The color glints off the table from the stained windows behind Miss Nose. She is wishing now she never would have come, but something pulls at her every time. Maybe it is the reporter in her. Her mother always called her Miss Nosey Nose. Her mother thought her being curious and inquisitive are issues that needed to be taken care of. Her mother found it befitting to always inform her of a cat’s curiosity and how the cat ends up dead at the end. Miss Nose was blessed with logic though. If you think about why the cat ends up dead, you see it had something to do with a logic. If a cat chases a rabbit and doesn’t see a hole, falls into the hole, and breaks a leg, well, that is logic. If a cat is climbing a tree, a branch breaks, and they fall on the branch, well, that is logic. It had nothing to do with curiosity! But it did have to do with logical deductions. Branches break and sometimes there are holes where you are running or walking. You can’t blame twisting your heel on curiosity.
Now the time has come for an explanation. Miss Nose takes a deep breath in and exhales slowly as Kendrick starts, “You see Emmy, we all have a common issue. Caroline, Patrick, and I have received packages, letters, and phone calls from very mysterious visitors.” Miss Nose was going to say something about the letters and such when Kendrick held up his paw to shush her. “Listen to me first, ok?” Miss Nose nodded. “The ‘visitors’ are dead relatives and friends. Or should I say, we are supposed to believe they are from our dead relatives and friends.”
Miss Nose made a face at Kendrick. Her eyebrows raised in suspicion and she wanted to drop her jaw in shock but instead locked it tight in a grimace. Kendrick could see the wheels going in her head. He knew he had her.
“Why don’t you ask the police to help you?” Miss Nose asked, “I am sure they could investigate and help you figure out who is sending you this stuff?”
“We did go to the police.” Kendrick stated. “They told us there was nothing they could do until we were harmed.”
Kendrick shrugged a bit and both Patrick and Caroline sighed. Miss Nose was puzzled as to why police would not investigate. She wondered if it was just something to not really worry about. She was about to interrogate him more when Kendrick started speaking again.
“I have some of the items. Patrick did you take yours here. Caroline, where are yours?”
“I did take mine.” Patrick said, “And the ones my wife got.”
“I took the ones I got and the ones that came in for my son. Who would send this stuff to a baby?” Caroline looked like she wanted to cry.
All three got up from the table and disappeared. Miss Nose poured herself another cup of coffee and sat back. She was thinking. She knew she couldn’t really decide a course of action until she got all the information from the three of them. She started to wonder how many other people where in the same boat. She started thinking she could write an amazing article about this for the paper and maybe others would come forward. Miss Nose’s eyes started to hint at a breakthrough idea.
Miss Nose looked at the voice for a few moments and then it clicked who this was! Patrick is Kendrick’s partner. This is not what was expected. Patrick, Kendrick, and Caroline wanting to talk to her. Miss Nose lets out a sigh.
“Hello Patrick! Kendrick asked me to come.”
“Yes, I know. He told me. I am glad you came. We really do need the help.”
Miss Nose sighs again and then wonders what she has done to the universe to be lead down the path she has been on lately. It appears the universe has nominated her to be the Jessica Fletcher of Escanaba, Michigan! And as an ironic twist, the universe decided to give her Mulder and Scully type cases! Put that lemon in your lime and lick it! All poor Miss Nose could do was flow with it.
“Come on back!” Patrick moved the curtain. Miss Nose hung her head a bit, took a deep breath in, and walked around the counter through the curtain.
The other side was not what she was expecting. Patrick and Kendrick had antiques they were collecting. the room was painted a bright yellow with original woodworking. The windows were original as well to the house and stained glass was at the very top of them making a rainbow on the original hardwood floor that had been sanded and new varnish stain applied. Miss Nose was so certain that the whole dark, mysteriousness would have followed to all room, but apparently not! This made her a bit more relaxed.
“Miss Nose!” Caroline’s voice made her jump. “I am so happy you came. I was worried you wouldn’t, but Kendrick kept telling me you would. He said it was in the cards!”
“Yes, I am aware that he thinks he saw me in the cards helping you with your problem.” Miss Nose made quotes in the air when she said problem. Caroline just looked at her a bit startled as Kendrick came in with a tray with cups, pie, and a pot on it.
“Miss Nose. I know how much you love your coffee dear. I have coffee and tea for Caroline. Please sit at our table here and let’s discuss the problem we have.”
Miss Nose looked at the table Kendrick pointed to. She could see the legs of an antique table. It had really nice designs carved into them. On top of the table was a frilly lace table-cloth which also appeared to be antique. On top of the table cloth was a plastic table cloth that is clear but definitely meant to keep the antique one from being ruined if someone should spill coffee or food upon it. The chairs of the table were very pretty. They were stained a very dark color and each has a different color of velvet felt for the seat covering. The colors were red, purple, blue, and emerald-green. Miss Nose grabbed the one at the head of the table which had the purple seat. Kendrick sat to Miss Nose’s left and placed the tray in the middle of the table. His seat was red. Patrick sat down to Miss Nose’s right and had the blue leaving Caroline with the emerald green and at the other end of the table. Kendrick got up and started giving everyone their drinks. He then disappeared and came back. “So sorry Emerald, I may call you Emerald, I forgot you like cream and sugar.” He lifted each container when saying cream and sugar denoting which was which.
“Most shorten my name to Emmy.” Miss Nose told him. “It is fine. I am not against it.”
“That is great. I went down to the Minion’s place and picked up pie and pulla.”
“Oh how delish. I love their pulla.” Said Patrick like a child waiting for his favorite candy.
Miss Nose smiled. She loved the minion’s recipes. From the very first time she had it. She was part owner of the pastry shop. The hens kept that a secret. Miss Nose was always pleased that people enjoyed the hens food. She knew this was their way out from under the Evil Mastermind’s power over them. They are making a killing at Konditoria. Every time you walk in the door, the smell of fresh-baked bread overwhelmed you. The pies were neatly placed in the display counter showing how much care was placed into them. Tourists and citizens all walked past drooling. They would walk past three or four times vacillating about entering and eating the mouth-watering food cooked by the hens and served by the roos.
Miss Nose took a piece of blueberry pie. She couldn’t wait to get it to her mouth. The fork slid right through the slice and when Miss Nose put it in her mouth, she closed her eyes and sucked on it a bit. The taste was so exquisite. She loved pie from the hens. They all ate and made small talk as they did so. Once done, Kendrick picked up the plates. “I will be right back.” He said. Miss Nose and the others heard him washing the dishes and putting them away. “He has to keep the whole place tidy.” said Patrick. Miss Nose smiled. “Nothing wrong with tidy.” she replied.
Kendrick came back to the table. “Now Miss Nose, for the discussion you came here for!”
Miss Nose sighed. She was not looking forward to this at all.
Miss Nose drove the few blocks that separated the Delta Plaza Mall from Kendrick The Great’s All Healing Shoppe! The Shoppe, as most residents called the place, was located in an old house converted into a commercial building. Much of the old house still showed but you really could see the renovations the old owners put in.
Miss Nose drove past three times before she found a parking spot right in front on the main drag itself. She got out and walked up to the door. She paused a moment not knowing if she should knock or walk in. She decided to open the door. When she did a bell system went off with a jingling of bells. She looked up and smiled. It is very reminiscent of the old-time shops that once made Ludington Street great!
Ludington or the main drag as all the locals called it, is a dying street. Many business have moved toward the highway and what was once a mecca of activity, turned into a ghost town of just die-hard mom and pop’s trying to keep the main artery to town alive.
Escanaba has been through a bunch of changes from new government buildings to the new improved mall. But when you hit this middle section, you remember what it was like from the beginning. Miss Nose took a deep breath in as the door closed. She couldn’t put her finger on what that smell was. It was a familiar smell though. The walls were painted a charcoal gray color giving the room a darken appearance. Curtains were dragged behind a counter. They were a blood-red color and they really stood out against the charcoal gray. They had updated the front to have store front windows and the sunlight filtering in showed particles of dust floating in the air along with the smoke that smelled so familiar.
“Ah Miss Nose!” The voice startled Emerald back into consciousness. She jumped a bit and turned to the voice.
Miss Nose and Topaz found the best seat at Friday’s. They actually have windows over looking the parking lot. But they were higher up and could see a few buildings going down toward the park. “I was told the Evil Mastermind wants to put a third story on this building.” Topaz told Miss Nose with excitement.
“Really? What would he put on a third story?” Emmy seemed perplexed about this. Then she made a mental note to start looking into the rumor. Miss Nose and Topaz both pulled out their knitting projects at the same time. Topaz grabbed her French vanilla creamer out of her bag. She never went anywhere without it. It was her own blend. She made it from the cream of her cows and the vanilla she grew. She didn’t like any foods coming from a store. Emerald was always a wee jealous of her sister’s ability to make her own anything. She watched her sister when they were kids making rugs, clothes, and jam. She watched her sister win blue ribbons time after time at the UP State Fair. She watched her compete in horse events, craft events, and tractor pulls. She watched her log-rolling and building her own outhouse for the Trenary Outhouse Races! The only thing Miss Nose won awards for were her short stories and her solo ensembles. Miss Nose could play any instrument she laid her paws on. And thanks to her sister, she knew clothing, fabric, and what to watch for when someone created a new line of clothing.
Miss Nose couldn’t keep from thinking about what Kendrick had said to her. She was trying hard to keep her mind focused on her sister. “Are you going to compete in the outhouse race this year?”
“Well of course I am. Matt has the design all drawn out and we have been working on it.”
Miss Nose knew she needed to keep talking to her sister or her mind would be racing toward Kendrick’s conversation. Topaz poured the french vanilla cream into her freshly poured coffee. She started to continue the conversation about the outhouse they were making for the next race. The sisters had a great time. They paid for their order and left. Topaz and Emmy went to their cars, hugged one another, and left. Topaz was heading back to Cornell.
Miss Nose got into her car. She put her keys into the ignition. She sat there a minute. Looking in her purse, she took out the card Kendrick gave her. Sitting there, she kept going over the events of the day in her head. Miss Nose kept vacillating over going to Kendrick’s or not. The whole day just seemed like a horrible dream. Although, she did love being with her sister. Miss Nose really wasn’t sure what kind of problem she could help Kendrick the Great with. As she sat there, she made up her mind. She had to know what it was. She wouldn’t be able to make a good decision without knowing what she is making the decision about.
Emmy and Topaz Nose went about their shopping. The Delta Plaza Mall was so alive since the Evil Mastermind bought it. For years it was going so dead with only five businesses left in it. The Evil Mastermind had it humming. The mall now had a Kohl’s, a Target, a Macy’s, a Starbucks, Joe’s Coffee Café, Barnes & Nobles, Whole Foods, and several mom & pop specialty stores. The Mall was even getting a second story with several new stores coming in that would be culture specific such as a Chinese herbal shop, a Mexican food store, an Indian shop with several different items in it.
Topaz is looking at some new jeans in Maurices. Miss Nose turns around and sees Kendrick again. She searches her brain and starts remembering how many times she has seen him today. She starts thinking he is following them.
Topaz walks up to Emmy with her new jeans. “Ems, let’s go upstairs. I just heard they put in a TGIF Friday’s in there. I so want to try that place!” Topaz’s face looked like a little kid at Christmas when she saw her new toy! The excitement was buzzing all around her. “Ok.”
Miss Nose and Topaz walk up the steps to the brand new second story of the Delta Plaza Mall. Several stores weren’t open yet in the new edition. They could see people in them stocking shelves and getting everything ready.
As they were walking around and looking at when some of the stores would open, Miss Nose noticed Kendrick not far behind them. She decided she needed to confront him. Miss Nose looked at Topaz and put her bags down. Topaz looked at her quizzically. “Watch these.” she said and walked toward Kendrick. She walked right up to him and said, “Why are you following me?”
“I saw you in the cards.”
“What do you mean, you saw me in the cards?”
“It wasn’t really you! I pulled the High Priestess card. A woman of mystery, a writer, wisdom, communication, and secrets. Then your coffee flew right at me. It is you the cards were telling me of. It is you who I need. You will help me solve my problem and Caroline’s problem.”
“Problem? What problem?”
“I can’t tell you right now. Here is my card. Meet me at my shop. I will explain then.” Kendrick turned on his heel and walked away from Miss Nose. Miss Nose stood there for a moment in shock until she heard Topaz. “Hello! Ems! Can we get over to Friday’s. I am hungry.” Miss Nose turned around slowly and looked at her sister. Then said, “Yeah. let’s go eat.” She walked over to her sister, picked up her bags, and walked with Topaz to Friday’s. She was determined from this moment on to have a great day with her sister and enjoy a place she has never ate at.
Miss Nose felt as though Kendrick was hitting her with daggers. His stare was just so unbelievable. Miss Nose started to really get nervous and then she heard her phone ringing. She grabbed her purse from the ear of the chair and dug for it. She found it. Aha, thought Miss Nose. She pushed the send button and heard Topaz, “Emmy! I need pants and I need some burn cream. Could you, please, run over to Shopko and get those items for me? I think I need to go to the hospital. This isn’t good. Oh it hurts so bad. I want mom.”
Emmy felt horrible for her sister. “Sure. I will be there shortly. Just hold on Tope.” Emmy grabbed her and Topaz’s stuff and started walking to Shopko through the mall’s hallways. She decided to purchase a pair of sweat pants for her sister. They were loose and with burns would be better than denim. Emmy always prefers cotton to denim. These had some polyester and spandex in them. Good enough. She got them a size too big so her sister’s legs wouldn’t be hurting.
She was thinking about her sister when her phone rang. The caller ID said MOM! “Great!” thought Emmy as she answered her phone. “Hello Mom!” “I tried your sister. I can’t get her to answer. I know something is wrong!”
“Everything is fine mom. We are shopping. Can I let you go for a moment? I have to pay for my stuff and then we will call you right back.”
“Ok. But I know something is wrong. Let me talk to Topaz.”
“I can’t mom. She went to the bathroom quick and I am paying for our purchases. I will have her call in a moment. Ok.”
Emmy didn’t even wait. She hung up on her mom.
Miss Nose got through the line and practically ran to the bathroom. “Topaz.” She called as she enter. Emmy saw a hand come out from under a door, “I am here Ems. Please, have something.”
“I have burn cream and I got you sweats a size bigger for your legs. And mom called. She knows something is wrong.”
“Geesh. That woman. We could never get hurt as kids without her saying, “I knew you were injured”. She drives me nuts with her premonitions.”
“I know. I didn’t want to tell her she was right. I hate it when she is right.”
“Me too. She called me last month all worried about my cattle. Sure enough, I go out there and one has its head stuck. I nearly lost that one. I got it unstuck and called the vet. She always said it would come to me when I became a mother. Not once has it ever came to me. I have four kids and zero premonitions.”
“I have zero kids and zero premonitions.” Miss Nose sighs.
Topaz came out of the stall with the sweats and smelling like burn cream. “Do you want to go to the walk in?”
“I think I am ok. Looks like first degree. It isn’t hurting as much now. I washed it off right away. The redness is now down to a pink. If it gets worse, I may.”
“We gonna finish shopping?”
“You betcha!” Topaz giggled. “There are sales here. I say we go look. Something has got to be great to buy.”
Miss Emerald Nose, journalist for the Escanaba Morning Express, is sitting with her sister, Topaz. They are having coffee at their favorite coffee shop in the Delta Plaza Mall, Joe’s Coffee Café. Miss Nose noticed one of Ruby’s friends, Kendrick the Great, sitting at a table with another woman. He was reading tarot cards to her. At least that is what it appears to be. She was watching Kendrick when Topaz tried to get her attention!
Ahmm. Topaz cleared her throat and waved her hand in front of her sister’s face. “Hello” she said to her and snapped her fingers. “You haven’t been listening to me at all. HELLO!” Miss Nose snapped out of her daze and blinked at her sister. The thought occurred to her that Topaz was correct. She didn’t even hear a word her sister said.
“Here I am going on and on about the remodeling being done at the mall since The Evil Mastermind bought the place and you are just staring out into space!” Topaz flailed her arm around in the air while her other hand-held what she is crocheting. Emmy was always amazed that her sister could knit and crochet better than she could. They often get together to drink coffee and knit something together. Her sister was won awards at the UP State Fair for her work. Topaz has even won blue ribbons on her garden, canning, and pies. Most citizens don’t believe the two of them are sisters. They are like night and day. Topaz lives in Cornell with 80 acres of land. She has horses, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, and 5 acres dedicated to farming. Her husband does most of the farm work with their farm hands, but don’t let that fool you, Topaz can hold her own. She has thrown enough hay bales around the farm to build up her arms. Emmy has always viewed her sisters arms as those similar to the arms of body builders. They are firm and the muscles stick right out. Her sister could take anyone in a fight. Emmy lives in Esky and works for the Escanaba Morning Express. The only work out she gets is at the gym. Emmy loves her yoga classes and her muscles show it. They are lean and very feminine. She wears make up, Topaz doesn’t. She loves high heels and nice clothes, Topaz wears cowboy boots, jeans, and t-shirts. No one ever believes they had the same parents.
Miss Nose put her coffee down and grabbed her slippers she was crocheting. She started again with her pattern. “You know, you should try some harder patterns. I have some. I can give them to you. You could be creating something more than slippers. I made a purse for my best friend and shorts for her husband.” “There are some items I draw the line on making.” said Emmy, ” and shorts are one of them. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. And I did knit mom a sweater for Christmas.” “Yes. And one arm was longer than the other. You need to keep better count. Why mom wears that god awful thing, I will never know. She must really love you. I made her and dad matching sweaters. It took me months to find the right buttons. Yet, she wears your pull over gaudy one.”
Right then Netty Carlsen walked over to Emmy and Topaz. She was all excited about something and was rushing over with a fresh cup of coffee in her hands. All of a sudden she tripped over Matthew Johnsson’s coat and fell right on Topaz’s lap where she was knitting. Coffee flew all over the table, floor, and of course, Topaz. Miss Nose jumped as far as she could away from the violent spilling of coffee. Topaz stood up so fast she knocked Netty sideways. Netty was in a turn as she hit Miss Nose’s table. Netty’s back caught the edge of the table and started to flip. As it did, Miss Nose’s coffee cup and saucer took flight. Netty blinked twice as the table came flipping up from under her and landed on her face. Miss Nose watched as her cup flew over the Johnsson’s table, over the table where the City Manager and 4 City Council members were sitting, over a table of young high school students studying, drops of coffee landing on each table as it passed by, and then it landed right in the center of Kendrick’s tarot cards.
Miss Nose stood there a moment with her slippers in her hand as her sister was jumping around trying to get the hot coffee off her legs. She watched as her sister ran to the bathroom. Netty was groaning on the floor as Kendrick looked up from his cards with a very shocked expression. Miss Nose finally came to her senses as Michael, a barista, came rushing over to help Netty. Miss Nose didn’t know what to do. She just had to stand there a moment to let it all sink in. Then, Kendrick rose up like a vampire from his cards. He looked a bit peeved. He walked over to the napkins, asked another barista for a towel, and then back to his table where he proceeded to clean the mess from his cards. The woman sitting with him, looked over at Miss Nose, and gasped. She said something to Kendrick who turned on his heel and stared at Miss Nose.
As I get breaks, I have been using the time to write some on the blog here. I started a story it is called Paranormal, Miss Nose and I thought every day I could write a few paragraphs of that story. This way, I am posting daily while still working on my other stories until they get done. I have some already written for today. I want to make it a bit longer so I am not going to post it just yet. Maybe before I go to bed so I can have more time to develop it. I hope you will enjoy it. It will be posted by 10 pm or later tonight.