Seminole and Powhatan
On the corner of Seminole and Powhatan just north of downtown in the Heights, Emmeline and her granddaughter sat on the front porch waiting for the sun to set.
Beyond the wild cactus that had outgrown the front yard and reached its spiny arms toward the road, the July sun seethed orange in the western sky. Too big to swallow at once, it hovered mean on the horizon and flushed the sky with shades of fevered pink. Emmeline pulled the ends of the afghan tight around her shoulders. She wondered how many hours the two of them would have to sit on this porch going over the same tired questions while they waited for Becca to show up on the driveway.
Morgan, the girl, looked out onto the yard at the cactus. She pondered the shadow it cast on the ragged lawn that was strewn with rusted tricycles, bald tires, and miniature dandelions popping up amid the rubbish. She wore a long, gauzy dress of sheer cotton with straps as fine as embroidery threads that draped her shoulders. Her bare foot kept the porch swing swaying on rusted chains. "You think Julia knows?" she asked Emmeline.
"Julia knows," Emmeline said. "But not like knowing the day of the week. More like rain coming and no clouds—by smell." Emmeline paused for her granddaughter to stop the swing, momentarily and as she always did when contemplating Emmeline's responses.
"If Julia knows," Morgan pondered, "why wouldn't she say? Why would she just let it smolder until it made her crazy?"
"And who should Julia tell?" Emmeline asked. "Natalie?"
Morgan dropped her leg. Her bare foot pushed the splintered pine of the porch to set the swing in motion. "She could have told Rebecca," she said, "before she died."
This family is somehow connected to the Westcott family. But how? Stay tuned to the next blog to find out!
At nine o'clock Monday night, Victor and Evan followed the Blew Bayou out of the marina at the yacht club into the Hillsborough Bay. Even though the sun had set over half an hour ago, the evening came on heavy as a hog's breath. The night weighed in at ninety degrees. Victor sat bolt upright in the captain's chair, his senses firing at top speed. Earlier that afternoon, Captain Mortenson had shown him how to navigate the Lady Luck. While it proved to be much like driving a car, the captain had suspected immediately that Victor had little boating experience.
Chief Salazar and the search team were headed out to Egmont Key this evening with Captain Mortenson's boat and Hank Poppy's new Bertram. Becca had stayed up late last night explaining to her grandmother how Victor had ended up on Daniel's search instead of his yacht-club cronies. She fell back on the pillows and pulled the covers over her head.
"Salazar trusts Carlos Mendoza," Becca hold told Nattie. "They're like brothers, and Victor's the son Carlos never had." In order to secure the hunt, the chief needed to involve the fewest amount of searchers possible. "We don't know what's going to happen out there, Nattie," Becca said. "It's best the Gaspar Krewe knows only about the bogus search to Freeport, for now."
Becca suspected there was more to the cover-up that they wouldn't let on to anyone, but that was okay. She ran her hand over her belly, which was beginning to round. She, for one, understood secrets.
On the porch the night was steamy, heavy with the scent of confederate jasmine that hung thick form the trellis next to the porch. Natalie swept a piece of hair from her forehead. Not a breath of air blew in off the bay. She thought to fetch a couple of electric fans from the pantry when Victor's Camaro shot into the driveway like a silver bullet. He jumped from the car and bounded up the stairs carrying a bottle of wine.