Mystery and Crime Fiction posted May 13, 2022

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A Meeting Of The Minds Commences

Ogawaga - Chapter 2

by Brett Matthew West

Sheriff Daniels looked at his crowded war room. Here ideas and plans could actively be exchanged. Several representatives from the Texas Rangers, Governor Alexander's band of Special Agents, and his own deputy filled the small corridor.

A whiteboard hung on the wall behind him as the lawman continued to plaster notes upon it with the black marker clutched in his right hand. Somehow the scene reminded him of an overflowed labor camp in a memory he revived.

He repeated the question posed to him by Byron Schmidt, "What do we know about the bodies found in Ogawaga?"

Familiar with the Captain of the Los Diablos Tejanos for several years, Sheriff Daniels had worked investigative cold cases with him before. He understood the Texas Rangers held jurisdiction over the entire state and welcomed their assistance.

The sheriff paused, then answered, "We know they have captivated and horrified the fine citizens of Astatula. The question is what story do these skeletons really tell? In addition, ballistics indicate our John and Jane Does were shot at close range by a .22 before they were subsequently stuffed in the metal barrels they were extracted from."

"Could there be more victims, Sheriff? Is it possible we have a serial murderer on the loose?" Phillip Rafferty from the Governor's office asked.

"That has not been confirmed, nor has the prospect been eliminated. I've heard several people on the street who's overactive imaginations ran wild about what is out there in that lake's depths. The last serial killer we had in these parts was Beebo the Clown, in collusion with my deputy at the time Fred Taylor," Sheriff Daniels responded with a quick glance at Greyson Waterhouse.

The deputy, all six feet eight inches of him, noticed the expression on his boss's face. Immediately he assured the group he was no mass murderer. The sheriff allowed the moment to pass without further comment.

"Speaking of Fred Taylor, not that any of us particularly desire to resurrect his memory, how is Cody coming along these days?" Phillip Rafferty inquired.

"Ornery as ever."

"With everything he has experienced in his hometown of Palo Pinto, the Governor finds Cody to be quite a remarkable young man."

"I won't argue the point."

"In fact, Governor Alexander would like for you to bring Cody to Austin to lunch with the Governor."

"That is a mighty generous invitation. I will see how soon such a meeting can be arranged and let Cody know the Governor sends his regards. Cody's come a long way since being shot by Taylor while skinny dipping at Sullivan Lake. For a while there, I thought I'd lose him. But, like the trooper he is, the boy pulled through that touch and go ordeal in flying colors."

"Didn't Beebo the Clown kidnap him as well and attempt to fricassee the boy alive in a barn fire?"

"He did. That was another close call Cody survived. However, his assistance in apprehending both Beebo the Clown and Fred Taylor was invaluable to my department."

"Those incidents boggle Governor Alexander's mind. What field of employment would Cody like to pursue when he is full grown?"

"He wants to be a dog doctor, as he puts it."

To bring the group back on track, Deputy Waterhouse interjected, "We've found horrible things that we would just as soon not have discovered."

"I went to talk to Jay and Jesse Oleander, who came across the female when they fished Ogawaga, to hear what was on the sandbar. They told me in their initial interview they stopped to admire rubbish there including an ancient Pepsi bottle. Unfortunately, they did not retrieve any of the items," Sheriff Daniels advised the group.

'Wasn't that when they observed something sticking out of the sand?" Byron Schmidt questioned.

"At first they thought it was a large rock. So, they dug in the dirt and found a barrel they popped the lid off of. A human jaw with a metal-filled tooth was inside. Jey Oleander said they wanted to be sure they'd discovered a human skull before they alerted my office," the sheriff ascertained.

"Isn't Jesse Oleander a Nurse Practicioner at Astatula General?" Byron Schmidt wanted to know.

"Oeander said he could identify several other bones including the femur, or thigh bone, and the humerus, the long bone located between the shoulder joint and the elbow joint," Sheriff Daniels answered. He patted each as he named them."

With all eyes focused on him, the sheriff continued, "Of special interest to me, the Oleanders said they're much more worried about Ogawaga drying up than they are about other human remains that might float in those murky waters." He snapped the cap on his marker closed and twirled the implement between his fingers. "To say the least, their comment's got the hair on the back of my neck crawling."

At that moment, neither he, nor any of the rest of the assembled group of lawmen, knew how bad their day was about to become.

This is Evan, by Lilibug6 selected to complement all my Cody Schroder stories.

The backstory involving Beebo the Clown and Fred Taylor originally appeared in Astatula, my first Cody Schroder book. It is included here for the benefit of new readers to my Cody series.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Lilibug6 at

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