Wendy Meadows Cozy Mystery Beneath the Corn Maze (EBOOK)
Travel Writer Mystery Book 3

Beneath the Corn Maze (EBOOK)

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Can Patricia bring the identity of her would-be killer to light? Or will she end up six feet under before her next travel assignment?

A killer is on the loose – and she’s the next victim.

Eager to return home after a series of unusually uneventful trips, Patricia looks forward to some quiet time with her boyfriend in their small town in Georgia. She’s relieved to not any have more murder mysteries on her hands – but she has no idea what she’s about to be dragged into.

When a seemingly ordinary visit for some Fall-themed festivities ends with a double murder and Patricia’s own close brush with death, she stumbles into an elusive mystery – and it quickly becomes clear that someone is prepared to kill her to protect it.

If she hopes to unravel the murders, she’ll be forced to travel to the heart of Atlanta and get into the mind of the insane killer who is stalking her every move. Locked in a deadly race against time to unmask the murderer before they can get to her, Patricia must push her skills to the limits and stay one step ahead if she wants to stay alive.

Can Patricia bring the identity of her would-be killer to light? Or will she end up six feet under before her next travel assignment?

Chapter 1

She could scarcely believe it. Autumn had arrived in Georgia, and Patricia McKay had spent several months traveling around on new assignments without encountering any problems—especially problems associated with murder.

After tangling with a difficult case in a frozen, snow-soaked desert months back, Patricia accepted each new assignment her boss, Edna Traceton, tossed at her with a little trepidation. Would her trip to Canada be filled with murder and danger? No. Patricia’s stay in Canada had been as smooth as a newborn baby’s rear end.

After Canada, Patricia had been assigned to travel to New Zealand. Surely, she feared, some shadowy danger awaited her in that strange land. But no, three fun-filled weeks in New Zealand had passed with ease and comfort.

Surely, Patricia thought, after being sent to Finland, some unknown killer was awaiting in the frozen land of the north. No frozen killer had appeared. Patricia had spent nearly a month in Finland—being delayed, to her joy—spending time with a sweet family who showed her many beautiful places on God’s earth.

“Maybe the danger zone I was trapped in has finally dissipated,” Patricia whispered as her flight landed on a rainy runway at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The airport was a welcome sight for sore eyes. Louder, she added, “Ah, home at last. As much as I loved Finland, it’s going to be nice to have some pinto beans and cornbread.”

“You’re telling me,” said an old woman in a thick southern drawl. She appeared to be very fancy but in reality was very humble and modest. “My home is just outside of Calhoun. Been away in Boston for nearly a year visiting my son and daughter-in-law and helping take care of my new grandchild. I’m worn down to the ground.”

Patricia smiled. She liked Mabel Horn and was glad her flight had been diverted to Philadelphia before continuing on to Atlanta. Mabel had boarded Patricia’s flight and had been a delight ever since. “You promised to write me, Mabel.”

“Honey, I’m seventy-one years old. If I can remember to go to the bathroom without peeing myself, I’ll try to remember to write,” Mabel complained. “At my age, a gal is lucky if she has enough toilet paper in the house. My late husband always did the shopping, but he’s been in heaven for three years now. I can remember to buy milk and bread but always seem to forget the toilet paper. I think my late husband deliberately went to heaven first to leave me with a few headaches.”

Patricia glanced into a kind face that suddenly filled with sadness. “You miss your husband, don’t you?” she asked. 

“I was married to the man for fifty-one years. I guess somewhere in time I must have loved him,” Mabel answered and then offered Patricia a smile filled with sorrow. “Knew I loved my husband after he kissed me. Spent some time telling myself I despised the ground he walked on, but deep down my heart knew the truth.”

Mabel’s words made Patricia think of Brian, who was waiting for her at the airport. Patricia knew she had been spending a lot of time away from home—and Brian. However, it appeared that Brian was okay with her traveling the world. Not too long ago the guy would have put up a fuss, but Patricia was relieved that he was putting on a brave face and biting his tongue. Besides, he was busy at work being the new detective in North Frost—busy, uh, counting jellybeans in the jar that sat on his desk, but hey, a job was a job.

Still, Patricia felt bad about spending so much time away from Brian. Deep down, as much as her heart wanted to refuse the truth, she was in love with him. Why? Patricia had no earthly idea.

“I suppose love strikes when we least expect it, huh?” she asked Mabel.

Mabel simply nodded her head and then tugged on the thick brown sweater that covered her tender frame. “Love never agrees with the songs and poems, dear,” she told Patricia and then nodded at the dark pink sweater Patricia was wearing. “Your beauty requires tender colors, not dark. Dark colors do not complement you. I know you’re wearing pink to impress your man, but next time wear a softer shade.”

Patricia tensed up. “How do you know I’m meeting someone?”

Mabel reached out and patted Patricia’s soft hand. “You became very anxious ever since we arrived in Georgia,” she said and then offered a warm smile. “We’re almost ready to deplane. I’ll remember to write you if you remember to send me reminders to buy toilet paper.”

Patricia smiled and then leaned over and hugged Mabel. “That’s a promise.” 

“You have a very special heart, Patricia. Never lose it,” Mabel whispered and didn’t say another word until Patricia walked her off the plane and entered a crowded airport that she knew like the back of her hand. “Call me, honey.” Mabel then nodded at a handsome man standing off by himself. “That might just be your man.”

Patricia spotted Brian standing off to the east side of the terminal. He was looking out the windows, his eyes focused on the falling rain that was soaking the runways and large jets sitting outside. That was just like Brian, Patricia thought. No hello. No wave. Just focus on the weather and how it was going to affect the traffic and the ride home. “I…guess,” Patricia sighed.

Mabel grinned. “Love is never smooth, honey,” she whispered and then walked away without saying another word.

“I guess,” Patricia moaned. She tossed on a gray coat and then gripped her white purse. “Time to go say hello to the love of my life.” Patricia drew in a deep breath and walked over to Brian. “I’m home…safe and sound. Here I am.”

Brian looked at Patricia—looked into the most beautiful face he had ever seen—but then suddenly frowned. Patricia had cut her long auburn hair. It was now short and looked…silly. Well, maybe not silly, and maybe even stylish in the eyes of the person who created the cut, but definitely not…well…Patricia. The hairstyle was not Patricia’s normal style.

“Uh…nice haircut,” he blurted out before his brain could throw a little common sense at his mouth. 

Patricia stepped back and narrowed her eyes. “The new style in Finland. I thought I could use a change,” she told Brian in a very—very—defensive tone. Good grief, she thought, first the guy didn’t even greet me and then he insults my new hairstyle. Yeah, love sure isn’t smooth…more like a path filled with a million sharp thorns. “I’m glad you like it, Brian.”

Brian tensed up and then quickly glanced down at the brown sports blazer he was wearing over a pair of old jeans. Brian knew his look was “normal,” if not fashionable, and really didn’t care that he was more or less an old broken-in shoe. Patricia, on the other hand, always seemed to conform to new styles every time she traveled to new worldly locations—mostly clothes. Patricia had changed her hairstyle only twice in the past and had quickly regretted the changes and hungered for her old hair back. Brian had hoped the last hairstyle change would be, well…the last. Unfortunately, it appeared that Patricia had fallen victim to the world once again. Why? Brian didn’t know. Patricia was a riddle to him at times. “Uh, yeah…nice,” he murmured.

Patricia rolled her eyes. “You hate it, don’t you?” she asked in an annoyed voice. “I knew you would. That’s why I didn’t even talk about it to Mabel on the plane.”

Brian raised his eyes. “Who?”

“Mabel, the old…I mean, my new friend who…oh, forget it!” Patricia snapped her arms together. “Brian, it’s not a crime to try out new styles, you know. Finland was a very beautiful country with a very beautiful culture. The family I was staying with were all very nice. The oldest daughter and I became very close friends. She’s the one who convinced me to try this new style, and, well, I think it’s…happening.”

“What are we, in the seventies?” Brian asked before he could catch his mouth. He winced and then looked out at the rain again. “Look, Patricia, I…it’s your hair, do what you want with it, okay,” he said, struggling to sound casual instead of telling Patricia how silly he thought she looked. 

“You’re a jerk, Brian.” Patricia frowned. “A real gentleman would have complimented my hair even if he didn’t like it. You, on the other hand, are far from being a gentleman.” Patricia looked around. “I think I’ll rent a car and drive home…alone.”

“Now wait a minute,” Brian objected and then made a “why me” face. “Look, Patricia, we haven’t seen each other in a long time—”

“I was working!”

“Yeah, I know, I know.” Brian held up a hand. “Look, tiger, before you go chewing me to pieces, let’s just throw up a white flag and call for a peace treaty, okay? Besides, I have some good news for you.”

“Good news?” Patricia asked as she stared into Brian’s eyes. As she did, her gut suddenly tensed up. A deep worry told Patricia that Brian’s good news wasn’t going to be good news. “What good news?”

Brian proudly folded his arms together and let out a manly smile, his chin raised in a cocky manner. “I’ve been working on your motorhome.”

Patricia froze. “My…motorhome? You mean my classic 1978 Winnebago?” 

“Yep, I turned that heap of junk into something grand.” Brian beamed. 

“Heap…of junk?” Patricia asked in a painful whisper. “What…did you do to my motorhome, Brian?” she demanded as if the end of the world had arrived. 

“Spruced it up,” Brian explained in a proud voice. “I subscribe to your travel magazine. The June edition was all about traveling around different countries in RVs—new RVs that are top-notch. Well, that got me thinking about your old heap of junk—”

“My old heap of junk?” Patricia repeated, feeling as if Brian were sticking a hot dagger into her heart.

Brian nodded. “Not much crime in North Frost,” he explained. “Usually, things pick up for the Autumn Festival—don’t forget that starts tomorrow. Anyway, with you being gone and nothing to do at the office except watch the paint dry, I decided to work on your RV.”

Patricia screwed up her face as if someone had shoved a sour lemon into her mouth. Whenever Brian got into a mood to do one of his little “projects,” someone suffered in the end—named Patricia. Brian’s last project had been a disaster. The guy had decided to add a sun room onto the back of Patricia’s farmhouse. The room turned out looking like a warped chicken coop. Brian Johnson was an excellent cop—an intelligent, strong, solid cop—but a lousy carpenter, electrician, and plumber. “What exactly did you…do…to my motorhome?”

“You’ll see when we get home.” Brian beamed. “I want it to be a surprise.”

“I’m…sure it will be.” Patricia sighed and then just stared at Brian. Yes, love certainly wasn’t smooth sailing. “Uh, Brian, I’m very tired. As you know, a storm caused my flight to be diverted to Philadelphia. I still have to call Edna and report that I’m home. Maybe we should just get a quick bite to eat, drive home, and call it a day, huh? I’ll take a look at my…motorhome…when I feel rested.”

“Oh, it’ll only take a minute,” Brian promised. “It’s parked in your barn behind your house. You won’t have far to walk.” Brian, feeling proud of himself—and relieved that the conversation was no longer on Patricia’s new hairstyle—reached out and dared to hug the beautiful woman. “I’m glad you’re home, Patricia. I’m also glad you won’t be leaving again until after the Autumn Festival is over.”

“Yeah…lucky me,” Patricia whispered as she hugged Brian back. Images of a tormented, twisted motorhome filled her mind. 

Brian let go of Patricia. “Aren’t you glad you’re home?” he asked.

“Huh?” Patricia said before reading disappointment in Brian’s eyes. “Oh…sure, sure, I’m glad, honey,” she said and forced a smile to her lips. “I’m tired, that’s all…and a little uneasy about my motorhome. I mean…Brian, remember the sun room?”

Brian quickly began rubbing the back of his neck. “Yeah, the sun room.” He looked away and then let out an awkward laugh. “Never been so happy to tear down something I built in my life. But hey, this is different. I really went all out on your RV and even had some professionals help me.”


“Some guys down at the local car dealership who know their stuff,” Brian explained. “You’ll see. Now, enough talk. Let’s get out of this crummy airport and get home.”

“Let’s find a Chick-fil-A first,” Patricia pleaded. “I’m starved.”

“I can do that.” Brian smiled and then gently took Patricia’s hand. “I’m really glad you’re home.”

Patricia looked into Brian’s sincere eyes. How could she stay mad? “I’ve missed you. When I was in Finland, a very handsome man kept trying to marry me, but all I could think about was you. I may regret saying that later, but it’s true.”

Brian leaned forward and gave Patricia a gentle kiss. “The new waitress at the diner asked me to take her out for dinner, but I told her my heart belonged to you,” he whispered. “I don’t think I’ll regret saying that later.”

Patricia put her head down on Brian’s shoulder and closed her eyes. It felt nice being in a pair of loving arms. Brian placed his cheek next to Patricia’s and soaked in the lovely smell of her perfume. Holding Patricia was…home. Brian knew his heart belonged to Patricia and that someday he was going to make the beautiful woman his wife. “Come on, let’s go find you a Chick-fil-A and then we’ll drive home…together.”

Patricia smiled and then nudged Brian with her elbow. “You better get my luggage first, cowboy, or you’ll be walking.”

“Oh, that’s right…luggage,” Brian complained in a joking voice. “I can’t forget to get the kitchen sink you packed.”

“And the bathroom,” Patricia giggled and then hooked her arm around Brian’s. “When I was in Finland, I rode a reindeer. It was very nice,” she said and then walked Brian away talking all about her latest trip. Brian didn’t mind. Just having Patricia home was enough to make his every dream come true. Sure, hearing all about Finland wasn’t exactly like talking about a 1950s hot rod, but love was never smooth, and sometimes love required a man to allow a few thorns to be stuck into his ears. That was life…and yes, that was love—true love. 

* * *

Patricia smiled as Brian drove her down a solemn street lined with breathtaking trees adorned with vibrant autumn colors. Glad the rain had stopped, she quickly rolled down the passenger side window attached to Brian’s truck, drew in a deep breath of crisp air, and then simply let the wind wash her tired face with gentle hands. “Oh, it feels so good to finally be back home. As much as I love traveling the world, there is no place like North Frost.”

Brian glanced over at Patricia, but instead of smiling, he frowned. Deep in his heart Brian wanted Patricia to stay home forever, but each time she returned home from a worldly visit, she always acted out the same theatrical performance. It wouldn’t be long before Edna Traceton, Patricia’s boss, called and sent the love of his life off on another worldly journey. “We’re almost to your farm.”

“Yes, we are.” Patricia beamed as Brian passed the Old Whitfield Farm. A long driveway drifted off into the trees, ending up at a large farmhouse that was currently for sale. It broke Patricia’s heart that the farm was being sold. Mr. and Mrs. Whitfield had been such pleasant people, but sadly, age had taken its course, and the Whitfields finally moved to Florida to be close to their children, settling down in a retirement community. “Any takers on the farm?” she asked Brian, pulling her head back into the truck.

Brian shook his head. “Carl said a developer tried to sweet talk him, but that was the only nibble.”

“It’s a good thing the Whitfields made a clause that the buyer must be a farmer and that their farm can never be sold off to a developer,” Patricia stated in a relieved voice. “The Whitfields’ land ends where my land begins. A developer would destroy all this beauty…and my land.”

“County is fighting hard to keep North Frost from being chewed alive by hungry developers,” Brian pointed out. “Too many North Georgia counties are being overrun by people who live in Atlanta, Florida, and New York. Our way of life is being destroyed by rental cabins and corporate America.”

“Tell me about it,” Patricia sighed. “I remember the old courthouse located in a few counties west of us. You know which one I’m talking about?” Brian nodded. “That courthouse was built when the county formed,” Patricia continued in a sad voice. “But then a bunch of snotty rich people from Atlanta helped one of their ‘people’ become mayor and what happened? The courthouse was torn down against the wishes of the real citizens of the county and replaced by a…monstrosity. And to add insult to injury, the little square that was once so cozy was turned into a breeding ground for ‘snowflakes’ that think their poop doesn’t smell.”

“Not to mention that so much of the beautiful land in that county was torn down to make way for corporate America,” Brian added. “Now I can’t tell that town from any other town that’s been laced with corporate greed.”

“Exactly.” Patricia nodded as Brian began to slow his truck down. She spotted a large red barn-shaped mailbox sitting on the right side of the road and beamed. “Home sweet home.”

Brian hit the blinker on his truck, hung a right, and began traveling down a long dirt driveway that ended up at a cozy white and blue two-story farmhouse that had a blue SUV parked in the yard. The farmhouse wasn’t nearly as massive as the one the Whitfields owned—nor was the land Patricia owned. The farmhouse was simple in form and stood on two open acres of lush green land surrounded by beautiful autumn woods that was complemented by a sweet mountain river running at the back of the land. Patricia owned a total of sixteen acres of land—a drop in the bucket compared to the three hundred acres the Whitfields owned. But that didn’t matter. Patricia loved her farm with all of her heart.

“I checked the battery in your SUV while you were gone,” Brian said. “I let it run a few times just to keep the juice hot, but it wouldn’t hurt if you took a drive tomorrow.”

“I will,” Patricia promised and then frowned as Brian scooted his truck around the farmhouse and drove down a narrow dirt road that led to the large barn that had come with the land. The barn sat in a sleepy backfield located behind the farmhouse; old, rugged, and worn by time and weather. Patricia didn’t care. The barn whispered sweet melodies of years forgotten that were still a dream living inside of her heart. “Uh, it’ll be dark soon. Maybe—”

“I really want to show you the improvements,” Brian insisted in a proud voice. “I know you’re tired, Patricia, but we’re not old and broken just yet. We still have some fire in our steps.”

Patricia let out a low sigh. “Yeah, fire in our steps.” She shook her head and waited for Brian to park. Then she slowly unbuckled her seatbelt, said a payer, and prepared for the worst. “Okay, let’s go have a look.”

“Wait, I’m going to drive your RV out into the open air,” Brian announced in an excited voice. He jumped out of his truck and dashed toward the barn. 

Patricia moaned as she watched Brian pull open the two large wooden doors and then disappear into a dark barn that smelled of hay and dust. “Oh dear,” she sighed and then simply climbed out of the truck into the crisp autumn air and waited. A few minutes later, the sound of an old, sickly engine fired to life inside the barn. Dark smoke began flowing out the doors. Patricia quickly covered her mouth. “Forgot…about the exhaust,” she coughed as her eyes spotted the back end of her motorhome begin slipping out of the barn. “Brian fixes everything except what needs fixed…yes, love is never smooth.”

A classic 1978 Winnebago motorhome slid out of the barn with a very excited driver behind the wheel. Brian, oblivious to the dark smoke busting out from the tailpipe, honked an old horn and waved at Patricia as soon as the giant vehicle was clear of the barn. “You have to see the inside!” He quickly rolled down the driver’s side window and yelled: “You have to see the inside!”

“I’m afraid to,” Patricia whispered under her breath as she slapped dark smoke away from her face. At least, she thought, feeling a little relief touch her heart, Brian had not touched the outside of the motorhome—so maybe there was a little hope on the horizon. 

Brian put the motorhome to sleep and then jumped out from the driver’s seat, ran into the motorhome, and flung open a rusty entrance door that had originally been painted brown but was now a mix of yellow, green, and…rust. No one in North Frost understood why Patricia loved the hunk of junk she kept parked in the barn. Only Patricia knew the real reason.

“Come on inside,” Brian urged.

Patricia winced and then, as if she were being pulled toward a major automobile accident against her will, she forced a set of exhausted legs to carry her inside her motorhome—well, what Patricia assumed would resemble her motorhome. What her eyes immediately saw was the interior of something that resembled a…a…futuristic spaceship.

“Oh my…I…my…motorhome…” Patricia gasped in horror as her eyes struggled to identify anything that remotely resembled the motorhome she had once loved and known. 

“Well, what do you think?” Brian beamed, standing near a polished steel table attached to a gray booth. “And look at the floor…complete hardwood.”

Patricia glanced down. The hardwood was somehow…silver looking. “I—”

“Painted the floor myself to match the walls,” Brian explained in a proud voice and then proceeded to show a stunned Patricia all of the “new and improved” touches he had added to the RV. “Everything is new. Stove, microwave, shower, bed, furniture, television. I also rigged it where the inside power is now run by solar energy. Took out that old junky generator and tossed it.” Brian pointed up at the roof. Patricia glanced up and spotted a row of solar panels instead of an old, rusted ceiling. “Your stove, refrigerator, hot water tank…all work on solar power.”

Brian beamed and then hurried over to a stainless steel refrigerator, saying, “The guys at the dealership know a man who is trying to revolutionize the RV world. He agreed to donate everything you see if we allow him to promote your motorhome in the next edition of his magazine. Of course, we still have to work on the engine and change the exterior, but we’ll get to that once the Autumn Festival passes. I had to put a hold on the work for now. Anyway, what do you think?”

“I…I…” Patricia could barely speak. Her shocked eyes roamed around the interior that looked as if they had been transported into some futuristic world. “I…need air,” she said in a shaky voice and then stumbled back outside. 

Brian frowned and followed. “You don’t like it?” he asked, stepping out of the motorhome and planting his boots on solid Georgia ground. “Patricia, those solar panels are state of the art…and are very expensive. It took me and the guys some time to cut the roof away and inset those solar panels just right and—”

“Who asked you to?” Patricia asked as her shock began to wear off. Anger filled her cheeks. “Brian, who asked—no, who gave you permission to destroy my motorhome? I loved it just the way it was…minus the exhaust.” Patricia threw her hands up into the air. “You’re always doing something like this!”

“Like what?” Brian asked in a confused voice. “I was just trying to do something nice for you.”

“No, you were just trying to control my life!” Patricia snapped and then threw her hand at the RV. “You don’t like it that I’m a travel writer. You’ve always tried to get me to quit my job and stay home. And what do you do while I’m away? You still try to control my life.”

“By turning a heap of junk into something—”

“By not asking my permission!” Patricia yelled at Brian, feeling as if she were about to explode. “Brian, I’m a woman who possesses her own thoughts, likes, dislikes…a woman who has her own life. I’m not your…wife or some woman who just goes along with everything you say or do. You should have asked me for my permission to change my motorhome, but you didn’t. You just assume that your way is best for me…but it’s not. Don’t you understand that?” 

Brian stared at Patricia with hurt eyes. “I was trying to do you a favor and help you.”

“Help me?” Patricia said in an exasperated voice. “Brian, I don’t need help. I can take care of myself.” Patricia threw her hands around at her lovely farm. “Brian, I work. I pay my mortgage. I pay my bills. I buy my own groceries. I lock my doors at night…not you. I can take care of myself, but you…you’re always trying to turn me into this helpless female.” Patricia shook her head. “When I was trapped in that spooky town in Arizona, I took care of myself. I took care of myself in Paris. I took care of myself—oh, what’s the point! You’ll never understand.”

Brian watched a gust of wind start playing in Patricia’s new hairstyle. For a brief second, he didn’t—or couldn’t—recognize the woman he was in love with. Instead, he saw a stubborn, ill-tempered woman who preferred a flashy lifestyle to settling down and becoming a wife. And that’s what Brian wanted, wasn’t it? Yes, he admitted to himself, staring at Patricia. He wanted Patricia to settle down, become his wife, and…and…stay home! But no, Patricia would not listen to reason. No way! Instead, the woman would stay home for a week or so and then zoom off to some worldly location and leave him behind in the dust. And that’s what bothered Brian the most—being left behind and feeling like he wasn’t…needed. The truth was, he deeply admitted to himself, Patricia didn’t need him. Patricia was doing just fine on her own.

“Maybe you don’t need me to understand,” he told Patricia in a voice that entered the air with bitterness. 

“I need you to understand that a woman doesn’t like to have her life controlled.”

“So who is controlling you, Patricia?” Brian asked and then began walking toward his truck. “I was only trying to change the RV into something that would allow you and me to take a decent trip someday. I wasn’t trying to control you or your life. But hey, you see matters your way and I see them mine…and maybe that’s where we need to draw the line.”

“What do you mean?” Patricia asked. She watched Brian take her luggage out of the bed of his truck and set it down on the ground. 

“Maybe I need a woman who can see things my way,” Brian told Patricia in a voice that remained bitter. “It’s like you said, you’re not my wife or some woman who goes along with everything I say.” Brian opened the driver’s side door to his truck and then looked at Patricia with eyes that fought back hurt. “You can take care of yourself, Patricia…you don’t need me. I’ll…be seeing you around.”

Patricia wanted to tell Brian to stay but instead she heard herself reply: “Yeah, maybe I’ll see you at the Autumn Festival. Thanks for the ride home.”

“No problem.” Brian climbed into his truck, carefully backed up to the main driveway, and drove away, leaving Patricia standing alone. 

Patricia felt her heart break but quickly fought back the pain. She walked over to the motorhome, stuck her head inside, studied the interior, and sighed. “Brian will never understand. Maybe it’s better that he left…maybe it’s better if he just stays gone,” she whispered, feeling anger take over her pain. “There’s ten million guys in this world. That inconsiderate jerk isn’t the only fish in the sea.” With those words, Patricia backed the motorhome into the barn, locked the barn doors, and then carried her luggage into a warm and cozy farmhouse that happily welcomed her home. “I’m home and I’m going to be happy,” Patricia stated as she walked into her safe kitchen filled with all kinds of goodies. “At least the worst is over. Now maybe I can relax.”

What Patricia didn’t know as she made herself a cup of hot chocolate was that the worst wasn’t over. Murder was on the horizon. 

“Yes, now that Brian is gone, the worst is over,” Patricia said again, standing next to the old white farm stove waiting for the blue tea kettle to start screaming. “That jerk isn’t going to ruin my night…or the Autumn Festival. Nothing.”


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