Mason & Zeke Reunite.

Mason aka Hank, stood there for a moment looking around, and then after about thirty seconds he went up the steps, walked across the porch to the front door and paused, then knocked. He waited for a couple of seconds and knocked again. He listened and heard someone coming to the door. He stood there and as the door finally opened, he saw a man about his age step out.

              “Can I help you?” the man asked.

              “Zeke? Zeke Dixon.” Asked the man calling himself Hank.

              “Yes, I’m Zeke Dixon,” he said.

              “Zeke, it’s me, Mason.”

              Zeke took a long hard look at this stranger and, as he began to slowly recognize him, he yelled, “Mason. Mason.” He almost ran Mason over as he rushed out and grabbed him up in a bear hug. “Mason, where in this world have you been, how long has it …”

              “Twenty-Three years,” Mason said, trying to breath.

              Zeke put him down and grabbed both of his arms and shook him. “I can’t believe it – I just can’t believe it. Mom and Dad thought for sure you were dead. We called your last duty station, and they hadn’t heard anything from you since you left.”

              “Where is mom and dad,” Mason asked, although he already knew the answer.

              “They are walking the streets of gold. Dad went first and three years later mom. They are buried in the family plot. We tried to find you, but of course we didn’t have any luck.” Zeke hung his head as he thought back. “Where were you? Why couldn’t you at least have made contact.”

              Mason could tell the anger building in Zeke’s voice, and he could not blame him. He would feel the same way.

              “All I can say is, that due to circumstances, I had to drop off the grid.”

              “For twenty-three years? What was so bad that you had to do that?”

              “I can’t explain it, but I am here now. And I hope I can call this place home again.”

              Zeke looked at him and still had that sad look on his face.

              Mason smiled at him and gave him a light punch in the arm.

              Zeke looked into Mason’s eyes, smiled, and said, “You bet. And brother I am so glad to have you back home.”

              “What about Gail?” Mason asked.

              “Oh, she married some clown from Kansas who she believes is gonna give her everything her heart desires,” Zeke said sarcastically. “Hey, you had breakfast, yet? Come on in and I’ll fix us eggs and grits. Of course, the coffee is already on.”

              Mason smiled, “Is it eatable?”

              “Eatable? Man, I can’t understand why you like your coffee that way. But you always were one who loved to eat your coffee rather than drink it.” Zeke laughed. “Man, it’s really good to have you home.”

              Back at the police station, an officer from the town of Wilson came to pick up Chris Perry. He received all the paperwork and escorted him out to his car.

              “I’m glad he’s gone,” Chief Colons said as he closed the door.

              The officer opened the back door to his patrol car and helped Chris in telling him to watch his head. Once he was in, he secured him with the seat belt, then he went around and got in. In a few seconds they were driving down route five.

              As Chris sat back there in hand cuffs he was thinking and planning. All I’m being charged with is brandishing a shotgun in a public place. I’ll be out in a couple of days. And when I am, I’m going back to that rinky-dink town and take care of that stranger.

A ride out to the Dixon Farm

Hank woke up about 6 am and took another shower and got dressed, then went to the main office. He was thinking about last night when he walked into the main lobby. Miss McEntire was there, and he ask her if he could stay another night. She said yes and he left. He wanted to walk around town for a little bit and see if he could reacquaint himself. Not only that but see if he could pick up some information.

At 7:00 am that morning Mr. Isaiah Townsend, the boss, was at the Police Station. Now Mr. Townsend was a rough looking character. He had very rugged features, stood at 5 foot 5, and had that mob look and when he spoke it seemed like you could feel the deep sound wave as it moved through the air.

              “Isaiah, what can I do for you this morning,” Chief Colons said as he poured his coffee.

              “That stranger, have you met him or seen him.” Townsend asked as he stepped up beside the Chief and poured some coffee.

              “You mean the stranger at Molly’s last night?”

              “Wow, word gets around, small town right. And no, I haven’t met him. Why? You know something.” Colons answered in between sips.

              “I don’t know his name, but I do know he says he’s a friend of the Dixon’s. He says he’s looking for someone named Mason. I don’t know anything about that person, but I do know Mr. Zeke Dixon. He is one of those preppers and I heard, a troublemaker.”

              “Mason. I don’t think I’ve heard that name either. I’ll put a tail on him and see what he’s up to.”

              “You don’t have to. I have two of my men tailing him now. They will report every move he makes.”

              The mayor laughed. “Who, those two last night. Are you serious?”

              “I know but they will have to do. Besides, we need to find out what he’s really doing in town. I suspect it has something to with that man who was about to blow the whistle on this operation. I think he could be a fed.”

              “I think you may be over thinking this thing.”

              “Well, I say we need to watch him.” Townsend said.

              “Good, now what’s on the agenda for the day.”

              Mason walked around town for about an hour, going down to grocery store and then coming back up to Ernie’s.  Molly’s he knew about, so he walked down to the Hardware store then over to the clinic.  There was still a lot to see but he needed to find the Dixons residence. He headed to the police station. He figured they could send him in the right direction.

              Townsend was looking out the window when he saw the stranger coming down the other side of the street. When the stranger stopped and looked across at the police station, Townsend figured he would be coming across. He did.

              Well, so much for keeping an eye on him, “Looks like that stranger is coming to you.”

              A few seconds later, the door to the police station opened and in walked the man calling himself Hank Smith.

              “Good morning gentlemen, I’m looking for the Chief,” the stranger said.

              “I’m Chief Colons, how can I help you mister …”

              “Smith, Hank Smith.” He put his hand out to shake the hand of the Chief.

              “Mister Smith, this is Mister Townsend our mayor.”

              They shook hands and Hank turned back to the Chief. “Chief Colons, I’m new to the town, as a matter of fact I just got here last night, and I am looking for a friend of mine. His name is Mason Dixon. I think his family may have a farm not far from here so, I thought I’d come here and ask if you knew him, where his farm is and of course what’s the best way to get there.”

              “Mason Dixon, you say.” Colons said milking his chin. “I don’t know a Mason Dixon, but the Dixon Farm is about a fifteen-minute drive down route one. If you want, I could give you lift.” 

              “A ride would be great, thanks.”

              Chief Colons did not let on that he suspected this was ‘Mr. Lighting’. He just grabbed his hat and keys and said, “Okay, let’s go.”

              The drive out to the Dixon farm took fifteen minutes. During the short drive neither one talked, which was unusual especially for the Chief. He should be asking questions trying to get a feel for the stranger, but nothing.

              “There’s the drive,” Colons pointed to an entrance that was marked with the name of the farm on a sign by the road.

              The Chief pulled into the long drive and headed for the main house. Once there, Hank got out.

              “Thanks Chief, I appreciate the ride.”

              “No problem.” He pulled off and left.

Mason Dixon: The Police Chief asked, Who is this guy.

Officers Lonnie Vincent and J.J. Taylor had the midnight shift. They were patrolling opposite ends of the town, J.J. to the west and Vincent to the east. All was quiet and Vincent was about to head back to town when a call from dispatch came in.

“Sierra 35 dispatch.”

“Sierra 35, go ahead,” Vincent responded back.

“Copy that. We just got a call from a motorist out on Route 7 about what he thinks is a dead body lying in a ditch. Could you go and check it out.”

“Copy that, tell three-three to standby and alert the M.E. and the Chief just in case.”

Vincent drove down Route 7 and when he got close to Jaspers Farm, he called dispatch.

“Dispatch, this is 35. I’m coming up on Jaspers and so far, I haven’t seen any … hold it.” He slowed down and shined his light on the suspected area. He saw something, so he stopped, turned his overheads on and got out. He walked to where he could see down the slope and saw it. “Dispatch, I found it. It’s just a deer that’s been hit by a vehicle. I’m headed back in.”

“Copy that 35.”

Flash Back: The sound of the machine gun in the distance told Mason that second squad had made contact and a firefight was in full swing.  He moved his squad around to the right and made his way toward the shooting.  They were still about 100 yards away and had to walk through a possible mine field and be subject to IED’s and an ambush.  The enemy liked to play it that way.  Start a firefight and attempt to draw the responding troops into an ambush. So, Mason and his squad of 13 men had to be very cautious. As they got closer the firing seemed to lighten up a bit. As the point man moved up over a small rise, . . . 

Mason suddenly opened his eyes. He has always been a lite sleeper with his mind staying alert to any change in sound. He looked at the clock on the nightstand, 02:00. The sound he just heard was a very faint click. A sound as if someone had stepped on a landmine. He sat up slowly and instinctively looked at the door handle. His 9 mm Beretta was on the table, and he grabbed it and got ready.  He saw the door handle slightly turn. He got up slowly and silently, moved to the door, and listened. He could hear a whisper of two voices, male voices. He figured it was the two men he saw earlier that made Miss McEntire nervous. One of the men was trying to pick the lock and was having a hard time at it. After another couple of minutes with no success they gave up. He heard one say, “let’s go.” He heard them walk off, so he went to the curtain and pulled it back just far enough to see out.  But they were already out of sight. He thought about what was going on and wondered. He placed the chair from the table under the doorknob just in case they try again. He laid back down, but this time on full alert.

Hands: Fingers.

Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

This is a picture of the 1st SPS out of Langley Air Force Base, preparing to go to war. Their destination, Saudi Arabia. The Event, Desert Shield/Storm. These are the “Air Soldiers.”

We went to war not knowing the outcome. We survived.

At Dharan checking in.

The Unknown Factor

When Hank left Molly’s, he was hoping to find the Seven Roads Rest Easy Inn was still here and was happy when he saw it.  He smiled when he noticed it had not changed either. He walked through the new door, which was the only thing that was. He stopped just inside and looked around. To his left there was one of those tall stainless-steel coffee pots on a small table with cups, spoons, cream, and sugar. To his right, a couch and a couple of chairs with magazines and the latest paper. He was still looking at the couch when he heard a woman speak.

              “Can I help you,” came a sweet, southern voice from behind the front desk.

              The stranger looked back and saw a woman about fifty years of age, red hair and very pretty. He walked up to the desk. “Yes, I need a room for the night.” He said as he put his duffel bag on the floor.

              “Yes sir.” She pulled the registration forms out and handed them to him. “Will you be paying …”

              “Cash,” the stranger said while filling out the appropriate information.

              “Cash, well that will be forty dollars.”

              He pulled out a fifty and handed it to her.

              “Are you just passing through,” she asked.

              “Nope, I’m here to find a friend. Perhaps you know him.”

Two men came in the front door and when she saw them her countenance changed. He noticed it but did not let on.

              “What’s your friends name,” she said with a slight tremor in her voice. She looked at the cash and slowly took it, slightly smiling as she did. She gave him ten dollars back.

              “Dixon, Mason Dixon,” he said smiling. “Yea I know, kinda odd ain’t it.”

She waited for a long second and after getting her composure, reached behind her and got the room key. “It’s … room number … one which is to the left as you go out the front door.”

              “Room number one. Got it,” the stranger replied. “And thank you Mrs.”

She stood looking at him and then stumbled out her name, “McEntire. And it’s miss.”

“Thank you, Miss McEntire.” He smiled, picked up his bag and turned around. He looked at the two men and confirmed his suspicion, they were trouble. Yes! something is ‘definitely wrong’ here, he thought as he eyed the two. He walked past them and left.

The two men heard him say the name Dixon and looked at each other, then walked out a few steps behind him.

Hank found the room, unlocked the door, and went in. It was a nice room, well kept, but still had that hotel room smell. There was a T.V. on the center table, a small frig next to it and clean towels and wash cloths. There was to his surprise, an air conditioner, a working air conditioner. He walked on in, shut the door, locked it and threw his bag on the bed.

After taking a shower he sat down on the corner of the bed, opened his duffel bag, and pulled out his Bible. He read it every chance he got.  And he prayed. He knew the Lord as his Savior and tried to be what he should be. He opened his Bible to the book of Psalms 18 and began to read. After about thirty minutes he felt sleepy. He prayed for several minutes, then laid down on the bed. In less than a minute he closed his eyes.

Later-on that evening at the police department, Officer West finished the paperwork on the mister stupid, whose name is Chris Perry. He was running his prints to see if he was in the system, but nothing showed up, yet.

The new Chief Colons came out of his office and went over to where West was sitting watching the surveillance video. Colons was about six feet tall, very muscular, and always wore his weapon, a 1911 .45 caliber, in a shoulder rig. He also wore one of those tan bush hats.

“So, this guy was taken down by an old guy in a black duster, and the people described it as the fastest thing they’d ever seen. Like lighting. And even had zip ties. Does that sound like this old guy was or is a cop, or has some sort of, ‘special training’. I mean if he is as fast as they say his is …”

“He is just as fast. Here, look at this,” West said as he rewound the tape.

The Chief watched.

“Wait for it. Wait for it.” West said smiling.

The chief watched and, as soon as the stranger moved, it was all over. He stood there with his eyes and mouth opened wide. “I can’t believe it. Run it again and slow it down.”

West ran it back and hit the slow-motion button. They watched carefully.

“Reckon he is special forces?” Colons asked, as he ran it back again.

“Could be,” West said.

And that could be trouble for us the Chief thought.

“Well,” West stood up, “here are the finished reports and before I forget, I was going through some files and ran across a three-month old murder case that happened in Whiteman Park. I remember it and the record here says the GBI was supposed to come and pick him up, do you mind if I follow up on this?”

“A murder case.” Colons did not know anything about investigative work and so he really did not care. “Well, I agree. You’ve been here the longest and know something about it. You take it and run with it.”

“Thanks Chief, see you in the morning.” 

“Yeah, see you in the morning.” Colons ran the tape back again. “This guy makes lighting look like it’s sitting still. Who is this guy?”

The Adventure Continues.

Officer Vincent West, a ten-year veteran of the Seven Roads Police department the only one of the two officers allowed to stay on was working part of the next shift. He thought about it and still did not like it, especially without justification. With the old Mayor resigning and the complete turnover of the governing body of the town he had a bad feeling that everything was going to change, and not for the better. He decided he was going to keep an eye on the new Chief and the Mayor. 

Officer West was just a few minutes from Molly’s when he heard the call about an attempted robbery and said he would take it.  Dispatch told him, “The man had been subdued and was waiting to be picked up. No one was harmed.”

“Copy that dispatch,” West said.

In five minutes, West pulled to the curb of Molly’s and got out. When he went in, he was met by the manager.

“Howdy West, I hoped it would be you coming,” said Lenny Johnston the manager.

“Hey Mr. Johnston, West said, “So, tell me what happened and is that the perp.” West pointed to the man in the chair with his hands behind his back.

“Yes, that’s him and well … I wish you were here to have seen it, you would not have believed it, I mean you just would not have believed it.”

” Alright, Lenny.” West said, “just calm down and tell me what I wouldn’t have believed,” he opened his small note pad.

Lenny told him how the stranger took down the young man with the shotgun. “It was the fastest thing I ever saw. The old man was on him like a bolt-of-lighting.”

“A bolt of lightning, okay, so can you tell me what this ‘bolt of lightning’ looked like,” West said as he continued to write.

“Older man,” Johnston said, “was about five-ten or eleven, more than a medium build, salt and pepper hair and beard. The beard was not scraggly but neat. His hair was thick and medium length. He was wearing a dark black duster, like one you would see a cowboy wear and it had seen its better days. He also wore a wide brim black hat that was in the same shape his coat was in. His pants were a tan color and in good shape. He also had on some of those half finger gloves. Oh yea, the duffel bag, green military and I didn’t see any marking.”

“Do you have a surveillance camera? And did you see what direction he went when he left.”

“Yes. One camera over the bar, another one over the door and another one in the back. He turned to his right and that was the last I saw of him.”

“Did you get his name? And could you get the tape from the camera over the door.”

“Nope, no name. But if you will wait just a minute, I’ll get the tape.”

“Did he get anything? And how did he pay for it?” West asked as the manager came back and gave him the tape.

“Yes, a cup of coffee and house special. He paid for it with a ten-dollar bill that’s still on the table.”

“Okay, thanks.” West then went around to all the others and questioned them separately. Everyone had the same to say, in a split second the older man takes down younger man. He had him disarmed, zip-tide and put in the chair in less time it takes to change your mind.

“Anything you want to add Mr. Johnston.”

“Nope, that’s it? Oh, and this.” He reached behind the counter and handed West the shot gun.

West examined it, and said, “Okay, let’s get ‘mister stupid’ here down to the station. Thanks Mr. Johnston.” West stood the robber up, turned him around and searched him.

“Alright,” West said pointing to the door, “Let’s go.” He walked him to the patrol car reading him his rights as they went. “You, Mr. Stupid, have the right to re-main silent ….”