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Granny's Notions

Eunice was both delighted and bewildered by the sudden demand for wooden tribal masks. They weren't much to look at with their grotesque faces and garish paint. But ever since the kind Mr. Rodriguez—self-proclaimed aficionado of Latin folk art—befriended and convinced her to import them from a Colombian wholesaler, her revenue had quadrupled. The odious masks soon covered the walls of Granny's Notions, banishing the needles, snaps, baskets, pins, buttons, and bits of trim into storage containers.

The only drawback was the dubious clientele that the masks attracted: so-called church friends of Mr. Rodriguez, bearing screwy names like Peanuts, Head Busta, Little Loco, and Muerto. On days when new shipments were expected, they would loiter in her store, carrying on and using vulgar language. Eunice finally reached her breaking point when one of the nasty men chased a terror-stricken Mrs. Hepwhistle around the sewing table. It was a sign from heaven when a man with a truck stopped by looking for charitable donations.

Later, a nervous looking Mr. Rodriguez arrived to pick up his special order, a mask having such profound cultural importance that he couldn't trust his friends to handle it.

When he noticed the empty walls, his face turned white as a doily. "The masks! Where are they?"

"Don't worry,” She patted his hand and smiled reassuringly. “They went to a wonderful cause. The Police Services Rotary. And you'll be pleased to know that I made the donation in your name.”

Story by:

Chuck Carter

www.mysteryweekly.com

15 May 2017