"A Walk in the Park"

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
When Gilbert Hayes goes for a walk in the park, disaster strikes.

Read on for a short yet satisfying story filled with good guys, bad guys, and explosions.

P.S. I lied about the explosions.

Submitted: July 09, 2012

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Submitted: July 09, 2012

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"A Walk in the Park"

by Alex Crouzet-Pascal

 

It was a pleasant day outside, so Gilbert Hayes decided to go for a walk in the park.  Gilbert was a recluse, and had not been outside in at least a week, so it had been at least a year since his last time at the park.  He was excited.  Oh boy, he thought. I can’t wait.  There will be dogs and benches and trees and benches and dogs and trees and butterflies and flowers and benches... and so his thoughts rambled on.  He put on his finest sport coat and left his house at 21 Maple Street in Chicago, IL around 2:30 PM.That was the last anyone ever saw of him for a long time.
The next day, which happened to be Saturday, June 6, 1987, around 5:00 PM, Sergeant William Howard of the Chicago Police Department stopped by his house.  One of the neighbors had seen him go the day before and after not seeing him come back for a day, contacted the local police.  It had taken 2 hours for the police to arrive after the call.  Thirty minutes for the 9-1-1 dispatcher to finish his coffee and tell his superior, another 30 for his superior, Captain Wallace, to finish his donuts and paperwork, another 30 for Captain Wallace to find someone who was willing to go investigate, 15 minutes for Sergeant Howard to get up from his nap, and another 15 for Sergeant Howard to drive to 21 Maple Street (it was really a 5 minute drive but Sergeant Howard got lost several times along the way.)
When he arrived, he saw that the house was, indeed, vacant.  He filled out some paperwork and drove back to the station.
He was escorted into Captain Wallace’s office and after he explained the situation, Captain Wallace sat and pondered what he heard for a few minutes.
“So you’re saying,” he started.  “That this Hayes guy actually lives there?  And the house isn’t abandoned or something?”
“Yes, sir,” responded Sergeant Howard. “I checked the records and everything.”
“And you’re sure.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Okay then.  Give me a few days to look over this paperwork and I’ll get back to you on this,” said Captain Wallace.  
And so Sergeant Howard left the Captain’s office, with the satisfaction of a job well done.  
Well it turned out that “a few days” meant two weeks.  On Sunday, June 7, 1987, Captain Wallace played some golf at the country club.  On Monday the 8th, he went out for coffee with his old buddy from High School, Commissioner Greene.  Then he finished up some old paperwork and left work early to spend time with his 8 year old son, Walter.On Tuesday, the 9th, he left for his one week paid vacation to Hawaii with his family and didn’t return until Thursday the 18th because his flight was delayed.  He wasn’t in any hurry to get back anyway.  On Friday the 19th,  he took a recovery day for jet-lag and he finally returned to work on Saturday the 20th.  He finally looked over the paperwork Sergeant Howard filled out about the Gilbert Hayes case two weeks before.  Then he had a nice chat with Sergeant Howard.  After catching up on sports and the weather, they finally got to the subject of Gilbert Hayes.  
And so, on Saturday, June 20, 1987 around 6:30 PM, exactly two weeks after the original meeting, Captain Wallace finally got back to Sergeant Howard on the Gilbert Hayes case.  They had decided that this case wasn’t in their jurisdiction, so they kicked it up to the Illinois State Police.  
Captain Wallace’s State Police counterpart, Captain Harrison, was disgusted by Captain Wallace’s incompetence.  “Scum like you make me sick,” Harrison had said.  Harrison then proceeded to order a full-scale investigation.  
They had a suspect in the case, which had been deemed a kidnapping.  His name was Gerard O’Connor.  He lived across the street from Gilbert Hayes, and had a deep hatred for the recluse.  “Gilbert, how can you stay inside for so long?” he had asked on one of those rare occasions where Gilbert went outside.  “Scum like you make me sick.”  
Police used Gilbert’s vacant house to spy on O’Connor, but found no evidence that he was the one who kidnapped Gilbert.
After about a year of investigation, one of the State Troopers observed a bound figure at 19 Maple Street, the house next door to Gilbert’s.  They discovered it was, indeed, Gilbert Hayes.  The State Police sent a SWAT team.  
Meanshile inside, Mr. Johnson, the neighbor who had called the police in the first place, laughed an evil laugh.
“Muhahahaha!  I’ll never get caught!” he exclaimed,  “‘Cause no one ever suspects the one who calls the cops.  It’s been over a year and those dumb cops still haven’t found me!”
“Mmph,” said a gagged and bound Gilbert nearby.
Just then the SWAT team burst through the door.  “POLICE!”  they shouted.  They arrested him, and he was taken away.  So, on that day, Tuesday, July 19, 1988, Gilbert Hayes was found.  He was severely starved and dehydrated, so he was hospitalized for a few days.  Then he returned home and promised himself he would never go outside more than once a month.  
Meanwhile, while on his yearly paid vacation, this time on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Captain Wallace was living it up in paradise with his family until he got the “Notice of Termination of Membership.”  He had been fired from the Chicago Police Department.  He then proceeded to get a job as a bagger at the local supermarket, until he was finally fired in  November 1990 for squirting Cheese Whiz on a finicky customer.  Wow, he thought, What a cheesy ending.


© Copyright 2017 AlexCrouzetPascal. All rights reserved.

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