Sheriff Pete Terkinberry enjoyed “Hannah’s Egg Surprise” at The Ya’ll Sit Cafe. He’s been going to the cafe every morning for the past several weeks. Pete is looking forward to another quiet day in Maple Valley. The call changes everything.
Sheriff Terkinberry had no sooner stepped into the office, which is his kitchen, than the phone rang loudly, crashing into the plans he had for a relaxing morning.
“Is this the sheriff?” the caller asked.
“Yes, who’s this?” Pete answered.
“Doesn’t matter. I know where Sylvia Meisner is.”
“Who’s calling?” the sheriff asked again. “Unless you tell me your name, this call is over.”
Pete sat down at his kitchen table and stared at a dirty coffee cup. “This is getting crazy,” he thought.
The phone rang again. Pete let it ring several times before picking it up. “Sheriff Terkinberry,” he said.
“If you want to find Sylvia Meisner, you have to do what I say,” the caller said quietly.
“It’s been nearly two years since she disappeared. You don’t know how many calls I get from people who say they know what happened to Sylvia. Why should I believe you?” Pete asked.
“Because I took her.” Click.
Pete stood by the phone for several minutes. It rang again.
“Listen!” Pete said. “You gotta give me more information, or you’re just another dead end.”
“What are you talking about, Pete?”
“Who is this?” Terkinberry asked.
“Alvin! Who did you think it was?”
Pete Terkinberry hasn’t talked to his friend Alvin Thrashborn, the mayor of Maple Valley, since Alvin was questioned about his relationship with Sylvia. He denied having any kind of relationship with her other than saying hello if he saw her on the street.
“Oh, Alvin, I thought it was someone else calling me back,” the sheriff said.
“Who’s calling you back?” Alvin asked.
“I got another call from someone saying they know where Sylvia is,” Pete answered, “but this one was different.”
“Different? How?” the mayor asked.
“This one said they took Sylvia,” Pete said.
“Whoa, was it a man?” Alvin asked.
“That’s the thing, I’m not sure. The voice was low, and I couldn’t really tell if it was a man or woman,” the sheriff said.
“What are you gonna do?” Alvin asked.
“I’ll wait for them to call back,” Pete answered.
“What exactly did they say?” the mayor asked.
“They said I would have to do everything they tell me,” Pete answered.
“What do they want you to do?”
“I have no idea. The call didn’t get that far because I was sure it was a prank, just like all the others. Why were you calling me, Alvin?”
“No reason, really. I just thought maybe you wanted to talk to me,” Alvin said.
“Why?” the sheriff asked.
“Why, what?” the mayor asked.
“Alvin, you called me because you thought I might want to talk to you. What would I want to talk to you about?” Pete asked.
“It’s been a while since we talked, I just thought I would call and see if you wanted to talk to me,” Alvin said.
“Alvin, I know where your office is. I don’t have anything I need to talk with you about. If I do, I’ll come and see you,” the sheriff said.
“Ok, well, if you do want to talk, just let me know. If you need help figuring this out, call me,” Alvin said.
“Thanks, Alvin, I think I can handle it, if the person ever calls back. I think it was another joke,” Pete said.
“Pete, I should probably let you know Quintin O’Dillmotte is doing an interview on WREK-TV about how you’ve handled the investigation.”
“What?! Why would they want to talk to Quintin instead of me?! He doesn’t know anything about it!!” the sheriff hollered.
“I know, I know, Pete, but you know Quintin. His main entertainment is talking,” Alvin said. “I’ll see you later.”
Pete Terkinberry hung up the phone in disgust.
Pete was staring out the window when thoughts of the bones found at the watermain break in Newtown barged in. Who was it? Why was the body buried there? When?
The phone rang.