Chapter 8: Reluctant Restaurateurs and Lake Side Law Enforcement – The Unplanned Takeovers (Audio and Video)

This is the eighth chapter in our fictitious story called Secrets Under The Sizzle set in Treeville Ohio. Did you miss the previous chapters? You can find them here.

Six years ago, sisters Marsha and Taylor unexpectedly became restaurant owners. As children, they had spent hours in the kitchen, helping clear tables, sweep floors, and perform simple tasks under the watchful eye of their father. He was a kind but firm boss, and the girls have many cherished memories from this period. Their father was a huge Billy Joel fan, particularly fond of “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”. Marsha and Taylor had their own favorites and would often hum or sing “That’s amore” as they worked.

However, when their father Paul’s health began to deteriorate, they made the difficult decision to move him into a dementia-specialized retirement facility. Unable to care for him any longer, this choice was far from easy. His memory was fading, he was growing increasingly irritable, even asking them, “Why are you here?”

Over time, the sisters began to make modifications to the restaurant. Some were necessary, and to their surprise, their husbands were instrumental in implementing these changes, particularly the floor renovation.

Marsha and Taylor’s favorite addition was a stained-glass window featuring a peacock design, crafted by a local artist Melody Moran. Growing up, they frequently saw peacocks in the holler, and the calming blues and greens of the window brought them comfort during stressful days and concerns about their husbands.

One day, while shopping for fresh produce, Marsha remarked, “Jeff and Bob are really putting their backs into the new floor. We woke up one morning, and it was done.” Taylor responded with a sigh, “Well, at least they’re finally doing something constructive.”

In a bid to lighten the mood, Marsha suggested, “Let’s do something fun. They’re showing Moonstruck at the Treeville Theatre tonight. Let’s go!” Taylor agreed enthusiastically, “That sounds great! I love that movie!” Marsha added that they were playing it because of the full moon – “la bella luna!”. And so, the sisters left the store, arm in arm, singing “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!”.

Back to the day the body popped up on Turtle Pond…

As Bob was browsing through Facebook, a horrifying news headline suddenly caught his eye: “Body found floating on Turtle Lake!” This report was delivered by Ellen of Treeville News, who was broadcasting directly from the unsettling scene of the discovery. Details were scanty, as the local police were keeping tight-lipped about the incident. There was no word yet on the identity. But some people in town already knew.

Without wasting a moment, he dialed Jeff in a state of alarm. “Have you watched the news?” Jeff replied, “Relax, Bob. There’s no way they can trace this back to us.” But Bob countered, “There are countless ways this could lead back to us.” Jeff dismissed his fears, saying, “You always blow things out of proportion. Everything will be fine.” Bob quickly ended the conversation, “I’ve got to go, Taylor’s approaching.” Jeff hung up and proceeded with packing, deciding not to mention this development to Bob. He had no desire to stick around and find out if his reassurances were misguided.

The local authorities had descended upon Turtle Lake. The Treeville Police Department, not typically staffed for such large-scale incidents, had mobilized every available officer. They were meticulously scouring the banks, and one officer was even perched in a willow tree overlooking the pond.

A wave of unease washed over Penelope as she watched the scene unfold with rapt attention. She held one of her French Lop rabbits, Flopsy, close to her, caressing its soft fur in the manner of a cat. An officer approached her, probing, “Have you observed anything unusual around the lake recently?”

She responded that a few days prior, she had noticed the rowboat hadn’t been secured in her usual manner. At the time, it seemed trivial and she hadn’t given it much thought. However, with the police now suggesting that someone may have used her boat to discard the body, this minor deviation suddenly carried weight. The police officer found himself considering the possibility of Penelope’s involvement. It was a suspicion that certainly warranted further scrutiny.

Several officers had commandeered Penelope’s rowboat, while a pair of divers plunged into the lake’s depths. The body, shrouded in some sort of fabric, lay in the rowboat, adding an eerie silence to the already tense scene.

Stay tuned to see how this narrative evolves. As more evidence emerges from the scene, the intrigue only deepens. The progression of the investigation will be fascinating as we watch who becomes the focus of police attention as a potential suspect. It’s even possible that multiple individuals were involved in this incident.

To be continued…

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Julie D'Aloiso
Julie D'Aloiso
Owner of SpiderCat Marketing, Station Manager at NEO Community Radio, and content manager for NordoniaHills.News

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