Read Henry Wood: Time and Again: Online

Authors: Brian Meeks

Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Historical, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Crime, #Crime Fiction, #Noir, #Mystery/Crime

Henry Wood: Time and Again:

BOOK: Henry Wood: Time and Again:
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Contents

Half Head

Blankpage

Title Page

Copyright

Newsletter

Blankpage

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty

Chapter Fifty-One

Chapter Fifty-Two

Chapter Fifty-Three

Chapter Fifty-Four

Chapter Fifty-Five

Chapter Fifty-Six

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Chapter Sixty

Chapter Sixty-One

Chapter Sixty-Two

Chapter Sixty-Three

Chapter Sixty-Four

Chapter Sixty-Five

Epilogue

Time and Again

 

 

 

Henry Wood

Time and Again

 

 

by

Brian D. Meeks

 

 

 

Brian D. Meeks, Martelle, 52305
© <$year> by Brian D. Meeks
All rights reserved. Published <$year>
Printed in the United States of America
5 4 3 2 1 19 18 17 16 15 14 13
ISBN: 978-0-9851046-3-4

 

This is a work of fiction. The characters, events, and story contained within, are created within the fertile imagination of the author. Any resemblance to persons, whether living or dead, or any events, are purely coincidental. Except for the cat, Buttons. The author had a cat very much like Buttons. Buttons was awesome.

 

No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means electronic, mechanical, printing, photocopying, recording, chiseling in stone, or otherwise, without the written permission from the publisher, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. For information regarding permission contact the publisher.

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Chapter One

 

The radio was on. Music floated in the background while Henry relaxed with a bit of light hand planing on a piece of walnut. The last couple of months had been perfect. He had taken a few easy cases which kept him in the black: two wives wanting to know if their husbands were cheating on them, and a couple who needed him to find their daughter.

Henry had bad news for the one wife, and was pleased to inform the other that her man was simply taking dancing lessons – it was to be a surprise for their tenth anniversary. Both ladies cried at the news.

The daughter had run off with a guy who didn't have much money, but looked like James Dean. She came home after realizing that life with her rebel would not have a happy ending.

The song changed and Patty, Maxine, LaVerne, and their buddy, Bing Crosby, were asking the question, "Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?” and it made Henry stop planing the piece of walnut. He set his old Stanley No. 5 on its side. The Philco 90 was on a table next to the closet door, and he reached over and turned up the volume.

It filled the woodworking shop with memories. Henry shuffled about in the sawdust, spinning around with a broom.

He wondered what Luna was doing. He had seen her only once in the last couple of months. She had brought him cookies and they had eaten lunch and made promises to find the time to get together. He thought,
I should give her a call.

The song faded, and Henry set the broom back up against the wall. His feet were still shuffling. The Philco played a catchy tune for Jell-O, and then a voice talked about the weather in Brooklyn.

Henry had gone back to working on the piece of walnut when the next song started - bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom. Henry stopped. He didn't move. Those first notes crashed into his head, and as the Chordettes asked "Mr. Sandman" to bring them a dream, Henry felt a wave of time pull him back into the past.

The single had climbed up to #1 on the charts, and it seemed to be on the radio all the time. Henry didn't buy too many records, but he did have a record player. When the 45 showed up with a letter, he was caught off guard.

He didn't remember much about that day. Arriving at his office that morning, Henry had found the single and a letter, which someone had slid under the door. Opening the envelope and seeing the sender’s name sent a chill down his spine. After reading it, he went home to his city apartment where he read it a hundred times more as the Chordettes sang.

As a rule, Henry stayed in the city only one night per week. Most days he preferred to head home to his house in Brooklyn. The house was quiet. Almost nobody knew that he had this second place, and this was where he did his woodworking and his best thinking.

The letter was from another time in his life. It hailed from the days before he was a detective, before he had closed himself off from all but a few of his closest friends. It was from a time when the world was at war, when there was a feeling of unity and purpose. It was from younger days. The handwriting was unmistakable, though he had only seen her scrawl once before. That letter, too, had been read a hundred times.

Henry was not one for waxing nostalgic. In fact, he didn't talk about his past and rarely thought about anything but the present. For Henry, the best place to keep the past was out of sight and mind.

His best friend, “Big” Mike, loved to talk about the good old days. His newspaper buddy, Francis, when homesick for Paris, would drink, eat, tell tales of his youth, and continue on and on until he passed out. The last story would be entirely in French.

Henry didn't mind listening to others recount their glory days, but would change the subject when asked about his own. He had been this way since 1942.

Henry turned off the radio and went upstairs. He took his jacket from the hall tree, removed the gloves from the pocket, and slid them on to his hands. As he headed out the door, he grabbed his fedora and ran a hand across the brim as he put it on. Music was a powerful trigger, and Henry felt that being alone at home wasn't as good as being alone anywhere else. The sound of the engine starting felt soothing, but it only nipped at the edges of the pain. Perhaps the drive would make him feel better.

Henry thought about suffering. This wasn't like having a cut or broken bone. It wasn't the sort of hurt which Mike had endured at the hands of Tommy “The Knife's” goons. It was, as a poet might say, bittersweet.

He turned left, then right, and finally got out of the neighborhood. Henry didn't think about where he was headed, but instinct took him into the city. The traffic wasn't too bad at that time of night. The lights of Manhattan were familiar; the sound of the wheels on the bridge seemed to sing the blues. It was as if somebody had plugged Henry's senses into a light socket. Bam! Sight and sound all mixed with the strange feeling deep down in his gut.

His car found its way to the apartment. He climbed up the stairs, noticing that it was quieter than usual. The key in the lock seemed to echo in the silent hallway. Henry set the keys on the kitchen counter and went to the bookshelf. He removed the book she had given him, and let the two letters fall from its pages. He set the letters and book on the kitchen table and turned on his record player. The 45 of the Chordettes was still waiting, and he set the needle down carefully.

Henry pulled out a bottle of vodka and placed two glasses across from one another. He poured a shot in each. Sitting down, he closed his eyes and picked up the first letter with his left hand, downed the shot, and opened his eyes to read again.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

Henry thought about the first time he saw her.

In 1942, Henry spent his days recovering from his less than heroic return from the war. At least, that’s how he viewed it. The medals in his dresser drawer didn't change Henry's recollection of the events. Truth was sometimes a little murky. Each night he tried to erase the memory of his third night abroad. Each morning around 8 a.m., he would drag himself to the diner for breakfast before passing out for the day.

Her hair was long, straight, and dirty. She walked into the diner with a couple of other women who worked at the factory. He couldn't recall having seen a woman so filthy from head to toe who also glowed like a flawless diamond. They ordered breakfast, talked quietly, and seemed exhausted.

Was it the three extra cups of coffee that kept him from sleeping that day? He didn't think so.

That night, Henry had stayed home, skipped the bottle, and gone to sleep early. The next day, he shaved, put on his best suit, and picked up a
Wall Street Journal
before he went to the diner. Becky, the waitress who worried about Henry most mornings, was taken aback when she saw him. Henry played it cool and told her he was getting on with his life. He ate breakfast for two hours that morning.

She didn't come in.

Three weeks later, Henry had gotten into a routine, found a job with a local P.I., and had mostly forgotten about the woman with the long hair. He was eating some toast when she sat down next to him at the counter.

Henry gave her a nod and she smiled. She was wearing a dress, had her hair all done up, and the grease had been replaced with makeup. She ordered a cup of coffee. When she had stirred in the cream for about five minutes, Henry asked if she was alright.

She had a voice that was deeper than he imagined...but not too deep. Her words had a bit of warmth to them. Her fiancé was going to ship out in a week, and she was taking the train to D.C. to see him one last time before he left. She said that the train didn't leave for four hours, but she was so excited that she just had to get ready and wait.

He remembered how she talked about her beloved. He had envied the young man waiting for her in D.C. because, if for no other reason, her dark brown eyes were so in love.

BOOK: Henry Wood: Time and Again:
2.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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