What’s Luck Got to Do with It, Got to Do with It?

What’s Luck Got to Do with It?

Ever just had the feeling that your real life has become a carnival ride that just won’t quit? It’s not the fun kind of carnival ride either. We’re talking about the one that goes up and down and spins around until all of that cotton candy, fried Snickers, French fries, and fried you-name-it wants to make an encore appearance.

I am sitting in the back of Lincoln Bergstrom’s police cruiser with my hands cuffed together, singing “There But For Fortune,” while he drives me to the Sheriff’s office where I’ll no doubt be booked for a double homicide that I didn’t commit. I’m looking at the back of his neck where there’s a white line against his hairline a clear indication that he just had his hair cut. I sit forward and run my tongue along that line.

He jams on the brakes and I’m thrown forward, my face happily buried in his neck where I notice he smells like lemon and something woodsy. Hmmm.

“What the hell, Annie?” he asks, jerking his head around to look at me.

I shrug. “Never know when I’ll get an opportunity like that again, especially since you’re arresting me.”

“Would you take this seriously?”

“I am. Why do you think I was so forward? You taste nice, by the way.”

He shakes his head, removes his foot from the brake and we start forward again. I look out the window at the rows of cornstalks. Corn as high as an elephant’s eye.

“You handle any guns recently?” he asks.

“Nope. I told you. I don’t like guns.”

“No one gave you one to hold.”

I shake my head. “Rosie had me hold a toy one at the beginning of the week.”

He looks at me in the rear view mirror. “You sure it wasn’t a real one?”

I bite my lip. “It could have been. I thought it felt a little heavy, but she said that’s the way they make them now.”

I squeeze my eyes tight. “I was being stupid, wasn’t I? It was a real gun. But you said Ry bought it. What would Rosie being doing with it?”

“She’s your stepmother, you tell me.”

I chuckle humorlessly and shake my head before meeting his gaze in the mirror. “You don’t think she was boinking Ry too, do you?”

His expression is sympathetic, which I don’t need. I do not need him pitying me. Pity parties aren’t my style.

“I was probably the only one not boinking him,” I say. “Did you know about him?”

Linc meets my eyes for a second, but it’s enough for me to see that he did know. I think probably everyone knew, but no one told me.

“Crap.” I kick the back of the passenger’s seat.

“Come on now, Annie. Don’t be like that.”

“Were there other fingerprints on that gun?”

“Nope, just yours,” he says. “Rosie wasn’t wearing gloves or hand it to you with a cloth or something?”

I try to remember the day. I don’t even remember what excuse she gave me for having a toy gun. Was it something to do with her real daughter’s boy? I just shake my head.

“I don’t remember. But it’s not likely to matter is it? Unless someone saw us, it would be her word against mine.”

We’re quiet for the rest of the way into town. I’m thinking about this mess and about Linc Bergstrom and whether my stepmom was boinking my dead husband and if the prison jumpsuits are really orange and how that color wouldn’t look good on anybody.

As Linc helps me from the car, Deputy Nunez comes up, looking more than a little upset. All I hear is: Rosie Campbell dead. Well, this crap just got really real.


end 3/30/2017

S. Darlington





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