My Future on a Chain Gang?



I sit in a barren room for what feels like a very long time. Mrs. Eldridge brings me a cup of coffee, which isn’t bad at all. She tells me they have one of those Keurigs and you just pop in a little plastic cup and presto, unique coffee. I went to school with her daughter, Louise, who is now pregnant with child number four.

Mrs. Eldridge pats me on my hand and tells me, “I don’t think for one instant you’d murder anyone. You always talked big, but acted small.”

I feel my eyes widen. “Thanks.” I think.

There’s a window in the door so I can see people passing by. Several times Linc passes, but he doesn’t glance through.

My stepmother dead. My stepmother who gave me a gun to hold at the beginning of the week so that my fingerprints would be on it. Frankly it’s all confusing to me. Did she kill Ry? And then someone killed her? Did someone kill her and Ry?

Linc opens the door. He has a bunch of papers in his hand. He glances at me and then begins reading me my rights.

“Just a crazy assed second, Linc. What are you doing?” I ask.

“Rosie’s sugar was laced with digitalis,” he says.

“So? It’s a heart drug.”

“She wasn’t being treated. You grow foxglove.”

“Strangely I grow foxglove outside and anyone and everyone has access to it.”

“Your fingerprints were on the sugar canister.”

“My fingerprints are probably on a lot of things in that house. It’s my father’s house and I have been known to visit him. I even drink tea there and put sugar in it…from the canister.”

Linc leans his butt against the table, folds his arms across his chest and stares at me. I give him as good as I get.

“This is a set up. A frame, whatever y’all call it. Sooner or later you’re going to realize that.”

He shakes his head and leans down toward me. “Listen, Annie. I am in your corner, but everything points to you which makes being in your corner kind of like playing a losing hand.”

I am in a dire situation. I know that, but there’s something about looking in this man’s vibrant blue eyes that makes want to answer the call of the wild. Dammit. I need to focus instead of looking at those lips and remembering what they once made me feel during one of those intervals when we tried each other on. Maybe if we’d tried to stick I wouldn’t be sitting here like this today.

He finishes reading me my rights and the next thing I know I am being charged with three counts of murder. Linc’s eyes are veiled as they look at me. I get the feeling that maybe he didn’t think I’d killed Ry and that Shears woman, but now with Rosie dead, he isn’t so sure. I can’t blame him. If I didn’t know better, I’d wonder too.


end 4/2/2017

S. Darlington

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