Writing
Nadirah Foxx  

Frisky Friday Flashy Fiction

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August has been a busy month so far! We started doing serious packing last weekend. My office is just about down to the bare walls. Most of the books are packed. Only a few odds and ends plus the last manuscripts I’m working on are left to box up. The rest of the place is one huge disaster area. A necessary evil for a little while longer.

Somehow, I squeezed in this week’s installment of Deception. Almost didn’t happen. Just saying…

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Deception

Part Twenty-One

Calvin Reeves

I stared at the sheriff. If I heard Amy right, she made my case.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

JoJo came out with our food and glasses of water. “Y’all enjoy.”

After the female strutted back to the kitchen, the sheriff nodded. “Old Doc Howard died about a year ago, but his daughter, Beth Ann, took over the practice. I’m sure she has all the old files.”

“Why would the files help?” I debated whether to cut into the fried chicken breast or simply pick it up and eat.

The sheriff laughed. “Go ‘head, city slicker, and eat the dang thing. No knife and fork needed.” When I bit down into it, she said, “Doc Howard kept meticulous records. When he learned about Janet and Elwood, the good doctor came to see me. He said that he couldn’t prove anything other than there were vials missing from his supply cabinet.”

“Really?” I asked around a mouthful of fries.

“I was skeptical until he showed me the files. The man kept detailed records. He matched every shipment that came in with everything that was used. Jimmy Dean pulled up archives of every patient he operated on. He accounted for everything except for one carton of vials. It came in the same month Janet and Elwood were killed.”

“Were there any vials at the scene of the crime?”

“Not a one. But I’d bet the farm on Apryl being responsible.”

Wiping my mouth on a paper napkin, I asked, “Do you own a farm, Sheriff?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” She picked up a chicken leg and took a bite.

“There has to be something tying Apryl to the murders. What about her sister?”

Amy swallowed. “Apryl frightened Roberta. The girls were two years apart. Apryl was the oldest. She used to torment her little sister.”

“How?”

“She’d do things and then tell Roberta not to tell anyone.”

Something didn’t add up. If Apryl and Miss Mary Jenkins were the same people and Roberta was in an asylum, who did I see coming out of the nail salon. “Does the name Mary Jenkins mean anything to you?”

Amy sputtered and reached for the glass of water on the table. After a few minutes, she coughed and looked at me with watery eyes. In a raspy voice, the sheriff asked, “Where did you get that name?”

That didn’t matter. Besides, I wasn’t ready to reveal my deck of cards. “Who is she?”

The woman leaned forward and lowered her voice. “Janet didn’t want anyone to know, especially Elwood. It didn’t take much to make him jealous.”

“About?”

“Mary is Apryl’s half-sister. Last I heard, she was some place out West. Wanted to be a movie star.”

Fuck.

Shit like that only happened in the movies.

“Any chance you’d recognize Mary?”

“Yeah. She looks just like Apryl and Robbie. They could have easily been triplets.”

My brain began constructing a scenario, and I didn’t like what I saw. Three sisters. One locked away. One disappeared after the death of her parents. And the third was in California. Correction. Two of them were in California. The problem was, one of them would do whatever it took to stay under the radar.

“Amy, I need your help in a big way.”

She sipped more water. “What can I do?”

“I believe Mary lives in my apartment building. Tall, red hair…”

“No. That’s not right. Mary had blonde hair.”

“Hold on.” I removed my phone and scrolled through the photos. Thankfully, my sister was a notorious busybody. She’d snapped a picture of Mary and shot it to me. “Is this her?”

The sheriff squinted at the screen. “Sure looks like her, minus the hair. Then again, it could be a dye job or a wig.”

My gaze whipped up. “You said wig. Why?”

“Apryl loved playing dress-up. She said that one day she’d become a make-up artist. She wanted to…”

“Wanted to what?”

“W-work in Hollywood. You don’t think Apryl’s out there, do you?”

“Yeah. Both sisters. Any way you can check on Roberta? Make sure she’s where she should be?”

The sheriff nodded vehemently. “Let me make some phone calls.”

I hated to think it, but something told me those sisters were deceiving us.

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Have a great weekend!

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