The Adventures of Edwin D Ferretti, Author
The next morning I was up early, thinking about the three interviews and what their connection could be. In a way I understood the library; after all it was her life's work. But why return from the dead to stop her milk delivery and what about her still wanting her black evening gown. A dull thud sounded on the front door; the morning paper arrived.
Nuking a cup of yesterday's mud...himm...it was identified by many names, java, mud, hot-brew, jamoke and even coffee. I sat in the front room and perused the paper. What's this, another sighting of Cindy made the front page. Her picture occupied one quarter of the broad sheet. She was dressed almost identical to Cheryl Snide, only her dress and shoes were forest green. Cindy's hair was in a bun with slender ripples of hair falling down her cheeks; like a Greek goddess. She looked like a lady who was happy and in charge of her life. A prickling feeling caressed my body; her eyes were looking directly at me.
After a quick read of the article I dismissed it as a publicity stunt. The longtime local sisters, Stephanie and Marcie Cruthers, who reported seeing her, were made up names. This was followed by more rubbish; Mrs. Stella Perkins had Shelly Kyle and Thelma Thompson over for tea and cake. Farmer Hanks lost three chickens to an unknown animal...the list went on.
Sipping my coffee I mulled over the three connections again, science fiction/fantasy/magic books, milk and her dress. It made no sense to me. The weather section predicted no fog for the next three days. I needed more information on Cindy and decided to pay a visit to the town's records office; you know, birth certificate, will, deeds to property; anything that could shed more light on this mystery. With pen and a new notebook in hand I headed to the City Hall. The answers I found added more confusion to my investigation.
As soon as I mention Cindy's name the clerk pointed to a table and returned with a container containing all of her official documents. It was sad in a way; the carton was the size of a cigar box. Inside I found copies of paperwork that defined her life and supposed death. Cindy's birth certificate showed she was born in Chattertown and she was twenty-three years old when she disappeared. She is a year younger than I am. I found some local historians notes that said that her parents moved away shortly after Cindy was hired to administer the library.
I stopped reading for a minute and took notes; Cindy's father was a world renowned magician who went by the stage name of Dressa the Black. Could this be the reason that Cindy was looking for books on magic? Another strange thing on her birth certificate jumped out; her father was listed as John C. Crawl however, her mother was Cynthia Spelling; the name had an asterisk next to it but nothing to reference back to it. I jotted a note to myself to check out her mother.
The final piece of paper that I looked at was her Last Will and Testament. She left everything to her twin sister, Cynthia Spelling! Surely a mistake had been made concerning her mother. Returning the documents to the clerk I asked, "Do you have anything on Cynthia Spelling?"
The clerk typed the name into her computer and hit the enter key. "You have a very inquisitive mind Mr. Ferretti. You are the first person to ask—
The computer screen locked onto the name. "Oh my," was all she said as she turned the monitor in my direction. Cynthia Spelling was living in Cindy's old house at 1239 Sycamore Drive. I quickly wrote down the address and thanked the clerk.
Hurrying home I entered the garage. Sitting in the front seat of my 1985 corvette I typed the address into my Magellan. Cynthia's house was five miles outside the town. My car roared to life and I backed out of the garage. A few minutes later I took a right on Sycamore Drive. Fruit trees lined both side of the drive; apples on the left and pears on the right. I passed fields with cherries, plumbs and grapes then a lone house stood out. Turning into the driveway I came to a halt by the large front porch. The only thing that reminded me of a cul-de-sac was the driveway; it curved around in front of the house and back to Sycamore Drive.
The house was three stories high in the early Victorian style; tall Greek columns supported a screened in porch. The front door must have been eight feet tall. A large Egyptian style door knocker announced my presence. I heard soft footsteps approaching the door; for some strange reason my heart began to drum another cadence on my chest. The door knob turned.
"Hello may I help you?" Her green eyes danced like a flickering flame. My mouth opened wide...standing in front of me was Cindy...wearing a blue dress and heels. "Yes, what can I do for you?" My mouth snapped shut.
"Cindy?" I said. Her face paled then brightened.
"Cindy was my sister. I'm Cynthia. Did you know my sister?"
"Only by a chance encounter: outside of Vick's Cafe." She opened the door.
"Please come in Mr. Ferretti. We have a lot to discuss.
To stretch your imagination might hurt.
To read through someone else's minds-eye; painless.
THE DARKSIDE OF THE MEDALLION
To be continued.