The Association

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-10-01
  • Publisher: Textstream
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The security of Sam Bell's gated community is jeopardized when a neighbor dies under bizarre circumstances. Then there is a grotesque discovery in the root cellar of an abandoned abbey located within the community. What changed the quiet streets of the Glenn Abbey Home Owners Association to a place of fear? Could it have something to do with the escalation battle over rule enforcement and civil liberties that began as a small disagreement between Sam and the association and became a tangle of deception? Or could a chilling secret from association board member Patty Lippet's past explain the change and her hatred of Sam and friends on Carousel Circle? What did anyone know about her reality, and why was she trying to silence them? As the truth emerges, association rules collide with residents in a freedom versus security dispute. Sam, his wife Alba, and their friends on Carousel Circle decide to fight the association over this issue. Once this decision is made, their lives zigzag from uproarious protest demonstrations to media involvement, hair-raising escapes, murder, and a make or break trial. Even though Alba knows the odds of defeating the powerful association are against them, Sam's feisty attorney wife agrees to represent Sam and friends in the pending trial. Meanwhile, Patty Lippet lurks in the boardroom and streets of Glenn Abbey and decisions are made which lead to danger for Sam and his neighbors and ultimately places their lives in the balance.


     Three days after the play Patty decided to finish her skullduggery.  Once again she went slinking over the back wall to Tandy's bedroom door.  It was midnight and everything on Carousel Circle had been absolutely quiet since ten o’clock.  She had armed herself by dressing in a black jumpsuit and wearing gloves and padded socks.  Once she was standing within a foot of the French door she quietly unzipped the overlarge fanny pack which was strapped around her waist.  She reached inside and carefully removed an oval shaped plastic container.  She hesitated before taking off the lid.  This part of her plan made her feel queasy, but she clenched her teeth, locked her lips, and proceeded to slowly lift the cover.  She crouched down and released her tiny captives as close to the holes she had previously drilled as was possible.      If Sandburg's fog approached on little cat feet, Lippet's multitudinous spiders spilled out like a spindrift.  When they touched the ground they began threading their way noiselessly, soundproofed by nature, impatient, running in all directions.  Patty had anticipated this and with a gloved hand she scooped them back into corkscrew lines.  Immediately they bulged again forming a scattering hodgepodge of whites and blacks and browns. Patty scooped them back, forcing them to enter the holed tunnels into Tandy's bedroom.      In they crept.  As soon as they entered the inside environment they scurried this way and that, climbing and descending over furniture and walls, and resting in the shadows, their presence unknown and unseen by the sleeping figure in their midst.      Patty escaped within minutes, unnoticed and with ease.  She had a congratulatory drink at home and then fell into a deep and peaceful sleep.      Tandy slept peacefully too.  She had no reason to wake or be troubled in her dreams.  No intuition roused her.  No coincidental natural need or happening brought her to consciousness so that she might discover the nocturnal invasion that was taking place in her personal sleeping space.  No angel brushed her eyelashes, caused her to itch, pulled her hair, made a vase fall, or conjured up a thunderstorm.  Tandy slept on and as she did, hordes of arachnids -- wolf spiders, spider crabs, jumping spiders, and spider mites -- made their way softly to the ceiling above her bed.  They dropped onto the bed.  They crawled over and under the bedsheets.  They inched their way under her nightgown, along her spine, and into her hair.  They faltered, and then moved again.  Tandy slept on.  She had no reason to wake-up and she didn't.      Sam found her four days later, covered in silver, luminous webs, barely recognizable in a cocoon of death spun from head to foot with wispy threads.  The sight was unbearable and Sam turned away in shocked horror, his body erupting into violent seizures, his mind recoiling in disbelief.      She never saw it coming the coroner told them.  Multiple and simultaneous bites had paralyzed her instantly he told them.  Tandy Jewell never had a chance.      Tandy's funeral was held in the courtyard of the abbey chapel.  Bishop Boyd's euphonious voice reached out to her family and friends as he delivered a moving and heartfelt eulogy to his dear friend.  Candles had been set out all over the courtyard and their flames burned steady and bright on this night.      Sam thought that the moonlight smelled like vanilla and he mentioned this to Alba.  She did not point out to him that it was the candles that he smelled. Sam had not been himself since finding Tandy.  He often said odd things these days.  Much of his conversation made no sense.  He stared into space for hours at a time.  And his headaches were back.  Quiet tears ran down Alba's face -- for Tandy, for Tandy's family, and for her dear Sam.  She wondered if Sam would ever be the same again.        The rift that had begun the previous October with the advent of a tree house, a naked statue, and carnivorous plants shifted into an open and vocal divide with Carousel Circle's supporters on one side of the street and supporters of the association's status quuo on the other.      Nonprotesters in the vicinity viewed the crush of people as an overwhelming obstacle and were alarmed.  Several of them called the police and then hunched back into the doorways of shops.      The protest talk got louder and louder as association advocates and Carousel supporters shouted back and forth at each other.      I have never been so furioius in my life! seethed a woman wearing a badge that read: HOAs Rule!   Her silver curls were piled under a wide-brimmed visor and her eyes were bright with anger.      A mustached man got so excited that he spit all over his own hand when he waved a banner and yelled, We don't want any meddling in our community affairs!  If you don't like the rules, you should go live somewhere else!      If I want your opinion, I'll ask for it! shot back a man sporting a tee shirt which displayed images of a tree house on the front side and PROTECT 1st AMENDMENT RIGHTS on the backside.  Stop viewpoint discrimination!      Get with the times, said a sweet looking lady in a flowered sweater and a floppy pink hat.  She smiled and held up a sign.  See that? she asked, and proceeded to read the words out loud.  A little more teeter and a lot less totter.  Balance and compromise now!      Listen lady, I don't want any troublemakers telling me to change what's working just fine! said a man standing across from the pink hatted lady.  And YOU are a troublemaker!      Pink hat walked over to the man who had called her a troublemaker and wagged her finger at him.  And YOU ain't seen nothing yet.   She turned on her heels and disappeared into the crowd.      A man with a megaphone hopped up on a bus bench and launched into an unrehearsed speech.  We need to end this boss thy neighbor mentality now.  We need to have our individual property rights and civil liberties protected, he said passionately.   Visit the author’s website:

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