(Intermittent Waves Recorded From The Transformed Heart Of A Woman)





Just as the funeral service was about to begin, a well-groomed older gentleman was ushered down the aisle, escorted by a man wearing a white medical uniform. He was seated in the same row as Miriam's two sons, who immediately took offense and tried their best to ignore him. Who else could it be, thought Hal, other than their mentally disabled brother and his attendant from the institution? Obviously, they were embarrassed of their brother, who was glad to see them, and tried to chat with them in spite of their trying to disassociate themselves from him.


"Typical," Natalie whispered to Hal. "You know that President Graves made fun of people who were disabled and challenged. Being a jerk is a family trait."




Darla, who heard Natalie's loud whispering, as did probably everyone else, didn't seem to appreciate the comment and shushed Natalie.


Natalie whipped her head around and gave her an evil eye. Hal began to have deep concerns about working with Natalie Tiledeler in the future. She was ambitious, but, she was far beyond being able to be controlled.


The service was seamless, solemn, and beautiful. Any details that Miriam had left out, Darla had inserted, while polishing everything off to her liking. Along with being extremely efficient, Darla had good taste.


After the funeral service, Hal and his entourage followed the family out. As Hal, neared the door, he could see red and blue police car lights flashing. Six police cars lined the left side of the road, with two unmarked police cars. Lieutenant Hamilton got out of one of the unmarked cars. They grabbed a man out of the line and started reading him his rights.


"Who's that man?," Hal asked Vince and Martin. They both shook their heads no, signifying that they had no idea.


"Oh, he works for Miriam's brother, Richard Graves, said Natalie. "His name is Dudley, Pudley, or Rudley...something like that. I know just about everybody from hanging around daddy's newspaper and helping to host his parties."


Richard Graves, Hal knew that name, from Miriam when they had discussed the late night visitor. Richard Graves had been the man in Miriam's room. But, would he conspire to kill his own sister? Maybe, for money. But, was it because of the money that she had decided to give to Hal, or someone else's money?


Hal realized that he had a lot to learn about the behavior of the Graves' Family and who worked for them. Perhaps, just perhaps, Miriam led him to Natalie Tiledeler for more than one reason.


Lieutenant Hamilton was talking to another man, who was flanked by Derek Graves. Hal's mind was turning. At the police station, the Lieutenant had asked him about Richard Graves' conversation with Miriam that night and if he had heard any threats. He told him no. From what he had heard, no threats had been made. Could this man have been working for Richard and Derek Graves without Richard's knowledge, or did he work for someone outside of the Graves' Family? Hal made a mental note to call Lieutenant Hamilton to see if he could get more information, that is, if the Lieutenant was willing to share.


Hal wondered why the Lieutenant would interrupt the funeral to make an arrest. Why so many cars? Was he being intimidating, trying to send a message, or was he testing out the reactions of other people who might be involved? Hal was having trouble focusing on where his bodyguards were trying to take him and what Natalie was trying to tell him. Apparently, she had been asking to ride with him, because, when the limousine pulled up, she climbed right in with Vince and Martin.  As she got in the limousine, Natalie chattered on unceasingly. Her last sentence caught Hal's attention and he began to pay attention.


"I can have someone at the paper cover this story and find out more information for you, Hal."


Hal knew he needed more sources of information and a reporter outside of The Daily, besides himself, to do the ground work. He definitely didn't want to involve Rachel, although, she'd probably get wind of this news soon enough and start sniffing around, but, he wanted to stay ahead of her. Hopefully, he could foresee anything dangerous and protect her.


"Sure, Natalie, that would be a good idea. Let's get a jump on this story. It's time to put your father's newspaper back in the race and hopefully in first place."


Natalie threw her arms around Hal and gave him a kiss, then, with a big wide grin on her face, she grabbed her cellphone and began making calls.











Published by Mishael T