Posted by: Laura A. H. Elliott | August 15, 2010

Answer: Colorful Character

Rumor was he’d murdered someone. And we knew he was up to something. Something really wierd. Why else would he have all those bizarre antennas on his car and on his lanai in his backyard. And, why else would he and his clone-gigantor son keep the drapes drawn at all times of day. And, why else would he be bald? I mean, there’s something up with people who take time out to shine their heads. And his was so perfectly round.

We would spy on him on our way to the park, on our bikes. We’d never, ever, walk by his house. Not ever. Or we’d climb a tree and peer into his backyard from the greenbelt. Always looking for something, anything to prove our theories about him. And they were always changing. At least every day. But we would get so super spooked any time he ACTUALLY looked at one of us. It was like his stare was toxic with the power to curse us. And since we hadn’t spied on him holding anything bloody, or any weapons even, we figured that’s how he did it. One look and you’re a goner.

So it was early August and it was hotter than hot, which might explain why Jane was so slow. She made the mistake of sitting in the tree a little too long. Looked over the adobe wall a little too far. And caught his eye. She screamed bloody murder, like it hurt. Then she fell out of the tree and said she couldn’t breathe.

Jane wouldn’t see the fifth grade. We knew it. And since we didn’t want Jane to die alone, the rest of us, all four of us, put our feet in the middle and made a circle and did the only fair thing we could think of to decide who’d next spy on the killer of Calle Las Colinas. Dana put her finger on my foot first and said, “Inky, Binky, soda cracker. Inky, Binky, Boo. Inky, Binky, soda cracker, out goes you.” And just like that I’d been picked to climb up in the tree next.

That’s how it all started.


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