There Goes the Neighborhood Chap. 2 A Wolf in Tweed Clothing

A white-colored house in a white-flowered garden perched at the top of a hill. With its grecian columns and reserved mullioned windows, the palatial estate was much more of a fortress than it ever was a home. In the white-colored house behind one of its mullioned windows overlooking the long steep driveway, a woman stood. Elegant in equestrian tweeds, Tilda Grimwolff Shaw watched as the police car pulled up. Sherriff Tank Adolphus was clever but easily handled. As a fellow wolf shifter he subconsciously followed the sway of her alpha dominance. The Federal Bureau of Supernatural Investigation agent was a wildcard. Sheriff Adolphus opened the car door for the young woman. The young agent was clad in a plain black pant suit, gray Oxford button up, and dark sunglasses. Tilda visibly relaxed at first sniff. The agent smelled stupid. Tilda’s canines flashed as she smiled. She would give the pair the typical lady of the manor act and send them on their way.

“Letty, our guests have arrived. Prepare coffee and refreshments,” Tilda barked. From the formal parlor the submissive servant yelped and hurried to the door.

Clad in oxblood velvet wallpaper, antique hunting gear, and heavy drapery, this parlor was designed for hostility more than hospitality. Sheriff Adolphus introduced Agent Tess Morganna. He glanced at the hearth painting of hounds disembowelling a fox while red coated men lounged in the background and looked away. A series of poisoned pen letters had been plaguing their fair town of Zeus. Over several months a flurry of vitriolic typed letters had blanketed the town.

Secrets were revealed, accusations hurled, followed closely by physical altercations and random vandalism. Tilda had been the first person to receive a letter, a nasty missive accusing her of misappropriation of the Ladies’ Flower Fair funds. Tilda scented the air. Sheriff Adolphus was growing steadily uncomfortable and agent was muted somehow. Clattering the bone china, Letty bought in a coffee set and a tray of almond cookies. Tilda growled and her housekeeper scurried to the kitchen.

“Insufferable creature. Now Tank I’ve heard about this business down at the band stand. I’m so glad you’ve brought in the experts. No offense of course Sheriff a burning effigy is a little more serious than old Mrs. Calico stuck up a tree,” Tilda said. She gave a ghastly smile masquerading for a friendly one.

Greatly offended, the policeman said, “None taken. Bitzy is in a coma from falling from that tree after receiving those vicious etters. I am taking this investigation very seriously. Tess and I have been reviewing all of the poison pen letters. We are also working with the Fed’s CSI Supernatural techs and we are making progress.”

With a distracted expression, Agent Morganna was examining her half drunk coffee cup.

“I love your garden so many plants and stuff,” Agent Morganna said.

The agent offered the perturbed police a cookie and a cup of coffee. Tilda could smell the faint clementine of the little witch’s magic.

How cute she’s soothing the big bad wolf. This is like on of those dreadful romances Letty reads in the pantry, Tilda thought. The citrus smell intensified and the agent’s looks went from dim to brilliant. Tess Morganna examined Tilda.

“Actually Ms. Grimwolff Shaw the progress we are making says there are two sets of letter. The second set of letters are a treasure trove of evidence. Many authors many motives. But the first set that went to you, Mrs. Calico, Mayor Kodiak, and the Robinsons are free of fingerprints, trace DNA, and psychic signatures. These are the work of one person with one purpose hidden in the middle of red herrrings. Even the smell of the anonymous letter paper was masked by being stored in coffee beans. Fine coffee I should say by the aroma. The second set were passionate and haphazard. The first set of poison pen letters are precise from someone with a deep knowledge of preternatural investigation. Someone with a lot to protect such as money or position. Someone creative, cruel, and, disciplined say someone who designed an award-winning Sissington white garden,” Agent Morganna said.

The sheriff choked on his coffee.

“Surely you’re joking. Why would I write silly letters?” said Tilda.

“Maybe because

you and Bitzy Calico both came from Marlowe. Maybe that story I heard about your husband disappearing with his secretary and half your money are the part truths and Bitzy knows something you can’t afford to let get out,” Sheriff Adolphus said. “Maybe we should finish this conversation back at the station.”

Tilda could sense the agent’s power. The woman had masked her brains and give the policeman confidence to piece things together. If only Bitzy had kept her end of the bargain.

“You know Mrs. Calico used to be a secretary back in Marlowe. We’ve looked at her as a victim but what if she had once be an accomplish,” said Tess.

Tilda snarled, “Witch!”

Tilda’s hands shifted to wolf claws and she leapt over the coffee table. Instantly the sheriff flashed wolf and slammed the older shifter across the room into the pianoforte.

Tess twitched her nose. Before she could jump up, Tilda was hogtied in a neon rope of energy. While Tank called for a reinforced wagon, Tess ate the rest of the cookies. When the wagon rolled away, Tank turned.

“So this is over,” Tank said.

“No, dog, this is only the first round.”

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