Flash Fiction: Murder Ballad

I like Flash Fiction a lot and haven’t written any recently. I also like Murder Ballads. Two great tastes…


I couldn’t tell where the road ended and the driveway started. It was all ruts and weeds and mud leading up to the house. There was a car in front, peeling paint and dented on the bumpers and doors and even roof. Hers, I was sure of it. He was still out there, in his pickup, driving hard or slumped over the wheel with his brains splashed against the inside of the windshield, depending on whether he had stopped to think about what he had done or not.


The front door was still open. My deputy was standing on the porch, leaning over the rail, heaving. Breakfast was all over the meager, unkempt flower beds. Her sister, the one who had found her, was sitting on the steps, oblivious to me as she stared vacantly down the driveway and pulled on a Camel.


When I got out of the car, I put on my hat. Everyone thinks I do it to look cool. it does look cool, but that is not why I do it. A hat that big, you can hide your face — you fear, your disgust, your rage, your tears —  with just a nod of your head. I was going to need that hat.


She was in the living room. And the bedroom.  And the kitchen. A piece of her even ended up on the porch. He really lost it in there. The axe, a big old wood cutting axe like you would expect Paul Bunyan to use, was laying in the black-brown-red pool where most of her was. He dropped it, just let it fall out of his hands. I could tell by the long smear up the shaft from his bloody grip. The monster that had swung it was gone by the time he let it go, for sure.


I looked around a little, mostly for show. I knew the story. Good girl loves a bad boy so much it kills her. It happens a lot down here.


I tell my deputy to man up and fuck off and he does. I ask her sister a few meaningless, stupid questions, the kind that staties and feds like to see answered on reports. I wait for Ed to show up. He’s our coroner. Owns the diner, too. I give him a look that warns him what’s inside and he just shakes his head and pulls the bags out of the back of his van. I leave him to it and get back in the car.


The truck is down on route 75. That was my third guess. I was wrong about the brains on the windshield, though. At least, I was wrong about the “inside” part. He was drunk and high on something harder than grass and jumped out of the cab and pointed his squirrel killer at me so I did what he was asking for and laid him down. Maybe her sister would have gotten some pleasure out of him going to trial and frying, but I don’t think so. In any case, all it would do was make a long, ugly story out of a short, ugly one.


I’ll take tomorrow off, stay home, give Reb a kiss on the cheek and a squeeze on the tit, let her know I love her. It seems the best thing to do after a day like this one.


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