A teenager's murder of his grandfather over religious differences has profound effects on the investigating detectives.
Immortality and The Boom- Pa Factor
Stephan Smith bent over his grandfather and cocked his head. As he half whispered, “Good by Boom Pa,” his fingers tried to push the long salted locks of unruly hair into a more traditional pompadour. When he could not manage this he admitted silently that some of Boom Pa’s stubbornness remained.His hair was quite content to settle on either side of his broad shoulders, as if it were still in its usual Hippie folds. Stephan’s hands refused to touch the well developed chest. Boom Pa was deceivingly robust for his sixty-six years, so the blood quietly gathering in his lap was darkly rich and thick, like Grand Ma’s pie fillings.
Stephan was about to kiss the almost wrinkle free forehead when the door to the great room slammed against the floor to ceiling book cases. As his parents rushed in, responding to the explosion, the late South Carolina Fall, still damp and mushy from the molting pines, pressed against the glassed French doors like an eager First Night Ticket Holder.
“Stephen! Oh thank God!You aren’t hurt are you?”
“Son. I heard a shot.” Alfred Smith’s Puritanical tone easily smothered his wife’s fear filled question. “What was ...”Then his inquiry faded to a shocked silence as his visual attention shifted from his fifteen year old son holding the expensive double barreled shot gun to his father- in-law’s blood filled lap.
“Dear God!” Initially it was in the tone of a prayer’s opening, then instantly turned prosecution. “How did this happen?” As he spoke Martha uttered a choked, half smothered scream, fell to her knees, and then let her head fall forward to rest on her father’s knee.
“Boom Pa’s soul is safe, Father,” Stephan stated triumphantly. Then he placed the weapon on the inlaid cocktail table he and Alfred Smith had made for his mother’s fortieth birthday. Raffey,the paper Marche clown statue standing on his carefully crafted pedestal just to the dead man’s left, silently approved of the disarmament.
To read the conclusion of this story and others by B. B. Riefner, his collection of stories entitled: Mind Travels available through Redgate Publishing Co., Amazon.com and for Kindle.