Adelaide Upset

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Book: Adelaide Upset by Penny Greenhorn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Penny Greenhorn
Tags: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, supernatural, teen, Ghost, demon, psychic, empath
forty-five minute drive inland. According to the
internet they owned a great deal of property. It stretched all
along the eastern coast. I knew the moment I’d driven onto it
because the trees became a uniform blanket, the pines mapped out in
a grid of tidy rows.
    Situated some distance
away from the mill itself, the festivities took place under a large
pavilion. The picnic was going full swing by the time I arrived. As
I parked inside the gravel lot I could smell burning charcoal and
grilled hot dogs.
    I was singled out by the
PR lady even before I reached the crowd. “You made it!” she said,
striding over as if we were the best of friends. Her hair was
pulled back in a loose ponytail, relaxed to match her flowing
blouse and Capris. “I’m sorry, but I never caught your name
before.”
    “ Adelaide, Adelaide
Graves.” The second I said it I wanted to unsay it. I had meant to
take on a secret identity for safety’s sake. Oops, too late
now.
    “ I’m Samantha Phelps, but
everyone calls me Sam.”
    “ Everyone calls me Laide,”
I blurted, trying to fix my mistake.
    “ Laide? Oh, I would have
guessed Adele.”
    I contained my wince.
Admitting, “That would have been better.”
    “ Uh, are you going to
plant a tree?” she asked tactfully, changing the subject as she
waved toward the tract of land behind her. The freshly turned soil
was rich and dark. Evenly spaced stakes protruded from little
mounds of earth, each tied off with an orange ribbon. Children were
racing around, kicking up dirt as they hurried to pull out each
marker and drop a seed down in its place.
    “ Actually,” I said,
avoiding the question. “I was hoping for an interview.” I had
thought about my approach on the car ride over, and while the
journalist thing hadn’t worked for Raina Thompson, it worked on TV.
Good enough for me, plus Sam was a lot less suspicious than Reed
Wallace. “I write for the local newspaper and I wanted to do a
small piece on SL&S.”
    “ I had no idea!” Sam
gushed, excited by the news. “Which paper do you write
for?”
    There was more than
one? “I do freelance work, so I write
for them all,” I lied.
    “ Wonderful!” she said,
twining her freckled arm through mine. “For years I’ve been trying
to get a good word out, and here you’ve fallen into my
lap!”
    She ate up my story,
swallowing it whole, not even a whiff of doubt. Jeez some people
were stupid. I mean, if there was one lesson I’d learned, it was
that things too good to be true usually weren’t. But she was an
optimist, always looking on the bright side and expecting the best.
Being so close to her upbeat attitude was driving me mad. You might
think it would be nice to feel that way, to temporarily be one of
those people, the kind that wakes up with a smile on their face,
but think again. The feeling only lasts so long, and once it’s gone
the lack of it can be a bit baffling, leaving one to acutely feel
their own shortcoming.
    Sam gave my arm a gentle tug, pulling me
along toward the food tables. “Have you thought of an angle for
your piece?”
    Since she’d already
assumed that whatever I wrote it would be flattering to the
company, I was tempted to tell her my article would be titled “Our
Murdered Earth.” But I continued with my lies, delivering the
conversation right where I wanted it. “Geared more for locals than
tourists, it’ll be a verbal vignette, a glimpse into the life of a
logger. Lumberjacks have always had a starring role in Americana.
Men admire their masculinity while women are attracted to their
strength, but that’s the glory of the job. I want to capture the
grit of it, a real slice of a day in the life of a logger. It’d be
best if I interviewed someone who’s been working at SL&S for
years.” I hadn’t meant to pontificate, but Sam’s beaming approval
and friendly regard had egged me into elaborating.
    “What a clever idea, I love it! You look so
young, but you must have a lot of experience because I

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