Today Harwood would call Pattina. He was sure he would. He decided by the way the rays of sunshine spilled into his room that morning, it was too good of a day to let it go to waste, soon the true Twinbrook autumn would arrive bringing with it its heavy clouds and horrible rains which would for sure affect everyone’s moods pushing them to darkness and depression…
Today he would call. For sure.
But his plans were spoiled again by forces outside his control. This time it was the arrival of his first batch of bills that changed his mood. Good thing about his previous life was that Harwood had Marla, his agent, to take care of all mundane things, like calling the repairman or paying his bills. In fact Harwood never had to really think about such stuff, he had his parents, then Macy and eventually Marla. Looking now at those numbers Harwood realized how little he knew about the actual expenses of life. Truth be told Harwood didn’t have to worry about finances, he had a pretty handsome bank account, people out there were still paying loads for his work.
However when he left Bridgeport Harwood had designated a sum for his lifetime expenses after retirement, he left enough money to buy a home and furnish it, and also a sum he deemed to be enough to live out the rest of his days. Looking at his bills now he realized he had made a mistake. He could of course pull more money from his Bridgeport account but he had big plans for that money… He had carefully organized it between a few Earth preservation charities and also a number of art scholarships for children of all ages. Since recently he had planned to put aside a small amount for TEP, Holly Greenwood’s party. But now…
He figured he could always sell something he made while in Twinbrook but it didn’t feel right… He knew he would make loads of it just by putting his name there, especially coming out of retirement like that but it was the kind of commercialization he was running away from.
The solution, or a beginning of a solution came to Harwood later that evening while he was doing the dishes. He remembered that thing Emerald told him about the other day, something about the police station needing help…. He looked it up online, like always Emerald had attached a link to her message. It was just as she said. The police force was looking for someone to sculpt a suspect based on a witness report. It seemed like an easy job for Harwood. Since coming here he had sculpted mostly inanimate objects but in his past he had worked a lot of human sculptures and was always up to that challenge, besides the pay for that job was very appealing. And maybe Emerald was right…. Maybe the people down at the station would keep his secret…. There was only one way to find out….
And so later that day Harwood headed to the police station. The station was situated on the other end of town, closer to the other island than to Harwood’s so he had to take a cab. He vowed to himself, for the hundredth time or so it seemed, that from the money he got here he would most definitely buy a bike.
Inside the police station wasn’t at all at how Harwood had imagined it. It wasn’t really bustling with life and noise, and possibly dangerous criminals being handcuffed to a table or a chair. Instead he walked in a spacious room occupied by only two men. Both had their backs to him and appeared to be hunched over something.
“I think it is this cable that got fried…” The man wearing a cowboy hat said to the blond one next to him. “If we can just move this here so I can reach it….” He said and hit a mug with his left elbow. The mug fell to the floor and pieces scattered all around the room. The crash made them both turn first to the broken mug and then to Harwood standing near the door. The one with the hat was older, he had a wide face, large ears and a mustache while the blond one was young and fit with dashing blue eyes and a clean shaved face that Harwood guessed made many girls swoon.
They both stared at him, forgetting about whatever they were doing moments before, or the broken mug on the floor. Harwood smiled trying to ease the awkwardness.
“Hello. My name is Harwood Clay.”
“Are you here to report the crime?” The young blond asked straightening up.
“No, no… I saw your add online, you are looking for someone to sculpt a suspect?”
“That is right.” The one with the hat said. “You think you have the skill sir?”
“Yes I do.” Harwood said smiling slightly.
“Well you do have sculptor’s hands.” The one with the hat said gesturing to Harwood’s hands. “My name is Dudley Racket.” He said coming closer and extending his large and strong hand.
“Harwood Clay.” Harwood said smiling and giving him his own hand. The younger man came forward and Harwood noticed that there was something wrong with him, he had been pale and sweating, as he was sick or something.
“Goodwin Goode.” He said smiling but Harwood couldn’t help feeling unease as he shook his hand.
“Well now that we have that out of the way…” Dudley said smiling broadly. “Let’s go and meet the boss.”
He then proceeded to lead Harwood to a separate room with Goodwin following. He knocked at the door and a female voice sounded from within.
“Yes?” The voice asked. “Come in.”
Dudley then opened the door and bowed slightly to the woman seated at the table. She had shoulder-length straight brown hair and piercing dark blue eyes.
“We have a guest here with us.” Dudley said. “He said he can help us with the sculpting thing…”
The woman nodded and got up from her desk.
“Scout Sargeant.” She said when she was up. “Head of Twinbrook PD Vice Unit.”
“Harwood Clay. Retired sculptor.” Harwood said flashing her an amused smile.
“Okay take a seat Harwood.” She said gesturing to an empty chair next to her desk. “I’ll just take some of your information.”
“You guys are free to go.” She said to Dudley and Goodwin. Dudley bowed again and closed the door on the way out. Once they were out Scout focused all her attention to Harwood. “Well Mr. Clay I must say you were the first to volunteer for this great opportunity we have here. You saw the payment we are offering?” Harwood nodded.
“It is a pretty nice sum. We usually really lack in funding.” She said with a sigh. “Which might have been evident to you by the number of our employees… Or the fact that we don’t have our own forensics department… But what can one expect from the likes of Bill Racket in our town council or that our state representative cares more about trees then people… But I am rambling…. Fact is we really need your help. If you are who we are looking for that is.”
“I am sure I am.” Harwood said confidently crossing one leg over the other. There was something appealing about this opportunity after all, and it wasn’t just the money… Maybe Emerald was right and he could contribute to this community. “But please refrain from saying mean things about Mrs. Greenwood. She is quite an extraordinary lady with great ambitions.”
“I am sure she is Mr. Clay but saving Twinbrook is a bigger feet than switching to recycling…. It might not seem like it to you if you are new here but there is a lot of evil here, lurking beneath the surface… And if we don’t stop it… It might destroy this whole community.” Harwood felt a shudder go trough him. Her words were just too ominous to be true…. There was nothing he saw in Twinbrook that indicated Scout’s words had any weight but still what if all Harwood was seeing was just the surface… Who would know more about the vices of Twinbrook then this woman?
“Well I am here to help.” He said and Scout nodded.
“Okay. So you are Harwood Clay, born in…?” She asked turning to her screen and typing some words into her computer.
“Twinbrook.” Harwood said watching amused how one of Scout’s eyebrows twitched upwards and she looked at him in surprise. “Very long time ago.” He said. “And I kind of lost the accent….” He added with a smile. Scout didn’t comment further. She asked him several more questions typing his answers in her computer.
“Thank you Mr. Clay.” She said. “We will be in touch.”
“Thank you officer.” Harwood replied as they shook hands and he was lead outside. Goodwin was gone it was just Dudley out there still trying to fix the broken coffee maker.
“Goodwin wasn’t feeling good boss.” Dudley said to Scout standing at the door. “But don’t you fret, I have everything under control.” Scout just nodded and closed herself back in the office. Harwood said goodbye to Dudley and headed straight home.