Poor Molly! All the woman wants to do is go to bed at night like everyone else, and stay in bed like everyone else, but her crazy legs won’t let her. Sometimes, when no one is around to hear her, she calls them her damn legs. Walking is the only way to calm down her misbehaving legs. Bad weather, she walks inside; good weather, she walks through her neighborhood. The sensations in her legs are hard to describe, and when she tells her doctor about the creepy, crawly, burning, itching, pulling, tugging and gnawing feelings that visits her legs at night, he gives her a referral to a psychiatrist. Molly walks at night and sells real estate during the day. When a small house comes on the market in an area where nothing bad ever happens, she buys it. The only part of this section of town that isn’t perfect is McGuire’s Alley. Mr. McGuire collected junk. Molly gets herself into trouble one night when she walks past McGuire’s Alley and hears voices. Her first thought amuses her. Maybe someone is stealing the junked couch and love seat? She almost walks into the alley to investigate, but when someone yells, she backs out and goes home. Because Molly is in the wrong place at the right time, the gang thinks she has witnessed two murders. The order goes out to eliminate the witness. This incident starts the story that spreads into six books.
There is a handsome detective, a funny secretary, a really bad man and two that are not so bad, a sleep doctor, and some real estate experiences that make you glad you are just reading about them and not living them.
FOR WANT OF ANOTHER NAME, she called him the leg demon. He usually visited her earlier in the evening, but tonight he waited until she was sound asleep before he announced his presence.
She tried to ignore the buzz he was causing in her legs, but he won. He always won. The buzz sensation quickly built in intensity until, at the very peak, her legs kicked in protest. Before the next build-up and kick, she jumped out of bed.
“DAMN LEGS!” Molly muttered as she pulled the door closed behind her. Shivering, she paused to button her jacket. The midnight darkness morphed the neighborhood houses into unfamiliar shapes and, for a brief moment, a sense of uneasiness made her wonder if this was such a good idea. Dismissing her apprehension with a shrug, she began to walk. With a feeling of envy, she pictured the people in the dark houses all snug in bed asleep the way she longed to be.
Tonight, it was the buzzing demon that had kicked her out of bed, but she was well acquainted with others. The burning, creepy-crawly, tingling, pulling ones visited her regularly. Moving her legs was the only relief; she put her head down and grimly started, one foot in front of the other. Damn legs! Dogs, aware of a walker, responded. From house to house, a steady chorus of barks traced her progress. Imagining how irritated the residents were at their barking pets gave her a perverse sense of satisfaction. If she couldn’t sleep, why should they? A spot of interest in her otherwise boring walk was an alley that ran behind a row of houses. The only property owner living in the short alley that connected two main streets was the McGuire family. Over time, the alley took on the name of that family and the residents of the area referred to it as McGuire’s Alley.
Mr. McGuire collected junk. Why the city council allowed such a pile of trash in the middle of town was a mystery until Molly did some research; Mr. McGuire was a member of that council. The neighborhood boys, using the streetlights for target practice, had added darkness to the decrepit atmosphere of the alley. In summer when the days were long and it would still be light when she started her walk, she often included a hike down the alley just to break the routine. One working street light assured her that nothing had changed. There was a large collection of rubbish, but it was the tidily arranged front line that amused her. Mr. McGuire, or maybe it was Mrs. McGuire, must have some civic pride, or maybe a case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, if you considered how nicely the trash was arranged according to height. The tallest item, a refrigerator with the door missing, was first in line. Following that was a car with most of its parts gone. A large sofa and its matching love seat ended the collection. All items were far past being usable. She was about to resume her walk when she heard men’svoices and saw movement around the junked refrigerator. She peered down the alley chuckling to herself that someone might actually be stealing McGuire’s junk. Disappointed when nothing happened, she resumed her walk. Damn legs. She sighed with relief when the walk brought her back to her own house. Sitting on the porch step to catch her breath, she looked at the quiet street. Even though she didn’t know her neighbors by name, she had met some of them at a block party. She grinned, remembering the frantic chase through numerous backyards trying to catch a lost dog. After that, whenever she drove by, her neighbors waved and smiled at her. She had done her homework before buying the house; nothing much ever happened in this part of town. At least it hadn’t until lately. The smashed streetlights made her wonder if things were changing in the neighborhood. Before she had a chance to enjoy the soft night air, the demon was back. While she was walking a bit slower the second time around the block, the sound of activity again coming from the junk area made her feel uneasy. She stopped. Up until now, imagining that something was happening in McGuire’s Alley was just a ploy to make her tedious walk a bit more interesting. She stood by the entrance to the alley, curious, but not curious enough to investigate. When a muffled shout raised the hair on her arms, she headed for home. Maybe she had walked enough tonight.
AT FOUR O’CLOCK in the morning, a visiting demon sent electric shocks through her left leg. Jumping out of bed and grabbing her robe, Molly sighed as she headed for the den. She was sure this was how it would feel if her leg were actually plugged into a light socket. Damn legs!