A picture is worth a thousand words
– Attributed to various sources from Napoleon Bonaparte to Frederick R. Barnard
Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding has left the Thurston Library boardroom to drive to Barrie to interview Cory Swan the photographer who lives across the road from Aunt Doris and her next-door neighbour, Mr. Crankshaw. Detective Larry Hutchinson remains behind to continue questioning Aunt Doris about the envelope of photos left in her mailbox. Dana hovers nearby trying to get in a word. All but Swan, Crankshaw and Ron Bowman, are characters from Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford.
Hutchison: Now, Mrs. Bowman, I want you to look carefully at these three photos and tell me if you recognize anything in them.
Doris: Well, I recognize Dana’s twin, Bast.
Hutchinson: Of course, but anything in the background, does it look familiar?
Doris: Hmm. Give me those photos young man.
Hutchinson: It’s better if you don’t touch them. Fingerprints…
Dana: Oh, stuff it Hutchinson. Fielding already has our fingerprints for elimination. Aunt Doris is an old woman so her eyesight…
Doris: There’s nothing wrong with my eyesight, young lady. I don’t even wear glasses except to drive. And as for calling me an old woman, well, I never.
Dana: But you are and you said so yourself.
Doris: standing up and glaring at Dana: Now listen here… and what Ronald Bowman ever saw in you to marry you I’ll never understand.
Dana: Ron and I are divorced Aunt Doris and he has nothing to do with this.
Hutchinson, raising his hands: Ladies, please. And Mrs. Bowman, will you please sit down. Now I find that interesting about Ronald Bowman, your ex-husband, Ms Bowman. What makes you think he isn’t involved? Wasn’t he arrested for the kidnapping of your son?
Dana: Those charges were never actually laid.
Hutchinson: But he was charged with a B and E and vandalism?
Dana: Yes, but he got off with community service and one year’s probation.
Hutchinson: He still has a record. Do you know where he is?
Dana: I don’t know. Ask her. (she looks at Doris). He’s her nephew.
Huchinson: Mrs. Bowman, do you know where you nephew is?
Doris: He moved to Orillia Ontario after he finished his probation and community service. He should never have been arrested. Dana, this is all your doing; this is….
Hutchinson: Ladies, we are getting nowhere fast with these photos.
Dana: Fine. Let me look at them. Maybe I can recognize something, besides my brother, of course.
Hutchinson slides the photos over to Dana and she looks from one to the other and to the third. She repeats that a couple of times, looks slyly at Hutchinson, then pushes two away with her fingertips. She keeps the one with Bast sitting in a room.
Dana: I might recognize this room but if it’s where I think it is, it’s not in Barrie, but right here in Thurston.
Hutchinson, raising his hand at Doris and then looking at Dana: Go on, Ms Bowman.
Dana; Going back a few years when Bast and I were planning to start up our Attic Investigative Agency, we did some looking at places outside the house where we live. One of the places was upstairs over a convenience store on Main Street here in Thurston. The two rooms were bleak looking. The first room which could be used for reception had no windows and the back room, I guess for the office, didn’t have much light, just from a small round window up high. Well, this room Bast is sitting in has the same type of window up high. No, I’d say the same window because the window in the room Bast and I looked at had this big scratch mark embedded in the right top corner. And if you look closely, so does the window in this picture.
Hutchinson and Doris both lean over towards the picture.
Hutchinson: Son of a gun, so it does. Ms Bowman, do you happen to know who or what did move into this room?
Dana: Well, it was awhile ago. Let me think. Wait… I seem to remember Bast mentioning a photographer who the newspaper he used to write for sometimes hired on a freelance basis. I think Bast said the photographer sometimes did the photos for some of his stories.
Hutchinson: And your brother was a crime reporter before he started this private detective business.
Dana: I see where you’re going with this and I have to agree. It could be connected to a story Bast wrote.
Hutchinson: Does your brother keep copies of his published stories?
Dana: Yes, in our office and he has the stories on his computer too.
Hutchinson: Well, Ms. Bowman, I think we better get over to your place and check out these stories.
Doris: What about me? I don’t want to be left alone. Someone sent me anonymous photos and threatened me on the phone.
Hutchinson: Where are you staying now?
Doris: In a hotel, but I’ve been looking over my shoulder, locking my door and putting a heavy chair up against it.
Hutchinson: Well, I’m a Toronto detective; Thurston is out of my jurisdiction except when working with Fielding, but we’ll see what we can do. Let me give Fielding a call.
Hutchinson calls Fielding on his cell. Dana continues looking at the photo.
Dana: Oh for Christ’s sake. The photographer who moved into that room over the convenience store in Thurston? I remember seeing the sign outside that upstairs window blowing in the wind. Detective Hutchinson, I think we have our connection. The sign read C. Swan Photographer – weddings, funerals – which I thought odd – parties and celebrations. I never met the man but I bet Bast did.
A noise came from the other end of the room. All three looked to the far wall as the abstract painting fell to the floor.
Sharon A. Crawford
You can read more about the characters and their stories in from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to Sharon A. Crawford’s 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. Spread the word.
Sharon A. is teaching Getting Your Memoir off the Ground Workshop, Saturday, February 22, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Details at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/SpeakersBureau.html
Also see more of See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, guest blog posts, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html