Dangerous Encounter

The sun played hide and seek with the clouds, casting flitting shadows across the overgrown lawn as I got out of my car and walked to the back. Amazingly, remnants of my old rope swing still clung to a sturdy limb of the oak. The rope was frayed and gray, looking like it would disintegrate with the next strong breeze. I smiled, remembering the feel of the wind on my face as I flew through the air, higher and higher, up to the branches of the tree. How wonderful to be that carefree once again, to know nothing of grown-ups and their frailties.

Who owned this place now? Dad had sold it when we left. Why did the previous owner tear the house down? Why did he or she just let the whole thing fall into such disrepair?

Maybe I could buy it. Maybe I could rebuild the house. Perhaps I could rent it or just have it for a place to be when I felt as I did today—lonely and sad. Or, was that a frivolous thought, was I simply trying to hang onto the past when the past was gone? I hated to see this area neglected when it had been the home of the two dearest people in the world to me. I would talk to Daisy. Maybe she knew who it belonged to and if they might be willing to sell.

Wandering back to my car, I saw something half buried in the ground. Stooping down, I picked it up. A penny! And face up! I remembered an old saying from my childhood: Find a penny, pick it up. All the day you’ll have good luck. Tucking it into my pocket, I smiled. It had been good to be here. Already, I felt better, more hopeful. I planned to talk to Daisy right away.

A movement caught my eyes and I glanced up. A figure stepped out from behind my car. My heart turned over and my breath caught in my throat. Moe Decker! Immediately, I was mindful of the loneliness of the place. The street had always been a quiet one, and we had owned a couple of acres. The house was the last one on the block, tucked back among a grove of trees. No one was around. On the whole street, it was only Moe Decker and me.

He grinned—not a friendly smile, but more of a grimace.

“So, we meet again, do we? And, it’s a nice, cozy little meeting—just you and me. Enjoying the day, are you?” he asked.

 I knew that if I pressed my phone button for help, he would probably reach me before that help came. 

Moonstruck and Murderous by Blanche Day Manos, available at Amazon. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you may read this book FREE.

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