Odds of Dying: Chapter Five

“That should do it,” Mitch said, which was no answer at all as far as I was concerned. He stood up, took the now unhinged door from Tony and carried it out onto the porch.

            “That should do what?” I stalked out after him.

            Tony and Frank followed in my wake. “I’m going to take off now,” Tony said.

            I turned to him. Of the three men standing on my front porch, he was the only one I wanted to stay. He hadn’t been much help with Frank, but he’d hung around when I’d assumed he’d duck out.

            Frank shook his hand, like they were old buddies, and they mumbled good-byes to one another.

“Thanks for coming by.” I tried to give a casual goodbye wave, but forgot I was still holding the butcher knife, and more or less ruined the effect. I didn’t add anything about seeing him again. That was probably too much to hope for.

“Looks like you’ve already found someone to fix your door.” Frank gaveMitch his sincere look and extended his hand. “Hi, I’m Frank Avery.”

            Mitch didn’t move, speak or smile. In fact, for a moment, I thought he’d deliberately wiped all expression from his face. Not that it was easy to tell on a man with a full beard and a baseball cap pulled down to his eyebrows.

            Frank gave a chuckle and dropped his out-stretched hand. “I can see Al’s been talking about me.”

            “Who’s Al?” Mitch asked.

            Frank chuckled again. It was all part of his show and usually a pretty effective icebreaker, but I’d seen it all before. Mitch acted as if he’d seen it, too.

            “Guess I’ll be going.” Frank’s jolly pose seeped out of him like air out of balloon.

            I copied Mitch and didn’t say anything.