Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Christmas Mystery--Part Four


THE CHRISTMAS MYSTERY

Part Four


By


Debby Giusti


(The continuing story started on December 5th and ends on December 12th. Stop by each day for another exciting saga. Leave a comment about how you think the story should end!)

Zelda shook her head. Her son Tommy needed to settle down and find a young woman to marry instead of traveling around the world. For business, he told her, but refused to say much about his line of work except that he needed to change his cell phone number on a regular basis. If she didn’t know better, Zelda would think her only child was involved in something nefarious.

Bruce would have told her she was giving her overactive imagination free rein. But her husband had died shortly after their son’s fifth birthday, leaving her to raise Tommy on her own. With God’s help, she had done quite well for herself and her child.

Proud though she was of Tommy, she regretted he wouldn’t be home this Christmas. As much as she tried to make light of her empty nest, Zelda longed for someone with whom to share the holiday.

Squaring her shoulders with determination, she shrugged off the loneliness that threatened to dampen her spirits and reached for the phone just as the doorbell rang. Zelda peered out the window and smiled. Maybe she wouldn’t be alone this Christmas after all.

Running her hand through her unruly locks, she pulled open the door and stared into her new neighbor’s blue eyes.

“Morning, Ben” she said with a sigh.

“Ah, sorry to bother you, but I saw you outside earlier and …” He hesitated, his brow wrinkled. “I think there might be a problem.”

Ben glanced over his shoulder at the Garrison’s house.

Before Zelda could comment, Mrs. Garrison, wearing a long flannel nightgown with her gray hair even more disheveled than usual, ran screaming from the house, crossed the street and headed for Zelda’s open door.

On the way, her foot kicked the big red box. Still attached to the package, the ribbon wrapped around the shrieking woman’s bare foot and followed her, with the box in tow.

“You’ve got to help me.” Mrs. Garrison threw her pudgy arms around Zelda’s waist.

Aware of Ben’s gaze now focused on the red box lying at her feet, Zelda was also aware of a troubling sound.

Tick-tick-tick.

Ben’s handsome face paled. Eyes wide, he placed his hand on Zelda’s shoulders. “Don’t move or we’ll all be dead.”


Be sure to stop by the Craftie Ladies of Suspense blog tomorrow to see what happens next!

Need stocking gifts for the people you love?

CHRISTMAS PERIL is on sale now, featuring two action-packed suspense stories: Merry Mayhem by Margaret Daley and Yule Die by Debby Giusti.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the
New Year!!!

Debby Giusti

22 comments:

Lisa Mondello said...

Nice cliff hanger!

Linda said...

Not only does she have a ticking gift (which even Ben thinks is a problem), a son probably dealing in business one would not consider on the up-and-up (changing phone numbers constantly), she now has a hysterical neighbor lady running to her house screaming for help. Is it domestic violence? Is her spouse dead? Stay tuned.

PamelaTracy said...

I love that the ribbon got wrapped around her ankle. LOL. That's what wouold happen to me.

Leann said...

Does that package have anything to do with Zela? Maybe it should've bee delivered to the screaming neigbhor. Or maybe to Ben?

EllenToo said...

And things keep getting more complicated. A ticking box, a screaming neighbor, a son doing who knows what, and Ben telling the neighbor don't move......WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT????????

Teri Hook said...

I love it! Could the son be with CIA and sent Ben to watch out for his mother? Or is Ben trying to get her to get to her son? Or is the neighbor trying to get her to get her son?

Lenora said...

Oh, I love the idea of Ben being her guardian. And I wonder about those creepy neighbors who collect things from all over the world. Has anyone actually been in their house? Maybe they do know what's in the box and they don't want Zelda and Bent to find out.

Barbara Phinney said...

I want to know what the neighbours collect!

Margaret Daley said...

It has been so interesting to see how the story had gone--how each author has taken it in a different direction.
Margaret

Lisa Mondello said...

Teri, I love the CIA thing. I wonder what Tommy does as well. And the neighbor running in her barefeet makes me what what has her so hysterical!

Debby Giusti said...

Glad you liked the ending, Lisa! Thanks for stopping by today!

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Linda,
Domestic violence? Hmmm? I didn't think of that! :) We'll have to stay tuned and see what Leann comes up with.

Debby Giusti said...

Pamela,
Can't you see poor Mrs. G, trying to shake off the ribbon and having the box follow her to the door?

Debby Giusti said...

Leann,
Are you giving us a clue for tomorrow's part of the story?

Debby Giusti said...

Hey Ellen,
So what will happen tomorrow? I can't wait to read "the rest of the story!" (As Paul Harvey used to say.)

Debby Giusti said...

Teri,
One of your ideas is very, very close to what I had in mind when I wrote today's section. Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow. It's sure to be a surprise!

Debby Giusti said...

Lenora,
Was the box delivered to the wrong address?

Debby Giusti said...

Barbara,
I think the neighbors collect rare artifacts from around the world. Maybe a mummy or two, as well! Hmmm?

Debby Giusti said...

Margaret,
You and Lenora started us all in the right direction.

Debby Giusti said...

Hey Lisa,
Yes, she is in her bare feet. And it's December. Even in Atlanta, it's cold this time of year.

Where's Mr. G? And what about the other neighbor mentioned in the story? Where's he hiding?

Pamela J said...

I think Ben knows something about that neighbor that Zelda doesn't know yet. I'm surprised he came to give a warning. What timing that Mrs. Garrison came screaming, running, right to Zelda when Ben arrived to evidently give his warning. Maybe he is an under cover detective and he even knows who delivered the box. I actually think the son, Tommy, is involved in what Ben is perhaps looking into quietly.

Barbara Phinney said...

Pamela, great ideas! I can hardly wait to read the rest of the story!