** READ PART ONE AND PART TWO FIRST (SCROLL DOWN)
The snowmobile was parked up close to the cabin's door with the keys still in the ignition. I pocketed the keys, then crept up to the front window. Someone had pressed snowflake stickers against the pane. I peeked around them and spotted my best friend.
Cora Mae sat in a chair, crying, and this Ted person was hovering over her in a menacing way. I turned on the stun gun and wondered how I could barge in fast enough to catch him unaware. That seemed impossible so I did the next best thing.
I knocked on the door, holding my weapon hand behind my back.
The surprise on Ted's face turned to stunned when he opened the door and I zapped him with a giant bolt of electrical current. Right in the chest.
After a few moments of pandemonium, what with the guy flopping around and Cora Mae screaming, things settled down. After all, Ted now wore handcuffs, his truck was disabled, and I had his sled keys.
What a poor excuse for a bad guy!
"Cora Mae, call the sheriff," I said.
That's when she hit me in the shoulder. "Ouch. What are you doing?"
"Look at him," she stammered. "You've hurt Ted."
"I just saved you. Geez." I'm a good friend in spite of Cora Mae's lack of gratitude. She must be in shock or she'd be hugging me.
"I didn't need saving."
"But you were crying."
"That was a happy cry."
Ted had managed to scoot up against the wall. His eyes were uncrossing.
Cora Mae crouched beside him and looked up at me. "Does he look like one of my usual men? Well, does he?"
"He's a little younger now that I'm seeing him out of the dark bar lights." Cora Mae liked her men mature.
"I didn't want to tell you until later, but Ted's my son, Gertie. I gave him up when I was young and now we've found each other. Thanks for messing it up."
Cripes! She'd never told me about a baby. How could she not have told me? There was a slight resemblance. Wow.
Then I heard the sirens coming and I remembered that I'd told my nephews to send help. I was in such trouble. The sheriff would lock me up for assault or any other charge he felt like. We weren't exactly on friendly terms.
My best friend came through for me. "Run," she said. "I'll cover for you."
I tossed her the handcuff keys, ran out the door, and disappeared down the trail, roaring for home on Ted's snowmobile.
Grandma had turned on the outdoor lights, the ones I'd wrapped around the windows. They beckoned to me.
But I knew what else was waiting.
I had a feeling Cora Mae's Christmas was going to be extra special. And I hoped I would be part of it, in spite of my little mistake. I couldn't get over how even best friends have secrets from each other.
Grandma's face appeared in the window.
I went inside.
"About time you showed up," Grandma said.
Tomorrow I would spray canned snow in the corners of the window panes.
Merry Christmas, everyone.