The book A Prisoner by No Crime of My Own has been professionally edited and will be published this year. To pique interest, I will share tidbits from the manuscript with you each Tuesday.
Chapter 1 – He Called Him Cholla
They were in love. My Dad and him. Or, at least, he with my father.
Craig was Dad’s best friend. As a child, I knew Craig better than I knew my own mother. Who knew if my Dad ever loved him or my mom, but I know Craig adored my father.
In my fifties, Craig was put into a nursing facility with early signs of dementia. I’d been to see Craig a few years earlier and he told me he was starting to be forgetful, so this came as no surprise. His nephew and wife were given the task of cleaning out his home and preparing it for sale. In his garage, under some heavy clutter and a toolbox, they found a letter. That letter was from me. I’d written to Craig years earlier asking him to help me close the murder case and return the buried woman to her family.
They emailed me and wanted to meet. I agreed. We met for several, long hours. It was difficult for all of us. His nephew bore a strong resemblance to Craig, which made my entire being uneasy. I quivered trying to rid myself of the panic attacks.
His eyes wore the same color as his uncle’s but gave a warm depth of understanding. The light from his uncle’s eye twinkled with delight when he was allowed to love us, as he called it. The only depth in Craig was a bend towards deviance. A few days later, I received a call from his nephew’s wife. She told me they had found a personal photo album that Craig had kept. The contents were a meticulous gathering of everything that mattered most to him. They’d found slews of other albums comprised only of landscape and nature photography, but this album was different. Very different. It held the most important people and moments of Craig’s life – most prominently featuring my father. She told me that she could see their friendship was more than platonic. She was sure I’d find the evidence I needed to recover their secret bond.