I’d since found out that Kyle, like GPS, had a limited range. Out here, in the middle of Vermont farm country, my GPS had stopped functioning. A signal kept insisting the phone was searching for a satellite, but it was becoming pretty clear that the satellite was nowhere to be found. It was hiding, perhaps, from the snippy woman’s voice that commanded me to turn left when I wanted to turn right.
Luckily, the real estate agent had given me directions. I’d scribbled them down on the back of an envelope and was now trying to decode them. The agent’s name was Vera Applegate, which I thought sounded like Vermont. I could almost hear Kyle, “What, exactly, does Vermont sound like?” And I might try and explain that it sounded like rolling green hills and stone fences and cows lying under huge old maple trees. None of it would have made sense to Kyle.
“Take route 153 from West Rupert town center and turn left on Witches Hollow Road,” I read aloud. My bulldog Tyrone cocked his head from where he sat in the passenger seat of the VW bug. “I know, right? Which was town center, the shopping plaza or that quaint green with the historical marker and the gazebo? And how far from town center?” Tyrone lost interest in my pondering and went back to doing what he does best, sticking his head out the window and letting the wind blow his jowls back. Miss Kitty, my tabby, was pacing the back seat with a bad case of nerves. I’d let her out of her carrier back in Saratoga, because she was yowling up enough to raise the dead. She stopped complaining aloud, though the prowl wasn’t much better. I kept waiting for her to land on top of my head so that she could navigate.
The road wound this way and that through the hills. I slowed to a crawl, nearly coming to a stop at each intersection to read the road signs. Some of them looked like they had been posted in the eighteenth century and never updated and some were missing all together. An old truck with a huge toothy grill eased up behind me, the grill nearly kissing my VW’s back bumper. I hated tailgaters, so in defiance I slowed even more. The truck beeped, making Miss Kitty jump and then the driver throttled up the engine and roared past me. I caught a glimpse of a good-looking sandy-haired man with a Jack Russell terrier on his lap. In that instant, I got the notion that the dog was driving the car.
“Don’t get any bright ideas,” I said to Tyrone. I went back to searching for Witches Hollow Road. A wonderful name, isn’t it? I could picture a trio of old crones stirring a steaming black cauldron, throwing in mysterious ingredients like eye of newt and chanting spells.
That the farm was on Witches Hollow Road was only one in a long list of features which made me take the leap and buy the place. I could hear Kyle saying it was an impulsive thing to do. At least it wasn’t compulsive, I argued back to his voice in my head.