Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Read the beginning of Patti J. Smith and Giovanni Gelati's "Shadeport" RIGHT NOW!

A chubby fingered hand reaches up and grabs an acrylic cube off of the fireplace mantle with care. The contents inside are very rare and worth north of 6 figures.
What is it? A weathered and aged baseball with a very important signature.
“Finally it’s mine. I should have never had to go to such lengths to possess it.” Says our foul evil doer aloud to the empty house. A wicked smile upon his face. The Grinch would be proud of his smile.
“No time to waste, I must make haste; it is off to the next house on the list, none of them can be missed.”
“Coming to you from Shadeport on the 5,000-watt flamethrower 540WDIP it’s time for another edition of “Your Landscape and You” with your hosts Deputy Dan and me, Sheriff Dan. If you are listening to the broadcast on the World Wide Web,, thank you, Hola! Welcome everybody, welcome! Today we are going to try to help everyone navigate the perilous paths of the dreaded weed! No, not the kind of weed one may inhale, make rope or sandals out of, but the one commonly found in your landscape beds or lawns.”
“Also Deputy Dan and I wish to thank everyone for their incredible feedback and questions during last week’s incredibly topical and emotional show: Mulch-when, why and how! What a barnburner last week, wouldn’t you say Dan.”
“Yes, Dan I would. Last week’s show really hit me hard in the gut. All I was thinking about as we drove around town doing our rounds was not only what type of mulch our neighbors should use but the color selection. I lost a lot of sleep this week. Talk about a conundrum. MY brain still hurts. BOOM! Weeds though, tough one, tough one. What’s your angle with this Dan? Where are going with it?”
“I feel you, Dan. I respect the respect you have for the weed. Before I open the show up to our callers, and, by the way, thanks to each and every one of you for taking the time to call in and share, what exactly is a weed, Dan? What is the definition if I may be so bold. Do you have one prepared for us?”
“Why yes, I do Dan. I try to do my research. We not only protect and serve here in Shadeport, but we also try to educate. So without further ado, here is the textbook definition of a weed…”
“Dan, what textbook if I may ask? Where did you glean these important pieces of information? The fine folks at home may wish to reference the information in the future.”
“Why Sheriff Dan the one you gave me to read. Unfortunately, I left it on my desk back at the Station. Would you like me to light the bubbles up and high tail back there and get it?”
“Deputy Dan, we will make a note to have it with us next week. Stay tuned for that info folks, it just gives you one more amazing reason to listen in next week.”
“Thanks, Sheriff Dan, The Deputy Abides. Let’s move on.”
“Excellent Deputy Dan. So tell me, as I am about to fall off of the edge of my seat, What is a weed?”
“Aha, I am about to blow some minds with this one! Boom! Okay, here goes: A weed is anything one may find undesirable in their lawn or landscape.”
“What a revelation listeners! Did you catch that,”Undesirable”! Let’s take some calls, Dan!”
“Great idea Dan, do it!”
“Good afternoon caller, you are on “Your Landscape and You.” What is your question, observation, or information to add?”
“ Hey Dan’s, this is Franklin, the insurance guy.”
“Hey Franklin, this is a first, what you got?”
“We have a problem. I need you to come down to my office and let me show you.”
“Do you see dead people Franklin? Sorry, that’s a departmental inside joke if you know what I mean. Is your query related to weeds, a certain variety perhaps?”
“No, not yet, and I would like to avoid it, seeing dead people. We also have no weeds here at the office as we have no grass or landscaped beds. Can you come down when your show is over?”
“You got it.”
Sheriff Dan passed the diner towards Franklin’s office, tempted to drop in for a quick cup of coffee and donut. Looking down at a belly that covered his belt buckle, he shook his head and continued walking.
The bell on the door chimed. “Hey Louise, Franklin wanted to see me?”
“Go on in Sheriff, he’s been waiting.” She sighed heavily. “Such a shame. Can’t trust anyone anymore.”
“What do you mean, Louise?”
“He’ll tell ya. Just a shame, that’s all.”
The office door was slightly ajar. Sheriff Dan pushed it open. Franklin was emptying glass from the dustpan into the metal trash can. The file cabinets stood open and empty, several high stacks of file folders on the floor leaned against the wall. “Thanks for coming, Dan.”
“What’s going on here, Franklin, did the maid quit?”
“Very funny, Dan, wish I could laugh.” He pointed towards the window behind his desk. “Someone broke in and rifled through my files, found them all over the floor. Must have thought I had money hidden in there. Even took the spare change from my top drawer. Glad Louise did the bank deposit yesterday. Otherwise, we’d …”
Dan shook his head, “Dang-it Franklin, you shouldn’t have touched anything. Didn’t the alarm go off?
Franklin rolled his eyes, “Hated that thing. Kept going off accidentally so I figured the sticker in the front window would warn people.”
“Don’t mean to be snide, Franklin, but maybe you should have put the sticker on your office window instead.” He turned towards the reception area. “Louise, is anything disturbed in there?”
“No, Sheriff, not that I can tell. Whoever did this must know Franklin doesn’t set the alarm anymore. But why on God’s green earth would someone want to break in here anyway? Myra’s dress shop would have more cash than we would and I know for a fact she doesn’t set her alarm either.”
“How about any strangers hanging around outside?”
“No,” she said, “just the normal foot traffic passing by or dropping in.”
“Well, I’m going to walk around the outside and see if there’s anything there and get Deputy Dan over here to dust for prints if there are any. After we’re done, you can go ahead and get the window fixed and Franklin, from now on, use the alarm, will ya?”

Sheriff Dan pulls his phablet from its leather holster on his right hip and dials the Sheriff’s office. The call gets an answer on the fourth ring,”Shadeport Sheriff’s office, this is Dan. What is your emergency?”
“Hey Danielle, this is Sheriff Dan.”
“Good Afternoon Sheriff! What can I do for you?”
“Can you send Deputy Dan and Deputy Dan out to Franklin’s Insurance office? Please ask them to bring their C.S.I kits and give his place the treatment.”
“Which of the Deputy Dan’s do you mean sir?”
“Dan Jr., and Trey, please. Dos should be on a stakeout still right?”
“Yes, he is still on the stakeout. None too happy about it, but still on it.”
“Okay then. I am going to drop by the Diner and question some of the folks there to see if they heard or seen anything. I will continue to canvas the neighborhood until I hear from you or Deputy Dan. Who is on call tonight?”
“Deputy Dan is.”

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