miss fortune mystery (ff) - body in the bog in the bog

miss fortune mystery (ff) - body in the bog in the bog by j l johnson

Book: miss fortune mystery (ff) - body in the bog in the bog by j l johnson Read Free Book Online
Authors: j l johnson
Chapter 1
     
    “These bones are definitely human, not just some randomly-scattered animal bones,” Fortune exclaimed, critically eying a few bones sprawled out on the ground, near a large mound of dirt that had obviously been disturbed by some kind of animal.
    She thought it had been a very large animal, and had also happened fairly recently, if she had to guess. The dirt looked freshly uprooted, and she could see deep claw marks all around the site. The animal might have been spooked off only moments ago, right when she and Gertie showed up.
    “Gertie, I’m pretty sure this was someone’s grave. I know a grave when I see one,” she narrowed her eyes at Gertie as she slapped at a mosquito the size of a quarter trying to suck her forearm dry. “Damn blood suckers! What is it about this place and bones, and blood, and… dead things?”
    “Oh no, it’s really a grave, do you think? My dear, we need to get back to town and tell Ida Belle about this,” Gertie said, looking back toward Sinful, then directly at Fortune.
    “It’s definitely a grave. There’s no trace of a coffin though, and I don’t see a marker of any kind,” Fortune poked at the mound with a stick.
    “I think I know who that is...”
    “Wait a minute, did you just say you know who’s grave this is? You think you know? Or you definitely know?” Fortune asked suspiciously.
    “I think, I’m not certain... It was all so long ago... I know it must seem suspicious, but,”
    “Suspicious? A single grave with no signs of either a coffin or a marker, out here, next to the bog? Hell’s bells yes, I’d say it’s suspicious!” Fortune exclaimed, her eyes as big as the now-squashed mosquito. “Then again, is there anything about this town that isn’t suspicious?”
     
    Fortune and Gertie were at the edge of the bog, only a short distance outside of Sinful. The town of Sinful was so small that if you drove through it and blinked, you’d never realize there’d been a town there at all.
    They’d been picking blackberries for the next batch of SLS cough syrup. It had been Fortune’s idea to add some flavor and color to the potent brew the Sinful Ladies Society sold as a cough and sore throat remedy, once she discovered the berries.
    Not that she had anything against their regular brew of pure white lightening, or moonshine, as Gertie called it. She had quite a few bottles tucked away in case of emergency. Sinful was a dry town and you just never knew what could happen that might prevent travel outside of town.
    Hurricanes and floods were at the top of the disaster list, but there were other things in the small town that could cause the loss of your mobility. Alligator attacks were at the top of that list.
    The bayou ran right at the edge of Fortune’s backyard and it was chock-full of the menacing reptiles. The locals all said the alligators were mostly harmless, but Fortune wasn’t putting her trust in the word mostly .
    She gave the alligators a wide berth, sticking to the ‘Don’t bother them and they won’t bother you,’ school of thought. It sounded too good to be true. Fortune thought it probably was too good to be true, so she wasn’t inclined to get up close and personal with the scaly monsters any time soon. Alligator wrestling was not in her future.
    She figured every single one of the creatures was just biding their time, waiting for any opportunity to crunch on her feet, her legs, or any other body part they found convenient. Staying far, far away from them seemed only sensible.
    Mowing the lawn in a buzz-cut also seemed sensible, since all sorts of snakes, poisonous and otherwise, loved to lurk in tall grasses.
    Her neighbors were almost exclusively elderly and seldom mowed their yards, so Fortune figured any snakes venturing near would be far happier living in their yards. She couldn’t make herself feel guilty about it either, all’s fair and all that.
    Old people vastly outnumbered the young in this town and they drove

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