Police Chief Adam Sisel has problems. He’s got three dead bodies, a murderer on the loose, a teenage son who’s as Goth as they come, an estranged wife, and the hots for a woman who doesn’t seem to know he exists. At some point, something has to give, and when it does, he finds out there is more to the tiny town of North Maple Ridge than meets the eye.
Warning: This short story was previously published at another house. It has been expanded by 6k words and now contains Beth’s POV. This short story contains graphic violence, explicit sex, adult situations, extreme gore, and is not for the faint of heart.
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Misfit in middle America
Mandy M. Roth
To my mother who never once stopped pushing me to dream regardless what I was doing, and who told me that little girls can grow up to be whatever they want to be.
To my stepfather, who dedicated thirty years to law enforcement and who has been a member of our family for eighteen of those. And to my father whose scary movie marathons helped me to grow into the freak I am today.
North Maple Ridge—a tiny town, tucked safely away in the middle of nowhere America. Bad things didn’t happen here. I’d know. I’d been the chief of police for ten years. I’d brought my son here with the knowledge hateful, ugly crimes didn’t reach this far into oblivion. The carnage around me provided how very wrong I’d been. This was worse than anything I’d seen being a big city detective.
I’d known Jonathon Williams since I’d come to town. Never did I dream that accepting the job of chief of police in a tiny, rural Midwest community would amount to this. If Jonathon’s brother, Robert, hadn’t been a witness to the crime, I’m not sure I’d have believed the body was Jonathon’s. It was mutilated, torn to shreds. We’d need to wait for official word from testing, but I knew in my gut the remains were human and they belonged to Jonathon.
The boy had grown into a man before my eyes. It seemed like only yesterday he was coming over to build a fort with my son, Justin. I could still hear the two of them smacking sticks together, pretending to be defending the universe from evil invaders. Now only silence filled the air. I’d have given anything to hear the echoes of past play, of excited children, innocent of all evil.
Jonathon, two weeks shy of his nineteenth birthday, was now dead. His life senselessly cut short, and it was my job to figure out who or what did it and why.
“It’s days like this that I hate my fucking job,” I whispered as I walked back to my SUV. Jonathon wasn’t the first victim. At the rate things were going, he wouldn’t be the last, and I was no closer to an answer than I had been weeks ago when the first killing occurred.
“Chief, do you need to see anything else, or can we bag ’em up?” asked Officer Braun. His light brown hair was cut close, as was often the case with new officers. Many thought it gave them a certain look, an extra edge of authority. Others just wanted to be sure that their hair was regulation so they went overboard. Braun struck me as the latter. He was a pleaser—the type of guy who always wanted to make someone else happy but always fearful of taking the lead.
He was new to police work. He’d only been in it a year now. The pay here was decent but he could have done much better in the city. His father had been an officer with our department and that meant something. These people tended to keep things local. Bringing me in as chief had been a big deal. For nearly a year it was all anyone seemed to talk about. Thankfully, those days had passed. Now, the only topic on anyone’s mind was the murders.
Braun looked a little green. I couldn’t say I blamed him. The prospect of bagging up a body that’s in pieces will make the best of men fall to their knees. This wasn’t our first and I feared it wouldn’t be our last, so I nodded my head for him to finish up.
Might as well learn to handle it now, I thought to myself as I walked away.
I opened my SUV door to head to the Williams’ house to inform them of their son’s death. Robert would need their support now, and I was pretty sure Mr. Williams would be able to offer it. Mrs. Williams, on the other hand, would more than likely be too distraught over the loss of her oldest boy to be much good to Robert. The boy had managed to survive a brutal attack and make it to the highway to flag down help. The paramedics were amazed that he was doing as well as he was. He’d lost a ton of blood. If he survived the night, it’d be a miracle. The last thing any of us wanted was for the Williams to have to bury both their boys.
“Excuse me, Chief Sisel, can I ask you a few questions?” I heard Beth Murray’s voice before I saw her. I thought about jumping in my SUV and driving off, but that would only add to the hysteria. Plus, I’d look like a pussy. The last thing I wanted to do was be cornered by her. Beth was the town’s lead reporter. Come to think of it, she was the town’s only reporter.
Pushy, demanding and sexy as all get out. Just being near her had a tendency to make my dick hard. Hell, thinking about her did the trick. She and I had a history of not seeing eye to eye. I’m not sure how it was we’d gotten off on the wrong foot but it had happened.
She’d been born and raised here, and she knew everyone. I knew that she’d gone to some fancy college on the east coast for a while, but after graduation, she headed home. I wasn’t a native here, but I knew the area’s appeal. I also knew that in Beth’s world I was a primary source for fact verification and that was it. If the town had had automated police records, I was sure she’d never bother to speak to me. She’d skip me and look it up herself.
“You can ask,” I answered succinctly. “Doesn’t mean I’ll answer.”
“I’d expect nothing less, Chief,” she said, a forced smile pressed to her lips. “I’ve learned to lower my expectations when dealing with you.”
I wasn’t sure if she was being serious or not. I watched her coming toward me with her blue jeans and tan sweater on. My gaze scanned the length of her body. I wished she’d wear clothes that fit her better. The ones she had on were too loose for my liking. Of course, if I got a say, I’d say she skip the clothing altogether.
I’d accidentally seen her once wearing a tiny black bikini. Well, wearing most of it that is. She was sunbathing in her backyard and I had responded to a call about a missing dog. I leaned over the fence to see if he’d run that way and found Beth lying there with the strings undone, leaving her pink nipples partially exposed to me. I could still remember the curve that her hip took, and the way her navel wanted to poke out, but didn’t. She wasn’t stick thin like so many women were now. Maybe if she showed off her figure a little bit more, it’d hide the fact she had some serious personality quirks. I doubted it though.
By the looks of her now, she’d been awakened out of a deep sleep to try to get the scoop. I had to laugh when I saw tiny wisps of her blonde hair come loose from its hair tie. During the day, she was always so put together, but in the middle of the night, she was as real as the rest of us. That was good to know, although I had fantasized many a night that she slept in tiny black silk panties with a garter belt and fishnet hose. But hey, what guy didn’t think about that?
Beth was nine years my junior, but it didn’t stop me from thinking about her—obsessing to be exact. Karen, my wife, had been gone since Justin was three. She said we’d married too young, and she needed her freedom. I agree, we did marry too young. We were both just eighteen when she got pregnant. She saw it as the end of our lives. I viewed it as the beginning. It was hard for the first couple of years. Damn hard.
I’d enrolled at the academy and was taking classes all day and working security at night. When I wasn’t at school I was working. It was hard for us, but I knew it’d be better on us in the long run. Two weeks after I started my first police job, Karen walked out on me. She dropped Justin off at the sitter’s and I hadn’t seen her since. Now, Justin was about to turn eighteen and getting ready to graduate, and I was chief of police. Maybe it had been for the best that she’d left.
As I watched Beth come closer to me, I wondered why I wasn’t dating more. I wasn’t old by anyone’s standards. I’d just turned thirty-six and had a better build than most of my son’s friends. Still, I didn’t feel right dating. Karen was gone, and I didn’t love her anymore, but I’d never gotten a divorce. At least I hadn’t yet. It hadn’t seemed important to me. My job consumed most of my time, and Justin was too high a priority to make room for a woman. I wasn’t a monk either. I’d had sex since Karen walked out on me, but I’d never had a relationship. Until Beth, I never thought I wanted one. Something about that feisty little blonde made me want to force her to commit.
My mind raced back to a week earlier when I’d run into the city for a seminar. It was a two-day planned event that left me having to get a hotel room for the night. A few of us had decided to go to a bar for a drink. I ended up meeting a hot little number whose boyfriend was out of town for the weekend. I could still feel her lips around my cock. She was one of those women with extra full lips. The kind that make you wonder what sort of work she had done to achieve such perfection.
She spent most of the night on her knees making remarks about how ‘gifted’ I was. I nearly grinned thinking about it. She’d been one of the rare few who begged me to come all over her face. I did, of course.