This is the 57th Novella in the Series that describes the life and times of Murder Squad Detective Joseph Lind.
Everyone experiences that feeling of “being caught in the headlights” of an oncoming vehicle. An episode that one knows of, yet when it slaps you in the face, you are surprised that it has at last arrived. Joe felt that feeling of complete disassociation like that Roo dazzled by the strong headlights of an oncoming car, feeling powerless to stop the onrushing episode.
His long-term partner of ten years, Shelley Anne Shields has suffered her fifth miscarriage, causing her to despondently call a halt to anymore ‘tries’. Stubbornly not thinking of the alternatives available, saying there was plenty of time to think of them all. Instead, she goes on a Pacific Cruise to calm the mind and body. Her enthusiasm to continue working as a Cop severely tested. She volunteers to cut short her sabbatical when told of the injuries suffered by Lind’s son in a late-night vehicle accident. To come home to help her friend and Bill’s long- term partner, Malisa get through the trauma.
Joseph is having problems concentrating on his work because of these incidents that are weighing on his shoulders and a chance encounter with a Bikie ‘chief’ unsettles him, bringing back memories that he thought were long buried.
A body of a ‘small fry’ drug seller requires more than a token gesture of examination. His temporary partner Detective Doug Chalmers is not helping matters with his aloof and at times, non-participating role.
An ex-Crim phones into Crime Stoppers reporting a body just dumped near his home. Why would an ex-crim even bother? His dealings with Police and the Jail hierarchy throughout his life troubling Detective Lind. Is there an ulterior motive or has this ex-crim matured and accepted his responsibilities as a mature citizen in this brave new world.
Detective Lind has his doubts, frustratingly not shared by his temporary partner.
I sat stiffly in the Unmarked having just turned off the motor. I was unsure how I should feel when one of my offspring is involved in a motor vehicle accident and is one step off dying.
I had often told Bill he should sell the Ducati and purchase a little car for him and Malisa. It was obvious after all of these years together; they had no intention of having any kids…and he was now a mature adult who should not be riding around on my old bike … but … to tell the truth, I still donned my leathers and hit the open road on the thing. Not as often as I once did, but still … the thrum … the thrill of freedom can only be experienced by another Duke rider…not even riding a Harley has the same feeling… so who am I to cast stones on my son having that same adrenalin rush as I have had for so many years.
Regardless, he was getting a little long in the tooth for riding a thumping machine to work every day, hail, snow or sunshine! To the main DPP Office in town, would you believe!! He may not have been the only motor-bike rider in that building, but when you turned over that Duke motor…the thumping roar would only be appreciated by a very small proportion of Office Workers.
What can I say? What can I do when it was I who passed down that gene?
“You okay, Joe?” Malisa asked from the front passenger seat beside me.
I nodded my head slowly, unsure how I felt.
“He could have suffered brain damage…so says the Specialist…it will be a case of wait and see, huh?”
I nodded my head again, wondering not for the first time whether life was worth living. I could hear both Tellie, Marge Hendricks and Shelley threatening physical abuse if I continued down that track…but that feeling was never far away for me. A simple step to self-destruction when things felt as though they were piling up against me.
Yes, I had noticed that regardless of my son’s condition…or anyone’s for that matter, the thoughts had turned becoming more about me than anything else. A rather selfish and self-absorbed state, I would contend. I wondered not for the first time, why this was so…I really didn’t know…the headlights catching me in their periphery…just… before I became like that pinned butterfly, mesmerised and frightened into inaction by the strength of those lights…that black-hole feeling.
“The worse part about all this shit is I think I could be pregnant … it has taken us a lot of tries and false alarms … but … this time I think I am … what a s*** … you know?” She turned to me wiping tears from her eyes. “If Bill dies or is brain damaged and not capable of knowing … or loving … or enjoying the fruit of so many years in trying … I don’t know what I’m going to do if I am … Mum and Dad still haven’t spoken to me in a civil way because Bill and I have been living in sin in their eyes … to now expect a baby in that sinful situation would I think, just push them over the edge …”
“It’s funny how babies can often break down those barriers … and congratulations my dear …” I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek, giving her a hug. She held on. I could hear the sobs and felt the tears on my neck.
“It’s okay, Mal. You will always have a home here … no matter what happens in the future…hear me?”
Between sobs she nodded her head.
Sniffles took over leaving several Tissues in a right royal wet mess…I hated Tissues of any type in my car. People just drop them on the floor. Sure, that is better than tossing them out the window but surely, they can take them as they alight … I hate that box of Tissues on the rear parcel Tray beside the Bowls Hat … it usually is a twenty-year old Volvo driven by an old coot with grey or no hair at all!
That’s how it was when I was a young strapper. Now of course it hadn’t change much except for the car. Usually a ten-year-old Holden Commodore!
My mind kind of wanders when I am under stress … as you can see.