By Jan Bowers
Woody decided to put off taking her boat to Cleats for repair and instead, stopped by the grocery store for some chocolate and wine. “Lord knows I need something to calm my nerves,” she muttered to herself.
There she bumped into Crash Caladesi . “Tell me about all the excitement, Crash exclaimed. “I can't believe that you, of all people, are the suspect in Flora’s murder.”
Crash was one of the best sailors in the Windlasses and had been an athlete all of her life. Her best sport, however, was tennis and she was famous for her serve-- she had the power to send that ball over the net at over a 100 mph. That skill helped her become an internationally ranked tennis player in 1985.
Growing up in Snug Harbor, Crash spent most of her time with the elite of the town. The Country Club had everything the child of one of Snug Harbor’s important families could want.
While she was spending time on the club’s private beach, excelling on the club swim team, and perfecting her tennis serve, her parents were attending cocktail parties and making business deals. That is where she also learned to sail. The Country club had the best children’s sailing program in the country and she was one of its stars.
After her wild high school years, she went off to UCLA and received her degree in film. She spent 10 exciting years in the film industry but yearned to return to her hometown of Snug Harbor. Working in Hollywood introduced her to lots of “movers and shakers” and she loved the celebrities. That is one reason she wanted to return home. Her affair with one of Hollywood’s top stars was common knowledge in Snug Harbor.
The rest of the world thought John Barbarino was a happily married family man with a second home in Snug Harbor, but the Windlasses knew better. Of course, they were too polite to talk to outsiders about Crash and John. He was also an important spokesman for his church, the strange and secretive Church of Science Fiction, headquartered in Snug Harbor. She attended many of their Red Carpet affairs, but never as his date. His wife was always his escort.
“Why do they think you had anything to do with Flora’s murder?” asked Crash.
“The police think my new paddle -- you know, the one that is so cute and fits in the boat so well -- is the murder weapon. For heavens sake-- it is not like I am powerful enough to bash someone’s brains in with it. Look at me, I am a 150- oh, okay, 160 pound weakling! And, why would I want to hurt poor Flora, not that she was one of my favorites. You know what I mean, but I wouldn’t want to kill her…Oh, I am so exhausted.” Woody moaned.
Crash asked, “Why don't you let me come home with you and share a glass of wine? I think you need company and someone to help you remember all the details of what happened. You know, someone to help you get your story straight. You might remember some small detail that might help the police find the murderer- I’ll help jog your brain,” she said.
“That would be wonderful, thank you,” Woody said. “I'll meet you at my place in 30 minutes.”
When Crash arrived, Woody was already on her first glass of wine. She let Crash in with a sigh. “ Thank goodness you're here! …Why in the world do you have your tennis racket with you?"