Cover by Morgan Mary Abresch
This page updated 09/25/19
Hunt for Pink October|
by Peter E. Abresch
The pilot dropped Scully's worn leather satchel on the packed dirt taxiway.
But the plane didn't wait a minute. It rolled on down to the end of a dirt runway, then roared back up, lifting off into the wild blue yonder, leaving Scully anchored to the ground, in the middle of an airfield, surrounded by timberland. His only company that of a whisper over the grass carrying with it a woodsy taste of the forest.
He breathed deeply of it and did a 360.
Mountains to the west, flat-land to the east. A couple of small planes hung on tie-downs at the edge of the single runway airfield. High overhead, moving in and out of the noonday sun, a hawk patrolled the sky for its daily bread.
Other than that, nothing moved.
No signal on his cell phone.
He had dressed in what he figured he'd need for rough country, boot-shoes, fresh cargo pants, a pale yellow shirt under a red Thinsulated vest and a brand new, four pocket, Gore-Tex bush jacket, which he folded over his satchel. He glanced around again, then extracted the leather-fold containing his private investigator license. A note torn from a yellow legal pad slipped out and he snatched it out of the air.
Amelia Harper, thirty-three, blonde, five feet and a couple of clicks, one hundred and ten pounds, blue eyes.
Would he be able to recognize her from that?
And what did he mean when he wrote a couple of clicks?
He shifted from the paper to the description on his private investigator license.
Mason Scully, six feet one, green eyes, reddish brown hair, a hundred and ninety pounds.
The date of birth was solid, putting his age at thirty-eight. The other facts? Gray strands snaked through the hair, more brown now then red. And maybe he had put on a few pounds. Yeah, maybe. But would Amelia Harper be able to recognize him from it?
Well, hell, who else is out here?
He did another 360.
Yep, everything was where he had left it, mountains in the west, flat-lands to the east. The hawk in the sky and nothing else moving.
No signal on his cell.
The case had smelled a bit off from the beginning.
Someone is kidnapped and so they call in Mason Scully, private investigator extraordinaire, rather then the FBI? And they had sucked him in because he had been seeking a better class of clientele than the usual fare of bond skips and divorce peeks. Five thousand up front money helped. He had grabbed it, bought a new jacket brand new four pocket, Gore-Tex bush jacket and first thing on a Tuesday morning boarded the charted Cessna 182 for the wild and woollies.
Only now it felt more like he was the kidnapee.
A little niggle wormed its way into Scully's consciousness as he gazed at the trees in the distance, some of which were already trying out their autumn colors of reds and yellows.
What if Amelia Harper didn't show?
The high overhead sun warmed the air, but the sun had a habit of going down most days and if no one came before then?
His testes would be puckering.
He figured he was somewhere in the area where Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky came together. Roughly. Not a good locus if he had to hoof it out. Traffic might pick up over the weekend, but on this Tuesday afternoon, nothing was shaking. He put on his jacket, picked up his leather satchel, slipping the strap over his shoulder, and started hoofing it towards the small planes on tie-down.
The journey of a thousand hooves begins with just one hoof.
Hunt for Pink October trade paperback, August, 2019 120 pages, US $3.95, or on Kindle at $1.99.
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