Alexa Graham woke up this morning with a premonition – something bad was going to happen today. Not typically the pessimist, she shrugged off the feeling and got ready for work… shower, feeding the cats, running out the door to work, driving like a mad woman, jumping the railroad tracks, etc. It was a haunted feeling, a slight niggling in the back of her mind, but it followed her all day long. This day was going to be memorable.

She kept anticipating the worst as she walked from room to room, floor to floor checking on her patients, but the end of her shift came and… nothing. Strange… she was usually right on about these types of things.

On her way out that evening, one of her co-workers stopped her, "Hey, Alexa! What are you doing tonight? Some of us are getting together after work to relax and watch the game. Wanna come with?"

"Not tonight guys. I'm having dinner with friends, maybe next time. There's a game next week, right?" Right then, a flood of co-workers came by and grabbed her friend by the arm, dragging her along.

Hanging half in-half out of the sliding glass door to the hospital, her friend yelled back, "Yeah, ok, we'll see you later. Gotta get there early if we want a table by the big screen. Those high school coaches always grab the best spots. Bye!" And, whoosh, they were gone. Hope they have fun tonight. Should be a great game.

Alexa worked at a local hospital in Neosho, Missouri as a pediatric respiratory therapist. She transferred to Neosho from Texas almost two years ago to be close to her mother (at the time living in Oklahoma) who had become severely ill. Although her mother had later recovered, Alexa had already fallen in love with "the Flower Box City" and decided to stay put. She loved the small town feel of the place with its natural beauty and tons of specialty shops. Best of all, she was within easy driving distance of her mother as well as a great University where she frequently enrolled in literature classes for fun.

Ok, tonight I'm going to MOF's house for dinner, wonder what's on the menu. Oh well, she always comes up with something good. Just glad I don't have to stop for burgers, kinda sick of fast food.

Alexa had known MOF since they were teenagers. MOF's real name was Missy Moffet, hence the nickname. MOF actually stood for "my only friend," which Alexa had dubbed Missy when they were teenagers. When MOF married, she had moved to Neosho and the long distance made it hard on the two friends. They corresponded via email and snail mail for a while, but when Alexa moved up here to care for her mom, MOF was ecstatic that they would be close enough to see each other often.

Just about everything that MOF and Alexa said to each other was in the form of an acronym – nicknames, favorite phrases, you name it. They had hundreds of these, and although they constantly had to remind each other what some of these stood for, there were certain time-honored ones that just couldn't be forgotten.

SEOMAC was a great example. SEOMAC meant that they were peeved with whatever they put at the end of the sentence. For instance, if they were peeved at their kids, they said, "SEOMAC bratty kids, SEOMAC brats, SEOMAC kids." Somehow, after breaking down the object of the SEOMAC, they felt a lot better. SEOMAC actually stood for the words of a song they made up long years ago when Alexa and MOF used to go cruising together. The song went something like this, "Se está orinando mi air conditioner." Translation: "My air conditioner is peeing." They used this song frequently when they went cruising because the air conditioner in Missy's 1979 Mustang periodically leaked on Alexa's feet. It was tradition to sing the song each time Alexa almost came out of her skin after feeling the cold water hit her feet.

Alexa couldn't help but smile when she thought of some of the crazy things that she and MOF had done together as teenagers. We had so much fun together and now we're back together again – the dynamic duo. Oh boy, Neosho, look out!

She pulled up in front of the beautiful Victorian house and noticed that her daughter Tara had arrived already. Too bad she can't stay after dinner, that homework is a killer. My baby girl is so smart! But, she works too hard at school. Maybe I'll take her out this weekend for some fun. Maybe shopping at the mall… ICK! Teenagers, mall, Friday night... I must be insane! Tap, tap…

Alexa looked up to see MOF standing beside her car door, knocking on the window. "What's wrong with you? You have one of the most pained looks on your face. Come on, get out of the car, woman! We've been waiting dinner on you. Lasagna! Do you know how hard it is to wait on lasagna? A girl has only so much willpower!"

Alexa opened her door, "Ok, ok, I'm coming. Some people are just too impatient. I drove as fast as I could."

"That's what worries me. I hope you slow down in residential areas, woman. But, if you don't get in here now, Phil's gonna eat your helping as well as his own," MOF yelled over her shoulder as she headed into the house.

"You tell him to keep his grubby hands off my lasagna or I'll sick your husband on him," Alexa shouted as she took off running toward the house.

This should be good. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Alexa mentally rubbed her hands together at the thought of MOF's gooey lasagna, she was already salivating. I could eat my weight in that stuff!

After the meal, Tara went home to study, but everyone else stuck around to listen to some new CDs that MOF had picked up today. Of course, since most of them had to work the next day, they cut it a little short.

Alexa had just stepped onto MOF's porch to go home for the evening when, glancing at a nearby creek, she saw a small white pickup floating there. She stared in disbelief… What? A pickup? In the creek?! I better check this out.

"This is just odd..." she said out loud to no one in particular as she jogged toward the creek. Her manner changed from disbelief to eerie anticipation; after all, she had been expecting something bad to happen all day. When she arrived at the creek, she gave out a loud yelp.

"Hey, AIG!" Phil yelled from the porch, "What's going on?" He ran down to join the jumping, waving Alexa on the creek bank. His jaw dropped in shock as he took in the scene. "Is that what I think it is?" he asked.

"Um… yes… I'm afraid it is," said Alexa as she gingerly made her way down the steep bank for a closer look.

There in the water was a small pickup with the trailer and boat still attached as if someone had accidentally driven off the edge of the bank. Underneath the trailer, which was submerged in the creek, was a body. It was a man, bound and gagged, and tied to the underside of the trailer axle – obviously dead.

"Call 911. We better get the police down here."

"Already on it," Phil replied, dialing his cell phone.