The Hidden Door
A Sophia Anderson Mystery
By Michele Makinson
The blue sky turned dark, heavy rain came pouring down on my windows; I decided to close up my antique shop early before I heard the bell tinkle over my front door. I looked up and saw a drenched skinny woman, dressed in black dripping water all over my hardwood floors and carrying a music case.
“May I help you?” I asked the stranger as I walked past her closing the shop door from the wind and rain.
“Perhaps, I’m looking for a woman named Sophia Anderson. I was told she owns this shop, do you know her?” The skinny woman asked as she shook water off of her long coat.
“Why, that’s me,” I said looking puzzled.
“Good, I don’t have time to explain. I offered to bring tis violin to you from your grandfather. You will understand when you open it. I really must go!” She said as she walked up to my counter and placed the violin case on it. She then turned and ran out of my shop into the torrential rain.
“Wait! I don’t know your name!” I called out after her as I chased her into outside. I was instantly drenched and my hair was flying into my face. I fought the wind and caught up with her. “What’s your name?” I shouted again.
She turned around and said, “Rachael McFarland,” then turned the corner and disappeared. I almost ran into someone running back to my shop. I turned to see who it was, it wasn’t anyone I recognized, but he was going in the same direction as Rachael. I didn’t think much of it at the time because that was the way to the ferry and I just wanted to get back to my shop and dry off. I pushed the door shut against the rain and wind. Then went over to the counter grabbed a towel and dried my hair as I was reaching out for the violin. I opened the case up it was a pretty violin but didn’t look like anything special. I closed the lid, I needed to get home and I would look it over closer there. Kanani was waiting for me. She’s my pretty red and black German Shepherd. She usually comes to work with me but I left her home today.
I locked up my shop and slipped out the back door after putting on my raincoat. I walked through the alley and made a dash for my car parked in the lot at the end of the road. I was shivering by the time I got there; I got in and turned up the heat. I looked at my watch, it was too early to call John, my husband; he was in Hawaii and Washington State was 3 hours ahead in time. I decided to call him later.
RING, RING, I grabbed my cell phone out of my purse.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hi Sophie, it’s me, Susan. Do you want some company tonight? With the guys in Hawaii I thought I could grab a pizza, salad and some wine then bring them over and spend the evening with you and Kanani.”
“That’s a great idea, Susan!” I’m hungry, wet and cold. I’m on my way home now; I’ll see you there. I can’t wait for you to come over so I can tell you about my strange encounter this afternoon.”
“A strange encounter? You have my curiosity intrigued. I can’t wait to hear what happened, see you soon.” Susan said hanging up the phone.
I started driving but had a weird feeling about this violin. If it had not been raining so hard, I would have noticed a car following me.
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