Asiago & The Accomplice​​

book one ​

...the office space was empty except for a few boxes of what appeared to be junk, a shelving unit, my grocery bags and coat hooks bolted to the wall by the door. What looked like a giant coat was hanging from the hooks and this was what had startled me.
Satisfied that I was over-reacting for no reason and laughing sheepishly to myself, I took a tentative step back inside but as I drew closer, I was puzzled to find that the coat was wrapped around a mop.  A mop that had boots? This wasn't making any sense. What kind of joke was this? I thought for sure my brother had arrived a day early to come help me and was playing a prank. I inched closer and then recoiled in horror.
It was not a mop. It was a person with stringy greyish hair. Or was it?
I bolted back outside. Peered in again. Stood motionless, waiting for something to happen.  The coat, too, remained motionless. I inched closer again and gently prodded it with a mittened finger. "Hello?” Nothing. Poke. “Hello?” Louder. I have no explanation as to why I spoke to it. I think I was still thinking this was a prank of some sort.
Realization and common sense clicked in at the same time as I lurched back outside yet again, fumbling with my cell phone and dropping it in the snow. After a few tries, my hands stopped shaking long enough to dial 911.

Whatever it was, it was out of my realm of expertise but I knew damn well it wasn't a mop.
                                 Ice Whine and Irish Cheddar
                                                  book two
Not again! The object was black, like Chicha, but instead of being covered in fur, it had clothing. Black pants, black sweater, black winter boots, but no coat. A man lay crumpled in the corner of my garage and a feeling of dread swept over me.
"Again?!" I couldn't help but exclaim out loud to myself. "Seriously? Really, it hasn't even been a month since the last one. My brain's still dented for crying out loud!” I yelled this last bit for good measure. I fumed for a moment, then instantly felt guilty by my momentary lack of compassion.
“Who're you talking to?”

I jumped at the voice. I hadn't heard Nora enter the garage. I quickly dropped the tarp back into place and rushed towards her. “I have some bad news and some even worse news,” I replied with a calm I didn't feel.
“Alright, let's start with the worse news,” Nora said cheerfully, as if I was about to tell her that she just won the lotto.
I hemmed and hawed a bit, then started with the news that I knew Nora would consider to be worse. “Chicha's missing. The door was slightly open and she must have wandered out.”
“Oh no! My poor girl, she'll be so distraught. She must be so hungry. We have to go look for her now!” She whirled around and headed out of the garage. Before I could take two steps to follow her, she was back.

What's the other bad news?"
“We have to call 911. There's a body here,” I said simply.
Feta and the Fat Bastard
Book three 
She was upset and on a rampage. Her slightly long blonde hair clung to a tear-streaked face while she threw things around in the kitchen, ferociously preparing their salads with a vengeance.
How dare he treat her so callously?! After all she did for him and put up with? She cringed, remembering the feel of his rough, heavy, chunky hands groping her, the feel of his immense, sweating body and the old, jowly flesh swaying above her.
Oh, he had nerve all right.
After all these years, to still be treated like his toy, like a nobody, and having put up with it, waiting, patiently waiting, for him to die, sure that his old, fat heart would soon give out.
Well, it wasn't soon enough and she'd have to find a way to speed things up.
                        Swiss Cheese & Sibling Rivalry 
                               book 4

Grimacing, I shifted my attention back to the flamboyant dark-haired lady and made my way to her table. 

“Excuse me, but will your friend be returning?” I asked politely. Occasionally, people have to leave suddenly during these events due to baby-sitter issues or other matters. 

A frown creased her brow. “I hope so. I’m starting to worry, to be honest. She went to the ladies’ room about ten minutes ago. I texted her just now, to see if she was okay, but she hasn’t responded. I know she had her phone with her. She’s a lawyer and does not go anywhere without that phone. I was even teasing her because she had a wine glass in one hand and her phone in the other!” She joked feebly, but I could tell she was indeed worried. 

“I’ll see if everything’s okay,” I replied and hurried to the ladies’ room. I knocked sharply on the door, impatient with the delay, and was surprised when it opened inward an inch. 

“Hello?” I called out. I wasn’t getting a good feeling about this. My ears strained, but there was no answer came from inside. I could see that it was dark inside, so I snaked a hand through the door opening to turn on the light switch with a finger nail, repeating my hello, this time louder. 

Past experience had also taught me to err on the side of caution. When I again received no answer, I whipped a used tissue from my pocket, wrapped it around my index finger, laughed at myself for probably over-reacting, and jabbed my covered finger at the door to push it open.
Then I saw the outstretched arm, and the limp body attached to it.