He’d planned it; Mrs. Merriwether would answer the door in her Sunday morning housecoat, smiling sweetly. She would thank him for bringing Saturday’s mail from the mailbox, and he would step inside slightly to inquire if she needed help; she was elderly after all.
She would pause to think and then he’d punch her to the floor. After that, with gloves on, he’d locate and steal the inheritance she’d been wittering on about banking for the past decade.
However, the snow (and potentially incriminating footsteps) had given Mrs. Merriwether a reprieve.
Holly stood on the bow. Was it the bow? Or the stern? Did ferries have those things, she wondered. She had purposely taken the last trip to Tangier Island to escape Roger, feeling simultaneously anxious and guilty. Their boys slept in the empty cabin, aware of the urgency and the reasons but after a long road trip, they could ask no more questions. Holly touched her black eye and imagined a life without fear or rebuke for her little family.
The dock approached but Holly froze; her father lay motionless on the ground. Beside him, Roger waited, gun in hand.
Emily rolled her eyes, wishing she’d not worn the hoodie; it had been cooler at dawn but now she was sweltering. And irritated. Todd’s fixation with cars was sufferable back home but on holiday, she thought he should adjust his priorities.
“Todd!” She stamped her foot. “We’re not at home y’know. Stop fawning over your silly cars!”
Finally, he looked at his girlfriend. “I love cars, Em. Elegant or ugly, they’re amazing machines.”
With that, he saluted her, climbed in the taxi, and left her standing alone.
Jeremy stared glumly down at the city; he could smell the destitution from up here. Another night had passed by on Knob Hill with a stolen six pack, and cigarettes. However at some point, he’d discovered a mannequin head. Her appearance was a mystery but Jeremy had named her Lucy. As his buzz grew, he discovered how easy it was to talk to her.
Sometimes, he’d clutched her tightly and screamed; he’d cradled her in his chest while deep, wretched sobs roiled from him. Sometimes, he’d simply looked at her.
This morning, Jeremy knew he had always had a choice.