Tessa – Part I: Late Night Discoveries

“You can’t keep doing this, Theresa Anne.”

“It’s just Tessa, Deputy Erwin.  I’ve told you…”

BANG BANG BANG

Deputy Erwin’s fist beat again on the front door of the darkened house.

“If your dad doesn’t stop encouraging-“ The door flew open,  “Good evening, Sheriff Collins.  She did it again.”

The Sheriff’s blue eyes reflected sharply in the dim light of the street lamp as he stared at his daughter.  Tessa looked guiltily at her feet.

“Sheriff, with all due respect, she can’t-“

“I’m aware, Deputy, thank you.”

“It was a burglary!  The perp could have been anywhere –“

“Yes, Deputy-“

“This is what … the fourth time I’ve had to-“

“Deputy Erwin.”

“Yes, sir, Sheriff Collins, sir,” the Deputy tipped his hat, gave Tessa one last disapproving look, and headed toward his squad car.

“Theresa Anne Collins, step inside.”

Tessa hated the silent treatment.  She would rather her Irish descended father reveal his entire disappointment in one, long winded speech than sit in their living room with him mutely across from her, his hands folded.

“Tess.”

Only dad could call her Tess.

“Do I need to take the scanner away for good?”

“No! Dad, I promise-“

“Really?  Because at this point I’m starting to think that that was a pretty stupid birthday gift for a 15 year old girl obsessed with solving crime.”

“Dad-“

“Tess, listen,” Sheriff Collins rubbed his forehead. “I know you love the thrill of police work-“

“Detective work.”

“Right, that.  But you agreed to certain rules, did you not?”

“Yes, dad.”

“And you broke some tonight, did you not?”

“Yes, dad.”

“So… for that …”

Sheriff Collins thought for some time.  Tessa remembered with a stab that it was her mom who used to come up with the clever punishments.  Dad handled the lecture and, when he finished, mom calmly explained the consequences.

“You’re temporarily banned from the scanner.”

“What! But, dad! There’s a new case –“

“No buts, Theresa Anne.  The scanner was only for daylight hours after homework was done.  I fixed up that old box because I knew you liked police – uh, detective work.  That didn’t mean you could go gallivanting around at all hours getting yourself into danger.”

Tessa’s shoulders slumped.  Her dad’s expression and tone let her know his decision was final.

“Come give your old dad a hug.”

Tessa stood and embraced her dad.

As he held her, he said, “You can have the scanner back in one week –“

“A week!”

“In one week and if that case still hasn’t been solved I’m sure you’ll be the first to break it.”

He held her at arm’s length.

“Tessa.”

“Yes, dad?”

“Just stay safe.  You know I can’t lose you too.”

“I know, dad.”

“Now, go to bed.”

With that he kissed her forehead and turned her in the direction of her bedroom.

It took Tessa awhile to fall asleep.  Tonight’s burglary had been more than the typical prank their little town occasionally experienced.  The conversation over the scanner had provided little detail before Tessa impulsively decided to leave the house that evening.  She had walked the several blocks to where the lights of the squad car whirled around on the sign of Missy’s Hair Salon.  Her notebook in hand she had only just begun taking notes when Deputy Lou Erwin discovered her.

A week!  There could be a lot of detail lost in a week off of the scanner.

“Well,” Tessa thought to herself as she finally lay down, “I guess I’ll just have to keep it to some old fashioned sleuthing until the week is out.”

If you would like to read more of Tessa’s adventure click here to find the book on Amazon and I truly thank you for your interest!

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