Thursday, October 22, 2015

Return to Autumn House--A Halloween Serial--Chapter Four--Jean C. Gordon




Hallie tightened her grip on Kane’s waist as much to steady herself as him. Even in his weakened state, he was a solid support. She blinked the approaching Sheriff Department cruiser into focus and relaxed. The car came to a dead stop in front of them and a tall muscular deputy climbed out.

“Hallie, are you all right?”

Crispin Apple, Kane’s high school sports rival and nemesis.

Kane tensed and put his arm around her waist. It had been ten years since they’d graduated. The two of them couldn’t still be carrying on the rivalry. She glanced from Kane to Cris and felt the charged air between them. Or maybe they could.

Cris rested his right hand on his sidearm. “I stopped at the Allhallow Inn on my patrol for coffee and one of their apple cider donuts, and Mary Ann asked me to check on you.  She said you’d come up here a while ago and, with it getting dark and all, she was worried. Some of the Cliff Road residents have reported strange lights and sounds coming from Autumn House. Cris’s gaze drilled into Kane’s.

Kane straightened and pulled his arm from her, and she reluctantly released him. He moved away.

“I’m fine, but Kane’s been hurt. His head—“ She stopped when Kane grunted something intelligible under his breath and swayed slightly toward her before pulling himself back up to his full height, an inch or two taller than Cris.

“Hallie,” Cris said, “I assume that’s your roadster parked below. “

“Yes, but we’ve got to get Kane to Doc Snicks.”

Kane massaged his forehead and the gash on his temple reopened. Her heart pounded. He must be really out of it. It wasn’t like Kane to stand silent, to not take charge—at least the Kane she’d known. She ran her gaze over him. He wasn’t going to pass out, was he? Before she could reach and steady him, Cris stepped between them.

“I know all the locals cars,” he said. “Didn’t see yours on the road or driveway, Cornelison.”

“You couldn’t have looked very hard, Apple. My Phantom Drophead Coupe is right there on the side of the driveway under the weeping willow.”

Hallie’s throat clogged. She hadn’t seen it either. She cleared her throat. “Stop, both of you. Kane needs to get to the doctor’s. Drive us down to my car.”

“Come on.” Cris yanked open the back door of the cruiser and grabbed Kane’s arm as he would with someone he was arresting.

Kane shook him off, and Cowardly crashed out of the underbrush by the house growling.

“Cowardly, stop,” she screamed when she saw Cris’ hand tighten on his gun. The dog skidded to a stop next to her, and she promptly sneezed.

“Come on, boy, we’re going for a ride,” Kane said, taking measured steps to the cruiser and motioning the dog into the back seat.
Cris opened the passenger side door for her and slid in the other side. “Keep that monster under control, Cornelison.”

“Afraid of a little house pet?”

Cris’ knuckles went white on the steering wheel. “When you’re done at Doc’s, I want you at the station to answer a few questions.”

They drove down the winding drive in silence. What was going on? Crispin was supposed to be one of the good guys. 


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6 comments:

Lorraine Beatty said...

This is so much fun. You ladies are hilarious. I'm really like the names in this story. Chrispin Apple? LOL

barb phinney said...

Oh, this just keeps getting better and better! Next year, I expect Crispin's story!

Pamela Tracy said...

Wow, this one is just moving along! I'm loving it.

Christine Johnson said...

So much fun. Love the names and the twists. Can't wait for tomorrow's chapter.

Jean C. Gordon said...

Write from your life: Our county sheriff's last name is Apple, Craig Apple. The Crispin just popped into my head. I had to Google to check that it really was a first name.

Lenora said...

Love this and Cowardly is adorable!!! I'm not sure about Cris. He might be a bad person!!! I hope they get away from him :)