That Sinister Thing

#44

“Alma, do you want me to call the boys for you?”
“No.”
“I really need to ask you some questions, the boys too. Are you sure you don’t want me to call them?”
“No, I really don’t.  I needed to be alone before you told me that, I need to be alone for a bit more after this.  Even knowing Harlan was dying, it is still taking a bit to adjust to it.”
“Alma, I really need to ask you a couple of questions and then I will let you go, ok?”
“That would be nice considering,”  Alma’s mouth formed a straight stiff line. Her patience level of being kind, considerate, had already reached it’s limit many times over the last days.  She had felt her nerves start to unbind and she had just begun dealing mentally with all the ways her life would change now with Harlan gone.  Now this. ” Go on, ask your questions.”
“Do you know anyone who might pull this kind of stunt, taking Harlan’s body?”
“Not off hand, no.  There were some citizens unhappy with the proposed zoning changes that were coming up before the last election. Those stopped once Harlan announced he wasn’t running for re-election.  Same thing with the church, but once he revealed why he was leaving the pulpit, their sentiments changed.”
Paul jerked.  He reached into his breast pocket and pulled out the phone, checking the incoming call.  Looking up at Alma as he rose, “I need to take this.”
Paul walked thru the kitchen out a door on the opposite side of the room and into the garage shutting the connecting door as he went. “Give me something good, Fred.”
“I think we found Harlan’s body.”
“Well, damn! Where?”
“In the morgue.”
“Hospital morgue?”
“Yes, the crew I sent to check the building found evidence someone broke into the morgue.  No one has touched anything, but they could look through the window and there is a body in there with a Johnson Funeral blanket over it.  We haven’t had any one else die tonight.  The last dead body I can recall in that morgue was over a month ago that I can recall.”
“Ok, just keep that secured and I will get someone out there to start processing. Fred, thank you for the call.  It couldn’t have come at a better time.”

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