The Killers Amongst Us:Chimera Dawn Chronicles(10)

By: Declan Conner

“Sheriff Shaw, Mrs. Fisher here. I’m at the vets and she’s closed.”

His shoulders sagged. He heard a car pull up outside. Swiveling his chair, he watched Amy climb out of Ted Carter’s SUV. His Golden Retriever, Gyp, woke instantly from his slumber and jumped up, landing with his paws on the windowsill, his tail wagging.

“Sheriff Shaw, Mrs. Fisher here, are you listening?”

Shaw sighed. From what she had said, at least he wouldn’t have to drag the ladder out of the garage to rescue Mrs. Fisher’s cat, a weekly occurrence.

“Sorry, yes, I’m listening. I’m sure she’ll be back soon. Maybe she’s been called out on an emergency.”

“Well, it’s most inconsiderate. I have an appointment at nine a.m.”

“Doesn’t she have an assistant yet?”

“No, I keep telling her she needs one, but she says money is tight.”

Shaw could empathize with the vet’s sentiment. No matter how much he argued with the town council, the budget wasn’t there for an office secretary and it kept him shackled to his desk most days. The door to his office opened. Gyp bounded across the office and greeted Amy. She fussed over the dog, then walked over to the desk.

“Sorry, there’s nothing I can do, try calling back at the vets later,” Shaw said.

“Who is it?” Amy asked.

Shaw covered the mouthpiece.

“Old Mrs. Fletcher.”

Amy wrinkled her nose.

“Well, I just think she should phone her customers if she has other business,” said Mrs. Fletcher

“Maybe you can suggest that to her when she arrives.”

Shaw heard a grunt and the line cut. He shook his head and replaced the handset.

“What’s her problem this time?” Amy asked.

“The vet hasn’t opened up and she has an appointment with her cat, Montague.”

“Look on the bright side, at least you won’t be climbing ladders,” she said, and then laughed.

“You can laugh. Anyway, how did your sleepover at Louise’s house go?”

Amy’s cheeks flamed, and she shuffled on her seat.

“I... I passed the vets earlier and her bedroom curtains were closed. Maybe she’s overslept. Anyway, got to rush, I’m going camping over the weekend with the gang.”

Her avoidance of his question didn’t go unnoticed, nor the fact that Ted Carter had driven her home and was waiting outside. He found it hard to remember she wasn’t a little girl anymore. Perhaps she detected a look of hurt that he felt, he couldn’t be sure, but Amy walked around the desk, threw her arms around him and kissed his cheek.

“Are you sure you’ll be okay on your own?” she asked. “I’ll be taking Gyp with me.”

He knew what she meant, but they never talked about it, just as she never talked about her not wanting to celebrate her birthday again.

“I’ll be fine, you enjoy yourself, sweetheart.”

She released her hold, then walked out of the office with Gyp in tow. He heard them running up the stairway to their apartment. The pull of the JD beckoned, but a more powerful urge rolled over him. He took the opportunity of Amy collecting her camping gear to head outside to Ted Carter’s SUV.

“Mr. Shaw.”

“Ted. Where is it you’re going camping?”

“Breakers Lake area, sir.”

“I take it you have your own tent?”

“Yes, sir. I’ll be collecting it on the way past my cabin.”

“I don’t have to remind you that that’s my daughter you’re dating?”

“No, sir.”

“Good. Just think on, you’ll have me to answer to if... you know... anything should happen.”

Shaw rested his hand on his pistol handle and sent Ted a stare.

“I’ll make sure she comes to no harm, sir. I promise.”

Shaw wasn’t happy that she was running with someone three years her senior, but he hoped that he got the message.

“What are you two talking about?” Amy asked, as she opened the back door of the SUV and threw in her tent and backpack. Gyp jumped on the back seat and Amy closed the door.

“Just saying, black bears are around this time of year, so don’t leave food scattered about. Have you got your cell phone?”

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