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MURDER ON THE OL’ BUNIONS Book 1 © S. Dionne Moore 2013
Something about the Out of Time antique store didn’t feel quite right that Tuesday afternoon. The rattle of that annoying bell Marion Peters insisted on hanging over the front door combined with the shock of cool air against my hot skin and managed to fry all my circuits and make me feel a little crazy. Kind of like the days when my kids each used to demand all my attention at once.
“Mercy, Marion,” I reached up to still the clattering noisemaker and called down the narrow building toward the soda fountain Marion used as a counter, at the back of the store. “When you goin’ to bless us all by removing this thing?”
No one answered. Strange, that. Silence is not one of Marion’s virtues. Come to think of it, her Virtue list is pretty short, if you get my meaning. And no one enters Marion’s store without her verbally pouncing on them with news of her latest purchase of quality merchandise or her daughter Valorie’s most recent show of academic brilliance.
My sweet husband, Hardy, set the bell to rattling all over again as he heaved his plaid pants a little higher and stepped inside the shop and out of the New Mexico sunshine. He shot me a grin that sported his pride and joy—his lone front tooth, covered in gold. But the sight of his weathered black face and grizzled gray-black hair has filled my heart with contentment for going on thirty-eight years. ’Course, I don’t let him know that too often, or he’d be thinking he’s got me wrapped around his little finger.
Hardy shut the door and gazed up at the spastic bell. He reached to silence the thing, fingertips three inches shy of meeting their goal. His cocoa eyes rolled in my direction, waiting. You see, Hardy’s as short as I am tall.
I reached up to squelch the bell and patted him on the head, not bothering to hide my smile. “Where’d you disappear to? I looked all around the library for you, then gave up and came here.”
Hardy’s grin didn’t dim. “Went to Payton’s to talk music. He tried to sell me a book on playing the banjo.”
“You don’t play the banjo.”
“Yup. Where’s Marion?”
“How am I supposed to know? I just got here myself.” Reaching around Hardy’s slender form, I opened the door wide enough to set the bell to making noise and slammed it hard. We both cocked our ears toward the room for any sound to indicate Marion’s arrival.
Hardy guffawed. “Never thought I’d enter a place owned by Marion Peters and not hear her mouth flapping.”