Sunday, May 6, 2012

Armed and Outrageous excerpt

I slid the door open and found Eleanor leaning against the white fence that completely wrapped around the deck and extended all the way down to the lake.

If you looked up at the house from the lake, you’d notice how the upstairs’ triangle windows looked like a pair of gigantic eyes, or maybe it was just me that saw these things. I was always one to see more into inanimate things than the average person.

She didn’t turn at my approach.

"Why in the world, Eleanor, would you leave your door unlocked?"

Eleanor turned around with an indignant expression on her face. Her large frame squeezed into a matching mustard colored shirt and Capri pants. On her feet, she wore white flip-flops. I couldn’t understand how she could walk in the blasted things.

Eleanor had blue eyes that simply danced, and her well-wrinkled skin was covered with large moles, as if collecting them. Her thin, gray hair was curled today ... her hair appointment had been only yesterday. When she laughed, which she did often—her whole belly shook.

"Why would I lock the door? I knew you’d be coming straight here after getting the paper. How is Roy this morning?" She giggled and tried unsuccessfully to stop.

"You’re the one that has eyes for him, not me, Eleanor."

"Really? Do you think he would be interested?" Her eyes bobbed and danced suggestively.

Ignoring her chatter, I held up the newspaper and handed it to Eleanor to read. She carried it to one of her white wicker chairs and sat reading the article before handing it back to me.

"It said the same thing on the news this morning. The girl’s father is on his way here too," Eleanor said, putting her hand against her mouth as if someone else could hear her. "Word is that he is staying at Robinson’s Manor while he’s here."

"Put your hand down, and start acting serious for once. How in the world does he think he can get in there? They are always booked this time of year."

"There is one suite that is always empty. I heard they remodeled it real quick like just to accommodate him."

"Certainly not … the suite?"

"One and the same."

"The suite where Mrs. Robinson was raped and murdered in?" I couldn’t believe it. "Nobody in their right mind would want to stay in—that room. Maybe he doesn’t know."

"Beats me, but word is he wants to be close to the place where his daughter went missing."

I cleared my throat. "Where exactly would that be, Eleanor?"

"I was hoping you would ask. Not far from Quick Stop. It was the party store she was going to on Tuesday."

I stood and walked back through the house with Eleanor hot on my heels. "You won’t find anything there. If the police haven’t found anything, what makes you think you will?"

"Eleanor, I’m a concerned citizen, and it’s my god given right to get to the bottom of this. It could be related to Sophia’s disappearance. What if all of these cases are related?"

Eleanor put her hand on my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. "Honey, I know you want to believe that, and I’m not saying you’re wrong, but it’s a long shot. I hope Sophia is still alive too, but Agnes, it’s been a year."

I wiped away a tear that formed. "I know you’re right, but I have to do this."

"Would you like company at least?"

I gave Eleanor a strange look. "I’m not sure you will fit in my Mustang."
We both laughed for a minute while Eleanor retrieved her keys. "I’m driving."

"I don’t think, th-that’s a good idea."

"Don’t be silly, Agnes. You might want to move out of my way. I would hate to lose a good friend at my age."

Eleanor went into her garage and backed out her gray 1980 Cadillac Seville. It only had 50,000 miles, but that was hard to believe with the damage on the body—part of the reason I wanted to drive. They say a Cadillac is built like a tank, one of the main reasons I raised money and bought her the car.

Eleanor didn’t have much luck in her life except inheriting a house from a nephew who’d died unexpectedly a few years back. Her only son, Edward, had nothing to do with her. I met her at the Mikado bingo, quite a distance from where we lived. We were surprised to learn we lived only a mile apart from one another. I was immediately taken in by her quick wit, and I thought of her as a sister I never had—the perfect partner in crime.

Eleanor opened the car door for me. "Don’t be afraid, I promise I can see much better with these new glasses."

I had my doubts about her driving skills, but I climbed in nonetheless. Right on cue, Eleanor hopped in, cranked the engine, and slammed her foot on the pedal. Rocks flew up and tinged the roof; hot tin roof came to mind. She tore off down the road toward Quick Stop. She swerved and didn’t stay in her lane, but we made it there without incident, thanks to the grace of God.


Debby said...

This does sound like an amazing book. I would love to read it.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Madison Johns said...

Thanks. Give you your email address and tell me where I can send you a free copy of my comment contest, you're the winner! Also in what format.