Alyson jumped over the wall. But I knew better.
Carefully, I unlatched the lock at the nearby gate.
“Decidedly easier,” I mumbled to myself. Even though Alyson was lying on the ground moaning, I kept walking. Frankly, my best friend was a bit of an actress, and I’d learned over the years to ignore her drama.
Gathering courage, I set my shoulders back and forged ahead.
“Hey,” Alyson shouted, “wait up!”
Inordinately patient, I sighed and stopped. Just between you and me, I was in much better shape than Alyson. Kept myself limber with running, yoga, and lots of vegetables. Luckily, good genes were on my side too. Much to Alyson’s displeasure, as she aged, she took after her father’s sister, who suffered from gout and arthritic knees. Neither Alyson nor I discussed the difference in our physicality, of course.
“Open the front door!” Alyson shouted to me now as we approached the entrance to the massive mansion.
“Please, you first,” I answered politely, “since it’s your ex-husband’s house.”
Queenly, she didn’t bolt.
Right now, I wanted to.
Standing firmly and using both hands, Alyson pushed the huge brass knob, and the door opened with a creak. Then, she pushed me through the entryway.
Until then, I had always thought that Alyson was a timid woman, even though she married a criminal.
“Very funny!” I yelled at her.
Whispering, she begged, “shhhh, not so loud!”
Xenial host would never characterize Alyson’s hard-edged heartless former husband, so the eerie music that suddenly began to fill every corner of the colossal chateau put me on edge.
“Your creepy ex is playing us again…” I began.
Zounds!” was all I heard from Alyson when the front door slammed shut firmly behind us.