“Shhhh! She is right over there…”
I avoided Jolene at every opportunity ever since tenth grade when she told Bertha Hopkins that I wrote the story in the school newspaper slamming the guards on the girl’s basketball team for loosing ten straight games in a row. Bertha threatened to catch me and beat me where my own mother couldn’t recognize me. So if you asked me, Jolene was certainly capable of getting a person killed.
Jolene and Wayne had gone steady in high school. After college, they decided to marry and return to Mimosa, the perfect school sweetheart fairy tale. Money marrying money, doing the town a favor. To tell the truth, they both irritated me, and if it were not for my reputation, I would have been glad Deanna was putting a bug in that marriage.
One evening I spotted Wayne downtown and decided to follow him a bit. He drove to the outskirts of town where he met a fellow by the name of Cotton Jeffers. Cotton had a reputation as a petty thief and it had been rumored that he had done some arson jobs for folks. On down the road, I pulled my car over and sneaked behind the building where they were talking.
“You said if I cleaned it up, I’d get five grand extra,” said Cotton.
“Yes, but a lot of things still need cleaning.”
“Is the sheriff on to you?”
“Could be. My alibi can be checked, but they are unable to verify the time I left Culver City,” said Wayne. “They’re watchin’ me like a hawk.”
“So, five grand, and you got that lawyer to help me later?”
“I’ll see what I can do; let’s wrap this up,” said Wayne.
With those words sounding in my brain, I ran for my car. I would wait awhile and dig a little further before I brought Sheriff Dockins in on this possibility.
Mona Lewis mixed plant food in the back of the flower shop. She was a widow around age forty-five who told everyone she desired to lead a quite life in a small town. Mona had the capital two years ago that was necessary to keep Buds A Bloomin’ afloat and she wanted everyone to know it. Darn, I’ll bet Deanna’s death came at a bad time. Why did she have to die before doing her part to get the roof fixed? Mona was more concerned about meeting her new boyfriend, Odell at Frank’s Bar.
In discussing Mona, some things bothered me about her. She really didn’t want to discuss her past in detail. She never seemed to miss her husband who died in a mysterious car accident. Upon his death, I found that she received a large sum of insurance money. Why move to a small town like Mimosa? Mona’s family had sure been unlucky. Both her mother and an aunt had died and left her an inheritance. It was also rumored that this new boyfriend was heavily into gambling. Mona sure seemed to need a lot of money.
Such was life in Mimosa as Sheriff Dockins narrowed his possibilities. When all concerned were questioned, the sheriff ended up with three suspects who had a motive to kill Deanna. Those were my three choices exactly. Of course he couldn’t name suspects, but he did drop a few clues over a glass of lemonade.
Why it is just horrible how people go around murdering other people. What gives them the right to play God and decide who can live in the world and who can’t? The world is just becoming so violent….