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Picket Fences


The crimson stain spreading across the floor could no longer be ignored.  No matter how he propped the now lifeless body, he could not bring back her vibrancy. He had never meant for it to end this way, but the endless, ceaseless nagging had finally taken its toll.

Muffins…she had been baking muffins! So why in the world did she have the marble rolling pin on the counter? It had been too easy.

“Doug!” she had screeched. That same screech that for twenty years had been his wake-up call. “Did you get the trash to the curb?”

Of course he had put the damn trash to the curb. The same way he had done every second Wednesday for the ten years they had lived in the little country cottage at Rosehip Way.

He stood back and surveyed the scene. The pristine floor, disappearing inch by inch under the expanding pool of red so deep it almost appeared black. Propped against the new stainless steal double door she had insisted on having. The very refrigerator that made him sacrifice his golf weekend in Salt Springs. Even if he did end up in a cell, knowing she was finally silenced, somehow made it all worth it.

Backing away, he grabbed his windbreaker from the back of the chair. That would have been the next screech. He knew she hated when he did that, and he did it anyway.

He put the leash on Porgie the Corgi and left through the front door. The entire neighborhood knew he walked the pretentious little beast every morning at this time, so no one really noticed his outting got underway a little late.  Just Doug Brown, pulling Porgie down the sidewalk the way he did every morning.

Over the next few days, as the neighbors started arriving with casseroles and condolences, there was actually a couple times he managed to put the chore onto the shoulders of a willing volunteer.

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