Friday, February 21, 2014

The Stalker - Part I

By Bettyann Moore

Bo and Cleo watched in anticipation as their master pulled his Browning from the top of the refrigerator. When the Browning came out, it was time for their walk. Their tails thumped, thumped, thumped on the kitchen linoleum as Digg Dunham sighted down the short barrel cop-style, gun resting on his left arm, right trigger finger ready, feet wide and hips pivoted.

“Ready, kids?” Digg said as he straightened out and holstered the handgun. Cleo’s huge front paws clicked a tap dance while Bo stretched and started pawing at the corner of the door.

“Hang on, hang on, you two!” Digg commanded. “It’s frickin’ wet out there.” Digg grabbed a rain poncho from the rack on the wall and pulled it on. It was September in the Rockies, for Pete’s sake, he should be worried about smoke coming up the ridge, not about keeping dry.

The rains had pounded down for almost two weeks now. Not all day, but every day. Like clockwork, by 2 pm the clouds moved in and began the night-long soak. Colorado’s dryness was one of the reasons Digg had moved there; that, and the ethnics that peopled the streets of Baltimore. His neighbors in the canyon, though, were all white as far as he could tell and few and far between. 

Friday, February 14, 2014


Phot by Deborah Tilley via Wikimedia Commons

Carol wasn’t prepared for the day to break into sunshine. She had already completed her daily Sudoku in front of the sunlamp, taking her daily dose of St. John’s wort with a cup of green tea. Her walk to the post office chilled her through layers of wool, down, and Gore-Tex, a walk that took her through the cloying gray world of snow, salt, and sun-blotting clouds. Custom demanded she wave and nod at the other bundled souls she met along the way, recognizable only by context. That man with insulated coveralls with the shovel in front of Earl’s house was most likely Earl, nobody but Tina would ever wear purple hat and peach scarf. The whole town could have been taken over by aliens and Carol would never know; not that she cared. Maybe an alien invasion would be just the thing to keep her distracted until spring.

Friday, February 7, 2014


By Bettyann Moore

Heather Stewart was addicted to books, more specifically, to mystery books. Oh, she threw in a few fantasies and some speculative fiction once in a while, but 90 percent of the hundreds of books she owned were mysteries. Her fingers tingled when she picked up a new one. Her mind raced with possibility and speculation as she read them. She crowed with delight if a writer was able to keep her guessing up to the end, though it was rare. Heather was that good.

Only ink and paper books would do. To her mind, there was something incongruous about reading a mystery electronically. Part of the fun was curling up in her big leather chair, lights dimmed (except the one illuminating the book), Oscar the cat napping on her lap and the slow, delicious turning of each page that drew her nearer to the solution.

Library books wouldn’t do, either. Heather liked to own books, to see them arranged alphabetically on the rich mahogany shelves of the bookcases she had built herself.

“You’re never going to read them again,” her friend Crystal said, “so why bother?”

Crystal owned half a dozen cookbooks and a set of home repair manuals. Crystal could never understand.