Recap from Chapter Four: Doctor Poppy gave her patient, Robert Harris, a crossdresser, a pass to the library and now he is missing. His volatile wife, Ginger Harris made a visit to the hospital and gave Doctor Beebe and staff a piece of her mind. Now she has threaten to sue putting Doctor Poppy in a quandary. In Chapter Five, Susan Cole finally arrives in Seattle and is on her way to Salter’s Point Hotel.
Closed off in her office, Cathy stacked cupcakes on a large platter and covered them with saran wrap. Doctor Poppy’s skills group was at six thirty, and she wanted to make sure everything was ready to go. Although, it was Doctor Poppy’s idea to serve cupcakes after the group, Cathy volunteered to supply them after she found out the doctor had rats in her office. She despised Doctor Poppy. The woman reminded her of too much of her stepmother. Always criticizing her and never satisfied with anything she did. She resented Ethan Poppy for going to Beth and complaining about her less than stellar work. Later receiving a written reprimand of disciplinary action, just before her ninety-day probation was up. Determined to get revenge, she took every opportunity to discredit the doctor including blaming her for Robert Harris’ disappearance, as well as the untimely death of Billy Moonwalker.
She opened her office door and with the platter in one hand and two cans of icing in another, she walked out guiding the door shut with her foot. On her way to the nursing station, she ran into Betty Jo.
“What you got there girlie?” Betty Jo asked eyeing the cupcakes and grinning like nobody’s business.
“These little goodies are for the group,” Cathy replied.
“Need some help?
“Yeah do you mind?” Cathy hands Betty Jo the cupcakes. They continue down the hall.
“Girl, are these chocolate?” Betty Jo asked getting excited.
“Yep,” Cathy said.
“Girl, I love anything chocolate,” Betty Jo giggled. “Can I get one of these here babies?”
Cathy cracked up laughing. “These little babies are for group. I don’t have any extras!”
“Next time make enough for me,” Betty Jo said with a grin pasted on her face. Cathy had a wicked gleam in her eye. “I’ll try to remember that,” she said.
“Where do you want these?” Betty Jo asked as they walked into the nursing station.
“In the refrigerator,” Cathy said.
“You got it,” Betty Jo said. They go in the med room and put the cupcakes and icing in the refrigerator.
“Thanks for your help,” Cathy said.
“You’re welcome,” Betty Jo said as she bounced out of the nursing station. “Remember I want a cupcake next time,” she reminded her.
Cathy let out a wicked giggle. “I’ll certainly keep that in mind.”
It was twelve noon, by the time Susan Cole’s plane arrived at SeaTac Airport. Wearing a black fedora hat with dark sunglasses, Susan exited the plane and headed to baggage claim. She strutted with purpose, looking straight ahead as she navigated through the thick, bruising crowd. She soon found the train and stepped on board, and within five minutes she was in baggage claim at the carousel. She waited on her suitcase, and minutes later, it came tumbling out onto the rotor belt. She grabbed her suitcase and dragged it over the railing then she made her way outside.
It was chilly and damp. A thick, dense fog hovered over the airport, and she was surprised by the crisp cold air. She shivered as she buttoned her sweater and rubbed her hands together. “Brrrrr, its chilly for June,” she thought to herself. She flagged down a cab. The cab driver pulled up to the curb and hopped out grabbing her suitcase. He opened the trunk and tossed it inside, and he slammed the trunk shut.
“Thanks,” Susan said.
“No problem,” he said in a rough voice. He ran to the right side of the cab and yanked the door open. Susan climbed into the back seat and once seated, he slammed the door hard, startling her. “My word,” she shriek. “You are so heavy-handed!”
The cab driver ignored her comment and slid behind the steering wheel. He looked in the rearview mirror and checked Susan out. Mesmerized by her dark sunglasses and black fedora hat, he wondered who she was. He grinned wide, revealing two rows of gold straight teeth and Susan was secretly tickled. She smiled.
“Where to my mysterious one?” He seductively barked.
“Do you know where Salter’s Point is ?” She asked.
“Yep,” he said.
“Take me to Salter’s Point Hotel,” she said.
He stepped on the gas and sped away from the curb. He weaved in and out of traffic on the airport byway until he reached the exit going south on interstate five. He barreled through the exit and then zoomed down the highway. “Are you here to stay?” He said glancing in the rearview mirror again as he tried to make conversation.
“I hope so,” Susan said. “I used to live here,” she shared.
“Oh,” said the cab driver. “Then welcome home!”
“Thank you,” she smiled.
Fifty minutes later, he pulled up in front of Salter’s Point Hotel and parked. It was one o’clock in the afternoon, and the hotel was covered with a thick white fog, barely visible to the naked eye. When the cab driver got out of the cab, a big black four-legged creature brushed by him with rapid speed. “Yikes! What was that?!” He yelled.
“Is something wrong?” Susan asked rolling down the window, craning her neck as she peered over her sunglasses.
With his nerves on edge, he shouted, “See that cat over there? It scared the hell out of me!”
The cat sat in the middle of the street staring at the cab driver, its golden eyes captivating, the cab driver too scared to move. Then suddenly the cat darted across the street disappearing into the thick, dense fog. Shaken and on edge, the cab driver mumbled something incomprehensible to himself as he went to his trunk and unlocked it. Susan stuck her head out the window. “What did you say ?” She asked.
“Nothing!” He said grabbing her suitcase and dropping it on the curb. He slammed the trunk shut and stepped to the rear of the car. He trembled inside, fiddling with the door handle, then he finally yanked the door opened. Susan got out. “Are you alright?” She asked noticing his discomfort.
“Yeah, just a little spooked,” he said with fright in his eyes. Susan stood on the sidewalk checking out her surroundings. The cab driver soon joined her scoping out the area as well. Susan paid him and reached for her suitcase. “I can take it inside for you,” the cab driver offered.
“No thank-you,” she said smiling. “I can handle it from here.”
She grabbed her suitcase and strutted into the hotel lobby. A young freckled face woman with thick auburn red dreadlocks was manning the reservation desk. The woman slid off her stool as Susan approached sizing her up with narrow eyes. “Can I help you?” The woman said in a soprano voice.
“You can,” Susan replied peering over her sunglasses. “I need a room with a king size bed,” she said.
“Let’s see what we got ,” said the woman. She searched the reservation log and found a room on the fourth floor. She opened the drawer and took a key out. “Ma’am, I have a room with a king size bed available on the fourth floor,” she said. “The room number is four hundred and twelve.”
I’ll take it,” Susan blurted out not giving it any thought. The woman shot her an alarming look. Caught off guard by her eagerness. “The cost is one hundred dollars a night,” she told her. “Check out time is eleven o’clock.”
“That’s fine,” Susan said reaching into her handbag for her wallet. She paid the hotel fee, and the representative gave her the key. Susan thanked her and headed to the elevator. Minutes later she was in her room. She left her suitcase by the door and fell on the bed. “Boy, I’m tired,” she yawned falling back on the bed. She rolled over and searched for the television remote. The remote was lying on the nightstand at the head of the bed. She scooted over and grabbed it and switched on the television. She surfed the channels for a few minutes and then settled on KIRO news.
The color drained from her face when she saw George Benny’s face plastered on the television screen. She sat straight up like a tin soldier when the newscaster reported his death as a homicide. Her heart thumped hard in her chest when her picture flashed on the screen a few seconds later. Not only was she reported as missing, but a possible suspect in his murder. She panicked. Grabbing a pillow and punching it with her fists. It wasn’t long before she came to her senses, realizing for the first time since the murder, she would never escape her heinous crime. Feeling very much alone, she decided to face the music.
Her mind raced as she thought about her next step and then an idea crossed her mind. A very, very dark idea. She decided once and for all to put an end to her miserable life. She rolled off the bed and ran to her suitcase. She unzipped it and grabbed her medicine. Then she ran to the bathroom and filled a glass with water. She loosened the cap on the medicine bottle and shook out several tablets into her trembling hand. She took the medicine all at once chasing it down with water.
She laid down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Her thoughts replayed her gruesome crime, and a tear streamed down the side of her face. Soon her breathing became labored, and she felt herself fading away. Her eyelids flickered for a second, and finally, her body relaxed. As she slipped into a deep, deep slumber, the town clock in the city square chimed two times. It was two o’clock in the afternoon in the city of Salter’s Point and several hours would pass before Susan Cole is found.
Three Sheets In The Wind will be released on Amazon.com later this month. Chapter Six will be the last chapter posted on this blog prior to the book’s release. Read Chapter Six on Sunday, March 18, 2018. Comments are welcome! Thanks for Reading!
Categories: Short Stories