The Strange Woman I Had Been Following

  • by jenlove is all you need
  • ritualistic intensity
  • brilliantly lighted streets, the hard pavements, and death.
  • cherry cough medicine
  • smoothed the map out on her lap

Tune in next time part 147                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

The strange woman I had been following entered the train station and took a map from the rotating display rack. As she sat on a bench, awaiting the arrival of the candy-colored Rainbow Connection locomotive, she smoothed the map out on her lap and traced a route with her finger. I grabbed myself a copy of the map and stood across the room watching her. It was easy for me to follow along because she wore gloves of the same cherry cough medicine-red as her coat.

When her brilliant red fingertip reached Barbershoppe, she tapped the map twice and smiled grimly to herself. I stepped behind a potted palm tree and thought of all the things Barbershoppe was famous for: the brilliantly lighted streets, the hard pavements, and death. According my Uncle Jinx, the inhabitants of that curious little city were possessed of a ritualistic intensity that made them industrious workers. I recalled him telling me how he’d hired only Barbershoppian contractors when he built TinselTown.

In fact, the year-round Christmas theme park was built on the outskirts of Barbershoppe. I studied my map. Where my yuletide amusement ought to be was something called Valentine Village. Their motto? Love is all you need.

I seethed. Someone had shanghaied my inheritance and changed its theme! Now I might never find the answers I needed.

I wondered if the perpetrator was a member of my own duplicitous family. Perhaps Jason.

When the train arrived, the tinsely woman boarded the green car. I followed and took the seat directly behind her. I was ready for some answers.

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