The Linux Mysteries – Part Three
- The Linux Mysteries
- The Linux Mysteries – Part Two
- The Linux Mysteries – Part Three
- The Linux Mysteries – Part Four
- The Linux Mysteries – Part Five
- The Linux Mysteries- Part Six
- The Linux Mysteries- Part Seven
- The Linux Mysteries- Part Eight
- The Linux Mysteries- Part Nine
- The Linux Mysteries-Part Ten
- The Linux Mysteries-Part Twelve (pending)
- The Linux Mysteries-Part Eleven
Stuart knew his grandmother was calling out to him immediately. She is the only person who calls him Stuey. He keeps his eyes on the gentleman wearing the sharp pinstriped gray suit. The gentleman pushes his way through the crowd with one hand remaining inside his pocket, holding onto grandma’s key. Stuart turns left and heads down a narrow hallway. Green velvet wallpaper splatters the walls in the hallway. At the end of the hall, gold molding hangs on the wall cut in a rectangular shape like a picture. There must be a door hidden inside this wall.
Stuart looks around to see if there is anyone around. He rubs his hand over the wallpaper between the gold molding — Stuart taps on the wall, and a circle pops through the velvet. Ah, there’s a door behind here, but it requires a key. Of course, it does, nothing is ever simple.
The lights go out, and all Stuart can see is a white glow coming straight at him. A loud, beeping noise occurs. The sound is similar to the beeping noise that happens when a smoke detector goes off. The white light swallows Stuart, and he awakens in his bed covered in sweat. The sweat drips off his forehead and onto his sheets. Then, his body shakes when the noise reoccurs, and he rolls over onto his side. He realizes the sound is coming from his alarm clock.
“It’s five in the morning already,” Stuart speaks out loud.
He slowly swings his legs over the bed, sitting upright and thinking about what he saw. Grandma must have been involved in something. Could she have worked for a private investigator? Or, is it that ‘she was at the wrong place at the wrong time’ kind of deal?
Stuart rubs his eyes and walks towards the bathroom, stopping for a second to gaze out the window. The sun is rising, and the town is coming alive. Stuart takes off his clothes and jumps into the shower. Warm water runs down his back, relieving some of the muscle aches that occur every morning.
Four years ago, Stuart worked as a security guard on the weekends for Buck’s Private Security Firm to earn extra money. He was saving up to buy an engagement ring for his high school sweetheart. Buck, Stuart’s boss, assigned him to guard Hilton Park Bank downtown. During his shift, a six-foot-tall guy wearing a ski mask came in to rob the bank. The robber held the bank manager at gunpoint while she pulled out stacks of cash from the safe. Stuart sneaked behind the counter to taser the robber. He didn’t know the robber had a partner. The robber’s partner shot a bullet across the bank as Stuart got the guy with the ski mask down to the floor. The bullet bounced off a coffee mug and cut through Stuart’s lower back like a scalpel.
Stuart handcuffed the bad guy just before passing out, and no one in the bank was hurt. Even to this day, Buck calls Stuart a hero. The bullet did not harm any organs, but he faces some nerve and muscle damage from the accident. The bullet was surgically removed, but the wound bothers him once in a while.
Stuart turns off the water and sticks his arm out from the shower curtain to reach for a towel hanging on the towel rack next to the bathroom sink. Stuart dries his body and rubs his feet against the mat, and then wraps the towel around his waist. He stares at himself in the mirror, running his finger through his beard. I think it’s time for a shave.
He opens the medicine cabinet and pulls out his blue razor and Barbasol shaving cream. Stuart covers his entire chin in shaving cream and strokes the blade up and down, leaving a small patch of hair below his lower lip.
He splashes cold water on his face, rinsing the shaving cream, and then dries his face. Next, he squirts toothpaste on his toothbrush and scrubs his teeth until they are shining bright. Before he leaves the bathroom, he sprays Old Spice deodorant. He turns off the bathroom fan and opens his closet. He pulls out a navy-blue button shirt and black pants and gets dressed quickly. The smell of coffee creeps upon him as he was walking down the stairs making his way to the kitchen.
“Good morning, Mom.”
“Good morning, honey. How did you sleep?”
“Okay, I guess. I had another dream with grandma in it.”
“She’s revisiting you.”
“Yes, I saw her wearing a dress from the roaring twenties.”
“Grandma told me a story once about dancing in a ballroom.”
“Yeah, can you tell me the story?”
“I don’t remember everything, but grandma used to keep a journal. She probably wrote about that night.”
“Did we take the journal when we were packing up grandma’s belongings?”
“I haven’t found it yet, honey, but we can go to grandma’s house after your shift today.”
“That would be great, Mom. Do you think grandma has photos from that night, too?”
“Most likely, I did pack some of the photo albums from grandma’s armoire.”
Stuart’s mom pours coffee into his travel mug while he goes into the garage and grabs the cardboard box labeled “photo albums.” He places the box on the kitchen table, and his mom looks through the photos while he eats scrambled eggs, sausage, and toast. Stuart usually doesn’t eat breakfast, but he does when he stays at his mother’s house. She won’t let him leave the house without eating first.
“I found a photo of grandma dancing with a man in a suit.”
“Can I see it, Mom?”
Grandma is wearing a dress with fringes in the photo. She is holding hands with a man in a suit. People are dancing in the background and the corner of the photo, and part of a musical instrument can be seen.
“This might be the gentleman in the pinstriped gray suit.”
“I will explain later, Mom. I have to get to the precinct.”
Stuart kisses his mom on the cheek and runs out the front door, placing the photo into his jacket pocket.