This is the ninth 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.
21 years ago…
Twins Jeff and Jerry were inseparable threads, woven together by shared laughter, secrets, and adventures. The duo, just 12-years-old, found joy in their frequent bike rides to a nearby train trestle bridge, their sanctuary away from the world.
On a fateful October afternoon, bathed in the warm glow of autumn sunlight, the twins embarked on what was meant to be another one of their escapades. Jeff had just mastered a daring bike stunt, and he was eager to demonstrate it to Jerry, his biggest cheerleader.
As they reached the train trestle bridge, Jeff’s heart throbbed with a mix of excitement and nervousness. With a deep breath, he launched into his stunt, his bike soaring through the air in a breathtaking arc. Jerry watched, his eyes wide with anticipation.
But as Jeff landed, his bike skid on a patch of loose gravel, crashing into Jerry who stood too close to the edge of the trestle. The collision sent Jerry teetering backwards, his arms flailing in a desperate attempt to regain balance. But it was too late. With a horrified gasp, Jerry plummeted into the water below.
Jeff scrambled to the edge, his heart pounding like a freight train in his chest. He screamed for help, his voice echoing hauntingly in the still air. But Jerry never resurfaced. The water remained eerily calm, holding onto its tragic secret.
The traumatic event of Jerry’s death had a profound and lasting impact on Jeff. As he grew into adulthood, he found himself grappling with feelings of guilt and an insatiable curiosity about the fragility of life and the inevitability of death.
His guilt manifested as anger, often directed towards himself but occasionally spilling over onto others around him. The slightest provocation could ignite his temper, leading to heated confrontations. It was as if he was constantly on edge, his mind teetering on the brink of an emotional precipice.
The Treeville Police Department was carefully examining the evidence collected from the Turtle Pond crime scene. The discovery within the wrapped corpse proved to be unexpectedly intriguing. The seemingly innocuous table cloth enveloping the deceased concealed a surprising weight, ultimately revealed to be a bowling ball. Adding to the mystery, the bowling ball bore an engraving: “Bob’s Bomber.” The plot thickened further as the table cloth, adorned with The Steak Place logo, hinted at a connection to the crime. It doesn’t require an expert in rocket science or forensics to deduce that the prime suspect in this murder case is likely Bob Hughes, a co-owner of The Steak Place. Despite the general knowledge that his wife, Taylor, and her sister, Marsha, were the primary contributors to the business, the evidence pointed squarely in Bob’s direction.
Given the close association between Bob and Marsha’s husband Jeff, it was only a logical conclusion that they should also list Jeff as a suspect. The two men had been inseparable lately, seemingly thick as thieves. The unfolding investigation now cast a wider net of suspicion, suggesting a potential connection between Jeff and the peculiar circumstances surrounding the crime.
The Treeville Police are already leaning towards the belief that the discovered body is that of Marco, a person recently reported missing by Marsha and Taylor. The ease with which the evidence points to Bob raises suspicions. Could someone be intentionally framing Bob? The presence of a body wrapped with a bowling ball bearing Bob’s name adds an extra layer of perplexity. What could be the motive behind Marco’s murder, and is The Steak Place the actual crime scene?
Following their cooperation with the police, allowing them access to the restaurant, which is now a focal point of the investigation, the sisters plan to proceed to the coroner’s office to formally identify the body. The unfolding events raise more questions than answers, prompting a deeper exploration of the motives and connections surrounding Marco’s mysterious demise.
With a sly grin, Jeff boards a bus in a nearby town, his duffle bag bulging with cash from a successful bet on the Spitaliers’ game. Surprisingly, he marvels at how effortlessly he’s managed to slip out of town. Fully aware that the Treeville Police Department considers him a suspect, Jeff anticipates a delayed realization on their part as he travels towards another state.
Unbeknownst to Jeff, a solitary figure who witnessed him and Bob transporting the body to Bob’s truck is discreetly tailing him. In a pivotal moment, she’s on the phone with the Treeville Police Department, providing precise details about Jeff’s whereabouts. The unfolding chase adds a new layer of suspense to the investigation, as the police work against time to piece together the puzzle and apprehend Jeff before he slips away for good.
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