Jack Franks sat at his desk. His name plaque indicated he was the "Chief of Police" and his uniform denoted his position, but his daily routine seemed about as exciting as watching the grass grow on a hot summer afternoon.
He thought of all the episodes of "Law And Order" he'd watched over the years. Now those cops were doing real police work. They certainly weren't filling in for the crossing guard or helping Maude Paul get her cat out of the tree growing next to her porch.
It wasn't like he wanted to have an unsolved murder on his hands, but he did want to do more than act like Barney Fife on the old "Andy Griffith" Show. His officers were good at catching speeders in the speed trap out on the highway, but they did little else to earn their salaries.
Jack heard the phone ring but ignored it. The office employed a secretary and that at least gave her something to do with her time every day. It's probably another cat stuck in a tree. It's nothing to get too excited about.
He went back to reading yesterday's weekly paper that just made it to his desk this morning. The news wasn't much different than last week's. Clara Johnson had her in-laws over for Sunday dinner so they could see the new baby and the Bradley twins celebrated their sixteenth birthday. Pete Brown's daughter got married and Harley Sacks's dog bit the mailman.
Rather than read anything further, he threw the paper on the desk and was set to go out for a walk when the phone on his desk rang.
"I think you ought to take this one, chief," the secretary said through the intercom.
Jack sighed deeply and picked up the receiver. "Franks here."
"Jack, this is Al. I just went out to Storrs Lake fishing and there's a man floating in the middle of the lake."
The panic in Al's voice was enough to send chilled shockwaves through Jack's body. "What do you mean a body is floating in the lake?"
"Just what I said, asshole. I came out to fish and there's a body out there in the middle. I haven't tried to go out and bring him in. He must have drowned, but I've seen enough cop shows to know you don't touch things at a crime scene."
Jack rolled his eyes. He and Al had been friends since kindergarten and Al tended to exaggerate. If his friend were a woman, Jack's wife would have called Al a "drama queen." "Are you sure some kids haven't stolen a mannequin from the mall and dumped it in the lake?"
"Mannequin, hell, this ain't no mannequin. It's a man, and he's dead I tell you. Now get your ass out here and investigate. That's your job, after all. You should do something to earn your pay rather than just sitting in the office reading the paper."
Jack shoved the paper aside, ashamed everyone knew about his duties and reading the paper was all he had to do on a Friday morning. "Okay, I'll humor you, but if this is one of your practical jokes, so help me Hannah, you'll pay."