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A Plain Death Chapter 1 - Amanda Flower

A Plain Death Chapter 1 - Amanda Flower

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Published by bhpub
Welcome to Appleseed Creek, the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country, where life is not as serene as it seems.

While her Cleveland friends relocated to Southern California and Italy, 24-year-old computer whiz Chloe Humphrey moves with some uncertainty to Appleseed Creek to direct technology services at a nearby college. Her first acquaintance is Becky, an ex-Amish teenager looking for a new home.

While driving Chloe’s car, Becky collides with a buggy, killing an Amish elder. But what looks like an accident is soon labeled murder when police discover the car’s cut brake line.

Now, Chloe must take on the role of amateur sleuth to discover who the real intended victim was before the murderer makes a second attempt. Becky’s handsome Amish-turned-Mennonite brother, Timothy, a local carpenter, comes in handy along the way. With God’s help, they’ll solve the mystery that’s rocking this small community.
Welcome to Appleseed Creek, the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country, where life is not as serene as it seems.

While her Cleveland friends relocated to Southern California and Italy, 24-year-old computer whiz Chloe Humphrey moves with some uncertainty to Appleseed Creek to direct technology services at a nearby college. Her first acquaintance is Becky, an ex-Amish teenager looking for a new home.

While driving Chloe’s car, Becky collides with a buggy, killing an Amish elder. But what looks like an accident is soon labeled murder when police discover the car’s cut brake line.

Now, Chloe must take on the role of amateur sleuth to discover who the real intended victim was before the murderer makes a second attempt. Becky’s handsome Amish-turned-Mennonite brother, Timothy, a local carpenter, comes in handy along the way. With God’s help, they’ll solve the mystery that’s rocking this small community.

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Published by: bhpub on May 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/21/2012

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1
Chapter One
A
gust of wind rocked my car and the U-Haul trailer hitchedto the back. I yelped, my knuckles white as they grippedthe steering wheel.“Did you fall into a hole or something?” Tanisha’s voice rangin my ear.I lowered the volume on my wireless earpiece. Although mybest friend sat in her apartment in Milan, Italy, it sounded like shewas right next to me. I wished she were. “No, I’m fine.” The windmade its way across the opposing cornfield, its force bowing thestalks in a green wave.“When can you come visit me?”“I told you I don’t know. I haven’t even started my job yet. Idon’t think it’s a good idea to ask for a vacation the very first day.”“I suppose you’re right.” Tanisha gave a dramatic sigh. “I wantyou to meet Marcos. He’s perfect for you. I’ve been telling him allabout you.”I rolled my eyes. Ever since my boy-crazy friend had becomeengaged, she thought matchmaking was her new mission in life.Unfortunately, I was the one she thought needed her help.
 
AMANDA FLOWER2
“Maybe you will meet someone in Appleseed Creek.” Her tonebrightened. “I know! You will find a nice buggy boy while you’replaying country girl.”“Buggy boy?”A nice Amish lad. He can make you a computer desk. It will bea match made in heaven.” Laughter buoyed Tanisha’s voice.I groaned.“You can’t hide behind a computer forever. It’s not healthy.”Before I could think of a decent comeback, my cat, Gigabyte,meowed. He wasn’t fond of car rides. He’d yowled his way throughthe last four counties as I made my way from Cleveland into themiddle of nowhere. “Don’t worry, Gig. It can’t be much longernow.” I paused. “I hope.”“Buggy boy or no buggy boy, this move will be great for you,”Tanisha insisted. “A fresh start! You’ll see. And think about Gig.He’s going to have all the mice he can eat.”“He’s never even seen a mouse, let alone eaten one.”“You’re hopeless.” My friend sighed. “By the way, Mom andDad are sorry they couldn’t help you move.”“I know.” I forced a smile into my voice. “But I’m happy yourparents have a chance to visit you.”“I’m so excited to see them. I can’t believe it’s been threemonths.”Tanisha moved to Milan in April to teach English as a secondlanguage. Yet I was afraid to move within the same state. I bit theinside of my lip. She didn’t remind me of her parents’ visit to upsetme, but I couldn’t imagine
my
father traveling to the other side of theworld to see me. He hadn’t even attended my graduate school cere-mony. My stepmother, Sabrina, said they couldn’t make it because of scheduling problems.” Whatever that meant. And besides,” Sabrinasaid, “we were just there for your college graduation.” I didn’t remindher that my college graduation had been three years before.“I wish you could have come with them. Poor Marcos.”Tanisha’s voice turned sullen.
 
A PLAIN DEATH3
“I’m sure Marcos will survive.” I checked my side mirror foroncoming traffic. There was none. Another gust of wind rocked thecar. “Tee, I have to go.” My hands ached from gripping the steeringwheel.“Call me tomorrow.
Ciao
.I removed the earpiece and tossed it on the dashboard.A low growl came from the carrier in the backseat of my RAV4.Gig’s plastic cat carrier sat between my bedding and two smallsuitcases, one stacked on top of the other. The suitcases didn’t holdclothes. My clothing was back in the trailer along with my fewpieces of furniture. Instead, the suitcases held what I really caredabout: my computer graveyard.It’s not a true graveyard, of course, but the remnants of com-puters past: motherboards, old VGA cables, USB connectors, harddrives, and obsolete floppy disk drives, all carefully packed insideof those two suitcases. I couldn’t bear to part with them. I’d ownedsome of the hardware since I was a young child and discovered mylove of all things tech.That love of technology led me to this very spot in the middleof Ohio’s rural countryside, although this detour—and I did con-sider it a detour—was never part of the plan. “Okay, God,” I whis-pered. “Two years. Get me out of here in two years.”“Recalculating!” My GPS squawked again. Apparently I wasn’tthe only one who thought we were headed for the middle of nowhere. My GPS, the one I had affectionately named “Pepper”—since she had such a peppery attitude—had recalculated every tenminutes since I’d exited Interstate 71 South.“Recalculating!”Gig yowled his disgust. He and Pepper were not friends. In fact,Gig wasn’t a fan of any of my high-tech toys. It was not unusual forme to return to my apartment after a long night of studying at theuniversity’s library to find Gig had chewed through a wire or two.The most recent victim had been the AC adapter to my netbook.

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