Gary and Beez meeting at Walton’s Drugstore became routine. Beez often gave advice to Gary, but always cautioned mom and dad are the best place to go for advice.
Then it happened one day.
Beez left the drugstore and drove off. A few moments later Gary left and walked toward his home. It was near dark. He ventured the short-cut through the park. The trees were full of leaves and hung low like demon hands ready to grasp someone off to the Forbidden. The lights that lighted the pathway through the park had not yet come on.
Gary sighted a shadowy figure huddled among the shrubs a short distance from the pathway. His heart pounded. He walked faster. He looked over his shoulder. It was Old Black Maggie. He stumbled on a loosened brick from the pathway and staggered forward.
“Hey, you,” Old Black Maggie said in a haggish voice, “I want to see you. I’m watching you. Danger is near. Danger is near.”
Gary ran straight and true. He reached the street that split through the park and ran across without looking. “Beep, beep” a horn and two lights. Gary held out his hand like a halfback avoiding a tackle and pushed himself away from the car.
“Gary! It’s me, Beez!”
Without a word Gary hopped in the car. “Go! Go! Old Black Maggie is right behind me.”
Beez sped away.
“She was waiting for me in the park,” Gary said nearly out of breath.
Beez looked through his side mirror and adjusted it.
“Are you sure it was her?” Beez said.
“Absolutely,” Gary said. “And this is strange, I thought I could smell her.”
“We can’t let her know where you live,” Beez said. “I’m going to drive a few blocks out of the way and leave you near your home. I don’t even know where you live.”
“315 Dewey,” Gary said. “It’s next to an alley.”
“I’ll let you off in the alley,” Beez said. “Can I see your back door from the cross alley?”
“Yes,” Gary said.
“I’ll let you out and wait till I’m sure you’re safe inside,” Beez said.
“I think I should tell you something,” Beez said. “I know much about Old Black Maggie. She has a nephew on the police department. He tells her everything. That’s why she gets away with so much. Her nephew warns her and before that it was her brother that warned her. They come from a strange family. They can’t be trusted.”
“Have you had dealings with them in the past,” Gary said.
“Yes,” Beez said. “Many years ago.”
“What was it?” Gary said.
“Perhaps another time,” Beez said. “Let’s get you home.”
Beez drove down the alley and Gary got out.
“Thanks again,” Gary said.
“Now you get home,” Beez said. “I’ll be watching.”
Gary ran to the back door of his home and waved at Beez as he stepped inside.