Welcome to another Wednesday Briefs.
The prompt I used this week was:
Use – Towel, Door, and Charm – in your story.
As always all comments are gratefully received. And please check out the other authors briefing this week at the end of this post.
“Are you accusing me of betraying my community and my oath to its council?” Edna’s voice was so shrill that Cade winced.
“Try using some of your considerable charm,” Louis’ amused voice sent to him.
Cade glared at his mate but then smoothed his expression out. Edna was only the fourth elder they’d spoken to and they still needed to get to the others and their seconds. But Cade was tired, fed up and just generally irritable, he was so ready to throw in the towel. They’d got nothing so far, neither Cade nor Louis had sensed any deception from anyone.
“Look, we’re not accusing anyone of anything. But to make this a fair investigation, we have to ask the same questions to everyone. I’m sure you understand the need to make sure the investigation is fair to everyone.”
Edna’s expression cleared a little and she nodded reluctantly. “Fine, I haven’t spoken to the press since the public press conference about the landslide. Are we finished now?” she demanded.
Cade sighed, “Yes, we’re finished. But remember to please ask your second to contact us. Are you sure you don’t know where she is?”
Edna scowled. “I told you. She said she was going shopping and she would be back late. I’m not her mother or her partner, so as long as she does her job, her personal life is her own.”
Cade nodded and thanked her before leading Louis out the door.
Louis let out a relieved breath. “That woman is very angry. But I don’t think she would do anything that would do any damage to her precious council.”
Cade nodded. “I agree. So, who’s next?”
Louis was getting even more frustrated than Cade by the sixth interview.
Jessica, second to Elder Darren, was being very evasive about where the Darren was.
“I told you,” she insisted. “I haven’t seen him all day and he only told me he was going to visit his mother and then had some other personal errands to do.”
Cade had told Louis that she was telling the truth as far as he could sense, but Louis was watching her body language. She was fidgeting and her gaze kept darting around the room. She seemed unable to meet their gazes when they asked her a question or asked for clarification on whatever information she was giving. The more they tried to find out where Darren was, the more agitated she became.
Finally Cade gave up. “Please tell Darren to contact us as soon as you next speak to him.”
Their last interview was Elder Tomas and his second, and life partner, Jeff.
Louis was pleasantly surprised to be welcomed with open arms by the couple.
“Would you like to stay for lunch while we talk?” Jeff asked.
After conferring they agreed and they were treated to a tasty buffet style lunch, all prepared by their hosts working together seamlessly.
They all sat at a round table so Louis was able to see everyone’s lips and participate fully in the conversation.
“We have to ask all the council member’s the same questions, you understand.” Cade said as they ate their food.
“Of course,” Jeff cheerfully replied before biting into his large sandwich.
“Well, the first question is, when was the last time each of you spoke to the press, about anything?”
Tomas answered first, “I spoke at the press conference for the landslide. I was also contacted after that article hit about the two of you. But I declined to comment and had my PA start screening my calls.”
Jeff nodded. “I wasn’t at the press conference. I’m helping at the hospital with some children who have become orphans due to their parent, or parents, being killed in the landslide. There are four at the moment, but the lawyers think they’ve found family members for two of them, and they needed my input on something.”
“Oh, I didn’t know there had been any deaths in the landslide,” Louis said shocked.
Jeff nodded. “We lost four people in the initial slide and then two more in a smaller landslide caused when they were trying to move debris. There were three girls and one boy left with no parents, and no immediate family in the community. We’ve found some family of one of the girls and the boy in a nearby community. There is also a lead on family for one of the other girls. But the last one will probably be put into foster care until all avenues can be exhausted in finding someone for her.
“She’s in the hospital at the moment because she was injured slightly when the landslide hit her home. She was playing in the basement and that’s what saved her life. Her father was in his office and was killed instantly by a beam falling on him. She hasn’t spoken since the event.”
Louis felt sad for the last child. “I’ve been working with kids at the hospital. What’s her name? Maybe I can check on her.”
“Her name’s Sherry—“
“I know her,” Louis interrupted. “She does talk.”
Jeff shook his head. “She hasn’t spoken to anyone at the hospital.”
Louis shook his head. “She speaks the same way I do. I’ll be sure to check on her again after lunch. I needed to do a short round at the hospital anyway.”
Louis went quiet as the conversation turned back to the mole in the council but Tomas and Jeff had no leads to offer. Cade and Louis thanked the men for the lunch and bid them goodbye.
As they exited Cade took Louis’ hand. “Why don’t I come to the hospital with you? I would love to see you working.”
Louis rolled his eyes. “You just want to check no one gives me any grief.” He scoffed. Cade just looked at him innocently. “Fine, but make sure you do as I say. Some of the children are shy and easily spooked.”