(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.
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!
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