A Cold Snow in Castaway County Chapter 1

After that, Dell had been placed on administrative leave for a while then a desk job with no possibility to respond to any calls for service while the department conducted an internal investigation into the shooting. That was all normal police procedure. Within a month, the department had cleared Dell, classifying the case as a “justifiable use of force under the circumstances” and the Commonwealth Attorney listed it as a “justifiable homicide.” None of that really helped Dell anyway. The local papers had all crucified him for the killing of a young child with a flashlight and his name was the bane of every local radio and television program. Of course, as soon as Dell became a persona non-grata in the community, Elaine had left him high and dry. Her life was organized each day with the end goal of always elevating herself in the community, elevating her social status, becoming the “queen bee.” She just couldn’t allow her husband to drag her down as she was climbing the ladder. Unfortunately, to her, Dell had become a huge liability and she needed to cut her liabilities to be successful.

Dell simply lost his desire to continue working in law enforcement then and began working on a local rescue squad. He felt he needed to give something back to the community, as if he had taken something that night and had to somehow make a repayment for it. At that time he felt sure he would never be able to strap on a gun belt and place himself in the position of possibly shooting someone ever again.

Within six months, Dell had received a call from an old school friend Dexter Delaney. Dex now lived in Maine and wanted Dell to come up and visit for a while. Dex was a pastor with a local church and Dell decided that his life needed a renewal process and maybe, just maybe, Dex would be the one to point him in the right direction. That’s how Dell had ended up in Castaway County.

Now he was preparing to make a run for the office of Sheriff in this little woodland community. And he had his friend Dex to both thank for the opportunity and to push him into it in the first place. As he drove into Forest Road, which was the entry into Bear Cove and his cabin, Dell began to wonder again. Did he have the strength and ability to fight his own demons and use a handgun again if need be?

Dell also thought about the question asked by the reporter, Ms. Parks her name was, about his ability to adapt to being a Sheriff after being a police officer. Well, it was a good question, he thought. A sheriff has a lot of duties and responsibilities, some of which Dell may not even as yet be aware of. If he did win the election, how was he going to educate himself about the job? Would he be able to rely upon any of the current staff to help and mentor him? If he did, would they see that as a sign of weakness on his part? How could he be a leader if he really didn’t know the job functions well enough himself? Dell decided that he needed to think more about these issues and consider making an action plan in case he actually won the election. Now he was sweating and opening his collar more to allow for unconstricted breathing. He thought to himself,’ I had no idea that running for Sheriff was going to be so nerve-wracking!”

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