“See what I mean. This Pastor isn’t too bad.” Rachel whispered to Shannon as they went back down the long hallway that led to the parking lot.
“I could come here every once in a while if that’s the kind of stuff he preaches on. I get sick of hearing how I’m such a bad person because I don’t go to church.” Shannon answered.
“I’ve only been here twice. I’m sure he gets around to that too.” She pointed to the direction of the car. People were all over the parking lot talking. The sun kept the temperature pleasant and most of the people seemed to be in no rush to leave. “I wrote down that thing the pastor said about achievement.”
They walked between the cars and down to the row they had parked in. The car stood alone at the far end of the row.
Rachel reached in her purse and pulled out a small notebook. “Comfort is the enemy of achievement.”
“You brought a notebook to church?” Shannon shook her head.
“No, I keep a notebook to write things down so I don’t have to wait for my Palm Pilot to turn on to jot a note.”
“I want to get my suitcase packed up as soon as we get back to mom and dad’s house. I need to get back home at a decent time.”
“It looks like your mom isn’t taking any chances with you finding the man of your dreams.”
“That’s what I thought. Of course it could be her way of making sure I buy that house too.”
“Or she might have picked him out for you.” She winked at Shannon then clicked the remote on her key ring and walked around the back of the car.
“What is that?” Shannon pointed.
Rachel walked to the front of the car. A white rose with a black ribbon tied around it rested on the windshield. She stood frozen a moment. Headlines announcing another murder flipped through her memory.
Slowly she lifted the rose hoping to find a church flier or a welcome note below it.
Her throat tightened around words she wanted to scream. She pulled her eyes from the rose and looked at Shannon then the stream of people milling around the parking lot by the church.
Why her car? Was it because she had parked in the back corner where no one would notice someone walking down the row?
“Maybe he doesn’t know who you are?” Shannon offered. Her eyes fixed to the rose.
“He does if he’s watching.” She looked around for anyone who might be looking at them. She looked at the playground and along the tree line. Should she go to her mom’s house? What if he was following her? Goosebumps picked her flesh raised when the cool breeze blew across the droplets of perspiration forming on Rachel’s arms and neck.
“Um, maybe we should put it down and call the police?”
Rachel began to take some control of her emotions. “We don’t know for sure it’s him and if it isn’t we’re going to get mom’s church all riled up for no reason.”
“But if it is you need to be protected.”
This was nothing more than a coincidence. Some ill-timed gesture of friendship from her mom’s church. Someone who maybe wasn’t following the Fratboy murders thought it nice to give a rose. Rachel felt silly for getting worked up over a welcome gift. She opened her door and tossed the rose in the back seat.
“Aren’t you going to do anything?”
“Maybe it is your rose. You were the first time guest.”
“But it’s your car.”
“It’s a coincidence.” Rachel assured her with her rational mind now fully in control of her faculties. “The murders were on campus or college girls. I’m neither and the college is on the other side of town.
You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at www.WritingCareerCoach.com
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This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
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