The stillness of the night settled in like a haze over the town. I’ve worked the midnight shift more years than I care to count. Tonight is one of those nights when an uncanny feeling grabbed hold about two in the morning, and held tight.
Making my rounds, nothing seems out of the ordinary. My gut is telling me I’m not looking in the right place. Maybe it’s just a hankering for some excitement to liven up this place, I thought.
“Willard, come in.” The crackle of a voice over the radio announced.
“A call came in, some kids say they seen something suspicious out at the cove, says it looks like a body.”
“I’ll drive over and check it out.”
“Shouldn’t I call Joel in for back up?” Hank said.
“Yeah, I have a feeling this may turn into a long night.”
I turn onto the dirt road leading down to the cove. The fog, hanging low over the cove, makes me wonder how these kids were able to see much of anything.
There’s Gary Williams beat up truck, and that other car belongs to that new kid in town…what’s his name? Foolery, must be getting old, can’t even remember a name.
Stopping the car, I see the boys walking toward me, ole Tom’s boy is with them.
“Hank says you boys seen something out here?”
“There was this dog running around trying to get our attention, we followed him part way down the path leading to the bottom of the big Rock. About half way Harrison here
shined his flashlight and looks like someone is down there. ”
Turning on my spot light, “Looks like something’s down there all right, it’s apt the fog playing tricks.”
I walked back to the patrol car. “Hank, come in.”
“I hear you Willard.”
“Hank, maybe you better call Skip and get him out here too.”
“The Corner, what’d you find?”
“Just call him, haven’t found anything yet.”
“I’m on it,” Hank said.
“You boys head on home, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“But, Sheriff we found her first. We want to stay.”
“You don’t even know it’s a her, now get, go home.”
No sooner had the boys left, Joel arrived. “Hey, Willard, what’s the situation?”
“Something down below the big rock looks like it might be a body. Let’s get down there, see what we’ve got.”
“Hurry Willard, she’s breathing, but there’s a lot of blood.”
“Hang in there Joel. I’ll call for an ambulance”
The corner arrived as I reached the top, “Hey, Skip, looks like we don’t need you, not yet anyway.”
“What’s going on?”
“We’ve got a female, down below the big rock, still breathing.”
“I’m going down, see what I can do,” Skip said.
“I’ll wait for the ambulance.”
“Hi Thelma, I was hoping to catch Doc here at the hospital.”
“Hi yourself Willard, he’s in with that woman you found down at the cove, first room on the left.”
“Hey, Doc, how’s our patient?”
“A mild concussion and a couple of broken ribs, she’s medicated and resting.”
I held her limp hand. “Miss, can you hear me?”
“My baby…my baby?” she mumbled and drifted back to sleep.
“I’ll call you later Doc; I better get back to the cove.”
I found a car, I thought might be hers. I checked inside, nothing indicated the woman had been traveling with a child. Closing the car door, I turned and found a beautiful Sheltie watching me. I knelt down to check for tags and discovered he was wearing a bright orange vest, which meant he is, most likely, a service dog for someone who is hearing impaired. I remembered the boys telling me about a dog leading them to the woman. “Come on Sport, I’m taking you for a little visit.”
“You can’t bring a dog in here,” Thelma informed me.
“Looks like a service dog, I’m hoping it belongs to our mystery woman.”
The second the dog laid eyes on his owner he jumped from my arms onto the bed. The woman opened her eyes and softly whispered, “Baby, my baby.”
I felt the corners of my mouth turn up as I watched the tearful reunion. I later learned the woman had stopped to let the dog do his business; she stepped too close to the edge and fell. It was a close call, she was lucky to be alive. Oh, and the dog was a her, named Lady.
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