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Quarantine Mystery V

March 30, 2020

A cardinal lands on my daphne bush. I love the colors: red bird, white flowers, green leaves. The daphne is almost finished blooming. I have my morning coffee on the porch but I’m out of cream and have no way to get more until my pick-up order at the grocery store is ready. Scheduled for tomorrow.

Marian walks by and we wave. The Burke’s little Frenchie runs past, barely misses knocking Marian down, and crosses to the far side of the street. This is not good. The dog knows nothing about traffic. What traffic? It’s been ten minutes since the last vehicle came this way. Two of the Burke children run after the dog, trying to capture him. Yelling. The dog runs into Angus Mink’s yard. Angus runs out his front door, also yelling. Reminds me of the scene in that movie, Christmas Story, where the father yells unintelligible profanity at the furnace. I laugh.

Our neighborhood pleases me. It’s totally un-planned, un-managed, and there are no restrictions on what sort of house you can build, so the houses don’t match. All eras from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries: Georgian, modern, Victorian, Ranch, and Art Deco. It’s perfectly unremarkable that my little Cape Cod sits diagonally across the street from Victor’s colonial beauty with three porches. I hope I never have to leave.

My phone rings. It’s Marian.

“Karen? Have you heard?”

“Heard what?” I say.

“Victor died last night.”

“Oh, no. What happened?”

“No one knows. It seems to have been a heart attack, but apparently there are some things that don’t add up. I don’t know. They said his temperature was sky-high. They have to do an autopsy.”

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