Mystery and Crime Fiction posted January 25, 2022

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Cody Involves Sheriff Daniels In A Kidnapping

Charger (A Cody Schroder Story)

by Brett Matthew West

Sheriff Daniels listened intently to Cody and Milton inform him about Melissa's disappearance. He said, "As law enforcement, one must never paint a defendent with a broad stroke of guilt and moral condemnation. You must always overcome any lack of physical evidence. Proof doesn't change. You don't shift your theory to fit your proof."

"Melissa had a special lighter. It was pure silver and had her initial in caligraphy engraved on it. She was eight years older than me," Milton told him.

Cody wondered what Melissa may have become if she was still alive. He had his doubts she was, but kept his thoughts to himself. He knew Melissa would be about twenty-two years old. Would she have turned into a snot-nosed socialite? Cody had a personal problem with people he considered to be nice until he met them and they turned out to be conceited horse faces. That was enough to make the boy scream, "STOP!"

As though speeding around the oval circuit at the Indianapolis 500, Cody's mind raced a mile a minute. He wondered to himself, "Maybe Melissa became a bitter divorcee with her own brood tucked under her arm?" He'd seen plenty of them before. Cody ruled out Melissa being old enough to have achieved the status of being a pillar of her community yet.

"Melissa was always spoiled and stubborn. But, she had a perceptive way of making everyone else laugh. And, we've all been robbed of that by whoever took her," Milton stated.

The more Milton talked about Melissa the deeper Cody got drawn into the novelty of the situation. Milton's memory pieced together a mental list of associates who might have been involved in Melissa's Houdini act. A varied assortment of colorful characters resulted. She recalled they all hung around Melissa. Milton ruled none of them out.

"Jack Norton, our next door neighbor, was a small-time thug. The police used to come around his home a lot. Then, there was Tommy Bel Air," Milton spoke out loud.

Cody asked, "Who was he?"

"He was taken away from Melissa's last birthday party cause he got drunk. But, I don't think he did anything to her. He liked Melissa in an touchy-feely way. But, she didn't see him the same," Milton answered.

"That still doesn't explain the truck in McCleary's pasture. There's nothing around his old place," Cody told her.

"Melissa drove a sportscar, a souped up, candy apple red Charger with humungous tires and a white stripe on its sides. She used to take me for rides and ice cream at the dairy shop. I learned who most of the people in these pictures were after Melissa disappeared," Milton informed him.

Sheriff Daniels made a note of Melissa's Charger. For clarity, he asked Milton, "By candy apple red you mean Melissa's car had a metallic base coat, I would guess silver. Then, a translucent color coat, and was finished with a clear coat. And, this unique paint job made Melissa's Charger look like a hot rod. Correct?"

"Yes," Milton simply responded.

Cody hesitated before speaking. His nightmares of Palo Pinto stared him in the face. Reluctant, he stated, "Sometimes people do things to kids even newspapers can't print."

Milton patted his arm and said, "That wasn't easy for you to admit, Cody. And, you can't argue with facts. I remember the last night Melissa was home there was a bad thunderstorm and lots of heavy rain."

"I'm with you so far," Cody responded.

"That makes better odds for Melissa to have been kidnapped than murdered," Milton remarked.

"And, whoever did this nasty deed is still out there somewhere," Cody commented.

"I'll make sure an APB is installed in the Shackleford County area. That's where Albany is located. Sheriff Roscoe Olson is a long-time colleague of mine. Then, we'll go from there. Melissa's already been missing for six months too long," Sheriff Daniels offered.

Stop writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a story of any type. But at some point your character must shout: Stop!

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

So, thanks Lilibug6, for the use of your remarkable picture that provides Cody such an easily recognizable face on FanStory.

My story Pictures began this new adventure Cody finds himself drawn into. This story follows up on that one. If you have not read Pictures you won't know what Charger is about.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Lilibug6 at

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© Copyright 2022. Brett Matthew West All rights reserved.
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