Friday, July 11, 2014 ~ The Punchline; Houston, Texas — 10:05 p.m. (CT)
Music playing, people talking and laughing, enjoying the evening while trying to forgot all responsibilities. The club that they were in were one of few that was owned by the same company. The owners were nice but had an edge to them. They wore suits and ties and fancy shoes. They flaunted their money like it no ones businesses. Though the people who went to the clubs didn’t seem to care anymore. They just got use it.
There was a VIP room in the back but none of the clubbers were aloud in. Not even the employees that worked for the club had access to the room. The only people who were allowed in, were the ones that were close to the family that owned it. As employees would say ‘I work for the club not the company.’ Not understanding what that actually meant, everyone just accepted it and went about working. No matter how bad it hurt to know that they weren’t treated the same way as the ‘VIP’S’. If they knew what happened on the other side of the door, they would never see the light of day again.
Inside the VIP, there was about two dozen men standing and sitting throughout the room. A few wore blue suits with white dress shirts, while the rest wore all black suits. An older gentleman, late seventies, was in a deep navy blue suit that had gold cuff links and wore a black dress shirt. To a couple of people, he was a husband, father and and a grandfather. Though at the moment, he was not entirely thrilled about being. Considering his only grandchild left a few years ago and knew way to much about the family business. Only part about that was they didn’t know where they went.
His grandchild was brought up to take over the business when the time came. Granted it won’t happened for a while since his son was to take rein after stepping down or sooner, if his health didn’t get any better. There was a lot to the business. On the outside, they owned casinos, clubs and hotels. But on the inside, it was much darker. The gentlemen’s grandchild had to be found before they opened their mouth and let out their ‘little secret’. One that would cost their life. Hopefully it would never come to that.
Now, to other people, he was the boss. To those same people, they knew to never cross him. He had a reputation and one that served him well. The boss had been around the block a few times over the years. All starting back in 1956, when he was just eighteen. The older mans father was the one who started everything back in the twenties. Fell into the wrong crowd but fell in love with the game. Morals were out of the question, once food and money became the prize for his family.
At this point, they made enough money just from the business’s that they owned, sadly it wasn’t enough. The thrill of being a criminal and not getting caught was enough to keep him in the game. Even if at this age, he wasn’t the one doing it. He was just calling the shots and mentoring his son to become the next boss. The man that they’ll all fear next. A man that won’t hesitate to kill his own child to save their family from prison life. The odds of that happening was slim, since all of Texas’s law enforcements were getting paid by them. Including the mayor. Yes, being multi-billionaire criminals had there perks.
“Boss, we’ll find her.”
Monday, August 1, 2016 ~ Holliday Café; Purgatory, Maine— 1:00 p.m. (EST)
“In other news today, there’s an increase in activity down in Houston, Texas that is lead to believe it is highly illegal and a possibility that it may include other states. Police are currently looking into it.” a mans voice came from the radio.
Inside a small café a group of people started talking amongst themselves about the new information they had just heard over the radio. It wasn’t the first time a news reporter had said that statement, but to some people, it was the first time hearing it. What could possibly be happening down in Texas for it make national news? We’re other states really involved? How dangerous is the situation? Those were many questions that were being said and unsaid between conversations. While others just ignored the radio all together.
Sitting on a couch in the back of the cafe, was a woman with papers spread across the coffee table in front of her, a laptop in her lap and a pencil resting behind her right ear. There was a coffee placed near the edge of the table, far enough away from the papers but close enough in arms reach. The woman is focus, her eyes going from the papers to the laptop every couple of minutes. To the woman, the coffee shop is empty, even though not. She is in work mode, which means she ignores all sounds around her. Including her older sister. Who came in the shop when she noticed her little sister.
“Hey babygirl.” The older sister said. “Waves?... Waverly?” She realized that her little sister wasn’t paying attention, she knew what to do. The older woman sat next her knowing full well that her sister hadn’t noticed. She quickly grabbed the laptop and slammed it shut.
“What the hell... oh hey Wynonna.. how long you been sitting there?”
“Long enough to know that you need a break.” Waverly rolled her eyes.
“I’m fine. Can I have my laptop back? I need to finish typing this.” Waverly said while slowly grabbing her laptop back.
“Waves, I love you, but you need a break. How long have you been at this?” Concern shown in her older sisters voice and her eyes.
“Girl, go stretch. Go for a run. I know you keep your running gear in your car and I know it’s parked outside.” Wynonna stood up and pull her sister up with her. “I’ll pick up everything here for you. Just give me your keys and I’ll meet up with you afterwards. We’ll go to Shorty’s and have some drinks.”
“Fine. Only because it’s pointless to argue with a stubborn mule.”
“Wouldn’t have it any other way. Now go.” Wynonna slaps Waverly’s ass as she moves pass her sister.
Waverly goes to her car, grabs the bag with her workout gear in it and goes back into the coffee shop to change in their bathroom. A few minutes later she was walking out with her a tank top, yoga pants, and her iPod armband connected to her right forearm. After getting her iPod situated, she finally plugged her headphones into her ears and she was off on her run.
Monday, August 1, 2016 ~ Widows State Park; Purgatory, Maine — 1:21 p.m. (EST)
Fifteen minutes into the run, Waverly found herself at Widows State Park. Running the trails was always relaxing. She took out her headphones so she could listen to the wildlife that surrounded the trails. The park was usually busy but surprisingly during her run, it wasn’t.
Peace and quiet was how Waverly always liked things. It helped her concentrate and clear her mind. She didn’t realize how much she really needed this run. It had been awhile since she took time to herself and was happy that her big sister pushed her to do so.
She ran for another few minutes before slowing down to walk. She walked to the edge of the park and sat down. Enjoying the view of the lake and the birds soaring above. Waverly noticed a couple that wasn’t to far from her. She loathed them. Having someone to care about or even love, it’s something she longed for. But she never seemed to find time to put herself out there to meet someone.
Wynonna offered to put up a dating profile for her but Waverly found it absolutely absurd. Meeting someone through the internet was not how she imagined finding love. She wanted to meet someone the ‘normal’ way. Meeting them at a club, bumping into them by accident somewhere, catching sight of someone looking her and her looking at them. She wanted it to be special. If someone asked how they met, Waverly wanted to have a cute story to tell instead of ‘oh, we were a match on the internet’.
Without realizing it, she started listening to the couples conversation. The couple had a friend that was in the military and said friend enjoyed getting mail and care packages. She also heard that some members didn’t receive any mail because they didn’t have family. The couples friend recommended to put the word out to anyone willing to listen and see if they would be willing to be pen pals with said members. Waverly thought that it was sweet gesture and thought about doing it as well. That’s when she finally realized that she was eavesdropping. She shook she head and got up to walk towards the couples.
“Excuse me.” The couple looked up at her confused. “Sorry, to interrupt. I couldn’t help but over hear about your friend in the military. I don’t usually eavesdrop but to hear that members of our armed forces are alone and don’t receive encouragement from home is really devastating.” Waverly said shyly.
“It’s okay and yes it is. Our friend just mentioned about the one of the new marine’s that just got orders here. It seems that she doesn’t have any one. People of asked her about her family and just says she doesn’t have any. Our friend wants her to feel welcome but apparently she’s a bit of a loner.. Just looking for people or just someone to write to her.. become an anonymous pen pal to her.” The young man said.
“That’s sounds like a lovey idea and I’d love to help. Especially if it means welcoming someone new to our town.” Waverly said cheerfully.
“That’s great and really thoughtful of you.” The woman said while pulling out her phone to look up the information. “The woman goes by Captain Haught.” Waverly scrunches up her face and lifts an eyebrow in confusion.
“Hot?” Waverly questioned.
“Haught. H.A.U.G.H.T. But is pronounced the same at hot. H.O.T.” The woman laughed. “If you want, we can give you her information or you can go to the Ghost River Triangle Base. Tell them you want to be a pen pal with Captain Haught. Surprisingly enough, they will give her mailing address.”
“Isn’t that against protocol?”
“Usually, but it’s no different than giving a bunch of 10 year olds there address as well. The Armed Forces welcomes anyone who is willing to be a friend or pen pal to a member just to cheer them up.” The man said.
“Well thank you for the information. I’ll just go to the base and go from there. Again, thank you and sorry for interrupting.” Waverly said.
“Anytime.” The man said with a smile.
Waverly left the couple and headed back to town. Which took longer than expected since she walked the whole way instead of finishing her run. Her mind was now racing through ideas on what to write to this Captain Haught.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016 ~ Ghost River Triangle Base; Ghost River, Maine — 2:13 p.m. (EST)
Oh, I should of just taken the address. Why did I think driving to this base was a good idea? I’m a planner. Why didn’t I think this through. Stupid impulsive brain. Well, let just hope for the best. The brunette thought. If it wasn’t for the fact that Waverly was already three quarters of the way to the military base, she would of turned around and forget that she ever wrote a letter to someone she doesn’t know. Then again, she also would of internally kicked herself for chickening out. Face your fears head on.
Driving into the base was an experience. Civilians were allowed on base but only certain parts. The restricted areas were blocked off by fences and gates. The entrance to those areas had guards and the only way to enter was have to your military identification card. At least that’s what Waverly assumed considering non-personals weren’t allowed through the gates.
When driving around trying to think of how to deliver the letter, she accidentally stumbled upon the post office. Why didn’t I think of this before. Oh that’s right, because all coherent thinking has gone out the flipping window. It’s just a letter. A letter to a stranger. A stranger who might not even write back. So why am I nervous about this? God, I’m such a mess.
Pulling into the parking lot of the post office, Waverly continued to contemplate with following through. She felt overwhelmed with excitement and fear. Even though it was a letter, it was to someone that she could potentially meet. Which scared her a lot. What if they were mean and cruel, don’t right rude. But what if they were kind and sweet. So many scenarios ran through her mind, but it was now or never. Swallowing her fears, the brunette got out her jeep, and walked into the building.
A small bell sound went off as she entered the mailing room. A black hair woman, who was probably in her forties, greeted her with a welcoming smiling. “What can I help you with? I’ve never seen you here before. You new to the area or just a visitor passing through?”
“Just a visitor and I do need your help with something.” Waverly said shyly.
“What do you need?”
Hesitating a little, Waverly opens and closes her mouth a couple of times before finding her voice again. She didn’t realize how nervous she was going to be up until that very moment.
“I um. I have a letter but um. I don’t have an address for this person.”
“Who’s the letter for?”
“Captain Haught.. I just wanted to welcomed her into our town and thank her for her service.” The brunette slowly handing over the letter.
“Haught. Of course. I can put that into her mailbox for you.” The older woman said while taking the envelope from Waverly.
“Thank you so much.” With that, Waverly gave the woman a appreciative smile and walked back to her Jeep.
Getting into the Jeep, the brunette let out her breath she didn’t know she was holding. Looking down at her hands, Waverly noticed that were shaking from her nervous energy. Taking a few more deep breaths to collect herself and let her nerves subside, she turns on the vehicle, puts in reverse to turn around, and heads back to Shorty’s. A small smile slowly making its way on her face as she left the base.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 ~ Ghost River Triangle Base; Ghost River, Maine— 9:07 a.m. (EST)
Taking a few minutes out of her work hours, while driving over to one of the other buildings to teach a class for new enlisted members, Nicole stopped by the post officer. Usually the Captain would picked up her mail shortly after arriving on base for work but this morning she was sadly running late. A very rare occasion, it was the first time in two years that she was actually late. Reason being, was that her cat that she had just got, took off with her keys during the night and hid them from her. Severely questioning herself on why she got a cat and instead a dog.
After moving to Ghost River a few weeks ago, the redhead started to feel a little lonely at her house. Deciding that getting a pet was a good idea, it was a decision on what kind. She didn’t care for having birds as pets. Birds were meant to fly free rather than being caged to a confined space. Reptiles and amphibians were out of the questions. Along with rodents. Not matter how cute hamsters were. Which left her to the common pets, cats and dogs.
When she went to the the animal shelter and walked through the kennels where the dogs were, Nicole remembered how they looked. Some were over excited to see people, others were shy and would need a lot of work. Not having any experience with dogs, the redhead decided against getting one. Now leaving her with the last option, cats. Going through the sections of where all the cats were kept, one in particular stood out. The Captain was instantly drawn to the feline and apparently the cat felt the same. What she wasn’t expecting was that her new cat, that was so nice to her in the shelter, played her like the idiot that she is. Her new found pet was a complete and utter asshole. Sadly, Nicole just didn’t have the heart to bring her back either.
Shaking her head, while walking to into the post office, Nicole went over to mailbox and grabbed her mail. Just as she was about to leave she remembered needing stamps. Might as well kill two birds with one stone. The Captain was greeted by the older black haired woman.
“Good morning, Captain. Need anything?” The woman said while sorting out some mail.
“Yea, I need some stamps when you got a minute.”
“Of course. How many?”
“A small booklet will be fine.” The older woman went about the office to grab the stamps.
“Here you go.” Handing the stamps to Nicole and taking the money in exchange to pay for them, the black haired woman remembered something. “Oh I almost forgot. You have another piece of mail. A younger brunette came by and dropped it off.” She handed it to the Captain. They exchanged pleasantries and went about the rest of their day.
Nicole got into her truck and opened up the the mysterious envelope and began to read:
Monday, August 1st, 2016
Dear Captain Haught,
Hi. I know am a complete stranger to you and quite frankly I don’t even know how to go about this but I can only hope you’ll continue to read.
My name is Waverly Earp, I am 20 years old, and I live in a weird town called Purgatory. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. I am currently a history major. I know four languages and four dead languages. I’m also trying to write a novel but even that is kicking my ass at the moment. Anyways, I am writing to you because it’s always nice to have someone that cares. Even if it’s from a stranger. I found out that you are new to Maine (I think) and well, I’ve been known to be quite the welcoming committee. Actually I’m the nicest person in Purgatory. I even have a sash to prove it.
All I’m trying to do here, is be a friend or at least be a pen pal. Through fellow members that you work with, they are concerned for you. They know that you don’t have family or at least don’t speak to them and I know how that feels. I know how it feels to be alone all to well. Especially when it comes to family. I’m sorry if I over stepped.
To be honest, I don’t even know why I offered to do this. This random couple was just sitting enjoying there time together in the park and without realizing it, I was eavesdropping and the next thing I knew I was talking to them, offering to write to you. I’ve never written to someone I don’t know and yet here I am wanting to tell you my whole life story. I’m really fighting the urge though cause I highly doubt you even want to know anything about me. Which by now you probably think I’m some crazy psychopath. Which I don’t blame you cause if I got some random letter from someone I don’t know, I’d be concerned. Oh shit tickets, I am rambling. I didn’t even think it was possible to ramble in a hand written letter and yet here I am doing so. I’m just going to take a breather here.. I don’t even know I am telling you that. God dammit, I’m doing it again.
I am really sorry for taking up your time with this now very pointless letter. I can only hope that my awkwardness put a smile on your face.
Your Friend/ Pen Pal,
Putting aside the letter and looking into the rear view mirror, Nicole saw that she was smiling. It wasn’t often that she got mail from people she didn’t know. The last time she got one was when she was over seas during the holidays. Her troop had gotten picked by a few schools through out the states and the kids did homemade Christmas cards. It was a warm gesture that certainly didn’t go unnoticed. But now, to have an adult send her a letter, just to be nice, because she wanted to be, made the redhead felt appreciated. A little upsetting that some of her fellow coworkers felt the need to put her name out there to try and help her make friends, but none the less, she knew they did it with good intentions.
Finally pulling herself from the multiple thoughts running her through her mind, the Captain went about the rest of her day. On different occasions, when she had a moment to think, Nicole remembered the name that was signed at the bottom of the letter. Waverly Earp. She didn’t know why and certainly couldn’t explain it either, but something kept telling her to write back to this mystery woman. A woman that apparently didn’t live that far from the base. Either way, she felt drawn to it and wanted to figure out why. What better way to do so, than to write back.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 ~ Nicole’s House; Ghost River, Maine — 8:00 p.m. (EST)
Long and stressful. Two hours of punching and kicking an old punching bag that should be replaced but every time a new hole is made, it gets fixed with duct tape. No matter how long she beat the living shit out of the bag, it wasn’t relaxing her body any.
Needing a break from detoxing stress, Nicole grabbed her water bottle and slowly drank all of its contents. Walking back into her house from the garage, she walked into the bathroom to take a hot shower and relax the her muscles. Hoping that wouldn’t be sore tomorrow. She definitely over did it but the Captain didn’t really care.
Puns! Freaking puns! All the Privates that the Captain was training decided to do a pun war. Instead of learning the material. Sure it was stuff that they should already know, but it never hurt to go over some of it to jog their memory. But no. No one wanted to learn. Just wanted to do a pun war instead. So, being the nice higher ranking officer that she was, Nicole made them do fifty push ups, sixty-five sit ups and also run five miles. The wonders of being a Captain. Nicole thought. Needless to say, the pun war ended and she had hoped that it wouldn’t start back up again. With any luck, her students wouldn’t be stupid enough to do it again or even tempt her knowing she could make them do extreme workouts as payback.
Snapping out of her thoughts and heading into the bedroom, the redhead got dressed and went to her duffle bag to remove her workout clothes and replaced them with cleans ones for tomorrow. She the opened the bag and starting pulling out the clothes, when Nicole noticed the white envelope that she had put in there earlier that day. Pulling it out and holding it in front of her, she started smiling. Remembering the name of the stranger who randomly started writing to her.
Turning the envelope over and reopening it, the Captain gently pulled the letter out again. Scanning it over once more and locking eyes on the signature, Nicole couldn’t help but allow her smile get bigger.
“Waverly Earp.” She said out loud. “I feel like you could be someone important to me. Writing friend and all”
Nicole placed the letter on the bed and finished putting her duffle bag together. Once she was done, she grabbed the letter and the envelope and went to her office to reply back to the anonymous writer, Waverly Earp.