If you haven't read the prelude or the previous chapters you might want to scroll down and read them. Please let me know what you think.
SYNOPSIS: Jason Franco is an aspiring novelist stuck in a dead end job working for a newspaper in a small town where nothing exciting happens until someone rapes and murders a young woman only eighteen years old. All evidence points to the woman's boyfriend who confesses to the crime. Jason is assigned to write a follow-up story for the paper and soon suspects that the local police are covering up for one of their own. Jason enlists the help from a high school classmate who works at the state crime and the two soon fall in love. Jason and his girlfriend, Tina, follow the leads, and Jason finds himself a target for the rapist turned murderer. An attempt on Jason's life puts him in the hospital as the alleged rapist commits suicide. An unexpected turn of events put Jason back in the cross hairs of a different killer.
Ms. Maria Diaz, Teacher, Torrington High School
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
It was with trepidation that Jason called his old homeroom teacher, Ms. Diaz. After the scene at the Chinese restaurant, he was certain that she hadn't forgotten the prank he pulled on her when he was in her class. Finally, he called her and asked if he could interview her. She agreed if he'd meet with her at the school during her lunch break the next day, Tuesday. They agreed to meet in the teachers’ lounge.
Jason arrived just as Ms. Diaz was sitting down to enjoy her sack lunch. She motioned for him to sit down opposite her at a small table for two. Jason bought a soda from a vending machine and joined her. He sat down and turned on his pocket recorder.
“Ms. Diaz, it’s good to see you again. Thanks for letting me interview you.” Jason looked around. “Wow. I’ve never been inside the teachers’ inner sanctum lounge. Nice.”
“Don’t waste my time, Jason. I’m not in the mood. It’s been a tough day. What do you want?”
“I want to ask you about Art Rudd. Did you have him in class?”
“Yeah, I remember him. He was a bigger pain in the ass than you were; a smart kid but always in trouble. He seemed to have unresolved issues.”
“Could you tell me something about him?”
“Look here. When you were in my class, you pulled that prank and embarrassed me in front of my peers. Now you ask me for help to write a story. I won’t help you unless you apologize.”
Jason sat back. “Oh, that. I’d hoped you’d forgotten about that. Actually, I’m really sorry. I sincerely apologize. It was a stupid and immature stunt.”
“I don’t accept that apology.”
“What can I do to make up for my behavior?”
“Jason, you embarrassed me publicly. Nothing short of a public apology will make up for it.”
“If I promise to print an apology in the paper, will you talk to me now? I’m pressed for time. I’ve a deadline.” Jason lied.
Ms. Diaz thought about it. “Well, okay. I don’t want to have a second meeting with you.”
“Thank you. I promise to print the apology. I’m sorry. Now, about Art Rudd.”
“Okay. As I said, he was a bigger pain in the ass than you were. He arrived some time in sixth or seventh grade. I didn’t really know him until he was in my homeroom his sophomore year. I knew him by reputation before that.”
“He was a bright student but was a social misfit. He didn’t get along with his peers, especially girls. He was quick tempered – always in fights. As I recalled, he had only one friend. No girlfriends. He didn’t even go to his senior prom.”
“Who was his friend?”
“They were like two peas in pod, both trouble makers. Give me a minute and I’ll remember his name.”
“Did Art play any sports?”
“Javier Radcliffe! His friend’s name was Javier Radcliffe.”
“Javier Radcliffe. Do you know where I can find him?”
“No. I know that he and Art enlisted in the Army. When Art came back for the service, he was much nicer. He matured. The Army was good for him. I don’t know what happened to Javier. He and Art didn’t come to their five-year class reunion. They both played sports. As I recall, they were wrestlers. They weren’t the team sports type.”
Jason continued to ask questions until Ms. Diaz had to return to her class.
“Jason,” Ms. Diaz called from the doorway as she was leaving. “I expect to see that apology in the paper. Oh, and tell Tina I said ‘Hi.’” She started to leave but stopped in the door way and turned around. “That's if she hasn't broken up with you.” She smiled and left.
Monte is the author of 8 e-books: 3 novels, 3 non-fiction, 1 collection of short stories, and 1 novelette.
Buy Monte's e-books:
The Register cliff Rapist
The Clone Murders,
Archimedes of Syracuse: Leonardo da Vinci's Mentor,
Leadership for New Managers: Book Two
Angels and Gargoyles