By Ida Mitchell
(From Lorraine Bartlett's A CRAFTY KILLING)
Hello! My name is Ida. What's yours?
No, don't bother to tell me. I have a terrible memory when it comes to names. And faces. And things like birthdays. And sometimes I forget to take my pills. But what does it really matter in the long run?
Except when it comes to Artisans Alley.
I've been a vendor there since day one. Mr. Hilton and I had an understanding. And then one day he was dead. This young woman, Katie Bonnie, showed up and took over and . . . she's making my life a living heck!
I make lace. Lovely lace. It's very time consuming. I don't have a lot of time to devote to making my lace because I'm so busy at Artisans Alley. I take care of the tag room. It's an extremely important job. When someone makes a purchase, the cashiers take the tags off of the merchandise and put them in a coffee cup. I collect the tags and place them on numbered squares of paper. I put them in very neat rows, and I like to put the tape on the tags in a certain way so that the vendors can flip through their tags easily.
When I'm not at Artisans Alley, I spend my time cutting up 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper into quarters and then carefully numbering them. Then I put a rubber band around each set of ten so that I can set them out on my table. It's very exactling work, so you can see why I have so little time to make lace.
But now this Bonner woman insists I pay my rent. How can I do that when so much of my time is taken up with making and numbering and sorting the squares of paper I need to do my job as tag room manager at Artisans Alley?
You'd think she'd understand my predicament, but now she says if I don't pay on a weekly basis (can you believe she actually expected me to pay for several year's worth of rent?) I have to leave. Me! The one who has been keeping that place together for all these years with my cutting and numbering and sorting and rubber banding.
She's a bitch.
What would you do in my place?
Lorraine Bartlet writes The Victoria Square Mysteries. The first book in the series, A CRAFTY KILLING, is currently available. For more information on the series and Lorraine's other writing, check out her website: LorraineBartlett.com. Lorraine also has a personal blog, and blogs on Saturday's with the Cozy Chicks.