Janna sat up in bed, her heart pounding. Her skin felt clammy and she was gasping for breath. Thank God it had only been a dream. Nancy the Black had taken every building in town and turned them into circles, using the magic of pi which she had finally successfully harnessed.
Swinging her legs off the bed, she felt for her slippers with her toes, unwilling to turn on the light and face the brightness. Instead of fuzzy slippers, however, her feet came into contact with a prickliness.
"Clarence," she exclaimed, finally motivated to switch on her bedside lamp. "What on earth are you doing there?"
Clarence nudged a brown-paper wrapped parcel laying on the floor. Janna's gaze darted around the room. Where had that come from? She would have noticed it when she went to bed. A dust bunny dragging from the corner of the box caught her attention. It must have been under the bed, she mused. No telling how long it had been in the house, but she knew she'd not brought it in. Gingerly she picked the box up. Printed in block letters was her name.
"This doesn't look good," she told Clarence. "But, on the other hand, if it's been here long enough to collect dust bunnies..."
The bristles on Clarence's forehead stuck out and he snuffled.
"Don't act that way. It's not THAT dusty under my bed!"
Clarence snuffled again and Janna lifted her comfortor from the floor and glanced under the bed. After a sneezing account that ended three minutes later, she said, "Well, okay. Maybe the box hasn't been here very long, but how could anyone have gotten it into the house?"
As if in answer, Clarence ran into the living room where it stood next to an open window.
"Darn it!" Janna fumed as she slammed the window shut and locked it. "Who would have snuck in and left a package for me? This just doesn't make sense."
She went into the bedroom to retrieve the parcel and sat it on the dining room table. It was addressed to her, not the Green Sister, which was reassuring, since no one living knew where the Green Sister stayed or who she was in real life, so at least her secret still seemed safe enough. But, on the other hand, why sneak in a package to Janna Thomason, romance writer. Oh, well. Only one way to find out and she reached out her hand to untie the twine that wrapped around the box.