Kevin is dressed as a devil. Interesting that the one night we can be whatever we want he chooses to take off his mask.
“You coming to Franklin tonight? It’s gonna be wild.”
The last time I attended a “wild” party with him, I woke the next morning with ripped panties. Post Roe v. Wade, I won’t risk fate again.
He shrugs. “Your loss.”
But he’s wrong. It will be his. I’ve waited a year for this revenge.
I bind straw bristles from my broom with twine, adorn the figurine with cloth I tore from his shirt last Halloween night, when I was nearly passed out, and hang it by a string outside my dorm room window.
On the news tonight, campus police report, “Demonic rapist levitates during attempted assault, snaps his neck. Body found at the intersection of Franklin and Columbia.”
I chuckle at how the moonlight illuminates the grisly scene.
I never heard my son scream like that—if you could even call it a scream. It was more like a guttural lamentation that escapes from deep within you when you’re forced to witness your own murder play before you like a movie.
It had to be a dream—mine, not his. But when I awoke, he was still screaming.
I sprinted for his room and nearly let out my own terrified yelp when I spotted the man with a wolf for a face standing in the window.
It took a few minutes for my eyes to focus, but when they did, I recognized my husband instantly.
“If not the northern lights, what else could it be?”
We were both thinking it, but I refused to admit it out loud—didn’t want to see the smug satisfaction on his face.
I didn’t care how nonsensical it was for the ancient Egyptians to build the Great Pyramids with the tools they had at the time or that the gods of the ancient world sounded more like visitors from outer space.
Did we not read the same Bible after morning prayers? He would so quickly believe in aliens over angels and demons?
She strikes the match. A spark of light ignites the end of the cigarette perched between her lips.
“I wish you wouldn’t smoke,” he says. “It’s not ladylike.”
“What do you know of being a lady?” She blows smoke in his face, laughs when he inhales and coughs for air.
She needs something to laugh at. After the week they’ve had. Police in and out. Guests confined to their rooms. Bodies in bags wheeled through the rotating doors.
It’s the first day she doesn’t see a news van camped outside her hotel. She’ll savor this moment of peace and quiet.
“Why do you think he did it?” he asks.
She shrugs, takes another drag. “Why does any husband kill his wife?”
“But Maria, too?”
She closes her eyes. She will choose to ignore the pain in his voice at the mention of the second-floor maid. Especially since she’s not supposed to know about the affair. As far as he, the authorities, the hotel guests, and the rest of the staff are concerned, Maria was strangled after she walked in on the man finishing off his wife.
“In and out,” I encourage myself as I wiggle in place until my bladder calms down. Then I dash inside, hurry past what I presume is the attendant behind the front counter, and into the bathroom at the back of the store.
Immediately I’m greeted by a knife to the throat.
“I didn’t see anything!” I shriek. My mind is on the warm sensation spreading down my leg.