Apparently, a number of years ago, he hasn't said how much it was, but it enabled him to build this house with enough left over to go with his retirement to live on, if he remains careful with how he spends it. After he won so much, he said he felt a little flush and knew someone who was going to open a store. He said the conditions were right, but just before the other person was to open the store, he found out he had cancer and didn't want to go forward with the store in that condition.
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Worried About my Path
Worried About my Path / 8th of series: Blame Ball / By Jeremy McHarry
Published 2023 by Bentockiz
e-book Imprint: Calkden Norsh
e-book Registration: Stockholm, Sweden
e-book ISBN: 9789198826777
e-book editing: Athens, Greece
Cover Images created via AI art generators
Through books we come into contact with everything important that has happened in the past, analyzing also current events and putting our thoughts together to predict the future. The book is a window to the world, acquiring valuable knowledge and sparking our vivid imagination. It is a means of entertainment and is generally seen as a best friend, or as a slave that carries together all valuable information for us. The book is a friend who stays together without demands, a friend you call upon at every moment and abandon when you want.
It accompanies us in the hours of boredom and loneliness, while at the same time it entertains us. In general, a book does not ask anything from us, while it waits patiently on a dusty shelf to give us its information, to get us out of dead ends and to travel us to magical worlds.
This may be the travel mission of our books. Abstract narration, weird or unconscious thoughts difficult to be understood, but always genuine and full of life experiences, these are stories of life that can’t be overlooked easily.
This may be the start of something amazing!
George suggests, “If you want to, go ahead and drag the vegetables out of the fridge and munch on those. I probably ought to check the chicken and rice anyway.” While he goes out, Sharlene takes the vegetable tray out of the fridge and sets in on the counter near the table. He steps back in and explains, “The chicken and rice are basically done, so I turned the heat down to keep them warm until Paula and Paul get here.” He gets out plates and eating utensils while the ladies quickly set the table and the conversation turns to chit-chat for a while until the doorbell rings.
Sharlene answers the door and invites Paula and Paul in and after hugs or handshakes are shared all around, Sharlene pours drinks while George goes out to get the chicken and rice. Soon they’re dished up and enjoying the food. When they have empty plates and full bellies, they thank George for the fine meal while he clears the table with Sharlene’s help and puts the remainder of the chicken carcasses into a soup pot to simmer for broth.
After they’re all sitting back at the table with fresh drinks, there’s a pause, then Mariam asks, “It probably isn’t any of my business, but Sharlene you’re my friend and I had the impression that something happened to you last weekend. You also wanted to know what happened at the police station this afternoon. Who goes first?” Even as she’s speaking, Mariam sees that Sharlene and George quickly grab hands.
Klara asks, “George, does your television accept audio and video input from a computer?”
“It should, but I’ve never done it before.”
“Well, I have the police statements and the recordings which they collected from last weekend on my computer. I also have the audio recordings which led up to Mariam’s and my visit to the police station this afternoon. That may save you having to retell your stories.”
“Thank you, Klara. Let’s see if we can get it connected.”
Sharlene gets up and goes with George and the rest follow. They quickly find the right cables and connections and a brief test shows there’s a good connection. They’re soon seated with Sharlene cuddled on George’s upper legs on the love seat with Mariam sitting next to them while Paula and Paul sit next to each other on the sofa with room for Klara who gives a brief introduction, “A week ago, George and Sharlene were leaving here and stopped at a little restaurant on the other side of town for dinner. By the way, George, does the restaurant have a name?”
“Probably, but I don’t know what it is. Everyone just refers to it as Maria’s place.”
Paula and Paul nod their heads in agreement.
“Thank you. While they were there, a local bully and his gang came in. What you two probably don’t realize,” Klara looks at Sharlene and George, “was that someone was controlling the movement of the security cameras from shortly after the local bully walked in and almost everything that happened was recorded. What surprised me is that the police had enough audio recordings from various people with their phones or other devices so that almost all of the verbal interchange was recorded and someone at the sheriff’s department did a good job of connecting the audio record with the video record, so there’s a rather complete record of what occurred. I compared the original files with the composite one the sheriff’s office put together and I couldn’t find any discrepancies.” Klara sits down, says, “Here’s what happened,” and she hits the remote control start button.
While George grits his teeth to watch it, Sharlene buries her head in his chest and Klara partially watches them while the other three stare in amazement as the scene unfolds. When it’s done, the first to respond is Paula who quickly gets up and almost climbs onto George’s legs to hug them both, while Mariam reaches over to lay a comforting hand on Sharlene’s leg. Paul comes around the back of the love seat and, while he feels a surprising loss of words, he lays a hand on each of their shoulders and gives them a firm lingering squeeze.
After awhile, Paul steps away and asks, “Klara, can you run the first part of that recording again?”
With a look of almost horror, Paula turns on him and asks, “Paul, how can you?”
“Easy, love. I thought I saw something in the background of the recording which may make this bigger than it seems.”
Klara hands Paul the remote control. Twice he re-watches it up to the point of the actual confrontation before he announces, “Klara, they were targeted.”
After a chorus of shocked, “What!?!”s, Klara gets out, “How can you tell?”
“The bully, Hektor, barely acknowledges anyone as he makes a direct line to their table. Someone knew right where they were and directed Hektor there.”
Sharlene asks, “But why?”
Paul shakes his head as he answers, “I don’t know. Hektor considered himself a lady’s man, but from what I’ve heard, he always waited until they were somewhat under his control before he would make his move. I haven’t heard of him starting a confrontation over a woman before.”
George asks, “Could he have been encouraged to do so that time?”
“I suspect so, but by whom? Klara, do you have any recordings which might have showed the people behind Hektor?”
“I think there was one. Here it is.”
Slowly Paul watches it while he pays close attention to the faces. After he watches it a second time, he sits back and exclaims, “Damn!”
Klara asks, “What is it?”
“Most of the people in Hektor’s gang are watching the confrontation with almost disinterest and then surprise. One watches the confrontation with glee and then shock before he quickly disappears.” After he starts at the beginning of the video again, Paul pauses the recording and points out the person in question and they all observe as the person watches the confrontation with glee, then dismay, then shock, before he quickly scurries out of the door before anyone can stop him. Paul suggests, “I’ll bet the police didn’t even know he was there.”
* * * * *
Klara asks, “Who is he?”
Paul answers, “He’s a little coward who’s always trying to get some young punk like Hektor to do his dirty work for him. He’s got a bad reputation for trying to get pretty women alone and abuse them. He gets away with it because he can claim they came to him and then it’s his word against her word as to what was agreed to in private. I suspect he found out somebody new and pretty was in Maria’s and sent Hektor in to fetch them so he could ‘rescue’ them from Hektor and do as he wished.”
“Why is his word believed over her word?”
“Many times the girl involved is afraid to speak up due to embarrassment or is concerned about their future safety. Some of those who have spoken up have had some bad things happen to them or their family, but there’s no clear evidence that one thing led to the other. And the police are more geared to solving the obvious crime and not looking further along the back trail to see what might have been motivating factors.”
Klara asks, “Do you know his name?”
“I’ve heard him referred to as Ed or Eddie, but nothing more. The rumor is that his father is a wealthy quadrant politician. My guess is the kid will want to keep quiet about the failure of Hektor, but he could surprise me and find some other flunky to try to do what Hektor failed to do.”
“And unless we can get one of Hektor’s gang members to confess that he was there to instruct or encourage Hektor, then there’s no way to connect him to the crime.”
“You know the law much better than I do, Klara, but that’s the way I figure it.”
“Thank you, Paul, for your observations. If you have any other information about this person or any of the others, I would appreciate it if you can write it down or direct me to where I can find more information myself. This may throw a whole new light on our possible victim’s compensation lawsuit.”
Mariam asks, “Victim’s compensation lawsuit?”
Klara nods her head as she answers, “Yes, we meet this morning with some of the other victims of Hektor to discuss the possibility of such a lawsuit against Hektor’s estate or family. I suspect the possible compensation will be minimal or non-existent, but I’m still willing to pursue it to help the victims feel better about themselves and maybe help them stand up to the next bully. If there was someone behind the scenes calling the shots, that adds a whole new dimension to the case.
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