I Found A Knife

A Story site from EldonHughes

Chapter Thirteen --
No More Secrets

A hand painted “Happy Birthday” banner was strung up over the entrance to the Morning Glory. We could hear the mixed sounds of music, dishes clinking, and a dozen conversations all the way out in the parking lot. 

I held the door for Tulley and followed him inside. The tables and booths were full, and extra chairs had been hauled in to help with the overflow. Tulley was stopped by some men just inside the door, and drawn into a conversation about somebody's neighbor's stray pet pig and a vegetable garden.   

I headed across the room, where Glory was ensconced on her birthday throne. It was a large, padded, barrel style bar stool, with arms. They must have dragged it in from the VFW down the street. Probably where the ice chest full of beer and wine came from, too. After exchanging birthday wishes and a proper birthday hug with Glory, I went over to a corner where Max was sitting with Mrs. Marcum from the office supply store. Kelsey was sitting next to her, along with a couple of folks I didn’t know yet. (As Tulley so recently reminded me, I’m not from here. So, in introductions I’m the stranger. Everyone else is just folks I don’t know yet.) The couple next to Kelsey turned out to be her neighbors, the Chambers. Scott was the current editor of The Progress. His wife, Winnie, worked part time in the library with Kelsey.

Marshall’s a big fan of The Progress,” Kelsey told Scott as she introduced us. “He’s been buried in the library’s back issues for days now.”

I gave her a sheepish look and told him, “I moved into an old house here in town a couple years ago. Lately I’ve been doing some research on some of the past owners.”

Oh, you must mean the McColley place,” Scott said.“You’re the writer, aren’t you?”

I nodded.

Yeah, that must have been a real sad time here. Say,” he offered, “if there are any issues missing at the library, we’ve got a pretty complete archive at the office. You’re welcome to look through them.”

Actually, I think I’ve got everything I wanted to know now.”

Is that so?” Tatum asked from down the table.

I looked at him and nodded again. “Yeah, I think I’m good.”

Mrs. Marcum’s daughter Holly, the one I had seen sweeping the sidewalk the other day, was doing serving duty, delivering birthday cake to the tables. She arrived with a tray of cake slices.

OK folks, Ike wanted to make sure he had enough variety for everybody, so we have chocolate, red velvet, pineapple upside down cake, and two pieces of yellow cake, one with chocolate icing, one with vanilla,” she said.

Yellow for me,” Max said.

I’ll have one of the red velvet slices,” Scott said.

Oh, ick,” Winnie said.“I don’t know how anyone could ever eat red velvet cake again after that Julia Roberts movie. I’ll have the other yellow one.”

Do you mind if I take the chocolate piece?” Kelsey asked me.“I’d take the pineapple, but we’d have to finish it at the hospital. I’m incredibly allergic. Isn’t that weird?”

Oh, I don’t think so,” I said, taking the pineapple piece of cake from the extended tray. As Holly headed back to the counter to pick up more cake, I looked down the table at Max. Dammit all, if he wasn’t smiling.

Breakfast tomorrow?” he asked.

That would be all right,” I said.“But it’s your turn to buy.”

The End.

Some notes from EldonHughes





Book One of the Poison and Wine series by C.H. Valentino and Eldon Hughes.

    There's a battle underway in New Orleans. It's a game being played between the voodoo Barons Samedi and LaCroix.

    Danni Toussaint has a nail in her chest, the mark of her debt to The Baron Samedi. To repay him, she steals souls.

   Michael Belew works for the Sisters of New Orleans. Nuns in the 9th Ward are missing, and he suspects voodoo is the cause.  He's desperate.

    He drafts Danni to help find them. Now they are pawns in the Baron's game.

There is no winning the game. There's only survival. But even that could cost Michael his soul.

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I Found a Knife

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