Nobody Should Be in 1610 Maple
By Roy Dorman
Or should they?
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.
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.
got out of his squad, quietly closed the door, and started up
the sidewalk to the porch.
on in, Eddie,” a voice called to him from inside the house.
“I’ve been expecting you.”
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.”
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.”
stared at Gwen. He hadn’t seen her for almost five years, but
thought about her every day.
this is Eddie. Come in, Carla. Over.”
Eddie, whatcha got? Over.”
at 1610 Maple. Um…Gwen
is here. Over.”
me talk, Eddie,” said Gwen, reaching out and depressing the
TALK button on Eddie’s shoulder two-way radio.
this is Gwen. How ya doin’, slut? Over.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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
over here, Carla,” said Gwen. “The three of us have
things to discuss. Over and out.”
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
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.
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.
stopped just before the porch steps. “Are you in there, Eddie?”
here, Carla. I am too,” said Gwen. “Come on in.”
some kind of ghost, aren’t you?” said Carla, stepping into
the living room.
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.”
really sorry about what we did, Gwen,” said Eddie. “We
shouldn’t have killed—”
up, Eddie!” said Carla.
not like she doesn’t know what we did,” said Eddie. “You shot
her right in the face.”
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.”
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.
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, 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
heard her, didn’t you, John?” said Eddie. “Gwen put you on to
us; she set us up.”
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.”
what about the bright light?” Carla’s voice was tinged with
hysteria. “Didn’t you see the light?”
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.”
know it’s a little late for this, you two,” said Kelly. “But you
have the right to remain silent…”
Roy Dorman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
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.