I Found A Knife

A Story site from EldonHughes

Chapter Two --
But What About the Blood?

I wasn't going to take the old tin box with it's weird, rusty contents to the Sheriff's Office, except that my wife kept saying, "but what about the blood...?"

To which I'd say, “It's just an old box.” and “We don't know how old it is.” or “We don't even know if it IS blood.” After each of which she would look at me and repeat, “But what about the blood???”

Joshua's Hollow is a small town, in a small county. We don't have a police force, or a paid fire department. We have a county sheriff. He has a couple of part time deputies, and a crew of volunteer firefighters who can usually be counted on not to set themselves on fire, and to keep whatever is on fire from spreading to any neighboring houses or buildings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As elected officials go, Sheriff Tulley Sinclair is ok. He's a down to earth guy who knows he's got a good thing that doesn't require much in the way of actual work, as long as he keeps the county board happy. Which is what he's been doing for over 50 years.

"So, what can I do ya' for?"  We were seated at a small, wooden conference table in his office. I put the box on the table between us.

"I found this in my basement."

“And you want me to put it on E-Bay for you?” Being Sheriff isn't a full time job. Tulley has found other ways to keep himself amused.

“Maybe later,” I said. “Right now I'm kind of interested in what you are going to want to do with it.... or what's inside it anyway.”

He looked at me, hesitantly. I put on my best “What me?” face.

“All right then, let's see what's what.” He opened the box and peeked in. He only got one end of the rag when he pulled the bundle out of the box.  It unrolled quickly and dropped the knife out onto the table with a loud thunk!

“Hmpf,” he said. “Wasn't expecting that.” He held the rag up by two corners and looked it over briefly, turning it to catch the light. Then he laid it flat on the table. He picked up the knife and turned it over slowly in his hands, inspecting it carefully. Then he laid the knife down carefully in the center of the rag and looked up at me.

“Something you want to tell me about?” he said.

“ummm..., There's a bus ticket in the box, too. Looks really old.”

He reached into the box and pulled the faded piece of paper out. “Can't tell how old it is,” he said. “The date's all faded out. Can't tell who's it is.. or was.” He looked up at me. “They don't put passenger names on bus tickets.”

“It looks like it was a ticket to Charleston,” I offered.

“Yeah, but Charleston, where?” he added. “South Carolina? West Virginia? Or, maybe just Charleston, Illinois. That's a couple hours up the Interstate.”

I nodded and pretended I knew that. I'd heard of it, but all I thought about it at the time was to be surprised it was pronounced the same as the other Charlestons. This area has a long list of towns and cities spelled the same as places they were named after, but pronounced as differently as possible, as if to say “Oh no we didn't!”

New Athens and New Baden are said with a long “a”; while New Madrid uses the short one and puts the emphasis on the “Ma”. Cairo is pronounced like the syrup, despite the fact that it is located in an area the locals call “Little Egypt.”

“So,” I said. “What do you think?”

"Well, being as I'm a highly trained law enforcement officer, I'd have to say that you found you a knife.”

“But what about the blood?” I heard my wife's voice in my head even before I said it, and I still couldn't stop myself.

Tulley said, “Well, maybe it's blood, maybe it's not. Maybe it's rust or dirt or old paint. Looking at the knife I'd say it's all three. But even so, It's fifty years old. We'll probably never know where it came from.”

“Yeah, that's what I told my wife,” I said, meekly. Man, I sound like such a weenie.

He rolled the knife back into the rag, and put it back in the tin.  "So, you want to E-Bay it?" he asked again.

"No, I don't think so," I answered.  "I think I'll take it home and fool around with it some more.  The knife is rusted shut, and I want to see if I can get it open.  It's just weird, ya' know?"

"I don't know... You'd be amazed what some stuff will go for on E-Bay... Where'd you say you found this?"

"It was up in a ceiling panel in my basement.  I was running some wire and it fell out."

He picked the box back up.  "You were running some wire, huh?  Tell you what.  I don't have a lot going on right now.  How about I send this over to a friend of mine at the State Police lab, see if this is really even blood?"

Up Next:  The Morning Glory Cafe

 


 

Book One of the Poison and Wine series by C.H. Valentino and Eldon Hughes.

    There's a battle underway in New Orleans. It's a game being played between the voodoo Barons Samedi and LaCroix.

    Danni Toussaint has a nail in her chest, the mark of her debt to The Baron Samedi. To repay him, she steals souls.

   Michael Belew works for the Sisters of New Orleans. Nuns in the 9th Ward are missing, and he suspects voodoo is the cause.  He's desperate.

    He drafts Danni to help find them. Now they are pawns in the Baron's game.

There is no winning the game. There's only survival. But even that could cost Michael his soul.

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--"Willie & Frank"

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I Found a Knife

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