Linda entered Minnie & Frank’s Grocery Store, which shared a bright red-and-white awning with the sheriff’s office next door. The grocery had two large corner windows with dark green shading. She had never understood why each store had some kind of green tinting on its windows. Some stores had deeper tints than others: the grocery store, Hank’s auto shop, and Shirley’s store were more heavily tinted than the other stores along Main Street.
Frank was working the register, while his wife, Minnie, was trying to soothe their crying baby. The playpen was set up in the center of the store—right in the middle of the long aisles of food where customers browsed while having loud conversations. Watching the baby scream and wail at the top of her lungs, Linda couldn’t understand why the playpen hadn’t been placed farther back in the store, where it was much quieter.
Linda walked up to Frank. “Did you receive an invitation to the party at End House?”
While glancing back at Minnie, he answered as if he didn’t want Minnie to say anything, “No—we heard about it, but we aren’t invited.” Minnie added, “We have a baby anyway and it’s hard to go out at night.”
“Of course,” Linda replied. “How silly of me! I should have realized that you wouldn’t be able to go.”
Minnie moved closer. “Be careful…Don’t trust everything that you see.”
Linda couldn’t answer because Frank was monitoring their conversation and casting warning looks at Minnie. She almost ran out of the store. They were strange, and she never did like the sound of their baby’s high-pitched cry.

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