“Let me help you inside, Mister Thyme,” said the police sergeant.
“No!” Hand flying up to wave the officer away, he knocked Sergeant Wilcox on the elbow with his cane.
His head felt moist with sweat, his breath, a furnace shooting vapor. He imagined he appeared as guilty as a child with a pocket full of candy standing just outside the candy shop. A murderer in the middle of hiding the bodies, only the bodies had come for him along with a weapon, not the other way around. He was knee deep in Shit Creek paddling with a cane. The law man, dutiful and persistent, a hero if there ever was one held up the damn. One wrong move and the damn would open turning his little creek of a predicament into a raging river of shit.
Blocking out worry over his missing son, the two corpses kicking back in the office, Augustus searched for the calm pool of reason. It was there he found Susan, her memory swimming through conscience. He remembered her quiet smile, the way her eyes sparkled in candlelight. Her purring when he made love to her. Love had taken time arriving months after their wedding. An arranged marriage. That was what it had felt like, and it had been that old man. Villeneuve, his visitor from Hell, whom had brought Susan into his life. And now the corpse had brought an old gun to him demanding he use it.
Make the police go away, his message from Hell.
The devil wasn’t going to take him that easy.
Using his cane, Augustus climbed up onto his feet and stood tall. He met the sergeant’s scrutinizing gaze head on.
“I’m all right now,” he said.
Sergeant Wilcox shot the funeral home a quick glance and turned his attention back on the mortician.
“If there was a problem,” said the sergeant. The heat bled from his eyes, and Wilcox took on a softer appearance. “Anything at all. You’d tell me, wouldn’t you, Mister Thyme?”
“I appreciate your concern,” said Augustus. His leg barely hurt now, a fading throb. “I thank you for sharing the news about the camper, and I’ll certainly keep my eye out. However, it’s been a long day and I need to let my leg rest now.”
“Of course, Mister Thyme. I’m going to take a drive through the graveyard before I head back. If there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to get on the horn.”
Sergeant Wilcox placed his cap on his head, wished him a good night, and ambled back to the cruiser.
Back inside, the corpse behind the desk still pointed to the waiting Peacemaker. Ignoring him, Augustus stood at the window and peeked outside. The sergeant. sat in the driver’s seat for what seemed like several minutes, but was more like thirty seconds. Finally, the police car rumbled to life and pulled out of the parking lot. Augustus watched until the fog swallowed the police car.
Make him go away.
Eyes shooting wide open, bolting around in alarm, Augustus searched the office finding his dead visitors still sitting in their chairs. He glanced out the window again at the empty parking lot, and looked around the room. Then it hit him; the translation finally fell through. Him hadn’t referred to the police sergeant.
Someone was at the funeral home.