The Great Scarecrow Invasion available just about everywhere. But in truth, I'm doing a little self promotion this week (that's part of what blogs are for after all) So here's an excerpt of my latest book. Enjoy.
Irene looked at Troy and remarked, “This is different.”
They were seated in the open kitchen where they could verify that no one was currently listening. Bob was upstairs taking a nap, Evan and Shamus were off doing farmer stuff somewhere, Mrs. Carpenter was sweeping the outside porch and Hilary and her Grandmother were in her room.
Troy didn’t get it and asked, “What?”
“No one believes in the scarecrows?"
“They could all be full of commonsense,” he suggested.
“Maybe, unlikely, but maybe.”
“We’ve run across stranger things in our travels.”
“I’ll grant you that,” Irene agreed, “But that doesn’t explain why Michael Sullivan is being featured so prominently as the mastermind of evil.”
Troy shrugged still not seeing what the big deal was and pointed out, “Remember Shamus is leading the charge on that, and he’s obsessed that the Sullivans are out for revenge. You’ve got to admit that Carter Thomas has a connection to him which could be considered suspicious. So maybe he is more important than the scarecrows.”
To his surprise Irene Waters, chief skeptic and destroyer of terrifying legends shook her head in disagreement and stated, “Oh the scarecrows are important.”
To say Troy was amazed would be understating it. Irene never took the ghosts, monsters or whatever seriously. Until she made her next statement that is.
“Otherwise, why would one have come out of the maze and practically dare me to come in after it?”
At first Troy thought she was kidding, and then he realized she wasn’t and nearly shouted, “What? When did that happen?”
“After I spoke with Valerie and was coming to the barn to join you and Bob.”
Troy was so startled that he couldn’t think of what to say,so he sputtered, “What…what did it do?”
“Well it came out, looked at me and then went back into the maze,” she answered calmly.
“You didn’t go in after it?”
She crossed her arms and gave a snort pointing out, “With it obviously wanting me to do just that? I don’t think so.”
Troy understood the logic of that. It wouldn’t have been what he would have done, and he probably would have regretted it later, but it still didn’t explain why she had kept it to herself. “Okay,” he admitted, “I can understand why you didn’t go in by yourself. That’s smart, but why didn’t you tell me and Bob?”
“Because you would have gone after it, and when we chase these things down I want it to be on our terms not theirs.”
“Yeah that makes sense, I guess,” Troy admitted reluctantly, “Well that narrows the field a bit.”
“How do you figure?” she asked.
“Well Bob was with me…”
Irene gave a laugh and asked, “Did you suspect him?”
Troy smiled and answered, “No, but someone else might, this all started when he showed up.”
“That is a good point, but I think we can rule out Bob. Valerie and Mrs. Carpenter had just entered the house so it couldn’t be one of them, although it doesn’t let them entirely off the hook either,” Irene said.
“Because supposedly there is more than one scarecrow in this great invasion,” she reminded him.
“Oh yeah, I forgot about that,” he admitted, “Okay, so the grandmother and the housekeeper are out as far as being that scarecrow, but they could be accomplices. So who does that leave us as the scarecrow you saw?”
“Well Hilary came after me and admitted that there is a tunnel from the barn to the house.”
“But would she have time to get to the corn maze, dress up and then make sure you saw her?”
“People on the stage do it all the time.”
“Are you really suggesting that Hilary…?”
“Well she is a blogger and making a big deal apparently making a big deal of the story. She says she doesn’t know the two teens who got trapped but they do go to her school. Maybe she’s trying to boost her exposure,” Irene theorized.
Troy objected, “But why tell you about the tunnel?”
“Well it is hardly a secret according to her, at least in the family. Maybe she doesn’t want me to think of another option.”
“That there could be another tunnel leading to the corn maze.”
Troy tried to visualize a fifteen year old girl coming up with such an elaborate plot, unfortunately it was just a little too easy to imagine. Kids were a lot smarter, and more devious, than people gave them credit for.
“Of course if it is Hilary that would good,” Irene stated.
“Good? Why?” Troy asked.
“Because from what I have observed of the girl, she doesn’t mean anyone any harm. So it would be a prank and not malicious. If it’s one of the adults, anything goes.”
Troy nodded in agreement. People could be downright rotten for the most petty of reasons. Made him wonder why God cared so much. “Do you think it’s Hilary?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she admitted, “We just can’t rule her out, along with everyone else. The only people I can rule out are you and Bob.”
She smiled and stated, “Well that goes without saying.”
“I don’t know you might go off the rails one of these days,” he joked, “If so, I’m in for real trouble. What about Carter?”
“He’s in the mix. What I find interesting is that Shamus insists that the man said he saw scarecrows, but Carter only admits to seeing something.”
“That’s important?” Troy asked.
“Maybe,” she admitted with a shrug, “And maybe not.”
Troy looked at her and she looked back. Finally she patted his arm and asked, “Did I lose you again?”
Poor Troy he always gets lost, but that's what makes him such a good Watson.
See you next week.
Mystery writer C.L. Ragsdale is the author of The Reboot Files a Christian Cozy Mystery Series, and a superhero story called Chasing Lady Midnight. A California native, she loves to "surf" the web to research plot details for her fun, quirky stories. She has a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced her writing style. Working in various fields as a secretary has allowed her to both master her writing skills and acquire valuable technical knowledge which she uses liberally in her plots. Although that is where she got her idea for The Secretary, she is not an evil mastermind. Although some of her former employers might disagree. These days she contents herself with knitting while contemplating her next diabolical plot. Story plot that is.
THE REBOOT FILES: The Mystery of Hurtleberry House, The Island of Living Trees, The Harbinger of Retribution, and The Wrong Ghost.