Edgar was an odd character. He wasn’t a Little Person, being well over four-foot tall, but his hunched posture made him appear smaller.
On the hottest of days, he would wear a long, overcoat that nearly reached the ground, tangling around his ankles. A wide-brimmed fedora and dark glasses shaded his face, and black cotton gloves covered his gnarled hands.
He was seen walking along Sycamore Street between 4 and 5 pm every Thursday evening. Roxie Pascal claimed she saw him squeezing honeydews at the Safeway one Sunday morning, but without verification from James, the weekend produce manager, it was considered a false sighting.
Behind his large framed glasses, and the shadow of his hat, Edgar’s age was a mystery. The oldest residents of New Castle said he was old when they were kids, but that would make him over 100 years old.
His house sat on the edge of town, at the northern end of Sycamore. The two-story Queen Anne style house, with its wrap-around porch, towers and bay windows, never seemed to age, much like its resident. The siding always looked freshly painted, the landscaping immaculately tended, and the walks swept. Yet, no one remembers seeing a maintenance crew or Edgar working in his yard.
The enigma that was Edgar deepened when he missed his weekly amble through town. His neighbor, Rev. Haskins, called the sheriff asking for a deputy to do a courtesy check of the old man.
Scooter, the only deputy working that night, told Sheriff Simpson that he didn’t want to drive out to just babysit an old man.
“You don’t get to decide that,” Simpson said, pushing the rookie out of the station door. For the hundredth time he regretted hiring his wife’s nephew.
Scooter stomped out to his cruiser, scuffing his shoes in the gravel as he kicked stones in the parking lot.
Climbing out of the patrol car after parking in front of the house, Scooter grabbed his over-sized MagLight 6-Cell-D. He tucked it into his empty holster, since the sheriff still hadn’t clear him to carry a real weapon.
There were no lights on in the old house, and no one answered the doorbell. Armed with his flashlight, Scooter began a search of the perimeter.
The first thing he found was Edgar’s fedora and gloves, partially hidden under a lilac bush at the corner of the porch. Heading around the side of the house, Scooter picked up the old man’s overcoat. As he made his way to the arbor at the back of the property, Scooter called in to the dispatcher, asking for the Sheriff.
“Uncle Pete,” Scooter’s voice shook. “You better get out here. There’s something weird going.”
“Did you find Edgar?” Sheriff Simpson knew something was wrong when Scooter called him uncle.
“Well, sort of,” Scooter said. “At least pieces of him”