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Crash

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Jack Donovan decides to go on a walk when he comes across a car crash and becomes involved in a mystery with international intrigue. Read this sequel of "If you Could Hear What I See" and "Death On A Beach" and find out.

Photo by Mattia Righetti on Unsplash

Submitted: May 29, 2019

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Submitted: May 29, 2019

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Crash

By Brian Lee Clements

 

It’s 7am and Jack Donovan was unable to sleep and had already been up for a couple of hours now.  So, he helped to get his wife off to work because of a scheduled early surgery and then his daughter, Sam, off to school for the last week of her sophomore year. 

 

 After this week she’ll be a Junior, that is if she passes all of her classes.  But, for some reason, nobody seemed to be worried and they aren’t.

 

“Are you ready for your finals?”

“Dad, for the upteenth time, yes.  You and mom can be so annoying sometimes”

“That’s our job...to be annoying to our kids.”

“Well, you and mom are doing a good job.”  Horn beeps outside. “Gotta go. See you when I get home tonight.”

“OK.  Be safe.”

 

Sam mumbled something but Jack doesn’t hear here due to being deaf.  That was good for Sam.

 

Jack had pretty much caught up with his cases as a private detective and he finally has some free time to himself.  His shoulder has been healing since he dislocated it a few weeks while he was in Panama City again. That case was now behind him with David Jenkins, the man who caused his deafness, now behind bars here in Colorado Springs after extradition.  The case is set for court in July. Not much time but not soon enough.

 

While he sat at his desk, Jack started to notice that he’s been  packing a couple of extra pounds around his center. So, he decided to change into his shorts and go on a walk for a couple of miles.  Since it was still 7:30 and quiet, he figured there shouldn’t be too many people out on the Cottonwood Creek Trail.

 

He stepped outside and immediately noticed that the temperature was still pretty chilly.

 

Jack said to himself,  “My god. Won’t we ever it warm weather.  The weather here is so schizophrenic. Must be all the marijuana in the air.”

 

You’d think it being May 22 that the temperature would be warmer, but, then again, Colorado Springs had six inches of snow just the day before.  So, Jack went back inside and put on his long pants and sweats so his skinny legs won’t freeze during his walk

 

It was a cool day and Jack was now dressed for the weather; sweat pants, tee shirt, sweatshirt, ball cap and beanie cap to keep his ears warm.  He drove to Cottonwood Creek and, when he got there, started walking along the creek and enjoyed the beauty of the area. The trees were kind of confused also with it being warm one day, snow the next and then warm again.  Hopefully this will be the last cold snap before Memorial Day.

 

As he was walking, Jack came across some people walking along the trail.  He’s thought ‘people are out walking this early?’ Then he realized that he was one of those people.

 

About 20 minutes into the walk, Jack got to a gas station near the busy intersection  of Woodmen and Austin Bluffs and decided to turn around. As he does, an Audi suddenly sped in front of him across the trail and drove over an embankment and into the creek below him about 20 feet.

 

Jack said to himself, “What the hell?  Didn’t see that coming.”

 

A few seconds later, Jack decided to climb down the embankment to see if the person was ok.  When he got there, he leaned against the car and he found a man with two bullet wounds, one to his arm and the other one was on the side of his chest.  It didn’t look good for the person. The person then starts talking to Jack.

 

“Wer bist du?  Was ist passiert?”  (Who are you?  Where am I?)

Jack responded, “I can’t hear you. I’m deaf.  Please try to be quiet.”

“Ich muss gehen.  Jemand versucht mich zu töten”  (I need to leave. Somebody is trying to kill me)

“I’m sorry.  I don’t understand.  The ambulance and police are coming”

 

Then the man handed a flash drive to Jack,

 

“Nimm das. Bewacht es mit deinem Leben.” (Take this. Guard it with your life.”)

“What is this” Jack asked as he put it in his pocket.  “I wish I knew what you were saying.”

 

All of a sudden, the car started sliding even more into the creek which caused Jack to slip and land on his shoulder.  He then felt a pop and loses all strength in his right shoulder. The car settled in the creek and started filling with water.  Unable to move his right shoulder, Jack reached through the window and tried to hold the man’s head up above the water, just in case the water gets deep.  He did that for a few minutes until a police officer got there and took over for him.

 

Jack climbed back on the trail and noticed people started to gather by the creek where the crash occurred. He looked at the crowd to see if he recognized anybody.  The ambulance soon arrived and the EMTs took over rescue operations of the victim and also looked Jack over while he holding his shoulder.

 

He rubbed his shoulder and said to himself, “Oh, great.  I hope I didn’t separate it again.”

The EMT asked, “Have you separated it before?”

“A couple of times before. Hurts like the dickens and no strength in the arm.

The EMT looked at the arm and felt it. “Yep, I’m afraid it’s dislocated.  We’ll need to get you to the hospital so they can look at it and put it back.”

“Can you take me to St. Francis?  It’s only a few blocks away.”

“Sure.  Hop in. You’ll have to lay on a gurney.”

“That’s sounds ok. I need to tell you that I’m deaf but I can read lips.”

“I figured that when you didn’t respond to some of my questions.”

“What questions?

“Like, ‘Do you have any disabilities’?”

“Really?”

“Not really.  Just kidding”

 

In fact, you could actually see the hospital from where they were standing so It only took the ambulance five minutes for them to get there.  Jack was worried that his wife might be in the emergency room since she had filled in there before. He thought he had better let her know that he was on his way and didn’t want to startle her.

 

As they were on their way to the hospital, Jack textedd his wife.

 

Hi, honey.  You wouldn’t believe where I am right now.

A few seconds later, ‘Where are you?

I’m in an ambulance on the way to St. Francis.  Should be there in a few minutes.’

‘What happened?’

‘Separated my shoulder. Funny thing.  Came upon a crashed car in Cottonwood Creek’

‘Can’t wait to hear about it.  See you in the emergency room.’

 

No LOL or anything like that.

 

Jack got into an examination room and his wife saw him, who is shaking her head and then starts to grin.

 

“Hi Jack, What the hell happened to you this time?

“You won’t believe what happened?

“Try me.”

“I was on a walk and a car crashed in front of me.”

“You mentioned that.”

Well, I was leaning against the car and it started sliding and I slipped and fell...You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”

“After last time, I sure am.”

“How’s the other guy?

“He’s in the other room.  Dr. Robinson is looking in on him.  We’ll probably switch patients here in a few minutes.”

 

Dr. Robinson came in and talked to Kate and she left to go see the other person.

 

“How is he, JoAnne?”

“Not well.  He’s speaking in German so we’re trying to find an interpreter.”

“No wonder I couldn’t read his lips.”

“I’m going to give you a shot in the arm to deaden the pain.  Are you allergic to anything?”

“I am to Pain.  The last time I had this done, Kate conveniently forgot to give me pain killer.”

“Yea. She told me.”

“I’m sure she had a good laugh.”

 

A few minutes after Jack was given the shot, he was starting to feel pretty good.  Kate came in and started talking to the both of them.

“Jack, I’m afraid the man in the next room passed away. Did you know him?”

“No, afraid not.  What’s his name?”

“According to his passport, his name is Stefan Schmidt.”

“Doesn’t ring a bell.”

“He had a Diplomatic Passport so we’ll have to notify the German embassy, wherever that is.  Oh, and the police are here to talk to you”

“They are? Why?”

“I told them they would have to wait a few minutes while we put your shoulder back where it belongs.”

“Will it hurt?”

“Not like last time.” Kate responded.

“That’s a relief.”

“Relax,” Dr. Robinson said. “Kate, do you have the manual for dislocated shoulder repairs?”

“Left it upstairs.  But we can wing it.”
“Oh, god.” Jack yells out loud

 

The doctors popped the shoulder back in with ease.  To Jack’s relief, there was no pain. A few minutes later, two Colorado Springs Police detectives came in to see him.

 

“Hi, Jack.”

“Hi, Bill.  Long time, no see.”

“This is my partner, Detective Thomas.”

“How’s it going?” Thomas says.

“Well, besides being in the hospital and deaf, I’m doing ok.”

“We’ll be brief.  Have you ever met Mr. Schmidt?”

“Never seen him before he came barreling into the creek.”

“What did he say to you?”

“I have no idea.  Couldn’t read his lips.  Apparently, he was speaking in German.”

 

Bill leaned over to Detective Thomas and explained to him how Jack lost his hearing a couple of years before.

 

Sergeant Thomas then said, “We’ve notified the German Consulate in Los Angeles and they are sending someone.  It seems that Mr. Schmidt was an agent working on stopping a major drug sales in the US, particularly here in The Springs.  Some Colombian Cartel.”

“Wow. I wish I could help, but as I said, I just met him and have no idea what he said.”

 

After they left, Jack snapped his fingers and happened to remember that Schmidt gave him a flash drive.  He figured that he’ll call them when he got home or after the pain killer wears off, whichever came second.

 

Kate drove him home the short distance from the hospital.  Jack started to wonder what this guy was doing with two gunshot wounds and why he gave him the flash drive.  And what was on it? Was it top secret stuff or just somebody’s recipe for cornbread muffins.

 

After he got home, Kate told him to stay home, don’t get hurt and that she will check on him later.  Meanwhile, Jack decided to take a nap since it was already noon and a fun filled day. Sam got home around 3:30 and saw her dad’s arm in a sling.

 

“What in the world happened to you?”

“There was this car crash in front of me...”

“You don’t need to tell me any more.”

“I’m not finished.”

“Dad, I have a test to study for.  Remember what you said this morning.”

“OK.  Have fun.  You want pork chops again tonight.

“Sure.  My vegetarian diet is already shot all to hell.”

 

After dinner, Jack and Kate talked about the day’s events.

 

“How was work, honey?”

“I should ask you that, Jack.”

“I’m better now.  Took my arm out of the sling to stretch the muscles.

“You need to be careful.  They’re starting to wonder at the hospital if you get hurt just to come see me.”

“Like hurting myself is a good excuse to see you.” Jack said as he kissed Kate on the forehead.

“I just don’t want to see you in pain.  No more hurting yourself. Do we have a deal?”

“Yes dear, we do.  What time do you need to get up in the morning?”

“My first surgery is at 8, so I need to be up at six.”

“I’ll make sure you and Sam are up at that time.  Oh, I forgot to tell you but the German guy that passed away in the emergency room gave me a flash drive and I forgot to give it to the detectives today.”

“You forgot?  I’ve always wondered how you made detective with the way your memory is.  Promise me you’ll contact the police tomorrow, first thing.”

“I promise.  But it will have to be the second thing.”

“What’s the first thing then?

“Getting you guys off and running.”

“Ok. but do it”

 

The next morning, after getting everybody out of the house, Jack emailed Bill Allen, the detective that saw him at the hospital.  He asked that he email him or text when he got in. In the meantime, Jack decided to take another walk along Cottonwood Creek to see if there was any evidence left that may have been overlooked by the police.

 

Since it was a lot warmer and the snow had melted, Jack decided to go ahead and wear shorts .  It took him about twenty minutes again to get to the spot where the crash happened. As he looked, he noticed the tire marks went across the median and over the curb, past the gas station and right in front of him.  Even though the driver was gravely injured, he did a hell of a job not hitting anything or anyone, including Jack.

 

Jack didn’t see any new evidence, so he continued the walk that he didn’t finish the previous day.  He decided to walk the complete circle along Austin Bluffs towards Dublin and then back to his car. One thing that caught his eye is a black Mercedes that passed him three times.  The guy wasn’t good at disguising himself.

 

Jack didn’t see the car after the third time.  He figured that the guy was probably lost and gave up and left.  When he drove down a street near his home, he saw that same car parked about a block away from his house.  Did he find what he was looking for or was he still looking?

 

Jack decided to look around to make sure the person has not broken into his house.  He looked in the front windows and then went to the back and saw nothing. But when he turned around, he got startled when he saw a gun pointed to his head.

 

 “Hi,” Jack said. How can I help you?”

 

Jack realized that it was probably a very stupid thing to say. 

 

The guy replied, “Let’s go inside before anybody sees us.”

“Ok, but we’ll have to use the front door.  The back door is locked and uses a different key.”

 

The intruder pushed Jack back and used the back of his elbow to break a window pane and unlock the door.

 

“I guess the door is unlocked now.”

“I can see that.” George replied. 

When they get inside, the intruder said, “Sit down.”

 

George sat down in the dining room table and tried to figure out his next move, if any

 

“What’s your name?”

“My name is Jack Donovan.  What’s yours?”

“My name isn’t important. You got that?”  As he pointed the gun at Jack.

“Yes, I understand.  What is it you want?”

“You have something I want.  Where is it?”

‘I don’t know what I have that you want.  Can you be more specific?”

 

At that moment, Jack’s phone rang. It’s Kate, but he didn’t hear it.

 

His kidnapper said. “Answer it.”

“Answer what? 

“Your phone, you idiot.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, answer it, and put it on speaker.”

“OK...Hello?” as Jack answered his phone. 

“Hi, Jack.  Are you OK?”

The kidnapper mouths, “Tell her, ‘You’re fine’.”

“I’m fine, honey.  What’s going on?”

“Not much, Would you like to get something to eat tonight?”

The kidnaper mouthed, ‘Where and what time?’

“Sure, where and what time?”

“How about Red Robin at seven tonight? And then when we get home I'll put on that new nightgown i bought.”

The kidnapper rolled his eyes and mouthed, ‘Sounds good, see you then.”

“Sounds good, see you then.”

He then mouthed, “Bye.”

“Bye, Kate.”

“Love you. Bye.” Kay said.

 

“Now that wasn’t too hard, was it?”

“What is it you want?”

“You came across a car crash the other day.”

“Yea, the guy died in the hospital and I separated my shoulder... again.” Jack said sarcastically....“Why?”

“What did he tell you or give you?”

“He didn’t tell me anything.  From what I understand he wasn’t very coherent in the emergency room either.”

“So, he gave you something?”

“Yea.”

“Like what?” as he looks out the window.”

“What? I didn’t hear what you were saying.”

“Man, are you deaf?  What did he give you?”

“A thumb drive.”

“Where is the damn thing?”

“Probably still In my sweats.”

“You sure are making this difficult. Where are your sweats?”

“Probably upstairs in the bedroom”

“Let’s go look for it.”

 

They got up to the bedroom and couldn’t find it there.  The intruder was getting a little frustrated when they couldn’t find the sweats in the closet or dresser.

 

“Ok.  Where in the hell is it?

“Oh, it’s probably in the clothes basket down in the basement.  Hopefully my wife didn’t wash it”

“You better hope not.”

“I doubt it.  She hates washing.”

“Let’s head down to the basement.”

 

Jack was trying to figure out how much longer he can distract this guy.  He’s done everything he could think of to waste time.

 

As they got to the basement, there is a banging on the door.

 

“Who’s that?”

“I didn’t hear anything,”Jack responded.

“You’re pulling my leg. Let’s go see who’s at the door.”

“Ok.”

 

As they went back upstairs, Jack saw a light shadow on the wall.  Whoever’s making it, he wasn’t sure, but he hoped it’s somebody who can help him. 

 

When he reached the top of the stairs, a gloved hand suddenly grabbed his wrist and pulled him to the right and out of the way.  On the other side of the basement door, another armed person stepped out in front.

 

“Put the gun down,” the person yelled. “Put it down or I will kill you.”

 

There was a moment of hesitation. But the kidnapper eventually put the gun down and the person pulled out a set of handcuffs.  It turned out that the two people were from the Colorado Springs Police Department.

 

“Are you alright, Jack?”

“Yes, I am now. Shoulder hurts a little when you pulled on it, but I’ll be ok.”

“Sorry about that.  Everything else ok.”

“I think so.”

“Thanks for leaving the keys under the fake dog poop.  It took us a few minutes to find it with all of the real poop in the yard.  Looks like someone didn’t clean up your dog’s business.”

“I will talk to her about it when she gets home from school.”

The other officer said, “That was also pretty clever of you; Talking to your wife on the phone.”

The kidnapper responded, “What do you mean?  He said everything I told him to say.”

“He probably did.  But the one thing you don’t know is that Donovan is completely deaf.  He can’t hear squat.”

“But he understood what I was saying to him.”

“Probably because he is a very good lip reader.”

 

The kidnapper made a face of disbelief. 

 

“He could not hear a word his wife was telling him.  She first knew something was off when he answered the phone.  He never answers the phone because he can’t hear it ring. And then, when she had a coherent conversation with him over the phone she figured she better call the station.”

“Oh, man.”

Jack then said, “I'm glad she figured it out.  I have no idea what she said.”

“You don’t know?  Oh, you’re taking her to Europe.” one of the officers said.

“Really?”

“Just kidding.  You’re actually taking her to Red Robins at 7 tonight.”

“That’s a little cheaper than Europe.”

“Do you know what this guy was looking for?”

“He told me that he was looking for a flash drive that the german guy gave me.”

“Do you still have it?”

“Sure do.  It’s right over here in our pen mug. “

 

Donovan poured about twenty pens out of the mug and found the flash drive.  He then handed it over to the officers. The intruder then just shook his head in disbelief. 

 

“How come you didn’t give it to the detectives yesterday?”

“I forgot.  With all the confusion with my shoulder and the painkiller, it slipped my mind.”

“I guess they’ll forgive you for that.  Did you have a chance to look at it?

“No.  Wish I did.  Wondering what could be so valuable to end somebody’s life.

“You’re very lucky.  These drug cartels don’t mess around. We’ll need you to fill out some paperwork before we leave”

 

After he filled out the paperwork, he texted his wife about what happened.

 

You wouldn’t believe what happened.’

‘Try me.’

An intruder held me hostage for that flash drive that the german guy gave me.’

“Ok.  Tell me about it when you meet me at Red Robins’

‘We’re really going there?”

“I told you we were when you answered the phone.”

‘Sure. How could I forget.’

 

Jack was a little surprised that she would hold him to the date, but he figured he better go anyway.  Sam decided to eat with some friends so Jack and Kate were able to have a nice quiet evening at Red Robins.  After getting their food ordered. They talked about the day’s events.

 

“You mean to tell me that the guy who had a gun on you did not know that you were deaf?”

“No. I don’t know if he was just that dense or not really paying attention to me and just looking for the flash drive.”

“Who knows.  But you need to start being careful.  You’ve had quite a few injuries during the last few weeks and I just hope we can keep you healthy.”

“I’ve been trying.  I didn’t see this coming.”

“The problem is, we never do.  I just don’t want to become a widow anytime soon.”

“I will do my best to stay healthy.  I promise.”

 

When their meal got there, Jack said the blessing and they both looked at each other wondering what the next case will bring him.  Jack just hoped he could get through without injuring his shoulder again.

 

So did Kate.

 


© Copyright 2019 Brian Lee Clements. All rights reserved.

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