The Linux Mysteries- Part Seven
- 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 Eleven
- The Linux Mysteries-Part Twelve
The vibration and chimes from the alarm clock on his cell phone echo into Stuart’s ears and scares him awake from a deep sleep. Stuart uses his arms to push his body up. He leans against the headboard of his bed, rubbing the crusty particles out from the corner of his eyes. His heart ached at the thought of his grandmother being captured by someone many years ago, but the feeling of him losing his grandmother suddenly still linger with him every time he thought about her. Stuart reaches for his glasses on the nightstand and slides them onto this face. He clicks on the weather app on his phone and enters the zip code for New York to check the forecast for the weekend.
“Sunshine and mid-sixties are in the forecast,” Stuart says out loud to himself, and then does a little dance on his way to the closet. He opens the walnut stain double doors of his closet with one hand on his chin, thinking about how he could wear cargo shorts and polo shirts instead of sweaters and bulky coats. He reached for his navy blue suitcase from the top shelf of his closet and set it on the bed. Stuart took two polo shirts, a button-up gray shirt, shorts, and a pair of pants off the hangers. He unzips the suitcase and places the neatly folded clothes inside.
Knock Knock. “Do you need help packing, sweetie,” says Stuart’s mother holding a tea tray full of food.
Stuart kisses his mother on the cheek, and says, “I think I’m good Mom, but thanks for making lunch, my stomach is growling.”
“You’re very welcome. I made you a turkey and cheddar cheese sandwich with mayo, both sides of the bread, just the way you like it. There’s also a bowl of fruit salad and a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie.”
“You have been a busy bee this afternoon, Mom.”
“Oh, yes! Today, I woke up feeling energetic. I already did a load of dishes and laundry. I also planted some purple pansies in the garden.”
“I’m so happy; spring is here. I can’t stand driving the police cruiser in the snow.”
“It’s going to be nice weather for your trip.”
“Why are you going to New York again?” Stuart’s mother asks with a concerned look on her face and her hands at her hips.
“I told you, mom. I am working on an old cold case, and the FBI has a confidential seal on the files I need.”
“What’s this case you’re working about?” Stuart’s mother says as she pushes up her auburn red glasses.
“It’s regarding a detective who was leaking information to a government agency, and I think it’s connected to…”
“What were you going to say, son?”
“I am afraid of what you may think if I tell you.”
“You know you can tell me anything,” says Stuart’s mother, and then she walked over to the bed and sat down, pushing the suitcase towards the bed pillows.
“Remember how I told you, I had dreams about Grandma over breakfast a few days ago,” says Stuart and then takes a bite of his sandwich.
“Yes, I do,” says Stuart’s mom while nodding her head.
“Well, the dreams haven’t stopped. Almost every night, the dreams become more vivid and lifelike. It’s like I am meant to see them. They are glimpses into Grandma’s life as a young adult.”
“Oh! What did you see?”
“Last night, I dreamt of Grandma being trapped in a basement or a closet. A man was demanding a journal, and then she said let me find out who is sharing information with the CIA,” says Stuart with his voice going higher in excitement.
“Are you sure you weren’t watching a movie last night?”
“No, Mom. I think Grandma worked for the government, and she didn’t die from natural causes.”
“What are you talking about, Stuart? I know you miss her dearly, but this is something else,” she yelled.
“Didn’t Grandma’s death feel uneasy to you? Like something was out of the ordinary.”
“Yes, but how else can we explain what happened,” Stuart’s mother says, then scratches her forehead.
“I have a theory,” Stuart says while wrapping his arm around his mother to comfort her.
“I am listening,” she says in a sarcastic tone.
“I think Grandma was an undercover agent from the government, and an old enemy murdered her to get revenge.”
“I don’t know about this, Stuart.”
“Remember the photo we found where Grandma was in a ballroom?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“Well, I had Harry help me restore the images to identify the man in the picture. His name is Arthur Watson, and I found him in the police database.”
“I think I have heard his name before,” Stuart’s mom says with her eyes staring down at the hardwood floors.
“That’s great, Mom. What can you tell me about him?” Stuart says with excitement.
“I remember seeing a letter addressed to him in Grandma’s belongings. Finish eating and packing, and I will look through the boxes in the garage.”
“Okay, Mom. Get me if there’s a box too heavy for you to move. I don’t want you straining your back again like when we were cleaning out Grandma’s house.”
“Yes, I will,” says Stuart’s mom and then waves her hand at him.
Stuart scarfs down the food his mother made him, and then looked at the time on his alarm clock.
“It’s five o’clock already. I have to be at the airport in about an hour,” he says out loud while pulling underwear, socks, and a tank-top out of his dresser.
He dashes into the bathroom to brush his teeth and refresh himself. He quickly puts on jeans and a black tee. Once he finishes spraying deodorant and using his personal care items, he throws them in a Ziploc bag and places it into his suitcase. Before he zippers his suitcase closed, he grabs his laptop, chargers, and work bag. He places his computer and its charger with the files and his grandmother’s journal into his work bag and then tries to put the bag on top of his clothes inside the suitcase, but it wouldn’t close.
“Oh, sweet nibblets,” he says out loud as his underwear popped out of the suitcase.
“Are you okay, Stu?” his mother says while carrying a rustic chest that looked like a miniature treasure chest.
“Yes, I’m fine. I am just trying to hurry because I have to leave to pick up Harry in less than thirty minutes.”
“Oh, okay! I’ll have a look through Grandma’s belongings while you’re away, and I will call if I find anything about Mr. Watson.”
“Sounds good, Mom. Would you mind doing me a favor?”
“Sure, what do you need, son?”
“A cup of coffee to go, please, and thank you.”
“No problem. I will have it ready by the time you come downstairs.”
“You’re the best, Mom,” Stuarts shouts as his mother walks downstairs to the kitchen.
Stuart slides a comb through his thick brown hair and takes one last look in the mirror. He glances inside his suitcase and leather work bag, making sure he has everything he needs for the trip. He closes his bedroom door and carries his luggage downstairs.
He grabs his car keys off the entryway table by the front door and shouts, “I’m putting my bags in the car. Be right back, Mom.”
Stuart’s mother stands on the porch with a fresh cup of coffee inside a blue traveling mug that says, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Thanks, Mom, I’ll be back Monday night.”
“Have a safe trip, sweetie,” says Stuart’s mom and then hugs him goodbye.
Stuarts places his mug into the cup holder and grabs his phone out of his pocket before putting the car key into the engine.
“Hey Harry, I am leaving my house right now.”
“Okay, buddy. I’ll grab my bags and wait outside on the porch for you.”
“Okay, see you in about fifteen minutes.”
Stuart hangs up the phone and puts the car in drive. He cruises down Main Street with the wind blowing in his hair and the country radio station playing all the way to Harry’s house loudly. Harry and Stuart have been friends ever since they met in college. It’s funny how they didn’t meet sooner because Harry lives a few streets away from Stuart. Harry lives in a beautiful cottage house with a royal blue metal roof and front door. The porch is white along with the house, except for the black around the windows. The porch wraps around Harry’s entire house. The front porch has five wicker patio chairs, one for each of the kids and him and his wife, Taylor. There’s also a hanging plant in the middle of two ceiling fans. As soon as Lee Brice’s Hard To Love song ends, Stuart beeps the car horn to let Harry know he has arrived. Harry comes running down the steps, almost tripping over the wheels of his suitcase.
“Hi, buddy. Ready for a fun, crazy, adventurous weekend.”
“Oh, yeah. I’m ready,” Harry shouts with his hands up in the air.