March 24, 1995 - Friday
Ryan Thomas knew something was not right when
he woke up. He couldn't put his finger on it exactly. But he knew something was definitely
It was a little past eight in the morning
when Ryan was abruptly awoke by his alarm
clock. The bright red numbers on the clock
glared at him as if to say, 'Get up now, or youll be late for class!'. Fighting off
the urge to go back to sleep, he threw himself
up out of bed and sat up with his eyes half
closed, wearing nothing but light blue boxer shorts. Ryan threw a glance over to his
sleeping roommate, Jarrod Mayfield.
"Rise and shine sweetheart." Ryan
grumbled. Jarrod twitched, pulling the covers over his head.
"Sink and rust asshole." He
responded. Ryan chuckled to himself sauntering over to the bathroom "closet".
This was a running joke between Ryan and Jarrod since the day they met, in this very
dormitory at Western Maryland College. The bathroom was a toilet, sink, and shower in a
space no bigger than a closet.
Both men were doomed to spend their senior
year of college in this cramped situation.
Ryan looked at himself in the mirror and
smirked at the sight he saw. He saw a twenty two year old male with tousled blonde hair
and crystal blue eyes. He ran his hand through his short hair to arrange it. No luck. All
he succeeded in doing was pushing the crushed hair to one side so it stood up. He would
have to take a shower to straighten it back out.
Jarrod turned in his bed and growled.
"Work late last night?" Ryan asked
his half comatose roommate. Jarrod answered in a series of grunts. "I'll take that as
a yes." More grunts.
Jarrod delivered pizza's part-time for Pizza
To Go in downtown Westminster. Ryan, already working there had helped him get the job. It
was not unusual for either of them to work until two or three in the morning. This was
their source of income.
This was the case for half the students at
Western Maryland College. Some had rich parents who doled out a healthy weekly allowance
for beer and other college supplies. But many parents who had opted to send their children
to W.M.C had put themselves in debt just for tuition to this prestigious college. Ryan and
Jarrod fell into the 'not rich' category. Although Ryans father was an incredible
wealthy man, he was trying to teach Ryan the value of a dollar. Ryan hated this theory,
but knew somewhere deep down his father was probably right. This was the case for
Ryans other friends. Most of the families who lived in the area and its suburbs were
farmers or middle income households. Westminster was a medium sized town nestled between
Baltimore and Frederick. The college was once of the reasons Westminster has so many
The town itself had historical value.
President Lincoln traveled down Main Street on his way to Gettysburg, which was thirty
miles north of Westminster itself. Buildings with bullet marks from the civil war were
However, from a twenty-something social
perspective, there just was not one whole hell of a lot to do. There was a mall more for
the local teenagers and a few bars. Champs was one of them, right down the
street from the college. That's where most of the college kids went to party if they
hadn't already started a party of their own.
Tonight was Friday and there were bound to be
a few parties around campus come the evening. Ryan stumbled back into the room still
rubbing his eyes. Ten or eleven more hours of learning, and then he could make love to the
nearest beer keg and try relentlessly to get into Tiffany Cutters pants. Tiffany was
one of Ryans best friends from the newspaper click. He had fallen for her the day he
met her, when she had walked curiously through the door of the news room hoping to become
a writer for the paper.
Tiffany on the other hand was playing a very
long game of hard-to-get. She had great affection for Ryan, but was not admitting it. She
had her reasons for the time being. She was fond of the cat and mouse game she was playing
with Ryan. He had also been one of her closest friends since they met three years ago.
Jarrod was drifting back to sleep again. It
was the mild snoring that tipped Ryan off. "Get up you lazy, black, computer
"Shut the fuck up, cracker boy!"
The two men threw slurs at each other left
and right, but never took it seriously. They had reached a point in their relationship in
the last six months where such words were a part of their friendship. According to Jarrod,
his father had left right after he was born and had been raised by his mother .
Jarrod was skinny and not very athletic. His
skin was light brown and his hair was a deep dark brown. He was outspoken if you knew him,
and kept pretty much to the circle of friends that he had made at the paper. Computers and
everything associated with them were Jarrod's hobby and that was pretty much it. Ryan had
suggested the college newspaper, The Forum, to Jarrod as an extra curricular activity.
Jarrod readily agreed. He had been eager to meet new people as he knew no one from
Westminster. Jarrod had transferred to Western Maryland College from another University up
north. A college Jarrod called Auburn University.
Ryan, on the other hand, was a party animal.
If there was beer, there was Ryan. Although this lifestyle did not deter from the other
responsibilities in his life. Ryan was also into the newspaper and had been there as one
of the primary reports since his freshman year. He had a thing for investigative
Ryan was about to see his next assignment
right outside his dorm window.
"Holy shit Jarrod, what the hell is
going on out here?" Ryan asked, awake now as he peered out the window towards the
"What the hell are you yapping
about?" Jarrod asked irritated looking over at Ryan.
"There are cops all over the
place." he answered in awe. Jarrod stumbled out of bed join his roommate at the
window. Outside, down in the playing field were several State Police cruisers, and an
"Jesus. I haven't the slightest
idea." Jarrod gasped. "Maybe we should go find out."
"I don't think so. We'd just be in the
"Hey man." Jarrod said with a sly
smile on his face. "Think of the newspaper. We just found our next cover story."
Ryan looked back at him with a satisfied look on his face and nodded his head.
The two men were walking across the field
wearing only sweat pants and T-shirts when they were met by Alan Kittridge. Alan, who was
the editor in chief of The Forum, obviously had the same idea.
"What's the scoop, chief?" Ryan
asked lighting up a cigarette. Alan made a disgusted look and waved his hand in front of
his face to deter the smoke.
"Thomas, put that fucking thing
out!" Alan barked. Ryan blew smoke in his face. Jarrod chuckled as Alan rolled his
eyes." You two aren't going to believe this. Professor Webb was murdered last
It was Jarrod who broke the silence.
"Got anymore of them cigarettes on
"Yeah." Ryan tossed him the pack,
"Apparently," Alan continued,
"he was stabbed to death. What's really weird is that the killer branded something, a
symbol, on Webb's forehead.
Ryan dragged on his cigarette. "What was
it?" he asked.
"A bird of some kind. With it's wings
spread." Alan said. "It looked like a crow."
"Who do they think did it?" Ryan
asked, his investigative instincts kicking in.
"They have no idea. Whoever did this was
very thorough. There aren't a lot of clue's left behind. No footprints, no tire tracks, no
weapon, and no motive." Alan stopped briefly as if in thought. "Everybody liked
Webb, I don't get it. I've known the guy for almost thirty years. He had no enemies."
"A mugging gone wrong?" Jarrod
"Doesn't look that way." Alan said
firmly. "No money missing from his wallet, nothing taken from him."
"Except his life." Ryan mused,
staring off towards the field where Webb's body was being loaded into an ambulance.
Alan looked back towards the scene.
"Austin Webb was a good friend of mine. We both were students here at one time, back
in the late sixties. We went through a lot together. I can't believe he's dead. I really
can't believe anyone would want him dead. It REALLY does not make sense."
"I'm hip." Ryan agreed as the three
men watched the ambulance with Austin Webb's body in it drive away.
A half an hour later, Ryan was walking with
Jarrod toward the classroom buildings for their first class. Ironically it was Advanced
Sociology taught by the late Austin Webb. There had been no cancellation notice, so they
figured somebody might be there to teach the class anyway.
Tiffany had been waiting outside the building
for Ryan as usual. Only today, Ryan did not greet her with the same silly marriage
proposal directed at her breasts. Immediately Tiffany was tipped off. Something was wrong
"No proposal this morning?" She
asked when Ryan walked up to her with a blank expression.
"What?" Ryan asked, not hearing
what Tiffany just asked him.
"Jesus." She uttered.
"Something must really be wrong if you arent declaring your undying love for me
Ryan, its been your calling card for almost three years now."
"Im sorry sweetie," Ryan
apologized. "Have you thought about my marriage proposal yet Tiff?" He asked in
line with his character.
"Thats better." Tiffany said
with a big smile. "Only you asked me and not my tits this morning, so I know
something is still wrong."
"I suppose you could say that."
Ryan said not smiling.
Tiffany started to look serious. "Ryan,
what is it?" She asked.
Ryan did not answer as he didnt know
how to just blurt it out. Jarrod saved him the trouble, "Professor Webb was murdered
Tiffany did not make one move. It was as if
she did not hear what Jarrod had said. "What?" She asked in a whisper.
"Its true." Ryan confirmed.
"They found his body under the stadium bleachers this morning. He had been stabbed to
"Are you kidding me Ryan? Jarrod? If you
are, this is not funny."
"No joke Tiff." Ryan reiterated.
"There was a symbol of a bird with its wings spread branded on his
"What?" Tiffany asked again,
looking shocked "What does that mean?"
"My hunch?" Ryan asked. Tiffany
nodded. "If this is what I think it is going to be, I think we have the beginnings of
a serial killing here. The brand of the bird obviously being the calling card, the MO of
the serial killer. However, its to early to tell. There has to be at least three
murders involving the use of the bird, which Alan thinks is a crow, before this can be
officially considered serial killings."
"What does Alan think?" Tiffany
"Same thing." Ryan said. "If
were lucky, and I say this in the kindest way possible in regards to Professor Webb, then
this will just be a one time thing. If we in fact have some kind of serial killer here on
campus, or even in town, things could get pretty ugly in Westminster before this whole
thing is over."
"Do you really think that Ryan?"
Tiffany asked, covering her mouth.
"I dont know yet. I certainly hope
not." He replied. "Only time will tell. I would be extremely careful
nonetheless, both of you."
"Yeah." Jarrod said in complete
agreement. "I hear you bro."
Tiffany stared off into space for a brief
moment and looked at Ryan. "How much longer till class starts?" She asked.
Jarrod looked at his watch.
"About ten minutes." he said.
Tiffany slung her purse over her shoulder.
"Ill be back soon. I might be a little late." She said hurrying away.
"Where are you going?" Ryan asked
calling after her.
"Ill be back!" She called in
return. Ryan watched her disappear towards her dorm building.
"That was weird." Jarrod commented.
"Yeah, really." Ryan agreed.
"Cmon, lets get to class. Well figure her out later."
The crow. What was the significance of the
Ryan was asking himself this over and over
again. He looked up from the desk at the man conducting Professor Webb's class. The man
was Adam Jones, Dean of the college.
Ryan looked over at Jarrod who was staring
down at an empty sheet of paper. Clearly, he, like everyone else, was a bit shook up at
Webb's untimely demise.
Jones was asking the class to share their
feelings about Webb's passing. Ryan thought it was a complete waste of time. Everybody was
more or less unanimous in their feelings. Webb was well liked and his death did not make
Ryan's thoughts were interrupted by a tap on
his shoulder from someone behind him. He knew it was Tiffany. Although Ryan did not
actually remember her coming into the classroom.
Ryan leaned back in his chair so she could
whisper in his ear. "What?"
"The thing with the crow." She
said. Ryan nodded. "I heard somewhere that the crow symbolizes a tortured spirit,
avenging his death."
Ryan turned his head sideways. "Tiff,
Webb never killed anyone."
"Do you know that for sure?"
"It's a pretty safe bet. Webb was cool.
It wasn't in his character to kill anyone. Besides, I think you've been watching to many
movies in your spare time." Tiffany huffed and slouched back down in her seat.
"Mr. Thomas?" a voice asked. Ryan
looked back at Dean Jones. "Is there something on your mind you would like to share
with the rest of us?" Ryan suddenly felt like he was back in high school.
"No." Jones glared at him briefly
and continued his preaching. Ryan looked back at Tiffany who was shrugging her shoulders.
He was actually looking at he breasts.
He focused his attention back to Jarrod who
was half smiling. Ryan flipped him the bird underneath the desk.
Tiffany was whispering behind him again.
"Meet me in the cafeteria at three Ryan. I have a proposal you might be interested
in." Ryan turned his head to the side again, eyebrows raised in a suggestive manner.
"I think not!" Tiffany whispered. "Something better. Just be there."
"You know I will be sweetie, anything
Tiffany giggled in a whisper. "Yeah, I
know." She said in her egotistical way. Ryan smiled and shook his head, directing his
attention back to Adam Jones. Ryan looked back at Tiffany and motioned for her to come
Tiffany leaned forward. "What?"
"Why cant you meet me after
"Because I have something I have to take
care of first and then I have another class after that." She replied.
"So skip it."
"Ry-an! I cant do that." She
wheezed. "You will just have to learn patience my eager prince. Remember, good things
come to those who wait."
"Ha, so you are teaching me." Ryan
"Smart ass." She whispered in his
ear, brushing her lips on it in the process. Ryan felt a chill shoot through his spine and
jolted suddenly as Tiffany leaned back into her chair.
Ryan quickly scanned the room knowing his
jolt has caused the table to move. People were looking at him. Jarrod was holding a laugh
"Are you sure there isnt something
youd like to add Mr. Thomas?" Adam asked again. Ryan sunk into his seat as
various snickers echoed around the room.
"Yeah, Im sure." Ryan
"Okay." Adam said. "Just raise
your hand at any time you feel like sharing."
Adam continued his speech as Ryan looked back
at Tiffany who was smiling slyly. Ryan mouthed the words "youll pay".
Tiffany smooched a kiss at him as Ryan turned to give Jarrod the bird underneath the table
Ryan did not say another word until class was
Ryan walked over to The Forum news room to
see what Alan was up to until his next class rolled around at eleven.
Alan was busy on the layout table, trying to
piece together the next issue of The Forum.
"Whats up Alan?" Ryan asked.
"I dont think the shock has hit me
yet." He admitted. "I suspect it will when we have to write the story of what
"Ooooh, who gets the by-line for that
"I dont know yet." Alan
replied. "I have to speak with Adam Jones first to see how he wants this story
"Geez, what a prick that man can be
Alan chuckled. "Yeah, he can be a
pompous windbag. In the meantime, I have your next assignment until I can figure out if I
want you to cover Webbs murder or not."
"Oh yeah? Whats that."
"Your going to think this is goofy, but
if anybody can figure it Ryan, its you." Alan said looking at Ryan, smiling.
"Thanks, I think. What is the
"There has been some, well, how do I out
this...paranormal activity over at Alumni Hall"
Ryan looked at Alan with a blank expression.
"Youre kidding, right?" He asked. "What do you mean specifically
"Ghosts." Alan said. "I
overheard a couple of students talking on the way back from the stadium field this
morning. They said that something funny has been going on during rehearsals of the spring
musical over at Alumni Hall."
"Alan, you know as well as I that there
has been a rumor going around for years that Alumni Hall is haunted. The lower level stage
I think, you know, the one in the basement?"
"Yeah, I know its silly. But the
student I was listening too is pretty reliable. I dont think he would make something
like this up." Alan explained.
"Who is it?"
"Off the record, Todd Methany. He has
the lead in the musical this year." Alan replied.
"Grease, I think"
"So what happened to Todd?"
"Well, if this is right, he was walking
across the center of the stage when he tripped and fell." Alan explained.
Ryan laughed. "Mystery solved Alan,
thats just Todd for you."
Alan shot Ryan a doubtful glance. "Cute.
It didnt happen that way. According to Todd, there was nothing on the stage to trip
him. He described the fall as if he had run into someone and fell, but there was no one
there. Also, there have been unconfirmed reports of things being scattered around
backstage, like someone had just tossed them."
"So, it could be somebody screwing
around. You know how actors are, hams to the last." Ryan said.
"Maybe, I just want you to check it out
anyway. Maybe do a profile of other haunted places here in Carroll County in addition to
"Okay Alan, Ill check it out for
you." Ryan agreed.
"I think Todd and some others are there
now." Alan said. "Talk to him if you want. Tell him I sent you. He knows I
overheard him this morning."
"Okay, be back in a little while."
Ryan said walking out the door.
Alumni Hall was halfway across the campus
from the news room. Sure enough, Todd and some others were on the lower stage rehearsing
some scenes from Grease. Ryan went unnoticed when he entered the auditorium. He watched
the small group of thespians from the shadows.
Ryan looked around seeing nothing unusual. He
became engrossed in the performance when something unexpected happened. There was a cold
draft in the room for a second and then a cold chill passed over him. Ryan looked to see
if a door was open to the upstairs entrance. It was not. Suddenly everything returned to
normal room temperature.
"Jesus, this place gives me the
creeps." Ryan whispered to himself. he continued to watch the broken performance
below. Todd was giving his co-actors instructions when he stopped suddenly and put his
arms around himself.
"Did you feel that?" Todd asked his
"Yeah, its happening again."
The other guy said.
"Ignore it, it will go away." Todd
advised starting to give blocking instructions. Todd was backing up when he tripped and
fell on his ass. The girl who was portraying Sandy in the musical let out a yelp. Ryan
could not tell if it was fear or laughter.
"Are you okay?" The male actor
"God dammit, it happened again!"
"Maybe we should call
Ghostbusters." The girl said, laughing.
"Bust this!" Todd said grabbing his
crotch, regaining his stance on stage. "Professor Webbs death had just stirred
up the spirits in this building, thats all."
"You really think this building is
haunted?" The girl asked.
"Of course it is Deborah. I studied up
on it after the first few "chilling" episodes. A ghost has been roaming this
building for years. Rumor has it a man was killed in here, in cold blood."
"Get the fuck outta here." The
other guy said. "At Western Maryland College?"
"Tell that to Webb!" Todd barked.
There was no reply. A small crashing sound
backstage. All three people on stage turned to see what it was. Ryan himself was tempted
Yet he stayed to watch. Todd was the first to
investigate and disappeared back stage. He came back out shrugging his shoulders.
"Nothing." He said. "Another box fell over, that was it."
"Unless your spooky friend pushed it
over." Ryan muttered. He decided he would go to the library later and investigate.
His father had mentioned once that there was a book about haunted places here in Carroll
It was intriguing for Ryan to think that a
man had actually been murdered in Alumni Hall. A murder mystery. Ryan liked those. Agatha
Christie had been his favorite growing up.
Ryans stomach grumbled. It was time for
Carefully, and unknown to himself why, Ryan
snuck out of Alumni Hall and drove to Donut World for some chow.
It came as no surprise that there was an
unmarked police cruiser parked outside the building. Ryan parked his car, glancing towards
the other side of the parking lot where the Pizza-To-Go building sat. Stewarts car
was not there. Stewart Boswell, the owner and manager of Pizza-To-Go was a general prick
all around. Ryan did not look forward to going to work later.
Ryan strolled into the dining room of Donut
World and sat himself at a small table in the back of the room. Two tables down, were the
two men. The only other people in the dining room. Ryan assumed that these men were the
users of the unmarked police car parked outside. They were dressed in suits and not the
awful tan uniforms that the Maryland State Police boasted.
Ryan ordered the French toast special and
ignored the two men. Until the name Webb came up. Then Ryan eavesdropped as carefully as
"The card will not be made public
Norman." The thinner of the two men said. "If in fact we have a serial killer
loose in Westminster, we need to keep the card under wraps, to weed out the wackos
claiming to be the killer."
"Of course." The cop called Norman
replied. "We should see about mis-feeding the information on the brand to the press.
We could say it was a bat or something. But not a crow."
"Ill ask you again Norm. Why are
you so sure it was a crow burned into Webbs forehead."
"Just a theory. It certainly does look
like a crow."
"What?" Norman asked defensively.
"I dont know. It was the way you
looked at Webb when we swept his body. You almost looked...upset, I think."
"Ian, just between you and me, for right
Ian sighed. "Okay..."
"I knew Webb back in my college days.
Not just an acquaintance mind you, but actually knew him. We simply lost touch over the
years." Norman explained.
"Why didnt you tell me that before
Norm, Jesus. We could ask to be taken off this case."
"NO." Norman said suddenly. "I
want this case, if its all the same to you. I dont want to say thats
its personal, but, in a way it is. I would like to find out who did this."
"Okay, we can stay on it." Ian
said. "Is there anything else I should know?"
"No, thats about it."
"You sure?" Ian said, sounding like
he really didnt believe Norman.
"Yeah. Lets get out of here and get some
The two police got up and left the shop. Ryan
looked over his shoulder to see them walk to their unmarked cruiser.
"Hmm." Ryan mused to himself as his
food was served. He ate in silence. Why was Webbs death suddenly more intriguing?
Ryan attended his eleven oclock class
and then proceeded directly to the cafeteria to wait for Tiffany.
Tiffany was actually ten minutes late, but
Ryan didn't care. He worshipped the ground she walked on, but would never actually let her
know it. Ryan thought she had the body of a goddess and the face of an angel. Plus he was
obsessed with her breasts. He found himself staring at them all the time. Tiffany was only
a junior, but partied just as hard as a senior. They had attended several social
gatherings together, one trying to drink the other under the table. He had tried
relentlessly to get her to go to bed with him but she never gave in, saying he said he
would have to wait. When he asked for what, she never answered.
When she finally arrived, his gaze instantly
locked to her breasts.
"Ryan, stop looking at my tits."
"Okay, check this out." She began.
"I have a friend over at the Westminster Police department who tells me that there
was a message left with Professor Webb's body."
"The card," Ryan said to himself,
thinking about Norman and Ian at Donut World this morning. "Who is your source?"
"I can't say, I promised I wouldn't.
Consider it an anonymous source." She said. Ryan nodded not liking the answer, but
accepting it. "The message was left on a blank card, and it was typed. They say it
looks like it was a laser printer. The stab wounds were made from a blade comparable to
that of a kitchen knife, only duller..."
"Tiff?" Ryan interrupted.
"What did the message say?" he
asked with a bit of exasperation.
"Oh, I'm sorry, it said, 'Ring me a
Porter.'" Ryan looked at her with a blank expression. She continued, "What
was odd is that the word 'Porter' was capitalized."
"'Ring me a Porter?' What the hell is
that supposed to mean?" Ryan asked, perturbed.
"Nobody knows." Tiffany replied.
"I agree with you completely Ryan. For what ever reason, Austin Webb was murdered in
cold blood. And I'll tell you something else. I think it was premeditated. Whoever did
this had a reason. And I think you want to find out who did it as much as I do." She
looked down at the table to hide her eyes.
"You okay?" Ryan asked.
She nodded. "I can't believe this
happened. Right here on campus. It just goes to show how vulnerable we all are."
Tiffany started to cry. Ryan went to her side and gave her a hug.
"It's okay Tiff. Really." Ryan
soothed. "I wouldn't let anybody hurt you, don't you know that?" Tiffany giggled
through her sobs.
"Oh Ryan, you can be so sweet
"Yeah, I know." he smirked with a
pretentious look on his face.
"Okay," Tiffany said, regaining
control of her emotions. "My proposal."
"Oh yes, I've been waiting for
this." Ryan said sounding pleased.
"Ry-an," Tiffany whined.
"Listen, you know as well as I that everybody on staff at The Forum wants the by-line
for this story. Alan said that whoever has the best story will get the cover. I think if
we work together, both of us being so sneaky and all, we could probably get the best story
and we'll share a by-line. What do you think?"
"You could maybe elaborate on
'sneaky'?" Ryan asked, intrigued.
"I know that the Westminster City Police
haven't searched Webb's office yet. And I'm pretty sure the State boys haven't
either." Tiffany grabbed Ryan's hand. "Lets look in his office ourselves and see
if there's anything there."
"Risky." Ryan said sounding
impressed. "But its got potential. You were thinking of doing this, when?"
"I like it."
"Meet me at my dorm building. One
a.m." She instructed. "And don't tell Jarrod. I'll take care of the rest."
Ryan had this terrible sixth sense kind of
feeling that Tiffany knew something and was not sharing. Wanting to search Webbs
office for clues just to write a story seemed kind of extreme. Ryan was almost sure that
Tiffany was after something in Webbs office.
"Okay, one a.m." Ryan agreed.
"Tiff, just be ready to go."
She smiled. "Arent I
Ryan did not see Jarrod until they were at
work. It was Friday night, and if one had a part time job in the food business, one could
pretty much count on working part of that evening.
Pizza-To-Go was not as busy as some of the
other big name pizza places. But they did enough business to keep one on their toes.
Jarrod was a driver and spent most of his time on the road. If he was not delivering a
pizza, he was washing dishes or prepping food for the next day while waiting his turn.
Ryan on the other hand was strictly an inside man either prepping or cooking. He didn't
see the point in driving the life out of a car for minimum wage, plus tips.
When the rush was over Ryan had a chance to
talk to Jarrod. He found him by the dishwasher loading in pans and other utensils.
"Hey man." Ryan whispered, walking
up to the prep table, which was next to the dishwasher."
"Word up, what's happening'."
Jarrod replied smiling. "Haven't seen much of you this fine Friday evening."
"Been a little busy I guess." Ryan
answered reaching for some pans to oil." What time you outta here?"
"Shit man, I'm stuck here till
close." Jarrod pulled out another load of pans for Ryan to oil. "What about
"Eleven o'clock baby." Ryan jeered
clapping his hands together.
"Asshole. Who's dick did you suck to
pull that one off?"
"Eat me bitch. The shit just happened
that way. Just as well, because I, have, a date!"
"Get the fuck outta here." Jarrod
mused. "What's his name?" Ryan picked up the oil jug a shot a load of it on
"It's your fucking mother!" Ryan
joked. Jarrod laughed.
"Shit motherfucker, you whipped out that
little white pin dick on my mom, she'd laugh you honky ass into the ground." Ryan
grunted at the thought and was about to retaliate.
"Ryan!" Ryan looked behind him
knowing who it was that beckoned him. Stewart Boswell, the owner and manager of
"Yeah Stewart, whatcha want?"
"We need some lettuce chopped up for the
salads." He declared. "Would you be so kind?"
Ryan pushed the pans aside. "Okay."
Stewart walked away and Ryan looked at Jarrod. "What a prick."
"Tell me about it!" Jarrod
sympathized. Ryan fetched five lettuce heads out of the cooler and set them on the prep
table. Jarrod was still washing dishes. "Okay Thomas, who's the bitch?" Jarrod
"WHAT?" Jarrod asked almost falling
down. Ryan reached for the knife which was in a holster on the wall above the prep table.
It wasn't there.
Ryan looked around the table and dishwasher
for the knife." Well, its not a CLASSIC date, in the true meaning of the word. Were
just going to take a walk later, ya know, to talk."
"Yeah right." Jarrod spat.
"I've seen you idea of TALK bro. Just make sure you practice safe sex!"
"Fuck you. Where's the cutting
knife?" Ryan asked, looking around the store now.
"Should be on the wall?" Jarrod
looked above the cut table to see an empty holster. "Maybe not. Wait a sec."
Jarrod started digging through the pile of utensils next to the dishwasher. He then opened
the door to the dishwasher and scanned the bottom of the dishwasher itself. Sometimes
utensils would get stuck underneath the wash arm.
"No." Jarrod called back.
Ryan approached Stewart. "Hey Stewart,
the cutting knife is gone."
"Whose back did you plunge it
into?" Ryan cracked. Stewart whirled around to face Ryan. He was not amused.
"And just what in the hell is that
supposed to mean?" Stewart snapped. Ryan was taken aback.
"Chill man." Ryan said holding up
his hands. "It was just a JOKE!"
Stewart was quick to come back. "That
kind of insubordination will NOT be tolerated Mr. Thomas! Any further JOKES like that will
be cause for termination. Are we clear?"
"Sorry, forget I said anything."
Ryan apologized walking back to the prep table. Ryan used a smaller knife.
"What the hell was that about?"
"Hell if I know." Ryan
"Mayfield! Your up!" Stewart
bellowed. Jarrod put the pans down and glared at Stewart as if he were about to retaliate
with some crude comment. Stewart was not a well liked man.
"That's my cue, brother." Jarrod
said walking towards the cut table. He was not smiling when he walked out the door with
pizzas in hand. Ryan finished his work and was off work before Jarrod got back from his
The knife was not found.