Thursday, December 10, 2009

PART 6--- Roxanne Rustand

The discordant scream of sirens faded as the emergency vehicles pulled to a stop in front of Zelda's house. Dizzying, garish ribbons of blue and red light swirled into her entryway.

She stared out of her open front door at the smoking cinders and bomb fragments littering her sidewalk, then lifted her gaze to the EMTs and deputies pouring out of their vehicles. "Here!" she called out, waving her arms frantically when they didn't hurry towards her house. "The bomb was over here!"

But none of them even glanced in her direction as they raced across the street toward the Garrison house. One of them pounded on the door, then rammed it with his shoulder and they all disappeared inside. Even from her home, Zelda could hear them shouting, though she couldn't make out the words. Lights turned on throughout the house, one room after another.

And then suddenly everything was quiet.

A hand closed over Zelda's arm, the bony fingers digging through her robe to sink deeply into her flesh. "I think they found him," Mrs. Garrison whispered, her voice raw. "I-it was so awful. I just can't go back there alone to face them. It was an accident, you know. But they won't believe it. They never do."

Never do? Zelda blinked. "No one was hurt when the bomb went off here, Mrs. Garrison."

"Listen to me," the elderly woman hissed, tightening her fierce grip. "My husband is dead. I don't know who called 911, but they're going to guess wrong about what happened, and they won't believe me. I loved him--I swear I did. You need to tell them that."

Zelda shook her head, trying to clear her confusion. An unexpected Christmas present on her doorstep had turned out to be a bomb, meaning someone had tried to hurt her--but why? And now someone else was dead? That poor, poor man. A coincidence? Or...

She felt her blood chill. "I'll go over there with you right now, " she announced, marching out the door with Mrs. Garrison in tow. "We're going to get some answers."

Ben stepped into her path, all trace of warmth gone from his startling blue eyes. "Don't."

Affronted, feeling even more protective of the old woman behind her, Zelda glared at him. "I need to help my neighbor, and then I want those officers over here next. Someone tried to kill me this morning."

He met her glare with a sharp, assessing expression of his own, then stepped closer and lowered his voice until only she could hear. "You have no idea just how much danger you're in, lady. It's more than you can imagine. So say goodbye to your neighbor and follow me." He tipped his head toward the side of her house. "Now."

Zelda's heart stumbled. Safety--the patrol cars and emergency vehicles--was just a dozen yards away. A distraught old woman had begged for her help. Yet this veritable stranger had just pocketed some sort of evidence amongst the bomb fragments, and now he wanted her to follow him into the early morning darkness of her back yard, where anything could happen?

Maybe he'd even been the one to plant the package on her front step. She could see the headlines now...WIDOW SLAIN BY CRAZED BOMBER IN OWN BACKYARD. How had she ever been drawn to this man's dreamy blue eyes and ruggedly handsome face?

"N-No," she stammered, fear clawing at her throat. "I won't. Touch me and I'll scream!"

A muscle ticked at the side of his lean, strong jaw. "Then think about your son," he whispered. "But think fast--because we have just a few more seconds before those 'officers' come out of that house across the street...and even your Mrs. Garrison isn't who you think she is. Now run!"




15 comments:

Lenora said...

Wow, Roxanne! You sure sent the suspense to a new level. What is going on with her son, Tommy? Is Ben trying to help her, or hurt her? And did Mrs. Garrison kill her husband. Can't wait to find out the rest of the story!

EllenToo said...

OH WOW ~~ what a turn of events. What the heck is going on now? Sounds like Ben knows a whole lot more than he's telling and that the officers aren't who they pretend to be and Mrs. Garrison had something bad up her sleeve for Zelda if she can get her to her house.

SketchGirl said...

Sounds like Mrs Garrison might be a black widow due to the they never believe me. I actually think that Tommy might be an undercover agent and that Ben has come across him during his work. Cause unless she mentioned her son when she gave him the pumpkin bread how does he know about her son? I'm loving this! Will Zelda believe Ben or will she freeze and risk something worse happening? My guess is that she'll freeze and Ben will drag her away in the nick of time

Dana Mentink said...

Wow! That suspense just keeps kicking up higher and higher! Great episode?

PamelaTracy said...

I vote for Roxanne to write the ending! Wow

Margaret Daley said...

Wow!!! Love this.

Linda said...

Is Ben undercover? Keeping watch over Zelda? Or is he part of the problem with her son? This is getting good! And then Mr Garrison dead--have there been previous domestic problems? And who called 911?

RoxanneRustand said...

It's such fun to read all of the responses, from the very first installment of the story by Lenora!

Debby Giusti said...

Roxanne,
WHEW!!! My pulse is racing!!!! Zelda's in quite a pickle. Loved the turn of events.

Mrs. G had us all fooled, didn't she? Killing her hubby...or did she?

And is Ben trying to protect Zelda? Or does he want to do her harm?

Proves when you turn a bunch of writers loose, you never know what you'll end up with...especially suspense writers.

Teri Hook said...

First let me say that I believe you ladies win the most suspense story ever...I'd love to be around a campfire with you! Second, Zelda pray girlfriend, pray God can make a way when there seems to be no way! Third, thank you ladies your gifts have blessed this part of the body more than you'll know...Thank you...

Terri Reed said...

Good job, I'm loving this.

Leann said...

Roxanne, you took that story and ran and what a wonderful twist. I can't wait for tomorrow's installment.

Barbara Phinney said...

Roxanne, you sure took that story and ran!! Now I have to cetch up with you!!
What a great installment. I have no idea what will happen next, and I am writing it.

Lisa Mondello said...

hehe This is so cool. I'm thinking either Mrs. Garrison's husband was into organized crime or he was part of the CIA. That's where the "They never believe me" thing comes in. Maybe strange happenings have forced her to call the police only to have someone, maybe Ben, do damage control. Now things are out of control. I'm also wondering where Tommy fits into this. Good job girls. I'm on the edge of my seat.

Pamela J said...

Where CAN a person turn for help or protection? Can one even trust the 'officers'? What DID jolt me into asking, "What??" is when Ben said to Zelda, "Then think about your son,". So, Ben AND Tommy AND Mrs. Garrison DO have something in common but what? We need more input, please. Some pieces of this puzzle are still missing (or are they hiding in Ben's pants pocket?)