HILL COUNTRY SIREN
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Thousands of concertgoers passed us on their way to the main gate, their faces bright, eager to get inside.
I met Rico Carrillo and Adrian Williams at Austin Java on Barton Springs Road.
“Where does she live?” said Rico.
“Not exactly a middle-class neighborhood.”
Adrian drove the Escalade on Canon Drive. Tall date palms lined each side of the street.
Adrian crossed through the intersection with Sunset Boulevard and kept driving north on Benedict Canyon Drive.
Sophie sat comfortably, her long, pale legs crossed, one jackboot resting on top of the other. She seemed content to people-watch from behind the sunglasses.
A man stepped forward. “There’s a rumor on the web that Bryan Slater was murdered last night. Is that true?”
Everything stopped. Sophie looked at him. Her lips turned down and began to tremble. She dropped the pen.
When Sophie walked onstage the crowd greeted her with whoops and whistles and applause.
I drove west on State Highway 80 to Ranch Road 12 and then on toward the Devil’s Backbone.
“The land was hard out that way: dry, white, crusty limestone rock; rolling hills; curvy two-lane paved roads; lots of pear cactus; barbed-wire fences; and scrawny trees.”
As I drove through the scrub oaks and pear cactus I saw them: circling vultures.
Our waiter wore black pants, a white shirt, and a red tie. We ordered wine and a light appetizer.
I arrived at Los Cabos Royale a little before eight, just in time for the rush at the bar.
I climbed the dunes to get closer. The string of cons against Sophie began with this house.
I pulled into the drive and noticed flashing lights. Three patrol cars sat parked outside the lobby.
Krause Springs is nothing fancy, an old campground with a spring-fed swimming pool, picnic area, and natural springs. We chose a table beneath tall cypress trees.
We crossed the stream at the top of the pool and left our towels in the sun.
Chandler shrieked as she released the rope at its furthest extension. She formed a perfect cannonball and made a big splash.
The heat of the rock warmed my feet. Playtime with family rejuvenates the soul.