Mike is an amateur writer working on building a hopefully compelling story. He lives in The Village of Lakemore, Summit Country, Ohio.
The Story So Far *note This will be edited in the next part to just show relevant content.
Janice James is a Private Detective haunted by the death of her son and a fractured psyche, forcing her to see her son Brandon as well as others. After a ceremony to honor their late son, Janice and her ex-husband Bill prepare to live together again. Janice's assistant, a young woman named Jennifer Gordon, known as JG, while happy to see them together now must find a way to work around the new awkwardness.
Janice was hired to help a man named Stanley Franco find out why his wife Ava is fighting a divorce. During the investigation, she stumbled onto a unique counterfeiting scheme designed to infect scanning machines allowing the user access to a company's funds. When her client was murdered, Janice turned her case over to the local police. She contacted someone from the secret service with help from her mentor, a former police officer named Sean. In the process, she found herself being watched by the FBI and Ava, a woman that isn't who she appears to be.
Samuel Saunders, an old friend of Bill, hired Janice to help his wife, Margaret. A former student blackmailed her using her past and Her bosses Pedophile past seeking revenge for his expulsion for assaulting a student putting him on a sex registry. With the help of Janice, the police, and her husband, Margaret came forward and helped end a pedophile ring and lock up around 65 people.
Ava, the wife, and murderer of her husband, Stanley Franco, while in hiding at Steve's Motel, watched Janice watch the events, wondering if she was seen and what was going on. Ava kills the teenage boy to cover her tracks. Ava Escaped to Mexico.
A strange woman (Bethany) disguised as a man hired three men to destroy Janice's office and kill Janice. The three men known as the Triple Ks or Tre Ks set a bomb to destroy the office and the cop bar beneath. They also Kidnapped Janice's assistant, a young woman named JG (Jennifer Gordon), to either sell or worse. A hidden camera catches the Tre Ks setting the bomb. In a twist, Bethany Kills the Tre Ks but planned on killing JG when one of the Tre Ks kills her and calls for help.
While Waiting for news on JG, Janice runs into her estranged father setting of a series of memories she would like to forget. While honing her future skills as a private detective, Janice found out her father was having an affair with her best friend, Jennifer. Janice lets Jennifer's parents know about the affair, costing her bother her best friends, her mother, to suicide and her father.
Janice's brother-in-law Mike and his son Scott come for a quick visit before taking a long trip. Janice takes on a new case involving a con-artist tricking people out of their property out in Lodi. Still, something more nefarious seems to be happening.
- Private Voices: Part 14
A New case takes Janice into Amish country to see a woman about a horse.
Janice pulled out a map and started to write all the names of the farms and families that lived in the area. She used a survey map to outline the farms. Most of the victims lived on the same state route. While she searched, she found a name she remembered. The Smith farm was almost in another county on a side road that was more of a dirt path. It seemed too unreal that the most made-up name of Tom Smith would be the one that was real.
Brandon said, “Or he could be innocent with the real crook just using his name.”
Janice looked back into the back seat using the rear mirror. It was the five-year-old Brandon, but he was speaking or at least sounding like the tween Brandon. Janice decided to drive to the farm and see what she could see.
At the beginning of Smith’s driveway was a sign, “No Trespassing. We shoot anyone coming down this drive.” About fifty feet down the road, there was a gate and barbwire fence with a sign and signs that it was electrified. As she sat there, a four-wheeler pulled up near the fence. A man in all camo with an AK-47 rifle attached to the handlebars. He sat there talking on a radio, watching her while not saying a thing. Something felt off about him and this place. There was a flag on the back on what looked like a radio antenna. The flag was red with a dark gray cross in the upper left side leaning to the right. Janice took a picture as discreetly as possible. The man saw the camera and the gun came up to his arms. Janice took that as a sign to hit the road. On the way, she sent the picture and location to Sean to see if he had some idea who this was. About ten minutes later, she got a call from one of Sean’s buddies with the police.
Detective Green said, “Make sure they are not following you and get as far away from them as fast as you can.”
A flat black sedan pulled out of the driveway and started to follow Janice. The car was all black except for a blood-red cross painted on the left passenger side tilted at an angle. Janice got to route Two-twenty-four and went from forty-five mph to seventy mph. Her bright red 2014 Jeep stood out, making it easier to follow, but the unknown people following didn’t seem to care if she knew they were there. She sped up to near eighty mph as she approached Saville. The other car was a Mercedes of some make, but all the branding was removed. She slowed down and took an exit that would take her to Medina. The sedan followed her as the chase went from Wadsworth road to Bear Swamp with all the hills and valleys typical in a country road. The sedan was low to the ground, and Janice hoped that the recent rain would help her escape. It had been raining, and Bear Swamp road was prone to flooding as it approached Sharon Copley Road. The Jeep was built for off-roading, and it had a snorkel for high water. Although driving into the high water was risky, it was the only way she could see her getting away from the much faster car. She passed the closed road signs and reached the part of the road that floods to find about two feet of water on the road. Janice slowed down and made it across. She stopped and looked back to see the sedan hit the water and canter to one side. It then drifted off the road into water that was a mix of swampy stink and cow crap. Three men in dark gray suits and red ties got out into the foul water. All of them had guns.
Janice pulled onto Sharon Copley road and drove to River Styx Road on the way to state route 18 and the highway. Instead of driving home, she went to Sean’s old police station and called Sean. Inside the station, she was told that three men had reported her as a trespasser and were following her.
Janice asked, “And what were the guns for?”
As she asked, she pulled up the video from the cameras, she had on her Jeep. Two videos showed them getting out into the nasty water with AK-47s.
One officer said, “According to Montville PD, they didn’t have any weapons on them or in the car, but they said something smelt wrong.”
One of the officers looked at the video and said, “Now I could be wrong, but that looked like a very short-barreled rifle. I wonder if they have that on file?”
The Montville Police said that the men were picked up by a van and had refused to press charges.
The officer said, “The van was like the car, all flat black with a large tilted cross.
Using a borrowed link with the police, Sean ran the plates of both the van and the car, but they had no apparent connection with one of the plates licensed to a person in Wayne County and the other in Stark county. The officer let him run the plates through the system.
He said, “The car is listed as being owned by a Clarence Drake on Cherry Street in Massillon, but when I ran his name, there is no license issued to him.”
The officer pushed Sean aside and did a search of his own finding a criminal complaint issued by a Clarence Drake about being harassed while walking along Lincoln Way.
He said, “According to this mister Drake is blind.”
Another search found that the van’s tags were issued to a ninety-seven-year-old woman living in a nursing home in the end stages of Parkinson’s disease.
Sean said, “I was told by this fed that they are investigating a cult that uses a tilted cross as their symbol. Some sort of doomsday cult preaching about the fall of religion as the fall of man and how only the true followers will live past the oncoming war.”
He said that the leaning cross symbolized the failing of religion onto a sea of blood. The next day a farmer found the three rifles on the road. Two of them were classified as SBR or short barrel rifles and one of them as an actual machine gun. The Mountville Police issued an arrest warrant for the three men, and the ATF was called.
Ava was sent copies of the arrest warrants and reports. The report had the name Janice James on it. She checked her computer to see if she knew any of the names on the warrant. One name led her to the name of a man that ran a Ponzi scheme back in the late eighties selling shares in a company that was set up to only sell shares. Terence Alfred Stamp would sell his soul if he thought he could make a buck or buy it back after he owned hell. Back then, her mentor had helped Terence escape California and had relocated him to Mexico. She tried the numbers listed under his name, but all of them were out of service.
From behind her, she heard Yara say, “Wow, who is that handsome devil?”
It wasn’t really a question just as the fifty-something Terence was in no way handsome. He was a sickly shade of white with graying blonde hair that was slicked back with enough grease that it gleamed in the picture.
Ava said, “Grandfather would have loved him and all his Aryan-ness.”
What his picture didn’t show was that he was nearly seven-foot-tall, but he still wore lifts in his shoes to make him seem taller. His tailored suits were cut to emphasize just how skinny he was.
The Next Part
- Private Voices: Part 16
Ava hires A man named Stamp to take are of Janice while the FBI close in on the horse thieves.
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron