Saturday, June 13, 2009

Wordzzle 67 -

It might be a lucky move it you stopped by the Raven's Nest and got all the info on this thing.

This week's Ten Word Challenge: nausea, everything is on sale, expect great things, frying pan, pledge, birds of a feather, stick, Saturday morning, liver and bacon, caterpillars

The mini challenge: aggravation, protective, bargain basement, take me out to the ballgame, break a leg

This week's Episode: Shopping for Clues

The trip up I- 40 to the I-17 turnoff took a while, but the group kept the conversation lively. Carla and Jean were anxious to see what the shops in Sedona had to offer and the two men were focused on what Connie Liplin could have purchased from the Archangel Apothecary. The shop was located in the exclusive Tlaquepaque (pronounced Ta-lock-a-pockee) Arts and Crafts village. After a thrilling drive down through Oak Creek Canyon the group continued through downtown Sedona to just before the bridge at the south of town.

The sprawling adobe village sat alongside Oak Creek. It was a labyrinth of tiled courtyards, shops filled with colorful goods and great restaurants. McCool found a parking space under a Cottonwood and the two couples walked through the massive gates into the entry courtyard.

The first thing that Jean noticed was the sign on the bulletin board, "Everything is on sale." "Well, I guess we should expect great things" Carla grinned at Jean. "Whatever won't fit in the car we can have them store and come back on Saturday morning and pick up" Jean winked at Carla. If she had hoped to get a rise out of the boys, it did no good. They were concentrating on the layout map at the other end of the courtyard as they searched for the apothecary.

The guys and gals agreed to meet at Olevera's, a great Mexican restaurant in the complex for a meal before returning to Laughlin. The girls put on their "in search of bargain basement" faces and headed into the maze of stores. Both women enjoyed casual fashion and were really birds of a feather when it came to shopping for deals.

Knowing there was no pledge needed from Jean concerning her thriftiness; McCool uttered the famous theatrical quote, "Break a Leg" as the pair went their way and the two mean walked towards their investigative destination.

Dan and Thomas found the "Archangel Apothecary" right where the map said it would be and entered the quaint storefront. The first thing that they noticed was the smell of incense or patchouli or some such new age odorant. The shop had various and sundry old style glass canisters filled with a variety of objects and creatures. Some, like the multicolored caterpillars, were easily identifiable, others not so much. The old world counter was backed by a wall of medicine bottles and dead in the center of that was a door through which the duo could hear someone whistling over the piped in music out in the main store.

Dan thought the tune almost sounded like a Celtic version of "Take me out to the Ball Game" but then thought better of it when the proprietor came through the door. The visage facing Dan and Thomas was more like that of a medieval wizard than a modern man. A large man with a full black beard and fierce blue eyes smiled a greeting at the pair. "Now it's fine day isn't it lads and what would ye be having on your minds this afternoon then?" he asked.

"Can I ask you what tune that was that you were whistling back there?" Dan said. "Oh that" replied the man. "Just something me dear old Da used to whistle while he worked" the big man replied. "Can't say that I ever heard the name" he continued, "but I knew I was about to be told a very good story when he finished whistling."

McCool took that moment to introduce the pair to the store owner, who turned out to be one Patrick Ian McGregor, or "Paddy McStick" as the man stated he was known on the links. "I'm not sure if it's the "good walk spoiled" or just adult aggravation" he continued as he invited the men to take a seat at the counter, "but the courses here in Sedona are beautiful and it keeps me out of the house long enough to give my Missus a break" he finished. "We've all had the disease" McCool said in sympathy with the man.

When Dan showed Paddy the picture of Liplin, he recognized her immediately. "A fine tall lass with unusual emerald eyes" he stated. Luck was with the men and records where produced with Liplin's purchases. They were seemingly harmless, though one that the pair smelled carried the faint odor of liver and bacon, as opposed to the more traditional liver and onions. When questioned about the various ingredients, McStick told the men that they were used for everything from nausea relief to sleeping aids.

Paddy showed the men a book on old world remedies and ingredients and they bought that and samples of the ingredients in question to take with them. By the time they left they knew everything Liplin had purchased, how much and when. With the aid of the book and some tech help from the FBI they were optimistic they would find the disabling agent used by the serial killer to subdue her victims.

Feeling they'd accomplished all they could at the Apothecary, the pair said goodbye to their most interesting host and went in search of the girls. On the way to the restaurant McCool stopped in a cooking shop and purchased a new Teflon frying pan. "It's for omelets on Sunday morning" he explained to Dan. "Jean won't throw out the old pan, even when it gets beat up and the non-sticky isn't working anymore" he added. "So... whenever I see one that I like, I snag it." "I wondered if you were contemplating cooking up the ingredients we purchased from Paddy" Dan laughed. "I'm way too protective of my health to try that without some professional help" McCool smiled back.

Dan and Thomas went into Olevera's. Since the women weren't there yet, they decided a cool drink at the bar might be nice while they waited.

Charlotte received the call from her "father's" housekeeper concerning the visit made by the inspector. After hearing what had transpired, she decided to step up the dosing of parasites the housekeeper was giving the old man. "Time for Papa to move on" Charlotte instructed the woman. With that out of the way, she terminated the call. If they were this close to her, if there was the slightest suspicion that her new identity was blown, then she would have to act immediately.

It would mean delaying her search for the last remaining girl involved in her gang rape in high school. She'd had all the others eliminated in one form or the other, including personal revenge where she thought appropriate. Too bad, since she'd gotten a lead on Jane Insterham just two days ago. First things first though. She needed a strategy to direct the investigation away from her.

Perhaps the local constabulary could be of some assistance. She'd call her contact the first thing in the morning.



Quilldancer said...

Boy, that Connie is a beaut, isn't she? Bye, bye poppa!

Dr.John said...

Great writing as always . Your criminal is so smart and just when I thought they had her away she goes again.
I love the way you work the words in so well I don't even notice them.

CJ said...

The plot thickens ---with liver and bacon??????

The apothecary sounds like something one would find in Sedona. Friends suckered me into taking a vortex tour there... a big waste of money.

bettygram said...

That lady developed into a real cold person now thinking of getting rid of her father.

Fandango said...

Now we are sure we have to eat that woman. She is getting away with everything. Your human police are just incompetent.We do, however, enjoy your telling about it.

Raven said...

You sure do have as wicked a villain as can be and you/she come up with such clever forms of murder. I love the way you weave the words in so naturally and how natural and likable McCool and Co are. Glad you had fun dancing last night. Seems like Arizona is really agreeing with you and your wife.

Stephen said...

I liked your story. It was interesting reading about them looking for clues in Sedona. It sounds like they found some important things. The death of the man who was the woman's "father" is sure to arouse suspicion. She might be getting a little desperate now. Perhaps she'll make a mixtake that will lead the police to her.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

the watercats said...

I was completely absorbed the whole way through.. your characters are truelly magnetising!

Akelamalu said...

Oh that wicked woman! Another great instalment Rich. You weave the words in seemingly so effortlessly I forget to look for them! :)

Richard said...

Quilly: Connie, Constance, Cathy; all very troubled women.

Dr. John: Criminals may be quite intelligent, but in the end, it's their cause for criminality that betrays them

CJ: I much prefer Liver and Onions, if Liver is mandatory

Betty: Bear in mind, it's not her real father

Fandango: Our human police do the very best they can

Raven: McCool and Co are likeable till ya cross them, then things can get nasty

Stephen: She's been sort of desperate her whole life, nothing new now

Watercats: Welcome and thanks

Akelamalu: Thanks and I really enjoyed your ending this week

Thanks to all who came by this week.