The phone rang several times and went to voice mail and he heard her say, “You have reached Detective Kelsey Lawson. If this is an emergency please call 911, otherwise leave a message.”
Jacob did neither and instead hung up the phone. He left it in his hand and for an instant he thought of calling Rachel and tell her the story of the sheriff, it was the kind of story that she would have found funny in past years, but he thought somehow she wouldn’t find it so amusing now. She probably would have felt used and been pissed that he found it necessary to use the memory of his daughter to bribe a police officer into helping him find a missing girl.
Jacob stopped at the nearest Franklin Foods and went inside. It was like any other hometown grocery store. Produce lined the left wall and fresh and packaged meats along the back wall next to the deli counter. It did, however, have fresh fish monger and a large selection of fresh cut steaks and even a live lobster tank. Old man Franklin sure was catering to a target demographic. Jacob didn’t see too many people in this little town buying lobster but who was he to judge the taste of these people. He literally knew nothing about them.
After making his way around the store he walked up to the skinny girl behind the customer service counter. She had jet black hair and her nose held a tiny silver ring. She couldn’t be more than seventeen and probably knew Haley or even Seth. She wore a black t-shirt that held two cartoons, one side had a man talking to a decomposing corpse in a line of people, the thought bubble above the man said “You wanna move buddy” in the second cartoon the zombie had hold of the mans head and was taking a bite of it, his thought bubble declared “NORGOGHT”. Under the cartoons it said ‘Zombie’s 1, Humans 0, ZOMBIE CRUTCH WORLD TOUR’.
“Do you have a phone book I can borrow?”
“Sure,” she said smacking on her gum. She tossed the thin phonebook onto counter while not looking up from her book, ’Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’, this girl had about as much right working the customer service counter as Gayle the truck stop waitress.
“No prob, just leave it there when your done with it.”
Jacob thumbed through the pages until he got to the F’s and quickly found a couple Franklins. He found the two names with the same address, a Boyd Franklin and one Seth Franklin, looks like Seth has his own phone line. Lucky break, they don’t come often.
An elderly couple entering the store in their Sunday best were more than helpful when Jacob approached them.
“I’m sorry to bother you but I’m not from around here and I’m a little turned around.”
“Oh dear its no bother at all, really,” the old woman said taking Jacob’s hand and patting it ever so slightly.
“I’m looking for an old friend, I think he said he lived on county road four-ten, that make since.”
“Sure, but I don’t know how your going to get there right now, the roads are a little bad.”
“Just because you can’t drive on this stuff doesn’t mean he can’t dear.” The old man said in Jacob’s defense.
“I just meant it depends how far he has to go, I think they closed that one bridge that crosses Wilson Creek. Just make a right out of the parking lot and stay on sixty one until you see the sign. County Road four ten crosses about four miles up the road.”
Jacob lifted her hand and pecked it lightly, making a wet smacking sound. “You have yourself a keeper here, sir,” Jacob said to the old man.
He chuckled and placed his hand on the small of her back guiding her through the sliding doors. Then he turned to Jacob just when she was out of earshot getting a shopping buggy.
“Hey son, it’s a left out of the parking lot, not a right. I didn’t want to correct her. You be safe, the roads are slicker than greased owl shit right now.”
Jacob thanked the man and chuckled, old timers have the funniest expressions.