What did they find hidden in the Dumpster?

More chapters from ToxiCity

A VG Serial: ToxiCity

Episode 46

She swayed a little from side to side.

“I told Doyle it was my fault. That you shouldn’t be held accountable for my mistake. I knew I was breaking the rules. But he wouldn’t change his mind. So I fucked up your life instead. It’s my fault. Again.”

“Again? What does that mean, again?”

He didn’t answer.

“You mean when you knocked up your shiksa girlfriend in high school?”

He flinched.

No.” Her voice was suddenly clear and distinct. “This is different, Matt.”

He looked up.

A tear trickled down her cheek, leaving a tiny serpentine path in its wake. “You’re all grown up now.”

He looked at her.

“Christ, Matt, what are we going to do?” She opened her arms.

He stepped into them. He didn’t have a clue.

 ***

It had been a week since Planning and Zoning gave the project a green light, and Phillips told Stone he wanted the SGF site patrolled daily. No one wanted any more trouble, even though construction wouldn’t begin until the board approved the plan. If it did.

As he drove by, Stone noticed the RV was gone. So was the heavy construction equipment. Except for the industrial sized green dumpster at the edge of the site, the empty field, now leveled, was as gray and desolate as the sky above it. Stone drove east to Starbucks and ordered a large coffee. He was just pulling out when his radio crackled.

“Star 487, this is Dispatch. Please proceed to Waukegan and Willow and meet with the watch commander. Now.”

Stone heard the urgency in the dispatcher’s voice. He was Four-eighty seven, and Waukegan and Willow was the SGF site. He made a U-turn.

It had been less than five minutes since he’d passed by, but two cruisers and a paramedic van had pulled up. A couple of figures were headed towards the dumpster. A chill edged up Stone’s spine. He parked on the gravel and jogged across the field, skirting tiny clumps of dried prairie weeds that the earthmover had missed.

His watch commander was on a ladder peering into the bed of the dumpster, which stood eight feet off the ground. The commander poked a stick through the debris. From his angle, Stone saw only a rusty barrel, a thorny mass of bare branches, and a heap of straw-like reeds.

“Phil,” Stone called. “What is it?”

The commander looked down and motioned Stone up the ladder.

“There.” He pointed his stick. Stone squinted. Through the trash, he saw a patch of red. The watch commander moved the stick to the left. Stone followed the line of sight. The red patch was the arm of a jacket, and it was attached to a body.

Episodes in the novel will be published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Please click the following title,ToxiCity, to read more about Libby Fischer Hellman’s books on Amazon.

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