Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, August 11, 2017

From Over There

Those of you who know me, know I don’t get upset.
Except—I was upset. “I have no idea, Officer! She was here one minute and gone the next!”
He stared at me.
Behind him, Reggie was doing the same thing.
For a moment their resemblance was remarkable.
In another life, I would have pointed it out.
The officer was the first to blink. “And you have no idea where she went?”
“No, Officer, as I already told you.”
“And she didn’t go out the front door?”
I sighed. “She was pulling a giant, heavy case behind her. In the time between when she left me and I followed her, there is no way she could, physically—”
“Just how heavy was this case?”
My thoughts scattered. I caught Reggie’s eye and deliberately lowered both lids for a moment. “Umm . . . “I don’t know. She struggled bringing it down the stairs so I assumed—”
“A-ha!” he said as though he’d caught me in something. “So she was on the stairs!”
I frowned. “I already told you that. She brought the case down here. Pulled it into the front room where Reggie and I were sitting. Talked to me. Then pulled it back into the hall and disappeared.”
“Reggie?” The man looked around. “Who is Reggie?!”
“The bird behind you.”
He spun around, almost dropping his notebook. “Oh. Erm . . . Hello, Reggie.”
“You never let me have any fun!” Reggie said.
Now we were both looking at him. He had sound remarkably like Norma.
“Yooouuu nnnneevvverrrr lllleeet mmmeee have anyyyy funnnnn!” The bird rolled the words about in his great beak like he was tasting something yummy. “Yooouuu . . . yooouuuu . . .”
“That seems an odd thing for a parrot to say,” the officer said.
“He’s a macaw,” I told him, rather absently. “Norma got him from some retired Yale professor.”
“Who taught him to say that?”
“Well, my sister, I guess.”
He frowned and looked at me. “Is this something she said often?”
I felt my face grow warm. “Well . . . no . . . that is . . . I think she said that just before she disappeared.”
“Uh-huh.” The officer scribbled in his little book.
“My life isn’t my own!” Reggie obviously wasn’t through causing problems. “My life isn’t—”
Now the officer was staring at me. “I suppose your sister taught him that, too.”
“Well . . . yes. I guess so. That was another thing she said—”
“Just before she disappeared.”
I frowned at him. “I don’t know if I like your tone.”
He shrugged. “What you like or don’t like is immaterial. What matters now is . . .”
Someone knocked.
I moved past him into the hall but felt him come up behind me as I opened the front door and looked out onto an empty stoop. “Huh. No one here.”
The knocking came again. This time from somewhere behind us.
We both turned.
Another knock. I tipped my head, trying to decide where the noise was coming from.
“I think it’s coming from the living room.” The officer pointed with his pencil.
I made a face as I walked back into the room we had left only moments before. “It couldn’t have come from here—” I began.
Bang!
I jumped and, I’m not sure, but I think the officer screamed a little.
And yes, it was a girly scream. Probably an occupational hazard.
“Is this thing on?” It sounded like Norma’s voice. I looked at Reggie. He was in lethal weapon mode, puffed up to approximately three times his usual size.
Not a good sign.
“Testing. Testing. Can you hear me?”
I looked around, trying to find a possible source for the voice, finally going to the kitchen door to peer inside. Nothing.
“Hello? Hellloooo!”
I was once again standing in the middle of the living room. I cleared my throat and looked up toward the ceiling. “N-Norma?”
“Oh it does work! They said it would!” The voice sounded cheerful. Happy.
I frowned. “What works?” I looked at the officer, who was standing in the doorway, the picture of confusion.
“Who are you talking to?” he mouthed the words.
“Norma!” I mouthed back, pointing upward.
“Right.” He snapped his notebook shut and stuck his pencil behind his ear. Between you and me, I didn’t realize people still did that. “I don’t know who you think you’re kidding, ma’am,” he said, his mouth twisting into an ugly line. “But there are charges for people who play tricks and waste officers’ time.” He turned and disappeared into the hall.
I started after him. “Honest, officer, I know as much about this as you!”
He was already at the door. “I’ll be back,” he said, putting one hand on the doorknob. “To give you and that fraudster sister of yours the dressing down you deserve. One or both of you is going to end up in custody!”
Eep.

Enjoying this episode of the Sputterling Sisters?
Catch up with them here:

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.  

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 

My words for August?
occupational hazard ~ dressing ~ back ~ Yale ~ except ~ custody

17 comments:

  1. Clearly, the local police have no sense for the inexplicable ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They should just avoid the Sputterlings!

      Delete
  2. Ooh! I cannot wait to see what happens next! This is so intriguing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a love/hate relationship with this story. I love the story, I hate having to wait for the next installment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As my Language Arts teacher said back in grade eight. Keep 'em wanting more! ;)

      Delete
  4. oh boy, what now? wringing my hands. okay, I think the officer is truly out of his league. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such a great story, Diane! And you worked in those words seamlessly. Can't wait for the next episode.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The should ask Reggie! I love those sisters! Reminds me of mom and her sister!

    ReplyDelete

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