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The Search For Potato Sausages
Loretta A. Stradley
"I know you are never going to believe this but I am being followed."

Saturday started like any other Saturday. I slept till seven, got dressed, drank my coffee, and ate the breakfast that my husband made. "After you drop me off at work, you need to go to Klemm's and get some potato sausages. We need milk too." He said.
"I want to get some flowers to put out in the yard." I replied.
"That's fine dear but make sure to get the sausages first before they close. They close early on the weekend."

I got out a piece of paper and a pen to make a list. I knew he would want me to do some things while he was at work. We both hated it that he worked Saturdays because we didn't get to do things together as much. His job was from twelve in the afternoon to eight thirty at night Monday through Thursday with Friday off while I work Monday through Friday from six in the morning to three in the afternoon. Needless to say Sunday was our time to be together so we wanted all chores and errands done before then. What he couldn't get done before he went to work I did.

After I got dressed I took him to work. Waving to his co-workers, who were outside smoking, I drove off to begin my day, hardly imagining the way it was going to turn out. I was expecting a letter that was to be delivered registered mail so I went home first. Sipping a cup of coffee I watched the ducks on the pond. It was going to be a beautiful day by the looks of the sky. I loved spring when it started getting warmer and lighter.

The doorbell rang, which made my cat go nuts. He hated that doorbell. I have considered replacing the bell with another, but haven't gotten around to it yet. It is on my other list of "Things-To-Do". After signing for the letter I thanked the postman and shut the door. I put the letter on the desk in our office and then left the house. According to my list I had to go to Lowe's to get a flat of flowers. Lowe's didn't have flats but they did have some lovely Lilly-of-the-Valley, so I bought a few of those. We just bought the house and the yard, though landscaped, needed flowers. I also bought a magazine on gardening. I wanted to make a raised flowerbed for the front yard. Next on the list was Frank's Nursery. I needed some potting soil and wanted to take a look at their hanging baskets. The front porch was missing something and I thought a hanging basket would just do the trick. I went outside to the hothouse. I love hothouses because the humidity level is nice. And the smell of all the different flowers waft about. I didn't notice the man until he bumped into me. I was too busy trying to decide which bunch of what colors would look good together. "Excuse me." I said. "I'm sorry. I didn't see you there."
"Where's the list. You got the list?" the man said.
"Pardon me?"
"Give me the list." He said.
I was so shocked by his tone and manner that I handed him my folded list.

Why he would want my list I have no idea, but that is why I forgot the milk.
He took the paper and quickly left. I picked up my flat of pansies and the hanging basket and put them in the cart. I quickly went to the check out keeping my eyes open and looking around the store. I didn't see him anywhere but I was spooked now and wanted to get out of there. I took my purchases home and made sure the doors were locked. I didn't think I had been followed but I was still jumpy from my encounter with the list man and wasn't taking any chances.

I then left for the German butcher shop to get the potato sausages. It was an old establishment downtown. I kept looking in the rearview mirror expecting to see a black sedan with tinted windows following me. Too many spy movies I guess, but that guy scared me. I hardly noticed the trees that were all leafing out or the pretty lawns in front of the houses I passed. I was too preoccupied with men in black and double oh seven type people. I parked in the parking lot next to the shop. There were only one or two cars in it and no black sedans with tinted windows. There was a panel van across the street but I paid it no mind. Entering the small store I saw a meat counter with two women behind it.

It was a very small place and not much room. A man was ordering some sausages and meats of various types. He had a slight German accent to his voice and was very stern. He glowered at me when I came in and but I just stared back.
One woman asked me for my order and I said, "I need some potato sausages. How much are they?"
The man continued to glare at me and paid for his purchases. He then left with one more look at me. I don't know what he was thinking but by the look he gave me it couldn't have been pleasant. I paid for my potato sausages and the kielbasa I decided to get. I left the store and went to my car. The van was still across the street but now there was another one. They looked innocent enough but my instincts were screaming "DANGER". I qot in my car and locked the doors. After turning onto the street I headed for the highway. I lived in the north part of the city while the store was actually downtown. It would take me about thirty minutes to get home. Long way to go for sausages I know but they were well worth the extra miles.

I glanced in the mirror to see if I was followed. There wasn't much traffic at the time so the sedan was easy to spot. It didn't have tinted windows but I wish it did. The man from the nursery was in the passenger side while the man from the butcher shop was driving. In a panic now I sped up. I didn't know what I was going to do but I didn't want to take them to my place. I got my cell phone out of the glove box and called my husband at work. "Yes dear?"
"I know you are never going to believe this but I am being followed."
"What do you mean you are being followed? Who is following you?"
"I don't know who they are but earlier some guy took my list and there was another man in Klemm's and two vans were across the street.".
"Across the street from the house?"
"No, no, across the street from Klemm's store. Where I got the potato sausages."
"What man who took what list?"
"Some guy at Frank's demanded I hand over my list. I have no idea why, but I gave it to him. He was scary."
There was a pause and then he said, "Are you sure you aren't making this up?"
"Of course I am not making this up. Why would I make something like this up?"
I glanced in the mirror again and now the two vans were behind me. They each were in different lanes and stayed behind the sedan but I knew they were the same ones. "Now the vans are following me." I said. There was another pause. Then he said, "Where are you?"
"I am on four sixty five going north. I just passed the Meridian Street exit."
"Get off at the next exit and go to the nearest police station. I am going to call them right now."
"Okay!" I replied, disconnected the phone and threw it on the passenger seat. I kept watch on the vans and the sedan but they kept their distance. I got off at the exit and found the police station.

After parking the car in front I ran inside to the first police officer I saw and hysterically explained what was going on. The officer sat me on a bench in the waiting room and told me that he would send someone to see me. A policewoman came out and walked over to me. She introduced herself and asked me what was going on. I quickly explained the whole thing and we both walked out the front doors to see if I had been followed to the station.
There wasn't a thing out of place. No vans or sedans to be seen! We went back to her office and after getting me a Pepsi she took down my information. I don't think she quite believed me but she was polite anyway. She had two police cars follow me home and I didn't see the vans or the sedan. The police waited till I got in the house then left after saying that they would be in and out of the neighborhood patrolling.

I put my sausages in the fridge and then sat down on the sofa. My cats came and lay next to me but I was jumpy as hell. When the phone rang I almost had a heart attack. "Hello?"
"Mrs. Davis? This is Detective Dodge here. I was given your report because I have been working on a case involving illegal drugs. I wanted to give you a call to tell you that because of your experience today we were able to arrest a major gang of drug dealers. The vans you saw today were police vans following that black sedan. The man who talked to you at the nursery is a drug dealer. The top dog in the city!"
I listened in disbelief as he recounted the rest of the story. It seems I became mixed up in some kind of deal accidentally. The man mistook me for a contact he needed to make and the list was a list of names and places. It was the biggest gang in the Midwest, I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But with my help they were able to catch the man who headed the outfit, and the whole network. When he went to Klemm's based on my list. He assured me that they had caught the whole gang and there wasn't anything to worry about. He also thanked me for helping out even though I was an unwitting police accomplice.

When my husband got home later that night I told him everything the police detective had said. He may not have believed me. He just stared at me a while then asked 'what happened to the milk?'.

© Loretta Stradley May 2002

email: loretta stradley

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