Excerpt: Family is Murder by Carolyn Arnold
EVERYTHING HAD GONE WRONG, from the moment she slipped her legs out of bed and fresh dog poop squished between her toes—her lover’s stupid mutt. The only thing saving its life was the fact Brent was home. It was about time to kick both of them out.
If starting out like that wasn’t enough, she pushed through, only to have her nails snag her nylons, leaving her two choices—go without, or wear a pair that saw the waist mid-hip and the crotch mid-thigh. Sadly, the weather hadn’t warmed enough, so she ending up waddling to the bus stop, wrongly assuming the worst was behind her.
The overcast sky opened up and dumped rain on the city in a steady downpour. No umbrella and no bus shelter. She continued on, though, with her focus on a glass of bourbon when she returned home.
Finally, her persistence paid off and she was now in front of the coffee shop. The rain had stopped and left a clean smell to the air.
She ran her hands down her trench coat and tried to talk herself into a place of peace. She had made it, and she would go through with this. And to think, it had all started with a revelation of insight some might discount as simply being in the right place at the right time. She saw it as a calling—a strike of inspiration that beckoned for seizing.
She studied her reflection in the windows of Starbucks. Her long blond hair hung as tendrils, dangling lifelessly over her shoulders. She was tucking a strand behind an ear when her attention went beyond her image.
The McKinleys were there. Her heart sped up when she noticed them sitting across from a woman of about fifty.
Heat surged through her, saturating her cheeks, and obtaining a solid breath became difficult.
Who was moving in on her—something brushed her leg. She looked down to see a dog rubbing against her, wagging its tail.
Its owner, who trailed a few feet behind, gave the leash a tug, and her a stern look.
“Control your animal,” she said.
“Good day to you too, miss.”
The exhale she released couldn’t be described as anything less than a growl. People irritated her, and, at this moment specifically, it was the woman getting nice and cozy with the McKinleys. That woman had no idea who she was messing with.