The Blind Side by Sandra Seamans

THE BLIND SIDE

By Sandra Seamans

It was half past closing time when Sheriff Rachael Gates walked into the Pig in a Poke Bar and Grill.

“Hey, Eddie, you’re open late tonight.” she said. “Waiting on Booney?”

“Why would I be expecting Booney to show up here?”

“Because he was making a run for you tonight, before he got sidetracked by the fire,” said Rachael.

“I ain’t catching your drift, Sheriff,” said Eddie as he set a cup of coffee on the bar for Rachael.

Rachael grinned. Playing ignorant was the first step in tap dancing around the law in these parts, especially if the man being questioned considered the law a dumb broad. How fast Eddie danced would depend on how much he figured she knew about his business.

Adding cream and sugar to her coffee she nodded toward the police scanner setting next to the cash register. “You been listening to the calls tonight?”

“Yeah, heard there was a hell of a fire out on Stumble Creek Road tonight. Booney’s Garage, wasn’t it? How come you ain’t out there doing traffic control?”

“I was, but I had some business here in town that needed taking care of. Besides, with the fire almost out, most of the gee-gawkers had toddled on home.”

“What kinda business are you sticking your nose into this time of night? Everybody’s either tucked up in bed or out at the fire.”

“Everyone but you, Eddie. I’ve been wondering what dirty tricks you’ve got hidden up your sleeve to keep your shine business running, now that Booney’s dead.”

“Booney’s dead?”

“Don’t look so surprised on my account. Wasn’t that the plan when you set the fire tonight?”

“You’re talking in riddles, girl.”

“No riddles, I was just stumped for a reason why you weren’t out at the fire. I found that kind of odd, considering you’re the fire chief.”

“I was holding down the toilet with a case of the shits, if you gotta know. Is that a crime now?”

“No, but you and Booney running moonshine into Piedmont County every time there was a police cruiser or ambulance brought into Booney’s garage for maintenance…that’s a crime.”

“If Booney was running shine, that was his business, not mine.”

“You’d just love for me to think that, wouldn’t you?”

“Lady, you’ve got a bee buzzing around in your bonnet and it’s done stung your brain stupid.”

“You know, I let you and Booney have your little side business cause I didn’t figure it was hurting anybody. Folks like a little jolt of white lightning now again and I’ve got no problem with that. What I do have a problem with, is a fire truck full of shine showing up at a fire and a whole lotta folks getting hurt.”

“What are you talking about?”

“The load of shine Booney was hauling tonight.”

“You’re thinking crazy, lady.”

“Funny thing about tonight. I thought you were getting greedy, trying to slip that much shine under my nose, so I followed Booney. He was just over the county line when the fire call came over the radio. Booney made a U-turn and headed for the fire. And if I were Booney, I’d have probably done the same thing seeing as how you kept repeating that it was Booney’s Garage burning a hole in the dark when you put out the call.”

“You’ve just proved the truck couldn’t have been loaded with shine. Nobody, with half a brain, would charge into a fire carrying shine. Even Booney wasn’t that dumb.”

“That’s what I thought, until the spray from the hose hit the flames. I couldn’t do anything but watch when the fire snaked back along the hose. Damn near barbequed half the folks out there when the truck exploded. Booney didn’t have a chance. He was so focused on saving his garage, he forgot what he was hauling. You were counting on that.”

“The fire company’s been filling up their trucks with water from Stumble Creek for years. Booney’s place has the best access to the creek, so I left the truck there for Booney to fill. Ain’t no call to blame me if he filled it with something other than water.”

Rachael tapped her fingers on the bar. Eddie was tap dancing like Fred Astaire on speed. “So how are you planning on staying in the shine business with Booney gone?”

“I told you, I ain’t in the shine business, but I might rebuild the garage and hire on a mechanic. I bought the place from Booney’s wife, Sally, earlier tonight. Paid her cash up front so she couldn’t change her mind before we saw the lawyers.”

“His wife sold you the garage? For cash?”

“Not the business, the property. The land was in her name, she inherited the place from her grandpa.”

“I don’t suppose you signed any papers to that effect?”

“We’re friends. We didn’t need any paperwork to seal the deal. Besides, Sally needed the money, she was planning on leaving Booney. I was just helping her out.”

“Out of the goodness of your heart, or were you looking for a little something more?”

“I’m a married man. I don’t go sniffing around another man’s piece of ass.”

Rachael smiled. “Speaking of your wife, she and Sally are friends, aren’t they?”

“They’ve been best friends since their mama’s pissed them into the world.” Eddie’s face twisted with anger as he added money plus dames and realized he’d been screwed, and not in a pleasant way. “That Bitch.”

“Sally played you perfectly. Booney’s dead and your fingerprints are all over his murder. There’s absolutely nothing but your word to point the law in her direction. And I pretty much doubt your wife will be backing up your sitting-on-the-john alibi,” said Rachael as she cuffed Eddie. “You could have saved yourself a lot of grief if you’d, just once, thought of a woman as more than a resting place for your dick.”

One response to “The Blind Side by Sandra Seamans

  1. haha loved it!

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