NaNa contest, too. Duane Harrison.
|He hated the Michaux family. No, hate is not strong enough to describe the feeling he had for the entire family. It started when he was in second grade, beaten out for the part in a Christmas play he desired by Phillipe Michaux, the boy that was quiet and timid, but became outgoing when it was most needed.
As a teenager, he grew to have a crush on Michaux cousins, Patrice and Michelle, both in his class in Schoharie. And both ignored him, not giving him the time of day, not interested in the gawky boy who played basketball. When he returned from college, it was a Michaux, cousin Georgia Ballard, who he tried to date, but gave him a refusal.
He worked his way up through the ranks of the Schoharie County sheriff’s department, he harbored the sustain for them, even going so far as to spend nights in his own car stalking the women throughout the county or parked at the entrance of the family’s compound across the road from Peaceful
“Holler” in a vain attempt at catching them during a criminal offense.
The farmer’s market on state route 30 was busy, typical for a late summer’s Saturday afternoon. He sat in his cruiser across the road and watched as the young couples from Albany and Schenectady come to the country to purchase cheap and fresh vegetables, like butternut squash and potatoes. He knew it was a long shot, since the Michaux were usually at the other markets before he came on duty.
A blue, 1973 Monte Carlo slowed to make the hard right into the Valley Farm’s farm stand. He sat up straighter when he recognized the driver. She married someone from Charlottetown and moved away twenty years earlier, the youngest daughter of the Hollow’s Michaux, but he had seen her frequently back on the weekends. This was the first time he caught Ann-Marie this summer. He turned on the Caprice, raced across the road, and slid to a stop before hitting the rear bumper of a Ford pickup. He found a parking spot next to her car and turned on the lights.
“What do you want?” she screamed into his car.
He ignored her. Exiting, he put on his hat and closed the door. He put on his outdated shades and walked calmly to the driver. He leaned down and smiled.
“Good to see you,” he said. “May I ask why you’re back here?”
“Yes, you may ask,” Ann-Marie started.
“But we don’t need to answer you,” the teenager from the passenger side snarked. He was hushed by his mother. Harrison abruptly stood and thought for a moment of going to her son’s side, but quickly realized that he would have had to deal with shirt-tail relations and friends of the Michaux. He removed his sunglasses and stared a hole into Longfellow.
“You are correct,” Harrison stated. He replaced his glasses and turned around. He returned to his car, removed his hat, and stared out the front.
“What was that about this time?” the teenager asked as the two got out and walked to pick up food for a large celebration on Sunday.
She shrugged. “I don’t know. We’ve always had problems with him. My cousins, my sisters, were all creeped out by his persistent desire to date them. He showed up to the wedding, dressed in his ceremonial uniform, stood in the back of the church, and made your aunts nervous.”
“Seriously, what’s this man’s deal?” Longfellow asked. All she could do was shake her head.
“She knows where the treasure is,” Harrison whispered to himself before leaving the gravel and dirt parking lot. “I know it!”