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.
Minutes after the photo was taken, Gary squeezed the life out of the bird and threw its body in the trash.
He was bored with animals. Cats, gophers, and whatever wildlife he could get his hands on no longer satisfied him. He stared out of the window, thinking of the children in his neighborhood; wondering at the logistics of pulling off such a crime.
The Lovely Bones, Gary recalled, depicted an exciting underground possibility. With sly purpose, he withdrew a piece of paper from the nearby printer, thumbed the lead of a pencil, and proceeded to draw up plans.
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.
April stared forlornly at the arrangements. The tall one was a bit sparse and the little one looked like something her Grandmother might have on the dining room table. Still, she longed for someone to think enough of her to send flowers to work.
Imagine her coworkers’ reactions! “She’s just the receptionist.” They’d say, incredulous. “She lives alone with her cats, and wears dowdy clothes!”
Maybe, April thought, she’d fix it so that “someone” did think of her that way.
She continued staring at the flowers, knowing full well that the deception would only serve to make her more miserable.
Lesley eyed the building while she polished the antiques. Its bleak façade hung like a gaping maw; rotted teeth below empty sockets, and its tongue rolled rock-strewn into the river.
Her gaze returned to inspect the wares on the windowsill; all polished and shiny, ready for another day of business. Lesley knew though, that by morning they would all be tarnished again.
That night, as every night, Hell’s presence rose through the devil’s portal, imparting its ancient malice into the water. Fetid fumes seeped up river banks, swarmed over trees and bled into buildings, coating everything in a dark patina.
Naomi browsed the display. The shopkeeper had said that each bottle caused a different effect; just read the labels. She brushed aside a strand of hair and chewed her lip. What did she want to change? Did she want to be taller? No; she was just the right height. Did she want to be thinner? Not really; Naomi liked her figure. She plucked the smallest bottle from the top shelf, read the label and smiled impishly before knocking back the contents.
Soon, her friends noticed. “Naomi, you eat ALL the time! How do stay so slim?”