Loose Strands

Ducking underneath the yellow tape, Kyle Rickman surveyed the inside the creamery. There were a few witnesses including the Damien Horn’s nanny and his parents. From what the father told him on the phone, a couple of family friends would be joining them shortly. As Kyle entered, he offered officer Andrew Grimes a nod. “Good afternoon officer.”

But the officer sneered at Kyl as he muttered, “Good afternoon Rickman.” Shaking his head, Kyle tried to walk to his clients, but the officer grabbed him and whispered. “I didn’t want you here, but the family is insisting. You better behave.

“Officer, we all want the same thing. Damien returned to his family safe and sound. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to do my job.”

“Be careful.”

With another nod, Kyle walked over to the parents and asked, “Is it normal for Damien to go off with Robyn?”

Mitchell closed his eyes while Jenifer sobbed into her hands. “Yes, we trusted Robyn.”

Kyle pulled his notepad and jotted something down as he examined the people in the creamery. “Was this Damien’s favorite place to get ice cream?”

Robyn turned around and tried to say something but Mitchell shot her a withering glare. “From what, she’s told us yes, they came her quite a bit.”

Kyle put a hand out to Robyn, “Can you tell me what happened?”

“Does it matter!?” Jennifer screamed as she tried lashed out at Robyn. But Mitchell managed to catch his wife preventing her hand from connecting with Robyn’s face.

Kyle rested his hand back on Jenifer’s shoulder, “Please I need to talk with everyone if I’m going to figure this out.”

“I’m sorry,” Mitchell muttered as he led his wife away from the counter.

“Please continue,” Kyle prompted the shaken nanny.

“We came in and placed our order then a redhead with a gun ran into the store and shot up the ceiling.”

“Who else was here?” Kyle asked as he flipped to the next page of his pad.

“One employee and one customer,” Robyn replied.

“Can you point them out?”

Robyn pointed at the other end of the store, “Sheila is the employee, while Morris is another regular.”

“Was there anything else I should know?”

“Damien ripped out some of the abductor’s beard.”

“Do the police have it all?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Where did the struggle take place?”

“At the far side of the counter,” Robyn answered as she lowered her head.

Kyle walked over to the spot and searched for anything that might help him. When he found a red hair, he claimed it before he strolled over to Shelia and Morris. “What can you tell me about the kidnapper?”

“He was average height,” Morris replied as he shoved his hands into his pockets.

“Red beard to go with his hair?” Kyle asked as he rolled the strand in his fingers.

“Yeah,” Sheila answered as she stretched out the word.

“What color were his eyes?”

“Brown,” Morris said as he leaned against the wall.

“Hazel,” Shelia countered.

Kyle got his pencil on the page and asked, “Are you sure?” The two nodded, and Kyle updated the page, “Did you two notice the boy ripping hair off the assailant’s beard?”

“Yeah,” Shelia muttered as she began staring off into the distance.

“I remember thinking that the man should have reacted more,” Morris added as he leaned against the wall.

Making further notations, Kyle looked at them both. “Thank you, you’ve been most helpful.” He turned his back on them before they could say anything else and walked towards the boy’s parents. “If I remember right. You two are expecting Darnell Calhoun and Lauren Goodwin to arrive any moment.”

“Yes,” Mitchell said as he held his wife. When he lifted his head, Mitchell pointed at the pair walking in. “In fact that’s them.”

Kyle watched as a slender green-eyed woman with blond hair and an average looking blue-eyed man with blond hair walked into the creamery. As they both walked towards the Horns, the man began rubbing at his blotchy chin. Kyle leaned in and whispered to Mitchell, “Does Darnell usually have a blotchy chin?”

Mitchell examined his friend’s chin and replied, “No, but what does that have to do with anything?”

Kyle ignored the question and intercepted the pair before they could reach the Horns. “Hello I’m sorry Darnell, but I need to speak with you outside for a moment.”

“I want to comfort my friends.”

“It’ll only take a second.”

Darnell looked over at Mitchell, who nodded. So the man sighed as Kyle led him out of the store. When they were away from prying ears, Kyle stopped and squeezed the man’s shoulder. “Why’d you do it?”

“Excuse me?”

“You shouldn’t rip off a fake beard, the result is a nice rash like you have.”

Darnell tried to push Kyle away as he retorted, “You need to be careful with slander.”

“Truth isn’t slander, Darnell,” Kyle replied as he tightened his grip. “Now tell me where the boy is.”

“You can’t make this kind of accusation because of a skin issue.”

“I’m not. You were in such a hurry to get rid of the beard you didn’t notice the strands still on your collar.”

“You’ll never be able to prove it.”

A gun cocked behind Darnell’s head, and his eyes went so wide they threatened to leap from his skull. “I don’t have to do that now that you’ve confessed in front of an officer. Isn’t that right Officer Grimes?”

“It absolutely is Mr. Rickman.” The officer said as he slid in front of the kidnapper. “Now where is Damien?”

Darnell, looked into the barrel as he bit his lip. But Graves’ patience wore out, and he shoved the barrel into the man’s forehead and snarled, “Where’s the boy?”

“My car.”

“Give me the keys,” Kyle ordered. The man handed them over, and Kyle located the car freeing Damien who ran for his parents and nanny.