Rough Love…A Janie Temple mystery…new writing, unedited…

A white pickup with black lettering on the side that read, ‘Sheriff’s Department’, pulled up to the curb.  Janie walked over, the driver rolled down the window and asked, “need a ride, detective?”

“Yeah, if you’re headed to the scene of this newly discovered skeleton.”

“I am. Hop in.”

Walter Higgins Jr. waited for Janie to get in before putting the vehicle in motion. He pushed his Ray Ban’s up on his nose, checked his side mirror and rear-view, then pulled gently into traffic. Not that there was any traffic to speak of. Angie wasn’t a big town, and few people came to the town square anymore. There wasn’t a Super Walmart in town, heck there wasn’t a Walmart or a Dollar General anywhere to be seen. 

You had to leave Angie to find a Dollar General, the town was that dead. Walter drove the speed limit. He was a by-the-book kind of cop. Those he worked with hated that about him. 

“You must be the change you want to see in the world,” he insisted. “We can’t break the law, and then expect people to follow it. As cops, we must set the example.”

There was a reason, Walter, Walt to his friends, was sent to pick up Janie. The Sheriff wanted him out of the way. 

“So, who found the skeleton?”

Walter glanced at the petite woman sitting in the cab of his vehicle. She wasn’t hard to look at, he reckoned. Janie had blondish red hair, an athletic build, and stood just over five feet tall. She wasn’t a bad looking woman. Her green eyes appeared soft, unproven. There wasn’t a hard edge to them like those of the battle-weary detectives of a tried-and-true homicide team. 

“Um, it was discovered by a guy fishing. I’d guess the rain uncovered it.”

“I see.”

“Do you always drive so carefully?”

“Yes, detective. We share the road with everyone else, it pays to be courteous.”

“I totally agree. My impatience must have something to do with my excitement.”

Walter glanced at her and then focused his attention on the road. 

“You’re excited about a dead body?”

“No,” Janie sighed. “I’m not excited about the dead body, I…that came out wrong. Just forget it.”

“It’s okay, detective. I’m Walter Higgins, I guess I’m a bit wound tight myself.”

Janie gave Walter a small smile and nodded. She took a deep breath and tried to focus her thoughts. 

“I’m Janie. Um, this is my first case as a detective, Walter. I don’t want to screw it up.”

“I understand, Janie. I’m sure you will do fine,” Walter said, as he guided the truck behind several police vehicles. A sign stood at the entrance of a well-worn path. Janie and Walter got out and walked toward it.

“Dead Man’s Point,” Janie muttered, “Was the killer going for ironic?”

“I doubt it,” Walter said. “This was once a popular make out spot for high school kids.”

Janie arched her eyebrows at Walter but said nothing. Walter blushed.

“Not that I would know,” he added.

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