A Dawn Delight

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
No spoiler needed here.

Submitted: January 15, 2019

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Submitted: January 15, 2019

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A Dawn Delight

Sheriff Hubert Jaeger carefully balanced his mug of morning coffee in his left hand as he made his way to the bottom of his garden.  He felt at ease as he walked in the now greying morning. It was his favorite part of the day, when the greyness of the fading night was slowly replaced by the dark blue tones that suddenly turned into red and orange smudges as the sun climbed above the edge of the hill tops across the valley. Life was good at that time of day, Jaeger thought. He had not regretted moving to Paradise Bend all those years ago. After the bustle of the city, the quietness of rural community had been the necessary balm for his weary nerves. Crime in these parts consisted of the occasional bars of chocolate being stolen from old Luke’s Candy Empire and a burglary every couple of years, when Timothy West returned from doing time at the State Penitentiary. Just like everything else, even crime was as regular as clockwork in Paradise Bend.
When he reached the bottom of the garden, Jaeger sat down on the boulder next to the white picket fence that was there to prevent anyone from sliding down the steep slope of the hill. He sipped from his piping hot coffee and released a sigh of contentment as the glow of the warm liquid spread through his stomach. Then he put the mug on the flat rock he always used as a side-table. Diana would be there in a couple of minutes. She was his six-year-old daughter, who usually wanted to sit next to him at dawn. Jaeger smiled as he thought about Diana’s shiny brown eyes fixed on the rising sun. She’d stare at the growing orange disk until it started to hurt her eyes; completely mesmerized by the beauty of nature. She wouldn’t say anything. She’d just sit there while Sam, their spaniel, would scurry around them sniffing where all the nocturnal creatures had disappeared.
‘Hi Dad, Diana said as she sat down on the boulder.  Sam sniffed Jaeger’s shoes and then tried to stick his nose in a crack between the boulder and the ground.
‘There’s nothing there Sam,’ Diana said. ‘Come, I’ve got cookies.’ She took some broken cookies from the pocket of her jeans and held one of them in her outstretched hand. Sam immediately reacted and came over to noisily gobble up the cookie.
‘Sit,’ ordered Diana as she pushed his hindquarters down with her small hand. ‘Good dog,’ she said as Sam sat down. He knew what was coming. Diana gave him another morsel of the broken cookies. When the treats had all gone, Sam remained where he was and seemed to look at the hills across the valley, just as his human companions were doing.
‘Do you think dogs know what is beautiful?’ asked Diana. ‘You know, like we do.’ Then she patted the dog gently on its head.
Jaeger thought for a moment. ‘I don’t think so. He may be smart, but he’s still an animal. They are too primitive to understand beauty. They don’t have the brains for it.’
‘Can animals think?’
‘No, not really.’ Jaeger answered.
‘But Sam can dream. Sometimes he twitches and he makes noises when he’s asleep.’
‘Yes, but they can’t think like we do. When you want to do something, you often first think about it and then you do it.’ Jaeger paused. ‘Or you don’t, if it is something bad. Animals don’t do that at all. They just do something without thinking about it first; it’s called instinct, it is as if they do something automatically. It usually helps them a lot.’
‘Have we got that?’ Diana asked.
‘No, I have never seen it in human beings. That’s why we’re better than animals.’
Diana grew silent as her mind tried to process what she had heard about animals and instincts. For a couple of minutes, she didn’t say a word, but suddenly she pointed down the valley.
‘Look, dad, there are people over there.’
On the other side of the valley faint lights were moving amongst the trees. They were too far away to see what was going on.
‘That must be near Devil’s Drop, they’re probably some campers. They are up early today.‘Perhaps they would like to see the sun too,’ suggested Diana.
‘Well then they’ll have to hurry up and find a good spot. They can’t see it from down there.’
‘They’ll miss it,’ said Diana. ‘The top is already turning red.’ She pointed to the top of the hill on the other side of the valley.
‘Stupid tourists,’ Jaeger said softly. ‘Probably city folk.’
Then his phone rang. Jaeger got up from the boulder and took the phone from his breast pocket. He checked the small, glowing screen. It was Slim, his deputy.
Jaeger accepted the call. ‘What’s up Slim?’ he asked as he walked away from the boulder.
‘I’m sorry to bother you, this early, but we’ve got a body. A woman was found some fifteen minutes ago at Devil’s Drop.’
‘What happened? Drowning?’
Slim breathed heavily and he sounded upset as he started to speak again. ‘No, I’m afraid not. Looks like she was butchered. It’s mess down here, there’s blood splattered all around, and there’s this big, bloody carving knife lying just a couple of feet away. I’m afraid you’ll have to get here quickly.’
‘Sure. So that’s you guys down there, I can see your lights from up here. I thought you guys were tourists.’
‘The woman probably is. She doesn’t look familiar.’
‘Okay, I’ll be there in ten minutes. Don’t move anything,’ Jaeger replied and rang off. Then he looked at his daughter who was engrossed again in the steady climb of the glowing sun, bringing warmth and life to everything it touched.
‘Murder. A vile, primitive act, and almost on our doorstep,’ Jaeger muttered softly not wanting to disturb his daughter. ‘Fucking animals.’

 

 

 


© Copyright 2019 Bert Broomberg. All rights reserved.

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