by Lee Trapper
Death by deer or was it? (Work in Progress)
| Lee Trapper was on my way to have brunch with Rachel, his half brother Will’s wife, when he heard the sirens. Pulling off to the side of the road, he waited for the police car that was on its way. He recognized Will’s patrol car as it flew by. Just as he was about to pull back onto the road a bright yellow F150 pickup truck came tearing past, horn blasting, and almost plowing into the side of his car. If it wasn’t for some fancy driving on both our parts both vehicles would have been toast along with the drivers. Lee furious with such the other person’s reckless driving let fly a rather lengthy string of cuss words. He was used to having to deal with crap like that in Chicago but not since he moved to Kentucky. Bound to confront the other driver he tore off down the road after the jerk in the Ford. A few miles down the road he came upon a group of police cars, lights flashing, and a few nonofficial looking cars parked on the side of the road, including the yellow Ford. He pulled off the road a hundred or so yards from the rest of the collection. Getting out of his car he stepped into a pile of brush and was slapped in the face by branch that scratched my right cheek. Looking at the branch he noticed blue paint on the end of it and others in the area. Slowly he crossed the road and made his way up to the yellow truck but the driver was already amongst the crowd. So with a few minutes to calm down and his own natural curiosity getting the better of him he started looking for Will. He found him trying to hold back the group of onlookers. Lee was used to the El trains in Chicago so he knew how to muscle his way through a crowd. It wasn’t long before he was face to face with Will with only a couple of bruises to show for it.
“Hey bro what’s up with this?” he asked over the din of the crowd. He didn’t notice his brother at first even though he was only inches away. When he did notice Will a large smile broke across his face. His hand shot out to find his brother’s already waiting. It was still new to Lee having a brother, but he was getting used to it quickly. “Someone was killed hunting here this morning. In this size of town the news got out quick.”
“So some one got shot hunting, why is that big of a deal. I am sure it happens every year during hunting season.”
“Well for one thing, it doesn’t happen as often as you think. Most people are pretty cautious about gun safety, but that doesn’t matter. He wasn’t shot; he was killed by a buck deer.”
It was as if someone had switched a stereo off. The crowd had apparently heard of the killing but hadn’t heard how it happened. Most of them must have assumed like me that it was a shooting. Will’s face had turned beat red and you can tell he hadn’t meant to say that that loudly. “Alright now you know. So now you can move along. Go ahead! Get out of here!”
Whether it was his position as a deputy, his beat red face and bulging eyes, or just the fact that most people knew and respected him, but most made there way back to there cars and trucks and headed out. I noticed the big yellow truck was still there. Suddenly, a bright flash coming from their side startled them both. Will had his service .38 half pulled before he saw the camera in the woman’s hands.
“Damn it Sarah! Keep that crap up and you might get shot.” he yelled. For the first time Lee noticed the slender brunette with the camera. Lee’s eyes absorbed every inch of her five foot six inch frame. Her hair was the color of the beach after a good rain, and her eyes were a soulful blue like a clouded sky.
“Sorry Will, but you exerting your authority like that gave me chills. I just had to catch it on film. “She explained with that Kentucky draw Lee was becoming accustomed to.
“Bite me!” Will fumed. Gently Lee nudged this brother’s side and started rolling his eyes toward the girl. “Oh, Sarah this is my brother Lee.” he added with a rueful smile at Lee.
“Absolutely,” Lee jumped into the conversation now. “Larry and Will are my brothers from another Mother.” He smiled and it was Will’s turn to roll his eyes.
“Oh, ha ha,” Sarah said slightly offended that both Will and the tall handsome stranger were making fun of her.
“No he is serious about that.” Will added trying to reassure her of Lee’s truthfulness. “We have the same father, but different mothers.”
“Really, it is the truth. We actually didn’t know it ourselves until a couple months ago. Let me try this again. Hi my name is Lee Trapper and I am Larry and Will’s half brother. And you are either a reporter for the local paper or you have some really weird subject matter for you art.” He said really looking her up and down. Noticing her shoes in particular he added as an after thought. “And if I am not mistaken you should really watch your driving. I am sure when you’re on your way to a story it would be a good idea to get there in one piece.”
“What are you talking about?” She asked with a little uneasiness crossing her face.
“Well, I notice a tiny bit of yellow paint on your shoe from where you got out of you truck. The only yellow vehicle is the yellow truck that almost hit me earlier. So it would make sense that you drove the yellow truck that almost hit me.”
“Sarah, what have told you about driving like that? Every officer on the force has given you a citation, including me.”
“So Will what happened here.” She asked quickly trying to change the subject.
“Well speed demon.” He said with a slight grin. “Jeff Hardin was apparently out hunting this morning with his rifle and a twelve pack. Well he found a deer or should I say a deer found him. His rifle was fired once, but from all the hoof prints around and the shape of the body. It seems the deer got the better of him.”
“I can’t believe that a deer can take out a 6 foot something, two hundred and some pound man.” Lee stated staring at the path ahead.
“I didn’t know you knew Jeff?” Lee asked.
“I didn’t but I can tell by the length of his stride and the depth of the footprint that he was over 6ft and weighed over two hundred.”
“Oh, well that is what the evidence is saying.”
“So what did the other person have to say about it?” Lee asked looking intently at the path ahead of them.
“What other person Jeff was reported to always hunt alone.”
“Well that maybe but according to these foot prints there was two people here. Two sets going up the path and the smaller of the two returning.”
“Well Sherlock then what was the other person like then.”
“That is what the strange thing they were a smaller person maybe 6 or more inches shorter and a hundred pounds lighter, but they are wearing the same shoe. Same size, same tread pattern, so either the other person was wearing shoes that were to large for them or they were a circus clown. I’d bet on the latter.”