(continued from 04/22/15)

Wha…wait… what?”  He leaned forward, using the remote to turn the volume up “..of the five escaped inmates, only one has not been taken back into custody. Mrs. Jessica MacKillroy, describe as 5 foot 5 inches, 135 pounds and brunette. She should not be considered armed, but should she be sighted, do not try to engage. Contact the police immediately at…”  Danny turned the volume back down.  He knew the number, everyone knew the number.  So she’s out, she’s escaped.  Why?  Why would she bother?  She only had a few weeks left of her sentence.  Why would she tack on more time?  He flopped back on the couch, gulping the last of the beer.  Why would she make such a mistake?

Danny gathered the empties, his knees creaking as he stood to take them into the kitchen.  He staggered, just slightly, dumping the cans into the recycling and steadying himself on the counter.  “Stupid bitch,” he spat, a tear starting to well.  “Why would you do something so stupid?”  He shook his head, shoulder slumping.  “Why, Jessica…why?”

Then he stopped.  Everything stopped.  His heartbeat in his ears.  His chest tightened, his breath refusing to come.  His hand on the countered balled, hiding the fingers in his palm.  His other hand shook as he turned, reaching the trembling digest towards something he knew could not possibly be.

In the sink, stood the Taz glass.  Condensation had grown on the side.  Drips, like dew in the early spring morning, ran down the sides.  He touched it, believing it would disappear.  “Just a mirage.  A dream.  I’m dreaming.”  The glass remained.  Jessica’s glass.  It was half full with water, a smashed lemon wedge jammed in under the ice.  “This can’t be.  This can’t be.  This can’t be.”

And it wasn’t anymore.  Nothing was anymore.  A great silence, a darkness, a nothing enveloped Danny MacKillroy.  Forty five minutes later, when the bus started to turn the corner, all the children screamed.  Fire trucks and police cars blocked the road.  Suburban America had exploded into a war zone of sirens and flashing lights.  Samantha and James gapped at their house, engulfed in yellow and orange and blue flames.  Firefighters slumped under the weight of miles of hoses, struggling to douse the nightmare.  The immaculately kept bathrooms, the perfectly sterile kitchen, the completely organized and alphabetized closets; gone.  All of it gone down to ashes, down to nothing.

That night, after the fire and house and nearly a half millions dollars’ worth of furniture and clothes and memories, after all of that was destroyed; two bodies lay in the wreckage.  They were intertwined, a lovers embrace, laying on top of each other like layers in a cake.  The one on top seemed to be trying to shield the one on the bottom from the flames.  It was believed to have been Jessica MacKillroy, but never completely proven.  The one on the bottom the coroner identified by what was left of his teeth as Danny MacKillroy.  Danny, not Daniel, had died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head which had exited through his mouth, thus the missing teeth.  The weapon was never found.  No one ever bothered with much of an investigation.  The incident lays in a closed case file, labeled a murder suicide.

— Sarah Ockershausen Delp

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