Posted in Short Stories

Carousels and Nightmares (Part V)

Connie, Sheila’s mother, entered the living room. After being introduced to Detective Jameson, she followed her daughter to the sofa and sat down. At first nobody said anything. So much needed to be explained to her daughter, but she didn’t know where to start. She fingered the ends of her shoulder length auburn hair and glanced from the detective to her daughter. With a smile at Sheila, she placed a hand on Sheila’s hand and gave a gentle squeeze.

“Well?” asked Sheila to her mom.

“This isn’t easy. I’m not quite sure where to start. As a matter of fact, I never thought I’d have to tell you what I’m about to tell you. Before I do that, why is a detective here, why the interest in whether or not you have a twin? You didn’t explain anything on the phone.”

“Mrs. Baye,” said the detective.

“Please, call me Connie.”

“Connie, we found a dead body buried in the back yard of the neighbor’s. It was a…”

“Oh, no! Mr. Potter’s house?” interrupted Connie.

Detective Jameson glanced from Sheila to Connie. “As a matter of fact, yes.” He focused his attention onto Sheila. “Did you tell her whose house, when you spoke to her on the phone yesterday?”

“No, I didn’t.” Sheila turned to her mom. “How did you know it was Mr. Potter’s house? I never gave you any details yesterday.”

“And right now you may sound surprised but your body language is telling a different story,” said the detective.

Connie’s shoulders drooped. “I guess I better start from the beginning. But first, Sheila, why did you ask me if you had a twin?”

“That’s what I was trying to tell you when you interrupted me,” replied Detective Jameson. “The body we found in the backyard of the neighbor’s house looks as though she could be your daughter’s twin.”

Connie’s lips crumpled in a weak smile. “I better start from the beginning.” She placed her purse on the floor next to her left foot and repositioned herself to face more toward her daughter and the detective. “You were two years old going on three and your father and I wanted to do something special for you since your birthday was coming up in a few days. The first day of the carnival was on your birthday, so we decided to take you. As soon as we arrived and walked through the entrance, the music and colors all around you made your face light up. We went to a few game booths, and your dad won some little stuffed toys for you. After the third game, your dad reached down to you to place the newly won stuffed bear in your little hands, when he notice you fixated on something behind you. He followed your gaze to see a clown in front of a large tent waving at you.

(To Be Continued)


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