TWELTH INSTALLMENT OF....THE LAKE...by b. Malin
Sarah did not know that Jose had slipped on the wet steps on some of the frogs that the rain had brought out. The thud she had heard was his body hitting the pavers and his neck breaking, killing him instantly... Her chance for survival gone. But maybe she did know, as she licked the salty tears that came down her cheeks.
The next day old man Carter was on his way over to the Burke's cottage. He looked down at his watch, it was only nine...he was sure she'd be up, as he wanted to drop the sealed envelope off before he started his chores for the day. He was to tell her not to open it until Mr. Burke got home...Surprises...what the heck, he thought to himself, if that's what Mr. Burke wanted...He cut through the back path and was coming around to the front of the cottage when he saw Jose's body sprawled out at the bottom of the steps, lying in a pool of blood and mucous. It looked like he had broken his neck...He bent down to take a closer look..."Yep, he's dead" he said aloud as he stood up and walked slowly up the steps, trying to avoid the dead frogs that were scattered about. He slowly opened the front door, fearing what he would find inside. Sitting upright on the couch was Mrs. Blake with her eyes closed looking like she might be sleeping, but sadly he knew that wasn't the case. He gently went over and said softly "Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Blake", but there was no response. He put his finger on her wrist to feel for a pulse, but sadly there was none. He looked down at the coffee table to see a pad with some writing on it. It looked like notes she had made on questions she had for Jose. Without thinking, he picked the pad up and ripped off the page, as he walked into the hall bathroom and flushed it down the toliet.
Why couldn't she have just minded her own business? he thought to himself as he stood over her body, wondering how she died. He saw the half empty coffee mug on the glass table in front of her. Without thinking, he picked it up and spotting the other one opposite her, he picked that one up too. He took them over to the kitchen sink and washed them both with hot soapy water before putting them in the dishwasher. He now looked about the room, his eyes falling on the dining room table where the pizza box lay closed...he went over and opened it, It contained two leftover pieces. He closed the box and carried out to Jose's truck, opened the front door and placed it on the front seat. He slammed the door shut, turning to see if anyone was watching...No one was. The truck had blocked Jose's body from any traffic which might have passed by. He stood looking at the body trying to decide what to do. He needed to protect the townspeople from any more scandal...Mrs. Jordan's suicide had caused enough...they didn't need more...things were back to normal...and now this.
He went back inside and cleaned off the dinning room table of any dishes, washing them and stacking them neatly in the dishwasher, and than dumping the leftover salad down the garbage disposal, and the lemonade down the sink. Everything now looked clean and ordinary...except for Jose's body out front, and Mrs. Blake's dead body on the couch. He went back out to Jose's truck, opened the front drivers side, got in, and finished off the two leftover pieces of pizza before calling the police on his cell phone.
The deaths of both Mrs. Blake and Jose were ruled accidental. Talk around town was that they were probably lovers...and maybe the baby was really his...the poor dead baby.
Robert never entered the cottage again...never in his heart, forgave Sarah for her death, and the death of their child...and put his "surprise" back on the market to be sold. He sneered when he saw the ad..."Perfect, perfect cottage for sale or rent...Start your own happy memories there...etc, etc". It sold within three months, to a Doctor and his wife, a lawyer from New York City. All the furniture was included.. Also included in the bedroom under the dictionary, was the picture of a young Latin couple and their baby.
This story and all it's contents belong to the author, b. Malin