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Why Did He Really Cross The Road?
by A'keith Walters

The three feathers, chick yellow in color, lay embedded in the gravel beside the county road. A red cap rested on the pavement several feet away with several similar feathers attached. Police tape was strung in a makeshift pen to cordon the area fifty feet in both directions of the two lanes. Being just before dawn, there was no traffic. No one was crowing about the early hour, either.

In the center were two medical examiners hovering over the bantam figure of a male in henna speckled tweeds, his legs outstretched and arms folded at odd angles like a stiff rubber chicken. Both examiners were pecking out a visual survey of the pavement before taking a diligent look at the victim.

Ten feet to the side, within sight of the accident, stood a man, his beard oscillating from rooster red to dark blue in the glare of the patrol cars’ strobes. His hand concealed a small digital recorder. Being a techno cluck, he would have preferred a notepad. After thirty years as a reporter on the police beat, his editor insisted he use the gadget.

He hacked to clear his throat, almost crowing, into a handkerchief which he promptly tucked in the side pocket of his brown jacket. He pulled the knot of his red tie askew, letting it dangle from his unbuttoned collar under his chin sags. As he puffed out his chest, he placed the recorder near his lips to speak when an officer tapped on his shoulder.

“Mr. Henry Penny, you got here quick enough. Listening in on our dispatcher?”

The older man, his cropped beard strutted out stiff, frowned at the interruption and lowered his recorder to his side.

“Of course. Same as I’ve always done, long before you were even a baby fledgling out of short pants, Chief Roster.”

The police officer, a middle-aged man, still with a youthful rugged appearance, gave a soft chuckle at the humorous attempt at a put down.

“So, tell me, Roster, what do you think happened? Kind of a deserted spot out here. A two lane county road. Middle of the night. Looks to me like a pretty hard hit and run.”

Roster stared at the medical examiners who appeared to be finishing up their task. “Yep, kind of deserted. A perfect spot.”

“What do you mean?” The reporter turned on his recorder and raised it to his chest. The pick up was phenomenal regardless of its size.

“His name, by his ID, is Eclore Poulet. And it would seem his death may have been by his own hand.”

“Suicide? How do you figure that?”

Roster held up a slip of crumpled paper. “We can not be sure but he left us a note.”

“What does it say? For the record, of course.”

“Hard to tell. His hand writing is such chicken scratch.”

“Do you mean to say…”

Roster looked hard at the old reporter then back to where the corpse was being loaded onto a stretcher. The examiners looked as if they were ready to fly the coop. “Yes. I am afraid we may never know why this Poulet crossed the road.”