My eyes shot open. Where was I? The room didn’t look the least bit familiar. I started to get out of bed and noticed I had a companion. I stared. She didn’t look like my wife, Rhonda. Then it struck me. Rhonda had died of cancer. Who was this woman with silver hair snoozing away next to me? Had I become an octogenarian gigolo, playing around? Then I noticed a ring on my left hand. Had I got hitched again? Was I a recycled husband? I slapped the side of my head. The errant brain cells didn’t align any better than before.
“I hate to be impolite,” I said to the woman, “but who are you.”
She opened her eyes and honored me with such a fetching smile that my old ticker sped up lickety-split. “I’m your wife, Marion.”
Hot damn. This babe in her seventies had hitched up with me.
“If you read your journal, you’ll find out what you’ve been up to recently.” She pointed to a spiral notebook on the night stand.
I took her advice and read through a bunch of notes in my handwriting. It described what I had been doing over the last few days. I gulped after reading one sentence. “There’s mention of a murder.”
Marion graced me with a frown this time. “Yes. You have a propensity to find dead bodies.”
“I think I prefer the live one next to me in bed.” I waggled my eyebrows in my best Groucho Marx imitation.
Her smile returned. “To put things in perspective, you almost always wake up without being able to remember recent events, Paul.”
I regarded Marion. “You said almost always.”
“There’s one circumstance when you do remember from the day before.” She gave me a Cheshire cat smile this time.
“Don’t keep me in the dark. When does that happen?”
She patted my arm. “It will be a little surprise for you.”
“I like good surprises.”
She waggled her eyebrows at me. “Oh, it’s a good surprise. Now why don’t you call your granddaughter, Jennifer, on my cell phone?”
“I remember her being six years old,” I said.
“You mean my memory has been in the sewer for that long?”
“Yes.” She handed me a tiny electronic gadget.
I regarded the object as if it were a live grenade. “What do I do with this?”
“Don’t be difficult. It’s a cell phone. Here. I’ve set it up for you. Push the green button and you can talk with Jennifer.”
“I don’t know what this world is coming to.”
I did as instructed, and my granddaughter answered. “Hello, Grandpa.”
“Hello to you too. Marion gave me this doodad so I could call you.”
“Find any dead bodies lately?” Jennifer asked.
I almost dropped the doohickey as if it were a hot potato. “What do you mean by that? I just read something in my journal about a dead body.”
“You’re always coming across murder victims, Grandpa. It’s one of your interesting traits.”
“That’s all news to me. For a retired auto parts supply store owner, why would I be finding dead bodies?”
“You’re just lucky, I guess. I’ll be happy to help you solve the murder. There’s probably a detective who will be questioning you.”
Needless to say, my day when downhill from there.
Meet the author
In the May, 2008, issue of the AARP Bulletin Mike Befeler was identified as one of four authors in a new emerging mystery sub-genre. Harlan Coben, president of Mystery Writers of America stated, “We’ve just scratched the surface on geezer-lit. It could be the next frontier in crime fiction.” Mike turned his attention to fiction writing after a career in high technology marketing. His debut novel, Retirement Homes Are Murder, was published January, 2007. The second novel in his Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series, Living With Your Kids Is Murder, appeared April, 2009, and was a finalist for the Lefty Award for the best humorous mystery of 2009. Senior Moments Are Murder is the third book in the series and was published in August, 2011. Book four in the series, CRUISING IN YOUR EIGHTIES IS MURDER, was released December 19, 2012. Mike is active in organizations promoting a positive image of aging and is vice-president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. He holds a Master’s degree from UCLA and a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford.
Visit Mike at www.mikebefeler.com
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.