'Boy it is ever quiet here' thought Sam as he zipped back up.
Just then he caught something out of the corner of his eye. Someone standing just out on the corner of his peripheral vision. Or was there? As soon as he turned to look, he saw nothing but the back of the 5th wheel. But he knew what he saw. One thing that his 'new lease on life' had taught him was to be alert at all times... even after two beers. He cautiously walked back toward the rear of rig.
He eased up to the rear of the RV and peaked around. There was a boy standing there staring right back at him a few feet away - a teenage boy of perhaps 15 or 16.
"What're you doing here?" Sam demanded.
The kid did not answer but ran around the other side of RV.
Sam followed him to the other side, but surprisingly he was gone. He walked around the 24 foot trailer a few times and even looked under it, but there was now no sign of the kid.
'What a fruity kid' Sam thought as he went back inside.
The bowling team was hot tonight! Bill Kilgore's team StrikeForce4 (which included Sam) was kicking the bejesus out of their opponents. The opposing team, C-Ton, was wilting in the heat of battle and the onslaught of higher than usual scores by StrikeForce4.
Sam had the lead position and it was the 10th frame of the final game. He was working on a strike from the 9th and a quick glance at the scoreboard told him he could clinch the game for the team (and the thus the series) with two more.
He got up, lined up and approached, then set the ball down right next to the 2nd arrow where he had found great success - it curved right into the pocket and pulled a strike. There were cheers from the rest of the team - Bill, his wife Donna, and Carolyn O'Connor. He strutted back and winked at Carolyn as we waited for his ball to come back. He briefly looked up to the viewing area and froze for a minute.
It was that kid again. The kid he saw by the RV the other night was standing up there looking down at him. The gallery was sparsely populated with just a few people hanging around and he was standing in the background - just staring. 'Creepy kid' Sam thought as he picked up his ball again.
He threw again - another strike and another round of cheers. He cautiously looked back up at the gallery, but the kid had once again disappeared. The third ball got a 10 pin tap.
Carolyn's turn. Sam loved to watch Carolyn as she bowled - particularly the part when she bent over to release the ball. He'd been screwing her for the past few weeks and with a little luck he would be seeing more of that ass tonight. Up close and personal.
Carolyn rolled a spare and nine, then sat back down.
"Whatcha doing after league, Sam?" She asked. Sam just grinned and winked.
Donna and Bill finished up the win. Both teams started packing and made idle chit-chat as the crowd thinned out to go home.
Later on that evening, after Carolyn and Sam had finished making love, she turned to Sam.
"I must be out of mind".
"Why do you say that hon?"
"Fucking the handsome stranger in town.... while my husband's away. Crazy".
"You're husband's away a lot. What makes you think he's not out fucking someone?" Sam said.
Carolyn sighed and turned away.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to sound callous," Sam said.
Carolyn was quiet for a while and just said, "It's Ok, I just get kind of lonely sometimes".
"And you're way too beautiful and far too nice to be left alone like this all the time", Sam said hugging her, "You deserve love and if your husband can't give then I will"
She kissed him and said "You'd better go, Kevin will be home very early in the morning; I checked on his flight a bit earlier. He should come pulling in sometime around 4 am."
"Ok, well I sure know when it's time to leave," Sam smiled and kissed her again. He got up and gathered his clothes up while she laid in bed watching him.
"Mmmmm nice ass" said Carolyn.
"Why thank ye ma'm" grinned Sam as he put on his clothes.
He glanced around the room looking for anything he forgot when his eyes stopped on the pictures on top of the dresser. There was a group of pictures there which he'd seen before - one of Kevin and various other people presumably her family, friends, in-laws, etc. But there was one picture he hadn't noticed before. It was of Carolyn and a teenage kid who looked a lot like the kid who had been showing up the last couple of nights. It was a black and white photo and looked like it had been clipped out of a newspaper.
He moved in to get a closer look. "Who's the kid in that picture?" he asked.
"Oh, that's my kid brother, his name was Sam too." she answered
"Yeah, he died at age 15 about 4 years ago. Killed by a drunk driver."
Sam was quiet for a moment. "That's pretty sad about your kid brother. Did they catch the guy that did it?"
"Yeah, it was actually a she," said Carolyn. "the bitch only spent 3 years in jail for it."
He went back to the bed, kissed her and held her for a minute.
"Damn, are you sure you have to go?" she said.
Sam laughed. "No, but I think it's probably best".
"Ok, you know your way out by now handsome", she said as squeezed his arm. "I'll arm the alarm behind you."
With that, he smiled and walked to front door, letting himself out.
Out in the night, it was a typical Tucson evening. Refreshingly cool after a warm day, it was typical for May. Carolyn and her husband lived in a gated condominium complex called Desert Moon. Sam walked out among the fountains and palms, and let himself out of the front gate.
He spotted his Chevy truck and began heading toward it. As he reached for the door, once again the kid reappeared. Just out of the corner of his eyes, he saw the kid at the back of the pickup, staring at him.
This time, Sam pretended not to notice. He took his cell phone out of his shirt pocket, opened it and quickly turned to face the kid. Then with the kid in sight, he reached up and pressed the button to snap a photo. There was a quick flash from the camera. The kid was gone when Sam's eyes readjusted. He was certain the kid was standing there when he snapped the photo. 'That kid sure comes and goes awful fast' Sam thought.
He got in and started his truck and drove the short drive back to the RV park. Once inside the trailer, he fired up this laptop and waited. 'This should be interesting', he thought as he connected it to the computer. He intended to compare the kid to the photo on Carolyn's dresser.
But when the picture loaded from the camera, all Sam could say was, "Holy shit".
There was no kid in the picture -- not the slightest sign of him. Just a picture of the rear end of his truck and the car that had been parked behind him. Sam knew he had been looking right at the kid when he snapped the picture.
'That kid's a freakin ghost' he thought to himself. He looked at the picture again, then the phone. Finally, he pressed the button to shut down the phone.
But as though he hadn't had enough freaky surprises, the wallpaper had changed. His usual cell phone wallpaper has been replaced - by the a picture of the kid!
"Holy shit" he said again.
He turned the cell phone on and off a few times, and each time the kid showed up as the phone was shutting down. It appeared to be a picture of the kid as he would have been -- if he were in the frame Sam snapped!
He played with his cell phone for bit, locating the screen saver setting. The screen saver that was supposed to show when the phone shut down was of a sailboat. He tried resetting it and still the kid showed up as the phone shut down.
He struggled for long time with the idea that maybe there was a plausible explanation for the kid - that maybe something was wrong with his cell phone camera; that somehow it zapped the image of the kid and placed it into his closing wallpaper.
He wasn't savvy enough with cell phone cameras to know if any such explanation were indeed plausible but he decided to sleep on it. After all, it was late. Very late.
A week went by, and there was no sign of the kid after that night. That was just as well for Sam -- the kid was definitely starting to spook him out anyway.
But oddly, he did not hear from Carolyn and of course, he could not call her. When the next bowling night rolled around, she was conspicuously missing. Replacing her was a very large woman named Victoria, who eclipsed the entire lane every time she bent over to release the ball. Carolyn she was not. Bill and Donna seemed not to notice.
In fact life became dull and predictable again. Which is more or less exactly how Sam preferred it. But he did miss Carolyn. In fact, he began to get a bit obsessive and felt he needed to see her.
When his next day off came up, he drove over to Desert Moon and parked in front of the condominium complex. He parked strategically so that he could see the door to Carolyn's unit through the gate. Here he sat - waiting to get a glimpse of Carolyn.
Several hours went by. There was various activity in the condo community, but no sign of Carolyn. Finally her door opened and out came Kevin. Sam recognized Kevin from the photos Carolyn had.
Kevin locked the door and headed to the parking garage. Starting up the truck, Sam decided he would follow him for a bit. He waited for the car to exit the garage and made sure it indeed was the car driven by Kevin.
Sam had learned a bit about tailing people from his 'experience' in an earlier life and he knew how to stay back a ways, but keep his target within sight. Kevin was driving a late model BMW and luckily for Sam he was a slow, cautious driver. Sam had no trouble staying with him.
Kevin drove a few blocks and turned into a residential neighborhood of what appeared to be very upscale homes. He stopped at a house at the end of a cul-de-sac and got out. Sam stopped and pulled off the road a few houses away.
Out of the house came a gorgeous blond woman of about 30. Kevin and the woman met in the driveway and embraced and kissed for a minute or so. They talked for a moment, then went inside.
"I knew it! Son of a bitch is cheating on Carolyn!" Sam said to himself out loud as he pulled away, turned around, and headed back to Desert Moon hoping to meet with Carolyn.
There he waited for another two hours, but there was no sign of Carolyn. Finally, he decided that she must be at work or away. He never really did find out much about her; he didn't know when, where, or if she worked or what her schedule was. He just knew that he enjoyed her company. It wasn't just the sex - that was great - but she was just Sam's idea of a perfect woman. 'And she's married', he thought. He drove back to his trailer home with an empty feeling.
Later than night, there was a knock on his trailer door. This in itself was strange, considering that he never got any visitors. He opened it to see 5 cops with guns aimed at him.
"Robert Masterson, you're under arrest." said the one in plainclothes.
He laughed and said "You must be mistaken."
But he could see they were perfectly serious. He stopped laughing. He stepped down and they handcuffed him and read him his rights
There were a total of 3 squad cars and a plain cop car in the RV park and of course the entire RV park neighborhood came out to have a look. He was placed in the plain car along with the plainclothes cop in the back seat.
"I'm Detective Sterling", he said. "You know, the one you called and confessed to?"
"Beg your pardon, I called and confessed? I think you're mistaken" was Sam's reply as he turned away.
Detective Sterling took out his mobile phone and pressed a few buttons. A recording played from his voice mail and it started playing back a message that was Sam's voice.
"Hello, this is Robert Masterson. I'm calling to give myself up. I'm living under the name of Sam Reynolds at 14 Morningstar Drive, Space number 27. It's a 24 foot Fifth Wheel. You can come get me anytime".
"That was you, wasn't it?" Detective Sterling said as he switched the recording off. "We traced it back to your cell phone".
"Comon' your real name is Robert Masterson. You stole the identity of Sam Reynolds who died some years ago. You're wanted in 3 states for grand larceny. This isn't any time to play games, Masterson."
"Here's the newspaper clip on the real Sam Reynolds." Detective Sterling opened a binder and showed Sam a newspaper photo. "This is the kid whose ID you borrowed .. shown here along with his older sister. They were both killed by a drunk driver about 4 years ago."
Sam looked at the newspaper clipping and felt sick. The picture was the same one he saw in Carolyn's bedroom - Carolyn and kid. "Th...that's his sister?"
"Yeah, too bad huh, she was a babe". The detective grinned.
Detective Sterling went on. "You know Masterson, you might've gotten away with it. We had no idea you were living in Tucson. The call to turn yourself in just handed us everything we needed. "
Robert Masterson was quiet now.
"Just curious, why did you call and confess? I just don't understand that."
Masterson did not answer immediately. He just glared at the cell phone; now in a zip lock bag marked Evidence.
"I don't quite understand either".
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