I suffer greatly from the fear of vomit. I’ll do anything to avoid vomiting. That is why every evening I make a tonic of apple cider vinegar and honey with water. The vinegar kills the urpy-glurpy; the honey makes it go down easy.
Last night, walking through the kitchen on my way to bed, I slipped and spilled some tonic. I grabbed a towel, dropped it on the puddle. I’ll clean it up tomorrow, I mused. I left the towel on the mess to remind me.
In the tumult of finding Brent’s body in the yard, I had forgotten why my bath towel was lying on the kitchen floor.
The ringing of the telephone nearly scared the spit right out of my mouth.
“Hello?” I knew it wasn’t the police; they couldn’t possibly know about the body in my yard. I still needed to decide what I was going to do about it. I couldn’t just leave him out there to rot.
“Where are you?” My friend, Sam’s voice was frantic.
“Sam, you called me at home.”
“Why are you there? You’re supposed to be helping me with inventory.” Sam was the owner of the newest store in Bighorn, The Crazy Lady Trading Post. She was expecting her first shipment after opening last month. I had volunteered to help her, only now I was a bit on the busy side.
“Sam, I can’t today.”
“Dixie, you promised. I need you.”
“I know. I can’t.”
“I don’t think you quite understand, I need you.”
I knew she didn’t believe me but what could I say? Well Sam, it’s like this, there’s a dead body in my front yard. It’s no one of any consequence—just my boss. You know, the one I’ve threatened to kill…he’s now dead in my yard. I have to figure out how to dispose of it, appear normal to the police. I’m crazy busy. But I couldn’t exactly tell her that.
“Sam, I need to clean the yard. It is overgrown and full of lots of big pieces of trash. I’ll probably fill a body bag. You don’t happen to sell those at your store, do you?” I knew I was rambling and if I wasn’t careful I’d say too much, but when I am petrified I tend to babble.
“No, Dixie, I don’t carry body bags. I do have some large boxes you could have. Where did all this trash come from? I saw your yard yesterday and it looked fine.”
“I don’t know. Maybe a freak windstorm came through last night?”
“I’ll come bring you boxes and you’ll help me this afternoon,” Sam stated in her no-nonsense way.
I should have known Sam would want to help. “Thanks, but I’m kind of anxious to get it done and it would take you, what, an hour to get here? I’m ready to start.”
“Yeah right. You’re sitting on the couch in your pajamas, sipping coffee.” How did she know that? “I’ll be there in 30.”
I am so dead.
I rushed to the bathroom and attempted to take the fastest shower known to man so I could have the body disposed of before Sam arrived. I grabbed the bath towel off the floor as I dashed past, utterly forgetting why it was on the floor. Shower done, I wrapped the towel around my head.
It was at that moment I heard the ringing of the telephone. I hesitated before racing across the kitchen floor. At least that was my intention, I seem to have forgotten wet, slippery feet and linoleum do not mix. I bounced off the island in the kitchen, slipped into the desk and careened onto the floor right next to the telephone stand. I reached up and knocked around on the table for the phone, only succeeding in moving it further out of my reach. Adding insult to my injury, my towel was now stuck to my head with honey. I would have thought the honey would have lost its stickiness after drying all night…it hadn’t. Every attempt to finger comb my hair was agony.
“Dixie, this is Joanna. Brent’s not in yet, and I can’t get a hold of him. I’m sure you’re on your way. Bye.” My answering machine beeped as she hung up. At the same time I heard Sam’s Mini Cooper pull into the yard.
I rolled my eyes, so much for hiding the body before she got here…
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