Sixteen months doesn’t really seem like a long time. One summer, one Halloween, one Thanksgiving, one Christmas. The new year is not so new and will soon join the list of forgotten others.
For close friends of Sylvia Meisner, months have been years. One day Maple Valley folks were happy, greeting each other, opening their shops, welcoming visitors. The next, mystery and sadness took over.
Sylvia’s neighbors have taken care of her house and yard. Questions remain about items found in the home.
Sheriff Pete Terkinberry has endured calls for his firing by the likes of Quintin O’Dillmotte and others. Mayor Alvin Thrashborn supports his friend, Pete. They meet periodically to discuss any new information about the disappearance. There hasn’t been much to talk about in recent months.
Everything changed this morning. A water main break in Newtown required emergency excavation so workers could repair the damage. As work began, digging revealed bones under the leaking pipes. Sheriff Terkinberry was contacted and he called in a forensic team.
News spread faster than Marvella Vilcher’s hives. Quintin called Pete and asked if he should order a special coffin for the remains. After all, services at O’Dillmotte’s Funeral Parlor, “Where We Lay You Down Easy”, are only $129.00. Quintin makes the coffins himself. The sheriff declined the offer.
In a situation like this, and any other time answers are hard to find, folks are always willing to provide information they know nothing about. Folks in Maple Valley like things neat and tidy. Questions make everyone uncomfortable.
Shorty and Hannah Cloverton at the Ya’ll Sit Cafe are sure Sylvia, or what is left of her, has been found.
Burch Mazzlif is certain the bones are those of a cow his grandfather buried in Newtown eighty-five years ago. The cow escaped from the family farm in Maple Valley in 1930 and died in Newtown. Rather than carting the cow back to the village, he buried it, illegally, in Newtown.
Reverend Shermer of the Maple Valley Church is preparing for a memorial service. He called Olenia Durgasmon, chairperson of the memorial dinner committee, who called Bethanne Szetzen, who called Urliva Boots, Letha Arthgoss, and Wilerma Mitts. Olenia assured Brother Shermer all the details would be covered. The memorial dinner committee would provide a lovely meal in honor of Sylvia Meisner.
“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves,” Shermer told Olenia.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“We don’t know that Sylvia has been found, yet,” he answered.
After ending the call with the good reverend, Olenia called Bethanne, who called Urliva, Letha, and Wilerma, and told them the dinner was off because Sylvia has not been found.
“Why did Reverend Shermer call the committee if Sylvia hasn’t been found?” Wilerma asked.
“I don’t know,” Urliva answerd.
“Seems like he should have been sure before calling the committee into action,” Olenia said.
“I’m going to call Kurson Dwiller and report this,” Urliva said.
“Good idea. We can’t have this kind of indecision giving orders to the memorial dinner committee,” Olenia said.
With dedicated folks like members of the memorial dinner committee, it’s no wonder Maple Valley has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kertok County, or any other county.