Picture Perfect 79
As the picture of him with Timmy faded to montage of the other missing child there was a gentle guitar with an equally gentle fiddle mixed in with it by the last child. A song started ‘I never knew him
he was long gone/before I came along/they were all long/before I came along.’ The song faded out to him sitting on the front steps of the Wickham Arms.
“This is where that photograph was taken. Timmy sat right here beside me.” The camera moved to the empty space beside him, after a moment a ghostly image of Timothy Dunlop appeared sitting there.
“Holy shit!” Dan said to Peter. “That gave me goose bumps. I didn’t know they were going to do stuff like this. I like the show even more now!”
The image faded away and Dan on TV continued. “Before I tell you what we’re doing let’s go back to the Canada Cold episode where I saw this image.”
The screen faded & the episode of Canada Cold began.
He pressed the record button on the remote & turned the TV off.
“You not interested?” Peter said.
“I’ve seen it.” Dan laughed lightly.
“Well, I haven’t.” Peter turned the TV back on and put the remote behind his back.
“I had a repeat of something else in mind.” Dan kissed Peter & tried to get at the remote.
“No, you don’t.” Peter tried to squirm away.
“No, you don’t, SIR.” Dan forced the arm Peter was holding the remote from behind his back.
“Sorry, sir.” Peter relinquished the remote.
“That’s more like it.” Holding Peter’s gaze Dan realized his feelings for Peter were more than fuck buddy friendly. The young man wasn’t just a convenient house sitter but someone he looked forward to being with when he was in Toronto.
“Would you like to live here?”
“I am now, aren’t I.”
“I mean not as a house-sitter but as …”
“Your boyfriend!” Peter stood up wide-eyed. “I … I’d have to talk it over with my dad. He counts me, you know. Are you serious? I was, well, I was sure this was just …uh … something fun for a couple of months.”
“So did I but …”
“Okay. I’ll do it. Wait …” He sat again. “Are you trying to distract from the TV?”
“No!” Dan turned the TV back on.
“Sir. I don’t think I can concentrate on it anymore. I’m going to take a cold shower.”
“I’ll join you.”
After their shower Dan went to the TV & zipped through the Canada cCold broadcast to the credits at the end to see who was mentioned in them. He was disappointed not to see Jackson Meade acknowledged but there was thanks to The Atlantic Sentinel for their assistance.
When ‘I never knew him he was long gone’ started up again Dan almost turned the TV but Kevin McLeod’s face loomed at the camera.
“Stayed tuned at 9 for our live broadcast & to find out how Sally Sewell & yours truly wrote ‘Long Gone’ which not only won a Juno & a Grammy & is now the theme for Maritime Mysteries.”
“It’s almost 9! We have to see this, sir.” Peter said. “Please.”
“Kevin McLeod! Well, I’ll be.” Dan said.
“You know Kevin?”
“I worked on a couple of his videos. Post production stuff mostly. Some green screen. We almost did his wedding shoot at Pride this past summer but his label insisted on some big name rock photographer.”
“You sound more relieved than disappointed.”
“Let’s just say I’m not the Pride type. Too much hype & not enough shade.” Dan turned the pvr off & switched back to the actual broadcast.
‘Behind the Mystery’ flickered across the screen ‘with John Kilpatrick’ underneath it.
“John Kilpatrick here live at Cora’s Place in Stellerton, Nova Scotia with Kevin McLeod & Sally Swell.”
John was sitting at a table, over his shoulder was Kevin & Sally on stage performing ‘Long Gone.’ Kevin playing an acoustic guitar & Sally a fiddle accompanied by a guy tapping a sort of handheld drum.
“What’s he playing?” Peter asked.
Dan consulted his phone. “I think it’s called a bodhram.”
“Thank you, sir.”
When they finished the song Kevin & Sally put their instruments down & came over the table to join John.
“First let me congratulate both of you on your Juno & Grammy wins.”
“Thanks John.” Kevin said. “It’s always great to get that sort of recognition. Just don’t call me this generation’s Bryan Adams.”
“Truly.” Sally said. “I’m definitely not the reincarnation of Anne Murray either. For one thing she’s still alive. Right?”
“You should know, Sally. You lured her back into the studio for a duet on your album.” John said holding up the CD case of the album. “So tell me how did you two come to write this song about David McPherson?”
“I was looking to do something outside of my usual hard rock box.” Kevin said. “I knew Sally was doing an lp of duets & I thought it was time to get back to my Celtic roots.’”
“I had the idea for the song last year. Before I knew anything about the cold case show.” Sally explained. “David was a decade before I was born so I didn’t really know much about him other than he sort of disappeared one day. My Gran used to scare us into being good & staying close to the house by warning us about how this kid went out to play one day & never came back.”
“Did she say what happened to him?” John asked.
“No. As I got older I didn’t really believe her, you know, I thought it was just some made up ghost story to keep us kids quiet. Once when I teased her about making it up she did say something about the Snake Man would get my tongue.”
“Snake Man!” Kevin laughed. “You never told me that when we were working on the song.”
“Did you know anything about David McPherson when you were still living on the east coast?” John asked.
“Not really. I was so wrapped up with being queer that I didn’t pay any attention to the news.”
Dan grabbed his note pad & scribbled down ‘snake man.’ As he wrote it got goosebumps.
“Something important?” Peter asked.
“I’m not sure. I just hope John has enough sense to follow up on snake man.”
When he saw that the interview was about their up-coming tour he became impatient.
“I think it’s time for you to treat us to another number.” John said.
As the camera followed them to the stage Dan saw that Stephanie Carter was at one of the tables. He got his Quintex phone & texted her. “We must talk. ASAP.”
A few moments later she replied. “Can’t it wait until this is over?”
“No! Get John to follow up on snake man.”
He saw her go over the table & kneel beside John who shook his head.
“He says to tell that asshole this is his interview.”
The song was over. Stephanie stood & walked over to Sally. The cell Dan was holding buzzed.
“Hello.” He answered.
On the screen Stephanie was handing her phone to Sally.
“There’s an important call for you Sally.”
Sally looked confused for a moment & took the phone.
“If you want this to go live on air press star three times.” Stephanie said.
She did. “Hello? Sally Sewell here.”
“Hi Sally this is Dan James chief investigator for Maritime Mystery.”
“Sorry to interrupt like this but something you said might be of some importance to the case. What can you tell us about snake man?”
“The snake man?” Sally gave a nervous laugh. “As best as I remember there was this old creepy guy who came around various farms to buy rabbits, piglets & the like to feed his snakes?”
“His snakes?” Dan asked.
“There was some snake museum for the tourists I guess & the snakes liked live … Oh God this sounds horrible. I never gave it much thought.”
“Thanks, Sally, You’ve told me enough, our team can take it from there. Back to you John.” He clicked his phone off.