Penelope Penright – Chasing Red Silent – 2018 A to Z Challenge – Day 16

PCopyright – ALPINE ACRES PUBLISHING – 2018

For the 2018 A to Z Challenge my topic is a new book about one of my recurring characters in the weekly flash fiction invitationals I frequent, a top flight detective named Sophie Marcus. Sophie is a single woman in her late thirties who is running from a demon.

Penelope Penright is one of only four women in the Department of Detectives in the Portland Police Department, but she is the Queen of the Roost. Sophie begins to upset this balance upon her arrival when she solves cold cases with regularity. A byproduct is a sudden increased workload for Penelope.

Here is an excerpt:

“She is not even active!” Penelope groaned to her detective friend Liz as they leaned on a nook near the coffee machine. “I mean she is just throwing the whole system into chaos. Lord knows what she will be like if they ever give her real cases.”

“You’re right,” Liz agreed.

“I mean I heard she cracked up out there,” Penelope said jerking her thumb back over her shoulder to indicate she meant the other side of the country. “What if that happens here? Our guys or the two of us could be in jeopardy.”

“Mm-hmm.”

The women hushed their talk when they noticed Sophie and her partner, Tom Welling approach. What they didn;t know was their little alcove was one of those quirky architectural marvels that basically broadcast sound for a great distance. Not only had Sophie and Tom heard them, the whole detective pool caught every syllable.

“Don’t listen to her. She is just steamed because you are cutting out her time to stream her soaps!” Tom said gently elbowing Sophie as they passed.

Tomorrow we will revisit Quetsch, Sophie’s challenging Georgia Police Academy instructor and see the special connection they share at this point in Sophie’s career.

 

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Oswald Louis “Lou” Redmond – Chasing Red Silent – 2018 A to Z Challenge – Day 15

OCopyright – ALPINE ACRES PUBLISHING – 2018

For the 2018 A to Z Challenge my topic is a new book about one of my recurring characters in the weekly flash fiction invitationals I frequent, a top flight detective named Sophie Marcus. Sophie is a single woman in her late thirties who is running from a demon.

The first time Lou Redmond heard Sophie’s name was during his weekly Sunday morning breakfast with Grandpa Charlie. Sophie’s former Captain of Detectives in Charleston had a regular communication with Grandpa Charlie and following Sophie’s breakdown and time away became concerned for her welfare.

Lou, Grandpa Charlie and this captain Xavier Willis, met when Lou was still a junior detective in Grandpa Charlie’s stable at a Investigator’s’ Conference in Seattle, Washington. Lou learned a lot of what he knew from these two, so when Grandpa Charlie began to sing Sophie’s praises Lou knew to listen.

 

Here is an excerpt:

“Detective Marcus, I understand you have a suspect who decided to make your pursuit a game?” Lou said, poking the elephant in the room. Even though they were on a conference call with Sophie on the opposite end of the country the tired sigh was perfectly clear from her end.

“Captain Redmond, I understand you have questions about my fitness. I would too and honestly still do. Yes, Red Silent did turn this into a psychological battle. He got to me. But I have learned how to deal with it. A move to Portland would be the best way to continue my recovery.

Grandpa Charlie nodded when Lou tapped a legal pad laying on the table before them with the questions they agreed to ask during the interview.

“Detective Marcus, are you willing to spend time with an older detective to learn some more advanced ways of dealing with such an adversary?”

Sophie was silent for a long minute, but there was a new sound of optimism when she spoke. “You mean I will get to learn how to counteract that kind of attack?”

“Yes,”Lou nodded, smiling at Grandpa Charlie.

“You bet your life!” Sophie said with enthusiam.

 

Next you get to meet Penelope Penwright, the Department of Detective secretary who is overwhelmed with the paperwork created by Sophie on cold cases.

 

November Rain – Chasing Red Silent – 2018 A to Z Challenge – Day 14

NCopyright – ALPINE ACRES PUBLISHING – 2018

For the 2018 A to Z Challenge my topic is a new book about one of my recurring characters in the weekly flash fiction invitationals I frequent, a top flight detective named Sophie Marcus. Sophie is a single woman in her late thirties who is running from a demon.

Some of Sophie’s earliest memories of her father involved his insatiable love of music of any kind. Elijah possessed the kind of musical talent that allowed him to master any instrument he chose to grace with his fingers. Sophie picked up a bit of that with a mandolin her father shared with her for her tenth birthday, which coincidentally was just a few days past the second anniversary of “The Disappearance” which is how Leah’s choice to leave became known.

One of her father’s favorite songs was an almost 9 minute long song by Guns & Roses called November Rain. Sophie was surprised at first in her dad’s affection by the song until she watched the video and saw the similarities to her parent’s story. Although the video depicted the death of the wife, she saw the connection. Any time she was missing her father she would fill the rooms of her apartment with the song. Even Foley, her nearest neighbor had learned to enjoy the song, since he heard it so often.

Here is an excerpt:

 

Sophie cleared her throat before waking the Alexa in the living room with the phrase “Alexa, play Dad’s Mix.” It was an inside joke for her because the mix included only one song, her dad’s favorite. On her phone was another half dozen songs by the Eighties super group, but this was the one that brought her back to the days when she and her dad would make music.

She usually sat quietly during the first 6 minutes and 45 seconds, but when Slash began his electric guitar solo she would stand, close her eyes and reminisce at the way she and Elijah played air guitar during the balance of the song. Almost every time tears streamed down her face by the end. 

In Part 15 you will meet the grizzled Captain of Detectives who saw the potential in bringing Sophie to Portland, Oswald Louis “Lou” Redmond.

 

May Day 1988 – Chasing Red Silent – 2018 A to Z Challenge – Day 13

MCopyright – ALPINE ACRES PUBLISHING – 2018

For the 2018 A to Z Challenge my topic is a new book about one of my recurring characters in the weekly flash fiction invitationals I frequent, a top flight detective named Sophie Marcus. Sophie is a single woman in her late thirties who is running from a demon.

Over the first eight years of Sophie’s life there was a myriad of scenarios concerning child care for the daughter of Leah and Elijah. But the majority of the time Sophie found the welcome smile of her mother when she dashed home each day. That all changed the first day of May 1988.

Eight year old Sophie clutched a blue ribbon, freshly awarded for topping the fisrt three grades at her primary school in a spelling bee and barely could contain herself from sharing the news with all she saw. Her mom and dad, though, were always her biggest fans and there reactions were the ones she wanted the most.

 

Here is an excerpt:

Sophie hopped the sixteen steps by two as she eagerly giggled as she neared her detination. She could just imagine the glee her mom and dad would share with her. they would talk about what a fabulous accomplishment in her lfie and how smart their little girl must be. Then surely a celebratory dinner would follow with ice cream for all.

Sophie knew immediately something was amiss when she tried the door. It was locked. This door was never locked, unless they were leaving for more than a day. She immediately found the hidden key and jiggled the handle while working the key in to open the door.

“Mom? Are you here? MOM?” Sophie walked in the still house and listened for the slightest sound.

On the counter in the kitchen was a small piece of paper with two words: I’m sorry!

 

We are halfway through and I am just getting started. How can I share the rest of Sophie’s world in just 13 tries?

 

Leah Maye Kripke Marcus– Chasing Red Silent – 2018 A to Z Challenge – Day 12

LCopyright – ALPINE ACRES PUBLISHING – 2018

For the 2018 A to Z Challenge my topic is a new book about one of my recurring characters in the weekly flash fiction invitationals I frequent, a top flight detective named Sophie Marcus. Sophie is a single woman in her late thirties who is running from a demon.

The first years of Sophie’s life were full of fabulous memories of childhood like any child. Playgrounds, birthday parties and fun times with both parents gave here no reason to feel insecure. But one day in May of 1988 that all changed.

Leah Kripke Marcus bounced from job to job, but always had a job to help with the bills of her family. She confessed one time to her new husband of a few months she never really had a solid feel for what she wanted to do with her life except for being a mom.

Here is an excerpt:

 

The nurse cradled the brand new life in her arms, arranging the covers just so as she had so many times before. This little one was content witht he arrangement and barely uttered a sound. WHen it was time the nurse pivoted and leaned in tot he new parents. Leah smiled broadly as she accepted her baby girl.

“She looks like a Sophia to me!” Leah exclaimed. “Definitely not a Maggie or Penny.”

“Sophia,” Elijah said gazing at the perfect face of the little one that was going to rock their world. “What about the middle name?”

“Hmmm, let’s see,” Leah pondered.

“How about Marie?”

“Sophia Marie Marcus?” Elijah questioned with an eyebrow cocked oddly.

“Maria?” Leah asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe we needed to think about it some. We’ll let you rest and circle back,” Elijah said.

“I don’t care,” Leah said. “Let’s just promise to not shorten it to Sophie!”

For the last one of week two you will get to learn about May Day 1988, the day Sophie’s world was forever changed.

 

Kalin Craig– Chasing Red Silent – 2018 A to Z Challenge – Day 11

KCopyright – ALPINE ACRES PUBLISHING – 2018

For the 2018 A to Z Challenge my topic is a new book about one of my recurring characters in the weekly flash fiction invitationals I frequent, a top flight detective named Sophie Marcus. Sophie is a single woman in her late thirties who is running from a demon.

Solving crimes that takes perpetrators off the streets is the kind of action all law abiding folks in any city would welcome. But for the lawyers and especially the district attorneys the way the crime is solved is just as important. For Kalin Craig, the first female district attorney for Portland, this is even more critical. She doesn’t want any half-job blowing back on her.

Craig is still within her first year on the job when Sophie begins to send shock waves through the law enforcement community with the crime-solving skills. One of the side effects is an increased need for staff to handle the case load due to a state mandated amount of time between the time of charges placed and trial start.

Here is an excerpt:

Kalin Craig guzzled the last of her third cup of coffee. It was only 9:13 A.M., which was not a good sign. She scanned the report again and shook her head while her assistant waited patiently for her reply. ‘

“I don’t trust her. This baloney about her skills is going to come out. Has Bailey found anything so far?” She referred to the private investigator who sometimes worked on retainer for her to spot check the police force.  

“Bailey is becoming impressed with her too! He said he is amazed at her vision. She finds and figures out angles no one else sees.”

“No, she fabricates evidence to suit her needs! Kalin said, her voice rising in volume with every word. “I just need to prove it!”

“What if there is nothing to prove,” her assistant asked.

Kalin quickly nodded her dissent, she wasn’t willing to even entertain that thought.

 

 

Next up is Sophie’s mom, Leah Marcus. Her disappearance when Sophie was eight is something that forever altered Sophie’s level of trust with anyone close to her on a personal level.

 

Joplin, MO – Chasing Red Silent – 2018 A to Z Challenge – Day 10

JCopyright – ALPINE ACRES PUBLISHING – 2018

For the 2018 A to Z Challenge my topic is a new book about one of my recurring characters in the weekly flash fiction invitationals I frequent, a top flight detective named Sophie Marcus. Sophie is a single woman in her late thirties who is running from a demon.

Joplin, Missouri was the hometown of Sophie’s mom, Leah Maye Kripke. Elijah met Leah one weekend while traveling through Joplin from a quick trip to see Mount Rushmore with a couple of college pals on their Spring Break. Leah was a free spirit and immediately jumped at the chance at a new life anywhere but in Joplin.

As Sophie began to reach her mid-teens she began to pester her dad to take her to Joplin to see if that is where her mother escaped to following that horrible day in May of 1988. Elijah had no clue where Leah was, but he knew too well about her ways, including the truth that she was no good for Sophie or him for that matter. He tried unsuccessfully to convince his only child of this, but Sophie was the kind that had to exhaust every possibility.

Here is an excerpt:

Sophie wasn’t sure how she would explain to her father the extra time she was away from home, but right now that did not matter as much as trying to find her mother. She slowly rolled down Beamer Avenue, eagerly looking for the house in the worn photo she held in her left hand. Her mother was pictured along with her parents in front of a grey two-story house.

She noticed a pair of older women enjoying a morning conversation over what seemed a shared flower garden on their properties. She slowed the car and rolled her window down to get their attention.

“Good Morning!” She called.

“Good morning dear! Are you lost, one of the women asked.

“I think so. I am looking for the Kripke home,” Sophie smiled.

“Kripke?” the other woman said with plenty of surprise that she mentioned the name.

“Yes ma’am. It is my grand parents place,” Sophie offered, hopeful she knew something.

“I thought Beatrice was barren,” the same lady said.

You’re thinking of Leigh Krtizer, Margaret!” the first lady chided.

“Oh yes! Lovely woman, would have made a fine mother!”

Sophie smiled in amusement, but inside her stomach was in knots. She felt like she was as close to her mother right now as she had been in almost a decade and a half. Was she here somewhere?

 

Kalin Craig is the next character you will meet. She is the first female District Attorney for Portland City and one of Sophie’s most challenging critics. Kalin believes Sophie manufactures evidence to support her amazing ability and bristles at the success of the newcomer to the Portland police system.

Ingrid Johannsen – Chasing Red Silent – 2018 A to Z Challenge – Day 9

ICopyright – ALPINE ACRES PUBLISHING – 2018

For the 2018 A to Z Challenge my topic is a new book about one of my recurring characters in the weekly flash fiction invitationals I frequent, a top flight detective named Sophie Marcus. Sophie is a single woman in her late thirties who is running from a demon.

Sophie met her first person not native to her home country on the second day of school during her junior year when a leggy and gorgeous Swede named Ingrid Johannsen landed in her high school and set it on it’s ear. The boys were immediately swooning and every girl save for Sophie was insanely jealous. So much so that Cassie Parker, the student sponsoring Ingrid, chose not to continue her participation after the Christmas break. Thanks to some pestering by Sophie and the kindness of Elijah Ingrid spent not only the second semester of that year with the Marcus’, but half her senior year as well.

Sophie and Ingrid spent countless hours watching reruns of Columbo, McMillan and Wife and numerous vintage detective movies. Their love of all things detective carried over as Ingrid returned to Sweden to become an Interpol detective. She tried to get Sophie to join her, but Elijah’s health at the time made it impossible for her friend to leave the U.S.

Here is an excerpt:

“Ing! What time is it?” Sophie asked. She tried to blink away the effects of a rare full night’s sleep as she looked for some sign of daylight through her windows.

“Sorry Soph! I forgot the time difference again! But I just had to tell someone my news. I made Senior Detective!” Ingrid was always bubbly, the kind of person who sould easily lift an entire room of people with her infectious mood. But when she had something good it was like looking into high beams in the dead of night.

“Whoa, hang on, I think I need to fully get this. Give me a couple of minutes to splash some water on my face,” Sophie said, pushing the heavy covers aside so she could exit her bed. Ingrid sang to her through the computer as Sophie quickly pulled her hair into a tight ponytail and splashed some cold water on her face.

“Okay blondie, shoot!” Sophie said plopping on the bed before pulling her laptop screen close.

“We cracked a huge human trafficking ring. Over one hundred teenage girls. But, get this, we got all the way to the source. Seven countries, fifty-two guilties, several million in cash. It’s going to be on the internet and the major news, but I wanted you to hear it first. You are my person you know!”

“I know Ing!” Sophie said trying to match her energy.

 

Joplin, Missouri is our next destination, the hometown of Sophie’s mother and the first place Sophie traveled to look fro her mother after her college graduation.

Hagerstown, MD – Chasing Red Silent – 2018 A to Z Challenge – Day 8

HCopyright – ALPINE ACRES PUBLISHING – 2018

For the 2018 A to Z Challenge my topic is a new book about one of my recurring characters in the weekly flash fiction invitationals I frequent, a top flight detective named Sophie Marcus. Sophie is a single woman in her late thirties who is running from a demon.

From the tender age of eight the only stable influence in Sophie’s life was her father Elijah Marcus. Elijah grew up the son of an old-time Baptist preacher who was very strict with his son. The result was a life filled with words of disappointment that he never measured up to his father’s expectations. AS a result Elijah determined to never make his only child Sophie feel anything like that.

Shortly after Sophie’s mother disappeared without explanation Elijah took a brief leave of absence from his job as a landscaper and took Sophie to a detective museum she had learned about in Maryland. It was one of Sophie’s favorite trips with her dad.

Here is an excerpt:

 

“Dad, I like spending time with you. You talk to me like I am at least 12. Everyone else tries to tell me I am too young to understand things. Miss Alexander just shakes her head when I guess what she is going to say in class.

Elijah stifled his smile, moving his hand nonchalantly up to his face to hide his expression. He’d just talked with the teacher a day before about Sophie’s precocious ways. Some of Sophie’s teachers urged him to put here in an advanced school, but without a good child care option near the better school he was limited in his options. Beyond that Sophie did have some friends she really liked in the present school and Elijah wanted that for her more at this point.

“Try not to make her look bad Sophie. She is trying to teach everyone, not just you,” Elijah told her.

“I know, I just know what she is going to tell us because I already read all of the textbook. I also read the old edition in the library. She is really behind on some of the things she tells us. I wonder if she has even read the newer copy,” Sophie said reading one of the plaques on a display.

“Oh Sophie,” Elijah said, his deep laughter filling the room. “You won’t do!”

Tomorrow you get to know about Ingrid Johannsen, the high school exchange student who became one of Sophie’s most trusted confidants. Ingrid and Sophie have a standing date each Sunday morning to talk via Skype.