Mystery and Crime Non-Fiction posted September 13, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level
A true story that spanned continents

Dognapping to Catfishing-Chapter 4

by Mary Wakeford

This is the fourth chapter in a continuing story that began with a rescue dog and ended with the 'rescue' of a European woman stuck in the middle of the Arizona desert with a man claiming to be someone he wasn't. I sometimes interject my inner voice in my writing. Brunhilda is a bit of a crank, and very opinionated. My 'catfish' experience nearly blew Bruni through the roof of my head.

The last chapter left me in a quandry.  In previewing the hotel I recommended for Charlotte, the concierge was willing to show me the room assigned to her reservation so I could send photos for final approval.  The Facebook and only name I knew for my European friend was not in their reservation system.  A quick message asking for the name the reservation was booked under ended in 'crickets'.  Her usual rapid fire replies were resoundingly silent.

When I returned to the car, my husband was convinced I was being either catfished or conned.  I remained cautious, not wanting to believe a worst case scenario.  My daughters were both convinced I was going to be kidnapped and sold to an overseas sex market for pygmie perverts lusting for chunky grandmother types.  


Charlotte eventually replied to my hotel lobby text with a confirmation number inclusive of her non-Facebook name, and an explanation her phone was charging at trailerdale when I messaged.  Dick had pulled out all the stops taking her out to dinner for her last night at his Desert Gold RV resort, otherwise known as H.E.L.L.  Charlotte would share later she feared it was going to be her Last Supper minus the disciples as she quickly scanned the back seat for a shovel before leaving the aluminum graveyard for the drive to the restaurant. Brunhilda screamed..."WHY THE FOOOOOOK DID SHE NOT HAVE HER PHONE CHARGED AND WITH HER...THE SHOVEL IS IN THE TRUNK!!!"  It was hard to argue with Brunhilda on that point.

I suggested Charlotte contact the hotel to reconfirm her booking, and shared that I found it a clean property located near the heartbeat of the city with easy access to the rail system and points of interests. I also mentioned the cool party style roof terrace and a hopping bar off the lobby considering it was Wednesday night. Brunhilda wondered if the bar stocked enough of the "hard stuff to aid in Charlotte's recovery from her nightmare on Dick Street."   I also shared that I would have no problem staying there myself--it has an industrial feel to it and an exotic pool area with a Moroccan feel to it.  I sent her the varied photos I'd taken of the property along with other amenities the boutique offered. Charlotte responded that it looked great, and she would confirm they received her reservation via Europe's version of Expedia.  

McDonald's golden arches, recycled paper napkins, red plastic trays and teenagers with headsets set the scene for Dick's send off dinner--how do you spell R.O.M.A.N.C.E? One additional insult, Charlotte had to buy her own fooooooking dinner!  My vegetarian friend went with a McSalad, McFries, and finished off dining with the rattlesnake donning fried shoulder length Trump hair with a McTurnover.  Charlotte was living large in Brenda, Arizona and Swiss Brexit was in full play.  Dick is quite the P.L.A.Y.E.R.  Brunhilda suggested "One 'i' turns the word P.L.A.Y.E.R. into L.I.A.R and Dickie was both."  Bruni is a clever girl. She considered writing a five line Haiku, keeping him short and simple, just like in real life.  

This brings us to Thursday.  Mr. FacebookistheDevil and my anniversary, and my friend's Brexit to Phoenix being delivered by none other than Dick PlayerLiarRattlesnakeFriedTrumpHair, himself.  

I spent the morning at city council delivering a grant request with my grandson in tow, then hit the library for reading time.  The story of the day was Little Red Riding Hood and the big bad wolf.  I tried not to flinch.  Brunhilda whispered in my left ear that was no coincidence.  I immediately texted Charlotte from a child's table at 1:00 p.m. to confirm she had arrived without incident.

AUG 4 AT 12:55 PM

ME:  "Are you there yet"

Yes, in Phoenix.  Had problems with reservation at the Clarendon, so they sent me over to the Hilton.  I'm waiting on flight information but safe and sound now and about to head out for a little bit. Feeling relieved.  The jerk unfriended me already.  LOL."

ME:  "What an ordeal for you.  He is a total asshat.  Glad you are safe and out of his reach."  

"Thanks so much, I feel a lot better now."

As we were checking out the satchel of loaner books for my grandson from the librarian, Brunhilda suggested we go to the adult section and find a book on Ted Bundy for Charlotte.  

AUG 4 AT 6:00 PM  

ME:  "Heading out to a dinner show with my hubby, just wanted to check in and see how you are doing.  What are your plans for tomorrow evening or Saturday afternoon? WE can head downtown to meet you.  There are a few good restaurants WE can decide on." Brunhilda thought it was genius letting Charlotte know we were no push over, and would not be coming alone.  She got a little over exhuberant with the high five to the side of my left lobe. I felt a headache coming on.

"Sounds great...and no plans :)  I'm all anything is fine with me."

ME:  "Okay, my grandbaby gets picked up usually about 6:00 p.m., so we would arrive around 7:30 p.m."

 "Perfect, really looking forward to meeting you."

ME:  "Same here...who woulda thunkit??"

"Haha right?  But at least something good comes out of my trip from Hell now  :)"

ME:  "Love the attitude!"

AUG 5 12:10 PM

  The universe sent you a reprieve this morning...RAIN!!!  How is it going, any points of interest today?

Yes, the rain was crazy!  All I heard was thunder and sirens--hopefully nothing bad happened.  I hit the Biltmore mall and Cheesecake Factory, the hotel offers a free shuttle service within fifty miles so it's perfect.

ME:  Monsoons arise very quickly but nothing to worry about.  Sirens are ongoing as you are close to several trauma hospitals.  I'll be in touch later this afternoon and we can plan our get together.  Bottom line--so glad you are SAFE!!!  Brunhilda remarked there wasn't a siren to be heard in Brenda and they must sound like angels rejoicing about now before breaking out in song ...

Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the now safe Swede
Peace on earth and mercy wild 
Dick the liar has been defiled 
Joyfully two nations rise 
Char's now safe from ole' beady eyes...

EEEEERRRRK...I had to shut Bruni down before her rendition replayed continuously in my head like 'It's a Small World' does weeks after exiting the damn boat ride at the happiest place in the world. Brunhilda screeched "How RUUUUUUUDE!!!"

I had just finished messaging Charlotte that my grandson had been picked up and we would be arriving at her hotel in about an hour, depending on traffic, and I would message her again when we were five minutes out.

With that, I began getting ready to meet my friend just as my phone rang.  It was our oldest son, and I realized I hadn't talked to him all week ...
"Hi mom, what's new?" 

"OMG Jarrod, are you sitting down?  You are not going to believe what happened this week ..."





My friend's name has been changed for security purposes. I have her full permission and blessing to write of this incident. This is the first installment of several for this story, as it would be impossible to keep it from becoming a novella! Be careful out there people, there are frauds among us.

Catfished Definition: (Source - The Urban Dictionary)

Being deceived over facebook as the deceiver professed their romantic feelings to his/her victim, but isn't who they say they are. Having a fake facebook profile, images and avatar in order to lure people to have romantic feelings. They are then catfished when the victim realizes the person they have fallen for via facebook is not who they APPEAR to be.
Catfish Series Trailer:

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