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The Sassafras Chronicles
The Sassafras Chronicles
The Sassafras Chronicles
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The Sassafras Chronicles

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Dorrie and Cary have been best friends for most of their life, although they’re an unlikely pair. Together they stumble across a mystery that will change the course of their lives. With the help of the handsome detective Mitch Brown, they discover who killed a young girl and dumped the body in the alley for them to find.
Sassafras might just get you killed.
LanguageEnglish
Release dateJul 23, 2020
ISBN9781094412450
The Sassafras Chronicles
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    The Sassafras Chronicles - Darla Ferrara

    Part One

    Sassafras never got anyone married. It might get them murdered, though.

    Who says I want to get married? Dorrie answered, without looking up from the drink she was pouring. By all rights, the bar shouldn’t even be open today, and I shouldn’t have to listen to your bullshit. If you don’t like my color commentary, take your dumb, drunken ass somewhere else.

    I would be the first one to tell you that Dorrie was not an easy person to like; still, she was my best friend.

    What exactly does sassafras mean, anyway? I asked the heckler. I’d had a few myself by this point. It’s not like I usually drank at work, but it wasn’t a usual kind of day.

    You know, sassafras, like sassy but more annoying than that, he answered.

    I’m pretty sure you’re not using that word right, Dorrie tossed back at him from her spot behind the bar. The man shrugged and asked for another beer.

    No, you’re done for the night. Go home. I called you a cab.

    I don’t think you are allowed to discriminate against me like that, the drunk customer protested.

    Dorrie leaned over the bar, her face inches from his. Are misogynistic pigs a protected class now?

    He shook his head slowly, never taking his eyes off hers. I can drive, though, he whispered.

    No, you can’t, Dorrie said as she picked up a towel and began wiping off glasses. I snagged your keys about ten minutes ago. The customer groaned and started patting his pockets.

    I’m not going to prison because you turn some little girl into a roadside pancake, she added. Besides, you’re about one beer away from puking on the floor and falling asleep on the bar.

    "Damn, that’s what I’m talking about— sassafras." He pointed an accusing finger at her. It’s not normal. That girl ain’t never gonna get married with all that sassafras. I could hear him continue to mumble about sassafras all the way out the door.

    He’s probably right, Dorrie, no man for you.

    Oddly enough, Cary, they still seem to come when I call.

    That part was true. Dorrie did have some sass in her, no denying that. But she was also the prettiest bartender around.

    Bartenders don’t look like that in my town, was a common sentiment by tourists who would accidentally stumble into the bar. It was a hole in the wall with few appealing features beyond a torn up pool table and a few neon bar signs, but it was also on a corner not far from the train station. The glasses would rattle every time a train pulled in or left.

    Bartenders did rarely look like Dorrie; the ones that worked with their clothes on, at least. Her shiny, brown, slightly unkempt hair flowed down her back, stopping just at the top of her jeans. From there, your eyes inevitably traveled downward to a heart-shaped butt perched on top of slender, long legs that would be the envy of any model.

    It was her features that made her pretty, though. She had what artists call perfect symmetry, from her brown eyes to her Kewpie doll lips. Despite her tendency to frown, her skin remained smooth and the color of coffee with a splash of milk.

    It wasn’t news to Dorrie that she was pretty, either; she just didn’t get why it mattered. She had heard that bullshit her whole life and never cared. My brain isn’t in my tits or ass. Admire me for my skills and charming personality. I actually had something to do with them.

    People asked me all the time why I put up with her. Maybe if I was better at making friends, I wouldn’t have, but, as it turns out, we kind of needed one another. She was utterly unlikeable, and I was one of those faceless people that no one seemed to notice.

    Unlike Dorrie, I am not a looker, as they say. My reddish brown hair was kept chopped short back then because I couldn’t be bothered to care about it. I didn’t spend much time at the gym, either.

    We were quite the pair, Dorrie and me. I dated occasionally but had never been in a serious relationship. Dorrie didn’t believe in romance and considered sex a simple biological function, like an itch that sometimes needed a deep scratch.

    If she met a guy at the bar worthy of a fuck, she’d whisper to him, I’m going in the stockroom and taking off my pants. If you are not there in five minutes, I’ll consider it a solo. She had a few solos, but, for the most part, they got there before the pants came off.

    That day, we were both a little on edge. Nobody saw it coming. Of course, you never do. One day you walk into work, and everything is fine. The next day, boom: dead body in the alley.

    Section Break

    Dorrie saw it first. Bright red backpack lying near the dumpster. It looked like some kid had carelessly dropped it there until you saw the curve of the shoulder and the blond head resting on the cold cement. Once you identified the form of an actual person attached to the red backpack, it looked like one of the many unhoused in the area having a nap.

    Why would that nitwit sleep in front of the dumpster like that? If you are going to put up with the repugnant smell of shit and God knows what else, at least go behind it for some privacy.

    Maybe there’s something dead behind the dumpster, I suggested.

    Dorrie shrugged and walked over to give the backpack-wearing shape a gentle nudge with her toe. There was

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