She looked weary. yet her colors shone bright. I stood at the door a minute struggling with my conscience. The officer had his back turned and was in a conversation with a nurse inside the room next door.
I’ll do it. I can aways ask forgiveness. This is God’s work, I reasoned.
She was turned towards the window. I cleared my throat hoping she wouldn’t be startled.
She rolled over and seemed surprised to see me standing there. I had a feeling she had few visitors, or non at all.
Her eyes were sunken and bruised. A two inch scar on her left cheek. Fingernails bitten to the quick, yet polished and peeling. Even so, she was a beautiful woman.
Do I know you?” She asked. I moved closer and placed my hands on her raised bed rail. “My purpose is to protect Ian” She seemed confused. ” How is he? How do you know him?” she cried.
“I am sent by God to protect Ian. I need to hear your side of it.” I said.
She had Beautiful bright color tones, but greys and darkness intertwined. She was not buying my story. Cynicism was her nature. She had strived for a better life, but was knocked down time after time. God was just an entity for the successful to praise for their success. For the poor to cling to in order to placade their failings.
“Meg, I don’t expect you to believe what I say, but know I’m on your side.” was all I could say.
“Who are you?” a voice shouted from the door. ” Hello Officer. I’m Pehr Lucas-Pierce. I was at the scene when Reb discovered Meg’s son, Ian.” The officer said, “I remember reading about that dog in the paper. Was Reb your dog?”9 “No sir”, I explained ” I was minding Reb for a close friend.” “Ms. Montgomery cannot have visitors, I’m sorry.” he said. I thanked him and left. Happy he allowed me to plead ignorance.
I’d spent way too much time snooping. No time for grocery shopping. I’ll swing by KFC and grab a bucket of chicken.
“I see you grabbed some vittles. What happened to grocery shopping?” said Auggie as I got out of the car.
We sat on the front porch eating our chicken while Reb stared. We talked about the investigation I’d initiated. Of course I’d pray for direction, but Auggie’s wisdom couldn’t hurt.
Elle was especially tight lipped about Ian’s mom, Meg. She said she was found in her room, passed out, with a syringe dangling in her arm. That’s all she’d divulge.
First I’d check the apartments on Parkview, Spanish Cove. As I trolled through the parking lot, I saw a man coming out of one of the lower units. I pulled into a parking spot. He was probably fifty or sixty. Dressed in cut off Jean’s, Auburn T shirt, black socks and white tennis shoes.. He seemed apprehensive about me. He started to turn the other way, so I said, “Hey buddy, it’s cool, I just want to ask a question. ” He said, “Are you a cop?”
“No, just looking for a friend who might live here.” I smiled and said.
He walked over and when close his color wheel shone before me Bright with patchy sections of murky grey. My astonishment at this new gift from God isn’t getting old. Everyone has a color wheel more unique than their fingerprint. Constantly changing for good or bad. People are oblivious to, yet in control of the wheel. Our choices continually commanding change
I said, “Do you know Meg Montgomery?” He said; ” Mister, I drink a purty good bit. I was drunk that night Ian walked off to the square. That boy was always asking folks for sump’n to eat. His mother was an angel sent down to save us all. Well, til that biker man came to see her. He was driving a motorcycle. One a them them there Harlees, I bleeve. Imma tell ya; she didn’t come out or round nobody after that. Poor boy left to fend for hisself.”
“Thanks, man. I’m Pehr. I didn’t get your name.” He said, ” I’m J.B.” “J.B., which apartment was Meg’s ” I asked. “Her and Ian lived atop a mine. C-12.. An I’m a hopin’ they gone be fine. They tell me she looked dead that night. But I was so drunk I done passed out when they took her. Last thang I remember seein’ that night was the boy walking off with his head sa low he couldn’t a seen where he was a goin’.” he replied.
“Do you remember anything about the motorcycle guy?” I asked, as J.B. had started to walk away. “Well he wore that brain bucket into her place. He was all tattooed up, long beard. I said howdy do and he didn’t say nuttin. Well, nice ta meet ya. I gotta go round up a bottle. I’m commencing, to tremble.” J.B. said and walked toward the Quick Pack, down the road.
She must be at Providence. So I’ll head toward Mobile. The Pink Lady at the information desk was hesitant to give out her room number. A little small talk and smiling relaxed her. She gave it to me with this warning, ” There’s an officer at the door. It’s really up to him if you get in to see her.” I thanked her and was off to room 323. Praying all the way.
“Dear Lord, You have designated me as an instrument, to make a difference. Lead me to probe the source of darkness. Arm me with the mindset necessary to pursue and make amends, as you see fit. Through Jesus’ name. Amen.” I prayed softly.
Reb and I sat there, on alert, for five minutes.
In the distance, we saw movement. From behind the dumpster, around the bakery on the west court square, there slithered a shadow. As he began walking across the gravel parking area, we were indubitably clear he was of the devil. Armed with the power of God, we crossed the street and stood on the sidewalk. Anticipating an encounter.
His aura of overtones was sensed even from the distance. Any colors in his color wheel were muted, only gloomy drabness.
Reb began to growl unreservedly. Stroking his head, I said, “Easy boy, I feel it, too. Listen to me, Reb.”
As the rogue figure lumbered toward us, I was fixated on him. Reb’s attention was on the dumpster. As the deranged soul was getting closer, Reb broke away, leash in tow. Straightaway to the dumpster, he ran. My concentration could not be broken. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to eye contact. We were aware of his vile ungodliness even from a distance. He briskly picked up his pace when he saw Reb dart away to the dumpster. As I started toward him, he began to scuttle. He was steadily gazing my way. Though vigilant, my stare was locked upon him.
Then as he was crossing the sidewalk, not ten feet from where I stood, he and I met stares. The colors were abhorrent. He continued into the road in an attempt to escape.
The middle-aged man in the white utility truck didn’t have any reaction time. This deviant lunged forward and was drawn underneath. His brakes squalled as he tried to prevent running him over with the back wheels. He hopped out of the truck screaming, ” Oh my God! I didn’t even see him, I swear!” This poor man was visibly shaken. He had an extremely compassionate aura. He was holding his head down, hand over eyes, as this seemed too much to perceive. I stood beside him and put my arm around him. He seemed instantly soothed. He calmed, the shaking ceased. We walked to the bench, we sat silently until the police arrived.
Reb! I had to find him! I rushed around the bakery, and to the dumpster. Behind the dumpster, there sat Reb, licking the face of a badly beaten boy. A short piece of blood covered board lay about five feet away. Reb’s whining had reached an ear piercing decible. Without even having to call for help, an ambulance and police car arrived.
They saw me kneeling down beside the boy, checking for breath. The paramedics took over. After stabilizing, they loaded his pitiful body into the ambulance and rushed to Children’s Hospital Of Mobile.
The officers wanted a statement, so I gathered Reb’s leash. We scooted into the back of the squad car and headed to the station in downtown Mobile. While there, I told the officers about this strange man. He had leaned into the truck as a means of self-execution. Purposely leaving out my interpretation of his color wheel, and the spine chilling sensation brought on by his aura.
The blood splattered board, would provide enough forensic evidence of what I already knew. Swift justice, in this case, came in the form of a white utility truck. Although he was not pronounced dead until he arrived at the hospital. I knew he had passed. The repulsiveness, exuding from him subsided as the tires rolled over his body.
We finished our interview with the detective and were walking down the hall to the exit. Coming our way, was the man from the utility truck, there to give his statement. We stopped and formally introduced ourselves. He shook my hand and genuinely thanked me for my kindness. “Pay it forward, my friend.” was all I said as we met eyes.
His color wheel revealed an almost blinding array of beautiful colors! Brilliant colors, only a tincture of grey in small lines between the glowing allure of vibrant tones. He patted Reb on the head as he proceeded toward the interrogation room.
The following morning Lonny dropped by for coffee. We were on the porch enjoying our brew when Reb came clopping up the porch steps, morning paper in his mouth. He sat wagging his tail, wanting to be acknowledged. Lonny said, “Wow, Reb, Good boy!” He dropped the paper at Lonny’s feet. As he unrolled the paper, he saw Reb pictured with the officer from the scene. Lonny’s look of shock and awe brought a big grin to my face.
He said, “The front page of the Mobile Register! What did you do?” He read about the unidentified boy behind the dumpster, discovered by a black lab mutt, named Reb, now a hero. The perpetrator was hit by a vehicle while fleeing and later died at Mobile Providence. Divinely Appropo.,