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The Footpath

The Footpath by bf oswald
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Dr. Avrial Woodsen, a prominent New York psychiatrist, suffers an almost fatal heart attack as the result of the stress caused when a psychopathic patient murders his wife. In order to rebuild his shattered life and repair his damaged heart he moves to a small Arizona town that has a park with a footpath. During his daily walks to strengthen his heart he meets several of the town’s residents, some of whom stop to talk with him, to share their problems. On one walk he meets Alexis, a widow newly arrived in town, and is immediately attracted to her, which leads to a growing romance. Suddenly their lives are disrupted when Avrial's wife’s murderer comes to Arizona and begins stalking him. Then the escaped convict strikes, kidnapping Avrial, Alexis and her daughter Margaret, and locking them in an abandoned mine. Although Alexis shows calm fortitude and ingenuity she is unable to engineer their escape. The trio appears doomed. But there is a surprising twist to their fate.
SynergEbooks; March 2011
150 pages; ISBN 9780744320077
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: The Footpath
Author: bf oswald
Chapter 13

I receive so few telephone calls that it took me a moment to realize the ringing I heard when I walked into my house was my telephone. I picked up the receiver and before I could say anything I heard, “Dad?”

“Who else would be answering this phone?” I was giddy with happiness and fatigue so I didn’t care what I said.

“Dad, it’s Kelsie. I’ve been trying to get you all evening. Where have you been?”

“I was out on a date.”

“A what?” For a brilliant young woman Kelsie is sometimes slow on the pickup.

“A date. You know, a boy takes a girl out, spends money on her, and expects something in return. Or maybe vice versa in these modern times.” I laughed at my own humor. “Kelsie, it’s good to hear your voice. What’s up?”

“You’re not going to be so glad when I tell you what I heard yesterday. Ron Etterman has escaped!”

I waited to hear more but when it wasn’t immediately forthcoming, I asked her when.

“Maybe as much as a month ago. Detective Harrison told me when he was investigating a break-in at my office complex. He said Etterman was a trustee on grounds detail and just walked away.”

“Your office was burglarized?”

“Yes, Thursday night. But strangely nothing appeared to be taken. Then when I went to my Rolodex to get your phone number I realized the card with your information on it was missing.”

“Maybe it’s in your purse or home somewhere.”

“I’ve looked everywhere since I noticed it was gone. I wanted to be sure I hadn’t misplaced it before I called you.”

“What makes you think the missing card has anything to do with Etterman?”

“I don’t know, Dad. I just feel it does.”

The alarm in her voice was contagious and I began to feel anxious. I wanted more information. “I thought Harrison was homicide; he was the lead detective on your mother’s murder case. What’s he doing investigating your break-in?”

“He was transferred to the Burglary Division a year ago.”

“Did he tell you any more about Etterman than you’ve just told me?”

“Only that nobody at the hospital seems too concerned about it. The chief of staff told Detective Harrison that as far as he was concerned Etterman had been rehabilitated sufficiently to live in society and the police needn’t worry too much about him. If he came to their attention, the hospital would take him back to finish his sentence. He has two years left.”

I was both frightened and angry and I know it came through to Kelsie. “The chief of staff is an idiot; he should be locked up himself. Ron Etterman is a career psychopath; an extremely dangerous person. The police should be on an all-out manhunt to find him. Your mother wasn’t his first victim, just one of many. And there will undoubtedly be more until he’s incarcerated again.”

“Do you think he might come after you?”

I wanted to calm Kelsie, and in so doing calm myself. “I don’t know why he would. I can’t think of any reason he might.” He had a reason; revenge.

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