Alice shook her head as she wiped tears from her eyes. It took some convincing to accept the idea her husband proposed of alternating anniversary trips devised by each of them. Allen had a long history of under performance at planning anything, but she loved him and wanted to believe he could do better.
“You promised!” Alice sobbed.
“What?” Allen asked. “You said you loved waterfalls. This is a waterfall.”
“I want to see the falls at Niagra!”
“But to properly appreciate them you must see this first!”
Felix stood silently looking at the way things must have been. The waters rose so fast there was just no way to avoid them. He tried to imagine the panic the family felt when they were swept away from their vehicle down this part of the West Valley river. He could see the hand prints where they tried to hold on. There was still a narrow collection of folks who thought they may still be found alive, but he wasn’t among them. This was going to be one of those stories that stayed with him for a long, long time.
“The instructions are very simple,” the announcer of the contest began. “You will have a set of pieces to rearrange by color into your trays. They must be all the same color and each tray must be complete before you begin the next. The time limit will be thirty minutes and whoever completes the most trays will win the prize.”
Milly West licked her lips as she waited fro the last moments of the set up passed. She allowed her mind to work ahead, knowing her “special” ability to see patterns so clearly gave her a huge advantage. In most cases it revealed itself as her worst handicap, but today it could provide here with some sorely needed cash.
She drummed her fingers lightly on the table, humming to herself while she counted the number of trays she already had right in her mind. This was going to be like jerking candy from Willy Wonka’s hand!
All Liz wanted was to leave the island. For over a year she’d dreamed of coming here, enjoying this breathtaking place, with its lush tropical sights, beautiful water and beaches. But that was when she believed she would celebrate being Misses Rodney Cavan. Before they met his “old college friend” on the plane ride in from Savannah.
A girl knows when the look in her man’s eyes changes. Liz never felt like Rodney’s could change like that. She had been careful, waiting for a long time to find the right guy. There had been so may pretenders, guys who promised the world but only wanted one thing. But Rodney had been different, she thought.
Then along came Celeste. She was a European beauty, not really French, but possessing a great handle on the language, enough to woo any weak-kneed romeo like Rodney. Devastated, Liz could not see the blessing that Rodney had abandoned her just hours before she donned her overpriced wedding gown.
Now she sat on a bench on the outside observation deck at the airport waiting fo her escape from this nightmare.
All the detectives had to go on in the search for the missing person was a vague phrase “. . . there’s so much stone!” It was the only words that seemed to have any pertinence to Penny Layne’s location. She had managed to conceal her phone when she was spirited away from her office building parking lot by two masked men.
The four words was what she uttered before her phone was discovered and smashed. Now the whole of the Anderson Police Department blanketed the streets of the small town checking any building with stone work.
Inside the old mental hospital Penny stared through the small window of an isolation chamber, wondering why exactly she was here. There had been no threats, no indication of any intent to physical assault or harm her. Just a strange word our two about her being their ticket to freedom. But freedom from what exactly, she did not know.
“This is a “skill” that will only work beginning at 12:01 A.M. on October 31 and will cease at 11:59 P.M. that night.”
Maggie nodded understanding, but thought about the two minutes she would expect to have in the 24 hour package.
“Wait, what about midnight to 12:01 and 11:59 to midnight Halloween Night?”
“You asked for the Deluxe Package, and that is what you heard me describe. I warn you, moving to the next level will indemnify you completely and move us, Grand Fright Amusements, completely out of the equation.”
“Done!” Maggie declared as she lightly pounded the table with her fist.
“It will be when you sign these,” the GFA representative said plopping down a thick package of papers.
“Whoo, okay!” Maggie said.
Maggie nervously watched the clock as the minutes ebbed away on October 30th. When her clocked ticked into October 31 she cleared her throat and said “Alexa, show me the Pumpkins Teeth!”
Alexa surprised her with the response
“Are you sure you want me to show you the Pumpkins Teeth?”
Maggie looked at her watch, seeing the precious extra minute she paid another $49.99 to secure melt away.
“Alexa, show me the Pumpkins Teeth!”
Five minutes later the Pumpkins made their way through the door into the world. Maggie’s decision doomed the world.
“Are we going to the egg?” five year old Stanley asked as he allowed his mother to towel him off from his morning bath. His mom continued in her morning routine, not slowing long enough to entertain the question. Her youngest child, the fourth, would start school in six days and she was happy to have the last time with him, but they were running late.
“Mom, are we going to the egg?”
“We will take our breakfast,” Mom answered as they moved toward the door.
At their destination Stanley pointed upwards, “It is the egg!”