We care what happens to people only in proportion as we know what people are.
– Henry James
Today Bast interviews Detective Larry Hutchinson who investigates a murder in “Missing in Action,” from Sharon A. Crawford’s short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012)
Bast: Detective Hutchinson. Glad you could make it. Have a seat.
Hutchinson sits down on one side of the table. Bast sits at the head.
Bast: Now Detective, this case turns into quite a complex one. Could you elaborate a bit?
Hutchinson: As you know there was the murder behind the church on Bloor St. and police had a number of suspects for that.
Bast: Yes. Could you tell me why you went after Robbie Stuart first?
Hutchinson: He wasn’t the only one. Police were looking at a number of persons of interest.
Bast: Would you care to elaborate?
Hutchinson: I’m not at liberty to say too much – police business, you know. But I will say that Robbie Stuart did have the habit of disappearing a lot and conveniently shows up back in Toronto when the murder occurs. So police took a close look at him and went on the local media to ask the public to call 911or Crime Stoppers if they had seen him.
Bast: Who were these other persons of interest?
Hutchinson: I can’t say at this time. Police business, you know.
Bast: Weren’t you looking into the disappearance 13 years ago of Robbie’s father, Roger Stuart and his secretary whom he ran away with?
Hutchinson smiles: Perhaps.
Bast: Let me put it another way. Didn’t you find it more than just a coincidence that these other people suddenly showed up – one way or another around the time of the murder?
Hutchinson shrugs his shoulders.
Bast: Let me put it another way. Isn’t it true that police were already re-visiting the disappearance of Roger Stuart and his secretary before the murder took place?
Hutchinson: No comment. Police Business.
Bast: What happened to make police suddenly re-open this cold case? Was it because one of the principals had died?
Hutchinson: No comment. You’ll have to contact our PR Corporate Communications department for more information.
Bast: With a PR twist, no doubt. No, Detective Hutchinson. I need the details from the horse’s mouth and that is you.
Hutchinson stands up: I am not at liberty to tell you anymore as it could interfere with the police investigation. All I will say is that police are looking at all angles and all people concerned.
Bast: Including Chrissie, the cousin.
Hutchinson: I said all people concerned. Now, I have an investigation to conduct. It’s been a pleasure Mr. Overture.
Hutchinson shakes Bast’s hand and exits the boardroom.
Bast remains seating and shakes his head. He becomes aware of a noise at the other end of the room and looks up at the far wall. He sees what appears to be mist coming from the picture on the wall. The mist starts to take on the outline of a human, but Bast can’t tell who. He stands up.
Bast: Who are you? What do you want?
The misty form shoots towards him and a misty hand reaches out and grabs his arm. As Bast is pulled forward, inside his head he hears a soft, but angry voice.
Voice: How dare you and the others ignore me. I am important. I am the key to all of this.
Bast is sucked into the picture.
The room is now empty and quiet.
Stay tuned next week for more. Meantime…
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.
See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html The rest of November’s will be posted shortly.
Sharon A. Crawford