Dear Readers

Fear not the Darkness, But What Lies Within, The recesses of our mind, The creepy cobwebbed corners,That lingers on and tickles us,With tingle feelings of alarm, The deep in the stomach, Pain we feel when we do warn, The fear is deadly it seeks, The deepest corner of our mind, It's just a story to alarm,Educate and provide entertainment for our minds. So read on dear reader, I hope you find the stories amusing and full of charm.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

#SundaySample #MurderMystery Excerpt from "A Penny Saved A Murder Earned"

A Penny Saved A Murder Earned
Available at Amazon and Smashwords
The Kelly’s (Lily. Rose (Lily’s daughter), Great Grandma Katha and Amelia (Lily’s cousin)) all feel like they are under a curse; but it appears it’s the work of a serial killer that people around them having been falling like dominos. Now as someone is killed at Amelia’s store and others known to them perish, Lily and Amelia become under suspicion by the investigating officer Emmett Rogers. They must fight the impulse to blame the curse and get to the bottom of who caused all their woes, before the killer targets them.

Five star review 
 Lisa Walker    
Just finished reading "A Penny Saved A Murder Earned" Excellent read! It had me hooked from the beginning! At several points I didn't want to but it down! S.G. Lee really had me wondering who it really was. Keep up the excellent work! Can't wait to read the next book!

A Penny Saved A Murder Earned

Chapter 1 -Bloody Shoes

“A penny saved is a penny earned” Benjamin Franklin

    The blood streaked across the floor, but he had carefully sidestepped it. Stupid bitch! She got what she deserved. How dare she defile his Angel’s property? He hadn’t left a trace...had he? No he was too clever by half.

    “I didn’t spot you entering. Working late? You have an early opening tomorrow.” A voice he didn’t recognize interrupted his thoughts.
    “Wait a minute, you aren’t the lady. Who are you? You shouldn’t be here,” the man continued clearly alarmed.
    “You shouldn’t be here either,” the murderer insisted.
    “You killed Megan. I’m telling.”
    “This was something you shouldn’t be allowed to see.”
    “I’m leaving. I didn’t notice anything,” the man lied, witnessing the blood.
    “I’m sorry pal. Wrong place, wrong time!” the killer answered.

    The homeless man ran dodging racks, finally deciding to hide behind some shelving. The killer ran after him, puzzled for a moment because he could see no trace of the homeless person. The murderer then laughed, as he realized how foolish the vagrant was being, his stench gave him away. He subdued the man with a Taser gun. Waiting seconds he then pulled him from his hiding place. Taking ties from within his pocket he fastened the man’s arms and feet. Satisfied that the homeless person was now trussed up like a turkey, he smiled.

    “Please! I don’t want to die!” the man cried, visibly sweating and starting to shake.

      The man tried to kick out his legs and arms but failed.

    “You’ve heard about fate? Well sorry but this is your fate, buddy!” the murderer explained.
    “Please! Couldn’t you let me go? I won’t tell! I’ll move to another city. Besides who would listen to a homeless man?”
    “Someone would. My Angel would.”
     The homeless man then smiled as if to gain trust from this killer, “You won’t hurt the lady who owns the store, will you?” he asked
   “I would never harm my Angel. How dare you?” the killer responded outraged.
   “Sorry! I didn’t mean to insult you! Please just let me go....”
   “What is your name?”
   “My name is Al.”

    The killer put his gloves back on and smoothed them. Then turned his back on his victim.

   “You’re going to kill me now. Aren’t you? Just don’t harm the sweet lady who owns this store. Will it hurt?” the man asked resigned.
   “I would never hurt my Angel. She is sweet isn’t she? Unfortunately that makes unscrupulous people take advantage of her.”
   “I promise I would never take advantage of her kindness.”
   “I know you wouldn’t and it hurts me to do this. Tell you what though, I’ll make your death painless because I like you, Al,” the killer offered, feeling suddenly sorry for the man. 

    Then he checked himself. Living on the streets was hell; maybe he was doing the guy a favour? Yes, of course he was. Taking a pill bottle out of his pocket and opening the dispenser, he placed some in a coffee cup he took from the sideboard. Then he filled the cup with the tepid coffee from the coffee pot, stirring the pills in rapidly.

   “Please couldn’t you let me go? I won’t tell and I’ll watch over her when you’re not here.”
   “Sorry times up Al. Here now, drink this coffee,” the assassin commanded placing the mug at Al’s lips.

    Al tried not to drink and spit some of the coffee out, but the assassin plugged his nose and the cup was soon empty.

    “Admit it Al, you had a crappy life. Just give in and go to the light. I hear good things wait there for people like you,” the killer stated.

     Al tried to fight some more but he soon found it was losing battle. Al’s breathing slowed as he slipped into a deep sleep and stopped breathing altogether. His age and living on the streets made the pills work fast.
Now what to do with the body? the killer thought. His Angel must not find this man here, bad enough he left Megan’s body here for his Angel to find. This man knew his Angel; she cared, so like her to look after the homeless. The dumpster of course! The day after tomorrow was garbage day. Covered in garbage no one would find Al.

The next day

       Ominous clouds replaced the morning’s sunlight turning the skies to shades of deep purple and navy blue, streaked with gray. Lily Kelly stared at the sky for moment, and then departed the courthouse doors skipping down the steps. Lily had a lot on her mind. Amelia, her cousin and best friend, needed Lily to support her in her grief. She had a fight with her husband Horace again this morning about how much time he was spending at the office. Lily was always working, and so was Horace, so how much time was Rose their fourteen year old daughter getting? She had won in court, but all she could think about was her family. Everyone needed her and she felt like she was being pulled in three different directions. Something had to give and it looked like it was her job. She would have to cut back on some of her work. Her family had to come first.

      Lily stumbled some more over the steps and only stopped from hurrying across the courtyard to her office, when her heel broke on her shoe. Today was supposed to be about her victory after her win in court; but it appeared with her expensive shoe’s heel breaking, she was mistaken. They ought to get the ruts in the paving stones fixed; that was her reflection as she cursed her bad break.

     “What did they say about omens? Maybe she should have taken a hint from the heavens’ darkening?” she noted as her bad luck had seemed to get worse with the arrival of some reporters.

     “Ms. Kelly, give us a statement about the Rockwood case?” yelled one reporter.
     “Ms. Kelly, how does the Sulimani family feel about your victory?” yelled another.

     One bold reporter stepped forward.

     “Crown Attorney Kelly, congratulations on your win. Was it hard to try a case which involved a council member?” asked Paul Knight from the local television station, thrusting a microphone in Lily’s face.
     “Anyone who commits a crime in Happy Valley will be tried by the Crown with the full force of the law, despite their office. So no, I did not find it difficult to do my job,” Lily replied testily.
    “Thank you, Ms. Kelly. What does the Sulimani family think about the judgement?”
    “Amani Sulimani was five years old, when Zebadiah Rockwood’s truck went through a red light. His truck struck the back of the Sulimani’s SUV killing her. He then left the scene pursued by good Samaritans, who wished to stop Mr. Rockwood from continuing driving drunk: a pursuit caused by Mr. Rockwood’s actions, which put a number of lives in danger.”
    “Will the family be comforted with this conviction?” queried another reporter. “Amani Sulimani existed as their only child. Mr. Rockwood’s conviction will not bring her back, but hopefully will bring some peace of mind to her family knowing he will be behind bars.” Lily answered.
    “Do you sense, given your own personal tragedies that you’ll be able to get a sentence fitting the crime?”
    “My families’ history does not come into my trial cases, only the person’s guilt.”
    “And when will sentencing take place?” asked another reporter.
    “Sentencing will take place next month.”
    “Thank you Ms. Kelly. This is Paul Knight reporting, with an update on the Zebadiah Rockwood’s drunken driving case. Zebadiah Rockwood was a long time council member here in Happy Valley. He took a leave of absence to deal with his legal issues. Mr. Rockwood was charged with impaired driving causing death, two counts of failing to remain at the scene of an accident and dangerous driving last December. When asked about the conviction today Mr. Rockwood and his lawyer issued a no comment. We will have the complete story for you at six pm. Paul Knight reporting for CHPV-TV.”

     Lily hated speaking on camera, even though it was part of her job as the Crown Attorney, so she was glad the scrum had been completed. She was now free to go to her office to file her reports and leave early. She crossed the street, entered her building and went straight up to her office.

    “Victory is mine!” Lily Kelly cried triumphantly as she walked into her office.
    “So you won?” asked Colleen Finn, her administrative assistant.
    “Yes, I bested Michael Taylor. He thought he would beat me in court. He believed his client would win.”
    “Good for you, boss, I knew you would nail his lily white ass to the wall.”
    “Colleen! Language! But yes I did,” Lily answered, showing pearly white teeth and laughing to take the sting out of the reprimand. “Funny, I got it. Zebadiah Rockwood’s sentencing takes place next month, but he will be held until then; no bail, no goodbyes to his favourite water hole. As the Crown, I’ll recommend the longest sentence I can get. It’s victories like these which make my job worthwhile. I don’t know how much satisfaction this will give that little girl’s family, but at least they’ll know her killer remains in jail. He can’t take another life again, because he will be incarcerated.”

     Lily went over to her desk and sat down.

    “Can you imagine Michael Taylor, tried to use the defence that Rockwood was not drunk. Just tired? He claimed Rockwood drank only after the accident, while driving his company’s truck.”
    “Yes, I can believe it!” Colleen agreed “I’m glad you proved he’d drunk so much before getting in the truck. That proved he was legally under the influence when the accident occurred. I hope I was some help.”
   “Yes, you were.”
    “Thanks, Lily.”
    “It’s still early; only nine forty-five, and my day’s clear until what, two-thirty?”
    “That’s correct.” Colleen replied checking a day planner.
     “Is everything okay? You seem a little down.”
     “Everything is fine. Amelia’s grand opening starts at noon, but I promised to be there sooner if possible. If I go right now, I’ll surprise her,” Lily grabbed her coat to leave.
     “After what happened, Amelia needs the encouragement.”
     “Yes, Amelia does need support. Hold all my calls Colleen. Unless it’s urgent then call my cell.”
     “I’ll do that. Tell Amelia I hope her store has great success. What time should I say you’ll be back?” Colleen responded to a departing Lily.
     “Tell whoever asks that I’ll be back after two p.m...”
     “And if they ask where you are?” Colleen questioned.
     “Tell them I’m meeting with a witness,” Lily replied with a wink.
     “If there’s cake bring me back a piece. Please, boss?” Colleen begged.
     “I ordered a cake but it’s not supposed to arrive until one thirty so we’ll see. I’m leaving now. Remember only urgent calls to my cell-phone.” Lily cautioned, leaving through the front door.

She twisted her shimmering brown hair back up into its traditional bun. Pulling out her cell phone, she dialled Amelia’s store. There was no answer.

A few minutes ago

      A lone male walks into the store. His left hand holds a gun while his right hand steadies it. He strides in with caution. His dark brown eyes dart from corner to corner, searching for an assailant. His well over six-foot tall frame slouches. He is ruggedly handsome, with dark brown hair clipped short to his head. He is dressed in a dark blue jacket and dress pants; and a badge is clipped to his belt buckle. Finding the scene secure he puts his gun away and pulls a pair of gloves out of his suit coat pocket and a pair of booties, which he slips on his shoes.

      He checks the victim. No pulse. Advancing forward, he bends down to check the second woman; her phone still in her hand, her head bloody. He notes the second victim is still breathing, though unconscious. He looks around, as if waiting for someone. Deciding they weren’t coming yet, he takes out a mini recorder. He starts scanning the scene and speaking aloud.

     “This is Sergeant Detective Emmett Rogers. I am at the scene of a homicide, at Quirks, one forty five Maple Street. A woman lays sprawled out across the floor. The woman’s arms are positioned underneath her, as if to break her fall. The back of her head and her long blonde hair are streaked in rusty-brown blood, as well as her clothing below the hair. Blood pools across the floor spiralling out in two long streams. Footprints are noticeable, as if someone stepped through the drying blood. The weapon appears to be a pair of scissors, found beneath the victim.”

      The man spoke aloud as he walked around, carefully avoiding contaminating the evidence, by stepping over a paper cup.  “A coffee cup... possibly one of those lattes is overturned. Its contents are also spilled on the floor and countertop. Coffee is spilled at the front door and possibly on the shoes. The second victim’s shoes are not on the bruised victim, but on the floor. The shoes can be found near an overturned ladder, at the front door. It appears the one woman, may have been carrying a ladder and toy stock to place on the shelves, when she slipped in the blood.

       The man pauses to think.

       “This might be a setup by the second victim to cover the actual crime. The woman, however, seemed to have the victim’s blood all over her clothes and hands like she crawled through the blood. I believe there are two possible scenarios here. One the owner of the shop, one Amelia Kelly, murdered her employee and set this up to appear a perpetrator broke in and killed her accidentally hurting herself in the process. Or two... it is at it seemed and she stumbled on the crime scene. Is it a robbery gone wrong? It is too soon to tell. The store owner will be en route to hospital as soon as the EMTs have arrived .Interview to follow. The time is now ten twenty a.m.,” he concluded turning off his recorder. 
He pulled out a notebook and examined the room some more taking notes.


Lily Kelly and Detective Emmett Rogers

         The man’s eyes turned and his vision focused completely. A woman entered the store. His eyes took in her tall and slender form and her long shimmering brown hair, pulled into a tight roll. He noted she was closely followed by the Emergency technicians and gave a sigh of relief. The woman entering the store had brilliant blue eyes. He had a feeling she often turned heads, even dressed as she was, in her business attire. But he noted something about the way she walked screamed money and upper class.

         “Oh no, Amelia!” she screamed and tried to rush to Amelia, but was stopped by the man.
         “This is a crime scene Ma’am. We don't want you disrupting the evidence. Let the EMTs and detectives do their job. Then you can go to’re er...friend?” Sergeant Detective Rogers commanded.
         “Crime scene? What has happened?” Lily asked politely, wanting to be cooperative.
         “Ma’am, I’ll know better after I assess the scene. Until then, please remain near the front door.” ordered Detective Rogers briskly.
          “I promise I’ll stay out of the way; but at least can I get her Adrienne Changs?”
         “What or who, are Adrienne Changs?” said Detective Rogers looking totally perplexed.
         “Shoes, those shoes right there!”  Lily pointed to a pair of heels lying behind the yellow tape.
         “You're worried about shoes? Woman! Do you have any idea of what’s going on here?” Detective Rogers snapped, shaking his head.
         “You sexist pig!” countered Lily under her breath. “Men!” Losing her temper now and louder she continued “Those shoes are worth five hundred dollars! And she probably wore them for what a half an hour? And you want me to walk away and leave them to be destroyed!”
         “Five hundred dollars for shoes? Is she crazy?” Detective Rogers asked dumfounded.
         “No! She's not crazy. How dare you?” Lily asked suddenly outraged.

          He was smug wasn’t he? Handsome yes, but oh so smug, she questioned herself. That wasn’t important. Amelia is injured on the floor and he questioned her? Instead of letting her go to her cousin! Why was she so worried about the shoes? They were only shoes. Amelia was injured; who cared about footwear?

          “Sorry... the shoes are evidence. Name? Occupation? Address?” Detective Rogers barked, ignoring her statement.
         “I want to see your identification first, and then you'll get the information,” insisted Lily.
         “I am Sergeant Detective Emmett Rogers,” the man revealed, showing his police badge.
        “Oh that's funny,” Lily uttered laughing. “If you and Amelia were introduced it would be Aem and Em.”

        Lily followed this up by hysterically followed by crying. What was wrong with her? She never lost it like this. She always appeared a professional. She had seen crime scenes. She could handle this. Couldn’t she? Amelia would be okay. Wouldn’t she?! “Get a hold of yourself Lily. You have embarrassed yourself.” Lily heard a voice in her head, she recognized as her father’s. Odd how her Dad’s voice, came back to her now, she rarely saw him, since he lived in Prague and he only called about twice a year.

         “Ma’am, what you are saying is not that funny. Are you all right? I think your friend's okay. She might have a head injury and possibly a broken leg, but she’ll be okay.”

         Sergeant Detective Rogers then turned to the Emergency technicians (EMTs) to seek confirmation demanded “Right?”
        “Should be. But head injuries can be serious,” the one EMT replied.
Sergeant Detective Rogers shot him a disapproving look.
        “Yes, the Sergeant Detective is right. She'll be fine. She’ll be taken to the hospital for treatment,” the Emergency Technician agreed.
        “See...what did I tell you? Now I need to see some identification and then get some answers to my questions. Name? Address?  Occupation ? Why are you here?” Detective Rogers barked at Lily.
        “Amelia’s my best friend. This should have been the greatest day of her life, her opening of her new store; a one of kind toy and collectibles retailer. A grand opening and now it's ruined. Who did this to her?” Lily asked, uncharacteristically wringing her hands and still trying to regain her calm, as thoughts of Amelia’s demise threatened to enter her mind.
         “Ma’am... she slipped in blood. She hit her head on the floor and on the ladder she had. No one harmed her. She did this to herself,” explained Sergeant Detective Rogers.
         “I realize she's clumsy, but she didn't put blood there to trip in,” defended Lily angrily.
        “No the blood was spilled by whoever killed the woman behind the counter.”
        “Someone is dead behind the counter?” Lily responded shocked and surprised.
        “No comment. As I explained Ma’am this is an active crime scene. So what is your name?” Detective Rogers insisted forcefully again.
      “Lily Kelly-Brooksfield. My husband is Horace Brooksfield, the mayor. We live down the street on Beaconfield. Do you want the number? It’s nine hundred and sixty- two.” she replied condescendingly.
      “If you’re Mayor Brooksfield's wife… then you’re the Crown Attorney.” Coming to this realization, Sergeant Detective Rogers hid a sigh.
       “Yes. Update me on this active crime scene now,” commanded Lily pulling back her shoulders.

Emmett Rogers put on his professional face and smiled.

        Lily just felt so angry. This cop who grinned back at her was the biggest reason. She was a married woman. She shouldn’t be attracted to a cop who apparently existed to give her grief and solve a murder. She threw back her shoulders again. It was okay to look at someone attractive, she excused herself. Everyone looks, and most of the time it means nothing. It’s only if you act on any attraction it becomes wrong. She would never act on the temptation. Besides he appeared to be the most annoying man she’d ever met.

       “Ma’am, you know I can’t fill you in on any of this case. You'll have to recuse yourself from this case, as you’re familiar with the crime scene.” Detective Rogers emphasized, once again interrupting Lily’s thoughts.
       “Why don't you just come out and say what you think. You consider me a suspect,” Lily uttered.
       “A lot of people are suspects in my book. I have to make a case for them committing the crime or I have to eliminate them as suspects. And don’t attempt to solve this yourself, amateurs just get in the way.” Detective Rogers explained, his eyes wandering.

        Lily was slightly amused. Detective Rogers thought she wanted to insinuate herself into this murder investigation? She might not have before that comment, but she did now. He seemed to be focusing on Amelia or Lily as his prime suspect. Lily knew neither of them had committed this murder, so that meant she had no choice but to find out for herself who had committed this crime. She would pretend she wanted nothing to do with this situation, even as far as passing it off to her underling Barbara. After all she could always investigate behind the scenes.

         It was odd, how alive she felt when she jousted with him. He was a cop investigating a murder and she was married. “Stop this now Lily!” She told herself.

        Spotting the emergency technicians Detective Rogers exclaimed “Oh good, the ambulance has arrived to take the victim to the hospital. Now can we can get down to brass tacks; you can fill me in on these people and anything else you know or have held back from me.”
        “I want to go with her,” Lily protested.
        “Ma’am, I realize you want to go see your friend. Before I could release you from the scene, I need something from you. We need you to identify the other victim. Maybe you’ll recognize her when I turn over the body.” Detective Rogers explained, softening a little, as he slipped on another pair of gloves.
        “Only if you'll stop calling me Ma’am. Call me Lily or Crown Attorney Kelly but not Ma’am. It makes me feel eighty years old.”
        “If it will get you to identify the victim...thank-you Crown Attorney Kelly.”  “Let’s look, shall we?”
Lily agreed.

          Lily took a breath as she gathered herself to observe who lay there dead. She gasped as she stared over the counter to see the back of the woman’s head. She covered her mouth in horror.
         “Good grief! I never realized they appear so alike from the back,” replied Lily shocked.
         “Who do you think she looks like Ma’am?” demanded Detective Rogers.
        “What did I say about Ma’am? Don’t they give you sensitivity training at Police College? You want to know who this is? This is Megan, Megan Fowler. She's an employee of Amelia's. But she works evenings she's... is....was a college student. I can’t believe this is Megan. Megan is such a sweet girl and worked part-time to be able to go to school and support her mother. Why would someone kill her? Do you think it’s possible someone mistook her for Amelia?” Lily rambled, tears slipping from her eyes.
         “That’s a possibility, Ma’am. We will explore all aspects.”
         “I know the drill, Sergeant Detective Rogers.” Lily gave the detective a mock salute, “Why can’t you admit that they mistook Megan for Amelia?”
        “We don’t have any of the facts yet, Ms. Kelly,” replied Detective Rogers.
         “What about Amelia? Is she in any danger?” asked Lily. “If I were to speculate, I suppose that could be a possibility,” Detective Rogers answered non-committally.

         They both watched as the technicians gathered the evidence and blood samples and took pictures before the body was taken away.

        “Will someone be assigned to guard her and keep her safe?” Lily asked getting exasperated.
       “That’s in motion, Crown Attorney Kelly,” Detective Rogers explained, trying not to sound annoyed that she’s telling him how to do his job.

          Detective Rogers and Lily turned as another cop swaggered into the store. Burly and well over six feet tall, his hair was dark like Detective Rogers. Unlike Detective Rogers, this man preened like a peacock; Lily was aware of the type. Guys like him smiled with their mouths and not their eyes. They thought all women should admire them and only them. She noted his smile went as far as his lips.

           “What have you got here, Emmett?”
           “Nothing you need to be concerned about, Brad,” Detective Rogers replied, obvious tension showing between the two.
            “You should be able to get some great publicity out of this one,” Brad said loudly to Detective Rogers.

            Brad then strutted over to the murder scene.

            “It’s my case, Brad,” Detective Rogers insisted.
            “I’m not trying to interfere,” Brad persisted walking around, “I just thought if you needed some help I would lend a hand. It doesn’t look like something you could handle on your own.”
            “I don’t need help, thanks, Brad. I don’t need you messing up my crime scene.” Detective Rogers declared “I’ve got it all under control.
           “It doesn’t look that way to me. I would solve this case quickly. You could use me in your corner,” Brad continued.
          “We don’t need you. Now the Crown Attorney is here, so I have it all in hand. Goodbye, Brad.” Detective Rogers practically spat.
          “Ah, the lovely Crown Attorney Kelly is here,” Brad exclaimed trying to sound charming but failing miserably.
         “And you are?” asked Lily putting her full aristocratic chill in to her voice. “I’m Brad Owens, at your service, Attorney Kelly. Sergeant Detective Brad Owens. I use to be Emmett’s partner,” Brad explained smiling and pointing to Detective Rogers.
          Detective Rogers rolled his eyes. “Thank God you’re not anymore,” He stated under his breath loud enough for only he and Lily to hear.
         “So what do you think, Crown Attorney? Was it a robbery gone wrong?” asked Brad.
         “I’m not sure. Why do I bother to tell you this? This isn’t your case,” Lily commented suddenly not willing to share with Brad.

          She didn’t know why. Something about his smile, and the way Emmett Rogers had reacted to him made her dislike him. Brad’s smile was phony, like a used car salesman. It was slick and slimy. That wasn’t fair to used car sales people. Lily was sure they were more honest than this phoney, Brad Owens. Lily had come across a lot of people in her job. She certainly felt she was a good judge of character. In fact, she could spot a phoney a mile away. Detective Emmett Rogers, unlike Brad Owens, appeared like he knew his job. She’d heard of him many times but had never run into him on the job until today. He was a dedicated cop. He had done his time and had come up through the ranks, strictly on merit. Detective Rogers didn’t seem to like Brad Owens and that was reason enough for Lily not to trust him. Emmett Rogers had an exemplary record as a police officer; she trusted his instincts and knowledge over this smarmy Detective Brad Owens. He’d get to the bottom of this.

          Lily wished he would let her leave soon and check on Amelia. They had spent their teen years together and were as close as sisters. She’d always felt responsible for Amelia, being two years older. She wanted to make sure Amelia was okay.

         “Okay. Well if you don’t need my help, I’m leaving because I have work to do. There are other crimes to investigate.” Brad answered leaving, “See you around Emmett.”
         “Not if I see you first,” muttered Emmett under his breath.
        “So am I free to go?” Lily demanded.

          Emmett then offered her his pen.

          “I have your address, so as long as you sign here in my notebook. “You are free to go,” he said gesturing.

           Lily glanced over at Detective Owens and watched him leave before reaching for the book. She then signed her signature with a flourish. Detective Rogers scanned the signature, thinking momentarily it was just as elegant as Lily. He shook his head, reminding himself to stay connected to reality.

          “So I am free to go, Detective?” Lily repeated.
         “I’ll be checking in on your friend, of course, and I may need to follow-up with you later, but as of now, you are free to go.” he smiled, already exhausted.
         “I would expect nothing else from you, Detective Rogers.”

         As she got into her car, Lily breathed a sigh of relief she had finally been able to leave the store. She buckled up her seatbelt and put her car in gear. Backing the car up, Lily pulled out into the street and narrowly missed getting hit by a car, she didn’t view. Luckily the other driver slammed on his brakes. She noticed the male driver shouting, “Stupid woman driver” as she read his lips in her rear view mirror. He was justified in his anger. It had been her fault, but she didn't have time to dwell.

         She headed down the road toward the hospital; despite her resolve her mind wandered. She thought about poor Megan’s mother getting the news of her daughter's death. It would kill Lily to get news like that about her adopted daughter, Rose. What kind of monster kills a young woman? Why did, whomever it was, have to kill Megan? It wasn’t a robbery, she’d read in Detective Rogers’ notes, when he gave his notebook to her to sign her statement.  As Lily drove, more questions flooded into her head. Was Amelia the real target? Megan certainly appeared like Amelia from the back. Amelia didn’t appear too hurt. Maybe she suffered a concussion? Concussions could be serious; she knew from her readings. The EMT hadn't said Amelia was in serious condition though. Not that the EMT could explain before Emmett Rogers got on his case. Revving the engine, she waited impatiently for the light to go green. Once Lily reached the hospital, she could reassure herself, Amelia was all right.
©Sheilagh Lee December 30, 2012

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