The Favor An Angela Panther Mystery Novella
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Hold on there, sweetie, that’s an expensive skirt you got on, did you get that at Macy’s? I’ve been at the one down in Atlanta, at the Lenox Mall, but I don’t go there no more. I hear the traffic is terrible out there, and I don’t do city traffic anymore. Nope. Let me wipe the chair off before you pop a squat.
There, that’s better.
Okay, Lily and Belle, they’ll be here right quick, but Lily told me you’d be here before them. They’re finishing up with a client. She asked me to get you one of my secret recipe raspberry scones and a mocha latte. You’ll love ‘em. You want that scone warmed? It’s a bit chilly out there this morning. I can heat it for you.
I’m Millie. See that sign above the door? I own the place, that’s why it’s called Mille’s Café. Been in town here since the day I was born, but I won’t tell you how long that’s been. A lady never reveals her age.
You have any questions about anything in Bramblett County, you just come to me. Millie’s is the place, and I’m not talking just about breakfast and lunch or sweet tea and coffee. Millie’s is the town spot for information, too.
We don’t gossip here in Bramblett because that’s ugly, gossip. We might talk a bit about our folk and what we’ve got going on, but we don’t like to get ugly. Though I will say when those few murders happened, we did talk a bit about those. Now, don’t you worry your pretty little head about them murders. They weren’t that big of a deal. Well, I mean, murder is a big deal, but they weren’t Lily’s fault or anything. Just because she found the bodies doesn’t mean her job is cursed or that she is. I mean, they were her clients and all, but that was just bad luck on her part. It wasn’t because they were her clients.
You okay? Let me get you a glass of ice water. You sit and relax. Like I said, Lily and Belle will be here right quick.
By Rufus Fulton
EDITOR, Bramblett County Gazette
We all know Lily Sprayberry, or as she’s been called for years, Lilybit. Many of us have bought and sold properties with her successful realty business, Bramblett County Realty. She’s a local, and comes from good stock.
Sprayberry’s been involved with the recent rise in murders in town, but not in a bad way. She’s simply been at the wrong place at the right time, and people are talking. Some are concerned Lily’s cursed, while others fear she’s secretly involved. I met with Sprayberry to discuss and possibly dispel the rumors.
“Involved?” she asked. “Of course, I’m not involved, and I’m most certainly not cursed, though admittedly, the thought did cross my mind.”
When asked how she feels being the target of discourse in Bramblett, Sprayberry said it’s been tough on her emotionally.
“I’ve grown up in Bramblett. People know me, and they should know I’d never be involved in a purposeful death. In fact, my involvement is just to help find justice and do right by the people in my life.”
She said discovering Myrtle Redbecker’s body was shocking, but she doesn’t have a link to any of the murders in town. “Myrtle wasn’t the most liked resident in town, but nobody deserves to be murdered. And with a cast iron skillet? I can’t even imagine how tragic that must have been, but I’m innocent in what’s going on here.”
Sprayberry didn’t intend to start her own investigation into the old woman’s death, or cause trouble in the recent murder in town.
“It’s my own natural need for answers—my curiosity. That’s the reason I’ve attached myself to each of these tragedies.”
She said losing her lifelong friend a few short months later was shocking. “She was so young. Such a tragic way to end such a promising, young life.”
But why then, did Sprayberry get involved in the recent murder here in Bramblett?
“Because it was the right thing to do, for my client.”
Sprayberry goes on to state the victim, Carter Trammell, was attempting to do right by his students.
He wanted them to succeed academically. That was his priority, and it should be their parent’s priority, too.”
She said she’s been shocked by the behavior of certain parents associated with the school’s athletic program.“This insanity needs to stop. Sports aren’t everything, and neither are scholarships, but an education can last a lifetime. And no one, no one deserves to die, especially for wanting to help kids succeed.”
Some people don’t see Lily’s actions that way.
“She might could stop interfering in the lives of others,” one local who requested to remain anonymous, said.
“She’s hurting the community by sticking her nose where it don’t belong,” another commented.
But Sprayberry has a lot of support in Bramblett, too, and people don’t want to see her reputation damaged for being a faithful community member.
“I just don’t get it. Lilybit’s family to us, and we got to protect our own. Whoever killed that coach needs to come out of hiding and do what’s right,” Old Man Goodson said.
Locals Bonnie Bass and Henrietta Harvey agreed.
“She ain’t done nothing I wouldn’t have done,” Bass said.
“Me, too,” Harvey agreed. “And you can tell all of Bramblett I said so.”
County Sheriff Dylan Roberts is working on the case, but said things are moving along in the investigation, and they are satisfied with the suspect they’ve arrested.
“We’re confident this case will go to trial, and the killer will be held accountable for their crimes.”
Keep up with this case in follow up articles in the Gazette at carolynridderaspenson.com
When the lines between this life and the afterlife cross, psychic medium Angela Panther discovers she may no longer be among the living.
This is a stand-alone novella from the Angela Panther Mystery Series.
Available on Amazon here
Get to know Lily Sprayberry with a free introduction to the Lily Sprayberry Realtor Cozy Mystery Series by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson. Just click on the link below to get started!