#AtoZChallenge April 16, 2018. No Trespassers Allowed
26 posts. 26 days. And 26 letters of the alphabet, one post beginning with each letter, in April.
Follow me as we visit the not-quite-normal retirement village of Twilight, Arizona, where reality clashes with the unexplained.
No Trespassers Allowed
Norm Holloway slammed his hand against a metal fence post. The impact reverberated down the chain link surrounding Twilight Lake.
“Damn trespassers,” he growled, watching the stranger, holding aloft a string of rainbow trout, walk to his SUV.
“There’s not much you can do, Normie,” said his fishing buddy, Pete Blanchard, as he removed his bait and tackle from his truck bed.
“This is our lake, stocked with our fish, for our use.” Norm stared daggers at the SUV as it backed out of its parking spot and spun onto Eagle Way Blvd.
He noted the Arizona plates and license number, FISH4ME. Hmph. The asshole not only trespassed onto a private lake, he boasted about it as well.
“You got a solution?” Pete waited for him while they collected their gear then they set out for their favorite spot.
“Yeah. Lock up the lake, install a full-time guard, and boot ‘em out if they can’t show Twilight Rec Center IDs.” A non-Twilight resident using their lake irritated Norm like a burr under a saddle. He paid close to five hundred bucks a year to be a member. So what if he didn’t belong to more than two of the one hundred clubs? He couldn’t care less about weaving, pinochle, or rumba dancing, but, by God, he hadn’t retired in Arizona to not fish. Damn trespassers ruined everything.
“TRC paid to put a fence around it. Do you want them to pony up for a guard 24/7/365 too? You’re dreaming, buddy.”
Norm cast his line into the calm waters, feeling anything but calm. “I’ll think of a way.”
“Yeah? That and a buck will get you a cup of coffee.”
Norm stewed over the problem. The TRC officers said they’d look into the matter when he’d complained about it at the last exchange meeting, but they’d said the same thing last year. Hell, they restricted their “Twilight Team” officers from asking for ID. How did that solve the issue?
By the time he and Pete had pulled out a half-dozen bass each, he knew what he had to do.
* * *
He’d given the matter of revenge a lot of thought, dismissing classic pranks as too noisy or expensive. That eliminated buying a hundred or more rolls of toilet paper to TP the guy’s lawn; Saran Wrapping his SUV, which would probably be in the garage; filling his yard with plastic pink flamingos; or throwing raw eggs or paint-filled balloons at his house. Norm rejected setting a bag of dog poo on fire on the guy’s front porch only because he didn’t have a dog, and the good citizens of Twilight always picked up after their pets. Which left the clichéd but reliable shaving-cream-message-on-the-garage-door trick.
Casual inquiries at Jimmy’s Grill and Bowling Alley revealed the name of the SUV’s owner. Nothing escaped the notice of a bunch of retirees.
With that information, Norm pecked away at his computer using the limited knowledge his grandson, Alex, had taught him about social media. “The asshole” as Norm dubbed him, was stupid enough to leave a trail of clues about where he lived.
Norm waited until midnight to drive to the site. He left his truck a block away and quietly shut the door. Dressed in black with a can of shaving cream in one hand and another in his pocket, he crept down the sidewalk.
Nothing stirred but the wind in the palm fronds overhead. No lights shone in any of the houses. The crescent moon hadn’t risen yet, making the night blacker than the revenge he’d planned.
I’ll show you what happens to trespassers.
Norm started on the garage door. “Keep away from our lake,” he scribed in exaggerated handwriting. On the front door, he drew a big “X”. On the front window, he planned to write “Fish Thief”, but as he reached up the draw the “F”, he tripped and lost his balance.
He fell into a cactus and screamed like a little girl at the pain.
Light pounded through the porch fixture, illuminating every inch of the lawn.
He scrambled to his feet, the cactus spines digging in deeper.
The front door slammed open, and the asshole barreled out.
“Damn trespasser,” he growled.
He leveled his gun.
Norm held out his hand. “Don’t shoo—”
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Twilight, Arizona now available on Amazon
You have permission to trespass on this deal!
Don’t want to wait until April 30th to read all twenty-six Twilight stories. For a limited time, they are available on Amazon for 99¢. From Arizona Heat to One-Zero-Zero, read and enjoy twenty-six stories set in the strange retirement community of Twilight, Arizona.
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#AtoZChallenge April 17, 2018 Orange Trees
Twilight’s founders’ landscape choice of orange tree variety pays off.
Until then, blessings,