By Nandy Ekle
“Miss Bitsy, are you okay?”
She turned back and smiled. “Oh, yes, I’m fine. I just thought I heard something. Must be squirrels up there. Yes, I think it was about a month ago. I’m afraid we had a little disagreement. You see, some of my things disappeared. Oh, nothing big, but gadgets I was fond of. I’m afraid I accused him of taking them. I just can’t imagine why he would want that stuff. He said he hadn’t touched them, but he was the only other person here.”
“Do you think he stole your stuff and left town?”
“Well, I don’t know about that. I certainly wouldn’t have dreamed of him taking anything from me. If he had just asked I would have given him anything.”
“What things were missing?”
“Let’s see….things missing…. well, my rose colored Pyrex dish…. my green apron…. oh, my marble rolling pin, and my flour sifter.”
Jeremy looked at her, incredulous at the list of missing items. The Miss Bitsy he remembered would never have made a big deal out of losing something as inconsequential as a Pyrex dish. Surely she had plenty of dishes to cook in. “Are you sure Mr. Easley took those things? What kind of monetary value did any of that have for a college student?”
“Well, I don’t know why he would want them, but he was the only other person in the house; it couldn’t have been anyone else. He said he didn’t take them, but there was no one else here.” Again she looked up the stairs as if she’d heard something, and once again a frown momentarily creased her brow.
“Miss Bitsy, let me go look for the squirrel to pay you back for the cake and brownies.”
“Oh, Jerry, I could always count on you to do little jobs for me, but I think this is a job for someone else. Don’t you worry about it.”
He swallowed a gulp of milk and nodded. “Exactly what did Anton say when you asked him about those items?”
“He said he didn’t take them. He said I’m like his grandmother and would never steal anything from me.” She turned back to the stairs, frowning, and after a moment she stood up, shook her finger at the rooms above her head and began to yell. “You can’t threaten me like that anymore, Eli Bevel! I know you’re dead ‘cause I killed you myself!”
That shocked Jeremy to the point of forgetting why he’d wanted to be a police officer to start with. What? He couldn’t move or even breathe. A piece of brownie and syrupy caramel was turning to mush in his mouth. This must be an alternate universe like The Twilight Zone or Night Gallery or something. He was certain Rod Serling himself would come walking into the room with a cigarette between his fingers, laughing. He tried to hang on to his professionalism, but it vanished as quickly as the air rushing from a balloon.
Miss Bitsy slowly turned back to the deceptive and batted her eyes sheepishly. “Oh…. well, I guess you heard that.”