As promised last week, here is the next installment in Meet the Mccarthy Family. And next up of course is Mick our 'main man' and Bridget's friend and lover. And although he says that he doesn't really feel comfortable about expressing his feelings―except to Bridget―maybe he can fill us in about how he and Bridge got involved in detective work.
Mick: Hey, what's shaking? Yeah, I guess I can tell you about that. And probably a little about me, if you’re interested. Let's see…I'm twenty-two, I've got brown hair, and these weird gray-blue eyes. I ride a BSA 650 and am totally zonked out over a cute little 5' 2" chick with the greenest eyes on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.
I'm the middle kid in our family, for whatever difference that makes. In one of my psych classes, the professor is always babbling on about how birth order runs your life and all that crap, but I don't buy it. Although I gotta admit, being raised half McCarthy and half Prescott is weird enough to fill up a psych textbook all by itself. Mom wanted me to be one of the Prescott aristocracy. And Pop? He just wanted me to be a man.
I guess that's why I never could seem to be able to figure out just what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I mean my mom and the Prescotts had it all neatly worked out. They sent me to Andover and got me into Harvard and then I was supposed to join Frankie at Hayward, Elliott & Delbert―or one of the Prescott holding companies. Mom even had the perfect little wife picked out for me, one of the partners’ daughter's―Paige Elliott. Yeah, my whole life had been planned right down to the last little detail. The only part that Mom didn't plan for was the part where I got kicked out of Harvard for fighting and then the part where Pop got so pissed at me for getting kicked out that he told me, "If you love fighting so much, why don't you join the army!"
And I did. Vietnam in 1966. An all expense paid tour, courtesy of Uncle Sam. When I managed to survive three months without getting my head blown off, they made me corporal. And when Mendez, our platoon sergeant, got his blown off, they gave me his job. Strangely, even though most of it was ninety-nine percent mind-numbing boredom followed by one percent pure terror, I actually seemed to be good at it. At least that's what my guys told me. And I kept most of 'em in one piece too―until that day in June on that jungle trail when everything hit the fan and...
Bridge says I've got to let it go. Keep telling myself it's over and to leave it there. And believe me, I want to. And most of the time when I'm busy and we're doing a case or I've got an interesting class―oh yeah, Bridge even got me to go back to Harvard part time. You know as long as I'm busy, doing something that counts, then it's OK. It's just at night sometimes. Sometimes when I dream...they come back.
Damn! Sorry. I'm not thinking about that anymore. Anyway...oh yeah. Here's what got me thinking about 'Nam. My best friend and corporal, Smitty from Harlan County, Kentucky, has this cousin Cody, who got himself accused of murder down in Newport, Rhode Island. Seems that Cody was in a band that was playing down at the Newport Folk Festival when he met a beautiful little blond fox who just happened to be the only daughter of the most wealthy and powerful man in Newport. And everyone saw good old Cody, grinning from ear to ear, leave the club with her that night.
Sounds pretty sweet, huh? Problem was, the next morning she just happened to wind up dead. That's when I got a phone call from Smitty and that's how me and Bridge wound up taking a little trip to Newport. Man, I'll tell you, it was...ah, but you can read about the whole thing in Shadow of Innocence.
I'm getting too longwinded anyway. Just let me say that I may bitch about my family. But then, who doesn't? They're OK. But the one who really keeps my head screwed on straight―well as straight as I'm ever gonna get it―is Bridge. No, I'm not gonna go all poetic and romantic on you but she is one dynamite, smart, gutsy chick. And cute as they come too. I know that most guys would think it was weird. You know, teaming up with your girlfriend on a case that can get pretty rough sometimes.
Did I mention that she's got five brothers and a father who are as tough as they come? And let me tell you, outside of my old squad, there's no one who I'd rather have watching my back. And come to think of it, I rather enjoy watching her back too. And her front. Actually, I don't believe that there's single part of Miss Connolly that I don't enjoy watching. OK, now I really do have to shut up―before I dig this hole any deeper for myself. Anyway, you can get all the details in Shadow of Innocence and I can promise you, it's a wild ride.
Hope you enjoyed meeting Mick and hope to see you back here next week when we'll be meeting Mick's Mom !
Ric Wasley - Author
Shadow of Innocence - Kunati"