“My goodness, we’ve never seen a crime like this before,” said Fred when they showed him the card the next morning. “My goodness, I might have to call in officers from one of the nearby larger cities to solve this pickle. I’m sorry to say it, but the small town of Ford doesn’t have the right people to solve big crimes, considering the ‘crime of the century’ was Jimmy eating a slice of pie from Flo’s without permission from Sally.”
“Sorry, who’s Sally and Jimmy?” asked Sarah.
“A widowed mother and 5-year-old son that live at the end of Bluebonnet lane,” explained Fred. “Do you know what dulce vida means? They basically live the opposite of that. They moved here after Sally’s husband died to have some peace away from the big city. They tend to lay low and keep to themselves. Sally even homeschools little Jimmy. She thinks ‘having chutzpah’ is going outside of the house. I don’t know what she does inside that house, but her light is on twenty-four/seven.”
“Wow, well, we best be going now. We have to finish unpacking,” Isaac said.
It was a quick walk home, and when they got there, they saw that someone already had unpacked for them. Boxes were torn open and thrown carelessly onto the ground.
“My mother’s silver!” Sarah yelled, pointing at the empty box labeled, SILVER.
“We ought to report this, I wonder what’s going on. Who’s robbing everyone?”
“Wait, if it was by the same person, their modus operandi seems to be leaving cards! Look around, Isaac!” Isaac and Sarah began shuffling through boxes.
“I found it!” Isaac yelled.
“Let me see!”
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“I don’t understand...what does this mean?” Sarah asked.
“I don’t know, but I have a feeling that this criminal is getting giddy. They probably think they’re some crime aficionado. They’re going to want to wrap this up soon. And when they do, they’re going to make a mistake.”
“Sally called me last night,” Fred told them a couple days later. “It happened again, They took something valuable, and they left a card. Ace of spades.”
“What did they take?” Isaac wondered.
“This time it was a person. Jimmy,” Fred’s voice cracked and he had tears in his eyes.
“That’s terrible! Who would take an innocent little boy?” Sarah said, appalled.
“I’ve been thinking, and I think those cards that y’all found might have something to do about where the criminals might be keeping Jimmy.” Fred said, holding up the cards.
“Is that the new one?” Sarah asked, pointing at the third card in Fred’s hand. The third card had something written on the front too.
“Carte blanche!” Isaac exclaimed. “I know that! It’s a military term. It basically gives control to the holder. But, why would the criminal say that?”
“Maybe...maybe they’re basically saying we have a choice. we can either go save Jimmy, or we can continue on with our lives like nothing ever happened,” Sarah reasoned.
“That makes sense,” Fred said proudly. “One this is over, if y’all want to work with me─”
“Flip it over,” Sarah interrupted.
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“Put them all together!” Isaac ordered Fred.
“November 17...today’s November 17! What time is it?” Sarah yelled.
“1:05,” Isaac answered.
“Oh my gosh! Whatever our criminal is going to do, he’s doing it in two minutes!” The trio ran down the street towards 137 Bluebonnet Lane.
“That’s Sally’s house! I hope she’s okay!” Fred yelled, running through the open front door. Sarah and Isaac followed.
“Stop!” a woman screamed, the crazed look in her eye contrasting with her simple clothes and brown hair.
“Sally…” Fred whispered.
“That’s Sally?” Isaac asked.
“Yes it’s Sally!” Sally yelled. “But of course you’re all thinking, the bona fide widow? The girl I pitied since day one? Maybe I didn’t want your passe mustache and sheriff’s badge in my business! Now, watch as I kill my son the way queens killed people who defied them for thousands of years!” She flicked on the light, and the three gasped.
“Jimmy!” The little boy was tied down, head stuck through the head-hole of a guillotine.
“Freddy?” he cried. “Is that you?” Sarah couldn’t hold back a sob.
“The boy has suffered enough!” Isaac yelled.
“Oh, yes he has,” Sally replied. “So wouldn’t it be better if I just offered him this coup de grace?” Isaac slowly backed away from the scene.
“Don’t you dare cut that!” Fred yelled, watching Sally finger the small rope holding the blade from falling down onto Jimmy’s neck.
“He doesn’t deserve this, he’s just a little kid!” Sarah cried.
“C’EST LA VIE!” Sally shrieked and swung the kitchen knife that had somehow made its home in her hand. Out of nowhere, Isaac appeared and grabbed her arm. The rope didn’t break. He yanked the knife out of her arm and forced her onto the ground. Fred sadly stepped forward and ‘cuffed her.
Sally was taken to the small jail in Fred’s office, but the big city police were heading to Ford to take her far, far away. After a lot of explaining, and even more paperwork, Isaac and Sarah adopted Jimmy. All was rather well. They enrolled Jimmy into a public school a couple miles out of town, Fred was given money to update his office. Sarah was given back her mother’s silver, and Mrs. Johnson was given back her wedding ring, plus a couple homemade pies from Flo. Life in Ford was back to the way it was . Peaceful, serene, calm. One thing was different though, that absence of love? It was filled.