Part I Reality TV Presents: “Just Good Ole Boys”
Part II I Would Never Shoot The Sheriff
He’s A Cheatin’ All Over Town
Now you may call me a traditionalist, but I thought the one place where I would not face reminders of my husband’s infidelity was at his funeral. You’d think it would be sacred territory.
There were at least a half-dozen black clad, veil-wearing weepers clinging on the arms of others as if they had lost their husbands. They blew into their hankies and sobbed, some bereft almost to the point of vapors. It became immediately clear that Ry’s dingdong had been ringing a lot of doorbells.
Reverend Mayfield stopped at one point as the wailing became more than slightly overwrought and drowned out his sermon. He looked at me in sympathy, but I was stewing and almost glaring at the coffin. Seeing it on tv was bad enough, but suspecting that he’d has his own door-to-door welcome wagon with all of these women ripped apart my insides.
Back at the house my sister, Clarice, served beer, wine, sweet tea, and bourbon as well as donated casseroles of every size, shape, and content, and patted my hand at intervals. “Stiff upper lip, Annie. Our Granny didn’t raise limp rags.”
“I was just thinking any one of those women could have killed him.”
“More like any one of their husbands.”
“It’s a wide playing field,” I said, took a sip of the old fashioned she’d made me, and shook my head. “How is it possible I didn’t know?”
“Maybe you did and you subliminally couldn’t accept it,” Clarice said, raising an eyebrow at me.
I raised an eyebrow back at her.
“No. You’re right,” she said even though I hadn’t said anything. “You wouldn’t handle anything subliminally. You’d have made him wish he were dead.”
“Ladies and Annie,” Linc said as he came up to us.
“Nice one, Sheriff. Have you been practicing your standup comedy in front of the mirror again?”
Clarice giggled. She punched Linc in his upper arm. “You’re looking mighty fine in your uniform these days. And probably mighty fine out of it too, right, Annie?”
“I wouldn’t know,” I said somewhat huffily.
Linc cleared his voice. I noticed that he had turned a little red, which was cute for a thirty-year old man.
“My understanding is that there were more than a few upset women at the funeral?” he asked.
Clarice gasped. “Don’t you have any consideration for Annie’s feelings?”
“Not lately, no,” he said.
It was my turn to gasp.
“I’m not fond of being lied to,” he said.
“I didn’t lie to you,” I said.
“Ry bought a gun.”
“I didn’t know.”
“Your fingerprints were on it.”
“That’s not possible.”
We were in each other’s faces. I could see the flecks of amber in his blue eyes. My breathing was hard as if I had just kissed him again.
“I can’t speak to possibilities. I can only speak for what the CSI guys found. Your fingerprints on the gun that was used to kill Ry and that Conrad Shears woman.”
I wished at that very moment that I was a fainter. It would have been a better scene ending than asking Clarice to find Uncle Newman, my soon-to-be lawyer.
As she walked away, I frowned at Linc. “You don’t think I did it, do you?”
He shrugged. “I hope to hell you didn’t, but we go with evidence. Your fingerprints on the murder weapon is pretty damning.”
“I still didn’t do it.”
“And I still got to take you in.”
He pulled out his handcuffs and gestured for me to extend my hands.
“Do you have to cuff me?”
“Yep. Just not the picture I had in my mind when I thought about doing it.”