Jun 15, 2005

The Jump Rope Murder, Installment Two

This is the second installment for Short Story Wednesday. If you missed the first one you might want to catch up by going
Sam searched the back seat carefully and came across a red stain just below the headrest.

“What do you make of this, Bob?”

“It looks like lipstick to me. Red lipstick.”

Bob went back to prying Father Pendleton’s fingers off the steering wheel when Mother bullied her rotund-ness through the onlookers.

“Can we get this show on the road? You’re ruining the appetites of my breakfast crowd!”

The woman was disgusting to look at with a few wiry hairs growing out of her double chin. Her gray hair was filthy and her glasses were splattered with a week’s worth of grease.

“I’m sorry, Mrs…uh…”

“Just call me Mother. Everyone else does.

“Okay…uh…Mother,” Sam agreed impatiently. “Someone, it appears, has been murdered here. That makes this a crime scene, you know, with evidence, suspects and stuff like that?”

She started to interrupt but seemed to think better of it as his anger escalated.

“So, I’m very sorry to inconvenience you, but I’m afraid the answer is NO. We can’t hurry!”

Mother turned around and stomped off in a huff.

“Don’t go far,” Sam yelled. “I still need to get a statement from you.”

As Mother pushed her way out of the crowd Mrs. Whittington, the bank president’s wife, excused her way politely but firmly through to the sheriff.

“Excuse me, Sheriff Westin, I need to talk to you.”

Behind them Bob was pulling the father’s body out. The car started to roll forward and Sam jumped in to put on the brakes. The car was still in drive.

The Father’s body was solemnly placed into the Medical Examiner’s wagon. Sam called, “Let me know about the autopsy,” as Bob pulled out of the parking lot.

“Now, Mrs. Whittington, you were saying?” Sam asked with irritation.

“Shouldn’t we go down to the station?” She whispered, “I need to talk to you privately.”

“I need to finish up here, first. I’ll meet you at my office at 2.”

As she walked away Sam made a mental note of her bright red lipstick.

“Okay,” Sam called out to the crowd. “You can all go home, now. If you have any information about Father Pendleton’s death, contact me at the station.”

After everyone left, Sam surveyed the parking lot for any other evidence. Then he stepped inside Mother’s for a cup of coffee while he waited on the tow truck. Sam stirred his coffee as Mother rubbed mechanically on the counter with a rag.

“What time did you get here this morning?”

“5:45—same as every day.”

“But you didn’t call me till 6?”

“I know. I walked across the alley from my house and come in the back. I didn’t notice his car till I seen him through the front window while I was fillin’ shakers. At first I thought he was waitin’ for me to open, but when I unlocked around 6 he didn’t come in.”

Mother tugged on the sides of her bra and wiped her upper lip with the back of her hand. “Finally I waved at him from the front door. Imagine! Me waving at a corpse! Boy, did I feel like a fool. When he didn’t move I went out to his car. I could see he was dead.

“How could you be so sure?”

“I know dead when I see it! I seen my husband Harry stretched out on the bed, cold and gray-lookin’ and stiff as a day-old waffle.”

“Did you check the Father’s pulse?”

“I ain’t ig-no-rant! I watch TV! You ain’t supposed to touch nothing at the scene!”

The Jump Rope Murder.


Bill said...


<<“I ain’t ig-no-rant! I watch TV! You ain’t supposed to touch nothing at the scene!”>>

I don't know why... but, I could just see that woman... an indignant look on her face as she spouted that line...

Made me smile... I'm still enjoying the story!

Karyn Lyndon said...

Thanks, Bill, I had fun writing mother's description and dialog (not based on anyone I know.)