Murder by the Written Word III
Tiffany stared at the flickering light in the attic window, pausing there before entering her car. Suddenly, she heard in the dark, a sound of swish, swish, swish coming toward her. Tiffany silently cursed as she involuntarily relieved herself with the stream of urine she had been trying so desperately to contain.
Tiffany leaned against her car, and then spat out, "Now what? Well, at least the rain which pounded down on me will washing me clean.”
When Tiffany looked up and across from the car top she saw a ghastly white sharp featured and unfriendly looking face with black eyes that reminded her of holes in a skull. The face was staring at her from the darkness. Then it spoke …
"Get out of here, get out of here now, or evil will befall you". Tiffany should have been frightened to death by this hollow voiced apparition before her but she stood her ground.
“Just who are you and what the hell do you mean by creeping up on someone on a night like this.” Her nerves were on edge and she’d had just about enough for one day.
The apparition seemed taken aback by this bold stance but decided to move around to come closer to Tiffany.
“Never mind about me, girly—you just had better step lightly.” With that the apparition melted back into the darkness.
Tiffany entered her Lexus and pointed it in the direction of home. Arriving at her condo 20 minutes later; she meticulously discarded her wet ensemble and slowly walked into her luxurious bathroom to shower. She could not stop thinking about the events of the day until several minutes later under the assault of the hot streaming water. Unhurriedly she emerged from her shower, wrapping her hair in a large towel, and patting herself dry with another. A tired Tiffany sauntered toward her bed, plopped down, and immediately fell into a deep sleep.
Tiffany’s dreamed started with the handsome face of Detective Dale Carter; but his features were quickly replaced by the image of the unidentifiable apparition.
“Who was that really? What link does it have with everything that’s happened? Why was it following me?” Tiffany mumbled over and over in her dreamlike state.
Tiffany awoke abruptly, looking around until she realized that she was safely in her own bed.
"I know who it was" she told herself. “It's that man from the restaurant. I now think his name is Marvin Montgomery. Dale knew him, so why did he dismiss him as someone he did not know?” Tiffany pondered.
This was a mystery for sure. Tiffany did not trust this man, that was another obvious fact. He had an unforgettable face, a devious laugh and a haughty, belligerent attitude. After looking down at her nude body; Tiffany arose, and put on her nightgown. Then she made her way into the kitchen where she procured a glass of milk. Back to bed where she fell asleep again almost immediately. If she dreamt anymore, she did not remember it. She was rudely awakened by the shrilling of the telephone next to her bed.
Tiffany stared at the intruder of her sound sleep for many moments. Seeing that insistent ringing would not cease; she finally answered it.
"Yes?" she intoned. A disturbing voice replied ...
"You know who I am. That is very unfortunate for you. Because I also know who you are and where you live. A word of caution—keep your nose out of the Andrews Estate affair. Never go there again." The muffled voice said and then hung up the phone.
Silence! The voice was gone and the receiver had abruptly been returned to its cradle.
Tiffany sat completely up in bed mortified. Deliberately she replaced her own receiver, and wondered how the voice knew who she was and obtained her phone number.
“Damn, now things are really getting out of hand. Should I call Dale? Will he be receptive or will he just tell me to staying out of it?” Tiffany, no longer able to remain in bed began to reach for her robe.
Tiffany paced back and forth, wondering about the muffled caller. Was it actually Marvin Montgomery? She decided she would give Dale a call. It was, after all, a threatening call she received. Also, there was that threat from the “thing” near the Andrews estate last night. Instincts told her that they both were the same person, Marvin Montgomery.
Tiffany stared at her phone, picked it up and dialed the number for the police. When she asked for Detective Dale Carter she was told that he was out on a case. She hung up, then made her decision.
"I’m returning to the Andrews Estate during daylight hours. I want to see what I can find out about the gunshot last night." Tiffany proclaimed aloud with determination. “A good journalist is not deterred by idle threats!”
The morning was cold, with pale sunlight on the streets. Her Lexus purred defiantly and she carefully drove towards the estate. Tiffany’s arrival was marked with the discovery of two police cars parked in the driveway, and the front door of the estate standing open.
Tiffany traversed the front walkway, lifting her hand to knock on the open door, when suddenly there appeared directly in front of her a face she would never forget. Tiffany threw herself into press mode in the hopes of gleaming information from this unpleasant woman.
"Excuse me Margaret— Mrs. Andrews, I am Tiffany Armstrong.” She began.
“Yes, I know who you are Ms. Armstrong. You did the commentary on the Jefferson County Fashion Extravaganza! I’m afraid there are no models here.” Mrs. Andrews stated with disdain.
“I am here regarding the possible homicide, Mrs. Armstrong.” Tiffany continued unperturbed.
“I have no idea what you are— “Before Mrs. Andrews could complete the sentence; Dale appeared.
"Excuse me, Tiffany is that you?" Dale's voice came from behind Mrs. Andrews and he gently moved her frail body to one side.
"I am sorry; I will take care of this." Dale proceeded to grab Tiffany by the arm and escorted her half way down the long hall. Over her shoulder, Tiffany could see the elderly woman adjust her heavy coat, tip her head back with authority and then hobble with her cane out the front door. The door shutting behind her as if by magic, with a bang.
"What do you think you are doing here? And what was that comment about a ‘possible homicide'? You made it sound like a murder."
"Well isn't it? How was I to know anything different. The scanner last night said shots fired and you were there, and then out in the cemetery, with your gun like you were looking for a killer."
"You still listening on that scanner? gezz. No wonder everyone thinks you are a busy body." Dale shook his head in disbelief.
"I told you Dale, I need the story. If I don't start making copy, the Daily will put me back to covering social events and I refuse to..."
Dale stood looking deeply into her eyes and she got that old gooey feeling again.
No, Tiffany thought, not again, not like last night. She was not going to be sidetracked by those captivating eyes. At least not until after she got an award winning story.
To be continued …