I write this looking out at the falling snow from underneath the Raynham Road Bridge, the nub of a pencil in my barely-sensate fingers, scribbling on bits of crumpled paper found in my pockets. There is a curious pain in my arm and in my chest. My head is swimming. We thought this was finished. The sergeant thought this was finished. Apparently, that is not the case.
Perhaps this will be the last thing I ever write. But I will endeavor to begin it and to finish it and hope that it will find a home in someone’s hands who will care for its record of the events of the past few days.
I first met Roman Janus last May, during the flooding. Of course I knew of him; we all know of him in town, and I suspect in the city, too. Little thought I gave him before that day when I found myself shoulder-to-shoulder with the man, lifting heavy bags of sand to bolster a wall that threatened to give way from the weight of the water behind it. Throughout that long, arduous day we worked together well, albeit silently, for the most part. We made quite a team, actually. Then, when we were relieved by others, Janus and I introduced ourselves to each other and he told me the strangest thing. I will never forget it as long as I shall…well, for whatever time I may have left.
He said, “Miriam has asked me to find you. She cannot find her way.”
Why strange? You see, my wife, my dear, sweet, lovely Miriam has been dead for ten long years.
And I am responsible for her death.
TO BE CONTINUED in Part 2.
All contents (c) Jim Beard 2012
Read of Sgt. Janus' adventures in SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, available on Amazon.com