, I watched Norbert Crosskill open the driver’s door and slam the tip of his white cane to the ground. Norbert has been legally blind for at least a decade.
“Mornin’, Norbert?” I couldn’t think of anything else to say—well I could but it shouldn’t be printed here.
He jumped. “Kat? Where’d you come from?”
“It's a work day for me.” I tried to sound matter-of-fact.
Norbert dropped his head to his chest. “You know I'm not supposed to drive,” he whispered. He lifted his head and we stared at each. My eyes still wide from adrenaline, his wide as if that would help him see me better. Norbert broke the silence. “Well, have a good day.” He tap-tapped his way to the store and disappeared inside.
I located my keys and bee-lined it to my desk phone to call Bart. (Bart is my cousin and the town’s one police officer.) I punched in the first three numbers and stopped. I couldn’t shake the feeling that Norbert reached his boiling point that day and this reckless drive to town was his way of shaking a mental fist at his failing eyesight. I dropped the handset into its cradle.
“No harm, no fowl.” I mumbled. I turned on the computer at my desk and went to work.
Until next time,