It wasn't supposed to be like this. Today was supposed to be full of fun, adventure and sharing good times with friends and fellow citizens of Citrus Beach. Megan had had enough scary times in the beginning of the summer, and she was anticipating the new season starting out smoothly, normally and with no extra excitement.
Instead, she was staring in horror at the body of an old friend crumpled at her feet with a bloody gash on the back of her head. Why in the world would anybody want to hurt this quiet recluse who is happier spending time with her farm animals than she was with people? It made no sense at all.
Megan grab Aiden’s hand, who stood beside her, as if to reassure herself that she wasn't dreaming. Silent tears running down her face, she looked at him and then looked back at the body.
"We better call Sheriff Green." he said
Watching the two in the boat, she saw that they made no move to help, just watched the water, waiting. Then it clicked; the backfire was not from a car, but a gun. The man had been shot and thrown over, left to die. At the same instant that Megan realized just what had happened, the loud sound of some hip-hop song broke into the air, coming from the phone in her hand that she had just picked up from the table. The volume was loud enough to carry across the water and the men remaining in the boat clearly heard it, and they saw Megan standing along the bank watching them.
Megan turned and moved as fast as she could, knowing that her life depended on it. She stuffed the still ringing phone in her pocket as she ran, and instinct took over. She kept to the shadows of the beds rather than cutting across the lawn. She was not fast enough to outrun a bullet and knew she had to get out of their shooting range. Running as fast as her legs could move, she headed to the security of the house. The sound of the boat motor starting told her that they were going to try and cut across the river and come upon the bank by the house. Reaching the side of the house, she turned as if compelled by a silent command to watch what was going on behind her. Megan realized that she needed to get to the safety of either her car or inside the house, but she didn't move as she focused on the boat behind her.
Sun, Sand & Stories Publishing
...A Citrus Beach Mystery
Megan talked to the dogs as she turned back to the main house, throwing the ball Gypsy gave her towards their destination. The dogs quickly ran after it, then brought it back to Megan for another toss. With each toss they got closer to the bungalow/guest house. On her last throw, the ball went a little wild, landing further up the dune than Megan had intended. It didn’t matter to the dogs, and they quickly went after it. Watching their movements, Megan glanced at the back corner of the bungalow—and noticed a movement and a flash of color. Whatever it was the dogs noticed it, too.
The ball forgotten, Barney and Gypsy started barking and took off in the direction of the movement. Megan yelled for them to stay put and ran after them. Just when she had almost reached them, the dogs broke into a run, chasing something around the corner. Megan rounded the corner seconds later and was shocked to see a group of teenagers.
They were just as shocked to see her, and began to run away, splitting into two groups. Without pause, Barney ran after four of the oldest kids, heading in the direction of the preserve. Gypsy took off after the other three as they tried to scamper over the dune. Since the group of three seemed closer and slower, Megan gave chase after them, yelling for them to stop. But they were younger and faster than her, and the dune seemed to give them no problems. Megan, however was running out of breath and having a hard time getting a good footing in the loose sand.
Just when she was ready to give up the chase, the smallest of the three lost their footing and went down hard on an arm, face first into the sand. Gypsy there immediately, barking and growling. The figure cowered in fright and Megan called for Gypsy to stay. The dog obeyed, but kept up the barking. Putting their good arm over their head, the teen curled into a tight ball, protecting both the injured arm and head.
Gasping for breath, Megan reached the two, and without thinking, grabbed the teen by the shoulder and forced them to roll over so she could look them in the face. They stared at each other, one in fear and the other in shock.
Megan couldn’t believe her eyes. This was no teenager in front of her, it was a frightened little girl, no older than ten. Tears ran down her checks, making miniature rivers in the sand that stuck to her wet face. There was none of the expected teenage defiance, instead the child appeared terrified.
“What is going on around here?”
A Tank Full of Trouble
...A Citrus Beach Mystery
...a Citrus Beach Mystery
A loud clap of thunder shook the house, and the strong winds from Hurricane Arlene beat the rain against the sliding glass doors looking out onto the pool terrace. The beagle puppy looked up at the sound of his name and whined as her moved closer to Fred, the old basset hound that he cuddled next to in their doggy-bed. The read head who was pacing the floor stopped and reassured the dogs before she looked over to the petite woman sitting on the couch, with her feet tucked up under her.
"I'm sorry, Lucy. I keep forgetting thunderstorms make you nervous."
"Thunderstorm! That is the understatement of the year, Megan. Between the thunder, lightning, eighty mile an hour winds and monsoon rains:I'm not nervous-I'm terrified! For goodness sake, this is a serious hurricane coming our way. How can you be so calm? What if we end up with a storm like Hurricane Andrew? "