A Sample from IN THE SEVENTH DAY by Jane Cooper Easton


Wednesday morning, Alan drives out of Vevay, Indiana. He looks back in the rearview mirror as he passes the ‘Welcome to Vevay’ sign facing the other way. He lifts his right hand and waves. “Good riddance, Vevay.” Then he drives beyond the boundary of the small town. He doesn’t look back from then on. Indianapolis is several hours northwest of him; and he looks forward to getting back into the main office and to work that makes sense.

Stan Martins plans to leave at the end of the week. He says good-bye to Alan and wishes him the best of luck. He apologizes for not being helpful in finding June; the two men clap each other on the shoulders and tell each other everything is all right, everything happens for a reason even if they don’t know what that reason might be.

Stan and Alan chuckle, then part ways.

Stan stops in at the Vevay police station to hand over the information collected by the Office of Criminal Investigations to the sheriff. Stan gives the man a small box filled with paper and photographs. All of the photographs are taken by June when she is still alive. Most are from the Crandon home; a few she takes out at the Gateway barn and farmhouse. A few are taken at the Cafe; one or two at the police station. In the box are several drawings that Alan creates. A few are drawings of the crime itself.

The sheriff holds up one of the pencil sketches. He points to Alan’s depiction of the killer, who holds a poker up over the head in readiness to strike Arlene. “Odd,” says Matt to Stan.

“What?”

“You say Alan drew these?”

“Yes,” he says.

“Well look at the killer.”

“Yeah, so what?”

“It’s a woman.”

Stan takes the drawing. “Well I’ll be damned. I didn’t even notice. But you’re right.”

“Odd that Alan would draw the killer as a woman, don’t you think? I wonder who he suspected?”

Stan sits down in the lobby, thinks. “Maybe it wasn’t that he thought the killer is a woman. Maybe it’s just that he had a woman on his mind when he drew the depiction. After all, it’s just a sketch, an approximation of what likely happened.”

“But,” says Matt, “I wonder who he had in mind.”

“Looks like June to me,” says Stan.

“Yes, it does.”

Stan adds, “But of course it couldn’t have been June who killed the Crandons since she was in Indianapolis on the day they were likely murdered.”

“Of course,” says the sheriff.

“Maybe it’s Susan,” says Stan.

Matt looks at him. “Why do you say that?”

“She’s a strange woman,” says Stan.

Matt shakes his head, and emphatically responds, “Actually, she’s not.” The sheriff explains, “She’s pretty normal. Only she’s been so ill recently. I wish you could have known her before. You’d never suspect her of any crime, much less murder.”

“Really?”

“Really,” says Matt. “She’s a great mother; a wonderful wife and homemaker. She loves Tom. You couldn’t ask for a better woman.”

Stan shakes his head. “Well,” he says, “it doesn’t matter anyway. This case is closed. And June Ullman is just a memory. I’ve never felt so totally worthless, especially on two cases!”

Matt Fallon says, “You know her parents call here every other day.”

“They do?”

“Yes,” says Matt. “I keep telling them we’ve no leads, but they keep calling.”

“Next time, refer them to me. That’s not something you should have to deal with, Sheriff. My office will handle that from now on. Okay?”

“Okay,” says Matt. “Thanks.”

“Well,” says Stan, “it’s been interesting, Sheriff Fallon. I’m leaving in the morning, going back to Indy.”

“Okay Mr. Martins. Thanks for coming down.”

“I didn’t make a difference.”

Matt doesn’t know what to say, so he says nothing.

Stan waits a moment, says, “Well yeah.” Then he leaves.

____________________________

Copyright 2012 Jane Cooper Easton

All Rights Reserved

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3 comments on “A Sample from IN THE SEVENTH DAY by Jane Cooper Easton

  1. Thank you Weakly Short Stories.

  2. Thanks Seth. Hope you’ll buy a copy. I did an edit this morning — yes, after publication because I saw another spacing error which I fixed. So, my book is temporarily unavailable again. Should be back up by Friday.

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