Page 44 from the series Before the Pirates Came*
Miranda stayed in bed. First for a day, then for a week– maybe longer. She couldn’t be sure. Her dockmates were sympathetic, bringing her mail, newspapers, and some groceries. She watched TV, did some reading, hardly ate at all. When she surfaced briefly from her hiding place, she was met with worried faces. Her skin was pale and dark circles hung beneath her eyes. She was so thin that even her red snowsuit couldn’t disguise her frail figure.
The men had been robbed, too. An old Loran-C navigating system was taken off of Ron’s boat, Luke’s TV and stereo were gone, and $100 in cash was stolen from Greg’s Beneteau. He joked that his collection of spices from around the world was worth more than that. But they were all worried about her. Luke urged her to put on some red lipstick… said it would be like the old days of building superstructures and riding the mast. But Miranda found little solace in their good-natured kidding.
“Nothing? What about the guy from the lady’s room?” Miranda demanded to know.
Ron shook his head, looked at her sympathetically. He knew she had it in for the guy. “He checks out, Miranda. His name is Neil Lipman. He spent Thanksgiving with his sister down in Traverse City. His brother-in-law is Joe Ramano, some kinda big shot trial lawyer. He confirmed Lipman’s story. He’s not a suspect.”
“Do they know that for sure, Ron? Couldn’t he have driven up here late at night and ransacked the place? It’s only an hour drive. If he wasn’t hanging around waiting for his chance to rob us, why was her here at all?” Miranda rubbed her temples, put on dark glasses. The daylight was giving her a headache.
“Lipman was with Ramano all weekend. The night of the robbery they were at Tommy’s Gotcha having a couple of beers. Joe is an expert DUI lawyer… sits at the bar and waits for his phone to ring. I’m surprised you don’t know him.” Miranda scowled. “I didn’t mean it like that. Why don’t you get a shower and come down to Greg’s boat. We’ll have some lunch.”
Now that she thought about it, she did know Joe Ramano. She had a drink with him and a cowboy named Vince the night before she left Traverse City. It was the night she first saw the man in the navy blue blazer, the same man she ran into at the airport last week. Not that she cared, but she wondered if he was married… and, how did he find out her name?
She knew Ramono was an honorable man, the perfect alibi. But that still didn’t explain Lipman’s presence on the dock. Miranda wasn’t about to let this rest, but for now she decided to take a long shower, brush her teeth, and put on some clean clothes before lunch. It was nice of Ron to invite her. She wondered what her dockmates were up to…
To be continued…
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.