"I can see the young girls sharpening their knives. They are ready to prepare the meal. We have meat, fish, vegetables and some cornbread to share. Do you like to join us?"
Fidelo thought about the offer. He liked the man but the mystery of the doll wasn't solved yet and most likely Jim waited for him.
"Yes, please. Give me a moment to text to my colleague we meet later."
The man nodded and quickly he wrote what Ben needed to know for the moment.
-Delayed someone else owns the doll. Text when I leave.-
Both officers agreed they would text each other instead of calling and keep each other updated this way. It saved time plus the messages were clear and could be found back if the provider was willing to send them immediately.
-On my way to Magda. Hella waits at the office.-
Let her wait, the chief thought. It will do her good not to be the first for a change. He enjoyed his meal and felt relaxed for the first time since long. Without the latest news surrounded by nature and with the company of friendly people not in the need to keep the conversation going on, the world was a good place to be. It could be paradise indeed.
"You are welcome here anytime", his new friend said with a smile on his face. "We have plenty of room. Think about it."
"I stared back. I had no idea what expression was on my face..."
"I understand. There's no need to tell more if you don't feel to it."
He was used to living in silence, not talking much but she suddenly seemed to be in the mood for a chat or more. She shared her chocolate bar with him. He had liked her from the moment his dog had found her and he felt she liked him too. It had been her choice to leave with him and live together in the forest. It was a good life they had but he felt from the moment on the chief inspector showed up with a doll she had changed. He hadn't ask her any questions but waited for her to say whatever she liked to share. Would her memory come back and if that was the case how would she react? The doctor couldn't tell, no one could except time. It was fine with him.
"I heard the scream, couldn't leave. I heard someone, I swear I did and it was about a doll. I think the officer has the doll now, it's creepy. I wonder what happened. The same as what happened to me?"
For a while they sat in thoughts enjoying the bar. Salty peanut butter with chocolate, his first and her only food for years.
"He gave it to me, the one who took me did. How did he know?"
"How did he know what?" His voice sounded surprised as he laid his arm around her shoulder.
"That I like this bar most of all."
"Perhaps he didn't and he just thought children like chocolate. Thought about that?"
She shook her head.
"I wasn't allowed to eat it... dad said I am allergic to peanuts..."
Shocked she looked at him. "I remember, I remember what dad said!" With her eyes wide open she looked at her friend. She had no idea what her expression was but what he saw was fear and happiness.
At the same time she noticed a hair in the soup the front door rang.
Carefully she looked between the curtains.
"You switched your phone off?"
"I didn't only switch it off I threw it away. She pointed at a seat. "If you don't mind I finish my soup. I assume this isn't a social visit."
She sat down, searched her soup again for more hairs, and continued her meal.
"Jim is fine."
"You know the case is closed. No charges."
"I read the papers, saw the news."
It surprised Ben she wasn't as talkative as usual.
"You don't like to visit Jim? He's at my place. You have the address."
"Better not. Like you said he's safe with you."
"Yes, but that doesn't mean..."
"That's exactly what it means. With you he's safe and with me he's not! You explained it to me very well last time. What do you want from me?"
"We could be friends and..."
"Friends? And what Ben?!"
"I might need your help, could use your help", he corrected himself hastily. "We started a new case, Fidelio did, perhaps they are connected, the danger isn't over yet."
"You think I don't know that? Why do you think I sit here with the curtains closed and don't give you a warm welcome?"
1.Memory 2. Chocolate 3. Urgent 4. Leaving 5. Life 6. Blue 7. Relief 8. Uphill 9. Justice 10. A handful 11. Charming 12. Shave 13. Gathering the pieces 14. At work 15. Revenge 16. Dumb 17. Creating space 18. Not one word 19. Strangers 20. Dark adventures 21. Traces 22. Just a slip-up? 23. Hide or die 24. Going home 25. Sharing 26. Watch your steps... 27. Find him! 28. Farm fresh 29. The emu 30. Mystified 31. Thrown outside 32. The doll 33. It's clear 34. The call 35. Wheel her in 36. Chain 37. Hard work 38. Do you like my hat? 39. Stay safe 40. Awake and aware 41. Lemongrass 42. Warrior bride 43. Bag 44. The ant 45. The phone call 46. Sweat it out 47. Fake news 48. Case closed? 49. Childcare 50. The monster house 50. Leaves are falling 51. Intrigue 52. Chainsaw 53. Tactic 54. Fantastic 55. Pattern 56. Watch out!
Be a freewriter. It only takes you 5 minutes a day. The prompt is provided by @mariannewest.
Prompt used behind the bush.
CCC = hive-166850
This is an Invitation to join #ccc. The community CCC supports members by encouraging and upvoting each other and by hosting contests. Contests are hosted by @team-ccc and it's members. See @team-ccc for contests running.
If the photos are not mine they can be found on pixabay.com