|MFRW Authors Blog Hop|
|Terror on Sunshine Boulevard for giggles and chills|
Scene--Gloria Hart has just arrived at her exercise class at the Community Center
Gloria re-shouldered her heavy bag holding her water bottle and barbells, and moved her rolled exercise mat under her arm to keep it from crushing against her chest. She dropped her bag on the floor and unrolled the mat in the spot she always claimed at every class meeting. Like pew seats in a Sunday morning church service, each person staked out her favorite “place” to exercise and kept it.
She hustled over to join the big circle of friends in their usual space in the room. The ladies shifted a bit to make space for Gloria in the circle. She breathed a sigh of relief knowing she wasn’t late again. Being late was a sign of disrespect, but Gloria respected every gal in this room for exercising their bodies and joining in the group. Perhaps they didn’t all do the moves like their limber instructor, Bridgett, but at least they tried.
Gloria noted several circles of women around the room. A flashback to eighth grade when her clique of classmates stood in the hall before class. Memories danced through her mind of best friends, gossip, and popularity contests. Odd how things were still the same nearly fifty years later.
“Good morning, everyone.” She smiled widely as she greeted her friends. But instead of the usual happy chorus of “Good morning Gloria,” her friends in the circle weakly smiled with the acknowledgement of her presence. Silence fell over the group. Everyone’s eyes lasered in on her. Gloria felt uncomfortable. What were they waiting for?
Finally her friend Pamela asked, “Well, are you going to tell us about George McDonnell?” Her voice a higher pitch. “Did Jim hear anything yet?” Pamela’s voice ratcheted even higher.
Gloria turned to face Pamela. “No, I haven’t heard anything. Why? Is he sick?”
“No, he’s dead.” Rosemary, Pamela’s best friend, waited a beat for Gloria to absorb the news. “Jim’s one of the first responders for the park. Wasn’t he called to the scene yesterday?”
“Uh, no. We were gone all day.” The unexpected news slammed her like a wild pickle ball, nearly knocking her off her feet and stinging her heart. George was younger than she was for Pete’s sake. He couldn’t be dead. That was incomprehensible to her. She and her husband had just visited him last week. He was a healthy man for his age. Tears stung her eyes when she remembered how excited he was about a fishing trip he’d planned.
Pamela gave her an understanding smile, flashing her perfect teeth—all her own—and touched Gloria’s back.
Gloria studied each woman’s face, hoping one of them would explain further while her mind tried to process the news. Many of the residents in the senior community mistakenly assumed Jim attended every call because he was the volunteer co-captain of the First Responders Unit, but Jim wasn’t on-call yesterday. She hadn’t heard the latest happenings in the park because they’d shopped most of the day at the flea market and relished a delicious fish dinner at their favorite restaurant, Magoo’s, arriving there just in time to get in on the early bird specials.
A flash of guilt surged through her mind. Should she and Jim have checked on George? Maybe they could have saved him if they had stopped by his house before they’d left for the day.
“I can hardly believe George is dead. I had no idea he had heart problems. He seemed to be the picture of health,” Gloria said.
“Oh, no. Nobody knows yet if it was his heart or what killed him,” Bonnie, another woman in the group, announced.
Gloria was puzzled as she saw the looks of horror exchanged by her friends.
“What happened?” Her eyes widened with concern, and then realized she had been drawn into the gossip like everyone else.
Bonnie puffed up her chest and pulled her elbows back as she leaned forward to deliver the big news. “His neighbor, Lottie Carpenter found him. She smelled him rotting in his house.” She wrinkled her nose in disgust.
“Oh, my word.” Gloria covered her mouth and wanted to gag as if she smelled poor George. “That poor man. I cannot imagine…”
Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Published by BWL Publishing
|The Blog Tour continues!!|
Thursday, Jan 25--Diane Burton--Click here to join Diane, author of romance and adventure, and me. Leave a comment to win a PDF copy of one of my mysteries.
Saturday, Jan. 27--Ellen the Cynical Sailor spotlights Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. Click here to visit her amazing blog as she lives her life in a boat!!
* * *Now please continue your reading journey through cyberspace by visiting these participating bloggers. Have fun!