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Friday, July 6, 2012

   
        The sun shone through the large east windows, and by all accounts, it appeared to be another beautiful day.  As Tessa Peppers shuffled about preparing her breakfast, it was obvious things weren't as sunny inside the kitchen.  She grabbed a small pot, slamming the cabinet door behind her, and swearing under her breath.  She liked things orderly, everything set in its place, and that included her regular routine.  It felt odd not to be at church at this time of the morning on a Sunday, and that alone had made the day feel wrong from the get go.  On top of that, it appeared Mr. Scutney had not returned home last night, so there would be no early morning jog, and thus, no long, steamy shower.  "Probably spent the night with that slut again." she mumbled to herself.  "Man's got shit for brains.  Any moron can see the bimbo's out for his money."

        She grabbed her binoculars and wandered over to the window, pushing the curtains aside and aiming the lenses next door.  The house was dark and silent, and obviously Scutney free.  She aimed the binoculars across the street, but remembered that the Millers were away at their summer cottage.  Nothing interesting there.  Down the block, Henry Hoffman, Jenny's husband, watered their rose bushes, grunting as he pulled the long hose behind him.  Apparently, the Hoffmans had decided against Mass today too.

        Not surprising, with all that murder stuff still displayed on the church's front lawn.  Why Fr. O'Kenney had not insisted it be taken done by now, was beyond her.  As candidate for mayor, there was no way she was going to be seen anywhere near that place.  She had planted a huge campaign sign in the church lawn, but then, thinking over the idea, decided to remove it.  It wouldn't do to have people associate her name with anything as tawdry as murder.  Not prudent at all.  She'd wait until the mayoral debate next week to bring up the decline of decency in Dollyville.  Bigger audience that way.

        Thinking about the campaign, she wondered how the park deal was going.  She'd have to make some phone calls later and see what was up with that.  A public park, named after her late husband, was just the thing she needed to sew up this election.  But if they were going to break ground before the people went to the polls, they needed to take care of business quickly.  The Thomas Peppers Memorial Foundation had been able to purchase most of the land without much of a fuss, but the few hold out businesses had slowed things up considerably.  Frowning, she recalled the last meeting she had with that stupid cow of a woman.  As if she could ever stand a chance against someone of Tessa's reputation in this town.  Truly laughable, but very annoying that anyone thought they could beat Tessa Peppers...at anything.

         Her train of thought was abruptly broken by a large thump on her front porch, and the sound of retreating footsteps.  Who could be fussing out there at this time of the morning?  "Irwin Teller...if that's you, I'm going to kick your ass up and down this street.  I've told you a hundred times I don't want your soccer balls coming anywhere near my flowers!  I'm tired of your crap!"

        As she made her way to the front door and opened it, there wasn't a soul, or even a soccer ball, around.  She looked down the street for Henry Hoffman, but he had already returned inside.  The block was deserted...not a soul in sight.  Turning to go back in, she noticed a large brown envelope on her porch, weighted down by a heavy rock.  She bent down to grab it, and hurried back inside.

        "Odd," she thought, "there's no mail service on Sunday."  She settled herself at the kitchen table with a bowl of oatmeal, and the mysterious envelope.  Ripping it open at the top, she pulled the contents out.  Her eyes narrowed and rage began to boil over.  The bowl of oatmeal flew across the room, and neighbors two blocks away could hear the ranting.

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