Guys like me don’t usually do things like this, but I’ve been up since three o’clock, sitting here in the dark, waiting for the brisk October sun to retake its position above the day’s forecasted clouds. A pumpkin spice candle flickers on the kitchen table—the wax puddles beneath its wick. The TV is on, but the sound is off. I blow steam from the brim of the coffee cup I hold and take quick sips. I think about life and stare out the large bay window of this three-story brick lakeside mansion. The house rests on Shafford Hill. A place where people of means lived. I had inherited this place from Dad. We’d buried my parents last year this month, almost to the day. Investigators said the brakes on Dad’s car had malfunctioned and wrapped his Mustang around a telephone pole. One overzealous insurance claims agent theorized one of Dad’s angry clients had tampered with his brakes. Authorities tried but could prove nothing. Absent skid marks on the freeway, the police assured me it was a quick death—no suffering.
(© 2021 AC)
(Erica Orloff edited this short story. All of my short stories on Kindle are professionally edited.)