Before Agent Cloud Beaudry can close the book on the Slave Quarter case, there’s one last objective, which brings him to the scenic city of Savannah, Georgia. You see…Cloud is one of those rare individuals who takes his vows very seriously. Even if it was a promise made to a ghost.
The Slave Quarters
Chapter 22 – Back to Work
By Rock Kitaro
The coastal city of Savannah should be called the City of Spanish moss. There are giant oak trees at every turn and the aged moss hangs like garland throughout the year. It’s the oldest city in Georgia, a history replete with tales of the Civil War, colonial pirates, and remnants of the grand Old South.
Its college town atmosphere reminds me of Athens, except it has more character reminiscent of antebellum class and sophistication. Horse-drawn carriages are one of the key stables for tourism. The many churches, statues, monuments, and Victorian age street lights…it makes the city a time capsule by which one could escape from the modern world. Liberal Arts is huge in the area. Even on a crisp Thursday afternoon, one could hear a distinct cello or some classical string arrangement carrying with the wind.
It’s not my first time to Savannah. To date, I’ve solved three cases here. The last one involved the disappearance of a teacher who was so fascinated with the pirate folklore that she managed to get herself trapped in an old dungeon. By the time I found her, the rats had stripped her to the bone. The graphic image has scarred my mind and ever since, I’ve dreaded the idea of coming back. Between Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans…the ghosts really are the worst.
Thankfully, I’m not here on official business. I moseyed on down after stopping by Augusta to testify at Det. Griffin’s Internal Affairs hearing. It’s been one whole week since I helped solve the Slave Quarter mystery. Det. Griffin was still a mess but my guilt no longer held me down. Griffin will probably spend the next three years in and out of the psych ward. And here I am indulging on a decadent dish of shrimp and grits at a highly recommended kitchen near Hutchinson Island.
It’s a satisfying meal. My belly is full and my schedule is clear for the rest of the afternoon. So as per usual, I seek out aesthetic beauty in the form of quaint scenic parks where I’m least likely to find horrible humans beings. Notice how I said “horrible”. I don’t mind the company of other humans so long as they’re good and decent. It’s been my experience that horrible human beings don’t bask in nature’s glory. If they do, it’s rare and brief.
The golden sun glistens through the browning crowns of Reynolds Square. The blue jays and robins are tweeting their lovely tunes as they bathed in the jade waters of a trickling green fountain. I’m wearing khakis and a cream-colored sweater vest over my shirt and tie. The cool breeze and a soothing scent of jasmine makes me feel lighter than a feather.
Indie Rock plays in my earbuds as I stroll the park on a grass stained walkway of maroon colored bricks. My mood is so chill, so cool. That rare sensation of “be free” enters my bloodstream causing my hands to wave along with the groove of the guitar. My shoulders bounce along with the beat. I don’t care who sees me, it’s all good. It’s all gravy. Dog walkers and joggers smile as they pass by. Single mothers are checking me out. I smile and nod to everyone. These are good people. It’s a good day.
I should be heading back to Atlanta. I have to work in the morning. Apparently Jessica and Leanne picked up a gangland murder that threatens to break the stability of Atlanta’s most prominent mob family. It wasn’t my case, and yet, for some stupid reason I feel responsible for those women. Call me chauvinistic if you want, I don’t care. They are my women and I protect my women. Yes, it’s this old-fashion obligation that compels to make one final stop before getting back on I-16. When a man makes a promise, he follows through. It’s just one of those things.
So here I go.