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The Woman Who Sat on a House

by John H. Dromey

About the Author: John H. Dromey was born in northeast Missouri. He enjoys reading—mysteries especially—and writing in a variety of genres. He’s had short fiction published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Crimson Streets, Gumshoe Review, Stupefying Stories Showcase, Woman’s World, and elsewhere.


A cozy breakfast nook in a private residence is an ideal setting for a two-person Kaffeeklatsch. The liquid refreshment is always within a convenient arm’s reach and, unless the participants have an unbridled shouting match, there’s little danger of being overheard by a third party.

In this instance, the homeowner—a woman of a certain age—poured the coffee and then posed a provocative question.

“Maliciously trifling with someone’s affections is something that should not be put up with, wouldn’t you agree, Molly?”

“Yes, of course, but what does that have to do with anything?”

“I’m concerned that the aging Lothario living next door is cruising for a bruising.”

That simple, unexpected declaration raised so many questions in Molly Sullivan’s mature, yet still agile mind that she was temporarily uncertain how to phrase her interrogative response. Was it possible that her friend Barb was begging the question? Making a bold statement with no supporting evidence whatsoever? There was one quick way to find out. Molly opted for the direct approach.

“Why is that?” she asked.

Leaning forward, Barb pulled the cork on her bottled-up concerns and poured out her opinions in a flood of emotional commentaries on life, love, and the like with Parker Trent as the focal point.

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