Murder, She Wrote: Dying to Retire
Donald Bain, Jessica Fletcher



The sunís rays were blinding even with the protection of my new sunglasses, and I shaded my eyes with my hand, peering out at Foreverglades, visible beyond the expanse of tall grasses and tangled vines. A movement in the undergrowth next to the boardwalk caught my eye. I looked down. Two yellow eyes with black vertical pupils stared back at me. The head of the creature was huge, its broad, flat snout rounded at the end, its eyes, twin bulges in the bumpy black hide. For a few seconds, we stared at each other, both frozen at the unsuspected intrusion into a private moment. Then it opened its jaws and hissed.

I glanced around quickly to see if a baby alligator was nearby, but from the size of the creature in front of me, I was guessing that this was no mother, but a bull alligator, and one that was close to twelve feet long. I shivered, my breath coming in short spurts. So I wasnít between a mother and a calf, but I was between the alligator and the water.

It must want the water; itís hot. Unless of course, itís not hot? What if itís hungry? Youíd make a tasty mealÖ