2.8 The Deputy’s Big Day Part II

by Matt P.

Thousands of strands of emerald ivy crawled up the fronts of crimson bricked buildings, all rolling by the tinted window of the Ford Crown Victoria. It gave the world a muted look, like a documentary about crumbling facades. The heat and humidity of late summer beaded the plants with what looked to be water and sorrow, giving them a somehow lifeless vibrancy. It stood out against the mottled crimson and rust of the old brick as a memorial to older days, a memory of cool shade and times gone by.

Walter knew they were driving through one of the oldest sections of town. Across the river, more of a jumped up rivulet, was the surprisingly large Old Market. The large buildings there were well maintained, complimenting the strange architecture of the Border PD. Here they were abandoned, the insides dark for years, their only shoppers rats and a few stray dogs.

The call had come in while he and the Marshal had been reminiscing. Well…bullshitting, really, but if the boss wanted to chew the fat Walter wasn’t going to call him on it. Now he was in a car with two officers. The driver was tall, with strong features that looked like a younger version of Marshal Alexander. His name was Andre, the elder Alexander’s nephew, and he spoke with a softly courteous voice and moved like he was made of ass-kickings. The other passenger, politely in the back, was a slender woman whose short hair was as dark as her eyes. Her name was Leah Silverman.

They were both apparently his partner, since the Border PD didn’t seem to know what the word partner meant. Every deputy marshal worked in a team of three, and normally only two were in the field at any one time. The third played floater from the office.

Normally. Today was different, and each of them knew it. The silence in the car was almost palpable; someone could have picked it up and shattered the window of the Crown Vic with it. It would have relieved the tension.

They pulled up to yet another dilapidated warehouse and exited to the roaring sound of cicadas. Walter winced, looking around as if they were going to jump him from behind. It drew a small smile from the other two, but the smiles were tense at the edges. A grim joke, then.

“Always seem to be cicadas when it happens.” Leah said quietly, as if out of respect as they walked toward the open warehouse.

“I’d forgotten how much I hated the sound.” Andre said with a quiet sigh. “Hoped we wouldn’t hear it again.”

The cicadas heralded death as they walked into the latest scene of the Three Stripe Killer.