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The Waiting Room

~ Chapter Eighty-Eight

A Slow Burn

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Edward finished up another lovely scherenschnitte picture. It was nearly perfect in his eyes. Using the new technique he learned he had cut a delicate design. He held it up to admire it, the word THANK YOU mirrored onto itself making it appear as if it were a magnificent work of art.

But he felt as if it were not complete. Something was missing. Carefully he placed the exquisite creation onto the first page of the photo album, adhering it dutifully with the acid free glue just as Miss Karyn had instructed him. He would be so proud of it once the whole album was complete and he could send it off to her. But still?

He looked at the first page, the one that now held the THANK YOU sheet. He let his gaze fall to the second page that lay blank. It needed something just as dramatic he thought. Her name! Of course! Perfection!

But to his dismay he found his ream of paper had been used up, between his practice and the gifts he had made for some in The Room, he had finished off the last of the paper. Now what was he to do? He so wanted to finish the album before Mr. Noodlemantra returned.

Just then movement caught his eye and he glanced to a far corner of the room. There on the floor he saw it. A piece of paper. Edward shuffled to it quickly, before anyone else had a chance to find it.

With experienced precision he picked up the paper and carried it back to his table. With great caution he laid it down. The one side blank. It appeared to be special paper…parchment like. His curiosity aroused he caught the paper in the tips of his scissors and flipped it over.

Edward stared at what he had. Nervously he glanced up, with jerky movements he looked about the room. Could this be? Was this what he thought it was?

He leaned closer to look at the writing, and was astonished at the beautiful watermarks that graced the paper. He had never had one of his own. And now he had found this one…should he…could he…dare keep if for himself? Pretend it was his? Dare he?

But why had it been on the floor, this precious piece of paper? Why could its owner been so careless about something so important in one’s life?

Edward slowly came up from his admiring inspection and looked anxiously about The Room.

He did not see the paper’s owner.

Like a bad automation doll in a store window, Edward stepped around in a circle, looking to all corners of The Room.

He then shuffled over to the bedroom door. He began to step inside when Crane cautioned him.

“Please! Edward! That is a crime scene. I am not quite finished in there. Is there something you need? Something I can get for you from the bedroom?”

Edward blinked quickly as he thought about what to do. He pursed his lips then shook his head.

“No, no, Constable Crane. Nothing I need. Nothing I need.” Edward glanced back into the empty room. “You have not found Mr. Lantz?”

Ichabod stepped over to the doorway, bringing himself next to the man with the scissors for hands. “No, I fear not, Edward.”

Edward nodded. “I think, Constable…I think I have something you need to see.”

He motioned for the officer to follow him. Crane obliged. The Constable watched as Edward lifted a piece of paper with the tips of his scissors…his hands…his scissors. Oh never mind, he thought. Whatever he calls them, he used them well.

“What is it, Edward? What do you have that you wish me to see?” With interest Crane took the paper that Edward offered. He read it, then looked up to the man in black before him.

Then as a good cop, instantly let his gaze follow around The Room, searching the faces. But he did not find who he was looking for.

But then again…Crane looked down at the paper.

“I fear Edward, I have been remiss. I am so afraid I do not recall this gentleman.”

Edward gave a twitch of his cheek. “I am not surprised, Constable. He was quiet and shy like myself. He stayed in the background. Never talked with anyone. He was just a quiet young man in search of his father. I do believe he never found him.”

Crane let his eyes focus back on the paper in his hand.

The paper was authentic. Upon it was listed the name of the boy’s mother and his biological father, the man he had searched for as a young boy.

“Perhaps Mr. Donnie Fleischer has found his father at last.” Crane placed a brotherly hand on Edward’s shoulder. “But then again, who knows? Either way, it is another one gone, and this is now evidence. May I have it?”

“Yes, yes, of course, Constable. It is yours.”

“Thank you,” Crane said and returned back to his table. Now he had Glen’s Walkman, young Jack’s clothes, Lerner’s automatic weapon and his leather cuff currently in the possession of BonBon…and now the birth certificate of Donnie Fleischer.

The whole situation was like a slow burn, igniting his curiosity and foremost firing up his need to find the truth.


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