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      “I’ll be there in a minute. My dad wants me for something.” Tina hurried to her father’s table. 

      Outside, Jessie leaned on the ornate rail of the balcony and looked around. She’d stood in this very spot last summer. Only that day it was pouring rain and she was running for her life. Well, detective stuff would have to wait. She was going to learn how to play the piano.

      Directly across the street was her house. Phillip, her little brother, was there today with Mrs. Winter the babysitter. Jessie’s parents had decided Phillip was too young for tea.

      From this height, she could see beyond Fairfield and out to the wheat fields rippling in the breeze like waves on a golden sea. Church steeples dotted the landscape and here and there grain elevators stood tall like country castles.

      Below on the museum grounds, Jessie saw the child, who turned pages for Cami, tossing a red and white beach ball back and forth with a young boy.

      The little girl missed and chased the ball into the street. At the sound of an engine, Jessie turned her head to see a blue car racing up Willow Lane. She waved her arms and shouted, “STOP!” When she turned back, Jessie saw the little girl look up and raise her hand as if she were waving at the driver. “NO!” screamed Jessie. She watched with horror as the car swerved and knocked down the girl. The driver slowed, and then sped away.

      Frozen, Jessie looked at the small form with the mop of yellow curls lying still by the curb. 

Shadows On The Lane

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