Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The Letter... Continued, Part 3
Never in her 62 years of life was Sherry compelled to leave her bed at three a.m. and rummage through a garbage dumpster. Today is a first.
To say that this ruthless business woman is spooked is putting it lightly. "The cold hands in the dream, and my neck pain..." Sherry shudders at the connection, talking to herself in her car as she pulls into the shop parking lot.
"This is stupid. I'm losing my mind."She complains, slamming the car door and walking toward the dumpster.
Sherry lifts the green metal lid and stands on her toes to peer inside, as she is a small woman in more ways than one. What she sees makes her shriek and fall backwards into a puddle. Peeking out of a white garbage bad is a knotty old hand with long red nails, a large opal ring on the pointer finger, iridescent in the moonlight. The lid crashes closed again. Somewhere off in the distance, a dog is barking and a porch light turns on.
"Can you hear me, Ma'am?" Sherry? Your husband is here." Sherry feels wet and muddy. Her eyes focus on a woman in a cop uniform, bent over her.
Her ponytail is so tight. She thinks. "Honey, does that hairdo give you headaches?" Sherry asks. The cop laughs. "Looks like she's gonna be OK. We'll have EMTs check her out, but I think she just passed out. There is no sign of assault.
Sherry looks up at Tom, remembering the dream, and the horrible discovery. "Did you see the body in the dumpster? I saw a hand with a jeweled ring, an opal I think?!" She tries to stand, recoiling as she glances in the direction of the garbage.
"I have to find the letter," Sherry says stumbling toward the garbage bin, but now it is being blocked off by law enforcement.
"You claim you saw a body in the garbage. There is a certain protocol that we have to follow now, Ma'am. Describe what you were looking for, and we'll search for it." The cop is clicking her pen, waiting.
Sherry doesn't know exactly how to describe the letter without sounding crazy.
"It mentions a murder that happened in 1948. It's signed: Agnes."
The cop stares at Sherry with an amused expression.
"Interesting," she says, making a call.
The dumpster is checked by crime scene detectives. There is no body and no letter, but her shop is destroyed on the inside. Furniture is flipped, and the floor is littered with broken glass. Sherry sobs on Tom's shoulder.
"There is no sign of a break in, and the doors were locked. Ma'am, who else has a key?"
"Just my son, but he left for an auction in New Jersey after work yesterday," Sherry says, wiping back tears. She dials his number on her cell phone. Eventually the rings go to voice mail.
"What's this?" Tom holds up a sticky note from the register and passes it to Sherry.
Written in a shaken hand is:
"Good Morning! It is now 3:25 a.m. and the problem with you is that you are a SELFISH scavenger. We have that in common, dear. Except my heart is VERY cold now. Find my property."
Sherry pales. She sits on a pile of torn encyclopedias. The cop hands her a bottle of water and takes Tom aside as she writes up the report.
"Sir, The only other person with a key is your wife. The person who wrote the note included the time, and that's odd. There were no body parts or weird letters in the garbage. Would there be any possibility that she made this mess herself and doesn't remember? I know her health is none of my business, but no one was here except her."
"What? Someone did this...AND damaged a whole lot of antiques. Excuse me but, my wife can't flip a Hoosier. She's not that big. Call this what it is, a robbery!"
"Alright sir, I'm sorry. The building is completely secured, no windows or locks broken. It's not personal."
Tom snorts and walks off to get some air outside. Somewhere in his mind a question lingers about his wife's judgement. "Could she have done this all in her sleep?"He wonders.
After dinner that evening he makes a call to a doctor who also happens to be an old friend.
Dear Internet Traveler,
Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.