Independence day, 2005
Maria touched the diamond pendant on her chest, adjusted the rear view mirror, and drove to the nearest 7-11. Not wanting to wake the children, she pulled the car far around to the left side of the store in the last parking space next to the dumpster. She would only be a few minutes, they would be fine. She rolled down the windows a crack and locked the doors. The store was having a slow night for a holiday, and there was no one at the gas pumps. When she rounded the corner, the clerk was standing at the front door smoking a cigarette. He opened the door for her, tossed his cigarette away, and came inside.
Maria quickly grabbed the items she needed and made her way to the counter. The clerk rang up her purchase and she left the store holding a big bag full of groceries, a gallon of milk, her purse on her shoulder, and her keys in her hand.
A car had pulled up alongside of the BMW. She made her way not noticing if the car was occupied or not. She stepped between the dumpster and the BMW, and began fumbling to get her key in the door. It was an old Beamer without remote access. She managed to get the door open. Then she heard a kind voice, “Here, let me help you with that.”
“Sure,” she said, half muttering some sort of expression of appreciation as she handed over the carton of milk and the bag. She didn’t notice the gloved hands or think of them as odd in Florida in July. She turned to her car, leaned in, and flung her purse onto the car seat. She started to turn back to retrieve the items from the kind stranger.
She heard the bag tear, the crash of the plastic container, and felt the cold milk hit her bare legs. Startled, she looked around to see the silver blade glinting in the dark of the night as it came up to her chest. Shadowed by the figure, she saw no face. First the pressure, then the sharp pain, someone had her by the right shoulder; the pressure again and again. Oh, the pain! She pushed away against the door; was trapped, and too weak to fight. She wanted to scream, but found herself voiceless. There was no time to think. It happened in a flash. There were too many shadows swirling in her mind. Wanting to fight, she felt her grip tighten on her keys, her nails digging into her flesh, but the pain in her chest was sudden, intense, like a fiery hot coal exploding in her heart. It was blinding, this pain. Crippled by it, her hands relaxed. She dropped the keys. The perpetrator held to her. The scent of sensuous cologne and her own blood filled her nostrils; hard and heavy breathing in her ear. There was heat from the breath on her face, warmth, wet and trickling, now gushing down her abdomen, onto her thighs, and then nothing.
“It’s been pure hell. We’ve been the prime suspects for three years. It was a vulgar crime. The children lay sleeping in the back seat while the criminals abducted, murdered, then urinated on their prey, leaving her dead body on the front seat of the BMW in a pool of blood. Torn grocery bag, busted gallon of milk, loaf of bread, donuts, cereal boxes scattered between the dumpster and the car. It appeared that she had fought them off furiously. Upon the supposed safety of her vehicle, she had attempted to find refuge there in escape. The perpetrators of this crime were brutal, far more hostile in their display of enmity than I could have been. Though, there were tormenting times when I thought myself to have conjured them, to have called them up from deep sub consciousness. Eerie, it was, to see the photos of her sprawled there on the car seat looking so helplessly frail. She was stabbed seven times in the chest. Dreadlocks lay loosely in a right hand that was once so tightly clinched in fight that her own nails marked her palm. Her wedding ring was missing from the left hand. Her purse and cell phone were gone. The diamond pendant she wore around her neck had been taken. There was some talk among authorities that she had been sexually assaulted, as well, but it was such a difficult scene to imagine in the side parking lot of a 7-11 at near midnight. DNA from hair and urine samples taken at the scene matched, but did not match the semen sample, giving rise to the notion of at least two, or more, abductors. None of them were either one of us.”
- Does it make you want to read more?
- Is it cohesive enough between the actual murder and the suspect’s recollection of the police report information.
- Did it leave you with questions?
- What do you feel you need to know now?
- It is 800 words. Too long or too short?