Rather than just posting ordinary character profiles, I am going to do something a bit different. It gives me a chance to stretch my creative muscles and allows you, the reader, to learn more about the characters and life in Elkhart in general. This will be a weekly feature. Every Thursday, I will feature a new character being interviewed by the obnoxious but energetic radio host JJ Penn from Elkhart Radio 104.9.
Here is Episode Two: JJ Meets Jack.
Good Afternoon Folks! This is JJ Penn from Elkhart Radio 104.9 and I am back on the scene in Fox Hollow and we’re going to see if Jack Morrow, the lead male character from the new mystery novel, Shadows of Morrow is willing to talk to us and answer some of our questions. It looks like he’s in the pasture over there with some of his workers tending to an injured cow. I’m just going to mozy on over there, and see what’s up.
JJ: Hello Jack… Mr. Morrow?
Jack turns from the injured sow on the ground, and gives JJ a glaring look.
Jack: Didn’t you see the sign? No trespassing! Now get gone…
JJ: Jack, I’m JJ Penn from…
Jack gives JJ an incredulous look, and he looks back at Frank who is gently stroking the cow’s side.
Jack: Hey Frank, this guy thinks I care who he is!
Frank growls in a Scottish brogue at JJ.
Frank: You better get going, boy… This is private property, and we don’t take kindly to visits from strangers.
JJ: I don’t mean no harm, but people in town….
Jack: People in town talk a lot of crap about stuff they know nothing about. Now son, I believe I asked you to leave.
JJ tried to step forward, but the path was blocked by several other cows, grazing in the pasture. They lazily chewed their grass and stared at JJ. Whenever JJ moved, the cows move closer, effectively creating a barrier between Jack and JJ. It was as if Jack had paid off his cows.
JJ: Jack, if I could just get a moment of your time!
The cows encroached further mooing loudly. One even went so far as to lick JJ’s leather jacket. JJ retreated in disgust.
JJ: It licked me!
Jack and Frank stared at JJ as if he had lost his mind.
Jack: Am I seeing things? This joker is still here.
Frank: Maybe we should find out what he wants…
Jack: I have a sick cow to deal with. Forget him. If he’s not gone in 10 seconds, I’ll have Adam release Ziggy. JJ, still listening intently heard the name Ziggy, and became more nervous.
JJ: What’s Ziggy?
Jack: Never you mind!
Frank stared at JJ who was still trying to get the licking cow away, but wasn’t having any luck as he was pinned between an old wooden fence and the herd of heifers. Frank smacked his tongue over his teeth and gave Jack a mischievous smirk.
Frank: Want me to take care of him?
JJ’s eyes bugged out of his head.
JJ: I just wanted to ask a few questions. Friendly questions!!
The cow was now licking the side of JJ’s face. JJ’s cringed in disgust. Jack looked at Frank with a serious face.
Jack: Yeah Frank. You better. I don’t want to have to release Ziggy.
JJ: No! Don’t release Ziggy! I mean, I don’t know what Ziggy is, but-
Frank started walking towards JJ. As he did the cows lazily dispersed, except for the one who had taken a liking to JJ. Frank had a menacing look on his face; his burly hands curled into massive fists. As JJ was sure that he was about to get the tar beat out of him, Frank slapped him on the back forcefully, but playfully.
Frank: We’re only messin’ with ya! We figured you were gonna come back up here. Tristan told us you was from the radio station.
JJ, eyes wide, all colored removed from his skin, stared at Frank in disbelief. His back still seared from where Frank had pummeled him. Jack, who was leaning over the beleaguered sow on the ground, was nearly in tears from laughing so hard.
Frank: What’s the matter? You can’t take a joke?!
On the horizon, JJ could see someone and something coming towards them. Frank looked behind him to see who it was.
Frank: Oy! It’s about time. Poor Oscar was seeing angels.
Frank: The poor beast on the ground. That be Oscar.
Tristan, who was leading an enormous pot belly pig on a leash towards her father, handed him a syringe as she looked at the cow on the ground.
Tristan- Poor Oscar….
Jack took the needle and jammed it hard into the cow’s hind quarter, causing it to groan in protest.
JJ- What did you do that for?! Is it going to die?
Frank looked at JJ as if he had lost his mind entirely.
Frank- Die?! What’s the matter with ye?! He got into the corn field again, and he’s allergic! That shot saved Oscar’s life!
Tristan and her pot belly pig approached JJ to say hello.
Tristan- JJ! Nice to see you again.
JJ nodded, not in the mood for social interaction any more after his encounter with Jack and Frank.
Tristan- This here is Ziggy. Say hi, Ziggy.
Ziggy looked up at JJ and snorted loudly. JJ thought the pig must’ve weighed more than he did; it’s belly scraped the ground as it walked, and he waddled from side to side.
Tristan- Don’t be afraid, he wouldn’t hurt a fly! He’s just old and grouchy… and probably hungry.
Suddenly, Ziggy was sniffing at JJ’s feet and digging his teeth into the laces of his suede Oxfords.
JJ jumped up onto the old wooden fence to get away from the hungry pig who had chewed right through his laces.
JJ- Oh, no! That’s it! I’m going home. I’ll come back another day… When you’re back at the house!
Frank and Jack stared at each other as JJ ran back to his car.
Jack- I was just about to answer his questions, too.
Frank- What a feather weight.
Tristan, who was still standing with Ziggy, waved as JJ’s Subaru kicked up dirt as it sped down the road towards Cavegat Pass.
Tristan- Now look what you did, Ziggy. You scared him off… And you Daisy (talking to the cow that had taken a liking to JJ)… You nearly licked his jacket off.
Frank- Think he’ll actually come back?
Jack- Not if Ziggy and Daisy have anything to do with it.
Poor JJ! But don’t worry, he’ll be back next week, and he’ll be in the kitchen with the feisty and vivacious Bridgette Kilpatrick!