Alice and Bernie: By Death Bemused
A Brief Conversational Narrative by David L. Haase
Episode 8: In which truth is revealed.
“Hey, sarge. Thought you could use some coffee. Those feebees don’t look too happy.”
“They’re not. All they can ask is why we didn’t contact them first. Have they found them yet? Feds aren’t sharing any information with me.”
“Not yet, but the old ladies made contact with a granddaughter up in San Lorenzo.”
“Oh, yeah? They OK? They got away from the Mexican?”
“Salvadoran. And no, not exactly.”
“The Salvadoran made a ransom call.”
“Well, what then?”
“It’s complicated, and I’m sure it’s contributing to the Feds’ unhappiness.”
“The old ladies weren’t kidnapped. They say they escaped from a euthanasia program their sons put them in.”
The Fairfield, California, Police sergeant looked at his old partner, forming an O with his mouth.
“It gets worse.”
“They kidnapped the Salvadoran, not the other way around.”
The sergeant chuckled.
“And the ladies are all right. The feebees found them?”
“Not yet. But that’s not all.”
“Yeah, sarge. It turns out the camp operator may in fact be using the place to identify rich old people. He persuades them to leave a big bequest to the camp. Then they suddenly have a heart attack. The Feds think they’ve got two likely cases already. Looks like the old ladies were right.”
“So, did they get the guy, Mr. Who, or whatever his name was?”
“Sort of. It’s more like he got them. He was doing a runner and plowed right into an FBI crime scene van pulling into the Motel 6.”
“And the Feds can’t find the old ladies?”
“Nope. It’s like they disappeared off the face of the earth – in a yellow school bus.”
“Are they still looking?”
“Of course. They have to. The press is all over them wanting to know when they are going to find two old ladies and a Salvadoran driving up the 5. I mean, how hard can that be?”
Sarge honked and honked his laugh and tears rolled down his eyes. It was good to be a desk sergeant on a slow Saturday.
“Alice, it’s after lunch. The sun is setting. I told you the sun should not be behind us. That means we’re heading east, not north.”
“Well, Miss Smarty Pants, if you think we’re going in the wrong direction again, maybe you should navigate.”
“Alice, I recognize this road.”
“Bernie, you’re blind as a bat. How can you recognize anything?”
“I can see colors just fine, thank you, Alice. We just passed a Wendy’s, and I’m sure there’s a McDonald’s up on the right. This is the way we come back from bingo at Holy Rosary. We’re not far from St. Gertrude’s. I just know it.”
“It does look a little familiar. Hey, Pablo, hang a right up here. A right. Right. This way I’m tapping your shoulder. There. There. … Oh, you missed it, you ninny. Now listen to me, we …”
Bernie sat back, contented to be almost home. Saturday was pot roast night. With luck, she thought, we can make the four o’clock seating.
– 30 –