Hit and Run: Meet the Characters of Magnolia Bluff

Can the hometown girl solve the mystery? Or is she destined to be the next victim?

Small town.

Eclectic town.

Pretty town.

Good people.

Some with tarnished pasts.

Some trying to forget.

A hometown girl couldn’t stay away.

She’s returned.

She’s home.

She’s wearing a badge.

She’s a deputy sheriff now.

Life in Magnolia Bluff should be calm.

And peaceful.

It’s not.

A young girl has died.


Can the hometown girl solve the mystery?

Or is she destined to be the next victim.

Where did the speeding car come from, and who is trying to kill her?

K.D. McNiven

After polishing off their coffee, Maddy and Clay returned to the car. Busily talking as they strolled across East Main Street, they didn’t notice a vehicle barreling toward them. However, the grinding of a car’s engine resounding in the air finally alerted them. Maddy turned her head in time to see a dark vehicle bearing down on them. She gasped, drawing Clay’s attention, and instinctively he grabbed her arm, yanking her out of the car’s pathway. The two stumbled and fell forward onto the asphalt, the car narrowly missing them.

Maddy moaned as her shoulder slammed into the curb, knifing pain driving through her. “You okay?” she asked Clay, who had pushed himself onto his knees.

“Yeah, but what the hell was that?” Clay wiped a spot of blood from his chin.

Maddy figured they must have looked like rag dolls, arms flailing, by anyone who might have caught the scene. “Did you get a license number?” she inquired, clasping his extended hand and allowing him to pull her to her feet.

“Happened too fast. I didn’t see anything but a dark flash.”

Maddy rubbed her arm, her face scrunching.

“Let me look at that.”

As he rolled up her sleeve, he noticed an area where the flesh had torn away. “I’m taking you to the clinic to get you checked out.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Quit trying to be so macho, huh? Your arm needs attention.”

“Fine, but call this into Sheriff Buck first. There isn’t much he can do. We don’t have any information other than it’s a dark sedan.”

“Like the one you glimpsed at Burnet Reservoir?”

Maddy stared at him and felt the blood drain from her face. “Yes. Exactly like it. Whoever this is, he had no intention of stopping, and it appears he deliberately tried to run us down. Let’s see if we can locate some surveillance. Surely, one of the businesses will have a camera aimed toward the street.”

“I agree. I wonder why anyone would be after you? It doesn’t make sense,” Clay said, looking introspectively. “Come on. Let me drive you to The Burnet Medical Center and see what the doctor on call says.” Clay dialed the station to relay what happened to Sheriff Buck, then drove them straightaway to the clinic a quarter mile past Burnet College of the Arts.

Maddy appeared in excruciating pain when Clay walked her inside. They were fortunate it wasn’t a busy day, and the nurse led her immediately back to the examination room. It took only minutes before Doctor Carter entered, wearing a pair of wire-rimmed glasses perched on his nose.

“Why, Madeline Dawson, I haven’t seen you in several years. You look great. Your chart says someone tried to run you down.” He rubbed his white bristly goatee, surprise emanating from his eyes.

“It appears so,” she replied. “Whoever was driving showed no sign of slowing down when they spotted us on the crosswalk. It appeared deliberate.”

“Magnolia Bluff is no longer the sleepy town it used to be,” he sighed. “Now, let me look at that arm.” He clipped away the torn material and shook his head. “I will set you up for an x-ray to ensure you haven’t fractured your arm.”

That was not what Maddy wanted to hear. Regardless, she had no choice but to deal with the situation. She followed the nurse into a nook at the back of the clinic, where she took X-rays. Before long, Doctor Carter clipped the x-ray results up on the lighted view box. “You can see for yourself, Madeline. You have a stress fracture in the humerus bone. The good news is that it’s not broken, and it doesn’t appear you’ll need surgery. I’m going to splint it today for support. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use your arm for at least two weeks, maybe three.”

She scrunched her face, displeased by the prognosis. Three weeks seemed an eternity not to have use of her arm. Thankfully, she had Clay to help her out. The timing couldn’t be worse, she mused, her brows jack-knifing into a frown.

Doctor Carter noted her displeasure. “Could have been much worse, dear. If it had broken at an angle, surgery would be in order, and the healing would take twice as long, assuming there were no other complications.”

“I know. I’m a baby,” she smiled. “I’ll count my blessings. Unfortunately, this hiccup comes at a bad time.”

“There is no good time, Madeline. I’ll write you a prescription for the pain, and you can take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to help with the swelling.”

“Thanks, Doc. I’ll do my best not to rough and tumble.”

“I’ll hold you to it, Madeline. Take care.”

Maddy went back outside to the car, where Clay patiently awaited her.

“Well?” he questioned, noticing her arm in a sling.

“My humerus bone has a stress fracture from the fall. Doctor Carter says it will take two to three weeks to mend,” she replied.

“Tough break. Ignore the pun.”

She grinned. “Doc gave me a shot for the pain, but I need to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy. I’m feeling groggy. If you don’t mind, can we put our questioning on hold until tomorrow?”

“Absolutely, Maddy. As soon as the meds wear off, you will experience some pain. Best you go rest for the day.”

“It seems unlikely someone is trying to dissuade us from further investigating. We’ve found a lot of nothing so far,” said Clay. “You don’t think Harry might have spotted something from the window, do you?”

“Harry would have burst outside in a flash to help us if he’d witnessed someone trying to run us down.”

“Yeah, you’re right. I’ll let you off at your house and head back to the town square to investigate. Maybe someone can give us more information.”

“Let me know what you find out. If someone has their sights on me, they may make another attempt. Especially if they catch wind, I’m laid up at home. We need to find out who the person is and remove them from the streets before they succeed. Also, are you all right, Clay? You should have gone to the clinic and had the doctor check you out.”

“A scraped chin,” he said. “Other than that, I feel fine. But when I drop you off, make sure you secure the doors and windows. We don’t know if this person will persist in hunting you down.”

“You forget, Clay, the person also tried to run you down. So you may be no safer than I am. Like me, you’ll need to look over your shoulder too.”

“You’re right. Don’t worry about me, though. I’ll be careful. Let’s hope someone saw the car and wrote down the numbers off the plate.”

After Clay took Maddy to the pharmacy to fill her prescription, he drove her home. “Get some rest, okay?” he said. “We won’t have the case solved overnight.”

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