32 - Flipper

The Guardian Dolphin

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He was interrupted by Oakes delighted laugh.

"This is Smith?"

William tried again.

"He wormed his way into my family, tried to turn my sister against me…"

But Oakes wasn't listening.

"Bill!" he laughed, "Look at this!"

The sergeant came around his desk and took the photo. His weathered face broke into a wide grin.

William tried again.

"He pretended to be my friend…"

They ignored him.

"Flipper!" Bill said.

Oakes nodded enthusiastically.

"Can you believe it?"

They were in their own little world. William gave it another shot.

"We went on camping trips together—You know, Robert Bly, Sam Keen…"

The Sergeant waved down another cop.

"Hey, Ted!"

He held up the photo. Ted joined them. It was getting to be a real party.

The twelve-year-old officer in charge turned to the Chief.

"Flipper?" he asked.

William took another, half-hearted, shot.

'We played bongos in the forest together…" he said.

But the Chief was answering the twelve-year-old.

"That's what we called him. It was four, five years ago. His name was…"

He wrinkled his brow, trying to remember.

Ted looked up from the picture.

"Jonathan or something."

"Yeah." Oakes said "Jonathan. He used to hang around bars, down on Pier Street."

The sergeant was still grinning.

"A real character."

Oakes nodded.

"Heart of gold."

This was hell.