Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.
– David Sedaris, interview in Louisville Courier-Journal, June 5, 2005
Bast Overture interviews Todd, Chrissie’s co-worker at the Ontario Government. From “Missing in Action” one of 13 short stories in Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, October 2012)
Todd enters the room, nods at Bast and sits down.
Bast: Thanks for coming Todd.
Todd: Yeah. Why am I here?
Bast: I just want to know how you fit in with Chrissie.
Todd: We work in the same office at the Ontario Government.
Bast: Which ministry is that?
Todd: Natural Resources.
Bast: What do you and Chrissie do there?
Todd? Mainly reports. Chrissie got stuck with the beaver report this year. (He chuckles). Annual report of beaver activity in Ontario…interesting if you like that type of thing.
Bast: And you don’t. So, tell me, what is your relationship with Chrissie?
Todd: I said she is my co-worker.
Bast: Nothing else?
Todd (face turning red): Well, friend, I guess.
Bast: Don’t you sometimes wish it was more than just a co-worker and friend?
Todd: Well, no. It can’t be…I mean…
Bast: It can’t be? Care to explain.
Todd: I’m going to take the fifth amendment.
Bast: I’m not a cop, just a private investigator. And this is Canada, not the US.
Todd (looking down at the table): Whatever.
Bast: Let me rephrase the question. Do you have any connection with Chrissie outside of work and being her friend, of course. For example, her family?
Todd: Her family? She haw a cousin Susie and I met her once at our ministry’s Christmas party when Chrissie brought her along.
Bast: That’s it? Are you sure you didn’t check out Susie where she lived and saw someone else there?
Todd, (pounds the table and looks up): No way. You’re making all this up.
Bast: Am I? Todd, do me a favour. Look over at that far wall.
Todd: Look at the wall? Are you crazy or something?
Bast: Humour me.
Todd: Fine. (He looks over at the wall at the end of the room, then jerks in his chair as if something has startled him). No, you’re supposed to be dead. No…:
Bast: Whose supposed to be dead? Did you have anything to do with it?
Todd: Get away. (He places an arm across his face, stands up, almost knocking the chair over as he scrambles to get away. He runs out the door.)
Bast looks over at the far wall. He can’t see anything but a stagnant wall painted light green. An abstract picture hangs in the middle. He strokes his beard.
Bast: What the hell are Chrissie and Todd seeing?
Next week Bast will interview the elusive Robbie…if he can track him down.
You can read more about the characters and the strange situation in “Missing in Action” from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book go to http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.
Sharon A. Crawford continues to take Beyond the Tripping Point to several readings this month. Sharon A. reads with other Crime Writers of Canada authors tonight (October 17) at the Brentwood Branch of the Toronto Public Library and October 19 where she hosts and reads at the monthly Saturday afternoon Murder and Mayhem at Du Café. For more info on October’s events go to http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html
Sharon A. Crawford