Carrie looked around to see if anyone was watching her, and when she felt comfortable that no one was looking she hurried over and picked up the handle of her coffee mug and slipped it into her cardigan pocket.
She didn’t know if it was important, but she did know that Detective Johnson would just shrug it off, just like he shrugged her concerns off before. She didn’t want to risk it being thrown away.
Two hours later, the officers were gone and she was left with an empty store. Donovan had gone home before the officers were finished; he needed to decompress.
Carrie sat down with a warm cup of coffee and pulled the mug handle out and gently placed it on the table. She stared at it, willing it to give her answers about what happened.
She didn’t have long to sit and wonder though, as several people began to trickle in. She shoved the handle back in her pocket, and got to work pouring coffee and handing out cookies.
The rest of the day went by without any issues, other than a few nosey people coming in to ask her questions about what happened that morning. Before she knew it, she was getting ready to lock up and head to the elementary school. Donovan had signed her up to help with the Thanksgiving play, forcing her to get more involved with the town. He was under the impression that her staying home every night with her dog, Waffle, was a problem. Carrie didn’t see the issue with it, but she agreed to help with the play anyway.
Carrie pulled up to the school and got out of her truck, pulling her parka tight around her. She rushed through the door of the school auditorium, where she found the students and the other volunteers getting into costume. The play was only three days away, and everyone was starting to panic over final dress rehearsals.
Carrie shook off her coat, placed it on the court rack by the door, and then reported to the costume design section of the auditorium. Her job had been to make the Pilgrim outfits, and she thought she had done a pretty decent job. She had not sewed since high school, but she made it work. Carrie smiled warmly at the volunteer named Beatrice who was staring in her direction.
“I’m sorry Carrie, I didn’t mean to stare,” said Beatrice. “It’s just that no one thought you would be here after the um…incident…in your store this morning.”
“It was certainly awful Beatrice, but to be honest I needed the distraction” confessed Carrie. “I’ve been inside my head all day trying to figure it out and understand what could have happened, but I’m getting nowhere.”
“Perhaps you should just leave it to the police then,” Beatrice mused.
Perhaps, thought Carrie, but maybe I should ask around and see if anyone saw anything the night before.
Play practice was over in about two hours, and Carrie wrapped up to go back outside and home to Waffle. She walked over to her truck, and as she did she got a sudden chill that someone was watching her. She shifted around looking over her shoulder, but no one was there.
If she had looked a couple of seconds sooner, she would have seen the hooded figure disappear into the trees behind the parking lot.