A sneak preview of Catalogued for Catastrophe

“I think it’s a mistake to dig up your yard, Phee,” Juliet said, sipping her cup of herbal tea.

“Nonsense,” I replied. “It’s not every day my baby sister gets married. By the time I’m done with this yard, it will be the ideal spot for your wedding.”

Despite Juliet’s protests, I knew she was happy I had agreed to host her wedding in my backyard. Her original plan to hold the wedding at the lake had been thrown out the window when an ugly red algae bloom had taken over the lake and the odor that emanated from the water could bring a grown man to his knees.

The two men I’d hired to tear down the old garden shed in the backyard had loaded the last scraps of wood into the back of their beat-up Chevy pickup. The elder Mr. Gant stuck plugs into his ears and started the jackhammer.

“If the neighbors weren’t already awake, they will be now with that thing running,” I said.

“You want to go running? Since when have you ever wanted to run?”

I raised my voice so she could hear me over the racket. “I said…oh, never mind.”

The jackhammer made quick work of the cement pad. The younger Mr. Gant wheeled load after load of cement rubble to the construction dumpster. When he bent over to pick up a large chunk of cement, he dropped to his knees.

“What’s he doing?” Juliet asked. She stood up and walked off the porch into the yard to get a closer look.
I followed her down the steps and walked across the yard to speak to the men.

“Phee, I don’t think you should come over here,” the elder Mr. Gant said. His wrinkled, sunburned face had a grayish cast.

“Why? What’s wrong?” I asked. I tried to move closer, but he held up his hand to stop me.

“It’s a skull, Phee. We found a human skull.”


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