Did you see any authors you know listed there? Yup, the last one listed. That's me.
My entry, titled "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish," begins thusly:
I’ve never seen a dead body up close and personal, let alone one chopped up like a fryer chicken and stuffed into two Hefty Cinch Saks. It’s not a pretty sight, and is accompanied by an even more ghastly smell. I fought down the vomit burning my tonsils and stumbled out of the garage as fast as my linguine legs could carry me.
“Well?” Monica Lyn, my best friend since preschool, asked.
“That’s a real dead body all right.” I gave into gravity and melted down onto the driveway. The heat from the blacktop warmed by a late August sun seeped through my cotton capris but did little to soothe the post-horrific shock rattling my extremities.
“Not a mannequin leftover from Halloween or something?” The tone in Monica Lyn’s voice bordered on a whiney panic.
“Mannequin’s don’t smell. Nor ooze blood. Go call the police.”
“No police.” Monica Lyn twisted her long dark hair into a bun on the back of her head, then released it, allowing it to cascade down over her shoulders. She did it again. And again. And again.
A nervous sort of chuckle gurgled from my solar plexus. “Yes, police. Now.”
Silence. “We can’t.”
“They’ll think J.J. had something to do with it.”
The J.J. to whom she referred was Joseph Jackson Hunter III, Monica Lyn’s soon-to-be-ex-husband. It was his garbage can we’d roped to the tow hitch on her F-150 and rolled the six blocks to her parent’s house, where she was temporarily living until the Family Court judge decided who got custody of her and J.J.’s McMansion on the hill.
The plan had been to paw through J.J.’s discards in hopes of finding incriminating evidence regarding his illegal business dealings, which Monica Lyn had long suspected but never proved. This would then be hung over J.J.’s head in order to procure a more Monica Lyn-friendly divorce settlement. I didn’t consider it blackmail--that’s such an ugly word--but more like marital justice.
“A dead body in his trashcan trumps an embezzlement scheme any day,” I explained to her.
“J.J. couldn’t have done it. He passes out at the sight of blood.”
“Then how do you explain the dead body?”
“I can’t. Yet.”
“I’m calling the police.” No sooner had I fished my i-phone from my pocket than Monica Lyn snatched it from my hands and tossed over the fence into Mrs. Gardener’s backyard. (For the record, the neighbor’s name wasn’t really Mrs. Gardener. My small, seaside hometown is big on nicknames and had bestowed the Gardener moniker upon her decades ago when she’d created a beautiful
in the center of town square. That was the sum total of her gardening efforts, and long before I came around so I honestly don’t know her real name.) English Garden
“Reality check," Monica Lyn said to me. “That hacked up body is in my garage, with our fingerprints on the trashcan handle. And look, you’ve got blood on your hands.”
I looked down, and sure enough, my French Tips were splattered with red goo. I swiped my hand against the grass, but the evidence remained, pulsating like a Jackson Pollock version of The Telltale Heart. Not only did I look guilty, I was beginning to feel guilty.
Coming soon to an e-book near you!