Sit With Me

“Alright people! Agent Fawcett is moving into position now. Click your status into the ops control channel now.”

“Responses are in Director Barrick – we’re all green,” reported an analyst in the large panel truck two miles away from the small isolated beach home.

“Camera two has eyes on Agent Fawcett,” reported another. “She’s walking across the back deck towards our suspect.”

Barrick moved to look over the shoulder of the agent to watch as the long distance camera followed Agent Fawcett.  She looked like a distressed young housewife, scared and uncomfortable and even confused but resolute that something had to be done – exactly as planned.

He glanced at his watch and wondered, where the hell is Tanner? He should have been here an hour ago and needs to see how this unfolds for his part.

One of the monitors suddenly came to life with audio from one of the remote surveillance microphones. “Hello, Mr. Edgarton,” Fawcett said meekly, “Thank you for seeing me.” She held her purse across her stomach and with the other hand held her sweater neckline closed against the ocean breeze.

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Edgarton, stiffly turned his wheel chair to face her. He was elderly, balding with no facial hair but plenty of age wrinkles, dressed warmly, but also mostly covered by a plaid blanket and a long sleeve sweater. His facial expression screamed ‘barely understanding what was happening’.  This guy is good, Barrick thought. No wonder no one suspects him of being capable of arranging murders.

“Agent Thompson, are we recording all of this?

“Yes, sir. I’ve got redundant channels capturing everything we see on our six monitors or hear from any microphone.”

“Who did the site prep and checked for counter bugs?”

“Masselli sir. He’s our best and did the whole screen and prep while the house was empty two days ago.”

“Good – good, but where is Tanner?  Can someone try calling him again?”

“I’m on it sir.”

Barrick watched a screen as Agent Fawcett paused and waited for Edgarton to acknowledge her. His assistant had warned her that he would move slowly, rarely speak but could follow her words if she spoke loud and slow. He certainly looks infirm, Barrick thought. Edgarton, leaned towards Fawcett as if trying to focus on her, appeared to understand why she might be here and sat back into the chair,

“Yes?” he said inviting her next words.

“I’m Carry Wael. Your assistant arranged this time for us to talk?”

One of the cameras zoomed in closer so Edgarton’s face almost filled the screen and he appeared to realize what was happening and nodded.  “Ms. Wael. Come sit with me.”

Fawcett settled into her chair and meekly arranged herself for the interview. His assistant warned her not to wait for him to ask but to just begin telling him her situation. Speaking is hard for him and the reason for her visit will already be known.

“Show time folks!  Everyone – pay attention.  Look for anything that could be his response. Who is monitoring wireless signals?”

“I’ve got it, Agent Ashberry sir, and the spectrum looks spotless. Not a peep from him or the house yet.”

Fawcett, as instructed, first described how a friend told her about him and how he helps people who have been let down by the justice system. Then she began her story and delivered a very credible portrayal of an abused, single mother of two children being extorted for sex by a police officer who had evidence of her struggle with drugs who threatened to expose her to child protective services who would take her children from her.  She was fighting real tears as she finished her story and, almost has me believing her, thought Barrick.  Nicely done Fawcett, very nicely done.

Edgarton listened without response as she’d been warned he would, and he nodded when she was finished. “You gave my assistant his name?”

“Yes, Jeff Tanner, officer Jeffrey Tanner from city police.”

“Let me look into this Ms. Wael.”

This was the expected signal that the interview was over.  She stood and thanked Edgarton and turned to leave.

Barrick, noted that the operation had gone very well and the trap was now set. Agent Tanner would be the decoy and they might finally establish a solid connection between Edgarton and perhaps thirty two unsolved murders around the state.

“Did we ever hear from Agent Tanner?  It’s not like him to miss an operation.”

“I’m talking to city police dispatch now sir.  They may have found him.”

“Why would city police be looking for him?” Barrick thought but said out loud.

“You’re sure?  —  Okay, text me a photo.  No, we can’t wait. Have your medical examiner text it to me immediately. We have a live situation here. Yes, I’ll do that ASAP.  Thanks”

“What’s going on?  Where’s Tanner?”

“City police found him, just three miles away on the coast highway. Sir – Tanner is dead. DOA from a single car going off a beach cliff. The police and M.E. are on the scene now.”

Barrick stood and yelled, “What!? When!?”

“The accident was two hours and twenty some odd minutes ago.  That road is the same route we took here. Sir, Tanner died on his way here – and before Fawcett even went in.”

“I have something Director, screen three!”

Barrick spun again and stepped to the screen showing Edgarton’s face. “Sir, he hasn’t made a normal facial expression the whole time and look at him now.”

Barrick looked closely, “I’ll be damned!  He’s smirking. That bastard knows and is smirking, but how could . . .?  Oh crap!  ALL units move! Secure Fawcett.  Get her out NOW!”

The radio channel exploded with the sounds of boots running. “I don’t see her! Does anyone have eyes?”

“Team Alpha is negative.”

“Baker is negative. Sir – everyone is gone.”

“Team Charlie on perimeter – negative. We’ve seen nothing.”

Barrick put his hand to his forehead thinking, We’ve lost Fawcett and Tanner. We’ve been played and this op is blown.


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17 thoughts on “Sit With Me

    1. Hi Shari. Thanks for checking it out. This started with a slightly different idea, but what you read is the story that grew out of the original concept so I don’t know the answer. I think Fawcett is clean, but there are questions right? But Edgarton; that guy is evil in a weird way.
      As to whether there will be more, I try to leave such questions to my readers. This was a different direction for me as was “In a Foreign Forest Found” was. I wanted to see if I could write a compelling SciFi and crime thriller and both of these have promise but lets’ see which seed, if either my readers like. Both were fun to create and I like having them as part of my Flash Fiction collection.
      This idea of telling a full story in 1K words or less is hard work for me. I want to pour in too much detail.
      Thanks for taking some of your novel creation time to help me progress my own efforts. Your options matter to me because I like your writing so much.
      Blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the kind words Gary!

        I liked the story a lot. Evil in a weird way is very intriguing and the questions about where Fawcett’s loyalties lay work for the story in my opinion (whether there is more or even if there isn’t).

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      1. I’ve been working on a scene of an assassination (picture sniper on the hill Kennedy style) written from the snipers POV. Oddly, I gave the character a really gentle sounding name “Jonqiul”. Using it as a preface to a larger story.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He’s still in hospital and will be for a day or two. Turns out meds and diet are culprits. Evidently the heart healthy low salt diet is a bad thing for him.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, he was, Gary. They believe it’s from one of his meds. The kidney doc is talking to the brain doc, who’s talking to the Gp about how to proceed from here. We’ve been on the heart healthy diet for a few years to reduce BP. Who could have imagined that it would actually turn out to be a negative thing. I know I needed a day or two off of Hubby care to rejuve my own spirit,,,, but this isn’t the way I needed that to happen. On my way back to hospital as soon as I finish eating here, and refueling ccar next door. thanks for the prayers and keep them coming. Also, I may have my nursery job back if I can remember to contact the nursery director today… I was supposed to yestersday, but you know where I was.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Good news then. I’ve had danger low salt episodes twice myself and can tell you they are scary. But easy to correct with a nice helping of salted fries and water. I’ll point you to my story of it if interested.
        I can’t speak to his other men’s and situation but it sounds like you have the experts you need working on him.
        And yea, I call and explain to that nursery why you’re late returning their call. I could see you loving a job caring for kiddos.
        You guys remain on my prayer list. 🙏

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      5. I was working that nursery the day the pandemic started… also the day I actually caught the covid. I got off work at noon… by 2 I was down. I remember telling hubby that night that if I got worse just to let me die in my own bed. That’s how bad I felt. The next morning, straight to doc – turned away to urgent care— urgent turned away to local hospital- they turned me away & sent me over the river to hospital in Ohio… who also turned me away. At that point, I called my old family doc from before I married. explained my symptoms, etc. and he told me to “Come on in”… took me 2.5 hours drive to get there. Nurse came out full-hazmat. Doc came out, stood about 10 ft away and said “Yep, you got it.” Four shots later all done in parking lot, and a couple hour nap in front seat, and I was heading home. A wee less feverish… but the fever did run for days, and the afters for weeks. I was terrified for my little ones, realizing that that morning I had been contagious without realizing it. Ach, you can’t imagine my fear that I could have infected them. Still curls my tumster at the thought. So, when I called Pastor about Tyson yesterday, I was very surprised that she asked if I’d like to come back. Evidently, the kiddos are asking about me. 🙂 ❤ And, truth is, I've missed them soooo much! Almost as much as I miss and grieve for my godchildren.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Excellent read Gary! Definitely on the edge of my seat and I was thinking these types of shorter essays may be harder to write but you did a great job. Keep up the great work, as you get better and better each time! It’s great to have your audience wonder what happened next? Such a fun read!! ❤️😲👍

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