When I first saw the words, “Write in the Mystery Genre” in my writing class a week ago, I thought, “Wow, I can do that; especially with what is going on in my life?”
The mystery in my life began about a year ago when I looked out my living room window and saw something I was not supposed to see. It was nine o’clock on a Tuesday evening and I had some free time, so I gazed out my window to see what I could see.
In my neighbors bedroom window across the street I saw Jim Lynstrom inside his room and he was kissing someone other than his wife. It looked like Betty Snowdom, a widow woman who lived several blocks away. At first they were in a passionate kiss but then something happened—and all of a sudden she began screaming and hitting him and soon he hit back and then began strangling her.
I edged away from the window, shaking with fear. I few seconds later I carefully moved my head closer to the edge of the window, but saw nothing. The shades had been drawn and all was quiet.
It took me several hours to calm down, so I prepared a meal for my dog, Lady and then put something in the microwave for me.
I live by myself and I’m used to a normal routine. Well, this definitely wasn’t normal. Later, I watched TV until my nerves calmed down and I could stay awake no more.
Several days later I happened to see Jim outside. He was watering some tomato plants and seemed to be very happy and carefree. His wife was outside too, tending to her rose bushes.
I began to think that what I saw was a delusion until two months later when Jim’s wife disappeared. There was a lot of hullabaloo on the TV and many were thinking that Jim had done something to his wife.
Well, her body was never found and eventually the neighborhood returned to normal. At least, it was for awhile.
About a year and a half later on a cold November day, Jim knocked on my door. I was upstairs putting my laundry away but quickly went downstairs and opened the door. Jim was looking kind of strange—a little too happy and self-confident.
He said, “Marge, we’ve known each other a long time and you’ve never said anything bad about me—especially when my wife disappeared and everyone thought I did something to her. Well…would you like to go out for dinner this week sometime? I sure could use the company.”
I don’t normally experience fear but I did then. I replied, “Jim, thank you for the offer but I’m just too busy with my writing and taking care of Lady. But, thank you for thinking of me.”
He looked sad but replied, “Oh, that’s alright. Just thought I would ask.”
Later that day around ten o’clock at night I happened to look out my bedroom and saw him looking back at me. He was smiling, like he was up to something. It was a sinister smile, and it gave a jolt!
Around one in the morning I heard some movement downstairs in the living room. I walked downstairs, breathing slowly and quietly.
What I saw in my living room that night, I will never forget. It was Jim, sitting in my armchair, rocking back and forth and repeating over and over, “I didn’t mean to kill them, I really didn’t…They were just so bossy…So bossy!”
I think you know what I did next….
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