“A total now of eighteen holes, each about three by four feet, have been found in the small community of Shades Run. Most have been found in wooded areas, off the beaten path, but a few have also been seen out in the open causing dangerous walking conditions…causing great concern for the residents. No suspects at this time, but the local authorities have asked to please contact them if you have any details pertaining to these occurrences.”
Rolen scratched his head and rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands before exhaling with a sigh. Turning the radio off in hopes to gather his curious thinking, Rolen stared out of the window. Hints of oncoming daylight could be seen through the scattered trees of the surrounding landscape. The news was replaying in his head, but too much like an orchestra routinely warming up their instruments before playing together. Failing to put a finger on why that particular story had his heart rate elevated.
Rolen turned one hundred eighty degrees and leaned his back against the workbench scanning in every directions hoping to see something to trigger his thinking. He paced around the shop three times.
On the shelves, where he had found the answering machine, were school projects Rolen’s dad had helped him make for school. A paper-mache planet Earth rested in the crack between two shelves. The material reminded him of a cast. Rolen’s elderly neighbor, Mrs. Young, had just broken her ankle while out for her usual late-morning strolls.
How did she break it? Rolen’s frustration was increasing because he just couldn’t put a worthwhile string of thoughts together without some head trauma.
Grabbing his dad’s glove, with the ball inside, Rolen put it on and continued his pacing all the while remembering that he still hadn’t pushed play on the answering machine. He tossed and caught, tossed and caught and tossed and caught a hundred times before finally realizing he had to once again go inside the house for the possible answer.
He had remembered entering the house yesterday after golf lessons and hearing Pastor Isaac on the answering machine. The pastor was going into verbose detail about how Mrs. Young had fallen and injured herself after stepping into a deep hole. Rolen could only hope that his mother did not erase the message. Considering the machine flashed the number twenty-one, he felt his chances were good.
Rubbing his hands together like a thief about to touch a gold and jewel-filled treasure chest, Rolen pushed play. Before long he wished he hadn’t.