A Touch of Lavender - Part 16 - A Craven Danger Mystery
Herbert Sampson soaked in a tub of lavender oil. Dead as the autumn leaves that skidded across his front lawn. Only he didn’t know it yet. And the seriousness of the situation would elude him a little while longer.
He heard a noise coming from the kitchen and reached for his gun. The gun, sitting in its holster, and resting on the bath mat, proved elusive. No matter how many times he made a grab at it, the gun just lay there like an illusion.
“What the hell?” he said.
Standing up in the tub, Herb Sampson reached for the towel, but it too would not cooperate.
“Just what in blazes is going on here?” said Herbert.
It was a stroke, Herbert. The silent killer. You never saw it coming.
Max, Herbert’s aged German Shepard, ambled into the bathroom for a refreshing drink of water from the toilet when he spotted the peculiar goings on in the bathtub.
Max gazed first at the outstretched body of his dead owner. His bulbous blue head tilted back against the lip of the tub. His mouth wide open. As though he froze in the middle of singing an aria.
Max then looked up at the apparition. A recognizable, but misty image, and he began to whimper.
“What is it, boy?” said Herbert.
But it was not until he bent in a futile attempt to remove the stopper from the drain hole that he took notice of his own lifeless body.
“Just what kind of crazy nightmare is this?” said Herbert.
When he again heard noises from the kitchen, Herbert Sampson was astonished to find himself rising from the tub and gliding his way out of the bathroom.
At first Max didn’t know which way to turn. But after stepping closer to the tub and giving his owner’s corpse a good whiff, he decided to go with the apparition.
In the kitchen our sleuth-hounds were lighting candles and waiting for Herbert Sampson to make a grand entrance. And maybe a confession.
”Ya think this house is haunted?” said Sidney. ”’Cause I gotta tell ya, I‘m gettin‘ a little spooked with all the creakin‘ goin‘ on around here. Back home ya don‘t hear nothin‘ but police sirens and car horns blastin’. And if we got any creaks in Brooklyn, I ain‘t hearin’ it.”
“There ain’t no such things as ghosts,” said Craven.
“Then how come ya jump every time the wind blows funny?” said Betty.
“I wasn’t jumpin’,” said Craven. “I got the hiccups is all.”
“That’s ‘cause ya been eatin’ too much chicken,” said Betty.
“That was low, Betty,” said Craven. “Now, why would ya go insultin’ me like that?”
“Speakin’ a poultry," said Sidney, “how much longer we gotta wear these silly sheets? My legs are freezin’. Now I know what a plucked chicken feels like."
But before Betty had a chance to answer, the kitchen door creaked open and our three sleuth-hounds braced themselves for trouble.
“Excuse me,” said Sidney, “but when a door opens ain’t it usual for a somebody to come walkin’ in and say somethin’ like ‘hello’, or ‘what the heck are you clowns doin’ in my kitchen?’ I know it’s dark in here, but I ain’t seein’ nothin’ in that doorway but the next room.”
Then a sturdy gust of lavender wind swept through the room, blowing out the candles and leavin’ our heros in the dark.
“I ain’t never leavin’ Brooklyn again,” said Sidney.
“I shoulda listened to my mother,” said Craven, “and went ta that monastery. At least I’d know what I was doin’ everyday.”
“If I could see either one of ya,” said Betty, “I’d slug ya till ya started makin’ sense.”
Then Max the dog began to howl, and that sturdy gust of lavender wind blew the ghostly sheets off the three shivering sleuths.