by Winter Silversmith
It was a late start to the hot muggy summer day for Winter. He checked his attendance sheet online for his class today, and last night and first thing this morning, and still no names had appeared. 'It will be another paperwork day I will go in at one' he thought to himself as he sipped his Bailey’s faux-flavoured coffee.
The retail industry was becoming a hard sell to people looking for work in the booming local market. With the announcement of the nuclear plant refurbishment hundreds of jobs were created overnight in every sector and very few applicants were seeking minimum wage retail positions. “At the rate things are going I might have to look for a new job myself” he sighed. He was in an ‘on-call’ position and except for a guaranteed minimum of twenty hours a week, all other hours depended on applicants for the companies his placement and training firm managed.
Winter was lowering his empty coffee mug in the sink when a flash of white light caught the corner of his eye. He walked over to the front windows of his mini home just in time to see two unmarked Ontario Regional Police cruisers screaming past with flashing red, white and blue lights and sirens wailing. He could not see where they were headed but it seemed close as the siren sounds continued for some time.
“A quiet rural hamlet surrounded by century old farmland, a great place to escape the city sprawl” the realtor Ben Cooper had told Winter in a cheery voice when showing him the property. Winter looked down at his ragamuffin mix cat Meeka with a frown “quiet rural hamlet my ass” he said, “first all that fuss across in the subdivision and now whatever the hell this is”. Meeka mewed back loudly in agreement and rubbed her fluffy fur up against Winter’s leg.
Winter stood for a moment at the window staring across the highway at the small subdivision of modern single storey homes. His fingers picked at the plastic window frame with a tick-tick sound that Meeka found fascinating and she hopped up on the counter beside him to investigate. He could see a fairly new black Sport Utility Vehicle parked over on the left-hand side of Maple Lane. ‘That is strange’ Winter thought to himself then spoke aloud “that SUV is still sitting there. I wonder if they live there? They should park in their driveway before all these cops give them a ticket” he scoffed.
Winter looked at his wristwatch and then pulled his Samsung android phone from his pants pocket. 12:36 PM. “Time for work”, Winter exclaimed as he grabbed his laptop bag and stylish Tilley hat and headed for the door. “I will be home in time for dinner” he said to Meeka, who was still on the counter sniffing at the window sill too busy to care what he was saying, as the door closed behind him.
He climbed into his own midnight black Dodge Durango SUV and pulled out of his driveway and onto the concession road heading toward the main corner. He was careful not to drive fast as he approached the intersection, staying around forty kilometres an hour in the fifty zone.
Winter turned on the local radio station to see if they were talking about the closure as he headed west toward the city… ' the ORP detachment in Chatsworth is not providing many details at this time. What we do know is that nine-one-one received a call around twelve P.M. of an alleged shooting on a farm property east of Corran. There is no information on any victims or suspects involved in the incident. Currently the area between county road three and highway six down concession sixteen remains closed to all…'.
Winter changed the radio over to his USB drive and classical music began streaming out of the speakers. “It is getting worse out there every day it seems” he said to no one as he continued his way up the county road to meet up with highway twenty-one north into the bustling bayside city of twenty thousand…