A Secret Grave 164: Theoretically

 

Austin has changed in the eleven years since Victor disappeared, turned from a town flexing its muscles into a burgeoning city with major traffic problems. Some say it’s not one but two cities, since if you live north you don’t want to sit in crippling traffic to drive south and vice versa.

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austin-traffic

MoPac (Traffic at sunset, Jon Lebkowsky, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)

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In fact, it’s so bad that I think twice before visiting friends who live south. But I wanted to see what was going on in Victor’s old house, so I set off midday on a Saturday, theoretically when there were less cars on the road. On the way, I thought about what might have happened to Victor and the clues I had about him so far. I knew that if he was still alive, he’d be turning sixty-two this year, the age of death for members of the Gottlieb family who had inherited the cursed gift of healing.  Sixty-two – Victor’s father and grandfather had died in hit-and-runs at that age. I felt time breathing down my neck. If I wanted to get to the bottom of Victor’s story, I’d better do it fast. My hands started perspiring on the steering wheel. What else did I know? I attempted a mental list:    

  1. Caroline might have done away with Victor in 2006 when he began harassing her about Mercer.
  2. Joe may have had his sharpshooter driver, Lloyd Peterson, do the job out of jealousy that another man was his son’s father.
  3. Mary Hernandez, girlfriend of the young woman who’d died in Victor’s care, might have done it.
  4. Cold blooded Betsy might have found a sneaky way to kill Victor because he knew her secret.
  5. Big Pharma was always lurking in the background – according to one researcher, eighty alternative doctors had mysteriously disappeared over the past decade, ostensibly because the drug companies didn’t like their form of medicine.

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fbi-men

Photo of the FBI-looking men teenaged Victor & Janet Lamar found in Leonard’s office

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I pulled up in front of Victor’s old house. It looked the same, although the buildings on either side of it had been pulled down and replaced with ultra modern boxes that appeared soulless from the outside. Victor’s house, the house Betsy’s sister Janet was currently living in, certainly didn’t look soulless. In fact, as I shut off the engine, a dog who looked remarkably like Victor’s old dog Ranger came loping down the front walkway toward me, inquisitive as a cop. I got out of the car and let him sniff at me before turning toward the house. In my mind, Victor appeared in the doorway just then and beckoned, ghostly in his white suit.

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creepy lodge in a graveyard in the shade of a large fig tree

haunted house (cropped), creepyhalloweenimages, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ http://redgraf.deviantart.com/art/theoretically-mechanics-300387771

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