I’ve been trying to reach my mother for over two hours and I keep getting a busy signal.
Her face scrunched up, confused and prune-like for a split second, then she smiled. Her teeth were perfectly straight, but dishwater dull. “Um, yeah. That’s right. I’m Grandma’s best kept secret,” she declared, emphasizing Grandma like a special at the local supermarket. So the havoc-wreaking Melody was family, thought Barney.
MELODY BY ALICE KALTMAN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 26
Barney J Mackenzie stopped singing when the phone rang. He snapped off the transistor radio midway through Moonlight in Vermont, cleared his throat and picked up the receiver.
“Casa Tortuga Security. This is Barney.” His voice reverb-rumbled deep in his gut. Maybe he was getting the hang of this security business after all.
“This is Pauline Berger, Mrs Berger’s daughter?”
Mrs Berger was a tiny old gal, close to ninety years old, who walked the manicured paths of Casa Tortuga daily, spindly and lop-sided, skittering like a cricket with a bum leg. She was one of the few residents Barney had met face to face in his…