The Jolt was deputized into the police, but she still wasn’t a cop. On the case of the Bone Taker, Detective Mom handled most of the actual police work. Thankfully, she kept The Jolt pretty well-informed.
It turned out, against The Jolt’s hopes, that the bones in her backyard were, in fact, real. Further, they came from four separate victims, all missing persons who had disappeared over the previous four years.
Detective Mom set up a tea meeting at the Whistling Kettle with The Jolt. Mom had a seat and ordered a chamomile from the smiling waitress she recognized to be The Jolt’s mother. A minute later, The Jolt entered the cafe, fully dressed in her superhero costume. No one gave her a second glance–they must have been used to her by now.
The Jolt sat down across from Mom, ordered a green tea, and said, “What have you got?” in such a serious voice Mom had to struggle not to smile wryly.
Detective Mom said, “We’re beginning to think our killer might be choosing one victim a year.”
“Are there any connections between the victims?” The Jolt asked.
“No pattern as far as race, gender, socioeconomic status, but four is not a huge sample size. As far as we can tell, they were all decent folks, good citizens of their community. One ran a soup kitchen, one led a neighbourhood watch, one organized a charity drive for the families of laid-off oil field workers, and one was well-known for serenading pedestrians with her violin without asking for change. Good folks. They didn’t deserve what happened to them.”
“No,” The Jolt said, because there wasn’t anything more to add.
The teas arrived, and the ladies let them steep.
“I’m concerned,” said Mom.
“Have you checked their back yards yet?” The Jolt asked. She wanted to reach for her tea, but her hands were shaking, clattering the cup against the saucer, so she stopped.
“Two so far,” said Mom. “We’ve got unis looking into the others now.” She looked at her phone. “Three,” she said.
“Bones in all of them?” The Jolt asked, struggling to keep her voice even.
Mom nodded. She placed her rough but matronly hand on The Jolt’s shaking, gloved fist.
“You’ll be protected,” Mom said.
The Jolt wanted to say, “I can take care of myself,” but the words died at her lips.
“We’re going to find him,” Mom went on.
“Yeah,” The Jolt breathed, eyes cast down on her steaming tea. “And I’m going to help.”
I squished two prompts into one, here. And yet, I didn’t have enough time (half an hour) to fully complete the story. GUESS I’M GONNA HAVE TO WRITE MORE DETECTIVE MOM AND THE JOLT TEAM UP STORIES. OH DARN.
Except these two are the best and I’m having so much fun. I’ll give you guys a break before I return to this story, though.