THE NEXT DAY. Today is the day Pam dies. I'd run through my checklist again, checking everything off. We have to kill her—no loose ends. I ran my fingers through my hair and noticed they were a little shaky, which had never happened before. Sure, I'd seen blood on them, but I'd never been the shaky type. I'd never had a problem with killing. What the hell is happening? I searched back through my thoughts, but when nothing comes to mind, my eyes went cold. Angie slept like a baby through the night. I'm not sure if it's the pregnancy or that she wanted Gina dead more than I did. Either way, I wanted to get this over with—to kill Pam. And get on with life. A life that would include a child and a beautiful wife (should we get married). I brushed my hand across Angie's sleepy face. Her eyes batted open.
"Where are we?" she asked, bobbing her head like a baby learning how to turn its head. It's been a long time since I'd slept with a woman and truly loved her, but I loved Angie. I'd kill a hundred women for the girl.
"You fell asleep. I carried you into a hotel for the night. We need to hide out for a day, maybe more." Killing her mother seemed so wrong, yet it had to be done. It was like two competing forces battled inside me. I paced the hotel room dressing in all black. I placed the gun we'd bought off some drug dealer last night in the small of my back. "Today is the day, right? After today, we can be together without looking over our shoulders."
The more she talked about being together without the threat of being exposed as the guy sleeping with Pam's daughter, the more I shook the competing views to select killing instead of turning myself in or any of that bullshit.
Angie threw the covers off her body and stumbled to the shower. I could hear the water trickle from her hair to her neck to her back to her thighs and the drain. Her body left me mesmerized every time. Suddenly, I was shaken when I noticed a BREAKING NEWS alert flash across the screen. Police combed through Gina's office on live television.
"What the fuck!" I said, turning up the volume. "No. No." I stood to my feet, pacing the room. "We were careful, right?" I said. "This can't be happening."
"I thought so, why?" Angie craned her neck around the shower door to where I could see her eyes. "What is it?" Angie's voice pitched with panic.
I placed my finger to my lips, shushing her from where she stood. It was about Gina missing, and the cops suspected foul play. Had we been as careful as I thought? I'd only killed by myself in the past, so working as a team had its downside: Double the worries and double combing over actions for mistakes. "Someone called the cops because Gina didn't show up for work, and authorities suspect she's dead or murdered or held against her will."
Angie exited the shower, drying herself with one of those large white hotel towels when something captured my attention. I blew out a sigh.
"What is it?" Angie asked. "Did I do something wrong?"
"Did we leave the shovel with the white handle behind?"
"What of it? We wore black gloves. You're starting to freak me out. I thought you were some pro at this?" Angie said.
"I've never worked as a team," I said. "I just feel like there's something we're missing—something we forgot to do."
"We'll bury your mother at Blue Lake. It's a small vacation town. People bring their RVs or Motorhomes to the area. But not a whole lot of people would expect a dead body there." I'd been to Blue Lake as a kid. I was in the eighth grade and almost drown. But our dog did drown. We buried him in a white towel at Blue Lake. It's a beautiful place with death in its midst. I cried when we buried the dog, but I'd never cried after killing a woman—never.
"Take it easy, dude." Gina threw her arms around me, and we kissed until our lips chapped. Her kisses pushed the thought of making mistakes out of my mind (which isn't a good thing). "We'll be fine. We did everything right. I watch crime shows all the time. I know what cops look for and what they forget to find. We're good."
I let out a sigh I didn't know existed. We got in the car and past stoplights and street signs, hoping the ocean in my head would stop tiding. The acres of green grass faded into the forest. I'd never noticed it before; it was like something in my life was new. My new love made colors appear in a different light. The scent of her angelic skin poured gasoline on the fire, burning in my soul. This was it. We kill Pam, and it's over. I couldn't wait. I wouldn't have to kill again. Ever.
As we pulled up to the house, the brakes squeaked. Pam told Angie to take the car to a mechanic every day this month, and it's December 23rd. Was Angie too immature to be a mother? Too naive to be a wife?
"Here's how it's going down. I got the gun. Bring Pam to the garage. Tell her you finally fixed the brakes. And I'll shoot her, and we'll be done with it," I said.
"Wish me luck," Angie said and kissed my lips. Angie jogged to the house—as if we weren't going to kill her mother—as if everything was fine. I'd begun to wonder if Angie was more cutthroat than I was. From what I could see through the smudged window, hiding in the corner, Pam laughed when Angie told her she'd finally had the brakes fixed. Angie pulled Pam by the arm to the garage.
"Seem, Mom," Angie said, pressing the brakes. "All better." Angie's eyes darted to me, and she mouthed. Now!
I extended my arms, closed my eyes, and heard a loud pop. I opened my eyes, and Pam fell to the ground. Smoke came from a barrel in which Angie held. I lowered my gaze to my chest. There was blood...everywhere. Angie shot me. I laughed as I collapsed.
"You didn't think I was going to let you live, did you? No loose ends, remember?"
(alternative ending coming soon!)
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The Wrong FatherShort Story
Seeking a fresh start, Mark Jamison moves to Seattle, Washington. He left his old life behind to find another wife--a perfect family-a ready-made family. But when his past catches up to him, will his future wife, Pam, believe any of it?