Mystery and Crime Fiction posted July 11, 2021 Chapters:  ...6 7 -8- 9... 

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A chapter in the book Running Blind

Running Blind ~ Chapter Eight

by Sally Law

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

Previously, in Chapter Seven~

As circumstances demanded, our investigative team had to split up for now. Detective Lembowsky hitched a ride back to Lafayette Township with Dr. Marie MacLavish and her hubby; and Jackson drove the rest of us back to River Ridge.

I slept in my evening gown, which was a first for me. Jackson must've covered me up to keep the dive-bombing mosquitoes off my shoulders. I awoke to the sound of my instant messaging alert, vibrating my phone off the nightstand.

I reached over and pushed the button. It was Jackson.

King and I are on a run, then we will be back with a croissant and coffee for you, and that green thingy you like. Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste is sitting outside our motel door reading a book and standing guard. Be back soon, my love. Jackson.

I wanted to go back to sleep, but didn't. I found my exercise mat and got to stretching.

An adversary was about, a tiger of a man. I had to be ready for his advances: body, soul, and spirit. Meanwhile, I had a life to live and cold case to solve.

After breakfast, King and I were going to visit Olivia Henry by ourselves. I still had a piece of the blanket belonging to Camille Jean-Baptiste in my tote bag. Maybe I'd have a breakthrough soon.

Another long day loomed ahead. But I was hopeful, and I had coffee coming... and a green thingy.

{Chapter Eight}

Jackson and King returned from their morning run, thoroughly invigorated. I was surprised to hear he'd purchased the food at Al's Barbecue, even the 'Green Thingy' as Jackson calls it. Apparently, Al's wife Shirley is a health nut, and loves kale smoothies.

We ate in our motel room with the television's volume on low. Everything but the news was featured, and I was ready to switch it off when an alert came on.

Good morning, Lisa Lee. I hear you have some breaking news for those just tuning in!

That's right, Stan. A chilling drama is underway this morning in Frontier County. A late model Ford sedan was pulled from the Vermilion River just now, with two bodies inside. Both males suffered apparent gunshot wounds and one of them was identified as Lonnie Hastings of Lafayette Township, the registered owner of the car. The other victim was identified as missing art curator, Duran Gibbons of New Orleans. An eyewitness at the scene said there was a third man in the car who had swum to shore. No information has been shared on the identity or whereabouts of the survivor. Sheriff Holt spoke earlier, and has assured the citizens that a full investigation will be launched. Tri-County Medical Examiner, Dr. Marie MacLavish, is at the scene. Back to you, Stan.

Jackson broke the stunned silence. "You can't see him, but Detective Lembowsky is working alongside Doctor M."

"So, they haven't caught the third guy? He could be halfway across the country by now, or in River Ridge!"

Jackson sensed my angst and pulled me close. "They've got this, Sal. Keep your mind here as best you can. We are close to a break in the cold case, I know it!" I enjoyed my husband's reassurances for a good long while.


Suzy arrived at our motel room in a whirlwind. "Did you see the news? Oh my word, those poor men! Sergeant Ray! What do you know?"

"I know as much as WKMZ reporter, Lisa Lee. Jackson forbids me to worry, and he's right. Detective Lembowsky and Doctor M are on it. Sergeant Ray is still in the hospital. By the way, could you order some flowers for her from the team? Sunflowers are her favorite."

Suzy let out a sigh. "How do you know everyone's favorite flower? Never mind, consider it done."

"I believe pink peonies are yours. Get some of those, as the Motor Court Motel may be our home a little longer."


The spiritually charred Tony Alfanzi lucked out, catching a ride on an oil tanker bound for New Orleans. His soggy roll of hundred dollar bills made for a nice agreement, and, in his mind, would have him back to his yacht before margarita time. The driver was a talker though, and yammered the whole way.

The tiger rubbed his temples, trying not to scream. "How much longer, man? I'm really hungry."

Dwayne Cooper was the picture of a Texas oil rig driver: trucker cap, tattooed arms, and burley chest that stretched his work shirt to the max. 'Big D' had a place in mind, etched in his food memory.

"Let me introduce you to the best open-pit BBQ this side of the Mississippi! We're just about there... River Ridge, Louisiana. Parking's a bit of a hassle, but well worth it."

"River Ridge...? Never heard of it."


Back in room 26 at the Motor Court Motel; Suzy spread out her laptop and went to work.

"I'm glad you forwarded some of this DNA stuff to me, Sally. This is so fascinating! By the way, did you listen to this reply from Strong Again Institute in New Orleans? Looks like we have a hit on Camille Jean-Baptiste.

"No, yesterday was exhausting. Press play and we'll listen together...."

This message is for Detective Sally Law. My name is Elizabeth Del Campo, the administrator here at Strong Again Institute. I'm calling in response to the email your office sent out with the photo composite of missing person, Camille Jean-Baptiste. We had a teenager admitted here in April of 1999. She was a victim of an assault behind one of the jazz clubs. She'd lost her memory completely from the head trauma, suffering from delusions and paranoia. The young man who checked her in didn't leave much information and left hurriedly, according to a Post-It note in the paper file. You're welcome to a copy of the file as it contains a brain scan and comments from the attending physician at the time. No other information as to when she was discharged, I'm afraid. This was long before I came on to bring the needed improvements to this hospital and the renaming of it. Let me know how I may be of further assistance, Detective.

I switched off my instant messager and leaned back in my chair. "Suzy, get a copy of the medical records from Ms. Del Campo and forward the brain scan to Doctor M. She's a forensic anthropologist and will be able to verify if this young lady is indeed Camille Jean-Baptiste. In the meantime, King and I will drop by and visit Olivia Henry."

"Let me go with you to Olivia's house, Sally. It may prove to be helpful, since both of you are blind."

"Good point. Give me a few minutes and we'll head out."


I was ready in record time, as Suzy helped me and my ever-growing tote to the door. Once outside, Lieutenant Miles Jean-Baptiste greeted me. "Madame Detective, I am at your service until your husband returns. Jackson said I'm not to let you out of my sight. Where to?"

So much for my plan to meet privately with Olivia Henry, I thought.

"How about Al's Barbecue and Such? Would you care to join us?" We walked together arm in arm trying to avoid an oil tanker illegally parked at the far end of the Motor Court Motel. "It looks like the lunch crowd is already having trouble finding a parking spot," commented Jean-Baptiste. "Perhaps the French cafe around the corner? The pastries are magnifique!"

"As long as they are dog-friendly," I said. "And have Wi-Fi," Suzy added.

"But, of course! There is no other way to dine for people like us."

Suddenly, an unexplainable fear came upon me, causing me to stop. I was being surveilled, and I knew it. King felt it too.

To be continued....


{Main Characters}

Detective Sally Law, that's me, also known as The Blind Girl, Lead Detective for Lafayette Township Police Department: Cold Case Division. I'm also heiress to the Andre Dupree Art Collection and fortune.

Detective Jackson Law: my husband, and a consultant to the force.

King: my guide dog, Super dog, and ace crime-solver.

Detective Lieutenant Mike Lembowsky, Homicide, Lafayette Township Police Department. He also lives next door to us on Main Street in Lafayette Township.

Detective Lieutenant Janelle Harris and her German Shepherd, Vanta.

Suzy Fleming: My personal assistant.

Detective Lieutenant Miles Jean-Baptiste, Lafayette Township Police Department: Cold Case Division; and brother to missing person, Camille Jean-Baptiste.

Sergeant Dina Ray: Lafayette Township Police Department.

Dr. Marie MacLavish: Tri- County Medical Examiner and Forensic Anthropologist; married to Alan.

Mr. Duran Gibbons: Former curator and owner of The Duran Gibbons Gallery of Fine Art. Mr. Gibbons' remains haven't been found yet.

Floyd and Boyd Clarkston: Local criminals for hire, now seeking a better life. Waiting arraignment in River Ridge.

Criminal mastermind, Tony Alfanzi, a.k.a., Anthony Fabio, and street name: Tony the Tiger. Likes to work alone unless it suits him to do otherwise. He has recently set his sights on The Blind Girl and her fortune.

Captain Will Moran: New Orleans Police Department.

Spencer Whitehead: Buyer of 'Calla Lillies' for three million dollars.

Dwayne Cooper, "Big D": Truck driver

{Louisiana of 1990 and now}

Olivia Smith Henry: Amnesiac and missing person, Camille Jean-Baptiste.

Pastor Lyle Henry: Formerly the Pastor of River Ridge Mission Church and the community hostel. He is currently the Sheriff of River Ridge. He lives with his wife Olivia; and their daughter, Danielle.

Albert Lee Reynolds: Owner and proprietor of Al's Barbecue and Such; his wife, Shirley.


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