Stolen Honey

Stolen Honey by Nancy Means Wright Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Stolen Honey by Nancy Means Wright Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nancy Means Wright
Tags: Mystery
She didn’t want anyone possessing her.
    She walked outside to unlock her bike. She hadn’t used it since yesterday; she’d gotten a ride to school. There were students moving about the campus in different directions. She thought she saw heads turn, fingers point. It had to be her imagination, she told herself, not everyone could be watching. A girl had come up to her just that morning, to say, “How awful it must have been for you, Donna.”
    Her green bike was in its usual spot, but it wasn’t wholly green anymore. Someone had painted words on it in red. SQUAWS FUCK, the red paint shrieked at her. And on the other side, SQUAWS KILL. She saw two ZKE boys in a doorway, grinning at her; they went back inside when they saw her looking at them.
    She rode home in a daze. She wanted to get as far away from Branbury College as she could. She wanted to get her bike in the barn, paint out the cruel words. She couldn’t find any green paint, so she slapped on black over the red. When Tilden Ball appeared in her driveway with a mower, she held her breath to keep from screaming at him.
    “I need your help with my paper,” he said, stalking up behind her on his long skinny legs. “I don’t know what to write about. I could fail the course! Dad will kill me.”
    “Let him kill you, then,” she shouted, exasperated. “What do I care?”

Chapter Four
    The hate notes could have been someone from the fraternity. Shep was popular there,” Emily told her mother when she came home to do a wash. “Most kids wouldn’t blame Donna. But some asshole evidently has. Donna’s a basket case.”
    “Can you blame her?” Ruth said. She’d had the experience herself, the implication that she didn’t belong—not in the college world, but in the cocktail world of the new arrivals from downcountry. As area farms failed, Ruth had felt her psyche shrinking; hers was one of a handful of small dairy farms left in the town of Branbury. Her ex-husband, Pete, wanted $100,000 for his share of the farm; she’d paid off a quarter through loans from the bank, from friends like Colm Hanna. Now Colm was offering to buy up Pete’s share himself, become her partner.
    But Colm wanted more than just a share of the land. He wanted her, Ruth—as a bed as well as business partner. Did she really want that—was she ready for it? She had to decide. If she didn’t, it wouldn’t be fair to Colm; to take his money, but withhold herself. Did one ever know an answer to a question like that?
    Emily was talking again. “I feel like that myself, Mom, rooming with Alyce Worthington. She makes me feel like a dumb little farm kid. Which I am, I suppose. I’ve never even been to New York City, where she goes at least once a month. She talks about the Met and the MoMA, and the Park Avenue apartments where her friends live. Her father’s a big-time architect. Her mother spends her afternoons pouring tea at the charity gigs. I can’t stand it, Mother. I can’t! I might... stab her one day. With a pitchfork. I’ve been thinking of taking one to school.”
    “Stop that talk. The year’s almost over. You can cope. Then you can change roommates. Or live at home.”
    “And smell like a barn when I go to class every day?” Emily slammed down the can of soda she was guzzling.
    “I might remind you we put in a new shower. For you and Vic.”
    “And you? For Colm Hanna? I’ve seen how you jump in the shower before he comes to visit.” Emily gathered her books; she was headed for the college library, she told her mother before Ruth could respond to the latest innuendo. “And sometimes he needs a shower,” she shot back as she waltzed out the door with her soda and book bag.
    Ruth laughed. What else could she do? Then, feeling self-conscious, she headed for the shower. Colm was coming over, in fact. She hoped Emily would be gone before he arrived. For one thing, she wanted to talk to him about the belladonna crisis.
    * * * *
    Colm knew all about it, of

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