Punked by the Pumpkin: A Cozy Mystery (Sweet Home Mystery Series Book 4)

Punked by the Pumpkin: A Cozy Mystery (Sweet Home Mystery Series Book 4) by Constance Barker Read Free Book Online

Book: Punked by the Pumpkin: A Cozy Mystery (Sweet Home Mystery Series Book 4) by Constance Barker Read Free Book Online
Authors: Constance Barker
don’t think they was going there for that.” Toe looked at me. “And I seen Trevor walk Moira back to the rental shop maybe 45 minutes later. That’s just about enough time to walk there and back.”
    “Yeah, it wasn’t like that. We didn’t…well.” Trevor looked at Moira and her eyes got really big. Then he looked at the floor.
    Uh oh…
    “Well, uh… I held her hand.”
    Whew. That’s okay, Trev.
    “You know, she doesn’t like me like that anyway.”
    Oh, yes she does, Trevor.
    “We were both kind of scared. It was dark and creepy, and it looked like there was a light coming from the old church, but before we got there…”
    “That’s when we saw it.” Moira took over the story. “We heard a noise deep in the cemetery, like somebody running through the underbrush and bumping into trees and headstones. We thought it was a drunk person. But when we looked over there, we saw a big orange jack-o-lantern flying low over the ground right into a tree, and then it went dark. Then, right where the jack-o-lantern stopped, we saw a green monster without a head running the other way.”
    Carmen was more than a little skeptical. “Do you expect me to believe a ridiculous story like that, Moira?”
    I had to help. “Eli and I saw something a lot like that the other day ourselves, Carmen. Eli’s investigating it. But there is something or someone out there.”
    Toe looked very serious and rubbed his chin. “It could only be one thing…”
    We turned to await Toe’s ultimate wisdom and enlightening revelation.
    “…the chupacabra.”
    Well, maybe not all that wise and enlightening. “Let’s not get carried away, Toe…”
    “You just wait. Before long there’ll be reports of goats and other animals with all the blood sucked right out of them. They come from just down there in Puerto Rico, ya know, so they probably sneak onto those cruise ships and get off in Miami. A few days later they’re here in Sweet Home.”
    Toe looked enough like the crypt keeper from that old horror show series, so a few chills did run up my spine…until his mind turned to his tummy.
    “Can I get one of them pumpkin muffins from ya, Lily? That frosting looks pretty good.”
    The parade was moments away from starting. Mayor Rodney Danton was the Grand Marshall of the parade in the red convertible in the front. He came up with the idea for the Harvest Festival twelve years ago when he was on the school board and rode that success all the way to the mayor’s office a few years later.
    Rodney was followed by the Harvest Queen, Becky Sinclair, in the blue convertible. She was a year or two out of high school and a waitress at Sal’s Diner on the main drag, so everybody knew her. She was already smiling and waving at the crowd. Everybody loved the sweet, pretty girl with the great personality and boundless energy. She was also developing a reputation as a good baker, and she’d already made the cakes for quite a few weddings. When Essie and Hildie don’t have time to bake, they will only call Becky.
    Of course, leading the parade of golf carts was Martha White. Her orange, professionally built pumpkin cart was a replica of Cinderella’s carriage – and the perfect cart to head up the Harvest Festival parade. Martha wore the Cinderella gown she still had from her years at Disney.
    After her, the other carts were ready to follow, two by two. Jerry Thatcher was right behind her in his rubber chicken, alongside Harvey in his famous shark fin cart, followed by a long line of others.
    The big civil defense megaphone truck pulled into the middle of the golf cart line to provide some music and started blasting out John Phillip Sousa marches. As soon as the signal was given to start the parade, Harvey decided to start his mischievous behavior, driving in circles around Martha’s pumpkin and then doing figure eights around the two convertibles up front. Of course, the others (well, the men, anyway) followed suit.
    Then Harvey pulled

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