Every town has a story. Some are happy, some are sad.
Some are downright terrifying.
And most have stories they like to keep hidden.
Madison, Texas is no different.
Step into a town with a past. Nestled in Oil and Timber rich East Texas, this town might be small, but the drama is huge.
The book will be released in chapters and you can read it free at the link below
Copyright 2019 Kohl Media Solutions. All Rights Reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Miles Kohl is the author of the fantasy novel “2513.” You can find it on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SA2FTN8
The story of a family torn apart. A man will find himself pushed to the edge when he is robbed of what he feels is rightfully his. He falls for a seductive conwoman who threatens to tear Madison Texas apart!
“The nice thing about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else does.”
8 December 2010
1445 local time
Madison County Sheriff’s Department Unit 39
Officer Ben Maitland was looking forward to the end of his shift.
It was not that he particularly hated his job, it was just that today of all days, he felt that he needed to be elsewhere. The gloomy, overcast sky did not help his mood much. Being parked out in what he considered the farthest part of Madison County, he was left with nothing but time on his hands.
Time to sit quietly and try and stay warm.
Time to think.
For the umpteenth time, he picked up his cell phone. He wanted to call his wife and check on her. Expecting their first child any day now, he was afraid of everything that could possibly go wrong.
But she will probably just tell me that I am worrying too much, he mused. His whole family had taken to kidding him that he was more worried about his wife’s pregnancy than she was.
They would probably be right, he smiled. He glanced at the cell phone in his hand and figured that a quick call would not hurt.
“Unit 3-9 respond.” his radio squawked.
Maitland sighed and set his cell phone down.
“Unit 3-9, over. What’s up Francie?”
“9-1-1 call at 5-2-2-7 Fm 1130. Unresponsive person. Ambulance en route.” the voice replied.
“The Bauer Farm?” he responded.
The static was deafening for a few seconds before he heard a terse reply.
Maitland sighed, “Roger that, Unit 3-9 en route. Over.”
He started up his cruiser and looked at his cell phone.
“I will call you later baby,” he said to the phone.
With that, he put his cruiser in gear and sped off to the Lynne Farm.
Definitely can’t wait for my shift to end.
9 December 2010
1504 Local Time
Madison County Sheriff’s Department Unit 39
Maitland’s cruiser pulled into the driveway. It snaked around about a hundred yards before the house came into view.
For an older wood-frame house, he could see that it was pretty well kept.
He noticed the ambulance parked in front of the house, its lights flashing. He didn’t relish these calls for the simple fact that unresponsive usually always meant deceased.
And just like that, a family will have their holidays ruined, he thought.
The mix of the flashing lights of the ambulance and Maitland’s cruiser cast a surreal light show on the home. The gray overcast sky just made it all the more surreal.
Maitland noticed that there was a truck there, he thought he recognized it, but couldn’t quite place it. Then he noticed a blue-gray Ford Crown Victoria parked next to it. He knew immediately who that was.
How did the Justice of the Peace get here so fast? Maitland wondered. The Bauer Farm was a good twenty minutes from town. He could understand the ambulance, their rounds were a lot like his, so they were close.
But the Judge?
He figured that he would figure it out eventually.
Maitland walked up the steps to the front door. The door was wide open so he walked inside.
To his left he noticed an older man standing in the kitchen with a tall man with dark hair and a slightly unkempt beard wearing an EMT uniform. The older man looked to be in a state of shock. He was just looking straight ahead, but his eyes were not focused on any one thing.
Maitland had seen that look many times before during his time in Iraq. A man that had seen too many things, or something so horrific that he just has to shut down to stay sane.
He walked up to the EMT extending his hand. He started, “Deputy Maitland, Madison County Sheriff’s Department.”
The EMT took his hand, giving a firm handshake, “Greg Allen, SETEX Medical.”
He motioned to the older gentlemen, “This is the deceased’s husband, Günter Bauer.”
Maitland looked closely at Bauer. He noticed that he hardly acknowledged his presence. He shared a glance with Allen and suggested, “Maybe you could take him to your ambulance and let him sit there till I have a chance to talk to him.”
Allen nodded and gently grabbed Bauer by the hand. He soothingly said, “Come with me, Mr. Bauer so we can check you out.”
The two left the house. Maitland turned to head into the living room,
One is never ready for seeing a corpse, he thought.
This one was no exception. She was in her easy chair, he noticed it was blue. He saw that there was a tan cloth on her neck.
Maitland saw that she was still bleeding and that the cloth was on the wound. He wondered if Mr. Bauer had tried to stop the bleeding.
The wound was huge, no one would have survived it. But, is a person seeing their loved one injured capable of any thought but trying to save them?
Her hands were slumped in her lap.
He had his suspicions about this but wanted everything to be done by the book.
Maitland turned to head back to his car.
“Dispatch, Unit 3-9. Over.” He called into his radio.
A few seconds of static was followed by a female voice, “Unit 3-9, Dispatch. Over.?”
“Dispatch, this doesn’t look good. Can you contact the Chief Deputy and send the Crime Scene Trailer?”
There were a few minutes of silence, “Roger Unit 3-9. We have a call placed into Strassen.”
“Roger that. Unit 3-9 out.”
Maitland turned to head back into the house but saw Judge Perkins exiting the house.
“Judge Perkins,” Maitland began, “Nice to see you this afternoon.”
The elderly man looked at Maitland and cocked his head to the side. “Well, I was off visiting family in the neighborhood. My Daughter and that no good husband of hers lives about three miles down the road. So I was spoiling my grandkids.”
Perkins offered his hand, “And you are Deputy?..”
Perkins nodded as he shook his hand. “Maitland? You Dorothy and Jack Maitland’s boy?”
“Yes sir,” Maitland replied, “Their youngest.”
“How are they gettin’ on?”
Ben shuffled uncomfortably for a second. He didn’t want to get too talkative with the Judge, especially at a potential crime scene, but still, he felt that he should at least be friendly.
“Fine sir,” he answered. “They are ready for their latest grandkid.”
Perkins nodded with a smile. Then motioned toward the house.
Maitland looked in the direction of the house. He gave a scowl.
“Well, it’s too early to say.” He answered, “Just now started looking over the place. Did call for the crime scene unit from the county though.”
Perkins nodded. I had looked around a bit. I spoke to Bauer a bit. It had been a while since I had visited with them.”
Maitland looked surprised. Perkins was an old school politician. He doubted that there was a baby he hadn’t kissed or hand he had not shaken in his Precinct.
The Judge went on, “They had been sorta staying to themselves lately. I take that back, I can’t say I have seen them in months.”
Maitland thought that was interesting. He sighed. “I think I will need an autopsy.”
Perkins nodded in agreement. “I will order it.”
Judge Perkins looked up at the house one last time and then at Maitland. He offered his hand, “well, I will give my regards to Gunter and then wait for the funeral home to collect
you got this.
She got out and walked over to Gideon.
“Deputy Hutchins,” Gideon bellowed out as she approached.
“Deputy, this is Judge Perkins.” he stated motioning to the other gentleman.
Oh, she thought. She smiled, “Hello you honor.”
Perkins grinned at her and then looked at Gideon, “I see you are now hiring attractive young women. It almost makes staring at your ugly mug bearable.”
Gideon laughed, “Hear now, or I will tell your wife.”
Gideon looked at Hutchins.”Deputy Maitland is lead Deputy on this. He is inside with the deceased. See what he needs. I will be in presently.”
With that, he turned back and started talking to Perkins again.
The Deputy turned to the house and made her way to the front door.
Standing at the door, she banged on it three times and slowly entered.
“Deputy Maitland?” she called out as she stepped in.
“In the living room.” a voice called back.
She stepped into the room seeing Maitland looking over the scene, There she saw an older woman, her hands in her lap, head tilted over to the side. Her pink shirt was covered with blood that was slowly still dripping from a gunshot hole on her neck.
The woman had her feet up in the blue recliner, covered by a brightly colored afghan.
“What do you need me to do?” she asked.
Maitland motioned to the camera around her neck.
“As many pictures of the scene as you can get.”
“Once the crime scene trailer gets here, we can start marking things.”
Hutchins took the lens cap off of her camera and said, “Sheriff Gideon said he would be inside once he finished talking to Judge Perkins.”
Mailand nodded and went back to taking notes.
9 December 2010
1600 Local Time
Gideon entered the house through the front door and immediately took in the scene.
He saw Maitland taking notes and smiled. He remembered Maitland as a teen who was in more than his share of trouble. There were times that he was convinced that prison was in Maitland’s future.
But after his senior summer of high school, he straightened out. He never said to anyone as far as Gideon knew what went on, even to his parents, but something changed Maitland.
He later enlisted and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan before coming home and becoming a deputy.
Gideon was convinced by the way Maitland took his job seriously, that in about fifteen years, Maitland might have his job.
Gideon then looked at Hutchins as she took picture after picture. He could tell she was nervous, but he had been nervous about his first death scene as well.
It had been twenty-two years earlier, but he still remembered every detail.
He had to push for the approval to hire an extra deputy with the Commissioner’s Court, but he felt her talents with computers would come in handy in the coming years.
He coughed to get the attention on Maitland.
Maitland gave him a look, one that a person has when they are looking at you and also looking right through you.
“Sheriff,” Maitland said
“Ben, what have we got?” Gideon asked looking at the deceased. He knew her and it never ceased to bother him when he knew them. It made him mentally count the days to retirement.
Another senseless tragedy in this cruel world he mused.
“The deceased…” Maitland started.
‘Karen.” Gideon interrupted.
“Her name is, or was, Karen Bauer,” Gideon said sternly. “Remember this in your cases for the future. The deceased is not it, the deceased was someone’s mother, sister, daughter. When you investigate a case, you are dealing with a human being that God put on this Earth.”
Maitland looked at him contemplatively then nodded. He continued, “Karen Bauer, died of a single gunshot to the neck.”
He motioned to the gun about five feet away, “The 45 caliber handgun fired it looks like one shot.”
He motioned to the shell casing next to the recliner.
Maitland finished, “I am waiting on Chief Deputy Henderson and the Crime Scene Unit to go over the scene.”
Gideon nodded, impressed. “I know Karen Bauer and her husband.”
Maitland looked over at the body then over at Gideon. “Maybe you can talk to Mr. Bauer. He seems to be in shock. Perhaps he will be more at ease with someone he knows.”
Gideon nodded again.
Hutchins saw the purse while they were talking and picked it up. “Deputy Maitland?”
He looked over at her and the purse. “Identification?”
Maitland nodded, “Go take those out to Judge Perkins for his inquest notes, then bring them back.”
She nodded as she left.
Deputy Chief Eric Henderson pulled down the driveway with the crime scene trailer. He really hated driving his truck and that trailer down gravel paths, the trailer had a tendency to slide some as it went around curves.
Unfortunately, most of the back roads and driveways in Madison County were gravel or dirt roads so it was never a fun excursion to pull the trailer.
He was going a little faster than he would have liked, but he wanted to get to the scene before anything had contaminated the scene.
Ahead he could see a number of cars in front of the house.
Great, he thought, parking will be fun.
Gideon was no big fan of the new emergency lights of ambulances.
In his mind, it looked like the kind of strobe lights you would see in a strip joint, not on an ambulance.
Oh well, he shrugged. Not much that he could do about changing that.
He opened the side door of the ambulance and there sat Gunter in the gurney. A blanket was draped over his shoulders. Gunter was just looking forward, no expression on his face at all.
Gideon shrugged when he looked into Bauer’s eyes. It reminded him of some of his buddies in the jungles of Vietnam. The eyes of a person that has seen something, lived something, that they would rather forget.
“Gunter?” Gideon called to him. Gunter blinked.
The EMS worker looked at Gunter and Gideon from the jump seat in the back. “Mr. Bauer here has not been too talkative. He has just sorta been mumbling something under his breath every couple of minutes.”
Gideon stepped up into the back of the ambulance and with a bound, sat next to Gunter and put his arm around him.
“Gunter,” Gideon said firmly and gently at the same time. “It’s Mitch Gideon. Are you okay?”
Bauer sat there, staring off at nothing in particular. His chest heaving slowly with each breath.
“I think my wife shot herself.” he finally said without emotion.
Gideon was confused, but he decided to probe some, “You think? Or did she?”
After a couple of minutes, Gunter’s emotionless voice repeated, “I think my wife shot herself.”
Gideon sighed, “So what happened?”
After about three minutes of watching Gunter’s jaw twitch as if he wanted to say something, all the Gunter could do is turn his head to Gideon, tears streaking down his face.
“I think my wife shot herself,” Gunter said once more time, this time full of despair and pain.
Gideon could do nothing except hug his old friend.
“It will be okay Gunter. It will be okay.”
Maitland heard the truck pull in and sighed.
It was about time he thought. He was ready to start working on the crime scene.
He looked over at Hutchins who was still busy taking pictures. He said to her motioning to the window, “Crime Scene Trailer is here.”
Hutchins stopped taking pictures and nodded.
“Great. Let’s get to work.”
Gideon waited a bit before asking Gunter again, “So you think your wife shot herself?”
After a minute Gunter simply nodded yes.
“And so you put the towel on her neck to stop the bleeding?”
After a minute he once again nodded yes.
‘Then you called 9-1-1?”
Another minute, then a nod.
“Do you have someone we can call or contact? You shouldn’t be alone right now.”
Gideon noticed more tears. Gunter’s lips quivered for a minute or two before he answered softly, “Jim Ludvik on the other side of Madisonfield. He is Karen’s cousin.”
Gideon smiled softly at Bauer. “Okay, We will contact him.”
Bauer looked a little relieved, Gideon pursed his lips slightly, “Now can you tell me a little about what happened?”
Maitland and Henderson started collecting the evidence.
Maitland looked down and picked up the shell casing. He nodded to Henderson who began writing as Maitland spoke, “Evidence bag one. A 45 caliber shell casing hull located at the back of the couch.”
Maitland picked up the gun that had been lying on the floor. He removed the magazine from the gun, and placed it in an evidence bag. “In evidence bag three, I have placed a magazine with five live rounds in the magazine.”
He checked the gun, “And one round in the gun chamber for a total of six live rounds.”
“Bersa stainless steel Thunder 45 Model .45 caliber handgun. Lying approximately Five to Six feet away from the body. To the left and in front of the chair. Note that the hammer is on the cocked with a round in the chamber.” Maitland stated as Henderson wrote it down.
Henderson placed the description into the evidence bag and Maitland dropped the gun into it. Maitland added as he sealed it, “Marking this as evidence bag two.”
Henderson nodded as Maitland handed the bag to him. Henderson set it on his cart while Maitland went to pick up the next piece of evidence.
That was interrupted as Sheriff Gideon came back into the room.
“Hutchins,” he called.
She snapped to attention and looked at him apprehensively, “Sir?”
“The Bauer’s have a relative in Madisonfield. Name of Jim Ludvik. I want you to drive out there and inform him of his cousin’s passing. See if there is any kin we can call.”
Hutchins put her camera back into its case. “Yes sir.”
Maitland looked over at Hutchins, “Can you send me the pics you took”
She nodded, “I will burn them to a disc the second I have a chance.”
The was met with a slight smile, “How many?”
Henderson walked over and looked at the journal, his eyes narrowed as he looked over at the opened page.
“It says here that she was remembering her father and his death.”
He looked up at Gideon, “Any ideas?”
Gideon shrugged, “I remember that he died about ten years ago. Not sure the reasons. Let me go ask Gunter.”
Henderson nodded while flipping through other pages.
Gideon stepped back into the ambulance. He looked at Gunter Bauer who was laying down on the stretcher, staring up at the ceiling.
Gideon looked at him, “Gunter, I have a couple of questions.”
A few minutes later Gideon returned. “Well, according to Mr. Bauer, her father shot himself in the neck.”
Henderson just nodded grimly. “ I want to see the results of an autopsy, but everything that I am seeing is in line with suicide.”
Maitland’s thoughts went to his wife and their unborn child. He had to shake his head at that. “I saw a lot of guys in the sandbox that couldn’t take it and did that. I cannot say that I can understand what is going through their minds.”
“I can only imagine what is going through the minds of those they left behind.”
His eyes trailed to the window and at the ambulance outside.
All the men stood there silently for a moment.
Gideon broke the silence, “Let’s let the EMTs retrieve Karen so we can let the healing begin.”
Hutchins stepped back into the living room. She saw that the body had been removed, there were markers down where the gun and bullet had been.
Chief Deputy Henderson was standing with Gideon and Maitland talking when she entered and they looked at her.
“Well, what did you find out?” Sheriff Gideon asked.
She opened her notebook, “I found out from the cousin that she has a brother in Nacogdoches named Harold Bane. Ludvik gave me his number, I will give him a call from the station once I get back.”
She lauded for a minute, “Ludvik will also be calling her son, Gerald Bane..”
“She’s Elmer’s Mom?” Henderson interjected.
Hutchins looked confused, “Elmer?”
Henderson smiled, “Gerald. He and I went to high school together. We called him Elmer.”
Gideon’s eyes narrowed, “Like Fudd?”
Henderson nodded his head, “No. the glue. He was always annoying the teachers in high school. Either by trying to be the class clown, or just being a royal pain.
Well, one day in our 8th Grade US History class, Mr. Southard, he said something totally off the wall about the US Civil War. Without missing a beat, Mr. Southard looked right at him and asked him if he had ate Elmer’s glue in kindergarten.”
Henderson chuckled, “After that, the name stuck..”
Gideon chortled, “Like Glue?”
Henderson laughed, “Well, yes.”
Gideon looked at Maitland, then the others. “Ben, it looks like we have everything here for the moment. You are running point on the case.”
He put on his stetson and walked out.
The family gets involved and the investigation gets underway in Chapter 3, Times Like These…
After several years of reporting and writing I have decided its time for a full length novel and possibly a film