the back, behind the set. Near the costumes.” The sound of a rope zipping through a pulley made me look up. A falling object hit my back. I was thrown to the ground with a thud. Face first onto the floor. I had the taste of sawdust in my mouth. I lay still, and it took me a minute to collect myself as I spit and caught my breath. My heart pounded in my ears. I broke out in a cold sweat. On wobbly legs, I stood and dusted myself off. Next to me was a prop made of sandbags, covered with a white cloth, the ghost of Hamlet’s father. “Annie Mae? Where are you?” Bezu called. “Behind the set,” I hollered. Bezu gasped. “What in the world happened to you? It looks like you were on the losing end of a fight.” “The ghost won.” I observed the rigging system above me, seeing if anything was loose or damaged. From my vantage point, it all seemed in order, but I planned on having a technician look at it as soon as possible. “Are you okay?” She placed her hand on my shoulder. “Do you need a doctor?” “I’m fine.” My heart still raced as if I were being chased. “If a ghost had to break loose, I’m just glad it was on me, and not one of the students.” “A ghost?” “The prop, the ghost of Hamlet’s dad is supposed to fly in on set during my team’s performance. They used sandbags as a counterweight to the prop, and the rope holding it must’ve broken,” I said. Bezu smirked. “That would’ve been my first guess.” “Your sarcasm is noted,” I said. “I’d better make sure the other lines are secure. I don’t want anyone getting hurt.” She followed me to the ropes, which led to the counterweights strung along the pulleys overhead. A reflection on the floor caught my eye. I reached down under the ropes and saw a serrated knife. I did not want my fingerprints on it so I left it alone. “I could be wrong.” I pointed to the knife. “But I don’t think what just happened to me was an accident.” Now my fear turned to anger. How dare someone terrorize this camp, my camp, on my watch? Like a mother hen, I felt a fierce need to protect my flock of chicks, my students . Bezu stared at the knife. “Oh my, that’s my knife!” “How do you know?” “My initials are right here,” She pointed to B.E.S.G. “It went missing earlier. I figured I might’ve left it at home.” I shook a finger. “Someone is setting you up again. Like when someone took your car and tried to hit Priscilla and Dwight.” She frowned. “I wanted to push that out of my mind. Did they ever find out who took my car?” “Not that I know of.” “I suppose since no one was hurt and my car was found and wasn’t damaged, they won’t be looking into that anymore.” Bezu sighed. “I also think Priscilla’s case has taken higher priority, as it should.” I paused. “Although the person who took your car could very well be the killer.” “But now someone has cut the rope and meant to harm you ,” Bezu said in a trembling voice. “Possibly. The prop probably weighs over fifty pounds and it could have hurt me, but thankfully it didn’t,” I said. “But it does seem that whoever cut the rope, wanted to point the blame at you. But who? And is it the same person who killed Priscilla?” “That’s it. We’re calling the police.” Bezu held up a hand. “I will not tolerate you putting yourself in harm’s way.” “I’m not doing it on purpose ,” I said. “Of course not.” “I appreciate your concern. Bezu, I’m a big girl, in more ways than one.” I patted my midsection. “And as much as I appreciate your concern, I don’t think I can stop my investigation. Now more than ever, I’m determined to solve this case before anyone else gets hurt.” She threw up her hands. “Good heavens. You’re a stubborn woman.” “And you’re just figuring that out now?” I asked.
Bezu and I entered the lobby just as the students finished lunch. As Gerald