Meet one third of the Creek Keys Conspiracy Krew...
And Theo... My sexy British single dad!
I skipped across town and pulled into the small lot outside the local store. After parking up, I grabbed a trolley—what these heathens called carts or buggys or some other illogical term—and went inside.
It was quiet for a Saturday morning, and I took advantage of that. There were no beatdowns in the bread aisle or fracas over the fruit.
Shopping could be surprisingly spicy in this town.
After getting everything I needed, I headed for the register and paid. I was almost done unloading what I’d bought when the sound of a familiar and unwelcome voice calling my name made me pause.
Plastering the nicest smile I could on my face, I turned. “Agnes, it’s lovely to see you.”
She shuffled over, using the trolley as a walking aid, and flipped her head so her bright purple hair didn’t get in her eyes. The woman was seventy if she was a day, but she acted as if she were a third of her age.
“Gosh darn tourists everywhere,” she muttered, drawing level with my truck. She was wearing a fancy purple t-shirt that matched her hair and had the words ‘Aliens R Real’ scrawled on the front, complete with a cartoon alien with black eyes and gray skin.
Yep. She was a real treat.
I raised my eyebrows. “You live in a tourist spot and have for ten years. Are you still surprised?”
“I will tell your aunt and bend you over her knee.”
“Aunt Elsie doesn’t have the strength to hit a fly, never mind me,” I replied, referring to my seventy-five-year-old great aunt on my dad’s side who was a current resident of Creek Keys. “I assume she sent you to find me?”
Agnes nodded with such vigor I was afraid she’d crack her neck. “Yes. Maude wants to use the beach and—”
“No.” I shook my head. “Absolutely not. The last time I let you lot use the stretch I own, you drank too much wine and tried to strip naked.”
“We were controlling the tourists.”
“You were terrifying the tourists.”
“Controlling. Terrifying. The government believes they’re one and the same.”
“I’m not getting into your conspiracy theories on a Saturday morning,” I told her. “Besides, I have things to do today. Tell Aunt Elsie to stop by and we’ll talk.”
“You could tell me yes.”
“I’d rather bleach my own eyeballs.” I loaded the last bag into my truck and shut the door. “No offense.”
“Offense taken,” Agnes said with a sniff. “You don’t like us because we’re different.”
“I love you all,” I replied, pushing my cart into the drop-off shelter next to where I was parked. “I just don’t trust you won’t open a portal or summon aliens or the devil on my property unless you’re appropriately supervised.”