Did you miss Chapter One?
Did you miss Chapter Two?
From Trigger Yappy
The following morning, Yolanda turned up at my apartment
right on time. She drove a flashy red convertible and, as
was her habit, she leaned on the horn until I came out.
I rushed around my apartment ensuring all lights were off and all
doors were locked, before racing downstairs to meet her.
“Stop honking,” I said. “I’m here. You’re going to wake the neigh‐
She let off the horn and glanced at her slim gold bracelet watch.
“It’s nine a.m. The neighborhood should be up. What’s wrong with
I laughed as I opened the passenger side. Beepo, who seemed
permanently housed on the passenger-side seat, growled at me.
“Beach town, I guess,” I said, ignoring Beepo, who barked madly at
“Hush now, Beepo!” Yolanda scowled, scooping him onto her lap.
“When I lived in New York, I was always up at the crack of dawn,
but it seems like everyone in Pacific Cove sleeps in.”
“Do you think it’s the sea air?” Yolanda asked.
I shrugged. “Well, New York has sea air, right?”
She wrinkled her delicate nose. “It’s not the same.”
I laughed. She was right. New York City and Pacific Cove had zero
in common. One of the reasons I’d recently relocated to Pacific Cove
was to escape the never-ending hustle and bustle that pulsed through
New York, especially when I was a financial advisor.
Thinking of New York brought Gus to mind, and a little pang
pricked my heart. I imagined him already settling into a fine hotel in
New York, getting ready for the Gourmet Games audition. New York
definitely had big opportunities to offer.
Yolanda put the convertible in reverse and gunned it out of my
apartment house driveway. The wind bellowed through her blond
hair fanning it around her face. “I’d like to make a little pit stop on the
way to the hospital, if you don’t mind.”
From the way Yolanda narrowed her eyes at me, I could tell that I
clearly should mind. What kind of pit stop was she contemplating?
“Where?” I asked.
She pressed her full, glossy red lips together and glanced at her
own reflection in the rearview mirror.
“Have you talked to Rachel this morning?” I asked. “When I called,
the nurse told me she was still asleep. She said I’d have to talk to the
doctor about discharge, but he wasn’t going to do his rounds until
eleven or so.”
“I haven’t talked to her.” Yolanda said. She gave a sidelong glance.
“I want to stop at Chic Chickie on the way.”
I frowned. “Where’s that?”
“It’s on the way.”
“What is it? A shop?”
She nodded eagerly. Almost too eagerly . . . Beepo yowled in
“I don’t think we have time for shopping,” I said. “I kinda want to
get straight to the hospital.”
“You said yourself she won’t be discharged until eleven. We have
plenty of time,” Yolanda said.
“It’ll only take us a few minutes and it’s such a cute shop!” Yolanda
pressed. “You’re going to love it.”
I laughed. Yolanda and I had completely different taste in fashion.
She favored stilettos, halter tops, and skintight pants and skirts, while
I was conservative by nature. Blame it on my accounting degree, but
this morning I was decked out in tan chinos and a sky-blue sweater
“Please, Maggie,” Yolanda whined, while Beepo simpered alongside
“If it’s on the way, I suppose it’s fine.”
She clapped her hands loudly and then flung the car around in a
U-turn. It was such a sharp turn that Beepo, frightened for his life,
sprang into my lap.
“Whoa! I thought you said it was on the way.”
She waved a hand around nonchalantly. “It is.”
A few minutes later we pulled off the main road onto a side street.
Yolanda parked the convertible and set the alarm with her key fob. In
front of us was a small boutique shop featuring some very dramatic
chicken hats in the window.
“Wait a minute!” I said in an octave altogether too high. “Is this
Yolanda flashed me her best, most-charming smile. “Well . . .”
“Well, what! Why didn’t you tell me?
“Because I knew you wouldn’t want to stop. And I have unfinished
business with that woman!”
“I’m not going in there, just to witness another catfight,” I said.
Beepo let out a mean howl at the word cat.“See, even Beepo agrees,
don’t ya, boy?”
“Oh, stop,” Yolanda straightened her fuchsia skirt and checked her
reflection in the store window. “You two are both overreacting. Look.
I’d really like to buy the business from Fran, and I offered her a fair
price yesterday. It’s just that she doesn’t realize yet how generous I’m
being. Now that she’s had a chance to sleep on it, I think she’ll be
much more reasonable.” She placed a hand on the doorknob. “You
don’t even have to be involved. You can peruse the merchandise.
Don’t you need a fashionable sun hat for Mexico?”
I glanced at an outrageous hat in the center display of the arched
front bay window. It featured a rooster tail feather and had a red brim
that resembled a gobble.
“I wouldn’t be caught dead in that,” I said.
Yolanda tsked, shaking her head at what she considered my
obvious bad taste. She pranced over to the parking meter in front of
the store and wrapped Beepo’s leash around it. He gave a howl of
disagreement. “Hush now. You know I can’t take you in, Beep. You
remember the last time?”
I knew from experience that Beepo was not of fan of Yolanda’s
bright yellow-and-orange faux chicken, so-called designer purses.
Yolanda pushed open the door and an overhead bell chimed as we
stepped into the shop.
The store featured cathedral-style ceilings, wide wood-planked
floors, and the walls boasted a fresh coat of paint in robin’s-egg blue.
Along the far wall was a mind-boggling display of mounted birds.
“Helllloooo?” Yolanda singsonged.
An eerie silence greeted us.
The south side of the shop was covered with wraps of all sizes, the
unifying theme was that they all appeared to be made of chicken
“Oh my God, is this even legal?” I asked.
Yolanda looked alarmed. “What do you mean?
I pointed at a large black-and-white stole. “How many chickens
had to die to make that wrap?”
“No, no, no,” Yolanda squealed. “No chickens died! They molt!”
Yolanda’s hand fluttered to her heart as if my accusation was about to
give her a cardiac arrest. “Anyway, these are synthetic! Do you think
we would kill a chicken for fashion?”
I hid my smile. “I think these feathers are ostrich anyway.”
Yolanda’s expression became even more severe. “They are not!”
“What about those chickens?” I motioned to the far wall of
Yolanda gripped my wrist. “Hush now. Some people like that sort
I stared up at the marble eyes of the taxidermy birds and said, “I
feel like we’re being watched.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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