Tuesday Tales From the Word STUCK

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. We are on the edge of a polar vortex up here in Ontario, which will bring us seasonal temperatures and the first significant snowfall of 2021. Doesn’t make a lot of difference to me since we’re under Stay at Home orders. I can go out for one of three reasons: food, medicine, and to see my mother in a Long Term Care home since I am considered an essential caregiver, necessary for her mental well-being. Mom got the first part of the COVID 19 vaccine, and will get her second shot in February. So, that provides a ray of sunshine and optimism in my world.

This week’s post comes once more from The White Dahlia

Beth took several deep breaths in an effort to calm herself. More sirens rang out—fire, police, ambulance—Someone wasn’t having a great day.

Her pulse almost back to normal, she sat down and reached for her cooling coffee. She was jumping to conclusions. Al must’ve misunderstood. As she’d told him, lots of sex workers got pregnant and their pimp was rarely pleased with the fact. There was no proof this wasn’t the cockeyed story she’d fed him. While he used his cellphone to contact Rachel’s former boyfriend in Alaska, she soothed herself enough to put in what she hoped would be a coherent call to the City Morgue. It took three call transfers and what seemed like an eternity before Mitch came on the line.

“Mitch Smith. What can I do for you? Please don’t tell me you have another body for me.”

“Mitch, it’s Beth. No more bodies—at least not from me.”

“That’s good. I have enough on my hands with the one you did send me.”

“Maybe, maybe not. There’s something going on in Manhattan. I can hear sirens. Hopefully we’re just talking property damage.” She licked her lips. “Al just filled me in on your newest report concerning Rachel Livingston’s autopsy,” she said, trying to keep the tremor out of her voice. “Are you certain? Are you positive that she’s given birth?”

“I am.” The doctor sighed. “I can imagine what’s going through your mind right now, because the same damn thing’s stuck inside my head, too. Thank God none of the women from the first Harvester case were cut up like this one.”

“No, but then, they weren’t being sold off for parts like these are. I keep telling myself to be objective. That this is an entirely different case, but damn it, I’m seeing too many similarities, and it’s scaring the daylights out of me. It was bad enough when I thought he’d just pillaged her organs, but a baby? Can you tell if it was a live birth? Have you got the results of the tox screen?”

“One thing at a time. Was it a live birth? I have no way of knowing, but it was a vaginal delivery, so the odds are it was. I’ve got a bad feeling about this. I can’t say for sure that there’s a child out there, but if there is, we have to find it.

That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales.

Published by Susanne Matthews

Hi! I live in Eastern Ontario. I'm married with three adult children and five wonderful grandchildren. I prefer warm weather, and sunshine but winter gives me time to write. If I’m listening to music, it will be something from the 1960s or 1970s. I enjoy action movies, romantic comedies, but I draw the line at slasher flicks and horror. I love science fiction and fantasy as well. I love to read; I immerse myself in the text and, as my husband says, the house could fall down around me, and I’d never notice. My preferences are as varied as there are genres, but nothing really beats a good romance, especially one that is filled with suspense. I love historical romance too, and have read quite a few of those. If I’m watching television, you can count on it being a suspense — I’m not a fan of reality TV, sit-coms, or game shows. Writing gives me the most pleasure. I love creating characters that become real and undergo all kinds of adventures. It never ceases to amaze me how each character can take on its own unique personality; sometimes, they grow very different from the way I pictured them! Inspiration comes from all around me; imagination has no bounds. If I can think it, imagine it, I can write it!

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