Allie pushed through the dense woods with the sun dipping low in the sky. She puffed out white mist with every breath in the chilly air. Dead leaves crunched under her feet and bare tree branches swiped at her sweatshirt like bony fingers.
She pushed her straight blonde hair behind her ears and glanced around for the boulder where she’d left her bike. The huge rock sat off to her left. “Finally.” Allie raced over and grabbed the dented handlebars of her rusty yellow bike.
A light flickered in the distance and she glanced that way. The streetlight on the old road next to the woods blinked a few times then zapped to life.
“Oh man. I’m late again.” Allie sat on her bike and put her feet on the pedals, ready to push off. A car engine roared, getting louder by the second. She glanced back at the road. Hardly anyone used Skelley Road anymore and Allie wondered who it was.
A dark colored car pulled over and jerked to a stop. A man got out and strolled to the back. His figure glowed like a ghostly silhouette under the streetlight. She couldn’t see his face, but something about him seemed familiar.
He popped open the trunk and stared inside. Then he rested his hands on his hips, as if admiring whatever was in there—maybe his first deer kill of the season.
Allie grimaced at the thought. But why would he bring a dead animal out here? It had to be something else.
The man dragged a body from the trunk, a male body, his face slack in death. The driver dragged the body to the side of the road and poured something over it before throwing a lit match. Allie caught a brief glimpse of the driver's muttonchops in the bright flame. Laughing, the man climbed back into his car and drove off.
Allie approached the body. She recognized him--that famous thriller author whose picture had been in the paper. Grabbing her phone, she quickly fluffed her hair into place. No way was she going to miss this selfie!
Opening: Dottie D. .....Continuation: khazar-khum