The hair on the back of my neck prickles. There is something here, something dangerous.
“Hel you okay?” Pammy asked. My friend’s eyes crinkle with worry. She is worried if I’m having a good time. Even though I tell her I’m okay, Pammy has taken me drinking, knitting, and book clubbing to lift my spirits since Bobby passed. Now she’s taken me to Blood & Rose’, her true crime group. I hate wine but I have an interest in forensics so I came along.
“I’m great. Everything is so delish.” I reassured her. She beamed and I mirrored back her bright smile.

Everything was not delicious. The sliders were ice cold and someone made the potato salad without salt, pepper, or spice of any kind, an act punishable by death or severe wounding in my book. With my fork, I spiked a potato cube and washed it down with a mouthful of Pinot. I did my second favorite thing trying to read faces.
“Where’s Olga? That’s what I want to know. She still has my sheet pan,” The one I think is called Lizzie said with a pout.
“You and your sheet pan. Have your own Pampered Chef party already.” This one’s name I remembered, Dorothea, tonight’s host.
“Nah, Lizzie is right. Olga straight up ghosted us. We were thick as thieves and then pouf. In with the new boyfriend, out with old girlfriends. I hate that shit. No more meetings, no RSVPs, no calls, no texts, no nuthin’.” I have no idea what’s this chick’s name is. I make sympathetic noises around a killer snickerdoodle.
“We have gotten something. Invites to Pampered Chef, and Color Street, and Paparazzi blowing up my DMs. I swear if I get one more direct sales for this child Imma going to wrap up those ugly LulaRoe leggings I bought from her around a brick and throw it at her window. If you can’t be my friend don’t need your pyramid schemes,” Jodi, the potato salad maker, said.
Pammy added, “I just feel sorry I haven’t heard from her in a while. Trust me we don’t rag on members all the time Helen.”
“No I love it. We moved from murder to pants related vandalism. All’s fair at crime club,” I joked. Everyone laughed except Dorothea. She laughed just a second behind everyone else. A delicious shiver ran down my spine. Our eyes met, predator to predator.
I went for another glass of wine. Dorothea followed. She poured herself a whiskey and then poured one for me without asking.
“Pam told me about your husband. I’m so sorry.” Dorothea’s expression was sad but not.
“I appreciate that. Poor Bobby was like a slinky, fun to push down stairs. Sorry about Olga.”
“I’m sorry she tried to sell me Amway.”
We raised our red plastic cups and headed back to the living room.

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