“Maybelline, Maybelline. You in there?” Y’all, I heard this whisper, but it was three in the morning, and I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming it. I definitely could’ve been dreaming it.
“Maybelline!” This time I knew I hadn’t dreamed it because the whisper was louder and there was a little knock on the camper bedroom window. Plus, Fifi, my toy Poodle, had jumped up to her feet and was yipping at the noise.
“Git up if you’re in there.”
Yep. That’s when I knew it was Dottie Swaggert, the manager of Happy Trails Campground.
I reached over and pulled back the curtain from the small window above my head to peek out and let her know to come around to the door.
Like most campgrounds, there was very little light due to the nature of why people came to campgrounds. To have the experience of camping and getting away from city life were the reasons in most cases. This particular night, there was a full moon, and it shined down on Dottie like a beacon.
Her hot-pink sponge curlers glistened like a tiara around and all over her hair. Her nose curled and her top lip turned up when she squinted to make out my gesture.
“Whut?” Her country accent made me smile as I threw back the bedsheet and slipped my feet into my slippers before I walked down the short hallway in my campervan. I unlocked the door, though Dottie was already grabbing the handle to get inside.
If y’all knew anything about a camper door, they don’t have the most sturdy handles and probably could be plucked open with a good tug even when they were locked.
“Maybelline, it ain’t you in there.” She shook one of them old metal fingernail files at me.
“What?” I wasn’t able to follow along. “What is wrong? It’s three in the morning.”
“There’s someone in the storage unit.” She heaved, out of breath. “And it ain’t no critter.” She answered my next thought before I could formulate it and get it out. “I heard the doors going up. I’m telling you, someone is breaking in again. Where’s Hank? Maybelline?”
“I’m thinking.” My mind was jumbled. I’d been shuffling my boyfriend and current sheriff around campers since he’d had to haul his out of the campground to get some work done on it.
Happy Trails Campground wasn’t just for people who owned campers for vacation. I also had permanent campers where people lived.
“He’s in the can-ham with the orange stripes.” I grabbed the old boots I kept by the door and hopped down the campervan step on one foot while managing to slip the other foot in the boot. “Go get Hank.” I looked back at Dottie and grabbed the oar lying up against the picnic table located underneath the pulled-out awning.
With my hands tight around the oar, I darted off into the darkness. It would have been awesome to say that I let the light of the moon and stars guide me to the front of the campground where the storage units were located, but that’d be what we called a little white lie.
The adrenaline pumping through my veins was what had my feet moving as fast as a June bug up the gravel road. My eyes were laser focused on the small metal building that had very few storage units, which were mainly taken up by the folks who rented a camper lot year-round.
“I’ll be darned if I let you rummage through my things again!” If anyone knew me, I was not real good at containing my anger when it came to being, well, screwed over. I generally didn’t like to use such language, but I could feel it. I could feel the anger. I could feel the devil bubbling up in me and about to explode, and a giant-sized hissy fit was about to be unleased on whoever it was in my storage unit again.
As I got closer, the light of the moon started to dim. Rain was coming, and it was in the forecast. The clouds were moving in and fast, which meant I had to really high-tail it up to the storage unit.
My speed picked up, and so did the sound of someone moving around in one of the units. My unit.
“I’ve been waiting to get my hands on you!” I yelled and jumped around the side of my unit and swung as hard as I could, making contact with someone.
“Omph,” the shadowy figure groaned.
“And here’s one to grown on!” I whacked them again for good measure until Hank got there.
The person lay in a lump among some of my old clothes, which were really the only things in the unit. Things I honestly had no need for, but they were mine. Whoever this was trying to get my things had no right to them unless they asked. Last time I checked, no one asked me if they could break the lock of my storage unit, again, and rummage through my things.
“Mae, get back!” Hank’s footsteps were heavy as he approached. His arms were locked straight out, and he gripped his gun in his hands, aimed and ready to fire. “Get back!”
I took a step back with my oar up in the air.
“I got whoever that is good with my oar.” I shook it in the air victoriously.
“This is the sheriff. I have a gun pointed on you. Don’t move.” Hank dropped one hand from the gun as he continued to point it toward the subject.
He pointed to me.
“Flip on the light.” His finger gestured over to the dangling ball chain in the middle of the storage unit. “Don’t move or I’ll shoot you.”
Hank was giving the lump on the floor the orders, but the person didn’t move.
“I think you knocked ’em out cold.” Dottie Swaggert had joined us.
“Dottie, I told you to stay put.” Hank was so good at giving orders.
“I didn’t listen.” She was onery at best and didn’t listen to no one, not even me, her boss.
With one eye on the dark lump, my feet crossed one over the other sideways until I reached the light and flipped it on.
“Where’s my diamond?” The person rolled over on his back, his arms wrapped around himself. He winced in pain. “I need my diamond.”
“Stanley?” You could’ve knocked all my teeth out, and I wouldn’t’ve been as shocked as I was this very moment
Oh my goodness! Mae is kicking some youknowhat!!! What do you think about the sneak peek? Let me know!