Week II
The Unpredictable Disappearance

In love it may be dangerous / to reckon on time to count

on it time’s here and then / it’s gone I’m not thinking

of death or disaster but of / the slippage the unpredictable

disappearance of days on which / we were depending for happiness.

James Laughlin, Elusive Time,

Note: Players are welcome to add anything I overlooked, edit anything I got wrong – especially Hank and Billy’s conversation on the street outside Brewer’s Pub, the details of which I simply cannot recall.

Jackson Bennett

Jackson steadies Deputy Jimmy Masters as they head for the front door of the station, stopping only briefly so Masters can set the phones to ring over to the state police after they leave. “Take the cruiser on the left,” Masters tells Jackson shakily. “You can even use the lights all the way to the hospital if you want.” The deputy slumps into the passenger seat, half-dazed with pain and shock as Jackson peels out, the sirens blaring and lights flashing on the roof.

The rain is still steady as he speeds towards the Whitman County Hospital and Medical Center. Flooded roads and downed trees force Jackson to back-track some and take side roads; he’s so intent on getting the injured deputy to medical care, he barely registers the occasional police chatter he hears on the radio. There’s something about a reported death at some place on Cedar Street.

The parking lot of the hospital is crowded, and he follows an ambulance into the dedicated emergency room bay. When the hospital staff there see him help in the stumbling deputy, they rush to Jimmy’s assistance – and at first, don’t even notice who it brought him in. But Jackson can almost sense when someone does recognize him, and the sideways glances – even glares – make him uncomfortable. Once he is sure that Jimmy has been taken back and is being taken care of, Jackson turns and heads back out to the patrol car, which he pulls into one corner of the busy parking lot and tries to decide what to do.

Week 1: Hank Brewer
The Stranger and the Storm

Rough wind, that moanest loud / Grief too sad for song; / Wild wind, when sullen cloud / Knells all the night long;

Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Dirge

By midnight on this Thursday night, the only patrons left in Brewer’s Pub are those who didn’t want to go out into the storm raging outside. It’s the strongest spring thunderstorm yet year. Hank Brewer’s mind briefly wonders whether Mayor Robertson is any futher along in the new flood control plan. Probably not.

“Another one,” Tom Willis says, pushing his shot glass towards you. He’s been showing up a lot since Peggy was buried last week. As if getting drunk might help him understand how Jackson Bennett killed his wife.

Part of Hank wants to offer the guy a mug of coffee instead of another belt of Maker’s Mark, but it’s difficult to find the words. Never lost anyone since his grandma on the Brewer side passed back in ‘93. Losing someone who had one foot in the grave, and ready to put the second in, ain’t like losing a wife to a drunk asshole. So, while Hank wants to say something weak like ‘you want to talk about it,’ or ‘Peggy was a good woman,’ he says, “Here you go, Tom,” instead.

Then, just to keep his mouth going in the right direction, “Awful storm for this time of year, huh?”

Week I: Mark Andrews

There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House, / As lately as Today-

Emily Dickinson

Mark half-registers the lightning in his dreams, but the thunder snaps him awake. He blinks in the dark room, the only light from the two flatscreen monitors on the desk in the corner. As he sits up, part of his mind wonders, was it the thunder that woke him, or something else?

The dog lifts its head and looks at him, and Mark can hear the low whine in the back of his throat.

“Watsamatter, boy? Thunder botherin’ you?” Mark lifts his head from his pillow, trying to focus bleary eyes on his beagle, Manny.

Week I: Jackson Bennett
A Demon In My View

From the lightning in the sky / As it pass’d me flying by- / From the thunder, and the storm- / and the cloud that took the form / (When the rest of Heaven was blue) / Of a demon in my view-

Edgar Allan Poe, ’’Alone’‘

Jackson Bennett jerks awake, disoriented by a flash of light. The thunder that follows helps him focus – he’s still in jail, and a spring storm is raging outside. He sits up and blinks. The lights are turned down in the cell area—it must be past midnight. His stomach rumbles, and he wonders whether breakfast will be better than the Dinty Moore that he had for dinner.

Across the aisle, someone stirs in the cell acros from him, sits up, lets the blanket fall to the floor. Jackson can’t see his face, but the shadowed outline of the body tells him the other man is big. He hadn’t been there when Jackson went to sleep.

Week I: Billy Corson
Perhaps the World Ends Here

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

Joy Harjo, Perhaps the World Ends Here

He wakes up to the sound of thunder outside his bedroom window. Lightning flashes across the glass, brightening the room. He rolls over and looks at the clock – it’s midnight and the storm is in full swing, a spring barn-shaker. He wonders briefly if he should worry about the shingles – were any loose?


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