Tag Archive for: garage sale

Garage Sale Addict-Part 10

This morning, I’m sharing Chapter 5, Part 10 of my story, “Garage Sale Addict”. If you’d like to catch up, here’s:
Garage Sale Addict, Part 1
Garage Sale Addict, Part 2
Garage Sale Addict, Part 3
Garage Sale Addict-Part 4
Garage Sale Addict-Part 5
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 6″
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 7″
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 8″
Garage Sale Addict-Part 9

And, here is my disclaimer one more time…

Disclaimer: I am nervous about sharing this. Instead of me being able to use words like “crap” or my made up favorites like “goody-ness”, what I’m about to share will be held to a higher standard. Because it’s part of my hidden soul-my personal writing projects. Who knows if this will ever go anywhere-but it’s fun to write and to dream. I’d love to hear what you have to say, or maybe I won’t.

Chapter 5-Part 10

Bonnie awoke to a light tapping on her window. She glanced at the clock-3:30 am. Grabbing the robe at the foot of her bed, she walked to the window and gently lifted a slat in the blinds. A pair of eyes stared back at her-the only thing visible in the darkness. Scared, she dropped the blind and jumped back.

“Who are you?,” she called from inside the room. Slowly, she slid the baseball bat out from underneath her bed.

“I may know where your friend Rosalyn is being held,” the muffled voice, with a thick accent, responded. “Let me in and I’ll tell you what you need to know.”

“No way. I’m not letting some stranger in my home at 3:30am. Why didn’t you knock on the front door, like a normal person?”

“I didn’t want to be seen from the street. Please, I know where they are holding Ms. Jones.”

“Who are you?,” Bonnie moved further away from the window.

“I’m a man that had the same thing happen to him. My name is Tibar. I had garage sales and I was abducted, just like Ms. Jones.”

“Come to the back door. I’ll open the door, but I’m leaving the screen door shut and locked. Try anything and you’ll get a face full of pepper spray. Understand, Tibar?” Bonnie added to her weaponry the pepper spray kept in the night stand drawer.

“I understand. Don’t turn on any lights. We don’t want the neighbors to know.”

Bonnie tied the robe as tight as possible, baseball bat in hand and stuffed the pepper spray in her robe pocket. Slowly, she unlocked the dead bolt and opened the back door.

“How did you know where to find me? How do you know that I know Rosalyn?,” Bonnie stared into the eyes of a short man with greasy brown hair. He was dressed in black from head to toe and looked the part of a cat burglar, save his large belly protruding over his belted pants.

“I came to her sale, and while I was there, I saw him.” Tibar’s eyes grew wide.

“Him? The Suit?”

“Yes. He’s the same man that abducted me.”

“What happened to you? Where did he take you and why did he take you?” Bonnie loosened her grip on her pepper spray.

“I am Tibar, purveyor of fine, used books. I know books and I know their value. But–” Tibar’s finger shot in the air, “–most people don’t. At a flea market, I found an original Velveteen Rabbit and paid $5 for it. I sold it for more than $250.” Tibar’s smile stretched across his face.

“That’s, um, great. But, how does this coincide with the disappearance of my friend?” Bonnie yawned.

“Ah, yes. And, I apologize ma’am for waking you. But there was no other time I felt it would be safe to contact you. After I sold and shipped that book, I started getting strange phone calls in the middle of the night. A man showed up at my garage sales. He kept asking me who my source was.”

“Was it that same man at our garage sale?”

“Exactly the same man. Then, he started following me to book stores and to flea markets. I didn’t feel safe,” Tibar removed his glasses and wiped at them with a handkerchief.

“Why did he care about the books you were buying?,” Bonnie unlatched the screen door and let Tibar inside. For a moment, he let his eyes adjust to the dimly lit kitchen.

“I wondered the same thing. Then, one day, I came home and my front door was wide open. My wife was talking with some man in the kitchen. She was crying and told me I could never buy another book. I agreed, just to get him out of my home. But, I saw a book I just couldn’t pass up later that week. I paid generously for it and resold it for only a few dollar’s profit. That very next day, that man abducted me.”

“What did he do to you?”

“He took me from a parking lot, put a bag over my head, and the next thing I knew, I was in a concrete room being asked all sorts of questions.” Tibar rubbed at his temples, but then continued. “I was there for several days and when finally released, they told me I couldn’t tell anyone, or my wife would be in danger. She was told that I was on a business trip-by my own office.”

“I don’t understand,” Bonnie paced around the kitchen, her robe swishing behind her. “What did they want with you and now with Ros? You’re just a couple of normal people.”

“I have no idea,” Tibar grabbed her shoulders and stopped her pacing. “But, I do know that these are not nice people. Not nice at all.” He pulled down the edge of his black t-shirt, revealing a scar just above his clavicle.

“What did they do to you?,” Bonnie’s voice was squeaking.

“I can’t remember-they gave me a drug so that I would forget. I just know I didn’t have this until I met that man. He’s dangerous.” Tibar put his glasses back on.

“So, where is she? You said you knew where they were taking her.” She fished around for a piece of paper and a pencil from her kitchen drawer.

“When I woke up, I was sitting on a park bench, downtown. I was right in front of the Civic Center building, in the middle of the day. People were passing me by as if nothing had happened. But, they had to have dragged me to that bench. Someone must have seen something.” He shook his head.

Tibar exited the back door quietly, after giving a detailed description of exactly where he awoke and on what bench downtown. Bonnie looked at the clock after he’d gone–it was almost 5am. There was no use going back to bed. By the time she’d had a shower, an entire pot of coffee and breakfast, she left for work.

She called Micah on the way and filled him in on that early morning meeting.

“I’m going downtown over my lunch hour,” she said. “Do you want to meet me?”

“You bet. I’ll be there at noon.” Micah said goodbye and two hung up.

****

Bonnie parked her car in front of the library, just steps away from the bench Tibar had described to her. The bench faced the Civic Center building, with its back to the library. A large fountain was between the two buildings and presently was crawling with worker bees enjoying the fresh air.

Micah approached Bonnie from the opposite direction, having parked closer to the Civic Center.

“I checked around the building again, and I found something interesting,” Micah whispered to Bonnie. Nonchalantly, she slung her arm through his and the two slowly approached the building, pretending to enjoy a stroll.

They came to the point in the landscaping where the pink sticky notes– surmised as Rosalyn’s–had ended during their first investigation.

“Let me take a picture of you,” Micah winked to Bonnie and grabbed his phone. “Just a little to the left, a little to the left. Oh, the sun is so bright. Can you go between those two hedges?”

Bonnie backed up slowly, looking around to see if anyone else was watching them. She slunk in between the hedges and then, behind them. Flattening herself between the building and the bushes, she waited for Michael.

“Oh, no,” Micah’s muffled voice reached her ears. “I dropped my phone behind these bushes.”

“You get an “A” for improvisation but an “F” for acting,” Bonnie whispered to him once he had joined her behind the hedges.

“I never was the star of any school plays,” he smiled back to her. “Now, look down here.” Micah pointed to a spot on the slab of the building where an arc of dirt seemed to disappear into the wall. The two began to push against the wall, running their fingers along seams and cracks.

“There has to be a door somewhere, right?,” Bonnie was pressing against a small rock embedded in the side wall. “Dirt just doesn’t naturally do that.”

“That’s exactly what I thought.” Micah was now squatted down, pressing against the bottom of the wall, right next to where the dirt stopped.

The bushes next to them rustled. Both Micah and Bonnie froze. They heard a twig snap and then another. Micah signaled to her to run the opposite direction. The pair took off, heading for a break in the hedges. Bonnie’s loose shirt was snagged and she tore it as she ran. Micah’s baseball cap had been ripped off by a low hanging branch. Behind them, they heard two voices.

“Hey! You two come back here!,” one of the men yelled, chasing after them.

“Run faster, Bonnie!” Micah was almost stepping on her heels.

They found a break in the hedges and took off in two different directions-each for their own car. The man stumbled out from behind the building, searching for Bonnie. She had already immersed herself in the group of people inhabiting the fountain, removed her top button up-shirt and threw it away, leaving only a tank top underneath. Bonnie pulled her hair up into a ponytail and put on her sunglasses.

A makeshift disguise, she thought to herself.

The second man stumbled out seconds later, his mission clearly on Micah. Bonnie peered over her shoulder, but Micah was nowhere to be seen. She smiled, and made her way to the car, meandering through a parking lot, weaving between rows of cars. She felt just like a spy, just like her hero-Nancy Drew.

Bonnie unlocked her car, checked over her shoulder again to make sure she wasn’t spotted, and then drove away.

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Garage Sale Addict-Part 9

This morning, I’m sharing Chapter 4, Part 9 of my story, “Garage Sale Addict”. If you’d like to catch up, here’s:
Garage Sale Addict, Part 1
Garage Sale Addict, Part 2
Garage Sale Addict, Part 3
Garage Sale Addict-Part 4
Garage Sale Addict-Part 5
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 6″
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 7″
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 8″

And, here is my disclaimer one more time…

Disclaimer: I am nervous about sharing this. Instead of me being able to use words like “crap” or my made up favorites like “goody-ness”, what I’m about to share will be held to a higher standard. Because it’s part of my hidden soul-my personal writing projects. Who knows if this will ever go anywhere-but it’s fun to write and to dream. I’d love to hear what you have to say, or maybe I won’t.

 

*********Part 9
Chapter 4

“Micah! Hello! Anyone home?”, Bonnie pounded on Micah’s front door.

He soon opened the front door, Spartan following closely behind.

“Hey, Bonnie. It’s good to see you.”

“Yeah-you too. When was the last time you saw Rosalyn?” Bonnie had a ratty tissue between her hand, wringing it the entire time she spoke. She wiped at a tear that spilled onto her cheek.

“Bonnie, what’s wrong?” Micah placed a hand on her shoulder.

“I’ve been calling her all day and she hasn’t answered. It’s not like her. She always answers.”

“I’m sure there’s an explanation. Maybe she’s just taking a day for herself. Or maybe she’s photographing and can’t pick up.”

“She called me this morning to tell me she was meeting The Suit downtown at 10am.” Another tear spilled out.

Micah quickly told her of their encounter the night before at the sushi restaurant.

“I thought the whole thing was pretty strange, but now it’s getting really weird. Let’s go look for her.” He grabbed the keys off the wall, leashed up Spartan and led Bonnie to his car.

It only took the pair fifteen minutes to get downtown, and they began circling the building that was Roslayn’s destination. The building was dark, the streets vacant.

“Are you sure this is the right address?”, Micah asked.

“Positive. I even had her text it to me-just in case.” Bonnie started crying again.

Micah pulled into the parking garage adjacent to the building. The bottom level of the garage only had a scooter, so Micah drove the ramp up onto the second level. They both spotted Rosalyn’s car at the same time.

“There it is!” Bonnie flung open Micah’s car door before he had completely stopped. She began peering through the window’s on Rosalyn’s car. Micah joined her and tried each door and the trunk.

“It’s locked. Her purse is gone, but her camera bag is in plain sight on the back seat,” he said.

“If she was robbed, they would have taken her camera. That means, all they wanted-was-her.” Bonnie started sobbing again.

Micah grabbed Bonnie and hugged her.

“It’s going to be alright. We’ll call the police, we’ll figure this out. Let’s look for any clue as to which way she went.”

Bonnie immediately quit crying and began scanning the pavement. She found a bottle cap, a quarter and a lid to a coffee cup.

“Wait a second, this looks like Rosalyn’s travel mug lid,” she said. “In fact, I know it is. She went this way.”

Bonnie headed towards the staircase Rosalyn had previously fled to. She stopped a few feet before the stairs and bent over to smell the cement.

“Look at this, it’s a puddle of drying coffee.”

“Maybe somebody spilled their coffee?”, Micah asked.

“I think Rosalyn used what she learned in her self-defense class and threw hot coffee on someone.”

“Smart girl.” Micah said.

“I see scuff marks all the way up the stairs, as if something was dragged from above.”

Bonnie slowly ascended the staircase pointing at each scuff mark as she passed.

“I think you missed your calling, Detective Bonnie.”

“Lots of Nancy Drew books. Lots.”

The scuff marks ended at the top of the stairs. They were surrounded by four tall buildings, all of which were dark.

“Now what?,” she said.

“If I were Rosalyn, forced against my will, what would I do?”, Micah asked.

“I would leave a trail.”

“A trail of what?”

“Of whatever I had on hand.”

The pair began scouring the pavement once again, searching for clues. The had traveled several feet before something caught Bonnie’s eye.

“Micah, I think this might be a start.” She lifted up a pink sticky note that had been crumpled into a wad.

“Those look like the ones she’s been using at her garage sale. Good girl, Ros.” Micah jumped a few feet forward, picking up another sticky note wad.

“Look-there’s one in the grass ahead of you.”

The trail ended at the hedges surrounding the civic center building. They looked at the backside of the building, void of doors, windows or any sort of entrance.

“Maybe she went around the side. Or, maybe these weren’t her sticky notes.” Bonnie slumped to the grass. Micah sat down next to her, smoothing out each sticky note.

“These are definitely hers. Look at the handwriting. I would recognize the way she writes “7’s” anywhere, with the line going straight through it.”

“It always irritated her when she couldn’t read people’s 2’s or 7’s.” Bonnie sniffled and smiled.

“These look like sticky notes from her last sale. She must have stuffed them in her pockets. That means, we’re on the right trail. Come on, let’s keep looking.” Micah lifted Bonnie up and headed around the side of the building.

 

**********

 

The speaker shouted at her, breaking the silence that had been permeating her cell.

“How do your friends know where you’re at?”

Rosalyn, huddled in the corner, only lifted up her head.

“I told Bonnie where I was going. My friends keep track of me, because they care. Not that you would ever know what that feels like.” She buried her head back into her hands.

“I don’t appreciate your sarcasm.”

“Well, get used to it.”

“How much longer do you want to stay here, Ms. Jones?”

“Forever.” She rolled her eyes. “Of course I don’t want to be here. Will you please just let me go? It’s only a matter of time before my friends find out where you’re keeping me.”

The door suddenly opened and The Suit stepped inside. He calmly walked towards the chair, pulled it out and quietly sat down.

“They’ll never find you, Ms. Jones. You see-you are at our mercy. You are hidden between two floors, something only a few select people know about. This area is encased in concrete and even if you try to escape, you’ll never figure out how to get out of here. Where you’re at was created with the express purpose of never being able to be found.”

“If I tell you what you want to know, will you let me go?” Rosalyn looked up just for a second, worried he might see her tears.

“That depends on what you tell us.” The Suit touched his ear and responded, ‘Copy that’ to no one. “Your friends have given up. They’re gone.”

“That’s a lie. They’ll never give up.”

“That’s not what it looks like to me, Ms. Jones. They just left in a black jeep. A dog was in the back seat. It looks as if you are very much alone.”

Rosalyn didn’t care anymore-she started to cry. The Suit threw a packet of tissues at her from his pocket and left the room.

 

*****

“Yes, her name is Rosalyn Jones. She’s been missing since this morning. Yes, I’ll hold.” Bonnie practically screamed into the phone. Micah patted her shoulder, but continued to drive.

He could hear squabbling on the other end and hoped the police had already found her.

“What do you mean-24 hours?! She’s been kidnapped and I have to wait a whole day before you’ll do anything?” Bonnie had pulled the phone away from her ear and yelled directly into the mic at the bottom of the phone. “She could be dead by then! Who’s your superior officer? I want to speak to them.”

More squabbling. Micah could hear a pitch change and then a new voice on the other end of the line. He took a left, circling the same building once again.

“Yes, I’m looking for help in finding Ms. Rosalyn Jones. She had a meeting downtown this morning with a Robert Stope of the FBI at 1 Civic Center.”

The squabbling stopped and there was silence.

“Hello?” Bonnie said.

The squabbling started again but soon Bonnie hung up the phone.

“Well, what did they say?” Micah asked, parking on the side of the street.

“They said, ‘There is nothing we can do. However, know that she is safe’ and then he hung up on me. It was like that guys’ name spooked them.”

“What is happening here?” Micah pounded the steering wheel. After a few moments, he pulled back out onto the deserted street and they drove home in silence.

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Garage Sale Addict-Part 8

This morning, I’m sharing Chapter 4, Part 8 of my story, “Garage Sale Addict”. If you’d like to catch up, here’s:
Garage Sale Addict, Part 1
Garage Sale Addict, Part 2
Garage Sale Addict, Part 3
Garage Sale Addict-Part 4
Garage Sale Addict-Part 5
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 6″
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 7″

And, here is my disclaimer one more time…

Disclaimer: I am nervous about sharing this. Instead of me being able to use words like “crap” or my made up favorites like “goody-ness”, what I’m about to share will be held to a higher standard. Because it’s part of my hidden soul-my personal writing projects. Who knows if this will ever go anywhere-but it’s fun to write and to dream. I’d love to hear what you have to say, or maybe I won’t.

 

*********Part 8
Chapter 4

 

Early the next morning, Rosalyn picked up the phone, the “suit’s” card in hand. Before the first ring played out, she hung up. Immediately, her phone rang back with a blocked caller on the other end. She sucked in her breath and pushed the “answer” button.

“Ms. Rosalyn Jones?,” the caller asked.

“This is she. Who might this be?”

She felt in control, but not for long.

“I’ll be the one asking questions. I need you to come to my office today.”
“Why? Who are you? I’m not doing anything until you give me more information.” Rosalyn said.

“Today. 10 am. 1 Civic Center Drive.” And the caller hung up.

1 Civic Center Drive? That’s a governmental building downtown. 

Rosalyn glanced at her watch–it was only 8 am. After calling Bonnie and telling her about the mysterious phone call, Rosalyn decided to humor the “suit” and show up. An hour later, she was out the door.

 

She parked in a well-lit underground parking garage, grabbed her coffee from the cup holder and made her way to the elevator. Her heels resounded in the almost empty garage. Rosalyn, aware of the numerous murder plots that happen in parking garages during most one-hour cop shows, remembered the self-defense class she took and slid her keys to the center of her hand, point end out. She scanned the garage for other signs of life, all the while pretending to nonchalantly sip her coffee.

“Ms. Jones?” A voice called out from a darkened corner. She widened her stance, flung her purse to her back, tightened the grip on her keys and lifted the lid off of her coffee cup-steam rising from the rop.

“Who’s there?” Rosalyn used her lowest voice possible.

“Mr. Black.”

“Sure, it is. What do you want?” She called into the nothingness.

“I need you to come with me.”

“No way. I know how this will play out. It never ends well for the female.”

“Ma’am, I’m not going to hurt you. I just need you to come with me.” The voice calmly demanded. She could hear his shoe scraping dirt against the concrete floor. As soon as she saw a bit of skin, she tossed her coffee in the general direction of his face, stabbed at his stomach with her keys and took off towards the staircase.

Rosalyn could hear the man scream and call out words she would never utter as she climbed out into the open air. Immediately, two more men in suits each grabbed an elbow, wrenched her keys from her hand and “escorted” her into the unmarked governmental building without saying a word.

“What’s going on? Leave me alone!” She tried to break free, tugging and wrestling against the new “suits”. Downtown seemed oddly vacant, save a few pigeons squabbling around. The men remained silent.

“Help!” She called out to no one. The pigeons took off.

The suits shoved her behind the landscaping that surrounded the building and opened a door unnoticeable from the street. It was unmarked and blended seamlessly to the facade of the front of the building. On the other side of the door was another “suit”, armed with tight lips and piercing eyes. His white shirt was covered in coffee and he was still busy wiping the moisture off of his reddened face.

“Put her in holding cell #1,” he growled.

The two new suits nodded and moved faster down the dimly lit hallway. They opened a metal door, shoved her inside and slammed it behind her. Just like in the cop shows, there was a metal table, two chairs, one hanging lamp and a large smoky glass section in the wall.

“Whoever you are, you have the wrong person.” Rosalyn shook her finger at the glass.

“Sit down.” A voice demanded over an unseen speaker.

“No.”

“Sit down.” The voice screamed at her.

Rosalyn tugged at the metal chair and plopped into it, folding her arms across her chest.

“You can’t hold me against my will. I want a lawyer.” Rosalyn was grateful she had watched so many Cagney & Lacey shows as a kid.

“We can do whatever we like. We are who everyone else answers to. So get comfortable, Ms. Jones.”

The room was silent. Rosalyn folded and re-folded her arms. She sat up straight in the chair, then slouched. She started counting the acoustic tiles in the ceiling of the room when the coffee-stained suit entered the room with a fresh new shirt.

“You do realize you have committed a federal offense by assaulting a federal agent?” The suit said, circling her like a vulture.

“I didn’t know you were a fed, I just thought you were some creepy guy in the parking garage.”

“I was trying to show you my badge, when you emptied your hot coffee on me.” He pounded the table with his fist.

“I’m not sorry about that. You should have identified yourself.” Rosalyn slouched even lower and smiled.

“Sit up. This is a serious situation you have yourself in. No one knows that you’re here-or even where here is-and there’s nothing you can do about it, other than cooperate.”

Rosalyn slowly sat up straighter in her chair, realizing she was totally at the suit’s mercy. She clenched her jaw shut and began grinding her teeth.

“Tell me what I want to know. Now!” The suit pounded the table again.

“I seriously don’t know what you want to know.”

“Who’s the leader of your faction? Who do you answer to?” The suit sat down in the seat across from her.

Rosalyn snorted and started to laugh but suppressed the urge when the suit glared back at her.

“Look, you’ve got the wrong girl. I’m a pet photographer. I answer to my clients, I suppose. If they aren’t happy, they won’t pay.” She let out a little giggle.

“This isn’t some cop show, Ms. Jones. This is real life and you are in real trouble.”

“Then, why don’t you tell me what I’ve done? Because I don’t have any clue what is going on.” She slumped again, but then sat up straight.

The suit stayed silent, rubbed at his temples and stood up suddenly. Hands on hips, he sighed heavily and glared at her again. Rosalyn noticed how quiet quiet can be. The room felt dead-no whirring of a heating system, no footsteps, no road noise. The suit vacated the room and slammed the metal door shut.

Rosalyn sat alone in the room. She picked up her game of counting the ceiling tiles once again. Soon, she had counted all 131 of them and decided they needed names. Starting alphabetically, she named the first tile “Adam”, the second, “Bonnie”-of course, the third, “Curt” and so on. She had rounded the alphabet and was back to “K” when the suit re-entered. She made a mental note of where he had interrupted her.

“Since you are being uncooperative, we have no choice but to hold you overnight.” The suit said, throwing a pair of gray sweats at her.

“There is no way I’m staying here. I have a job to do and a friend to see tonight. People will start wondering why I’m gone within a few hours of me missing. It’ll turn into a big missing person’s thing-my picture will be all over the news in no time. You don’t want that, do you?” Rosalyn knew she was exaggerating, but her arsenal of defense was depleted.

“We own the news.” The suit sat down again.

“Nobody owns the news. I mean sure, someone owns the news, but it’s like a cooperation or Warren Buffet or someone like that. Not someone like you.

The suit remained silent and continued to glare at her.

“Do you have any other face than that one? I mean like if you saw a really cute puppy, what’s your face do then? Let’s turn this frown upside down.” She reached across the table to pull the corners of his mouth up, but he smacked her hand away.

“Ow! You don’t have to be so mean. When I get a lawyer, I’m telling him that you  hit me.”

“You aren’t getting a lawyer, Ms. Jones. In fact, you will be doing good to see the sun anytime soon.”

Rosalyn tugged at a loose string attached to the sweats and looked at the table. Humor wasn’t working for her, being angry wasn’t working for her, and demanding a lawyer did diddly squat. Now what?, she thought.

“How about Micah? Would you like to see him again? Or Bonnie? What about her?” The suit smirked and leaned back in his chair. Rosalyn’s mouth fell open.

“What do you know about them? Why  do you know about them?” She could feel her skin turning hot.

“We know everything that we need to know about you, Ms. Jones.” He smirked again.

“But there’s nothing important to know about me. I’m telling you-you have the wrong girl.” Now she was the one to hit the table with her fist.

“We can play this game all day, Ms. Jones. I have nowhere else I need to be. But, it sounds like you have a full schedule. Just tell us who you report to, and I might let you go.”

“I don’t report to anyone! I have no idea what you are talking about. I want out of here.” Rosalyn shot out of her chair and began pounding on the glass behind the suit. “Let me out of here! You have the wrong person!,” she screamed at the glass.

“There’s no one back there. It’s just you and me.” The suit stayed seated. Rosalyn pounded for several minutes, screaming all the while. The suit didn’t move an inch behind her, nor try to stop her. Rosalyn finally wore herself out and sat back down.

“What do you want to know?” She hung her head.

“Who do you report to?”

“No one. I report to myself.”

“You mean to tell me you run the operation-yourself?” The suit leaned forward and hissed at her.

“Yes-I run the whole operation myself. Every garage sale is my idea. I just get my friends to help me.” She shoved the sweats towards the suit.

“Oh no. You’d better get comfortable, Ms. Jones. You are going to be here a long time.” The suit finally smiled, but instead of it being a reaction to a cute puppy, it mimicked more of a devil grinning back at her.

“A long time.” The suit said again as he stood up and slammed the door behind him. A metal sheet fell over the smoky glass and a voice on the hidden speaker told her to “get dressed”.

Rosalyn slowly put on the sweats, folding her clothes neatly and leaving them on the table.

What is going on?, she asked herself.

Dressed, she huddled in the corner and began to cry.

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Garage Sale Addict-Part 7

This morning, I’m sharing Chapter 3, Part 7 of my story, “Garage Sale Addict”. If you’d like to catch up, here’s:
Garage Sale Addict, Part 1
Garage Sale Addict, Part 2
Garage Sale Addict, Part 3
Garage Sale Addict-Part 4
Garage Sale Addict-Part 5
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 6″

And, here is my disclaimer one more time…

Disclaimer: I am nervous about sharing this. Instead of me being able to use words like “crap” or my made up favorites like “goody-ness”, what I’m about to share will be held to a higher standard. Because it’s part of my hidden soul-my personal writing projects. Who knows if this will ever go anywhere-but it’s fun to write and to dream. I’d love to hear what you have to say, or maybe I won’t.

 

****Part 7
Chapter Three

 

Bonnie counted the money as Rosalyn and Micah started the process of tearing down the sale. Only one small shoebox was left of Rosalyn’s trinkets.

“So, what’s the final tally?,” asked Rosalyn, once Micah left to retrieve the garage sale signs from the corner.

“Give me just a sec,” said Bonnie as she counted the last few quarters. “Alright, are you ready for this? You made $2,845.72. Now, how much did you spend?”

“Not anywhere close to that.”

“Ros, I need you to be straight with me. I’m beginning to think you might have a real problem.” Bonnie squeezed her friend’s arm.

“Fine. I spent $575 dollars, or thereabouts, to make this happen.”

Bonnie’s eyebrows raised but she kept her lips closed tight.

“Bonnie, that means I made a profit. You can’t argue that.” Rosalyn said, flipping over a table and kicking closed one of the metal legs.

“Nope. You can’t.”

Micah walked up the drive, signs in hand. The sun was behind him, outlining his form and Rosalyn watched every move. He smiled at her and she instinctively smiled back.

“Can I take you out tonight for pizza-as a thank you for helping me today?,” Rosalyn asked him. He set the signs in the yard and shook his head.

“No, I don’t think that’d be a good idea.”

She felt kicked in the chest.

“Oh, ok. I just thought…,” she stammered out. He chuckled.

“I want to take you out. I know you’ve recently come into some money,” he paused and stepped closer and she felt his breath on her cheek. “But, being the old fashioned man that I am-I’m taking you out-for pizza, or whatever your heart desires.”

Rosalyn’s skin turned hot and her palms started to sweat.

“I can be ready in less than an hour.”

“Sounds good. I’ll be back here in an hour.”

Micah walked back down the drive, waving at her over his shoulder. Rosalyn watched him until he was out of sight.

“What was that all about?,” asked Bonnie.

“I just got asked out on a date.” A grin spread across Rosalyn’s face. Bonnie followed suit.

“We’d better get you ready. I’m so glad this was the last sale,” said Bonnie as she stretched and yawned. “I have a date tonight with my couch, Audrey Hepburn and some popcorn.”

They carried the last table inside and said their goodbye’s. Rosalyn locked the door after Bonnie and made her way to the shower. She flipped on the faucet, allowing the water to warm up, and heard a knock on the door.

Tying her robe around her, she tiptoed towards the front door. Rosalyn glanced out of the peephole, and spied the man in the cheap suit again.

“I’m sorry, but the sale’s over,” she said from behind the closed door.

“Ma’am, you haven’t called me yet,” the suit said.

“Sir, I’m not about to call some stranger that showed up at my garage sale.”

“I would advise that you do,” he said, unbuttoning his jacket and sticking his hands on his hips. A holster and gun were easily visible.

“I’m in a real hurry to get somewhere. I need you to go away, or I might have to call the cops,” Rosalyn’s heart pounded.

“I’ll go away-for now,” the suit re-buttoned his jacket. He stood a moment longer, turned on his heel and left.

***

Micah arrived exactly one hour later. Even a t-shirt and jeans looked remarkable on him.

“I just need to grab a shawl, in case it gets cold,” she said. “Help yourself to something to drink.”

Rosalyn labored over whether the ivory or pink shawl better complemented her light blue summer dress. She decided on the pink and returned to the kitchen.

“You look fantastic,” Micah locked eyes with her.

Rosalyn curtsied and giggled.

“Thank you, my lord,” she said bowing low. Micah chuckled and bowed back to her.

“Are you ready for your dinner, fair maiden?”

“Certainly. Shall we make haste?,” she said, feeling rather silly.

“Your carriage awaits.” Micah ushered her out the door.

Rosalyn loved that he played along with her so readily. Kyle always thought her random antics not amusing. Micah unlocked her door and then went around to the driver’s side.

As they backed out of the driveway, Rosalyn noticed a black sedan a few hundred yards to the north of her that started its engine. She watched in her mirror as the lights flicked on and it pulled out right behind them.

“So, where are we going?,” she said, trying to shake off her paranoia.

“I thought instead of pizza, we could go to a really great sushi restaurant.”

Rosalyn kept her eyes on the sedan as it took one turn after another right behind them.

“Is sushi ok?,” Micah asked.

“Oh, sorry. Of course. I love sushi,” she responded.

“Great. It’s one of my favorite places in town to eat. I’d love to finally share it with someone,” he patted her knee and turned on some music.

She loved his hand on her knee. You stupid sedan-why don’t you go away and leave us alone?

Micah parked the car a few minutes later and she watched as the sedan trolled in, headlights off, behind them. Whoever you are, you aren’t very sneaky.

“Are you ok? You seem a little distracted,” Micah looped his arm through his as they walked to the restaurant.

“I’m sorry, Micah. It’s been a long day.” Rosalyn glanced over her shoulder and watched as the suit got out of the sedan.

“I understand. Let’s get some food in you. That’ll help,” he squeezed her arm. She loved the warmth of his skin on her bare arm.

Micah was greeted at the front door by the owner with a bear hug and two pats on his back. Each staff member they passed on their way to their corner booth, smiled and waved at him. Immediately, green tea was brought and Micah poured her a tiny cup.

“You are a bit of a celebrity here, aren’t you?” Rosalyn sipped from her cup.

“This place got me through college. Great food, quiet atmosphere and they let me study for hours,” he said, pouring more tea into the tiny cup. “And, they always let me drink as much tea as I could handle.”

The owner approached their table, smiling from ear to ear.

“Micah, it’s good to have you back. And to see you with such a fine woman,” the old man said with a thick accent as he patted Rosalyn’s hand.

“He’s a great man. I would be proud to call him my son.” The owner puffed out his chest and raised his chin skyward.

“Oh, Kim. You just love me because I love your ‘special sushi’,” Micah laughed and the old man joined in.

“True, true. Not many white people like my ‘special sushi’. Now, what will it be tonight?,” the old man grabbed his pad of paper and a tiny pencil and started scribbling even before Micah had spoken.

“Why don’t you surprise us?,” Micah laughed. “I know you will even if I didn’t ask.”

The old man scurried off, yelling at the chefs and pointing his fingers in all directions. Just as Rosalyn turned her attention back to Micah, the bell on the front door jingled and the suit walked in. He was sat just a few tables away, with only one other couple between them.

Rosalyn started to whisper to Micah, when the old man returned with a dish full of something light gray and jiggly.

“Now, pretty lady, you try this. It may look awful, but it’s good.” He placed it on the table and was off again.

Micah laughed and picked up his chopsticks.

“It’s squid and it’s best dipped in this,” he pointed to a dish in the center of the plate.

Rosalyn dipped her first piece into the sauce, excited to try something new. For a moment she forgot about the suit. He coughed loudly and looked in her direction. Micah had his back to the suit and was busy explaining the next dish to her when the suit approached their table.

“Excuse me,” he said as he straightened his tie. “I’m not from around here and wondered what you would recommend. I saw how well you were getting along with the owner.”

“Of course. I would try I-9, which is mostly vegetables. But, if you need something with a little more meat,” Micah paused, thinking, “I would recommend P-17, but tell Kim to tone down on the spice.”

“Thank you. Have a nice night,” the suit said and looked straight at Rosalyn. “Ma’am.”

The suit walked away and Rosalyn wondered how much a ‘concealed carry’ license might cost.

“Micah,” she whispered and scooted closer to him. This made him smile and he scooted closer to her. “That man was at my garage sale, came back afterwards and pounded on my door, followed us here and is now eating at the same restaurant.”

Micah grew solemn, he looked over his shoulder, his forehead creasing.

“Who is he?,” he asked.

“I don’t know. He gave me his card and asked me to call him,” she whispered even more quietly. “His card said he was a federal investigator.”

“What does he want with you?,” Micah whispered back.

The old man brought out another dish, interrupting Rosalyn’s response. This time it was green and a little juicy.

“You like my squid?,” Kim smiled at Rosalyn.

“It’s delicious,” she said, forcing a smile.

“You don’t like it, do you?,” he frowned and hung his head.

“No, it’s wonderful, I promise.” Rosalyn mustered up her biggest smile. That seemed to satisfy him and he hustled back to the kitchen, barking out more orders.

“I have no idea what he wants. But he’s giving me the creeps.” She finally whispered back.

Micah took a few more bites of the squid and then moved on to the green pile. He sighed and scratched at his head.

“Well, why don’t I just go and ask?” He got up and threw his napkin on the table.

Micah began the conversation with his arms folded, but soon they were flying around int he air. The suit stood up and tore off his glasses. Rosalyn watched as they argued, both pointing at her from time to time. Micah suddenly calmed down as the suit pulled out his badge. After several more minutes, Micah returned to the table and the suit left. Micah sat down and was quiet.

“Well?,” Rosalyn finally broke the silence.

“He said there’s nothing he can tell me, other than that you’re under investigation.”

“Investigation?,” she shouted much too loudly. The other couple stared at her. “For what?”

“That’s what I don’t know. He wouldn’t tell me.” Micah took another bite, not looking her in the eye. “And he said you need to call him.”

“Micah, I promise that I have no idea what this is about.” She suddenly felt dirty.

“You should probably just call him. I’m sure it’s a mistake.”

“I’m sure it is too. The most illegal thing I’ve ever done is not use my turn signal.” Rosalyn laughed faintly.

“Is there anything else you can think of? Anything at all?”

“I’m a pet photographer, I live in my Grandma’s house, I have garage sales. I mean, what’s there to investigate?,” her eyes started to fill with tears. She wondered what Micah was thinking of her.

The green plate had hardly been touched when Kim returned with two small fried pockets of something. He ran off again, wiping his hands on the towel tied to his waste.

“Look, this won’t change the way I think about you. I’m just concerned there’s something going on that you don’t know about,” he grabbed her hand. “But somehow-you are involved.”

“I’ll give him a call tomorrow,” she said, thankful for his hand on hers. “Let’s not let this ruin our night.”

“Deal,” he said. “Now, eat up. There’s a lot more to go.”

*****************

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