The town of Oasis was becoming dangerous at night for the residents. Dark shadows were stalking the young people. Linda and her friend, Shana, had to find out what was happening to their town before more of their friends disappeared.
“The only one remaining is Shirley. At least she likes to talk and gossip about everyone,” said Linda.
“We still don’t know if this is the real Shirley, or just a good cover.” Shana looked over her shoulder and made one of her creepy faces.
“You’re beginning to sound like one of my mystery books. Now I won’t have to read them because we are faced with a mystery of our own.” Linda signed before opening the door to Shirley’s store.
“I’m just becoming more cynical and paranoid,” replied Shana.
Shirley looked genuinely happy to see them: jumping up, directing them to sit at her couch. Her office was homey-looking and she always acted very grandmotherly to them.
“I’m so happy to see you girls. I hardly ever get visitors.” Shirley was looking nervous for some reason.
“Are you attending Diane’s party? I hope it turns out better than that dreadful party at End House,” asked Linda.
“We weren’t invited to this party, but we really wanted to be at one of Diane’s famous events,” added Shana.
“All of Diane’s parties turn out so nice. Both of you can come as my guests. We dress up, eat, and dance. What could be bad about that?”
“We’d love to join you,” Shana said and then politely asked, “Should we pick you up on the way?”
“You can pick me up at 8:45 at my store,” answered Shirley very sweetly. Maybe too sweetly. She seemed very eager to have them as her guests—almost as if she had thought about this before and had something planned for them. Now I’m the one being paranoid: Shirley has never done anything to make us doubt her innocence before.
“We’ll see you tomorrow night,” said Linda before leaving the store.