Picture Perfect 113
At the car rental Dan hesitated but accepted the car reserved for him. To swap it for another random car would be giving in to his paranoia. He stopped at the Regent to check in long enough to leave a message for Mr. Moxham that he’d see him at the banquet Sunday.
At his check in at the Waterside he explained to George he was using a pseudonym to stay avoid press. He figured it would a couple of hours before anyone would be looking for him. In his cabin he finally relaxed. When was the last time no one knew where he was?
On his personal phone he texted Peter. “Landed. Hidden in plain view.”
He turned off his phones. He wet a face cloth, put the drops in his eyes, covered them & fell asleep. He woke once & undressed & went back to sleep. In the morning he stepped out of the cabin & saw that the parking lot was full. At the far end he spotted what he though was the war room remote. Not that he expected QTel to put the crew in the Regent. He got dressed & went over the Waterside breakfast diner. On his way over his show phone rang. It was Jeremy.
“Where are you?” Jeremy said.
“I stuck to my original plan to save you the embarrassment.”
“I’m sure you’ll be more comfortable with Della on your arm this weekend. I’m not going to hover in back ground like …. a body guard.”
“I didn’t plan to have that happened. Honestly.”
“I believe that.”
“Come back to the Regent? The suite is paid for.”
“I know. Peter will be joining me here too.”
“Then we won’t be spending any time together at all?”
“You know my shoot schedule. No one will stop the executive producer from dropping by.”
“Look, I’m sorry about Della. Maybe we can have breakfast tomorrow morning.”
“Uh … okay. Bye.” Dan could tell by Jeremy’s tone of voice that he wasn’t used to people saying ‘no.’
He went into the diner. He joined Stephanie & Cameron who where already there.
“Dan!” Stephanie said. “I didn’t think they’d stick out out here in the sticks with us lowly crew.”
“They didn’t but I wanted to avoid the celebrity mash in town. I’m not ready for that nor do I ever want to be.” He opened his business phone. “My shooting schedule is pretty vague. What are we expected to do at the Capitol Theatre?”
“Press conference.” Stephanie said. “It’s time for us, or rather you & Jennifer to be the ones questioned. We’ve been flooded with endless requests for more information, in particular from our investigative crew.”
“Endless requests?” Dan gave a little laugh. “Do you know if any press will actually show up?”
To his mild surprise there was about sixty people seated near the front of the stage for the press conference. Curtis introduced Dan & the Cold East crew before showing a new fifteen minute clip that QTel would be using as a promo of the show. Much like the other there were brief looks at the interviews, the cases. It ended with footage of the Amethyst Court explosion. Postcards of the picture of Dan & Timmy were passed out to the audience. under the faces of the boys was printed “Have You Seen These Children” on the back was the date of the first episode.
Curtis passed the microphone to Dan.
“Good morning or is it good afternoon? It’s easy to lose track of time, though thanks to this digital age we have a recording of this to look to if we need it. When these children were abducted there was little or no trace of what happened. No one with cell cameras or security footage.
“We’ve been painstakingly putting together information, clues, from local press coverage at time, from family recollections while tying them into local events at the time to find connections that were never made.”
“Thank you Dan” Curtis took the microphone back.”Now you were invited to bring photographs or objects for our two investigators to look at. Dan will look at photographs & our psychic Jennifer Devereaux will attempt some on the spot readings.”
After the first couple of audience members had been dealt with Dan scanned the audience for more hands. “This’ll have to be our last one. Ah, Stacy Molefski.” He remembered her from the Amethyst explosion.
She came up on the stage with a photo album, put on the table & opened to to a specific page.
Dan studied for a minute. “You didn’t like wearing your sister’s hand-me-downs, did you?”
“Is that so apparent?”
He motioned for one of the camera operators to get a shot of the photo so the audience could see the picture of two girls leaning against the car.
“The t-shirt you are wearing is, I’d say, three years after JimJim was on the charts. Your sister was a fan & when she was tired of him you ended up with the t-shirt.”
He passed the album to Jennifer. She held it briefly, put it down & held her hands over it.
“Is that the car she died in?” Jennifer asked.
Stacy gasped. “No.” She flipped the pages of the album, “It was this one.”
She went back to her seat.
“Before we wrap up are they are any questions” Curtis asked.
“Do you have any suspects?” Someone asked.
“No, but, as you know, the RCMP has created its own task force to further investigate what we have uncovered. If there are suspects it will be up to them to release that information.” Dan said. “The show follows our search not …”
“Will you show give credit to the person responsible for first bringing these cases to light?” A voice asked from the furthest edge of the audience.
“I’m not sure who you are referring to?” Dan said. “As I explained it was first brought to my attention by the Cold Canada show.”
“If you mean Jackson Meade.” Stephanie took over. “The journalist who sent the tip to us. There will an interview with him in the series.”
“Howe generous of you but I was referring to person behind getting that episode on the air.”
“You mean me?” Curtis said. “Rest assured Baxter’s Bits will be listed the credits.”
“But of course.” The voice mocked.
Dan recognized the voice.
“Let’s welcome John Kilpatrick to the stage.”
The figure that stepped into the light was John Kilpatrick.
“That doesn’t answer my question Mr. James.”
“Maybe not but the question on everyone’s lips these days is your new QTel series. Carnival Canada I think it’s called?”
Kilpatrick came onto the stage.
“Ah …yes it is.”
“We have come to the end our presentation so I’ll leave this captive audience in your capable hands Mr. Kilpatrick.”
As he left the stage Dan resisted the temptation to say “Back to you, John.”
But as they were going up the aisle Curtis turned back to say “Back to you, John.”