Roses Are Dead, My Love

A little snippet from Roses Are Dead, My Love


Angela walked in and Rose said, “Mother, what in God’s name are you dressed for?”

“This is how I roll, honey. Ready for a little night-time action.”

She was wearing a black cat suit, black ballet shoes and a black bandana covering her honey-blond curls. And she was carrying her Super-Soaker.

Daisy said, “Mother really, a bit suspicious looking, isn’t it? We all set?”

They put the dogs on their leashes and walked casually down the street and toward the park. As they were crossing the bridge a police cruiser pulled up next to them and Tom Willis rolled down his window.

“Everything okay?” He looked at Angela a little doubtfully.

“Just walking the dogs before bed,” answered Daisy. “Everything quiet around here?”

“Seems to be.” He hesitated a moment and then said, “Angela, you’re not planning an attack on that streaker, are you?”

“Oh, heaven’s no. Just letting Percy and Malcolm get a bit of air. It’s so hot during the day that these poor little guys don’t get enough exercise.”

“Okay, ladies. Please, stay close to home and keep together. Don’t forget there’s a murderer out here somewhere.”

Rose shivered. “How could we? We’ll be careful. Good night.”

Tom drove off slowly turning to go past the park and post office, then continued out toward the highway.

Daisy said, “Okay, we’ve probably got about half an hour before another patrol comes through. Let’s move it!”

Everything seemed to be quiet. Only a couple of lights were on in some of the houses further down the street. They crossed in front of the post office and started up the alley to the back door. Malcolm and Percy stopped suddenly and started snarling and growling.

Rose said, “Okay, let’s go home. The dogs don’t like this.”

But Angela was moving ahead, squirt gun in hand. “Come on girls,” she whispered over her shoulder. As she got near to the corner of the building, they heard a door bang.

“Mother, stop!” Daisy hissed. Angela had reached the corner and stuck her head around when the sisters caught up with her.

Just as Rose whispered, “What do we do now?” a shadow ran from the back of the building toward them. Malcolm and Percy started pulling at their leashes and barking like crazy. The figure turned to his right and veered up the alley running all out toward the old neighborhood.

“What was that?” whispered Daisy.

“Someone else breaking into the post office?” answered Rose.

“Seems to be a popular pastime. Well, he’s gone. We might as well take a look.”

They sidled around the corner, the dogs trotting beside them. Malcolm was calm now, sniffing the area. Angela said, “You’re right. Whoever it was is gone.”

Daisy was inspecting the door. “Look. We don’t even have to break in. The door’s open!”

Rose had her phone out. “Daisy, are you nuts? We don’t know the place is empty. We have to report this. That could have been the killer finishing the job Peggy interrupted.”

“Just give me one minute, Rose. I’ll just pop in and check out the book. And then we’ll call.”

“He’ll be long gone by then.”

“He’s probably long gone now.”

While they were arguing, Angela had slipped into the door and was back. She was holding a red three-ring binder labeled ‘POST OFFICE BOXES’ with her bandana. “Is this what you wanted? I found it lying on the floor. The place is a mess.”

“Mother! Put that back,” cried Rose.

“Wait a second, Rose,” said Daisy. “Just let me take a look.”

She carefully turned the pages of the book by the edges. When she came to Box 768 she pulled out her cell phone and snapped a picture of the page. “One more second. All right, I’ve emailed it to myself.”

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