Murder of a Pink Elephant

Murder of a Pink Elephant by Denise Swanson Read Free Book Online

Book: Murder of a Pink Elephant by Denise Swanson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Denise Swanson
already didn’t like Skye, why her brother’s band had started a brawl at the Valentine’s Day Dance made her tremble. “Vince, I recommended your group to the school. If there’s a problem, I’m the one who will have to face the wrath of Superintendent Wraige.”
    “Don’t worry. Everything’s fine.” Vince flicked a look atthe other musicians. “Ready to start?” They all nodded and he raised his drumstick.
    Skye turned on her heels, exasperated by her brother’s refusal to blab. Even though Vince was the older sibling, Skye had always been the one to help him out of his messes. His closed-mouth attitude about the band worried her. What had Vince gotten himself into?
    She moved toward the tables scattered around the gym’s perimeter. It was seven-fifteen, and the Valentine’s Ball had officially begun. Teens thronged the entrance and poured inside. Many came in couples, dressed in long dresses and nice suits. Others arrived in groups, wearing less formal attire; and a few turned up by themselves, slinking in and not venturing much past the entrance.
    Skye found Trixie at a table talking to one of the other chaperones. She joined the two women and said, “Anyone have an idea of what we could do to include the kids who are currently trying to pretend they’re wallpaper?”
    “Could we ask some of the other kids to invite them to join their groups?” Trixie suggested.
    Will that make things worse or better?
Skye wondered. It would depend on the group. They’d have to choose carefully. “Okay, let’s try a couple. It isn’t as if we have anything else to do for the next several hours, unless you two were planning on dancing.”
    The three paused a moment and listened to the music. It was shockingly loud, and the lyrics to the song were indecipherable, which was probably just as well. Both women shook their heads. They wouldn’t be dancing to
that
. Shouting to be heard above the din, they agreed on a plan, and each set out to see if they could persuade a more popular teen to invite one of the outsiders into their group.
    Skye had noticed a boy who had approached her recently about joining the newspaper staff, so she went to find Justinand see if he’d cooperate in Operation “No Teen Left Standing Alone.”
    The lights were down low, which made it difficult to locate people, but Skye finally spotted Justin and explained her request as best she could over the pounding bass. He nodded and headed toward the boy she pointed out.
    As Skye was making her way back to the table, she saw her godfather, Charlie Patukas, standing with his arms crossed staring at the dance floor, a scowl on his face. At six feet tall and three hundred pounds, he was an imposing figure.
    She tapped him on the shoulder. “Uncle Charlie, what are you doing here?”
    Charlie swung around, his thick white brows meeting in the middle of his forehead. “That dang fool Homer called in sick, and the superintendent was out of town, so as president of the school board I was next in line.”
    Skye debated a second, then pulled Charlie aside and told him what had caused Homer’s sudden illness. She hated to be a snitch, but in case Mr. Yoder tried to pull something in retaliation for his son’s suspension, Charlie needed to be forewarned. The last time a Yoder offspring had been suspended, graduation had almost been ruined.
    “If brains were dynamite, Homer wouldn’t have enough to blow his nose,” Charlie said, his scowl deepening. “Yoder better not try anything. I still owe him for hurting you when his other no-good kid got into trouble.”
    Skye tried to defend the principal and the younger Yoder boy, but Charlie interrupted her, shouting, “The music’s too damn loud. I can hardly hear you. They need to turn it down.”
    He took a step toward the stage, but Skye grabbed his arm. “It is too loud, but the kids like it that way. Let’s talk out here.” She tugged him toward the door to the hall,searching for a topic to distract

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