Thursday, March 31, 2016

                                               BENEATH A MACON MOON

Jaela Andrews flees from her hometown of Brentwood, Tennessee, for Macon, Georgia after her mother reveals a heart-wrenching secret. But has Jaela gotten more than she bargained for when she house-sits the Victorian home for the vacationing Cranstons? 

The egotiscial Handyman, a strange elderly neighbor, and a large Tabby cat, spell TROUBLE.
Br-rrin-nng! Jaela flings the door open. A policeman stands on the porch. "Sir, what are you doing here?"

 "That, young lady, is MY question. I am Officer Codumbo." He raises his pen and notepad. "Furthermore, I came to inquire about the Cranstons."

Jaela frowns. "They are in Europe. Why do you want to know?"

He jots it down. "Uh...huh. And what proof do you have?"

Jaela puffs out a long breath. "What proof do I need? They've allowed me to stay here for the summer. I have a key."

Officer Codumbo arches one eyebrow. "In Europe? That is NOT the report I was given." 

"Report? By who?"

"I am not at liberty to say. She---er...this person asked to remain anonymous. Filed a report that there were 'strange goings on in this house." He points up to the second story.

Jaela folds her arms across her chest. "Uh-huh. Please elaborate." 

"A Bohemian dance and wild chants."

"Simple explanation. We were trampling towels on the carpet to soak up exesse moisture after a...water accident."

"Aha! We?"

Jaela hikes her chin. "Yours Truly and that know-it-all Handyman."

 "Somebody rang?" Eric the Handyman reaches the top step then stops.

Officer Codumbo's gaze rakes his 6 ft. 4-inch muscular frame. "Who are you? State your business."

Eric salutes. "The Handyman at your service. 'You rend it, we mend it.' I'm renovating this place."

The officer jots down a few notes. "Who hired you? Show proof of your credentials. "

"The Cranstons hired me. They're in Europe. Raise your foot if you want my credentials."

"In Europe? So I've been told." Officer lifts his left foot. Eggshell-blue paint drips from his polished boot onto the freshly-painted porch. "Arrghh! My best pair of boots."

Jaela giggles. "Better you than me. Been there, done that."

Officer Codumbo clears his throat. "It's also been reported there is a fresh mound of earth measuring...let's see...six feet by six feet, in this backyard. Explain that."

Eric rolls his eyes. "Ah-h....the flowerbed. Poked full of holes, no less."

Officer scratches his head. "It's strange you would aerate a flowerbed."

Eric points to the neighboring house. "Not me. That eccentric old woman next door with her cane."

"I must investigate." The officer marches off the porch then around the house with Eric and Jaela close on his heels. 

Officer Codumbo whips out a tape measure, lays it across the square mound of freshly-turned dirt. He nods. "Exactly six by six. Yes, it looks like small holes have been poked all over. Then there's a mysterious hole dug in the center. What could that be?"

J. Ed-gar-r-r-r-r!" The threesome whip around and find a beady-eyed old lady hobbling through the gate, leaning heavily on her cane.

Jaela gestures at her. "Officer Codumbo, this is our neigbor, Mrs. Madge Wilcox."

"I know who she--. I mean... Nice to meet you, Mrs. Wilcox."

Madge glares at the officer. "Cut the small talk. Has anyone seen J. Edgar?"

Officer Codumbo's brow creases. "J. Edgar...Who?"

"Not who, nit-wit!  Hoo-ver."

He raises his notepad, poises his pen to write. "And can you give me a description of J. Edgar Hoover?"

"Land Sakes, young man! He's a yellow cat." Madge snarls.

Jaela props her hands on her hips. "What would J. Edgar be doing over here?"

Madge points to the mound of earth with her cane. "Hmmpf! Digging a hole in that fresh...dirt." 

Eric chuckles. "Burying forbidden treasure, no less."

Officer Codumbo narrows his eyes. "Treasure? Hmmm. Of course, that disturbed dirt in the center. I must check it out. Leave no unturned." 

Jaela wags a finger. "I wouldn't do that if I were you."

Me-owwww! A large Tabby cat darts out from the Azalea bush near the front of the house then bounds onto the  porch. The freshly-painted porch.

The Handyman drags a hand down his face. "Oh no. Not again!


I hope you enjoyed this scene from my title BENEATH A MACON MOON. For more entertaining scenes, click on the puchase link to Amazon above this post. 

Laurean Brooks