There was not enough room in the dumpster for Jaffey. Chopped into neat sections, drained of all blood, and wrapped and tied in a thick black industrial sized garbage bag, he took up about 3.5 cubic feet, more than some people thought he should be allowed. The murderer set Jaffey down in the foggy shadows of the urine stained alley next to the dumpster as fat rats skittered away to nearby hidey spots, waiting. The boxes and some of the rotting garbage would have to be removed to make room for Jaffey at the bottom of this smelly metal bin where he belonged and where the murderer intended to place him.
~~~ Gina barely heard the siren cries through the thick October fog as she padded back into her Virginia apartment, morning coffee in one hand, paper in the other. She was hurt and annoyed with her lover for slinking away in the middle of the night. Men just don’t get it, she opined. They say the sweetest things to get a gal into bed, “until death do us part” I love you’s, once under the sheets and then creep out in the middle of the night back to their wives and children. Just once Gina wanted her lover to be there in the morning, proof that she hadn’t imagined the passion and promises. She was sure this was the cause of her weird nightmare last night. Alone, a starlit night, 11 stories up, on the Rosslyn rooftop where they often met, she had a favorite book to read with an “Itty-bitty book lite” attached. Flipping through the pages she came across a photo of herself hugging a dead man’s skull. The skull of her lover. She knew this meant he was dead. In agony, she ran to the edge of the roof and leapt off into the night, falling, falling, falling...until she jerked awake in a sweat, heart pounding.
A future of love and stability with one man. That’s all. So simple, yet, so elusive. She was sure this man would be the one. He said he would leave his wife. He said he would ask for a divorce. He said he would marry her very soon. Afraid to be hopeful, afraid to believe, she did anyway, knowing she deserved this and it would finally be hers. From the start they had been discrete to an extreme, but now the excitement was too much for her. She had wanted to tell someone for so long, to share her joy with a close friend, someone she knew would be happy for her. When she called Linda last week, breaking the promise to keep her love hidden until after the divorce, Linda had drooled, “Ooh la la! Harve Bernard bathrobe. He’s got class, this one.” They did not notice the click on the line.
Gina dropped her plush lavender terry robe onto the bathroom floor, just like her lover had done when they had wild sex in the shower last week. Yes, it was one of his many gifts to her, gifts she no longer had to keep secreted away from Linda.
Detective Garrety hated making these house calls. They always left him frustrated with a cold empty feeling. He pressed the polished brass door bell and waited for the occupants of 1603 California St. to open the door. The red haired woman who answered and stood just beyond the iron bars, was so stunning, Garrety momentarily lost his words. Her large green eyes ran the length of his body.
Detective Garrety introduced himself to Amanda Jaffey as she came into the living room. Jet black curls loosely pinned to the back of her head, she was nearly as gorgeous as the red haired wonder, who had excused herself to the den. Linda sat in front of the Mac monitor reading the last of her lovers emails, tears trailing her cheeks, when she heard the piercing cry come from the living room.
Garrety’s pager went off just then. He asked to use the phone. As Linda led him to the den, he felt a tightness in his groin watching her move along the hall. He was ashamed of his lack of control and prayed she would not see the bulge below his belt. She handed him the phone, glanced down at the swelling movement and smirked, leaning into it with her thigh as she left the den to console Amanda. Garrety’s face flushed with embarrassment and arousal as he dialed headquarters.
Garrety hung up the phone and glanced over at the bright blue computer monitor. The email window had not been closed. Someone named “va_gina” had been emailing “lindaluvzU” on a regular basis. He left the den wondering what this case was turning into.
Pale faced and rising from her living room chair, Amanda sobbed,
As she rushed off to the bathroom, Garrety turned to Linda who had stretched herself across the couch in what he suspected to be a flirtatious and suggestive pose. Head back, legs spread apart, she ran her hand along one thigh up to the crotch of her faded jeans and slowly lowered the zipper.
All he had come here to do was deliver the news and go home, and now, all he wanted to do was ease his throbbing shaft into the warm wet folds beneath the redheaded Linda’s tight jeans. Before this was over, however, he would have to arrest one or both of these painfully sexy sisters. He did not like his job today.
Linda sat up and pulled her legs together.
Amanda scooped the cool water into her cupped palms and dipped her face, hoping to bring the spinning to a halt. She settled for a moderate wobble and had just begun drying her cheeks when she heard the mournful scream. Stomping her way to the living room she snarled,
Detective Garrety watched the sisters as Amanda knelt and held onto the rocking Linda. He thought about how these two murders must be connected. Amanda Jaffey could have murdered her husband, Donovan. But did she? Could she have severed, sectioned and wrapped him so neatly? Her grief appeared to be genuine. He didn’t believe she killed him. Linda Austin could have murdered Gina, who apparently was her lesbian lover. But did she? Her grief was definitely real. He was certain of that.
While Amanda gently rocked her younger sister, Garrety noticed Linda’s left hand moving inside the zipper of her own jeans. He blushed a bright red and turned away. He had seen grief stricken lovers and spouses comfort themselves in this way before. Sex and pain could get all mixed up inside people at times like this. They were completely oblivious to anyone who might notice. In this case Garrety did not think that was true. He stood up, his bulge obvious, and glimpsing Linda’s smirk, left the apartment before he could accept her invitation.top
A warm July sunset skittered off Anthony’s’ back as he crossed the kitchen floor, slick linoleum teasing his balance. He never tired of the routine, he tired of the labor. On days like today he would rather take a well deserved rest in a dark tunnel somewhere. The freshly waxed linoleum tiles were making his job more difficult, threatening to splay his legs like a cat weak from retinal failure. Up since long before dawn, his instincts were beginning to dull. He knew that was dangerous. Times had changed.
They had moved from the farm, off the land Anthony was familiar with, to a city that bedeviled him. Any number of crazed idiots could break-in on him. In his condition he would be blindsided, easily. Taking this into account, he cautiously slowed his pace and arrived at the biscuits, glancing over the mess the family dog had made of his prized lunch. Once again, SuperRover had pawed a few of the fluffy rolls down off the counter into the water dish, scattering tiny crumbs along the floor at the base of the sink. He padded over to the crumbs and inspected their interesting design, encouraged that the friendliest, floppiest golden lab on the planet appeared to have a natural talent. He loved SuperRover. Some big dogs would play too hard, knock you around and hurt you. SuperRover was too gentle for that. He wouldn’t hurt an ant.
Conditioned to keep working, Anthony pinched up the largest crumb and carefully turned to start back across the glistening linoleum. Considering his hereditarily deficient eyesight and operating at a sensory disadvantage due to exhaustion, he paused for reappraisal before committing his gait. The room was now a complete blur. He decided he would be safest by staying close to the wall. If he was lucky, this would give a wide berth to the lethal gleem that could serve as a weapon, in the case of an intruder. Pinching tight the big crumb, confident he could traverse to the door, off he went. Other than a bump into a chair and a knock into a stray bunny-slipper, he arrived at the kitchen doorway unscathed. A sudden scraping startled him, coming from the living room. The front door flew open with a bang. Frightened, he huddled up against the kitchen door frame, unprepared for what lay ahead.
The friendly skies had been grumpy for the entire 6 hour flight. Those who fell asleep were jerked awake at regular intervals, alarmed and groggy. Glad to be back on the ground, Susan sighed with relief as she let go of the key and shoved the cottage door open, banging it against the wall. She cast a worried glance at the wall spot and hoped she hadn’t started out her visit by damaging her friends’ Oakland home. Not a mark. Julie was no fool. She had glued one of those rubber door handle stops onto the wall behind the front door. Relieved of guilt, she dragged her luggage into the spare bedroom. She actually loved air travel when she didn’t loathe it. A fear of pummeling helplessly to the ground gleefully reinforced her loathing.
The sweet welcoming note from her friend let Susan know she had a few minutes to herself before Julie came home. She slipped the note into her jeans pocket and took her contact lens’ out. She kicked off her shoes, took in a deep breath and padded off to the kitchen in her comfy yellow socks. Without her contacts she couldn’t see the sheen ahead as she ambled toward the kitchen door. Before she stepped onto the lubricous surface, she stood in the door way. Did she really need to eat? Maybe she should run now and eat after? If she ate now, she would not want to run later. She hated this argument. She had it all the time. Emotionally drained, she leaned her back against the door frame and allowed her tired body to slide down to the floor. She noticed something, across from her, moving along the frame. The front door flew open, hitting the wall with a loud thud.
Anthony was frightened, but, so far the intruder had not seemed to notice him. He was almost finished with his work. Protectively pinching the crumb, he moved quietly up the door frame toward his exit. His instincts had been sharpened by his fear. Just a few more feet to go. Suddenly, he felt dizzy again. His head was spinning and he felt confused again. Without warning he lost his balance and fell to the floor on his back again, dropping the crumb for the third time.
Susan knelt in the doorway and felt really bad for the little guy. She wanted to help him but he kept falling on his back and dropping his crumb every time he got close to her finger. As she wondered what other options there were, Julie came up behind her. “Hey there K-mart shopper. And, what are we doing on the floor?”
“Oh,” Susan sighed. “Just helping this little guy get home with his groceries, but, he must really be exhausted. Every time I put my finger in front of him so he can hitch a ride, he falls off the door frame to the floor. ”
“Well, of course he does, you idiot.” Julie chided. “You’re blocking his radar path. That’s how he gets around. When you put your finger in front of him he loses his sense of direction, Einstein.”
Anthony was glad to finally be home. He placed the large crumb before the Queen and padded off to a dark tunnel.