Laura sat on a front porch step and checked her messages. Toni should have returned by now. It was near mid-afternoon, and her dune buggy had no roof. She’d be sunburnt by now.
An ear-splitting scream from behind their summer rental brought Laura to her feet. She ran toward the sound, checked the area behind their cottage and saw the buggy. The motor was running, and her friend’s helmet was on the seat.
“Tony? Tony! Are you okay? Where are you?”
She looked beyond the tufts of grass poking through heaps of sand. The double doors on the shack they used for a makeshift garage and storage shed yawned wide from the boredom of inactivity.
TONY!” She shouted.
An ocean breeze fluttered tee shirts and cutoffs on a clothesline. A few clothes flapped in an offshore breeze. She noticed blotch of seagull poop on her favorite white shirt.
The frightened woman turned toward the back porch. A wide rust-colored smear under the handle on the screen door caught her attention. She froze in place and thought. “Oh my god, NO!”
The next scream was directly into her ear and nearly shattered her ear drum. Her entire body stiffened in shock and she fell to the ground. Unconscious. Her long red hair draped across her face, with her smartphone clutched in a pale hand.
[Okay, dear reader. What happens next?]