Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chapter Three - Spread the Love

Contest details - here.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

"Well, you are a little thing, aren't you?" Mrs. O'Brien said as she extended her hand. "It's a pleasure to have you with us for a few days. Has Milton given you the grand tour yet?"

Shannon O'Brien was the first person I'd ever met who could be called big-boned and it not mean anything except that she had big bones. She was a couple inches shorter than Milton but that still probably put her close to six feet tall. She had wide shoulders, wide hips, even a wide chin. Even so, her friendly smile was her most prominent feature.

"It's great to be here," I said, forcing my teeth to stop chattering. I pulled my hand out of the warm coat pocket to shake hers.

"I was just about ready to show her the ropes," Milton said to his wife. "Would you like to join us?"

"Sure. Let's . . ." She was interrupted by the loud buzz of the cell phone attached to her belt. "Excuse me a minute," she said as she moved to an open space on the other side of the aisle and took the call.

"Believe it or not, Shannon only recently switched to a phone from a walkie-talkie. I miss the old-fashioned method. Vendors think it's okay to call her at all hours now. The walkie-talkie never went home with us." Milton winked.

"I think I understand," I said, thinking of all the time Allison spent on the phone."

"Milt, I'm afraid I'll have to pass on the tour. We'll catch up later," Shannon said as she rejoined us. She spoke quickly and her eyebrows were together in either concern or concentration.

"What’s wrong, Shannon?" Milton asked.

"I hate to air Cisco's dirty laundry in front of our guest . . . forgive me, Becca."

"It's fine. What's wrong?" I said.

"It seems that one of our Chinatown vendors is missing something; something very valuable."