Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 7 part 1.5

Posted by harmony0stars on March 2, 2011

Ashland seemed unusually crowded as she drove into town. There were no less than two fire trucks parked along the main street, and she could have sworn she saw one leaving town as she entered. There were also several army vehicles parked along the street and many more cars than she remembered from her last visit. Considering she’d only been there once before though, Glory couldn’t be sure if the excess traffic was normal or not.

There was a nervous energy in the air which made her all the more anxious to get some food and supplies for her grandmother and get out of town as quickly as she could. The local grocery store was nearly deserted when she went inside. When she got to the checkout, the cashiers stood chatting with one another, barely pausing to ring her up before going back to their conversation. It was just as well. She didn’t relish being noticed or having her presence questioned.

She was still wondering what she should tell her grandmother about her father as drove up to Pop’s place. His truck hadn’t been at the restaurant where she’d stopped before, nor anywhere else in town that she could see, so she hoped he was at home. When she arrived however, she could tell that Pop would probably not be home any time soon… if the crime scene tape was any indication.

Glory chewed her lip for several minutes before sighing and turning around. Surely someone had an ATV or dirt bike back in town that she could borrow or rent. She briefly considered sneaking into Pop’s garage, it wasn’t like her fingerprints weren’t all over his ATV already, but without knowing why his place was sealed off, she didn’t want to make matters worse.

The diner was packed when she got back into town, but it seemed to her the best place to ask if anyone had a vehicle that could get her up the mountain. It was several minutes before the waitress from her previous visit noticed her standing awkwardly by the door.

“You’re that girl who borrowed Po…“ She stopped, the nickname suddenly dirty on her tongue. “You borrowed Mr. Wight’s ATV to get up to Centralia.” Her tone was accusatory as if Glory had conspired with Mr. Wight in some secret crime. “You’re lucky he didn’t do your kids the way he did the others.”

“He… what?” Glory swallowed a little bile. She’d known there was something wrong with the man.

“Some army guys were on maneuvers or something up there and caught him dismembering a little kid,” Sarah spat, her eyes red. “Probably got my brother too, that bastard. Claimed he was just cleaning up after some heathen god so none of the parents would have to see what it did to their kiddies. I heard he had some bits wrapped up in plastic like he was gonna take ‘em home and…”

“Sarah, that’s enough,” grunted a man at the counter, turning around and wiping his mouth on a napkin. He wore the kind of clothes that instantly identified him as law enforcement of some kind, whatever his actual title might be. “No one wants to hear about that kind of thing while they’re eating.”

“Where were you when he was cutting up my little brother? Huh? What good were any of you over the years?” she demanded, red-faced and shaking with rage. A man who had to be the owner and one of the other waitresses hurried out and hustled Sarah into a back room. The other patrons slowly went back to their food while Glory and the officer sized each other up.

“So you’re the mystery woman who borrowed Pop’s ATV. There was some speculation that you and your kids had to be buried out in the wasteland somewhere.” He casually rested his elbows on the counter as he looked her over. “I’m Patrolman Bob,” he said as if challenging her to call him anything else.

“Is this really the appropriate place to talk?” she asked, irritated at the hypocrisy of telling Sarah to be quiet when he seemed intent upon the same conversation.

“Nope, you’re right,” he said without seeming too torn up about it. “We should probably head over the station.” He led the way across the lot to his cruiser, opening the door and offering her the back seat.

Glory scowled at the man. “Thank you, but I think I’ll follow you in my car.”

Without another word, she turned and walked back the way they had come. There wasn’t much he could do about it unless he wanted to arrest her. She followed him out of the lot and down the street, turning only once before pulling up to the curb outside the modest police station which shared its lot with the post office.

As close as the place was, they could just as easily have walked. It was her escort’s turn to scowl as he was greeted with “Hey, Bob,” when he entered the building.

“Got the mystery woman from the Wight case,” he declared gruffly, as if he had tackled her to the ground and dragged her in in handcuffs.

“Great!” The man behind the desk was easily ten years younger than Bob and less officious in his duties. “Least we won’t have to wait to track her down through her fingerprints!” he said brightly.

“Can you just tell Officer Mack that I found her?” Bob demanded, emphasizing Mack’s title as if to call attention to the fact that he himself had not been addressed properly.

“Sure thing, Bob,” the man at the desk said, oblivious or simply indifferent to his coworker’s irritation. He picked up the phone and summoned the other man to the front desk.

Her escort grit his teeth as Mack clapped him on the shoulder and said, “Good work, Bob!” Turning to Glory, he said, “Why don’t you come back to my office so I can take your statement.”

to Book 7, part 1, page 6

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 7 part 1.5”

  1. Alderin said

    Oh goody, police carting away a man who was probably actually doing exactly what he said he was doing, and then detaining Glory with likely thoughts of her conspirational guilt.

    Can’t wait for more. 🙂

    First paragraph: “Considering she’d only been there once before though, Glory” … Glory what?

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