McLemore property

Ruston, Louisiana

October 13th, 1989

2:25 PM

"Timothy!"

A strawberry blond man in his thirties rushed out to the orchard dressed in overalls and boots. He saw his wife staring out at the trees. The sunlight shined in her golden hair. She never even turned to look at him.

"Do you see that?" she asked.

"See what, hon?"

She pointed out at the apple trees. "There were still apples out there the other day, right?"

He scanned the rows of apple trees. They were definitely barren. "Well, yeah, but they were pretty ripe. I'm sure some birds got to them before we could."

"So why are there none on the ground?"

He dropped his eyes to the leafy earth. She had a point. Okay, so what in the world did that mean?

"Okay, so what does that mean?"

She shrugged. "It's just strange, is all."

He returned to the old farmhouse, whose white paint was chipped in several areas to expose the wood planks. He washed his hands in the mudroom and started to head toward the kitchen when he heard his wife again.

"Timothy!"

He sighed and returned out the back door. "What, Linda?"

Now she stood at the back door and pointed to the barbecue. "What happened to your propane tank?"

"What?" he leapt to where she stood in one stride and examined the section where the propane tank should have been. She was right again. It was gone. "I didn't move it. Where did you put it?"

"Why would I put it anywhere?" she demanded, looking at him with indignance.

"Well, where else would it go?"

"I have no idea!"

He shook his head and stomped back into the house. "We are losing our minds. Let's just eat lunch and think on it, I guess."

"Yeah, you may be right," she came inside after him and closed the door behind her.