What's going on now? her mother asked. Her mother was sitting at
the tiny desk in the motel room while Beth did the spying. He needs to guard his
wares, Beth told her. Her mother shook her head just as Miss Dazzle had done.
They heard the engine churn over. Beth looked out again. I guess he's leaving.
The red brake lights of Harry's truck lit up Miss Dazzle's face. For goodness
sake, Miss Dazzle was saying, don't be silly, park here overnight, Harry. She
was aflame from the red brake lights shining on her. Magician's scarves appeared
to fly out of her hands. Her sweeping gestures left a neon trail of red in the
sky. You can help guard the motel, Miss Dazzle told him. The engine switched
off. Is this place dangerous? Beth asked her mother. Her mother laughed. Why
does Harry need to guard us? Charlie said, She's just trying to make him feel
good. Her mother laughed again. Beth turned back to the window and saw Miss
Dazzle disappear into the office. She heard the screen door bounce shut. The
phonograph came on. The music was turned low but it was that song again and Beth
heard a big whoop that belonged to Miss Dazzle's voice. Why do you hate that
song? Beth asked her mother. What song? her mother said. I don't hate any song.
Beth jumped down on her soft mattress. It felt so unusual to sleep in a bed
again, as if her adventure had lasted months rather than a few days. She
wondered where the wild tabby went during the night.
From Lucky Strike by Nancy Zafris, pages 26-37 of the hardcover edition. Copyright Nancy Zafris 2005. All rights reserved. No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Unbridled Books.
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