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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Spider and the Fly

The waiting room was not that crowded.  I sat waiting to see the doctor.  What’s the holdup?  It was eleven forty five.  My appointment was for eleven o’clock.  I had read the newspaper.  I also read two People magazines, one Golf Digest and a two year old copy of a health magazine with the picture of an open stomach cavity showing upper and lower intestines much to my dislike.  It reminded me too much of those CSI shows on television that take you inside the autopsy rooms. They show the corpses close up and personal with all their bloody organs exposed.
“Excuse me,” I said to the receptionist, who was reading the comic section of the daily newspaper.  She looked at me, a lack of interest written on her face.
“Yes, can I help you?” She asked in a low monotone, with the enthusiasm of a death row inmate.
“My appointment was for eleven,”  I said.  “I would like to know when the doctor is going to see me.”
“I’m sorry.  The doctor is running behind.  It has been very busy here this morning.”  I was alone in the waiting room.
“I can appreciate that,” I said, “but I’m also a very busy man.”
“Take a seat and I will call you when he is free.”  Disgusted, I sat and read an article on the benefits of hydrogen peroxide.  I discovered it cleans stains and disinfects; it is beneficial for your breath, tongue, and your ears, besides any cuts bruises or bumps you have acquired,  and it is a good mouth wash as well, it is a miracle chemical.
“Mr. Field.” the voice barely audible.  “Follow, me,” the girl in the white frock said,  “How are you today?”
“Good thank you, and you?” It was not her fault the doctor was  slow.
“I’m fine.  Thanks for asking.”  She pointed me to the black and white sign that read Exam Room #2.
“You are Amos Fields born March 7, 1940?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Could you spell your last name Mister Fields?”
“F-i-e-l-d with no s, please,” I said, disturbed to think she had my file in her hand, which read Field, Amos L and she still mispronounced my name.
“I’m so sorry, Mister Field.  It just seems like there should be an s in your name.”
“There is.  Amos has an s,” I said with a touch of acerbity.
From that moment, she was all business.  She pulled the machine over my eyes, adjusting my chin on the plastic mold. After she looked into the machine I held a piece of black cardboard over each eye…left first, then the right she said, “Now read the top line.”  The letters looked like tiny ants on a sheet of white paper.
“Uh huh,” she said.  “I think we can do a little better.  Let’s try again.  What letters do you see ?”  After zooming in on the letters she asked me to read the letters on the top line.
Where does she get this we stuff?  I’ve noticed medical people always use we.  How are we feeling today?  Are we comfortable?  I think we can do better than that, don’t you?
“Try not to blink,” she said putting drops in my eyes. Five minutes later the doctor grabs the file and comes into the room.
From the hallway, I could see out into the rear parking lot.  It looked like my wife’s silver Toyota driving off.  Couldn’t be her, she was home when I left this morning.
“How are we doing today, Amos?” he asks. There goes that we stuff again.
“Fine.”  I’m sure my facial expression belied my reply.
“Why don’t we take a look.”  After shining a two thousand watt bulb in my left eye for five minutes, he switches to the right and repeats the procedure.  A few Ummms and a couple of Ahhhhs,  “we have cataracts.”
He sits staring at the file, writes something on the paper, closes the file and says, “everything looks good…except for the Cataracts…but we’ll look at them again next year.  Have a nice day Amos.” He hurries me out the door and down the hall to the check out window.
“Have you got a prescription for me?”  I ask, chasing him down the hall.
“I’ll give you a prescription if you want one, but not much has changed.”
“No.  Forget it.  If  I don’t need them.”
Twelve fifteen.  One hour and fifteen minutes for a ten minute appointment and I was famished.
Lunch on Wednesdays was a catch as catch can, whatever I could find in the refrigerator for left overs.  My wife was not home on Wednesday at lunch time; it was her “day off.”
It was that afternoon, after my appointment that I contemplated revenge.  Thinking about killing my doctor was, at this time, an impulse. I have never killed anybody, and I’ve never even stolen anything in my life except one funny book in eighth grade, and that was on a dare.  I got caught and, the owner told my father.  I got a strapping and sent to bed without supper.  I learned my lesson.  I have prided myself on the fact I follow the Ten Commandments, well for the most part I follow them.  I have slipped a couple of times over the years.  Now I was contemplating violating one of the fiercest of the commandments; Thou Shall Not Kill.
Suddenly a thought came to me while I was considering what to have for my late lunch.   Why not show that doctor what it was like to have to wait, paying little attention to my needs, and being inconsiderate of my time.
I’ll Kidnap him. I got all tingly inside thinking about my plan; it felt right.  I had a small cottage on Screw pond a few miles from the city where no one ever goes.  I have not been up there in over fifteen years.  I’ll take the good doctor up there.  No one will ever find him.
I’ve had a neighbor at the pond check on the camp from time to time.  He reports that other than the need for a new paint job and a new front porch the place is in decent shape.
I’m not about to spend any money on that old shack.  I’ve never liked it from the time I was old enough to spend summers on that vermin infested pond, with my Uncle Jeremiah.
My Uncle Jeremiah left me the camp upon his death twenty years ago.  I think he left it to me more as a curse than an act of kindness.  He knew how much I hated that pond, and its surroundings.  It smelled of old swampy, decaying pond lilies and dead horn pout that, from time to time, surfaced on the scum that lays atop the stagnant water.
The Bass jump at sundown causing rippling on the pond, that, I admit, is a sight to behold. I have never eaten any fish from the pond, and I never will.  Only God knows what these fish have ingested in their slime infested lifetime. The stagnant water, which is of itself a deterrent to fine dining, is nauseating.  Algae and scum leave an iridescent glow on the surface of the water.  It is enough to make one puke.
When I was ten or eleven years old my uncle used to bring me to his camp for the Summers. He thought I would surely enjoy swimming and  fishing, sleeping in a cabin without electricity or indoor plumbing.  Have you ever sat on a two holer with nothing but human debris and rancid odor emitting from a pit under your carcass, mingled with crumpled pages from a sporting gear catalog?  The outhouse, or privy as my uncle called it, is twenty five feet from the rear door of the shack, and in the summer, you had to share it with a thousand flies, and bees. At night, moths and all manner of ugly creatures swarmed to the building drawn by its putrid odor.
Every summer I pleaded with my mother, let me stay home. “Don’t send me to Uncle Jere’s, please Mother,”  Uncle Jere, her only sibling and younger brother felt he had to teach me how to be a man since my father deserted us when I was two.
It was not that I didn’t like Uncle Jere he was good to me.  He bought me a fishing pole, rod and reel.  He let me take the boat out on the pond by myself,  but he was, for lack of a better expression, a little light in the brains department.
Uncle Jere’s snoring, caused by a Deviated Septum, was so loud he kept everything that could hear for four miles around his camp awake half the night, and that included me who slept on the porch in a hammock.  He left his false teeth on the table at night. He took them out when he drank his whiskey.  I heard him tell his drinking buddy he liked the feel of the Scotch rolling over his gums, burned a little he said.  If I got up first, in the morning, which I often did,  those plastic teeth would be sitting on the kitchen table. I covered them with a napkin, they were enough to discourage anyone from eating breakfast.
I don’t know what Uncle Jere did for work, Mother said he was a banker, but I knew that could not be true.  He did not have the smarts for that job.  I never saw him in a suit either.  He always wore denim jeans, plaid shirt and bright red suspenders with brass clasps on which the word ‘Police’ was written.
Uncle Jere drank too much.  He would wait until he thought I was asleep, and then he would reach under the sink and take out his bottle of Scotch whiskey, sit down at the kitchen table and drink. His buddy from across the pond would come over at night and the two would swap war stories, and after he left, Uncle Jere staggered into his bedroom.
We buried Uncle Jere in the Spring of ‘02.  He was sixty seven,  died of a heart attack, probably from too much booze.
As Uncle Jere had promised, I got the camp and my mother got his money, all two hundred and fifty two dollars and sixty seven cents.  He had no insurance and the State had to bury him.  They took the two hundred and fifty two dollars and sixty seven cents against the expenses of the burial.
His funeral was not SRO, three people attended, me, my mother, and the old man that owned the camp across the pond from Uncle Jere.  He cried the loudest. They were drinking buddies. Now the old man would have to drink alone, a frightening thought.
There are only three camps on Screw pond, mine, a neighbor’s one hundred and sixty feet west of my shack who died six months ago leaving the cottage empty. A cottage across the pond from my place now abandoned by, Uncle jere’s drinking buddy.  His buddy sold his camp two weeks after my uncle’s funeral. He is  in a nursing home now, where he will finish out his days.
The plot was now forming in my mind.  How do  I get rid of the good doctor? Since there are no neighbors on the pond now I’ll take him up to my camp, and I’ll kill him, but not until he has suffered for a long long time. I’ll leave him a table full of twelve month old magazines.  He will not be able to read with his hands and feet latched to the kitchen table, but he will understand the sentimental attachment. I’ll keep him hydrated, and I’ll feed him.  I want him to suffer, not from thirst and lack of nutrition, but from anxiety.
This plot is not the result of one late visit to the doctor’s office, but several over a ten year period.  Not once was he ever on time.  He was always thirty minutes to an hour late.  When I saw my wife’s Toyota leaving this last time,  I knew now why he was late. They had an affair. I could not prove it, but I was certain they were meeting at his office.
Continuing my thoughts, I lamented, I’ll come back to him in a few days, feed him, and after a week or two, maybe three or four I’ll come back to the cottage.  Then, with the last thread of common decency, I’ll shoot him in the head, ending his misery. He will  know what suffering apprehension and anxiety is like.  I will show him no mercy until I put a bullet in his big fat head.
“What are you thinking about, Amos?” my wife asked.
“Just thinking about retirement, Dear.  How much fun it will be…just the two of us.”
“I can tell you right now.  I do not intend to change my way of life for you.  I have my own routine…Wednesday night with the girls, Monday mornings at the gym and Sunday, church all day.”  Do not forget your time with the good doctor I thought.
“You’ll have to find something to occupy your time.  I don’t want you hanging around the house, moping, complaining you don’t have anything to do.”
“I won’t,” I said.  I’ve already got my retirement all figured out.”  First thing on the agenda,  Kidnap my eye doctor and who knows where that will lead, could be my dentist, he also makes me wait too long, but he isn’t having an affair with my wife, or at least I don’t believe he is.
I fell asleep that night with a smile on my face.  I dreamed of living on a deserted island with a young twenty five year old woman whose only enjoyment was seeing to my needs.
My wife had never seen to my needs.  She has avoided me like the plague ever since she caught me with that woman from the office. We were in the utility closet at work, thinking it was a place of refuge from the outside, when one day who should open the door, but my wife.
“Amos Field.  What do you think you are doing?” She shouted.  I was in a highly compromising position as was the gal from my office. “Wait, Marcena,” I said.  “It is not what you think.”  What a stupid thing to say.  She slammed the closet door, and that night when I got home she began her punishment that has lasted fifteen years.  The incident, fueled by the consumption of excess amounts of Champagne, led to my infidelity.  I have been on her, do not speak to him list, since the party at work. By the way, that woman, the one in the closet, is living in Utah now with her fourth husband, a real estate mogul.
Maybe I should consider getting rid of my wife when I kidnap and kill the doctor.  This will take a little more planning, and since the spouse is always the first suspect in the murder of his wife, I will have to proceed with extreme caution.   The last thing I want to do is spend my golden years in the State Pen.
This has to be the perfect murder.  I can not rush into this.  I have to plan every little detail.   While I, was pondering my wife’s demise, a thought came to me out of the blue.  Why not put her in with the doctor and let them talk themselves to death?  I bet my wife would be the last one standing…er sitting.   I swear  she can out talk anybody in Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont.
The more I thought about my idea to rid myself of my problems, the more pleasing it became.  The thought of my wife and the eye doctor left in a cabin in the Maine woods on a deserted pond to end their days on earth brought a smile to my lips.  I shook all over; the thought was exciting.  It will all come together in three weeks on the first of April when I retire.
After the retirement party, my company has planned, my wife will pass out after two drinks of champagne, she has a low tolerance for alcohol.  She will pass out in the back seat of my Buick LeSabre, and as they say, let the games begin .
“Amos, come down here now.  I need help,” she screamed.
Waking me from my reverie, I answered her.  “Be right there, Dear.”
“Coming, Dear.”
Two more days and my retirement party, and my plan, would be in full swing.  The end was drawing near.  I can hardly wait I am so looking forward to this venture.  No more following orders, barked by the Queen of Scream.  No more yes dear,  no dear right away, dear.  I’ll be free of her.  My heart is racing, and my palms are sweaty,  I am in the throes of a panic attack. The attack is not of fear; it is from a  grand sense of anticipation.  Think of it, after thirty five years of marriage, I am finally going to be rid of my nagging, cheating wife.
At the bottom of the cellar stairs, she stood broom in hand.  “There’s a spider on that beam over there,  kill it.”
“You know I do not like to kill anything, Marcena.  I’ll capture it and put it outdoors.”
“You fool, it will come back.  You are the wimpiest person I know.  You won’t even kill a fly…you put them out the door. Kill ‘em…those pests deserve to die.”
“They are living creatures, Marcena.  I can not kill them, they have a right to live.”
“You idiot, they are pests, vermin, germ carriers.  What’s the matter with you anyway?”
“But, Dear…”
“Phooey! Just kill that spider if you want supper tonight,” she said.
I had no choice.  I killed the spider and swept him into the rubbish barrel sitting in the center of the floor.
Suddenly an old poem came to mind, “Walk into my parlor, said the spider to the fly…”  It is a poem in which a spider entices a fly to come into his parlor, the web. Once the fly crosses that line it is all over for him.  I would feel no remorse killing my wife and my eye doctor, her lover.  The thought made me smile.
“What are you so happy about?” my wife called to me.  I was whistling a tune from Hello Dolly.  I was thinking of the party and the eventual outcome.The plan kept swirling around and around in my mind.  Ah sweet mystery of life at last I found you, independence day was near.
The camp was a one hour drive from the house.  My wife would not wake up until tomorrow morning.  Alcohol has that effect on her.  The doctor may wake before we get to the camp.  I’ll tie his hands behind his back and gag him.
The time was here. It was a joyous event, my retirement party. Joyous not only because I was retiring after many years of service, but it was the night of my revenge. The night I would put an end to my misery.  Oops, sorry Doc,  I’ll have to get a different surgeon for My Cataracts I guess.  The thought made me grin.
“We’re going to miss you around here, Amos,”  my boss, Mister Silverman said.  I knew he didn’t mean it.  He was so afraid of losing his job he trusted no one, especially me since I knew his job and I could do it with my eyes closed.  Thing is I did not want his job.  Never did and would never have taken if it had been offered.
Everything was on schedule.  Marcena drank two large glasses of champagne and got woozy.I told my boss I’d have to take her home.  He understood. I took my gold Rolex knock off watch, and the two dollars and ninety five cent Hallmark retirement card I received, and departed.
The doctor’s home was three blocks from where they held my party.  So convenient, I thought.
I rang the doorbell.  The doctor, in his pajamas, opened the door after a three minute wait.  He even makes me wait at his home.  What’s with this man?
“What do you want, Amos?  It’s eleven o’clock.”
“Something’s the matter with my wife,  she is out cold in the back seat of my car.”
“Call nine one one.”
“I don’t have time to get her to the hospital.  I was passing your house, and I thought you would be willing to take a look at her, at least…tell me what to do.”  I could have won an Oscar for my performance of the emotionally frightened husband.  “I guess you are too tired…your sleep means more to you than…”
“Okay, let me get my robe.”  He returned with a striped bathrobe and accompanied me down to the waiting vehicle.  He bent down to look at my wife, turned his head toward me. I hit him with the tire iron, but not before he said, “Your wife is drunk.” Thanks for the diagnosis, Doc.  Just think I did not have to wait an hour in your office, sitting on one of your hard iron, thin padded seats, reading those stale, old magazines for your opinion.
The drive to the camp was quiet.  My riders remained unconscious on the back seat the entire drive.
I took the doctor first, dragged, lifted and hoisted him into a chair in the kitchen, fastening him securely and placing duct tape over his mouth.  Now it was time to go after her highness.  I found her aroused when I opened the rear door.
“Whar am I…ish thish your idea of a joke, Amosh,  bringin’ me to thish…rat hole of a camp?” She said. Her eyelids are half mast; her tongue thick from the booze.
“Come on in, Dear,  I have a surprise for you,” I said.
“It better be a good one…”
“Oh, it is.  It is a big surprise.”  I held her up and helped her into the kitchen where she spotted the good doctor mumbling through the duct tape.
“What the…”  That is as far as she had gotten before I pushed her into a chair. I tied her securely making sure there was at least six feet separating the two prisoners.  She started to curse me.  I put the duct tape over her mouth.   “I hope you two are happy…maybe you can work out a code, so you can communicate with one another. Sorry, but you will be here for a long time. You may as well make yourselves comfortable.”
Marcena was mad, her face as red as a beet, and the veins stood out on her neck like inflated footballs, but she said nothing I could understand.  I went out and closed the door fully assured they were both secure. To make sure, I tied both chairs to door knobs, so they could not move toward each other.
I drove home satisfied I had done the right thing.  I was free, and I had killed…pardon the pun, two birds with one stone.  My wife, for her nagging, and disassociation from me, and her infidelity. The doctor’s punishment is for making me wait in his office when my appointment time gets moved up.
Revenge is sweet.
I fell asleep and slept through the night without any dreams, and no trips down the hall.  Proverbially, I slept like a baby.
For the next three days, I stayed close to the house… mowed the lawn, trimmed the bushes and told the neighbors, who asked, that Marcena had gone to Florida to visit an old friend from high school.
I had to go up to camp today to make sure my two prisoners were watered and given a chance to vent some anger. I found them sitting, staring at each other.  They both looked up when I entered the kitchen.
“Mmmmmmm,” my wife screamed.  Her screams stifled by the duct tape.  The doctor just stared daggers at me.
“I’m going to take the tape off now,” I said,  “but if either of you hollers, I’m gonna put it right back on,  okay?”  They both nodded.
“Why are you doing this, Amos?” Marcena asked.  ”What did I ever do to you?  You…you maggot.”
“Nothing, Dear…nothing except ignore me for fifteen years…lived your life as if I did not even exist.”
“That was to pay you back for your…closet episode,” she replied little anger in her voice.
“I think I paid for that tiny indiscretion six months after I promised I would never violate your trust again, and, by the way, I never did.”
“And you, Doctor,” I began.  “Every time I visited your office at the appointed time I was told you were running behind, which resulted in my waiting an extra half to three quarters of an hour.  You will wait until I’m ready to free you, which, by the way, will not be anytime soon.”
“I demand you let me go.  Untie me and I’ll show you who is in charge.  You are a fool. You are crazy, let me go immediately.”  I slapped the tape over his mouth while he was still talking.
“Please Amos,” Marcena pleaded.  “Don’t put the tape over my mouth,  I won’t holler.  I know no one will hear me if I do.  Please?”
I’ll leave the tape off her big mouth, and she will drive the doctor positively mad in a couple of days.  “Okay, Marcena, I owe you that much.”  I dropped the tape on the table. Doc I’ll take your tape off long enough for you to eat your lunch.”
“Here are a few saltines.”  They ate them so fast half the crackers dropped to the floor. They gulped down the water, to satisfy their thirst, and begged for more food.  I sneered at their request.  I want them to know what going without meant as they both have, in their own ways, caused me to go without.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,  I always say.
The afternoon was hot, and I did think of those two sweating away in that cottage on Screw Pond. My moment of compassion was quite temporary when I thought of the trouble they had caused me.
I sat in my air conditioned living room watching an NCIS rerun,  one I had seen three or four times, but still enjoyed.  My homemade lemonade in the glass pitcher with the ice cubes clinking on the sides of the glass.  The lemonade glass left a wet ring on the coffee table.  Wouldn’t Marcena be mad?  She would call me inconsiderate, and wipe the table, all the time cursing me out for my foolishness and lack of concern.  I remember; I am free now. I can set my wet glass wherever I want.  I can put my feet on the coffee table too.  I can drink my orange juice from the container if I so desire and I can watch the programs I like.
It is Thursday, and time for another trip to the pond.  It has been three days since I last visited those two at camp.
I called the eye doctor’s office on the pretense of making an appointment only to be told he was on vacation in Europe or, so they believed.  The Bickford Gazette said his wife had reported her husband missing last Friday.  The police department has no idea of his whereabouts the article declared.
I went over to the Wayfarer Diner on Main Street for lunch.  I could do that now. When my wife was around, she would not let me spend the money on something as extravagant as a meal in a restaurant.  “I can cook as good as any of those people, and I’m a lot cleaner too.  You do not need to go over to that greasy spoon to eat all that cholesterol and fat.”  Another reason I chose to go to lunch today at the diner, the Chief of Police eats lunch there every day.  I might get some news about the good doctor, what the police think may have happened to him.
“Well, Chief,  What do think happened to Doc Miller?”  Mel Moody, the town rumormonger, asked.
“I think he has left the State, Mel,” the Chief said.  “My guess.  He is going west to start over.  You know his wife?”
“Yep.  She’s a female rattlesnake…ornerier than a cornered raccoon and mouthier than an old salt.”
“Then you know what happened,” the Chief laughed.
“Guess I do, Chief.”
So the Chief of Police thinks the good doctor flew the coop, leaving his wife behind. That’s in my favor.  I felt better now.  I ordered and ate a large plate of meat loaf and mashed potatoes with mounds of delicious brown gravy made from pan drippings.
“Want a doggie bag?”  Winnie, the waitress asked.
“Please.”  I would take my scraps up to camp in the morning and feed my prisoners a pleasant Sunday meal.
I opened the cabin door.  The first thing I noticed was the chairs were empty. How did they  escape? I heard, more than felt the blow to the back of my head.  The lights went out, and I was in total darkness.  I don’t know how long I lay there, but when I woke the doctor was tying me in the chair he had previously occupied, my wife by his side.
“Hurry, Tom,” she said.  “Tie him up and don’t forget to put the duct tape over his big fat mouth.”
“Okay, Dear,” the doctor replied.
Dear? He called her dear.  What’s with that?  I guess they read the question on my face.
“Marcena and I are…lovers, Amos, have been for a couple of years.  Bringing us up here was the best thing you ever did for us.  Why do you think you had to wait in my office.  I had to escort your wife out the back door before I could let you in the front door.” He laughed.
“Yes, and to think you put us here together you idiot…it’s a blessing.  Tom and I were planning on leaving the State in two weeks, after he told his wife goodbye.  You, for once, have made it so much easier…people think Tom has already left, or he is dead.  I’m sure you told everyone I was out of town.”
“Oh, by the way, we will not be visiting you.  We’ll be in Montana or Wyoming…never can remember which one.  I’ll leave enough water for you for one week, and a straw. After that, well you will be on your own I guess, goodbye, Amos.”  She cut a small hole in the duct tape to accommodate the straw, and the two of them went out and closed the door.
I struggled trying to get loose, but the doctor was strong.  He did a terrific job of tying me to the chair.  I pulled up on the chair, but it did not move. The rocking motion of the chair did not help, and, I was careful not to knock it over. The duct tape was driving me mad.  I could not talk, though there was no one to talk to anyway…it was the idea I could not express myself verbally without mumbling.
I pulled again on the ropes, they did not budge, and I am so weak.  I just finished the last sip of water.  I know if I do not get a drink of water I’ll be good for about a week and, then I’ll be thoroughly dehydrated. Death will be a welcome friend.  Right now all I can think of is a nice two inch thick Rib eye steak medium well with French fries and gravy.
I sat and watched a small mouse come out of his hole under the sink.  He sniffed the air and came over to the table and began nibbling on the cracker crumbs left by my wife and her lover.  Oh, what I’d give for one of those crumbs.  I tried kicking at the mouse, hampered by the tight fetters on my legs, he continued eating undisturbed.
I am tired, thirsty, hungry and, very weak.  I can not lift my head up.  My breathing is shallow, and the thoughts of death are less and less frightening now.  I know I have no hope in getting the ropes loose.  My fate is sealed, sealed by the ever popular utilitarian fix all, duct tape, and the knot tying experience of that nit wit doctor.  I am doomed.
The room was dark now.  I don’t know if it is night, or the shadow of death is closing in on me.  If it is the shadow of death, I hope it covers me quickly.
It is the darkest dark I’ve ever seen.  I’m dead.  I feel no pain…just darkness, the quietest darkness I’ve ever seen.
“Sheriff, I called because Amos didn’t come to the door of his cabin.  I called his house and his landlord said he has not been seen in over a month,” Mel Moody said.
“Stand back,” the Sheriff said.  “I’ve got to bust the door down.”
“Think he is in there?” Mel Moody asked.
“Can’t you smell that smell?”  It was decaying flesh and the odor of death.
“Yep, but I thought it was the pond water.’”
When the Sheriff and Mel entered the kitchen, they found what was left of Amos Field sitting in a kitchen chair.  He was now a near skeleton.  The ropes that once held him to the chair were now loose and, dangling.  A gold Timex watch, still ticking, dangled precariously from what remained of his left wrist.  His glasses lay on the floor in front of him.
“How long’s he been…like this?” Mel asked.
“He’s been dead a long time.  I’ll call the Medical Examiner.  Meantime, don’t touch anything.”
Mel did not hear the Sheriff.  He was on the porch heaving up his breakfast and lunch, and last night’s pepperoni pizza with extra cheese.
The funeral of Amos Field was a no show event, the only persons in attendance, the pastor of Bickford Community Church and the funeral director.  The ceremony was fast, and there was no graveside service to follow.
“Who do you think did it, Sheriff?” Mel Moody asked.
“Not sure,  if I had to venture a guess, I’d say his wife.  She has been missing for about the same length of time.”
“And Doc Miller’s been missing too,” one of the patrons at the diner said.
“Tell me about it,  he removed the Cataract in my right eye, and was scheduled to remove the one in my left eye before he disappeared.  If you ask me, he has taken off with Amos’ wife.  I think you’ll find ‘em both together somewhere.”  Mel said.
“I’ve got an APB out for the both of them.  If they’re in the United States, we’ll find ‘em.  I guarantee it.”
“I love it here on this island, Tom.”  She had told Amos she wanted to go to Montana or Wyoming in case, by some miracle, he got loose and went looking for them.  He would tell the sheriff  that’s where they had gone.  Instead, they sailed from Key West Florida toward the Bahamas.
“We can live here for the rest of our lives, and they will never find us.  The wild berries coconut trees, and fresh fish will be our diet. The island is uncharted. It is truly paradise, Marcy,”  Tom said, putting his arm around his lover.
“We’ll be happy here, my darling.  We have each other.  We are all alone,”  she said.
Across the island, and through the thick, leafy jungle, the natives were painting their faces with red paint and  white streaks, a sign of celebration.  The large boned man in the skin of an alligator, who appeared to be the leader, spoke in his native tongue, “Prepare the fire.  Tonight we will dine on the intruders on the other side of the jungle.  They are white and look tender.  Prepare for the kill.”
The natives set out through the jungle, spears in hand.  They are adept at the killing of their prey.  After all, they have been eating their neighbors for years.

by-George E Davis

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