“Mrs. Curtis, you’ve been very helpful. Can you tell me if you saw anything else suspicious next door the last week or so?” I frown at how I worded that, but it can’t be helped. I don’t think Mrs. Curtis will notice, anyway. Besides being batty, she’s draining her glass of lemonade until there’s nothing left. She looks at it wistfully before setting it down on the tray. I can tell she wants to pour another glass, but she won’t in front of me.
“I’ve seen girls go in and out at all hours of the day,” Mrs. Curtis says, primming up her mouth; I don’t think it’s from the lemonade. “Sluts, all of them.”
“Do you remember a week ago Friday? The day before Moira and Max’s party? Did you see anything unusual then?” I don’t know why I’m even asking. If this woman talks to fairies, how is she supposed to remember mundane events like a party next door? She surprises me, however, with a factual answer.
“During the day, a girl came to the house. She looked very upset. She was crying when she left.” Mrs. Curtis looks at me triumphantly, proud that she is able to remember this tidbit.
“What did she look like, Mrs. Curtis?” I am patient, digging for information I’m not even sure will be of any use.
“White, young, raggedy,” Mrs. Curtis shrugs. “Thin and really upset.” It could be any of Moira’s students, but I would bet it was Annie. That put her at the scene of the crime a day before it happened. I am liking her more and more.
“Thank you, Mrs. Curtis.” I shut my notebook and beam at Mrs. Curtis. She may be talking to the fairies, but she also knows what’s going on. I start standing up in preparation of leaving.
“Wait, don’t you want to know about the other girl?” Mrs. Curtis reaches out and grabs my wrist. She has a surprisingly strong grip for someone her age and size. “The dark one who was angry when she went over that very same day?” Mrs. Curtis smiles like a cat, pleased to hold back this bit of information until I am about to leave.
“What, when, huh?” I ask inelegantly. Finding out about Annie was more than I had hoped for. I am lost as to what she is trying to say.
“A dark girl, Arabian or something like that with long black hair and flashing brown eyes. She had a pierced nose. She slammed her car door so hard, it shook.” Mrs. Curtis tells these details with relish. I slowly sink back into the couch as what she says hits me.