Green Lake Episode 2 Scene 2 “Dead Letters”
EPISODE 2: DARKNESS RISING
Scene 2: “Dead Letters.”
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By John Raab & Donald Allen Kirch
4:00 AM – Sophia’s House:
Sophia woke to the sounds of sirens blasting into and passing her bedroom window. There seemed to be a torrent of action going on down below and through the main street of Green Lake. The panicked and carried voices of the local volunteer fire department invaded the sleepy woman’s senses, causing her to jump out of bed, naked.
She saw two fire engines and an ambulance racing down the street and beyond the city limits. In good taste, she grabbed a sheet from the bed, covering herself. Curious, she continued to watch, peering out her second story window.
“Oh, I hope it’s not another fire,” she whispered, softly moving hair from her eyes.
An unexplainable smile started to form within the corners of her mouth.
The whole town was in the middle of social chaos.
Yesterday, the Goodwin House burnt down and the events of the past few days had been quite disturbing to Green Lake.
She walked back to her bed and sat down. Closing her eyes, she dropped the sheet, allowing the moonlight to shower her body. It was a remarkable feeling, and she enjoyed the moment. Her hands caressed her breasts, and she lay back upon the mattress, thinking.
It was nice to see Michael again, and to have him back in Green Lake. He had been the only man she truly loved. She had been devastated when he went away to college, got married, and never came back to her.
“If only things had been different, Michael,” she mused, stopping her hands at her stomach. She blinked, trying to fight back the tears.
She knew that if Michael would have stayed in town, she would be lying next to him right now, feeling the warmth of his body. His strong hands would be touching her, and making her feel both wanted and alive! They were quite young when they had fallen in love, but she couldn’t shake the belief that they were still meant to be together.
A dog started to bark, no doubt alarmed by the curious of the town.
Sophia had many opportunities to move on and find someone else, but Michael was her one and only. He walked in her dreams and still held within his hands the better half of her heart.
“Well, I’m not going to let you go…this time. No, sir,” Sophia whispered, promising herself.
She looked up at the clock on her nightstand. It read “4:03 AM.”
She had to get up in an hour anyway, so she got dressed and went down stairs to make some coffee and to start her day. Making a quick breakfast, and taking an even quicker shower, she appeared ready. While eating, she turned on the TV, flipped through a few channels, and cursed why she even bothered to watch cable – all those channels and NOTHING was ever on!
“Time to get down to the business at hand,” she said, mockingly, as she started the task of getting the store open.
Sheriff Freeman’s House – 4:27 AM:
The Sheriff opened his right eye and stared at the ringing phone on his nightstand as if it were the enemy. It was! After the last couple days, he barely got enough sleep to keep from collapsing.
Moaning and bitching, he grabbed the damn thing.
“Hello?” he said in a tired voice.
Being woken up at the crack of dawn was not on his high list of things to do in the morning.
“Sheriff, we have a problem.” it was Doug.
“We fucking better have a problem for you to call me this early. What is it?”
There was a slight pause on the other end of the line.
Freeman found himself rubbing the side of his head. He was starting to get another damn headache.
“There is a fire brewing out at the Taylor Ranch,” Doug explained, his voice sounding shaky. “I guess the whole place is burning. Crews just got the call and are headed out there now.”
Freeman sat up in his bed.
“Doug, I’m on my way. I’ll meet you out there.”
“Okay, boss. There’s one more thing.”
“There was a letter delivered to the station with your name on it.”
Sheriff Freeman stopped trying to put on a uniform shirt, listening. “And that’s primetime news.” he stated.
“Well, it was found taped to the front door just seconds before we got the call on the fire.”
Freeman was heading toward the bathroom to wake himself up.
“Did you open it and see who it was from? Who brought it up there?”
“You want me to open it now?”
“No. Let’s just let it sit on my desk for the rest of my life as a great unknown mystery,” Freeman sarcastically barked into the phone. Almost immediately, after he said it, he felt regret for attacking Doug. The deputy was just too damn honest for his own good. “Go ahead!”
Freeman turned on the water and put the phone on his shoulder, holding it in place with his chin. He took his hands and splashed some water on his face. His head began to burn and he winced with a shot of pain that hit him like a bullet.
“You okay, boss?” Doug shouted on the other end of the line.
“I’m fine,” Freeman lied, “water was too damn hot. Go on and read it.”
Freeman put more water on his face and turned off the faucet. He looked at himself in the shaving mirror and shook his head with comedy. The Sheriff noticed that his eyes were red, looking like someone who had smoked too much weed the night before, or was trying to get over one hell of a hangover.
“Hurry up, man,” Freeman barked into his phone. “Don’t have all day, you know.”
He could hear Doug opening up the letter.
The deputy on the other end paused.
Freeman waited a couple seconds and then spoke again.
“Well, what does it say? Freeman left his bathroom and grabbed both his uniform pants and duty belt. He didn’t have time to take a shower, so in good conscience he glared hard at a spray deodorant can on his nightstand.
“Um, well…” Doug stammered, “It says this is just the beginning of our hell.”
“That’s it?” Freeman asked, putting on his pants.
“It also says that we are not to trust Michael Barrett.”
Freeman froze, allowing his pants to fall to the floor – one leg in, and one leg out.
Again, the Sheriff’s head filled with a fantastic pain. So much so, that he cried out loud enough to drop his phone. Rubbing the pressure points at his temples, Freeman had managed to control the wave of pain, allowing it to ebb to a tolerable level.
The pain left as quickly as it had come.
“Boss! You okay?” Doug sounded like he was ready to rush over to Freeman’s house. Silently, the Sheriff admired his faithfulness.
“Yeah, just a headache,” Freeman explained. “What the hell is that suppose to mean? That we cannot trust Michael Barrett? Jesus, the man just lost his parents.”
“I don’t know. I’ll bring it with me to the Taylor’s.”
“Good call, Doug. Okay, I’m on my way.”
Both hung up.
Sheriff Freeman reached down and pulled up his pants.
It did not take him too long to put on the rest of his uniform. Years of practice. Green Lake may not have had all the problems of a major city, but there was no limit of domestic violence. After a man got laid off from work, and had a few beers in him, anything was possible and often was. He got a cup of coffee and headed out to his cruiser.
It was still dark, and the sun wouldn’t be up for another hour or so. When he was awake, Freeman loved this time of the day. It was still cool enough to enjoy, and most of the people weren’t around screwing up the scenery.
“Yep, looks like it’s going to be another boring d…” Freeman paused, mid-sentence.
Staring across the road, in front of his house, he thought he saw a hooded figure looking at him from behind an oak tree.
“Naw,” Freeman softly said, turning to unlock his car door.
He turned back to see who the figure was.
When he looked, the figure was gone.
As he opened the door to his car, a raven came from out of nowhere and landed upon the vehicle’s roof. The bird squawked a high pitched noise, causing the man to almost have a heart attack.
“Goddamn!” He yelled, grabbing his chest in surprise. He almost dropped the coffee he took with him from the kitchen. “Get the hell out of here, you shit bag with feathers!” he said, trying his best to wave the raven off with his free hand.
The raven squawked at Freeman, almost daring the man to touch him. It lowered its head, bowing at his command. After a few seconds of hand waving, it finally got the message that it wasn’t welcome, and flew off; landing upon the oak tree the Sheriff had spotted the hooded figure hiding behind.
The Sheriff got in his car.
A letter was taped to his passenger’s seat.
The cream envelope had his name written on it in old script. It was almost beautiful.
The Sheriff looked around, as if expecting to see the person who had delivered it.
He opened it.
“MICHAEL BARRETT IS THE KEY…DON’T LET HIM LEAVE!” it read.
He flipped the one page of paper over and it was blank. Nothing else was inside the envelope, and that was the only sentence on the page.
“What the hell is going on in this town?” Freeman’s voice was loud and irritated.
He turned on the ignition, backed out of his driveway, and headed out to the Taylor Ranch.
Roger Gentry’s Home – 6:00 AM:
Roger hit the alarm clock, knocking it off of his nightstand for the hundredth time. He had never been a morning man. Sitting up, late at night, drinking hadn’t been a great idea either. Seeing Michael Barrett reminded him too much of the glory days, and it had gotten to him. He had felt bad about bolting out on an old friend like that, but the feelings came too strong, and he needed to forget. Drinking was the only way to do that, and he knew that if he had wanted to do it right, he would have to be alone. So, he made a mental note to hook up with Michael later.
“Better get up and get my ass to the shop,” he coached to himself, slowly pulling the covers off. “Ralph hates it when I’m late.”
He sat up, rubbed his eyes, and went to the bathroom.
These things took time.
Afterwards, he grabbed his keys and headed out the door in the same clothes he had slept in. What the hell? People expected him to stink anyway – he was a laborer, after all.
He had just enough time to stop off at Sophia’s and get a cup of coffee and a donut.
He walked into the general store seeing Sophia behind the counter waiting on a couple of workers from the Miller’s Mill, the only grain refinery left in the county. It was the main employment for many of the people of Green Lake, with about 50 employees. The two men grabbed their morning pick me ups and headed past Roger.
“Morning fellows,” he huffed, heading up to the counter.
The exiting men just grumbled.
“Good morning, Sophia,” Roger winked, “You got some fresh coffee?”
Sophia was looking as beautiful as ever. Roger, along with almost every man, married or not, wanted to be with her, if only for an hour.
“Sweetie, of course I do.”
Roger’s eyes scanned the woman’s breasts.
Sophia caught his gaze, smiling.
She walked a couple feet to her modern coffee machine, a fancy system she had some big city boys install a few months ago, so that she could brew up some gourmet java. Roger, admittedly, loved it. He liked it black and strong, and she made the best dam brew in the city.
“Things seem to be jumping out of town today,” Sophia stated, pouring out the fresh coffee.
Roger only grunted. He was too busy looking at the woman’s ass.
“They should make tight jeans in the morning a misdemeanor,” Roger softly said to himself.
“What was that?”
“Oh, nothing,” Roger’s face flashed red. He picked up a donut from a box that was sitting on the counter. Just one of the things Sophia did for the blue collar crowd in Green Lake. She always made sure she had a couple dozen fresh donuts delivered every morning to see the men off to work.
Small towns had those simple touches, and this was something her family had done for decades.
“When are you going to let me take you on a date?” Roger asked, almost surprised at his own forwardness. Perhaps it was the sight of Sophia in her tight jeans that brought it out of him.
Sophia placed his coffee on the counter, arching up an eyebrow in surprise.
“Well, now, that is a tempting proposition,” she smiled, leaning forward just enough to give the man a peak at her bosoms. “Ask me again, tomorrow.”
Roger sipped his coffee.
“You said that the last time. I can take a hint.”
Sophia patted the man’s hand as she took his money for the coffee and donut.
“It isn’t that I wouldn’t like to go out with you, I really just do not need to complicate my life right now. I’m very happy being single.”
Roger looked down at his coffee, sad.
“Well if you ever change your mind, let me know.”
“Sweetie, you will be the first to know,” she said with a wink. Sophia was good at teasing the men of Green Lake. Never having actually slept with any of them, but that didn’t stop them from trying. Most already thought she was having a secret affair with Doctor Holder, anyway.
“I’ll hold you to that, one day, darling.” Roger said, walking out the front door.
When Sophia was alone, her pleasant face was instantly replaced with one of blank emotions. She walked out from behind her counter and stood in front of the main entrance, looking out at those who passed her by. The town was waking up and Main Street was getting busy, well busy for Green Lake, with cars, most of them headed to the mill to work.
“This is my town,” she huffed. Her eyes seemed to burn with an inner conviction. “Things are going to…change.”
Sophia clenched her hands together, into fists, and had started to chant. Her fingernails buried themselves into her palms, causing driblets of blood to rain upon the floor.
Across the street, at Harmon’s Hardware, Jack Harmon had arrived to open for the business day. He saw Sophia through the door and waved.
Sophia waved back, hoping no one could see the blood coming from the palms of her hands.
Jack put the store keys in the door and opened them.
“Now…” Sophia whispered.
It happened so fast that Jack couldn’t get out of the way.
A red truck came blasting down the street, from out of nowhere, and barreled into the hardware store, taking Jack with it.
Main Street became a chorus of terrified screams.