top of page

Sneak peek

Kitty Rain 7: The Chase and the Coughing Coffin

Kitty Rain 7: The Chase and the Coughing Coffin

~ Contents ~

{Front cover picture: A Coffin, a limo, and a tree}
{Map: Streets around the Coffan property}
Chapter 1: The Long Black Car
Chapter 2: Where is Professor Cough?
{Picture 1: Kitty walked to the shed}
Chapter 3: Checking the Land
Chapter 4: The Many Names for Kitty
Chapter 5: Not Zombies or Vampires
Chapter 6: An Afternoon of Looking
Chapter 7: Cade Speaks About Kitty and Jane
Chapter 8:
Night-work and Creepy Things
Chapter 9: Kitty's Foggy Dream and Jane's Pool Hall Dream
Chapter 10: The Smoke and the Faces
{Picture 2: Kitty stood and ran for her life}
Chapter 11: Cade Talks to Penny
{Back cover picture: Kitty and the rain}

~ Chapter 1 ~
~ The Long Black Car ~

“What's that doing there?” Jane West asked her sister Kitty Rain West as Kitty drove the British-racing-green Commodore up to her usual parking spot outside the front of her house.
Her usual car spot was full: there was another car there already and it was black and very long. Kitty cruised slowly past and pulled in just after the limo at about 4:45 pm on a Monday. Kitty looked across at Pelican Road Park to see if there were visitors there. A lady had a baby in a stroller but she didn't look like she owned the long black car.
“Looks like Mum might have visitors,” Kitty said.
“I don't know anyone who owns a car like that,” Jane said.
“Limousine,” Kitty told her, then she shrugged. “Maybe Mum does. Let's go inside and find out.”
Jane rolled her leggings back down over her barely bruised knees so that she was more presentable.
“Your knees okay?” Kitty asked.
“Sure,” Jane answered.
“There's someone in the limo,” Kitty observed.
He was in the driver's seat and was busy reading a book. He looked up at the girls and then promptly back at his book.
“Should we go and ask him what he's doing out the front of our house?” Jane asked.
“No. Let's go and check Mum's okay,” Kitty decided.
“Mum! Mum!” Jane shouted upon entry, even though her mother was only a few metres away.
Jane stopped speaking abruptly when she saw her mum was with someone. He was a very forbidding character with ghost-white skin and dark eyes. He was tall and he wore black gloves, a men's dress shirt with cuff links, and long black trousers. He carried a jacket folded neatly over his left arm and he was seated on one of their lounge chairs.
“Kitty Rain, Jane,” the girls' mother Penny said, welcoming her daughters home. “How was skating?”
“The best Mama! And I mean the best! I only fell over once,” Jane said proudly.
“Well that's good, especially since you girls haven't gone for so long. Did you like it too Kitty?”
“Yes Mum,” Kitty responded, eyeing the tall silent man who looked more like a statue than a live man.
“Jane, can you shower first? Kitty, this is Reginald Cleever. He's here to see you.”
The man stood up as Kitty went over and his tall frame almost reached the ceiling.
“Hello Mr Cleever,” Kitty said politely.
“Good afternoon Miss Kitty West. I'm pleased to make your acquaintance. You may please call me Reginald as this is the name I go by when on duty.”
“Okay,” Kitty said. “And you can call me Kitty.”
“Thank you Kitty,” he replied.
“And can I help you with something?”
“Yes I hope so. I have been assigned to request your presence at the Coffan property at your earliest convenience to speak with Mr Coffan himself on a matter of business.”
“Is this business as in my S. I. R. business?” Kitty asked.
S. I. R. stood for Surveillance, Investigation, and Research, and she operated it part-time as the needs arose. For the last week she had been hired by the Jackgum Shopping Centre to look over the footage to determine the most used exits and the most used toilets. It had been tedious and uneventful just watching hours of film of people going into and out of the building. But now that laborious task was over and she had decided to celebrate with a skating afternoon for herself and Jane.
Since the last time Kitty had been to the rink she had been working on a case, it was good to get the chance to actually skate on the rink and not just investigate people there. But now, right now, she switched back quickly to investigation mode.
“Yes Kitty,” Mr Cleever answered. “Mr Coffan read of your exploits in the Jackgum Times regarding the opal prince and princess. And he believes you are the person to help him with his current dilemma.”
“And Mr Coffan's your boss?” Kitty asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
“And what is the dilemma?”
“Mr Coffan has requested that he speak to you about that in person at his property. When can you come over?”
“Ah where exactly does he live?”
Kitty's mother interrupted then, having already found out where this strange Mr Cleever worked. “Kitty. Mr Coffan is our rear neighbour.”
“The big block directly behind us?” Kitty checked.
“Yes,” Penny said.
“I see,” Kitty said. “I didn't realise there was a house there. Is tomorrow morning okay?” she asked. “The sun will be going down soon.”
“Yes. Tomorrow's fine. What time?”
“Well. Ah do I just jump the fence or go by a street entry?”
“The main house is near the centre of the property but if you come to the main gate on Sparrow Lane, I will let you in when you buzz the intercom.”
“Okay. Is ten o'clock okay?”
“Ten o'clock is suitable,” Mr Cleever said and stood up. “Good afternoon Kitty,” he added in farewell.
“Good afternoon Reginald,” Kitty replied, feeling like she was being far too formal considering she was wearing skating gear of leggings and a long-sleeved baggy t-shirt that went down to her thighs.
Penny saw Mr Cleever out and then returned to Kitty.
“Mum, I forgot to ask him what his job was. Is he like a secretary or something?”
“When he first introduced himself he said he was Mr Coffan's butler,” Penny informed her daughter.
“Really?” Kitty said, surprised. “Wow.”
“Wow what?” Jane asked, returning to the lounge after a nice refreshing shower.
“I've just been talking to a real-live butler,” Kitty remarked.
“Who?” Jane asked. “That stone-cold giant with the limousine.”
“Yes,” Kitty answered. “But if he's the butler and he gets to ride in a limo with a chauffeur, then I wonder what the boss-man rides in?” Kitty laughed.
“Mr Coffan would probably get driven in the limousine as well I expect,” Penny said. “But also, Mr Coffan himself drives the hearse. He runs Coffan Funerals. He's lived in Jackgum his whole life and his father before him. You've heard of him haven't you?”
“Ohhh,” Kitty said, recollecting. “Professor Cough! The mad professor! I didn't know we lived behind him. Have you met Professor Cough? I mean Mr Coffan? Mum?”
Penny laughed. “I haven't met him. But he's not a professor. Just a business man. I'm not sure about mad though. He looks just like a mad professor, so I've heard.”
“Well I'll see what he looks like tomorrow. And I guess I'll see the butler too, I suppose. Maybe the driver too. I wonder how many employees he has,” Kitty said.
“Mr Reginald Cleever is certainly an interesting man,” Penny commented. “Very tall.”
“He was scary,” Jane told them. “Just seeing him made me want to hug my toy bunny.”
“Oh Jane,” Kitty said, giving her sister a hug. “Hug me instead. He was okay. Just a bit strict and formal in his speech and presentation.”
“I don't like him,” Jane determined.
“Hey Jane. Sing us a song about Jesus,” Kitty suggested. “Then you won't feel scared.”
“Come on Jane, girls. You can help with dinner,” their mother directed.
“Only if I don't have to cut onion,” Jane insisted. “They make me cry. I can't sing and cry at the same time.”
So Jane got to grate carrot and beetroot, while Kitty cut the onions, and Penny fried the diced kangaroo.

bottom of page