Sabotage Yes or No Part Two by Trish Hubschman #TracyGayleSeries

Sabotage Yes or No Part Two by Trish Hubschman #TracyGayleSeries

Sabotage Yes or No Part Two

By Trish Hubschman

January 2024

Tracy Gayle

” Do you believe in apparitions?” I asked Danny. We were having lunch at a diner. Danny had just picked up a forkful of cold slaw. Upon my question, the fork froze midway to his mouth. I nearly giggled

.

“Are you talking about ghosts?” Danny said. Smiling, I nodded. He put his fork down and leaned back in his chair. “Well, I guess everyone has a spirit when they die, which you can call a ghost or apparition.” He looked proud of himself for that one.

Still smiling, I shook my head. “No, that’s not what I’m referring to.”

He sighed heavily.” I was afraid of that.” He sat up straighter. “You mean ghosts as in Halloween haunting, zombies coming back from the grave?” I nodded. He sighed again. “No, I don’t think McAllister Senior has come back from the dead and is sabotaging the rebuilding of his own town. This is what he wanted to do years ago and it’s his own company that’s doing the job.”

He had a point. I picked up my fork. It didn’t have any food on it. I waved it at Danny. “Okay, how about this?” I said, spearing a French fry then with my fork and popping it into my mouth. “Maybe the physical ghost of Michael McAllister hasn’t come back to haunt us, but someone, a human, wants us to believe this stuff is being done by him.”

Danny’s response came quick. “Why would anyone go to that extent?” Danny asked.

I had to think about that. “Because thinking we had a ghost that was haunting the project would scare more people away. Remember the history of Century End after the fire,” I posed. I waved my empty fork at him again.

Danny picked up his napkin and wiped his mouth. “I was right here, babe. I do remember the whole show with McAllister Sr, but I’m still not sure an apparition on the scene would fly.” He pushed his chair back from the table. “Let’s get over to McAllister’s office. Maybe Jared will have some insight into this.”

Jared was just putting the phone back into the cradle on his desk when Danny and I entered his office. He rose to his feet and held out his hand to Danny. The two men shook, and we sat down in thick black leather chairs.

“Is everything all right, Jared?” I asked, gesturing to the phone. “You look a bit harried.” He did.

Dropping down into his high-backed executive’s chair, he ran his hand over his brow. Something was definitely amiss. His posturing showed that. “Dean Sollars is missing,” he said to Danny, then looked at me. “He’s my best foreman on the job. That was his wife, Julie. She started out screaming at me for making her husband work late into the night, then not sending him home.” He chuckled.

I looked at Danny. He explained. “There aren’t any streetlights in Century End yet, so there wouldn’t be any way for the men to work after dark.” He shrugged.

“Is Mrs. Sollars aware of his?’ I asked Jared.

“I’m sure she is. It’s common sense too,” he said. “But she’s worried and, I guess, that’s the most logical assumption of why her husband didn’t come home last night.”

“Where is Mr. Sollars?’ I asked.

Jared looked confused, and then shrugged. “I have no idea. What my workers do in their personal time is their own business.”

“I understand that” I replied. “Do you think this man’s disappearance is part of the sabotage scheme?”

Jared’s mouth dropped open. He looked at Danny. “I’m afraid, Tracy, I haven’t had time to absorb what Julie just told me about Dean being missing, so I can’t give an answer to your question.”

He just did actually.

“Trace thinks we might have an apparition that might be creating havoc here,’ Danny said. My head swiveled to him. So did Jared’s. I was expecting laughter from him, but none came.

He sighed and sat back in his chair. “A lot of strange, unexplained occurrences have happened in Century End since I was a youngster,” he said. “My mother fell down the stairs years ago. She insisted she had been pushed, but there was no one else upstairs with her at the time. She died a few days after her fall.”

Danny and I exchanged glances, but neither of us could offer anything on that. We were all on the same page here. That’s what counted. “I’ll speak to Mrs. Sollars,” I offered. “The police can’t touch this until twenty-four hours have passed and who knows what they’d be able to do?”

..

Talking to Julie Sollars proved to be fruitless. She was more than half-hysterical about her husband’s disappearance. She kept accusing Jared McAllister and his firm, and even Danny of doing something sinister to him.

” You should have left Century End alone,” she told Danny. “It’s haunted.”

Mrs. Sollars sister, Sarah, was with us. She was a total contrast to her older sister. Julie was a taller woman with dark hair and chunky. Sarah was a petite blonde. “Our parents and grandparents lived in Century End. They moved out shortly after the fire in the late 60s. Julie and I were small children at the time, so we don’t remember much,” Sarah said.

Julie shot her sister a scathing look. “I remember very well what happened,” she said. “Mom and Dad left that town pretty fast. Something wasn’t right about it.”

Sarah released an exasperated sigh, then turned to me. “Both our father and grandfather worked in the coal mine. When that fire destroyed the mine, they were both jobless.”

“What do you know about it?” Julie snapped at Sarah.

I was not feeling comfortable with this bickering of the sisters and turned pleading eyes on Danny to do something. He came to the rescue. “Mrs. Sollars, can you tell us about your husband yesterday, his routine, demeanor, etc. Was anything different than usual?”

She thought about it, then shook her head. “Dean got up, got dressed and went to work. I spoke to him two or three times during the day.” She turned to me. “Nothing important. I just wanted to say hello and check on things. Now, please find him. I’m so worried about him.”

The tears started. I was relieved when Danny and I took our leave a few minutes later. I was totally worn out and wanted to lean my head back and close my eyes on the short ride home. “I wonder if I’m getting too old for this, I Spy stuff,” I half-teased.

“I doubt you’ll ever be able to live without it, babe,” Danny said.

I opened one eye. “You’re probably right, nonetheless, I still might be getting too old for it.”

To Be Continued

Trish Hubschman is a sponsoring member of Patty’s Worlds. See more about her work below.

Gayle’s Tales: Tracy Gayle Mysteries

by Trish Hubschman

Copyright December 23, 2022

The book is for sale from Smashwords (e-book only) and from Amazon in e-book ($3.99), paperback ($8.50), and hardcover ($16.50).

175 pages in print.

Full details of this book and Trish’s four Tracy Gayle mystery novels are on her website here.

Synopsis:

Gayle’s Tales is a collection of Tracy Gayle mystery short stories.

Everyone’s favorite couple, Tracy and Danny, are still going strong, romantically and professionally, rocking and rolling and solving crimes.

Tracy has to locate missing persons who vanished decades earlier.

She gets tangled in murder investigations she hadn’t anticipated.

She digs into a coal mining town that’s been uninhabited for 40 years and discovers secrets and skeletons.

In the end, she brings long–lost family members and friends back into each other’s arms and lives.

Through all this, she and Danny are planning their wedding extravaganza at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Tracy narrates her own adventures in these tales, as she does in the books.

Posted on behalf of Trish Hubschman by:

Patty L. Fletcher

Bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled

One Comment

  1. Trish Hubschman Reply
    March 31, 2024

    TThis story has growsn so much. It was the lady of this blog who inspired me. So far I’ve written 13 parts.

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