General Fiction posted January 30, 2023 Chapters:  ...47 48 -49- 50... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Accusing Missy.

A chapter in the book The Miranda Chronicles

Kicking the Beehive (Miranda)


The author has placed a warning on this post for language.
So far, Miranda Jessup Buckley has been jilted, fired and left to take care of her ex-lover's child.   She returns from dropping Waylon off at school to find a naughty word spray painted on her trailer.
The tears quickly turn to anger as I read the word written, in red spray paint, across the front of my trailer.
I take the key out of the ignition and pocket it as I get out of my car.
People look at the word, look at me, then whisper.  This is what living in a small town is like.  Half these people have known me forever, the other half thinks they know me.  I've been judged and sentenced.  
Aaron rushes over.  "Who did this?  Where were you last night?"
"Missy did this.  Don't ask me how I can be sure, and don't you dare defend her.  That girl is a nutcase who needs to be lobotomized."
He frowns.  "You saw her?"
"I didn't have to see her.  She's been playing a game with me.  But she's getting angry now."
"Why's she angry?"
I close my eyes thinking about how she was almost hunting for me when I hid in the cooler at work.  Then her whispering how she wanted to take away the people I care about.  One by one.  
"Miranda, hey, you need to sit down?"
"I'm close to figuring something out about her.  She's scared."
Aaron puts his arm around my shoulder and squeezes me gently.  "I think old lady Fine called the cops.  Let me go inside and make sure they didn't break in."
"No.  I'm fine.  I'll call for you if I need you."
I go up the steps and unlock the front door.  Everything is exactly as we left it last night.
First thing I need to do is call Rita to let her know I might be late.  Then I need to figure out how to clean the paint off the siding.
I call out for Aaron.  He bounds up the steps and pokes his head around the open door.  "Everything okay in here?"
I flop down on the couch.  "Any idea how to get the paint off my trailer?"
He nods his head.  "I'm gonna take care of this.  I can get some of my crew over here.  We have a sprayer and some left over paint from a job."
"I can't afford that, Aaron."
He wrinkles his nose and laughs.  "I'm not gonna charge you, goofball.  I said I was gonna take care of this."
"Thanks, Aaron."
"Hey, what are friends for?"
Deputy Tyler, baby brother to kids I used to babysit, pulls up to the trailer.
"Whoa."  He takes off his hat and scratches his scalp.  "Someone doesn't like you."
I fight the urge to smack him and say "Thank you, Captain Obvious." Instead I ball up my fists and shove them in my pocket.  "So, I'm not taking this the wrong way?  Whore isn't one of those words that can be misconstrued.   You know like fat and phatt or thick and thic."
Tyler looks at me with more than a hint of confusion.  "You want me to call the Sheriff? Would that make you feel better?"
"No.  I don't need you to call the sheriff.  I have his number, thank you.  What I want is for you to stop acting like this is your first crime scene and look around for clues.  Ask questions.  Did anyone see anything?  Do I have any enemies?"
He nods, but looks like a scolded school boy.  Thirteen or so people are clustered nearby, watching us.  "Uh, excuse me, folks, but did any of you happen to see anything?  Hear anything?"
Mumbles come from them but no one has a clue.
"That was helpful," Tyler says.  He looks at me.  "Any idea who might have done this?"
"As a matter of fact, yes.  Missy Toblerone."
Tyler scowls.  "That rich lady?  For real?"
"Yes.  Are you going to write that down?"
Begrudgingly, he pulls a small spiral notebook out of his pocket and taps the pen to his tongue.  He says her name out loud as he writes it.  "You know how to spell Toblerone?"
"Same as the candy bar."
He smiles sheepishly. "Oh, my parents didn't allow us to have sweets when we're growing up."
"Geez, Tyler,  no wonder you became a cop."
"Why would she do this? You messing with her husband or something?"
"She killed her husband a couple of years ago."
I feel bad as Tyler goes pale.  "How'd she do that?"
"No idea.  But I must be pretty close to discovering something."
"Miss Miranda, are you on medication of any sort?  Have you been drinking?  I have to ask. You understand, right?"
I step closer to Deputy Tyler.  "I remember smacking your brothers tail because he wouldn't stop yelling 'Hey, Poo poo face', at your neighbors, the Willoughbys.  Asking me if I'm whacked out on medications might warrant the same punishment."
Tyler's eye widen.  "Yes, ma'am."
"Find out where she was last night.  My bet is she was waiting for me behind the Piggly Wiggly and when I didn't show up ... well, she got pissed."
"I'll check it out."  Tyler puts his hat back on and starts walking around my yard looking for clues.
"And, Tyler, I'm sorry I threatened to whoop your tail. I'm just upset."
"Yes, ma'am."
I go inside, lock the door and turn on the shower.  My reflection shakes her head at me.  "You've kicked the beehive this time, girl."
"I know.  But she wants to tell me.  She wants to brag about Jason.  If I get stung once or twice, I'll deal with it."
My reflection, oh so wise, stops smiling.  "It might not just be you who gets stung, Miranda."
To be continued ...

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