“Oh look Bettie. There’s Rocky. The guy who wrote the book.”
“But not the play,” added Bettie.
“Hi Rocky!” Nancy waves.
“It just appeared out of thin air,” he chanted to them from his stump seat. He kept looking up all googly eyed at the house, a smile upon his face as broad as Clownski Avenue. “Not 6 feet in front of me. I always wanted a house. God has rewarded my grand accomplishment.”
Nancy turned to Bettie, who just shrugged. “He’s the one who’s responsible for us being here,” she said. “Maybe he’s right.”
Bettie sighed. “Okay, we’ll remain in the hotel together. But I want you home at quarter past 8 at the latest tonight.”
Rocky saved the day yet again. As soon as the shock wore off, he was packing up his stuff in the hotel’s crawlspace. Rocky would go on to write many more novels after “Bible Truth” while based in the mushroom house, some better some worse. But none that came close to being as controversial. Or as cursed. Rocky’s path was set from this point on. Trajectory.
“Isn’t it adorable Nancy? Why keep renting at that expensive hotel when we — I mean I — can have a place of my own. Want to take a look inside?”
“Maybe later Bettie,” replies Nancy. “I have a date!”
“With whom?” Bettie could hardly conceal the venom.
“Danny, that’s who. Daniel. The guy in the play.”
“I know who Danny is. What do you expect to happen?”
“I don’t know,” states a puzzled Nancy, wondering about Bettie’s concern. “The usual. Dinner, dancing, maybe a couple of drinks mixed in. Then…”
“I don’t know. He’s *cute.*” Nancy smiles and tries to nudge Bettie in the ribs. Bettie skillfully avoids the jab.
“This is not good. Remember the curse attached to that book, that play? You must always keep that foremost in your mind. The play’s the thing. Any extracurricular activity connected with it could spell trouble. Look at the protesters. This towne is like a ticking bomb.”
“Ridiculous,” responds Nancy. “It’s just a harmless date.”
But Bettie was right. The events of the play were repeating in real life, just reversed or inverted from before. Concealed in a way. The pattern remains, though. Now Bettie doesn’t have a gun but she has other weapons at her disposal. Poison, just like with the joke back at the hotel. Because, deep down in the depths of her soul, she was only half joking anyway.