The flashing blue lights invaded her living room, making it impossible for her to watch her show. So, she stood at the window, trying to stay out of the way as people waltzed in and out of her house like they owned the place. They no longer bothered to knock, or ask permission. She guessed it was okay. The house was no longer her own anyway. Not really. Not after it was attacked by a monster she used to call her husband. No, this house now belonged to them. The cops and the flashing blue lights.
Her neighbors stood outside on their front porches and in the streets, watching intently with meddlesome expressions, asking anyone who walked by if they knew what was going on. She hated them. She wished they would mind their own business, but in the same vein, she knew if one of their husbands went rabid and killed his son for dropping a gallon of milk, she’d be on her porch or in the middle of the street too. She hated them, but she didn’t blame them.
“Sandra?” A pretty little officer called her name. She was young, and not from around there.
“I don’t know what happened,” she repeated for the fiftieth time that night. “He went mad. One minute he was standing at the mirror asking me to look at his eyes. He had a bad case of pink eye, and he thought it looked worse. Then we heard a crash downstairs. Now, my son is dead, and my husband did it. I don’t know why. He loved Sean, and he was a good dad.”
“Did your husband have a drug problem? Meth, maybe?”
Sandra couldn’t help but laugh. There was nobody more straight-laced than Mac Reynolds. He was the top salesman at the only used car lot in town. He attended church three times a week, volunteered at the animal shelter, and was a longstanding member of the Rotary Club. Mac was extremely vocal on his beliefs that drugs were a waste of brain power, and he never drank anything with more of a kick to it than coffee, except maybe a strawberry wine cooler on a hot, summer day. He didn’t even like taking aspirin, and hated the fact that he had to take pain medicine for his rheumatoid arthritis. The idea he was taking meth was not only ludicrous, but impossible. Mac Reynolds wouldn’t know how to ask a gas station attendant for a pack of cigarettes. Where would he get his hands on Meth? “No. He was on a trial pain medication for his arthritis, but he took less than the recommended dosage.” She handed a large green prescription bottle to the officer, who lifted it up for closer inspection.
“Were there side effects?” she asked.
Sandra shrugged. “Sure, ones they knew about – or told us about, I guess would be more appropriate. Lately, he’d been a bit quick to … well, I wouldn’t really even call it anger. He’s always been a gentle soul, my Mac. RED is a trial pain medication. Cuts off the pain sensors, and he went in twice a week to discuss side effects with the lab techs. He mentioned to me how wonderful it was to feel no pain. He said he felt like he was a kid again. A few weeks ago, there was an accident at work while he was helping decorate for Independence Day. You know how they love to put up all those flags and balloons. Well, anyway, he was helping Gerald put them up, and one of the poles they tie those ridiculous flags on to slipped from Gerald’s hand while he was on the ladder. It hit Mac in the cheek. Sliced him right open. Twenty stitches down his face, and he didn’t want, nor need, anesthetic when they stitched it. So short of the no pain thing, and the pink eye that showed up this morning, he never mentioned any adverse side effects to me.” Sandra smoothed down her skirt and tugged her pale cardigan tighter around her, hugging herself with her arms against the chill in the room. A strange chill she found odd on such a blistering Southern summer evening. She let go of her arms and put them on her hips as she lifted her eyebrows and gave the police officer a harsh, knowing nod. “I am, however, pretty sure going rabid and killing your seventeen year old son isn’t something the lab is going to want the public to know anything about,” she spat. “Look, I’m tired of talking. I don’t know what happened. Please leave me alone.”
The pretty blonde reached out, sympathetically, to touch Sandra’s shoulder, but immediately withdrew her hand as soon as it made contact with her sweater. Her hand was covered in blood, and she was staring at it like she’d been bitten. Sandra knew the polite thing to do was offer her a towel, but really, she just wanted them gone. The officer pulled Sandra’s cardigan from her shoulder and gasped. “Did he hurt you? You’re bleeding, Sandra. Someone should take a look at it. I’ll call the EMT.”
Sandra jerked her arm away. “No!” She’d already seen her shoulder, and it wasn’t bad enough to make such a fuss. It certainly didn’t hurt. And Mac hadn’t hit her anyway. When she found him on the floor beating Sean in the head with the hand mixer, she’d went Amazonian on him, and shoved him away from the empty cavity that used to be Sean’s face. Mac went crazy. He grabbed her and bit her. That was when she stabbed him. She really hadn’t known what else to do. She probably shouldn’t have stabbed him in the face, but really, what was she supposed to do? “No,” she said, softening her voice. “Thank you. I’m fine. I need to be alone right now.” She hadn’t mean to yell, and she certainly hadn’t meant to startle the young officer. She did, however, want them to understand how important it was to her to have some space and time to finish her show … No. To grieve. Yes, that was it. “I don’t feel well, and I want you to get out, do you hear me? Get out of this house!”
She’d only barely touched the younger woman, and the gunshot took her by surprise. It burned, but wasn’t as painful as she imagined getting shot would be. She didn’t understand why anyone would shoot her. She looked at her attacker, who seemed afraid, which made her laugh. She weighed 105 pounds sopping wet. Her husband was the monster, not her. She heard a thud to her left, and turned to see the pretty blonde flat on the floor. Curious, she leaned down to investigate. Little miss pretty had a rather large hole in her neck. “Well, isn’t that strange?” Sandra asked. Another shot rang out, and Sandra lost her balance. She fell to the floor, confused as to what tripped her.
“What happened?” she heard.
“She killed Sergeant Mason!” someone else screamed. “She ripped her throat out!”
Sandra looked around the room wondering who “she” was, and why anyone would want to kill that poor officer, even if she was a bit pushy. “My, my!” Sandra explained. She tried to get up, but three more officers pulled their guns on her and warned her to stay put. She wouldn’t do it. She wasn’t about to sit in her white pants on the floor next to a bleeding police officer. The dry cleaning cost would be outrageous. Sandra shook her head and used the couch to help herself up. Shots rang out. She held up her hand. “Now you boys stop with the noise! My neighbors are already having a heyday talking about my husband and son. I don’t need you people in here stirring up more fodder for the rumor mill!” she fussed. Still feeling a bit lightheaded, she turned and headed for the kitchen, using the walls to keep her steady. Maybe some tea would calm them down. A louder sound rang out, deafening her, and she clinched her fists, annoyed because her words went unheard, which was no wonder with the amount of unnecessary gunfire going on inside her home. She turned and glared at the five people standing in her living room. “I said be quiet!” she screamed.
“Mrs. Reynolds?” an older officer said. He was staring at her, wide-eyed, but not at her face. Sandra looked down at the mint green shirt she’d put on only a few minutes before Mac killed their son. The hole in her stomach wasn’t nearly as frustrating as the deep red blood oozing from the middle of her brand new shirt.
This was going to be far more work to clean than the few drops from her shoulder. Her rage was instantaneous. “What have you done to my shirt?” she screamed.
Jordan Drew has decided she cannot compete with Austin Malone’s bio, so she isn’t even going to try. (Thooooough she does have an About Page up at the top of the site you can look at if you really want to know more about her. ;) )