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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
David and Carol from "The Reunion" series get involved with another adventure as they plan their wedding. They call on Private Detective Jack Donovan from "If You Can Hear what I See." Find out whether they get to the alter.

Submitted: January 12, 2019

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Submitted: December 28, 2018






By Brian Lee Clements


David and Carol Anne renewed their friendship at their high school reunion back in May in Panama City.They’ve been talking to each other ever since then.  They even went on two strange trips together; once to Florida where they visited Apalachicola Florida and Tate's Hell.  The other trip was to Estes Park and The Stanley Hotel.  That trip was where they spent the weekend and went to a “dance.”  That was also where David proposed to Carol and she said yes.


At the same time, one of Carol’s clients called her and said that he was moving his company to Colorado Springs due to the high real estate in the San Francisco area.  Her client also offered her a job there which was the same city that David lived.


No such things as coincidences. Right?


After they spend Thanksgiving she decides to head back to San Francisco to put her house on the market and plan her move.  


On the way to the Colorado Spring Airport they start talking about her plan.


“This may take a few months to get done, you know.” Carol says.

David replies, “I hope it’s quicker than that.  Christmas is just around the corner.”

“I know.  I would love to see a white Christmas for a change.”

“Colorado Spring is not well known for having white Christmases.  We could try Vail or Aspen.  They’ve had a lot of snow this year.”

“Really?  I thought all of Colorado had tons of snow.”

“Just like everybody in Florida has their own beachfront property and orange grove”


Carol lets out a little giggle.


“How about I come out to San Francisco to help you pack in a couple of weeks?” Davi adds.

“Sounds like a great idea.  Have you ever been to San Fran.?”

“Never had been in the state of California.  Might be in my first earthquake.

“You just might.  I can call you when I get home and figure it out.”

“Sound good.  What airline are you flying?”

“Delta to Salt Lake City.  Then on to home.”


David stops the car in front of the Delta gate and gets out of the car. Then grunts as he gets the bags out.


“Let me get your bags.. Then park the car. God, these bags are heavy.  I did not see any survival gear as you stated when we went to Estes Park.”

As Carol smiles, she says “Not really.  But I did use everything I packed.”


As Carol went to get her ticket, David parked the car in the closest parking space he could find.  But still far away.  It took him about 15 minutes to get back to the terminal. When he got there, Carol was already waiting for him near the security area.


“It didn’t take long to get your ticket, did it?  David asked.

“Not really.”  Carol said. “Hardly anybody in line.  It went zip, zip.”

“That’s good.”


David and Carol really didn’t like goodbyes.  It always made them feel awkward. 


“Call me when you get home.  We can figure out how we will get you moved here when the time comes.”  David tells her.

Carol replies, “I will.  I’m anxious to get out of San Fran and all the stuff that is going on there.  I’ll be happy when i move out here.  A little slower pace here.”


Carol and David give each other a deep compassionate kiss that will make the other passengers jealous.  After they kiss, David watches her go through the security line and then down the corridor.


That evening Carol and David talked about the move. Carol tells David about talking about her chat with a realtor,  


“My realtor thinks thinks I can get full value for my townhome.  Maybe more.”  Carol tells David.

“That sounds great.  How long does she think it will take to sell.” David asked

“Don’t know.  I better start finding boxes just it case it sells fast.”

“Good idea.  Grocery stores and even Chick Fil-a are pretty good places to find good boxes. “

“I’ll check them out.  Thanks.”

“When you are ready to move, I’ll like to come out there and help.”

“I’d like that.  May take a few months though.”

“Hope not.  It may be faster than you realize”


Boy, they were in for a surprise.  The townhome sold in two days.  Not unheard of but very fast.  Now the hard part:  packing up. 


Carol had a couple of weeks to get packed before the closing and before David flew out to help her.  She wanted to do most of it by herself because she knew how she wanted everything packed so it won’t break.  When she was ready for David, she would let David know.  But they planned for him to fly out around 1½ weeks.


The big day to close on the house and move occurred on December 14 and was scheduled in the morning.  David help with the movers as she went to sign the papers.  The truck was packed and ready to go by noon.  David then went to McDonalds to get the workers something to eat.  By the time, they finished lunch, Carol arrived.  She gave the drivers the address and sent them on their way


David already packed the car, except for Carol’s cat,  and had almost everything ready to go.  Carol did a quick walk-through of the place and found everything was out.  After she did a little reminiscing, she put the cat in the carrier and then they took off to Colorado and new adventures.


The first day they drove for about 8 hours and spent the night in Elko, Nevada.  The next day was about an 12 hour trip.  They got to David’s house about 9 that night and went straight to bed.  They were exhausted from the trip and the movers will be there the next morning.  Sunday morning to be exact.  And it will be another long day.  It may be even longer than they planned.


The movers were scheduled to be there around 10, so David and Carol got up at 8:00 to have breakfast and shower.  The movers did get there around 10:05 and then the fun began.  It took the movers about three hours to unload the truck.  Carol told them what rooms everything went as David told them where to place everything. 


After the movers left, David and Carol looked at everything and then each other and Carol said,  “How in the hell am I going to get through all this?

David replied, “One box at a time. It will go faster than you think.”

Carol gave David a sarcastic look, “Really?  You want to help?”

“Not really.  I’m sure you have a system to get everything unpacked.  But, I will glad to help”


For the next few hours, David and Carol unpack a few of the boxes in the basement.  With the basement being finished with a bedroom, there was plenty of room so that the dishes and other items were not damaged.  


Around 6pm, they decide to stop for a little while and get something to eat.  Since David doesn’t cook much, there wasn’t much food in the hours.  They decided to go to the Village Inn on Woodmen Road for dinner.  


It was a nice dinner/breakfast since the restaurant  serves breakfast all day. They both had the same breakfast combo with sweet tea.  It was just enough for the both of them and it gave them just enough energy to work on unpacking for a couple of more hours.  But first before they left the restaurant, they start talking about the wedding.


Carol starts the conversation, “Where should we have the wedding?”

David responds, “I know a great place down in Panama City for a beach wedding;”

Wow.  That sounds like it would be cool.  Where did you find it?”

“When I was in Panama City back in May, I saw a wedding being performed at St. Andrews State Park while on a walk and I tooks some pictures.”

“You mean, you crashed the wedding?”

“No, no, no.” as he shows her the pictures of the wedding on his phone. “I was far enough away so I would not be in the way.  It looked very nice.”

“It does, doesn’t it?” as she looks at the pictures.  “Do you know how much it costs?  Is it available soon.”

“I’m not really sure.  I can call the state park tomorrow and find out who does it and go from there.”

“That sounds good.  Now it’s time to head back to do some more unpacking”


As went went home, they stop by King Soopers to get some items for breakfast.  And when  they turn on Red Desert Place their David’s home and Carol’s future home is, they find two police cars in front of the house with their lights on.  They stop for a minute to figure out what was going on.  They then get out of the car.  But before they could say anything, a police officer stops them.


The officer asks them, “Can I help you folks?”

As he gets his I.D out, David responds,  “I live here, I’m David Johnson and this is my fiance, Carol Davidson.  What’s going on?”

After looking at the Driver’s license, the officer replies, “One of the neighbors saw a couple of suspicious people looking in you home and called.  By the time we got here, they were gone.  Your neighbors mentioned to us that you were a state trooper.  Any weapons inside?”

“I’m retired. My weapon is locked in a secure place in the bedroom.  Nothing I have is really valuable.  Maybe some of Carol’s stuff is more valuable.”

Caol adds, “I don’t know what they could be looking for.  Most of my stuff is still in boxes.  I just moved in today and just started to unpack a few hours ago.”

“OK.” the officer says,  “You might want to keep eyes open to anything suspicious that may be going on.  We’ll patrol the area a little more if it’s ok with you.”

The officer hands David a report to sign.

David replies, “Sounds good.  Is there anything else you need from us?”

“That’s it for now.  Hopefully the two of you will have a quiet evening.  Have a good night”

“Good night.”  David and Carol respond.


As Carol waits by the garage, David pulls his Jeep into the empty space in the garage.  He gets out and opens the back and gets the groceries that they bought.  As they go in, they start talking about what just happened.


“That was strange,” Carol says.

“What’s strange about it?” David replies.  “We weren’t home.  And I guess those burglars saw an opportunity and tried to make the best of it. Thank goodness they failed.”

“I wonder if they saw me moving in today and figured I might have some nice stuff to steal,”

“I doubt it.  I don’t even know what you have.”  David tries to change the subject.“Did you check to see if you have all of the boxes?”  

“I know what you’re doing.  Thanks.  But I still haven’t checked off all the boxes.  I better do that before we do anything else.”

“OK, what can I do.”

“Here’s my clipboard.  You can check off all of the boxes as I yell them out to you.”

“I can do that.  Start yelling.”


After about an hour, Carol calls out the last number and then comes across a canister that she doesn’t recognize.


David asked, “Are you sure you don’t recognize it?  You did pack a lot of stuff.  Maybe you just forgot you used a different container.

Carol replies, “Nah...I didn’t use a canister.  Neither did the movers.  They packed some of the stuff so fast, I really don’t know where a lot of stuff ended up.

“Ok, lets see what we have in this thing?”


David opens the top of the canister and they make a startling discovery.  There was a body in the container.


“What the hell!” Carol says, “The bottom of somebody’s shoe.  It attached to some feet.”

“What are you talking about?” David asked, “Whose shoes and feet?”

“I have no idea.  All I see are shoes and feet.  That’s it.  Better call the police.”

“Sure will.  Let’s go outside to preserve the scene while I call the police.”


While they are outside calling, Carol sees a patrol car driving by and waves it down.  This time it turns out to be a female officer who just happened to be driving by.  She explains to the officer what they just found and what happened earlier.


About 15 minutes later, a slew of police cars arrive with their lights on and interrupts a relatively quiet neighborhood.  David and Carol take the detectives down to the basement where the canister and body were still sitting.


“Ms. Davidson,” one of the detectives asked, “When did you notice the body?”

“Right before David called 911.  It was the last box I found.  I didn’t recognize it so we opened it up.  That’s when I found the body.  Well, the shoes and feet first, that’s when I called David over.”

David adds, “When I saw the feet and legs, that’s when I got us outside to use the phone.”

“Thank for doing that,” the detective said.  Would you two happen to know who the body is?”

David and Carol shake their heads as David says, “We never saw his face, just his feet?”

“Would you be up to making an I.D. to see if you recognize him”


They both shake their heads and then head down to the basement where the body is.  The police had just removed the body out of the canister and was examining it.  While viewing the body, Carol asked an unusual question.


“Why is the body so small?”

The detective repies, “The victim is a dwarf or little person.  I never had to handle a suspicious death of a dwarf before.”

Without thinking David asked, “Suspicious, how?

The detective gives David a look and says, “For one, the victim is in a moving canister.  And two, he was strangled.  Ms. Davidson, does he look like anybody you might know from San Francisco?”

“I don’t recognize him.  I’ve never really talked to a little person before.”

“The only reason I am asking is because since the victim was in a moving box he most likely came from that part of the country.”

“Really?  He couldn’t had been put on the truck afterwards?”

“Could had been.  We’ll check with the moving company, the driver and the San Francisco Police to see if we can get any leads.  Until then, why don’t you go upstairs and wait til we are done.  I know that will be difficult, but that’s all I can say right now.”

“Ok,” David says, “Let us know if you need anything.”


David and Carol go up the stairs to the kitchen and start looking at each other.  They both start wondering the same thing.


“Could this be another one of our ‘adventures’?” Carol wonders out loud.

“Maybe,” David replies, “Are you sure you don’t know the guy?”

“Recognize, no.  Do I know him? I have no idea.”

“What do you mean?

“Most of my clients, I’ve never met. I do business with them online or by phone.  Even George Register, the guy who hired my to work here in Colorado Springs, I’ve never met.  But, talked with him many times by phone and online.”

“Wow!  You’ve never met him.  Almost like the movie, ‘The Net.”

“But not as exciting.  My work is mainly programing and software issues.  And I do get out on occasion”


About an hour later, the detectives and police left with the body.  They asked David and Carol not to go into the basement until they were done.  They were also told that they would be back the next day hopefully with some information concerning the body.


Since there was nothing more they could do in the basement and being exhausted from long and interesting day, David and Carol finally got to bed around 11.  The night was very quiet except for the occasional getting up to go to the bathroom until 8:00 when they got a call from the police detectives.  They called to let them know what they found out overnight about the victim and that they would be there around 9:00.

They quickly got up, took their showers and ate breakfast before the detectives got there at exactly 9:05.  They took their seat and started to ask more questions about the previous night.


Carol’s mouth dropped when she heard the name.


“We found out the victim’s name,” the detective said,  “His name is George Register of Palo Alto, California.  That’s where you’re from, right, Ms. Davidson?”

“That’s correct,” Carol replies, “Please call me Carol.  I knew Mr. Register but I never met him.  In fact, he offered me a job here in Colorado Springs just about a month ago.  

“Say again.  You know him but never met him.  How is that possible?”

“All of my work is done by phone or internet.  I have over 100 clients and we do everything that way.  Makes it a lot easier for everyone.”

“Makes it a little more interesting trying to find a suspect.  Especially since you’ve never met him.  Would you know anybody who would had wanted him dead?”

“I’ve heard rumors about his business dealings but they’re just rumors.”

“Well, I heard one time he bought out a company and then put a non-compete clause in the contract and then tried to extend it when the person started a new company,”

“Do you know who it was?  It could be a good starting point.”

“Not really.  I can double check my list of clients and let you know if I can think of anybody.”

“That would be a good help.  We’ll contact the Palo Alto police and the FBI since the body went over state lines.  Can you think of anything, Mr. Johnson?”

“No sir.”  David responded, “This was my first time ever in California and I was only there for a couple of days.  The only people I was really involved with were the movers.  And they were very nice and worked hard.”


The detectives said their goodbyes and left.  David and Carol wondered what their next move should be.  


“What do you think we should do?” Carol asked

“Hmmm…..I know a detective that I used to work with at the Florida Marine Patrol about 20 years ago, Jack Donovan.  He was also a detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department for quite a few years until he lost his hearing due to a car bombing.  I could contact him and ask him to help us.  What do you think?”

“I remember him in school.  Wasn’t he a year behind us?

“You’re good.  What do you say?  Should I email him?

“Why don’t you call him instead?  Might be quicker.

“Wish I could, but he is completely deaf.”

“A deaf private detective investigating a dead dwarf.  Might be intriguing.  OK.  Let’s do it.”

“I’ll tell him you said that.  I’ll email him this afternoon.”


Meanwhile, in his office, Jack Donovan was just wrapping up a couple of missing persons cases that came his way during the last month.  Cases started coming to him since his former partner was arrested for setting up the car bomb that caused his deafness.  People were also impressed that he went down to Florida with a hurricane bearing down while searching for the main suspect.  


While he was finishing up his last report, an email notification comes up on Donovan’s computer and he notices that it is from his old coworker, David Johnson.  He reads through the email explaining basically what happened and requesting to meet with the two of them.  Donovan responds and asked if 3:00 would be ok.  About five minutes, he gets a response confirming the time.  Donovan was happy he got a new case but wondered how he would investigate an open case without interfering with the police department.


Donovan arrived at their Red Desert Place address around 3:00 as scheduled. The street was a nice well kept cul de sac with only about eight houses on the street.  A couple of them backed along Cottonwood Creek which also had a nice hiking trail.


He walked up the driveway and tried to ring the doorbell.  But David and Carol got their just before it rang.  Carol’s cat, Muffin, was still a little skittish from the move and everything new sound cause it to run behind the couch.  It still went under the couch. 


Carol offered Donovan some coffee and while they were sitting at the dining room table, they started talking about the old days in Florida and what happened the other night.


Donovan started the conversation, “I haven’t seen David since he left Panama City in early 2000 and you, Carol, I haven’t seen you either since high school.  How long has it been?”

“Too long” Carol responded.

David added, “Over 40 years.”

Carol gave David a sarcastic look like she would get even with him.

Donovan then asked, “Can you tell me what happened the other night?”


David and Carol then went through the whole day and evening which took about 15 minutes to describe.  When they finished, Donovan asked to see where the body was found.


As they were walking to the basement, Carol stated, “I was down to my last container over in the far corner when I noticed that I didn’t recognize it.”

“Are you sure you didn’t just forget about it?”

“I’m sure. I didn’t use any of those cylinder containers.  They’re expensive.”

“Cylinder?  Wonder why they used a cylinder box.”

David interjected, “Maybe it was easier to conceal the body.  Could be better that a square one.”

“That’s true.  And Carol, you said you saw his feet when you opened the box?

‘Yeah. Just seem weird.  I first thought how difficult it would had been to put a body in the box.  But then we found out it was a dwarf.”

“A dwarf.  Now I’ve seen everything.  I got a copy of the police report and getting some of the photos.”

“How long do you think it will take to find some answers?”

“I’m not sure. But, I do have some friends in the San Francisco area who might know something about the victim. From what I understand, you know him but never met him.  I asked some of my computer geek friends from Oracle and they told me that it’s extremely possible because they never have met their clients. I hope you don’t mind me checking”

“I would had done the same thing if roles were reversed.”

“Let me head back to my office and send out some emails and I hopefully will get back to you within the next few days.

David says, “Thank you for coming by. Hopefully we can go out and get a beer when this case is done.

“Sounds good.  Have a great day.”


After Donovan leaves, he stops by the moving company and gets a copy of the manifest and to find out who loaded the truck and drove it.  At first, the moving company was reluctant to give him any information fearing a lawsuit.  But after Donovan explained what happened, they were very happy to help,  Donovan can be very persuasive. 


In the meantime, David and Carol decides to take a walk along the trail by Cottonwood Creek that was near their house.  The weather was cool, so they both wore a jacket and held hands as they took their walk.  David had his phone but decided to turn down the ringtone so they could have some peace and quiet.


When Donovan got home, he almost picked up the phone.  He sometimes forgets that he can’t do the things that hearing people do on a daily basis.


After about an hour, he finally emailed about four of his friends in the San Francisco area to find out more about this George Register.  Hopefully, one of them should know of him or something about him.  After he sent it, he went about working on information on the victim and the people involved in the move..  He didn’t expect an answer until the next day or two.


However, he received an email within an hour from one of his friends.  It turns out to be worse than he thought.  He immediately texted David and Carol.  When he didn’t receive an answer, he feared the worse. so he got his Smith and Wesson 9mm which he got when he retired, and headed towards their house.  He knew it would take him about 15 minutes to get there so he got to his car and headed out like a bat out of hell.


Meanwhile, David and Carol finished their walk and headed back to the house.  David opened the door and let Carol in first.  When he walked through, an intruder pistol-whipped him and knocked him out cold.  Then the intruder went after Carol, grabbed her and pushed her on the couch.


“Where is it? The intruder asked.

“What?” Carol asked.

“The computer disk. What do you think?

“People don’t use disks anymore.  I sure don’t.

“If you don’t get it for me, I will take care of your boyfriend right now.”

“Ok, OK. I thinks it’s in the basement in my desk.  I’ll show you.


As they walk to the stairs, Donovan reaches the house and tries to break down the front door.  Donovan finally breaks it down on the third try.  This distracts the intruder.  As they both draw their guns, Carol performs the best Karate kick to the head of the intruder and Donovan has ever seen.  This knocks the the gun out of the intruders hand and causes him to tumble down the stairs.


Donovan then says to Carol, “I don’t even know why I show up.”


Donovan checks up on David as he starts to wake up and Carol calls the police.  The police arrived in ten minutes and start investigating the situation.  As they are helping with David, Donovan and Carol start talking about what just happened.


“I just found out about your hard working employer about 30 minutes ago.”  Donovan says,  “Not a very nice guy.  Beside his legitimate business, he was also involved in human trafficking until recently.  In fact, he was coming to Colorado to turn state’s evidence and testify against the main traffickers.”

“Really? I wonder where I fit in with everything.”

“He was just using you so he could figure out where to keep his evidence.  He’s been planning this for about a year, from what my friends say. Did he send you anything like a disk or something?”

“No disk, but he did send me a gaudy, tacky little statuette.  It’s still downstairs in the basement.  I thought about getting rid of if because it’s so bad.”

“May I see it?”

“Sure, How about David?”

“He’ll be ok. The EMT’s are looking at him.  He will probably be spending the night at St. Francis for observation.


Carol and David head down to the basement and after a few minutes of looking they find the statuette.  


“You weren’t kidding.  It is pretty tacky.” Donovan says.


Donovan shakes the item and hears noise coming from inside it.  After getting permission, he breaks the statuette and reveals a micro SD chip like the ones used in cameras and phones.


“Wow,” Carol says. “I didn’t know it was even there.  I wonder what is on it.”

“Don’t know.  But I’m sure enough to put a lot of people away for a long time.”

“I hope I didn’t hurt that intruder too much.”

“Not as much as I could had hurt him.  How long have you been doing martial arts.?

“About 20 years.  I’m a second degree black belt.  Don’t tell David.  I’ll need to explain what happened.”

“I won’t.  They’re taking David in a few minutes.  You may want to get upstairs,”

“Thanks for everything you did.  You saved our lives.”


Before she heads upstairs, she gives Donovan a big hug.


After David gets to the hospital room, Carol explains what happened after he got knocked out and about her black belt.  David is surprised and happy that they are ok.


“Really?!” David says, “You have a black belt?  I’ve been trying to protect you.  Now I have somebody to protect me now.  Thank you.  I do have a question for you.”

“Yea?” Carol asked reluctantly.

“Why don’t we get married next week in Florida?”

“What?  Is that enough time”

“Should be.  I called that company who does beach wedding and they said they have a lot of openings since the hurricane.  We can have it at St. Andrews State Park right on the beach.”

“That will be great,  I’ll have to call my Maid of Honor and and the bridesmaids and let them know.  You can have your brother and son be in the wedding also.”

“I think I’ll invite Donovan to be in the wedding also since he saved our lives. What do you think?

“I like it.  And we can invite some of our friends from high school.”

“Who are you thinking will be your Maid of Honor and bridesmaids?”

“David... about that.  I have something to tell you……”


About two weeks later, everyone is gathered on the beach at St. Andrews State Park.  The weather is just perfect.  David’s brother, George and his son David, Jr. are serving as Best man and groomsman.  Also, Jack Donovan is serving as the other groomsman.


On Carol’s side, she is joined by her three daughters, Joyce, Terri and Kay, who David just met a few days ago.  Everybody was in barefoot as the bride and groom say their vows in front of 30 friends.  At the reception, the new couple decide to dance to their song, “Could I have this Dance.” that was played at their reunion and at the Stanley Hotel. As they danced, they both started thinking what new adventures that will be ahead for them.


As Donovan was watching them dance, he also started wondering what new adventures was facing him also……………but that will be another day.


© Copyright 2019 Brian Lee Clements. All rights reserved.

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