Chapter 1 of Traveling Investigators~ Authors: Pattimari Sheets-Diamond, Charlotte Huston-Johnson, and Jeanne Trachman. PLUS John McKinley Pride, Jr.’s poems


Sophi stepped from the taxi and stood beside it, fixing her eyes on the colossal, carved doors of the temple, convincing herself to go inside. She walked to the front steps and began climbing until she reached the big massive door. I have to go in, she thought; for Jasmine. She pushed open the door and walked into the antechamber. Right away an usher opened an inner door and stood beside her. The temple was full, and every seat was taken; people were standing along the two side walkways and at the back. She slipped in beside an elderly woman who looked at her and smiled. She stood and looked around until her eyes caught Jasmine sitting in the front row. She then saw the coffin of Tally; Jasmine’s mother. Her throat tightened as she looked at the many people who had attended Tally’s funeral and felt sorry that she hadn’t been there for her when she died. The last time she had seen her was over a year ago when she had visited her with Jasmine in New York. She was failing even then and Jasmine had asked her mother to go back to California with her and move in, but she had to stay in New York to clean up her affairs. Sophi stood looking at Jasmine and saw how stricken with pain she looked in her loss. Sophi knew Jasmine’s mother had been a major part in her life and now she was gone. Sophi felt the pain that Jasmine’s face demonstrated for she knew her own pain would come when Sol, her husband, died. He had been told he had a year to live and that year was up last week. In recent weeks she had seen him becoming weaker and weaker yet didn’t want to admit the time was nearing. There were times when she pretended it was all a bad dream and soon she would wake up. But in the end, she knew. She hated leaving him to come to New York for Tally’s funeral, but she knew she had to be there for her friend. Jasmine had flown to New York a week before her mother died and when the funeral was over she would fly back to California with Sophi. Sophi ran her hand over her face, then rested it on the back of her neck and nodded absently to the elderly woman standing next to her who smiled again at her. The ending of the service was nearing so she stepped back and made her exit. Jasmine had invited her to ride in the long black limo to the grave side, but Sophi didn’t think she could bear going, so she had let Jasmine know she’d meet her in their hotel room afterward. Sophi stepped back onto the street and hailed a taxi and one immediately pulled over to the curb. The driver climbed out and opened the door for her to climb in. After settling in she told him to take her to Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan Hotel on Broadway. Their flight out of New York was the following morning so they had planned to go out to dinner and then crash knowing they’d both be exhausted from their long day. Sophi stood and gazed at the big beautiful hotel before the doorman carried her bags inside and even then she slowly followed him while observing the magnificent building. Shortly after the bellboy carried in her bags, she tipped him, and then hurried to turn on the shower when her cell phone rang. “Hello Sol. Is everything alright?” “Yes Darling, I just wanted to make sure you made it to New York, and made contact with Jasmine.” “Yes, I just got back from Tally’s funeral and came directly to the hotel. How are you feeling?” Sophi asked as she slipped out of her dress and kicked her shoes over near the closet. “Oh, so you’re already at the hotel? Good.” Sophi frown and said, “Sol, you didn’t tell how you’re feeling?” “Now Sophi, you know I don’t like being questioned about my health. We did agree to carry on as if I wasn’t ill, right?” Sophi undid her bra while holding the phone with her shoulder and said. “I know Sol, but I’m not there to see for myself. Can’t you just tell me without the lecture of my not asking about your health?” “I’m doing alright honey. Stop worrying about me. I mean after all you’re there to support Jasmine, right?” “Yes, but I will be home tomorrow night. Did you ask Joanne to pick me up at the airport?” “Yes I did. Now get some rest and I’ll see you tomorrow. I just wanted to check in with you before I left for my doctor’s appointment.” She snapped the cover to her cell phone shut and mumbled. If only I could be myself and not have to worry about every word I say or ask. That loss of self was almost inferior than her possible loss of Sol, for it would be with her forever, whereas she had begun to deal with and accept Sol’s absence from her life. There was nothing she could do about his illness and leaving her, so she knew she had to deal with it and get used to it. She also knew he was getting weaker and weaker and his end was just around the corner. She took in a deep breath and turned on the shower as she pulled off her panties. She stepped into the steaming shower and let the hot water beat down on her neck until she knew it was as red as a tomato. Right away she felt the tension leave her neck, but she stood there until the water turned cold. She didn’t know how long she stood under the water until she heard Jasmine screaming at her, “Sophi! Sophi!” She turned off the water and stuck her head out of the shower door and said, “What!” “I asked you if you wanted to eat out or order in.” Jasmine said as she grabbed a towel and handed it to Sophi. “Oh, I don’t know. I guess order in. I don’t feel like getting dressed for dinner.” “Good. I’d like to take a hot steaming shower and simply relax in my sweats. It’s been an exhausting gloomy day.” Leisurely, Sophi finished her preparations for the night, brushing her long strawberry blond hair, moisturizing her face and climbed into her silky white gown, and then curled up to dinner Jasmine had ordered. Jasmine had already showered and climbed into her gown without bothering to brush her long auburn hair. “How are you doing honey?” Sophi asked as she bit into a piece of her thick steak then scooped up a spoon full of mashed potatoes and stuffed it into her mouth. “Hum, okay really. I mean I knew mother was failing and had been for over a year. So it wasn’t a shock, but I’ll sure miss her sweet little old wrinkled face.” “I’m sure you will honey.” Bellies full and bodies tired, they crawled into bed and instantly fell into an exhausted sleep. The next morning just as Sophi and Jasmine were getting on their flight, Sophi’s Bluetooth rang. “Hello.” “Oh, Sophi, I’m so glad I caught you before getting on your flight!” Sol’s sister, Sharon, cried into the phone. Sophi’s heart began pounding hard against her chest as she stepped up into the plane and looked over at Jasmine. “What’s up Sharon?” “The ambulance just took Sol to Pacific Grove Community Hospital. He called me earlier this morning saying he couldn’t get out of bed. I immediately called the ambulance and by the time I got here, he was unconscious. Oh, before I forget, Joanne said to tell you a limo will pick you up at the airport and drive you to Pacific Grove. She said to tell you to please forgive her, but she didn’t want to leave her father.” “Where is Joanne now?” Sophi hoarsely asked as she scooted in beside Jasmine throwing her purse on the floor. “She’s at the hospital with her father. It doesn’t look good Sophi. Is Jasmine with you?” Sharon asked in an emotional squeaky voice. “Yes, she’s right here beside me.” “Make sure she stays with you and have the driver bring you directly to the hospital, honey.” Sophi sat frozen after she clicked off from Sharon. Jasmine grabbed her hand and they sat silently as the jet took off. All Sophi could think about was the end has come. The ride from San Jose Airport to Pacific Grove was awkwardly quiet and when they arrived, the first thing Sophi saw was Joanne. She was sitting on a bench at the hospital’s entrance, crying. Sophi knew right away Sol was gone. She heaved a sigh and immediately hurried over to Joanne and slipped her arm around her. Jasmine sat down on the other side and the three cried while holding tightly on to one another. “Daddy’s gone, mommy. Daddy’s gone.” Joanne sobbed. She then pulled back from her mother and said, “Mommy, he did open his eyes before he died and whispered, tell mommy I love her. He then closed his eyes and gasped once before dying.” Sophie broke down and sobbed while Joanne held her, and Jasmine had her hand on her shoulder while calming her dear friend. ——————————– “The Untouchable Creatures” (A Look from a Psychologists’ Chair with a Killer) The mind. A simple cage for some. You can fill it with whatever creature you want. What happens when that cage is filled with something full of rage? When the creature in that cage is teased, and when the creature in that cage becomes not just a creature, do you dare open it? Do you dare figure out how to tame it, and do you dare try to find what makes it tick? What of your mind? It is but a simple cage as well. What happens when their cage is sat down next to yours? Will the creature start to mimic the other? Will the creature become docile, or will the creature in your cage go insane? What are we to become in this world, full of aberrant nature that thrives off sinful lifestyles of others? It is true you cannot touch the untouchables, but however they can touch you , not only through the physical aspects of life, but through the sites that are thrown in your face on a daily measured scale, thrashing your mind in a blender of tormented visions, equaling to the very fear they feed off, thrive off and devour with a sick delight. In this world, it takes all types; but, it only takes one to make that final decision to pick the cage up and rattle it till the creature inside that cage is pushed to the point of even killing itself. Be careful on how you rattle the cage; it just might be your last. By John McKinley Pride Jr 8/15/10 “To Find the Insane” (The Look into a Killers Mind) Where does the mind start to die? Where does the mind start to unfold like a book of memories unwanted? Where does it start to take shape? Where does the mold break into pieces? Every mind differs in every way, a plethora of labyrinth guided truths and falsehoods. Where does ones reality become psychopathic fantasy? Where does the change take its course within them? Are they without any reality at all? The path of one mind opens to you, not able to see all the moves that betray your common sense of morality. The challenge of carnage lies in front of you; your mind will deceive you, and leave you flustered in a cluster of doubts. What is your reality? What is your fantasy? Who is to say that the mentally insane are sick, and not the ones who think they have it together? Who treats those who treat the insane or are the insane treating them? By John McKinley Pride Jr, 7/27/10


3 responses to this post.

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
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  2. This a page turner for sure.



    This book was thrilling to read with all of its adventures and passion. Good job Pattimari.

    Susan Tallman, MSW

    Great story, good writing!
    Pam Davis, Writer

    A fun book and kept me entertained while reading on a plane. Flows nicely and doesn’t have one dull page to it. A must to read!
    Shirly Moore, writer


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