Caution: Adult themes ahead…

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Well, I did it.

I wrote and published something on Amazon for sale to the general public.

I took the leap.

All of the years of procrastination, the fear of rejection, the worry…

I decided to chuck it all.

Caution has been dispatched without ceremony.

And now, I prepare myself for the results.  Success and reward or folly and failure.

The die has been cast.

But all of this with a twist.

The genre which finally allowed me to break the barrier is, shall we say, of an ADULT nature.

So needless to say, this is not Shakespeare, nor Hemingway… not even Danielle Steele.

But it’s mine.  And my hope is that it leads to more.

Self-control did get the better of me.  It’s written under a pen name to shield my personal and professional connections.

So this is no flack advertisement.  No link included for you to follow in order to purchase this torrid tome.

If you want to read it bad enough, most of you know how to contact me.  I’ll send you a link and your purchase stays forever in the vault of my discretion.

It’s certainly a side of me that very few people know existed.

But damn, does it feel good.

I’m more relieved than anything, to be honest.  And someone has already been kind enough to purchase it.

One sale down, hopefully many more to come.

My irresolution was fulfilled before the end of the second month of the year.

So I listened to “Raise Your Glass” as I put the final touches on it and pushed “Publish” and these lyrics played out as the mouse button clicked:

So raise your glass if you are wrong,
In all the right ways,
All my underdogs,
We will never be never be, anything but loud
And nitty gritty, dirty little freaks
Won’t you come on and come on and raise your glass,
Just come on and come on and raise your glass.

Finally, after all the years that my words never produced a penny, I am beginning the journey to if not producing an income, at least supplementing my income.

It was time to raise my glass.

And for the bravery to put my words out to the masses, whatever source that came from;

I thank you.

I thank you.

This spring, my hope be eternal.  And to quote the Shawshank Redemption

Hope is a good thing.  Maybe the best of things.

So raise your glasses, and join me in a virtual smashing of the champagne bottle across the bow of my writing career.

The horizon’s clear and seas are calm for now.

 

Waking Annie ~ Curate of Souls – continued…

“Wake, child.”

The witch stirred uneasily.  She had been down for a long time in the Silence when the soft voice called her.

“Wake.  You are needed.  It is time.”

She resisted.  Her slumber of centuries should not be interrupted.

The voice grew insistent.

“Annie.  Now is the time.”

Memories began to flood her mind.  Angry, violent memories.  Warm, carnal memories.  Memories of the life she led so long ago.  Palm trees.  Breezes of the Caribbean.  Sharp-edged blades meant for cutting sugar cane.  The taste of blood on her lips.  Heart-pounding.  Fear.  The salty air as the wooden walkway creaked beneath her feet.  Panic. Escape. Rhythmic pounding of drums.  The gurgling hiss of her husband’s throat as she cut.  The taste of the dark skin of her lover as lovemaking kept time with the drums outside.

And  then she could see.  Grass.  Trees.  A hazy figure standing over her.

She was not in the Caribbean.  She did not feel alive, but she was aware.  Angry, mournful and confused.  What was happening?  Why are all these images in her head?  Why was she back in this godawful place that she had freed herself from with swigs from the amber bottle so many, many years ago.

Her vision cleared.  The figure standing over her was a woman.

“It is time.  Come with me.”  Annie heard the words, but saw no movement of the woman’s mouth.

Annie felt herself moving in the direction of the figure, but without actually walking.  It was as if she was magnetized, getting pulled along without effort.

“Come, child.  I need you to do what you excel at.”

“And what is that?”

“Seduce a man.  Seduce…and kill.”

“Who is this man?”  She didn’t need to ask why.  She never needed a reason before.  It amused her.  Men were drawn to her in life, drawn to her beauty and her body.  She knew this.  She loved the thrill of enticing…letting her dress slip off her shoulder.  Letting a little too much cleavage show.  Men were easy to draw close when you let your hips sway and undulate a little. So easy to predict.  Fumbling, shaking hands groping, and she loved to let them.  She loved to let them think that they had the power, right up until the moment they felt the clean, sharp sting of the steel on their neck.

A trip to the Confessional

I have an awesome idea for a post today… a baring of the soul. A laying out of one of the deepest, darkest secrets that I carry.

A trip to the Confessional, if you will.

But I’ve decided that a post of such a nature violates that unwritten society/friendship/spousal rules of the things you can post, and the things you don’t. Because you don’t want to upset/disturb those around you with the stench of your dirty laundry.

What I have decided upon is to ask a favor of you, dear reader.

Believe it or not, YOU play a big part in what it is that I do.

I thrive on the comments that I receive about this blog. It matters not whether they are left here, or posted on Facebook or sent to me privately.

I love them all.

It’s not the ego stroke that I’m after. Don’t get me wrong. I never tire of hearing that I’m a great writer. But those of you who spell out exactly what you love about the posts or those of you that share them with your friends really take me to the next level and make me think more seriously about full-time writing.

I check the stats on this blog every day. It tells me how many visitors and where they came from. (For some mysterious reason, I get a lot of views from South America. Talk about WTF. How do they even know about this?)
Views and visitors make me happy. Comments and messages take me a little closer to Heaven.

So as I climb up on your Santa’s lap, and you ask me what I want for Christmas, I will ask this of you:

Tell me what your favorite post is and why.

Is it the fiction? The Autobiography? The “Faction?”

What is that you love most about the blog? Tell me, and I promise you more of what you love.

And I, in return, promise not to be a selfish lover. I will return the favor by providing you more of what you want. I may even create a special post, just for the best comments to be shared with the commenter. At that point, we together can decide if it should make its way to this electronic page.

Or should we, as they say, leave it in the confessional…

Curate of Souls

“Do you remember, Gerard?” the angel asked me from across the battle-scarred table.  “Remember how it felt the first time you accepted His will?  How good it felt?  How loved you felt?”  His gaze was intense…burning right through me.  His eyes were a brilliant silver color.

I must be dreaming… and I really hoped that the bikers that surrounded us were totally ignoring this conversation.

“Don’t you want to feel that way again?”

I couldn’t answer.

“You still believe.”  It was more of a question than a statement.

I just stared at him.  The silence was answer enough.

“Don’t you?”  Baleful.  Chiding.

“I don’t know what I believe anymore.”  Fifteen years of doing His work on earth left me scattered emotionally and faithless.

“You were tortured by leaving the work.  Can’t even describe how it feels, can you?”

“I have enough to answer for without adding that to His list.”

“At least you had the option of walking away.  Some of us don’t get that luxury.  But the price for walking away is what you’ve been feeling.  Just a tiny taste of Hell.”

“How do you know that?  How could you know that?”

Occasionally some biker would glance over at the table and wonder what I was on, sitting by myself and staring intently at the empty seat in front of me.  The whole conversation was silent, strictly in the minds of the angel and I.

“You are the curate of lost souls.”  The words rang like steel against marble.

My temples started to throb and I felt my blood pressure rising.

“Ezekiel 25:17.”  The angel was clearly hopeful that this meant something to me.

“What?”

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.”

“Why me?  Don’t you need someone pure?  Someone like you?”

He smiled.  Indescribable eyes.

“No.  We need someone… He needs someone who can think like they do.”

“Who are ‘they’ exactly?”

“The damned.  Lost souls.  Eternally suffering.  God’s lost children.  Just like you.”

I felt the creeping sting of shame and anger, like anyone stung by deserved insult.

The angel continued, “You’ve been astray yourself, thinking your deeds unseen.  But they weren’t unseen, Gerard.  No matter how hard anyone wished they were.”

“So what is this then? Punishment?”

“Atonement?  I can see why you might think that.  But you never really believed Him to be that way, did you?”

“You were the one who just mentioned my tiny taste of Hell.”

“That wasn’t Him.  That was you.  Your own soul feeling the pain of knowing His love and then turning your back on Him.”

“I didn’t turn my back… I just simply couldn’t do it anymore.”

The eyes.  The angel’s eyes started to glow.

“Couldn’t or wouldn’t?  You lost your faith.  You lost your belief that your strength came through Him.”

My anger cranked up to full steam.  “What is this?  I did it.  For fucking years I did His work.  What did I get for it?  A paycheck and the burden of knowing what the true nature of this life is.  I saw and I felt the agony of good, faithful people handed tragedy that they did not deserve.  I saw countless unanswered prayers from bedsides of the dying…prayers that ‘never fail’.  Novena after novena… all the while I’m having to taking dead babies from their mother’s arms…it was just…”

What was that I saw in the angel’s eyes that changed?  Did the pain I felt slip in and scatter his focus a bit.  I saw an opening and decided to keep digging.

“Where was He when these horrible things were happening?  Where was He?  It’s a fair question.  Go ahead and think about it.  I’ll wait for answer.”

The waitress slipped past the table, trying not be noticed.  She wondered why I hadn’t said a word since walking in.  I hadn’t asked for a drink.  She was grateful I hadn’t.

No answer came.  I knew it wouldn’t.  Long ago, in my studies, I came to the conclusion that when the prayers of His own Son went unanswered, my own would be quite farther down on the list.

“What is it exactly that I am to do?”

There was no answer in the angel.  His look intensified.  “They will be drawn to you.  To destroy you.  All you need to do is make them notice you.  The rest will just happen.”

“’Drawn to destroy me’…sounds wonderful.  You’re not really selling me on this gig.  What if they catch up to me?  I don’t like the idea of spending my life as demon bait.  Tell Him I said ‘no thanks.’”  I got up and headed towards the door.

I walked out and threaded through the row of choppers and bikes, cautious not to touch any of them.  I was a lot more afraid of pissed-off bikers than I was of supernatural trash.

My car was parked just up the block.  I slid in the seat and keyed the engine.  As it cranked up, I glanced to my right and nearly jumped through the driver’s side window.  The angel was sitting to my right, hands folded in his lap.

“How shall I put this?  You really don’t have a choice.  Well, you do have a choice.  You can either do this with our protection, or do it without.  But you will be pursued by them.  You always have been.  You’ve just never known about it.”

“Why me?  What have I done?”

“You’ve simply been chosen.  Chosen by both sides,” the angel continued “before you were ever born.  You are of the Nephilim bloodline.”

I remember reading of the Nephilim in my seminary days.  They were the offspring of Angels and human women, known by their large size and were sought out and destroyed as abominations.

But they must have missed one.  One who was able to be sheltered and protected.  One who would go on to father future generations.  But enemies remained, and they still hunted.

My gut started feeling hot and loose…pure fear.

“You remember feeling terrified at times and not knowing why?  It meant that one of them was very close to you.  Close enough to feel your heartbeat.  You were in the gravest danger and your instincts were putting you on alert.  Even though you couldn’t see anything, you could sense the danger.”  The intent stare was back.

“But nothing ever happened. It was just nerves. Nothing ever happened.”

“You don’t think so?”  The angel’s look was long and telling.  “No thanks necessary.  You’re welcome.”

Leaving Helena

Our bodies strained in rhythm with the brassy voice coming from the radio.  Not sex yet, not yet, but very close.  So close.  Sweaty, bare skin warmed by the flames just a few feet away.  Her chambray shirt had worked its way off her shoulders and she wriggled free of it to place her slim fingers on my chest.  She lay back on the green carpet with flinty eyes searching mine for a sign of giving in…or giving up.  She had teased me before like this, getting me worked up into hormonal frenzy and then hitting the brakes, saying no, she just couldn’t do this.  Months of smoldering looks, whispered taunts, her fingers seeking out the electric buttons of my nipples, a few wondrous seconds of unfulfilled oral sex…all had turned me into a walking volcano.

It was her last chance.  And mine.  Was this just another tease…the mother of all blue-balls?  My heart jack-hammered my ribcage and my body shook from fear and desire.  The ring on her finger wasn’t mine.  He was at work, not due back for several hours but known for occasionally popping in when he was in the area.   Would he reach for the gun on his hip if he walked in now?  Shouldn’t I stop this and leave here with a somewhat clean conscience?  I can’t stop…not unless she says no.  If she says no, I’ll just extract myself from the tangle of arms and legs and run for the shower…just like I always had done before.

I kissed my way down the fuzzy little valley between her breasts towards something I had never done before.  I knew she’d halt me like she always had with a gentle grab, a giggle and a headshake but this time she didn’t.  Her hands rested lightly on top of my nodding head, her fingers laced through my hair.  I hoped that what I lacked in experience was compensated for with pure searing lust.  Her back arched slightly.  Was it desire, or discomfort?  I’d better check.  A quick look up and her gaze locked onto mine.  I saw something different in her eyes that night.  The normal stone grey was gone, replaced by indescribable dark electricity that went beyond color.

She was tiny, barely 5’4” and I was a foot taller but she pulled my body to her as if our sizes were reversed.  I was still mesmerized by her eyes but the question running through my brain must have been in my eyes because she shook her head yes.  Sweet yes.  I fumbled.  She guided.

I should have been lost in the sensations.  Reba McEntire admonished us with one song, and serenaded with the next.  The fire was perfect, the carpet soft and October’s chill was blunted by logs and stone of the lodge.  The exquisite feel of  her skin, the indescribable warmth that I felt where only my hand had been before and the hypersensitivity of each grazing touch of her hands on my chest and back.  And all I could think about was “Oh my god, I’m actually having sex” or “I hope she’s enjoying this.  I hope I’m good.”

The sudden rush and explosion came as I was debating on whether to pull out or not, rendering it moot.  She was cool about it though.  She wasn’t finished with me yet, locking her legs around my hips keeping me firmly in place and guiding my hand to her until a shudder and limp legs told me that we were done.

I lay next her, tracing the landscape curves of her body with my index finger, waiting for commentary about what had just happened.  There was silence that went on just a little too long to suit me.  I started to try and say something witty but she spoke a millisecond before me.

“You are the most affectionate man I’ve ever known.”

“Yeah.”  It was the best I could muster. Sex induced stupidity.

“I don’t want you to regret this.”  The flint in her eyes had returned, albeit slightly softer.

Regret hadn’t even entered my head yet.  Disbelief still had the floor and wasn’t budging.

“You neither.”  Me talk not so good.

Alas, regret came almost as quickly as I did.  My F-150 was packed and both gas tanks were full, ready to trek eastward in the morning.  My life was ending and I was headed back to suburban drudgery and life with my parents.  Now I was completely in love with a woman, a love that was as difficult as the mountain range that surrounded us, with just as many peaks and valleys.  And I was leaving in the morning.  What the hell should I do?  I can’t go on like this with her…too much on again, off again has left me a chain-smoking wreck.  And there was the small matter of her husband, who happened to be my boss.  And a gun lover.  He was one of the softest guys I knew, but probably wouldn’t take kindly to finding me on top of his wife on his living room floor.  He’d already been cheated on by his first wife…twice.

“What’s going on in that head of yours?”  She raised herself up, resting on her elbow and appraised me with a stare.

“I just don’t know what to do.”  Disbelief had left the building, and regret just bum-rushed the stage.

Her voice soothed and smoothed, fat with the lies I needed to hear.  She was okay.  I should go back and get on with my life.  I could be a writer, maybe even write about her someday (with a wink and a smile).  She’d be fine.  We’d always have this night as a memory.  She’d just had the best sex of her life, she needed to get some sleep and she’d see me in the morning.  I had a long drive ahead of me and I should get some sleep, too.  Soothe. Smooth.  She was fine.  OK.  See you in the morning.

Our parting in the morning was quiet and awkward, with her husband sitting there across from me and next to her.  As I smoked my post-breakfast cigarette, I almost threw in the towel and told her I was staying.  But I couldn’t.  An emotionless A-frame hug and polite peck on my cheek from her and a hearty slap on my back from him and some fatherly advice to drive safely sent me on my way.  I thanked them both and strolled to my truck with fake nonchalance.  I attempted a jaunty wave as I pulled away to begin the journey of a thousand miles.

Before they were even out of sight, I drove like mad to try and outrun the pounding compulsion to turn around and go back.  I cleared mountain passes that normally petrified me in record time.  I didn’t stop until I made it to the state line.  The late afternoon sun cast my shadow halfway across the rest area’s parking lot.  I smoked, drained a Coke, and smoked some more.  I don’t remember how long I stayed there, but it was close to dark when the final flick of my lighter lit my last smoke and a heavy sigh forced me back into the truck with my headlight beams pulling me eastward into Kansas.

Face to face with a murderer

I was sitting across the desk from a murderer.  Alone.  No guards.  No guns.  No bars.  No plexiglas wall with breathing holes a la Hannibal Lecter.

Just me.  And her.

I slid an envelope across the table to her.  She had been waiting for this moment.  She called me almost every day for three weeks straight to get these.

Her ticket out.  Large money.  Scot free.  She could hold her head high in society as an innocent widow.  Newly-minted rich innocent widow just barely 40.

Instead of doing the walk of shame in an orange prison jumpsuit, where she belonged.

I had met her when her husband died mysteriously.  She “found” him on the floor of their West County condo, barely breathing.  She followed every protocol.  Called 911.  Acted distraught.  Followed the ambulance dutifully to the hospital.  Held his hand somberly after an ER doctor called the time of death.  Wept.

Officially, it was a mystery.  The medical examiner would do an autopsy.  Toxicology screens were ordered.  There were no outward signs of harm.  No needle tracks on the arms to suggest an overdose.  No bumps, bruises or so much as a shaving nick on his chiseled chin.  Nothing immediately detectable in his blood that might have caused it.

There were no tears when I met with her to plan his funeral.

“Mrs. Geoffries?”

“Yes, I’m DOCTOR Geoffries.”

“Oh.  Forgive me.  Dr. Geoffries, I’m Dan.  I’m the funeral director that’s going to help you.”

“Very good.  Shall we get started?”  All business.

And so began the planning of the large dog-and-pony show that the wealthy and socially connected like to have.  Lots of flash.  Solid mahogany casket.  Thousands of dollars worth of flowers.  The big church where They all like to go when their image calls for a presence in a house of worship.  A lengthy obituary in the newspaper extolling the saintliness of the dearly departed.  Etc.

When we spoke of the financial handling of the funerals she plopped a life insurance policy worth 250k on the desk.

“I have a few more of these.  I will need an appropriate amount of death certificates.  And I want to notified immediately when they are available.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“And I need the name of a good photographer.”

“Ma’am?”  This was a first.

“A photographer.  You know, a person who takes pictures?”

“Yes, I know what a photographer does.  What exactly shall I tell him as to the subject of his work?”

“My husband.  In the casket.  The flowers.  The procession.  Church interior shots.”

So I called my friend Lou.  His response was similar to mine.  “What in the hell, Dan?”

“I know, Lou.  But you are the best.  And she has the dollars to pay for the best.  You want the gig or not?”

Of course, he took it.  He’d be a damn fool not to.

The first night of visitation was to be a private family affair.  I had been given explicit instructions on the minutiae of his grooming habits.  He gelled his hair with a wet look.  Armani suit was dry cleaned and pressed.  French-cuffed dress shirt with the first two buttons undone.  Precise placement of jewelry worth more than what I earned last year.

I saw him on the embalming table downstairs.  It was clear that his job was to be a trophy husband/boy toy.  Although this was years before “Jersey Shore,” this gentleman would have gotten along famously with the Gym, Tan, Laundry crew. Pierced ears.  Tattoos on his biceps, back and belly button (When did guys start get tattoos there?) Obviously working hard to stay sexy for his incredibly average-looking anesthesiologist wife.

One problem.  While the embalming fluid was being injected in the carotid artery, it went in smoothly but soon there was a reaction of some kind.

Boy Toy puffed up like a dead porpoise.

The embalmer Whit called me at home that evening in a panic.  I raced back to work to see the damage.

“In 25 years I’ve never seen something like this.  It’s crazy. There was some sort of reaction with whatever is in his system.”

“What could it have been, Whit?  Any clue?”

“Not me.   It’s just the damnedest thing.”

“She’s gonna be pissed at me.  To the extreme.”

“Sorry man.”

I wasn’t looking forward to having this conversation with her.

Whit dressed Boy Toy carefully.  The hair was impeccably gelled.  Jewelry was placed with microscopic attention. The belt buckle gleamed.  Expertly applied cosmetics gave him an admirable, just-off-the-beach glow.  Whit gently lowered him into the casket and BT’s puffy body rubbed against the sides of the casket.  Had he been his normal size, he could have been the model in a Gucci Casket ad.  If Gucci made caskets, that is.

Instead he looked like a caricature of dead Elvis with better hair.

My stomach knotted.  There was a shit storm in my future.  I was certain of it.  I paced the corridors like a restless animal.  Finally, headlights flashed through the west entry doorway as Dr. Geoffries pulled in.

I helped her with her coat.  I could tell that the more servile I was, the better she would like me.

I escorted her into the stateroom.  Lou waited in a side room fiddling nervously with his camera equipment.  Her arm slipped from mine as she walked purposefully up to the casket, the way she might have walked up to a shiny burgundy Mercedes on the showroom floor.

“OhmyGodWHATHAVEYOUDONETOHIM?”  There were no pauses between the words as the pitch of her voice hit the roof.

“Dr. Geoffries, there was some sort of a chemical reaction to something that was in his system.  When the fluid circulated with his blood, be began to puff up uncontrollably.”

Her eyes were little slits when she cranked her head around to glare at me.

“What sort of chemical reaction might that be?”  She almost whispered the words, like she was daring me to answer.

“I have no idea.  Nor does the embalmer, who has embalmed thousands of bodies in his career and never seen anything like this.”

“I want to speak with HIM.”

Sorry Whit.  Time for you to join me under the bus.

Whit came up, rumpled and just hastily having thrown on his tie and jacket.

“Yes, Dr. Geoffries?”  Whit always had that genuine, good ol’ boy charm that most people loved.  Dr Geoffries was not one of those people.

“Care to explain this?”  She jerked her head in the direction of the casket.

“Ma’am, my best guess is that there was something in his system that caused this.”

“Oh really?  What might that something be?”

“Ma’am, I haven’t the foggiest.  But there must be something for this to have happened.  This is no ordinary embalming reaction.  This is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  Maybe drugs.  Prescription drugs that is. I don’t mean to…”

She got up in his face, nose to nose.  She added index finger thumps to Whit’s chest to punctuate her point.

“Unless you are a coroner or some sort of forensic expert, I don’t care to hear your theories.  I suggest you keep your countrified ‘wisdom’ to yourself,” she snarled.

The color drained out of Whit’s face.  He had never had a family speak to him like that.  Wordlessly, he left the room.

Dr. Geoffries walked over to the bookcase, pretending to study the titles.

Without turning around, she drew a deep breath and said, “bring the photographer.”

Later, Whit grilled me as we headed to our cars.

“What’s the deal with her?  Why’d she go off on me like that?  She asked for an explanation and I was trying to give her one.”

“Dude, this whole thing is one fucked up mess.  What’s with the photographer?  What’s with all this show?”

“She’s not acting like any widow I’ve ever seen, Dan.  She is cold-blooded.  Clinical.”

“Well, she’s a doctor, Whit.  Maybe the clinical act is some sort of defense mechanism.”

“Nope.  I’m a lot older than you.  There is something else going on here.  I can feel it, but I don’t know what it is.”

The next couple of days were a whirlwind of gingerly tiptoeing around any conversation with her during the very public visitation and funeral.

Boy toy was buried with a flourish.  Dr. Geoffries left town.  And then the phone calls started.

“Dan, this is Dr. Geoffries.  Has the medical examiner ruled on the cause of death yet?”

“We haven’t heard, Doctor.  Shall I call you when we hear from them?”

“No, I will YOU.  I’m not there anyway.  I needed a break after the funeral.  I’m in the Grand Caymans.”

The Grand Caymans.  Probably a good place to hop off the radar screen.

But whose radar screen?

Then it hit me.  She planned on island hopping for the next few weeks until she got a preliminary report from the medical examiner.  If it came back how she had hoped (ie death unknown causes) she’d catch the next flight back to the States, gather up her pile of insurance cash and carry on with her merry widowhood.

If she got back any indication that the death was suspicious and eyes were turning to her, she’d hop the first flight to one of those faraway islands with no extradition to the United States.

It all started to make sense.

For nearly three weeks she called almost daily.  For three weeks she hopped from this island to that island.

Finally, the medical examiner’s preliminary report came back.

Death – unknown causes.

Yes, sometimes even in this day and age of advanced science, they have to fall back on those three words.

Maybe it was my imagination, but I almost heard relief in her voice when she made the final call the day after we got the ME report.

And after all, who but a trained medical professional like say, an anesthesiologist would know what chemical to give someone in a precise enough dose to kill them…

but not be detectable in toxicology screening blood work.

She was in my office the afternoon following our last phone call to get the death certificates.  They were in the envelope I slid to her across the table.  I was barely able to hold myself together to have a conversation with her, suspecting what I did.  She murdered him for money, plain and simple.  And she was going to get away with it.  Damn I was mad.  I had no proof, nothing to go to the police with.  Just hearsay and suspicion.

But she didn’t get away with it.  Not for long.

About six months afterwards, Whit came up to me with a big silly ass smile on his face, with a death notification call sheet, which we use when someone calls the funeral home to report a death.

The name on the death call sheet:  Dr. Geoffries.

Under notes:  possible heart attack.

I looked at Whit.  He looked at me.  We both smiled and he said and I thought the exact same thing.

“He came back and haunted her ass to death.”