Quarter Castle Publishing
Genre: Fiction-Short Story-Contemporary-Thriller
Predicted Release Date: October 31, 2013
ISBN: (eBook; approximately 6,100 words): 978-1-927625-11-8
Margaret Saunders is a professional gardener who undertakes a personal interest in the lives of her clients. She retains knowledge of their favourite flowers, which plants trigger their allergies and what secrets they require to bury perpetually. When Ralph Burgess’ lover disappears, the citizens of East Pleasant Harbour point fingers. One however looks for a more down to earth solution.
“Gone?” Margaret scanned the garden. This was unexpected. She turned back to her friend “Did he say where he went?”
“No one knows. The workers showed up at the café this morning and found it closed.” She sounded desperate. Francine held no affection for Ralph, but she had known him her entire life; everyone in the small, close-knit community had. It was not as though she had a kind word to share about him after her sister married his brother. Instead she had grumbled that as the matron of honour she got stuck babysitting the best man—Ralph—who had sipped rum throughout the wedding day. “He’s never done this before. We tried calling his cell, but there was no answer. We’re worried. I thought you might…” She held her tongue as if she feared saying the words. Leaning close, she whispered, “I saw you with him yesterday. He looked angry.”
Margaret waited, but Francine said nothing more. She seemed to want her to finish the sentence. “And…you thought he’d be here?”
“Well,”—she played with the stone in her necklace—“I thought he might have said something. I mean, you two once had a…you know. You loved the man!” she blurted.
“And that makes me an expert on his whereabouts?” Margaret spied an ant crawling on the lilac branch. A fire ignited inside. She’d see to its demise immediately before it turned into an infestation. Ants were like rats; if one emerged, a thousand more hid nearby waiting for an opportunity. She recognised her friend on the seat expecting an answer. “Julie-Anne would know more than I where Ralph lays his head these days.”
“I can’t reach her. Not that I want to.” Francine released her necklace. “I never did like the girl, so it took a while to find her number. I tried calling it, but there’s no answer.”
“Maybe they’re together. They may have taken off on a lovers’ holiday.”
“Ralph would never do that. His sister filed a missing person report. She’s afraid something tragic has happened to him. It’s one thing for him to not answer his phone; it’s another for him to miss opening the café.”
“Has Ralph’s sister talked with Julie-Anne?”
Francine shook her head.
“Then why all the fuss? The simple answer is Ralph is with her.” Margaret stood.
“That’s it?” Francine followed her lead and rose from the bench. “You’re going to brush it off?”
“What can I do?”
“You could…well; you could stop your world from turning and help us look for him.”
“News flash! Ralph stopped my world from turning when he dumped me for Miss High Society.”