Picture Perfect 93

Picture Perfect 93

Dan and Cameron walked along the dirt shoulder of the highway.

“How does it feel to be a target?” Cameron asked.

“Target?”

“I’m the one who asks. I’m in frame?” Dan joked.

“Oh yes. The gyro stabilizes things pretty good. I don’t even have to be looking at you or through the camera lens.”

“Cameron stop! You know who you’re talking to?”

“Oh right I kept forgetting you’re the major camera man in Canada.”

“Let’s just say I do know the equipment end of things”

“You also know how to evade a simple question.”

“Which was?”

“How does it feel to be a target?”

“I don’t really feel like a target.”

“If two attempts had been made on my life in the last week I’d be worried.”

“Speculation isn’t productive. Any of us could be …”

“Bull. You know that’s bull.”

“The car was a fluke.”

“The way I see it is if you had got back to the Amethyst on time you would have been in your cabin when the bomb went off.”

“What! The prank call was to get me out so they could plant an incendiary that would go off when I returned after realizing I had been pranked? That kind of timing is … pretty neigh impossible.”

“Yeah. But it’s pretty coincidental all the same. The way I look at you’ve been targeted at four time since this production started.”

“Four!”

“First when Back-to-you John Kilpatrick went for you. Man he was some pissed at being passed over this season of Cold Canada. Second when you got raided in Moncton and nearly got sent up river. Those guys in that division were none to pleased with you. Even less pleased when your bud Warszawa showed up to kick their sloppy asses.”

“I don’t think that quite how it went down when Warszawa showed up.”

“Surely you must have sensed some … tension.”

“Right but they had every reason …”

“Right, you’ve been on their side of the story. Isn’t that how you ended up leaving the forces – targeted by some homophobic asshole?”

“That has nothing to do with this situation!”

“Whatever you say. Then the car you we’re supposed to be driving, rolls killing two. Now your motel room blows up when you were expected to be in it.”

“Are you trying to make me more paranoid than I am already.”

“Sometimes the fly doesn’t know its in a web until its too late.”

“Thanks for pointing that out to me.” Targeted! Maybe there was something to that when he added Sanjay looking for something from him. Plus his sister wanting to get the business out from under him. Typical investigator thinking – everyone is a suspect.

An RCMP cruiser pulled up beside them.

“Hop in.” It was Sergeant Coster. “I’ve been called back to keep and ye on you. Don’t you know its illegal to walk on the Trans Canada.”

Dan got into the front seat. Cameron got into the back.

“Turn your camera off please.” she said. “I have my dashboard on & that’s enough camera for me.”

“We were heading for Amethyst  to see what progress was going on. No one here knows what’s up.” Dan said.

“A Fire Marshal is there as well some tech from the Arson Unit out of Division 23. It’ll take two days to process the scene. Then your people can get their stuff from the rooms.”

“The vehicles?” Cameron asked.

“Your remote unit is free to go. The explosions were started by the same substance. No trace of it was found in or on any of the vehicles, other than the two parked closest to the sites. That was residue but we have to make sure.”

“I guess that’s good news.” Cameron said.

She pulled into the Amethyst parking lot. The smell of smoke was still strong in the air. Dan put his Lifend around his neck and set it for every three seconds, continual.

He surveyed the damage in the room they had set up at a mini-war room. The ceiling was torn out, walls caved outward, charred papers were being scattered by the breeze. Outward meant the explosion was from inside the room.

He went down to his cabin. The damage wasn’t as severe. A photographer from the fire marshal’s department was taking pictures in the room. From the singe pattern Dan could tell that the fire had started at the head of his bed. Possibly something under the pillow. Whatever it was it wasn’t as powerful as what destroyed the other room.

“Who ever did this,” the photographer said, “wanted you to suffer.”

“Sounds like my ex.” Cameron said. “She never did things slowly that would hurt. She didn’t want the hurt to end until she had enjoyed it.”

“You think who ever did this was here when it ignited?” Dan asked.

“No comment.” Coster said. “‘It’s all very curious’ is my official statement. The convenient text messages make it clear that someone was keeping their eyes on you. You are the target for some reason.”

“That’s been pointed out to me already.” He caught Cameron’s eye. “Me and this investigation. This sure isn’t what I signed on for.”

“None of us signed on for this.” Cameron said. “I have good mind to put in for danger pay. I should speak to the union about that. The more dangerous a stunt the higher the pay rate.”

“This was no stunt.” Coster said. “This person meant business and I doubt if they’re going to give up.”

“What if we shut down the production? This is all just an attempt to do that. They aren’t out to get me, personally. They could have just as easily picked Baxter or my camera man?”

“Hey leave me out of this.”

“What’s this?” Fire department photographer waved a couple of the investigators into the room. They came out ten minutes later with a scorched carry on.

“Holy shit!” Dan said. “That’s my carry on!” He’d completely forgotten that was fire resistant. 

“You say this is yours?” The Fire Marshall asked.

“Yes. Daniel James.” He shook hands with the Fire Marshall. “This was my room. The fire was underway when we got back.”

“From where?”

“Chick Frick.”

“It was around 11?” The Fire Marshall asked.

“Yes.” Cameron man said. 

“The Chick Frick north of here?”

“About ten minutes.”

“They’re only open that late of Friday and Saturday. Most other days they close by 7.  Many a time I’ve cursed them when I couldn’t get there before closing. The wife likes her fried chicken.” The Marshall said.

“They were just locking up when we got there. I flashed a couple of twenties and they let me in.” Dan explained.

“They?”

“It was just a girl. Teenager I’d say. She was nice enough to sell us what chicken & fries was left.”

“Conveniently this happened while you were gone.” The Marshall said.

“We went there because of the text messages I got.” Dan said. “You know about that? One of the RCMP officers confiscated my phone last night to find out where they came from.”

“Cell phone?” Coster asked. “First I’ve heard of that. Who did you give it to?”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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