This is my favorite season. The turning of the leaves. Halloween. Scary movies. The color of the world. For about a month it stays this way and then it turns to winter.
Pretty Penny (Part 1)
A light rain fell as the clouds began to part. Thomas loved the smell of dirt and rain. He could just see the glimmering moon as it came over the horizon. From his front porch he could hear two sounds clearly. The first did little to bother him. It was the sound of an owl hooting. The second sound ... well, the second sound sent a cold shiver down his spine.
"There it is again," he told his friend, Billy Larue.
"I heard it!" Billy whispered.
They quickly jumped off the porch and wheeled their bikes out onto the wet asphalt of Madison Street. There they waited.
While darkness slowly engulfed the last bit of day, Thomas could hear the reverberating sound of thunder as the storm moved east, streaks of lightning following it. The shrill, ominous sound pierced the silence once again and the boys jumped.
Billy buried his head in his hoody and pointed down the road toward Lexington Street. In unison the boys pedaled to the corner and stopped. For a full minute neither of them spoke. Thomas was about to open his mouth when they heard the sound again.
"Geez," Billy said, "What is that?"
Even before Thomas could answer they were pedaling again. They headed west toward 10th Street. This time neither of them stopped when they neared the next block. They crossed 9th and kept going. "One more?" they both said at the same time. Nearing 8th, they slowed down. A street light buzzed and flickered on. A glow of halogen slowly lit the street and they suddenly felt exposed. Thomas and Billy coasted under a canopy of maple trees and waited.
"It sounded like a lady." Billy whispered.
"It sounded like a tortured lady," Thomas added.
"It sounded like a tortured lady being tortured." Billy said.
Thomas looked at Billy and leaned in closer, as if he had something very important he wanted to say.
"What?" Billy asked.
"Do you know how stupid that sounded?" They both belted out laughing. Their laughter bounced off the night and seemed to echo down the street going nowhere.
"What's going on?" A voice from behind them made them jump. Billy Larue turned and looked toward the voice.
Molly Carver stood behind them staring at the night. Her long black hair lifted off her shoulders just as a gust of wind came swirling down the street.
"Wow! You look awesome," Billy said, to the eighth grader.
Molly glanced at the boy and then at herself. She frowned. "I'm not even dressed up, you punk."
"Oh," he said, realizing the mistake he made seeing her in her goth like - I'm not Goth - look. "How incredibly stupid of me." He wanted to say. Instead, he muttered, "What are you doing?"
"I've lost Pretty Penny."
"Excuse me?" The two boys said.
"My dog, Pretty Penny. I've lost her."
Just then the night filled with a screech and the three of them looked at one another..
"What is that?" Molly raised her voice.
"I thought it was a woman," Thomas said, "Now I'm not so sure. It almost sounds like an animal."
"Oh please tell me that's not, Pretty Penny." Molly whispered.
"I don't know what it is, but we're trying to find it." Thomas said, "What does your dog look like?"
"Pretty's like this," Molly moved her hands around to form her shape the best that she knew how, "And, so tall. She wears a purple scarf."
"I know that dog," Billy smiled, "It's a pug."
"Pretty Penny," Molly nodded.
"We'll find her." The two boys, said. Together, they rode their bikes to Kensington Ave.