Nick Hallbeck walked into his favorite coffee shop--with a view of the lake--for his morning coffee. The first person he saw was his friend, John Denholm, an inspector with the Fairfax police--sitting deep in thought, holding his coffee mug in both his hands. I guess it's a cool day for June. He noted they were both wearing light parkas. Well, usually the hot weather didn't start until July.
Nick collected his coffee and walked over to John's table. His friend gave him a welcoming smile.
"I'm glad you came in here for your coffee, Nick. I didn't have the time yesterday to thank you half-enough for telling me where I could find that missing teenage girl--before anything really bad happened to her. How on earth did you know?"
Nick shrugged, taking a sip of his coffee. "The coffee always tastes better here, although I buy their coffee to use at home. I wonder why that is?"
John smiled. "They probably have a secret ingredient they only put into coffee that is used on their premises. If it tasted the same, people might stay home and save money making their own coffee." He frowned at himself. "Never mind the coffee, tell me how you knew, because it wasn't a guess, it was too precise."
Nick thought for a moment, then decided to tell John, however strange it might sound to him. "I dreamed it. It was so vivid that I paid attention to it after I woke up from taking a nap after lunch--which is unusual for me--but something made me lean back and close my eyes. Lucky I did. Invariably, my premonitions come to me in detailed dreams. I got out my map of Fairfax, and slowly glanced over it. When I came to Huron Street--where they were keeping her in that warehouse--I felt a strange prickling in my neck--which invariably tells me that I'm on the right track--and I felt decidedly that this was the street. I drove there, and when I drew level with the warehouse, I knew the girl was being kept there. Then it was only a matter of alerting you on my cell phone, and for you to get enough policemen together to enter the warehouse--find her, and arrest those two lowlifes who had plans for her." Nick's smile was rueful. "Truth to tell, I was amazed you took my info seriously."
"We've been friends a long time, Nick. Amazing that I never knew you were psychic. But then, I guess it isn't something you'd tell everybody. When you phoned, you sounded urgent and so damn serious--I felt sure you knew, somehow, what we'd been trying to find out for hours..." John gazed at his friend for a moment before continuing, "I wish you'd let me tell the Chief--he'd like to thank you officially."
Nick shrugged. "Doubtful. I'm glad you're open to this sort of psychic thing, but I think in general the police aren't all that keen on what they probably see as interference by keen amateurs. No, let's just keep this between us. Moreover, if it got out that I can dream things, people would beat a path to my door to find their cat, their boyfriend, their wallet, whatever." He shook his head. "No, thanks. Don't forget, I'm not a true psychic--I just get these cognitive dreams at times, and a sense of 'this is the place'--that's all."
Getting to his feet, he saw John do the same. Nick said, "I better drop in at that employment agency, to see if they can find me a replacement housekeeper. Minnie Davis left yesterday, her mother is ill and needs her."
"Can't she combine the two?" John was surprised--Minnie was devoted to Nick's wellbeing, even if her cooking left something to be desired.
Nick shook his head. "Her mother lives in Nova Scotia--too big a commute."
John smiled. "Tell you what, come to dinner tonight--Brenda will make one of your favorites, and it saves you either cooking for yourself or going out to eat."
Nick was touched by his friend's concern--and Brenda's cooking was far better than most restaurants'. "If you're sure--I don't want Brenda mad at you for inviting me when she's planning leftovers." He quickly added, "In fact, I'm all for leftovers."
John grinned. "It's obvious you're not married. When I tell her I've invited you to dinner, she'll pull out all the stops, believe me. And I'll enjoy the fallout of your coming to dinner--a superb meal. Come at six, we'll eat at seven. Ontario Shiraz okay for you?"
"Sure--you know I'm not some kind of wine snob--any wine you have is fine. And I accept gratefully." The men went to their cars and drove away.