Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Simply Out of the Question ...
Several people from The Sit and Sip follow the Scoutmaster, Chief McGuire and the Corbets to the Courthouse. There, the Honorable Mayor Thomas Hodges is busy looking over some last minute changes to the Annual Beef and Beer Bust.
When he is informed that a small crowd is waiting outside his office, he informs his administrative assistant, Audrey Cummins to let them in.
“Chief McGuire, Justin Corbet? What’s this all about?” Mayor Hodges questions.
“A matter of vital importance, Mayor Hodges.” Justin replies.
“And it requires the Chief of Police and several of our dear citizens?” Mayor Hodge puts on his political face.
“Yes Mayor, I believe it does.” Chief McGuire answers.
“Then let’s go down the hall into the Conference Room. There is a camera crew on hand to broadcast my finalizing of the Annual Beef and Beer Festival. I’ll be able to talk to you after that. So hang around, be a part of the crowd.” The Mayor seems in remarkably good humor.
Rising from his seat behind the desk, Mayor Hodges leads the small gathering to the Conference Room where several microphones and cameras are already setup. Chief McGuire, Justin Corbet and his family take front row seats. On the next row is Scout Leader Dawson along with Kurt and Jeffery. Jeremy went home—he’s had enough excitement for one day.
The Mayor clears his throat and begins to speak.
“Good citizens of Morgan’s Bluff, once again we prepare for the most highly notarized event in our history—the Annual Beef and Beer Bust!” There are cheers from several people scattered throughout the auditorium except for the inhabitants in the front row. The Mayor eyes them but returns to his pre-planned speech.
“This festival will by far be the best one yet. I see no reason why things should not go on as scheduled—” Justin interrupts the Mayor.
“But I do.”
“Humm, and what is the meaning of this, Justin Corbet?” The Mayor’s frustration is quite evident by the look on his face.
“The meaning is that there is a dangerous grizzly bear on the loose and we have every reason to believe that’s it’s The Ripper!” Justin proclaims and every eye, including the several cameras, focus on him.
“The Ripper? Why that’s a fantasy, Justin. Surely you don’t believe those silly rumors of sighting do you?” The Mayor tries to laugh it off. Justin is not amused.
“What if I can supply you with proof, Mayor Hodges?” Ellen speaks up now.
“Little Ellen Corbet—what proof could you possibly have to convince me that there is such a creature lurking around Morgan’s Bluff.” Mayor Hodges takes out his handkerchief and begins to dab at his face. Ellen rises to approach the table—
“Perhaps these pictures that I took yesterday outside my new home can convince you of that fact.” Ellen retorts, handing Mayor Hodges her cellphone. A camera man zooms in to get a shot of the footprints before the Mayor can stop him.
“This is utter nonsense! I refuse to believe that this so-called Ripper is stalking our fair town. This must be some kind of a joke.” Mayor Hodges hands the cellphone back to Ellen, displaying his very sweaty palms. This always happens when the Mayor feels threaten or under extreme stress.
“That’s what I told the little lady, Mayor.” Chief McGuire interjects. “But they insist on seeing you. In fact, they want you to postpone the festival altogether.”
“That is simply out of the question!” The Mayor insists. “Our good people have been preparing all year for this great event and no mythical monster is going to disrupt it.”
“It’s not a myth!” Scoutmaster Ed Henson makes his appearance in fresh clothes and a determined look. “I thought it was just a bit of gossip until that brute almost killed me.”
The cameras rapidly swing toward Ed as he begins to tell his story regarding how he and his troop were camped out at McKellar Forest and he had his encounter.
“And Kurt and Jeffery can back me up.” Ed replies justified. The cameras continue to roll as the Mayor calls the two boys to the table.
“Do you mean to tell me that you boys saw this Ripper?” Mayor Hodges queries, giving each boy a sharp look.
“Well, not exactly.” Kurt responds sheepishly.
“What exactly did you see?” The Mayor probes further.
Kurt begins to explain everything in detail from the comments spoken from young Jeremy McGuire to the insistence of the Scoutmaster to investigate the woods.
“I see, and based on this flimsy information you just expect me to cancel the festival?” The Mayor looks first at Ed, then at Kurt and Jeffery. Each one nods his head in the affirmative.
“My answer is no. There may indeed be a rather large predator roaming around in McKellar Forest, but we have no need to conclude that it is this elusive Ripper.” The Mayor looks at Chief McGuire.
“Chief, the festivities will proceed as planned. I want you to insure that a perimeter of officers are posted at designated stations that border the activities. Make sure that no one goes outside of that perimeter, do I make myself clear?”
“As clear as spring water, Mayor Hodges.” This time the Chief gives Ellen a satisfied look.
“There will be no cancellation of this annual event and I don’t want to hear any more about it. I warn you, Ellen Corbet! If I hear of you or any of your family spreading anarchy in reference to The Ripper—there will be severe consequences to face. Do I make myself clear?” Mayor Hodges cautions.
“Perfectly!” Ellen replies, giving the Mayor a dismissing look.
“Don’t be foolish, Ellen. Justin, I will depend on you to keep your headstrong daughter in line.” Chief McGuire adds.
Before her father can comment, Ellen speaks.
“I’m not a child, Chief McGuire. My father doesn’t pull the reigns on me like I’m some damn dog on a leash.” Ellen spits out and several raised eyebrows are displayed throughout the room.
“I guess you heard that.” Justin tells McGuire, while trying very hard to stifle a grin.
“Now, if you people will kindly take your seats, I will continue with the briefing.” The Mayor gives the group a look that reflects his belief that the matter is now closed.
Ellen leaves the table and storms out the door followed by her parents.
“Fool!” Ellen shouts to no one in particular.
“You tried darling!” Emily Corbet tries unsuccessfully to soothe her daughter’s shattered nerves.
“That’s not good enough, mother.” A determined Ellen replies.
“You heard what the Mayor said Ellen Marie Corbet!” Justin advises. “As your mother said—you tried. Let it go. Until there is more concrete evidence, there is nothing that can be done.”
Father!” Ellen knows very well that when her dad uses her full name, it means that the matter is closed as far as he is concerned. There will be no further discussion.
Ellen hugs both parents and makes the walk from the Courthouse to her home. Just as Chief McGuire has stated, there is no residue of the footprints. No indication that anything out of the ordinary has happen except for a turned over garbage pail.
Because on the strong closure, there is no way that any critter can invade the container or ravage its contents. However, upon closer inspection, Ellen eyes something—it looks like an old hat and it is bloody. Then about three feet away, she observes what looks like it could have been a man. Once again, Ellen relieves herself of her morning meal.
Ellen whips out her phone as she walks back toward the front of the house.
“Chief, there’s a body in my backyard.” Ellen whispers solemnly.
“Don’t touch anything—I’ll be right over.” Chief McGuire hangs up the phone and without a word to anyone else in the office, heads in the direction of Ellen’s new home.
To Be Continued ...
Terror From McKellar Forest 6
- Terror From McKellar Forest 6
Poor Mr. Riley, he heard a commotion at Ellen’s place and became the next victim of The Ripper. When Ellen finds his scattered remains, she rushes to inform the Chief. What happens next is a roller coaster ride of Life and Death!
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS