Black Petals Issue #84 Summer, 2018

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Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Goodbye to Nowhere Land-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Just a Minute-Fiction by Mark Joseph Kevlock
Nobody Should Be in 1610 Maple-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Next Stop: Napper's Holler-Fiction by A.M. Stickel, Chapter 1
Next Stop: Napper's Holler-Fiction by A.M. Stickel, Chapter 2
Next Stop: Napper's Holler-Fiction by A.M. Stickel, Chapter 3
Prey-Poems by Michael Keshigian
Asunder-Poems by Mick Rose

1610maple.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2018

Nobody Should Be in 1610 Maple Street

 

By Roy Dorman

 

Or should they?

 

It was 12:20 AM and Officer Eddie Sutton was looking forward to finishing his rounds. He was driving down Maple Street, a street with a lot of memories, when he noticed the front door of 1610 was open and light from the entryway was pouring out onto the front porch.

He shut off his headlights and pulled up in front of the abandoned house. It was scheduled for demolition later this week and nobody should be in it. His first thought was to call for backup, but, for his own reasons, he decided to handle this one himself.

He got out of his squad, quietly closed the door, and started up the sidewalk to the porch.

“Come on in, Eddie,” a voice called to him from inside the house. “I’ve been expecting you.”

Eddie recognized the voice of his former wife and stepped through the front door. “You’re not supposed to be here, Gwen,” he said. “This house is supposed to be empty.”

“It’s still my house, our house, so why shouldn’t I be here?” she asked. “Maybe you want to call Carla for backup. Or don’t you want her involved this time.”

Eddie stared at Gwen. He hadn’t seen her for almost five years, but thought about her every day.

“Carla, this is Eddie. Come in, Carla. Over.”

“Hey, Eddie, whatcha got? Over.”

“I’m at 1610 Maple. Um…Gwen is here. Over.”

“Let me talk, Eddie,” said Gwen, reaching out and depressing the TALK button on Eddie’s shoulder two-way radio.

 Carla, this is Gwen. How ya doin’, slut? Over.”

 There were a few seconds of silence before Carla’s voice came over the system. “Gwen?” she said warily. “You’re not supposed to be there. That house is supposed to be empty.”

 “You’re supposed to say ‘Over’ when you’re done talkin’, Carla. And Eddie already told me I wasn’t supposed to be here and that the house was supposed to be vacant. You two go over your lines together in anticipation of this happening? Over.” 

 Eddie stood with his mouth open, afraid to move. Gwen was buried at the Riverside Cemetery. He had been at the gravesite and had thrown the first shovelful of dirt on the casket.

 She had been shot in the head in this very house by “unknown intruders.” The case was now cold, but it had never been closed. The intruders had never been found because there had been no intruders. Eddie and Carla had killed Gwen so they could be together.

 Eddie reached out to touch Gwen where her hand rested on his shoulder. His hand went through her upper arm and he pulled it back showing little surprise.

 “Get over here, Carla,” said Gwen. “The three of us have things to discuss. Over and out.”

 Gwen stepped back and smirked at Eddie. “I just love that ‘over and out’ shit you guys get to do. It’s so Hill Street Blues, or whatever.”

 They were in the living room of the house he’d once shared with Gwen. Since there was no furniture, Eddie wondered about the light source. It just seemed to “be.” He could see through the doorways of the adjoining rooms that they were also lit. His hold on reality was becoming more and more tenuous as he came to grips with what now seemed to be the obvious.

 

Ten minutes later, Carla pulled up outside and started toward the house. If she was shocked by the light coming from every window in the old two-story Victorian she didn’t show it. 

She stopped just before the porch steps. “Are you in there, Eddie?”

“He’s here, Carla. I am too,” said Gwen. “Come on in.”

“You’re some kind of ghost, aren’t you?” said Carla, stepping into the living room.

“Always the quick one, weren’t you, Carla,” said Gwen with a smile, “except when you were slow. You two can sit on the floor if you’ll be more comfortable. I’m fine just…hovering.”

“We’re really sorry about what we did, Gwen,” said Eddie. “We shouldn’t have killed—”

“Shut up, Eddie!” said Carla.

“It’s not like she doesn’t know what we did,” said Eddie. “You shot her right in the face.”

“Yeah, well, you planned the whole thing,” said Carla. “He did, Gwen. He made it seem random and anonymous so the investigation would dry up for lack of clues. He hid the gun in that old coal bin in the basement, figuring it would be buried when the house was demolished.”

Eddie stood there with his head down, staring at the floor, unable to look at Gwen. The bullet hole in her forehead had started to bleed, and a trickle of blood had made its way to her right eye.

 

Suddenly, the surreal lights went out and were replaced by the beams of three flashlights. A detective and two uniformed cops stepped into the living room from the kitchen.

“Well, well, well, as they say in the mystery movies,” said Detective John Kelly. “You two sure picked an odd place to confess to a murder. I never believed that ‘returning to the scene of the crime’ stuff, but here we are.”

“You heard her, didn’t you, John?” said Eddie. “Gwen put you on to us; she set us up.”

“Your wife’s dead, Eddie; been dead for five years,” said Kelly. “We got an anonymous call that if we set up a stakeout tonight at 1610 Maple, we might be able to solve a murder. We did and we did.”

“But what about the bright light?” Carla’s voice was tinged with hysteria. “Didn’t you see the light?”

“We sat in the goddamn dark for two hours,” grumped one of the uniforms. “There wasn’t any light except for when a car went by outside.”

“I know it’s a little late for this, you two,” said Kelly. “But you have the right to remain silent…”

 

The End

 

Roy Dorman, roydorman@yahoo.com, who wrote BP #84’s “Goodbye to Nowhere Land” and “Nobody Should Be at 1610 Maple St.” (+ BP #83’s “Door #2”; BP #82’s “A Nowhere Friend” & “Foundling”; BP #81’s “Nowhere Man in Nowhere Land” & “The Box with Pearl Inlay”; BP #80’s “Andrew’s War” & “Down at the Hardware Store”; BP #79’s “Cellmates” & “Get Some Shelter,” BP #78’s “All Is as It Should Be,” BP #77’s “Essence of Andrew,” BP #76’s “Flirting with the Alley,” BP #75’s “The Enemy of My Enemy…” BP #74’s “Doesn’t Play Well with Others,” BP #73’s “A Journey Starts with a Flower,” BP #72’s “The Beach House,” BP #71’s “The Big Apple Bites,” BP #70’s “Borrowing Some Love” and BP #69’s “Back in Town” and “Finding Good Help…”), is retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has been a voracious reader for 60 years. At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired English teacher, Roy is now a voracious writer. He has had poetry and flash fiction published in Apocrypha and Abstractions, Birds Piled Loosely, Burningword Literary Journal, Cease Cows, Cheapjack Pulp, Crack The Spine, Drunk Monkeys, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, Flash Fiction Press, Gap-Toothed Madness, Gravel, Lake City Lights, Near To The Knuckle, Shotgun Honey, The Creativity Webzine, Theme of Absence, The Screech Owl, The Story Shack, & Yellow Mama.

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