Evelyn Quick is a feisty, smart, attractive young entrepreneur. But her troubled past has left her fractured emotionally and is the genesis for a deep dark secret she has struggled to keep from her friends and co-workers…she’s a hoarder. Hoarding is a way for her to emotionally bury the secrets of her past…as well as some other things.
The sound of Connie spitting was clear. Evelyn’s eyes widened. Her head swiveled. She considered opening her door, but her body was numb. She stared at the door so hard that she could see the creases in the wood. The phrase ‘oh… no’, which to that point was in a distant third in the race to exit her mouth, leapt the other two phrases, pushed aside the lump in her throat, and spilled from her mouth just as she heard a click and then a boom.
Connie’s lifeless body hit the floor with a thud.
Evelyn found the ensuing silence more cringe inducing than the sound of her parents arguing. Her eyes slammed shut. Her long lashes intertwined and refused to allow the child to witness the destruction of a family.
The words that oozed from Evelyn’s trembling lips were indecipherable. She didn’t care, as long as God could hear her plea to be rescued from this madness. Her limbs finally came to life. Her feet became restless; the tips of her shoes tapped the floor. Her long legs shook violently. Those gangly arms, that she often wished were a few inches shorter, stretched in both directions as she blindly felt for something to cover her head. Her left hand happened upon a pillow. Her right hand gripped a clump of towels. She pressed the pillow against her face and buried her head between her legs. The towels were strewn over the back of her head. She remained in that cotton cocoon while waiting for God to appear.
Talmadge rocked from side to side for a moment before pacing in a tight circle. His weapon smacked against his leg. He could hear his heart beating. The familiar scent of gunpowder jarred him out of his trance and forced him to look at his wife lying on her back in a pool of blood—a single gun shot to her chest. “Connie, get up!” he called out. “I’m sorry, baby. Please get up.”
Talmadge’s voice made Evelyn wince; like fingernails on a chalkboard. If she could have dug a hole into her mattress and climbed inside she would have, but there was no escaping this reality.
By the time the second boom occurred, Evelyn’s body was too stiff to flinch. She may have been physically trapped in that house, but her thoughts and emotions had already vacated the premises. She remained in that crouched position shaking until the police arrived. Death visited their home that day. Uninvited. Unwelcomed. Evelyn hadn’t been physically harmed, but a part of her died too—and was claimed by the Grim Reaper on his way out the door.
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