Resurrection 2

This is a chapter of the book I am writing for NaNoWriMo. If you want to read it from the start, click here for the chapter index.

Danny Canada

“Isn’t he the Methodist preacher?” asked Danny Canada, shining his flashlight over Tom’s shoulder at the corpse’s pale face. “I been there to church a couple times, I think it’s him. J. W. somethin’.”

“Just a minute Danny, and I’ll let you check him for ID.”  Tom’s tone was barely kind. Everything Danny said went through Tom like a bolt–and he wanted to slug him.  Tom wasn’t sure why, but he hated Danny with a passion, and that created an ongoing problem.  Each time there was anything from a traffic accident, to a domestic dispute, to a homicide (rare though they were) every “officer” in Silerville turned out.  So Danny was there each time Tom was called in.

Danny was one of the four Silerville police officers, counting chief Dalton.  Danny was 32 and still slept in the same room, in the same house, on the same street he had lived in since he was born.  His bed frame was the same one he had received on his sixth birthday–a dark walnut with a low bookcase headboard.  The mattress and springs were, of necessity, newer.   The walls were originally painted white, though were now grey and pocked from years of tantrums, posters taped up, posters torn down, and spilled beer.

The entire house was in much the same condition.  It sat on the street as a tired reminder it had once been bright and new.  It had once been loving built and cared for. It had once been a place of hope.  Now it watched exhausted as cars drove past it on Straight Street, a weary monument to waste lives.

Danny’s mother Agnes Canada slept in the room just next to Danny’s.  She was a frail looking woman of 74, and played the part of wounded oldster to her advantage.  Her husband died of stomach cancer when Danny was 20 and was missed by neither.

Danny was a small, doughy man.  He had a round middle and spindly arms and legs. With his flat-top he looked somewhat like a dummy made from a large pillow, four sticks with a bucket for a head. In every way Danny was a weak man.

Danny longed for greatness. All through his childhood his mother had told him he would be great.  He was her “special boy,” her “prince” and, after his father’s lingering death, her “big man.”  Each picture he painted in grade school was a masterpiece. Though he got mediocre grades, his mother assured him it was the jealous teachers who wished he were their son.  He was Adonis, Einstein and DaVinci.

Of course this constant praise did not enable Danny to become great, it only weakened him. The hard lessons of life were never learned. The hard emotions were never allowed to develop and mature.  Danny was a spoiled 5 year old in a bloated 32 year old body. He had all the fears of a 5 year old.  He was petulant.  He whined.  He cried–in private often and in public more than rarely.

Though he would never confess it, he knew he was weak.  Whenever there was the potential of physical labor on the horizon, he made a determined effort to go somewhere else.  Everything filled him with fear and dread.

Tom didn’t really like Danny, but as coroner he had to tolerate him.

Tom got up from his squat next to the body and purposely turned away from Danny as he talked to him, moving toward Chief Dalton. “Get pictures of the body from every angle and bag the hands for Frankfort, then you can roll him for ID.”

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