“Stephanie, I need your help!” My mother’s voice was a little panicky.
It was a measure of her distress that she didn’t even say hello or ask after ‘Joseph’ as she insisted on calling him, when I answered the phone, she'd just jumped right into conversation.
“What’s wrong Mom?”
“Your grandmother's disappeared.”
“Again? Maybe she’s gone to Atlantic City like she did a couple of months ago.”
“No, she hasn't been gone that long. She left the Clip and Curl over half an hour ago and she’s not home yet.” She stopped to draw breath, then continued, “find her. It’s what you do for a living. Or so you keep telling us.”
What could I do? I had to say yes, my mom was close to tears. “Okay Mom. I’ll try to find her.” I sighed, this really was the last thing I needed today. “Don’t worry Mom.”
I stood next to the kitchen counter watching Rex sleep in his can, his little butt sticking out, while I thought about where I should start looking for grandma. Deciding that I needed to start at the beauty salon, I picked up my purse and made my way to the door.
I didn’t even get to the front door before my phone rang again. This time it was my cell.
“Hey Girlfriend.” Lula’s voice came through loud and clear, so loud in fact that I had to hold the phone a few inches away from my ear. “You lost a grandma?”
“Yeah, you know where she is?”
“I know where she was, and if you get your skinny white ass down to the Cluck in the Bucket, pretty damn quick, she might still be there.”
“So she stopped for lunch, that’s okay then, I’ll tell my mom that she’s not missing and she’ll be home soon.”
“Un uh. She ain’t comin’ home any time soon. She was pretty angry when I left.”
“Well, angry is also okay, just as long as she left her gun at home.”
“Yeh well she hadn’t. She’d ordered a bucket of wings and a shake and the ice cream machine wasn’t working so she got really pissed. I guess she really wanted that shake ’cause she pulled out that .45 of hers and told the crew behind the counter to ‘freeze! Or the fried chicken gets it!’
“She had that cannon of hers pointing straight at the fryer, well I couldn’t have that. My chicken was in that fryer and I needed to eat. Us supermodels need our meat.
“I jumped on her and the gun went flyin’. Bit of bad luck that it landed right in the hot oil. It started to bubble like some witch’s cauldron. They told us all to get out quick. Well, I did, I hustled back to the office, ’cause I reckoned grandma was going to need Vinnie’s professional services pretty soon.”
“Quick thinking. Thanks Lula. I guess I better phone Joe and see what he can do.”
I disconnected and dialed Joe’s phone. Yet another favor I would owe him...