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Death On The Beach

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
In this sequel to "If You Could Hear what I see," Jack Donovan heads back to Florida when he finds out the person who caused his deafness is seen. What will happen to Jack? Will survive? Who will die? Please read, "Death On The Beach" and find out.

Submitted: May 11, 2019

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Submitted: May 11, 2019

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Death on the Beach

By Brian Lee Clements

 

It’s been a couple of years since Jack Donovan lost his hearing.  It’s been very difficult for him and also his family. If only he hadn’t lost it due to that car bombing in Colorado Springs.

 

Jack lost his hearing while he was a detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department.  He later found out his partner, Debra Powell, was involved with the bomber who planted the bomb.  They both confessed to it but the bomber, David Jenkins, escaped from a Sheriff’s van while being transported to the county jail in Florida.  Fortunate for Jenkins, Hurricane Michael prevented officials from continue looking for him.

 

Jack had been working various types of cases during the last few months; divorce, insurance fraud and even a couple of missing person cases.  But the one that kept coming back in his mind was the bombing case and David Jenkins.

 

Jack started to sport a goatee the last couple of months.  He just wanted to look like a cool private detective.  Even his wife, Kate, thought his white beard made him look distinguished.  She thought he might look even better with a full beard but she’s happy with what he has.

 

As mentioned, his Private Detective business had been during fairly well, especially after the death of the mime at his home made the news a few months ago.  Turned out another mime caused the unfortunate ending of the deceased.

 

It was a nice spring day in Colorado Springs. But the next day, believe it or not, was expected to bring forty degree weather.  Springtime in the Rockies, gotta love it.

 

Since it was cold and rainy, Jack decided to work inside and get caught up with some paperwork.  After he got his wife off to work and his daughter to school, he checked on his email, which he didn’t bother with the whole weekend.

 

While reading his email, he noticed an email from his high school girlfriend, Teri Page.  The last time he saw or heard from her was last October in Panama City a couple of days before Hurricane Michael.  She led David to Jenkins in Mexico Beach where he was captured.

 

In the email, Teri mentioned how it was nice to see him again last October and that she had wished to see more of him while he was in town.  Unfortunately, she lost her home to the hurricane and just got back into Panama City a few days before.  She also happened to mention that she stumbled upon Jenkins in a Walmart in town.  She didn’t realize he escaped right before the hurricane.  She also wrote, “Jenkins was pretty pissed off about you finding him and if he ever found out who squealed on him is dead meat.”

 

While Jack found the email intriguing and felt like he should go right away, he wanted to talk to his wife before making a decision.  His emotions were still running a little high whenever he hears the name ‘David Jenkins.”

 

It was Jack’s turn to cook dinner, so he made some pork chops, green beans and mac and cheese.  Three of his favorite foods.His daughter, Sam, was slowly becoming a vegetarian but couldn’t resist the way her dad made pork chops. 

 

After dinner, everyone helped clean up the dinner table and kitchen.  Sam then went up to her room to work on her homework and talk or text her friends about their day at school.

 

Meanwhile, Jack and Kate sat down at the kitchen table and started talking about their day.  Kate talked about her surgeries she did, which included two gall bladder surgeries and hernia operation, and then Jack started talking.

 

“You’ll never know who emailed me today.” Jack said.

“The President?” Kate replies as she is turning towards the sink.

“Who? I couldn’t see your lips.”

“Sorry, I forgot.  I said, ‘The President?’ ”

“Ha, ha, funny” Jack says sarcastically, “Would rather had heard from the First Lady.”

“Really? Who emailed you?”

“Teri Page.”

“Doesn’t ring a bell.”

“It doesn't?  She and I went out together for a little while in high school before you and I  started dating.”

“Isn't she the one that had that buck tooth and the flat chest?”

“Yea...she is. In fact, she got braces and it’s fixed now.  She had a flat chest?  You remember that?

“Of course I do.  Who could forget? What about her?

“Well, she emailed me some information about David Jenkins.”

“How did she know you were looking for him?”

“I saw her when I was in Panama City last October and we chatted for a little while.  She told me that I could find Jenkins in Mexico Beach before the hurricane.”

“You didn’t tell me that.”

 

There was silence for a few seconds.

 

“Ahh...Am I in trouble?” Jack asked.

“Not yet.  How long did you all talk?

“Only a few minutes.  I stopped by O’Charley’s to get a bite to eat.  She was with a few friends and she came to my table when she saw me.  I asked her about Jenkins and she told me that she saw him in Mexico Beach.”

“Got you sweating, didn’t I?  You’re not in trouble. Why did she email you back?”

“She said she saw Jenkins again and that he was pretty upset.  In fact, she used the term, ‘Pissed off’.”

“Are you going back to Florida?”

“I would like to.  I wanted to check with you first.”

“I don't see any reason for you not to go.  We should be ok.  When are you planning to leave”

“I’m not sure.  Haven’t checked the airlines or the motels yet.  Don’t really know if any of the motels are open in Panama City since the hurricane.  On the beach, yea. But they are probably cost more that I want to pay.”

“Check it out.  Let me know what you find out. Don’t forget, we have Hans and Franz to protect us.”

 

How could Jack forget the dachshunds . She named them after those two Saturday Night Live characters. Tough dogs, they’ve saved us from two bags and a squirrel yesterday.  Well, Jack headed to his office to go online and check on the motels in the area.  He really liked the Comfort Inns and their other hotels because they have free breakfasts.

 

After about an hour, Jack came out of his office frustrated and disappointed about the motel rates.

 

“Kate, you wouldn’t believe the motel prices in that area.  The cheapest I found was $140 a night on the beach.  Too much for me.”

“Have you tried anywhere else?”

“I check out Marianna and also Defuniak Springs, but that’s about a 70 mile drive.  They’re about half the price as Panama City Beach.  I’m not sure if I want to drive that far.  What do you think?”

“I say go for it.  You drive to Denver a lot.  It’s about the same amount of distance.  Plus, you might not get another chance to find him.”

“I guess you’re right.  But, I’m afraid of what I might see there.  This is the first time I’ve been back since Hurricane Michael hit.  I'm told It was pretty bad and videos I’ve seen look terrible.”

“I know. But, I think you'll just have to get through it somehow and do your job.  That's what I always have to do..”

 

Jack went back to his office and found some inexpensive tickets through Southwest Airlines and booked the motel.  He also decided to go through St. Louis instead of San Antonio.  Shorter flight.  Coming back, he figured he’ll go through one of the Houston airports since he’s never been through Houston.

 

Jack also decided to go on May 6, which is only three days away.  He’s lucky he found some seats so late.  He figured that Jenkins would have false sense of security since he won’t know anybody is looking for him. 

 

The night before leaving he emailed the Panama City Police Department, Bay County Sheriff’s Office and the Panama City Beach Police Department about Jenkins and his personal disability.   He decided not to notify Mexico Beach because there is still so much damage there and he doubted Jenkins would still hang out there.  He also emailed Teri Page to let her know that he was coming down there.

 

On the day to leave and since the plane wasn’t leaving until 11 am, Jack waited to leave home about 7 after Kate left for work and Sam left for school.  He gave them their goodbye kisses and he told Kate that he will behave, as usual.

 

Since Jack can’t hear the radio, he took two cups of hot tea with him on his drive to Denver International Airport to keep him awake for the drive.  Even with the traffic and the continuous construction, he made it to the airport around 9:00 and got through security and to his gate by 9:30.  Record time.

 

Now it was time to wait until it was time for the plane departure.  This is what Jack hated, the waiting.  So, it was time to talk with people.  Which he loved to do.  He noticed two soldiers and he went to talk with them and find out where they were going.  This will also help him with his lip reading.

 

After introducing himself and explaining about his disability, he asked them their names and where they were going.

 

“I’m Corporal Zimmer and this is Sergeant Davis.  We’re heading home for a few days before heading out to Afghanistan.  I’m from Akron, Ohio.

“And I’m from Allentown, Pennsylvania.” Sergeant Davis said, “ We’re were both stationed at Fort Carson, sir.  May I ask you a personal question”

 “Go for it.” Donovan replied.

“What happened to your hearing?”

“I don’t mind talking about it.  I used to be a detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department and I lost it due to a car bombing while investigating a homicide.

“Did you find out who did it?” asked Corporal Zimmer.

“Yes, I did.  He was caught but escaped during all of the confusion of Hurricane Michael.  I’m heading back to Florida because I heard he is back there again.  Hope you guys have a safe trip and I hope to see you again in the Springs when you get back.  Thank you for your service.

“Thank you, sir.” Zimmer and Davis almost say in unison.

 

Jack found a seat and checked his email on his phone.  He received a response from everybody and they said to contact them when he is ready to meet with them.  Teri also said to text her when he arrives in town and she sent him her number. He then notices that everybody was getting in line. He quickly looked up at the sign and it has his flight information and departure time posted so he decided he better get in line.  When he got to the ticket agent, she looked at his ticket and saw special instructions on it.

 

She told him, “The ticket says that you are deaf, right”

“Yes, that’s right.  But I read lips fairly decent.”

“That’s good.  When you get to St. Louis, contact the ticket agent and they will move you to the front of the line.  That way we won’t lose you.”

“Ok, thanks.  I don’t want you to lose me either.” Jack replied with a silly grin.

 

Jack found a window seat and got out his Sudoku magazine.  He said hi to his row neighbor, explained his situation and got absorbed in his puzzle.   He almost missed the snack and drink because he didn’t respond to the flight attendant until it was almost too late.  His neighbor forgot to let him know about the snacks.

 

The rest of the flight was uneventful and he got to the Panama City Airport around 6:30.  He then got his car and then took the one hour trip to Defuniak Spring.  It was still light outside and the drive wasn’t half bad.  A lot of pine trees.  When Jack got to his room, he texted Kate to let her know that he made it safely and that the airline did not lose him.  She was happy to hear that.  She also asked that he text often and to be safe.

 

He then texted Teri and emailed the local police departments.  About 10, Jack decided to call it a night and hit the sack.  The only problem is, how does he set the alarm to wake him up since he can’t hear it.  Kate was usually his backup alarm.  So, Jack checks out the tv to see if he could have it turn on at a certain time.  Wow, he found the information on-line and set the TV to come on.

 

The next morning, Jack got up at 7:00, showered, ate breakfast and checked his emails.  He decided to check out Panama City Beach first since Jenkins was known to be a beach bum.  While getting dressed, he noticed an extra item in his suitcase.  While he was packing, Kate sneaked her pink taser in his suitcase.  He bought it for her a year ago when a couple of nurses were attacked at the hospital.  So, he decided to put it in his pocket just in case he needed it.  Hopefully capturing Jenkins will be just as easy as last time.

 

Jack left the motel around 8:00 and arrived at the Beach police at 9:30.  Everyone was talking about President Trump coming to town.  Jack was always  excited to see a president or political candidate speak.  He got to see candidate Trump in Colorado Springs back in 2016.  He also got to meet three future and current governors of Florida over the years.

 

When Jack got to the police department, he got to see Sargeant Holmes.  He was a middle age person with a southern accent which Donovan was not not used to, being in Colorado for so long.  After they introduced each other, Jack started talking.

 

“Thank you for meeting with me on such notice.  I know your department is busy so I’ll try not to keep you too long.”

“Appreciate it,” said Holmes.  “From what I read in your email, you are looking for Jenkins for bombing your car.  Is that how you lost your hearing?

“Yes sir, it is.

“Let me know if I need to speak any plainer.”

“You’re good.  I gotten pretty adept in ready lips”

“Good..Right now there isn’t much we can do right.  Most of the people here are getting ready for the president.”

“That’s what you said in the email.  I’m mainly just checking in to let you know that I’m here.”

“We appreciate it.  Just one more thing that I have to tell out of town lawmen.  You don’t have any jurisdiction here.  You can also get in deep doo doo if you’re not careful.  A few weeks ago, we had to arrest some military police for getting out of hand.”

“Really?  I’ll be good.  I’ll just do what I did last time when I was in Mexico Beach.”

“I hope you find him.  Sounds like a bad dude.” 

 

Dude? Donovan thought to himself.  Sounds like somebody from the 70’s

 

As he was leaving, Donovan got a text from Teri saying that she would like to meet him for dinner. 

 

Jack responds:  That sounds great.  When and where?

Teri: How about Margaritaville at Pier Park around 7?

Jack:  OK. Meet you there..

 

Jack spent the rest of the day looking for Jenkins, so he went to one of the fishing piers with his binoculars to see if he was on the beach.  Spent four hours there and nothing.  Nothing but water, sand, lots of bikinis and burnt bodies looking like lobsters.  The bikinis were distracting him quite a bit so he went to get a bite to eat and some water real quick. 

 

When he finished his lunch, he went to a different pier to find him.  While he was looking, somebody tapped his shoulder.  He turned around and there was a police officer standing behind him.

“I ask you again, what are you doing, sir?” the officer asked.

“I’m sorry, officer.  I didn’t hear you.  I’m deaf.” Donovan replied. 

“OK, can you answer the question, please?”

“Yes, I’m Jack Donovan.  I talked to your Sergeant Holmes this morning.  I am looking for a bombing suspect out of Colorado.”

“Oh, yes.  The Sergeant mentioned it to us in briefing earlier today.  It just looked kind of unusual from where I was standing.  Have you seen the suspect yet?”

“Not yet.  Just a lot of bikinis and people flipping me off.”

“Yea, you may get a lot of that.  We already got three calls about you today.”

“You did?... I’ll try to be a little more discreet.”

“Please do.  I don’t want to come back here again.

“Neither do I”

 

After the officer left, Jack decided to rent a fishing pole and move to a different part of the pier so people won’t notice him as much.  Jack didn’t do much fishing in Colorado but loved the fishing in Florida.  While on the pier watching, he caught two speckled trout and one small grouper.  He did a nice thing and decided to release the fish back to be caught another day.

 

Three o’clock came around and he decided to call it a day.  He was sunburned on his arms, and face even though he was wearing a hat.  He called a friend who lived in town and asked him if he could freshen up really quick.  Jack went to town and back by six to watch some of the sunset near the restaurant before seeing Teri.

 

He still didn’t see Jenkins that evening so around 6:45 he crossed the street to Jimmy Buffet's restaurant which was right across from the beach.  She hadn’t arrived there yet so he found a table in one of the corners inside so he could see who entered the place.  There was a band playing and he didn’t want the two of them to be distracted or noticed.

 

She got there a little after seven and they started to chat and then ordered something to eat.  Jack ordered the Blackened Redfish and she got the broiled Snapper.  Jack quickly ran to the bathroom and after their drinks arrived, they started chatting.

 

“How have you been, Teri?”
“Ok, I guess.  It’s been a rough six months.  Lost my home due to the hurricane.  Living in a FEMA trailer right now.  Should be another six months before my house is fix.  How about you?”

“Well, been doing some private detective work lately.  Divorce cases, insurance stuff, things like that.”

“What brings you back down here?

“Jenkins, of course...and your email.”

“I wish you hadn’t come down here.  Jenkins is really upset and plans to kill you if he sees you again.”

“Did he tell you that?”

“Yes, he did.  He told me directly.  I think he knows that it was me who told you where he was.”

“How?  I didn’t tell anybody.”

“I think a friend of his saw us talking the last time you were here.”

“But that was only for about five minutes.  Ok. let’s hurry up and eat and get you to a safe place.”

 

When their meal got there, they wolfed down the food, paid the check and left.  As they were leaving, Jack started to feel a little woozy.  Everything started to feel a little surreal.

 

“What’s wrong, Jack?”

“Not feeling well.  Feels like I’ve been drugged or something.  What did you do?”

I’m sorry.  He told me if I didn’t help him, that he would kill me and you, too.”

“He probably will anyway.”

 

Before Jack could make it to the car, Jack passed out and two people carried him to the car.  He could still hear people talking around him but could’t make anything out.

 

The next thing Jack saw was sunlight, bright sunlight.  He woke up and finds himself on the beach not too far from the pier and restaurant where he ate.  He tried to stand up but is pushed down by somebody behind him.  He turned around and saw two Beach police officers with their guns pulled and pointed right at him.

 

“The officer yelled to him, “I said, get down on the ground and spread your arms out.”

 

Jack was confused but quickly complied, trying to figure out what happened. The last thing he remembered is restaurant and Teri.

“The drinks” said to himself.

 

The officers then cuffed and frisked him for weapons and identification.  They found his taser in his front pocket and then his wallet.  Then they tried to read him his rights.

 

Donovan then said to them, “I’m deaf.  I can’t hear a single word you are saying. But I can read lips.   Please contact Sargeant Holmes.  I explained everything to him earlier.”

“We will. How do you explain the body?”

“What body?”

 

The officer turned Donovan around to see a body on the beach right next to the splashing water.

 

“Teri?  Oh, my god.”

“Do you know her?”

“Yes, I do. Teri Page.  Went to high school with her.”

“Mr. Donovan, do you know what happened to her?”

“No, I don’t.  I was having dinner last night with her and the ‘WhamO’.  Lights went out.  Don’t know what happened until I saw you guys here a few minutes ago.

“Probably Rohypnol or some other date rape drug.”

“I feel like crap”

“Let's get you to the hospital and have you check out.

 

After being checked out at Gulf Coast Medical Center, Donovan was taken back to the police station and interviewed.

 

“Well, well, well,”Sergeant Holmes saed, “ I asked you to stay out of trouble and it didn’t work.”

“What did you find out?”

“Everything checks out; the restaurant and people seeing you being carried to a car and driving away.  Do you know who did it?

“I wish I knew.  The only person I can think of is Jenkins.”

‘Why? He’s the one you’re looking for, right?

“Yes, he is.”

“Your wife is on her way here.”

“Already?” 

“Yep.  In fact, she called us last night when she didn’t hear from you.  We put a BOLO out for you to find you and the two officers found you this morning with the deceased.”

“How did she die?”

“Broken neck.  Don’t worry.  She didn’t suffer.”

 

Tears slowing started forming as he started to remember his high school years and when he saw her last May.”

 

“Here’s your wallet and pink taser.  Where is your car?”  The Sergeant asked.

“Thanks. I think near the restaurant at Pier Park”

“I”ll have one of my officers take you to your car and keep an eye on you until your wife gets here.”

 

Jack was very quiet on the way to the car which was understandable.  The drive only took 15 minutes.  When they got there, Jack and the officer chatted for a few minutes

 

“Could I have a few minutes alone on the beach?” Jack asked the officer.

“I don’t know.  I have to keep an eye on you.” the officer responded.

“I’m not going anywhere.  You can watch me from the pier.

“Ok, I’ll do there.  But if you try to run, I’ll tase you three times”

“Deal.’ Jack says with a smile.

 

As he walked to the beach, Jack started thinking about everything that happened the previous three days.  He can’t figure out how everything got so screwed up.  The then heared a familiar voice.

 

“Hi, Jack.”

 

Oh, god.  It was Jenkins.

 

“Jenkins? Why?”

“Jack, I had this planned all along starting with the email.  That’s right.  I knew Teri told you from the beginning.. And, I knew you would come looking for me.  So...I set you up.  I told Teri that if you two met last night you would not be harmed.  I kept my promise.  I did not harm you last night, but today is a different story.”

“Why Teri?”

“She knew too much.”

“What now?”

“Now, it’s your turn.”

 

Jenkins started getting in a defensive stance and that is when Jack realizes that his opponent has a black belt or something similar and that he is no match.  He only knows to protect his head, face and groin area.  Suddenly, Jenkins makes a kick towards David’s right shoulder and makes contact. He feels a loud pop there and immediately loses strength that arm. 

 

“That’s right, Donovan! Your former partner told me about your shoulder.”

 

 Jenkin tried to make another kick towards David’s leg but missed.  He wished he knew what to do, but he couldn’t figure out what Jenkins next move will be.

 

Jenkins then made a swift kick to the chest and knocked the wind out of Jack and he fell to the ground.  He then remembered the taser in his left front pocket.  As he was trying to get up, he was able to grab the taser which was sticking out of his pocket and held it behind him.  In the meantime, Jack was having trouble standing up in the sand.  Jenkins started to move towards Jack for the kill.  But, Jenkins paused for a couple of seconds minutes and that was when Jack reached out to zap him with the taser.  He tazed Jenkins in the worst possible place.

 

The groin.

 

Jenkins started screaming and fell to the ground.

 

Jack says, “Sorry.”

 

The officer saw what was happening from the pier and ran as fast as he could to help Jack.  By the time he got there, the fight was over and Jenkins was laying in the sand and groaning with his zipper smoking.

 

“Damn, that was good.” the officer said.

“Really? I was aiming for his stomach and I slipped.”

 

Jenkins was handcuffed and taken to the hospital.  Jack was checked out by the ambulance and released.  By the time he got back to his car, Kate texted him and told him that she is at the airport and should be there shortly.

 

When Kate arrived, they walk arm in arm down to the beach and take a seat at the water’s edge. While they were sitting on the beach, Kate notices that Jack was favoring his right arm.  Being a doctor, she knew exactly what’s wrong with it.

 

“Are you ok?”  Kate asked, “What’s wrong with your shoulder?”

“Oh, nothing,” Jack replied sheepishly. “Had a run-in with Jenkins.  Didn’t know he had a Black Belt in karate.”

“You’ve had defensive training too, right?”

“Yea...Defensive tactics.  Last time I took it, I dislocated my shoulder.”

“What? You never told me that.  Let me check it out.”

“Oh, It happened when you were at some medical conference.  I’ll be fine”

“Let me be the judge of that.  Remember, I’m the doctor.”

“I’m good.”

Kate started rubbing the shoulder to see how bad it is.  She notices that the shoulder was definitely dislocated.

“Wow, that really feels good.” Jack said

She starts adjusting it a little harder before Jack noticed.

“Not too hard now.” Jack adds

Kate starts pulling harder on the shoulder.

“Hey, What the hell are you doing?”

Kate then straightens the arm our and suddenly pulls on it real hard.

 

“AHHHH…..” as Jack let out a scream.

 

About a minute later, Jack said, “Boy, did that hurt.”

Kate snapped her finger and responded in a calm voice. “Oh, crap. I forgot to give you pain killer before I did that. 

She then looked at Jack with a smirk, “That’s what happens when you forget to tell me things.”

Jack responded “I’ll remember that next time.”

 

About a minute later, Jack said, “Let’s take a walk.”

“Sounds like a great idea.  How long were you planning on staying here?”

“Was going to leave tomorrow morning.  Do you have something else in mind?”

“Why don’t we stay one more day and enjoy the beach and get some sun?”

Jack gives her his ‘What the Hell” look and says, “Now, look at me.  I’m sunburned, almost beaten to a pulp and just had a dislocated shoulder fixed by you.  What do you think?”

“I would say that is a yes.”

“You read my mind.”  As they continue their walk, Jack asked, How’s Sam, Hans and Franz?”

“They’re all doing good. Sam wants to know if you can do some more pork chops.  And, Hans and Franz saved us from two squirrels the other day.”

 

At that moment, they stop on the beach and look at each other.

Jack started tearing up and say, “Thank you for believing in me.”

Kate replied with a smile, “Somebody has to.

 

Jack smiled and as the sun set, they gave each other a kiss and continued their walk down the beach wondering what the next case with bring him.




 

 


© Copyright 2019 Brian Lee Clements. All rights reserved.

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