“Why?” I ask. “Why would Duane kill you?”
Holly sighs and looks away. “He didn’t mean to. I just found him dealing drugs to my brother when Mrs. O’Glory was doing some yard work for us. She’s got a green thumb, you know. So when I came by to give her the tea, I confronted Duane, and told him I would go to the cops if he didn’t turn himself in. He got mad, and I think he just tried to scare me. I don’t remember the threats, but I know he did it too well. I started to freak out, and I began to run… I hit my head on something really hard. He didn’t want me to have any injuries, he just wanted to scare me, that’s all. He needed me to disappear, and he…he shot me in the stomach.” She glances at her stomach, at the blood soaked shirt.
I speak up. “That’s why you couldn’t remember anything for years, right? You hit your head so hard,” I say.
She blinks back tears. “Yes. For ten years I drifted around, unable to remember anything. I couldn’t even remember that I was dead. I was so alone, Jay. You couldn’t possibly get it.”
I sigh. “You’re right, I can’t understand. But I will help you. I’ll take these drugs downstairs, and I’ll expose Duane. He doesn’t sound smart to me…he could’ve come up with a way to explain why you got hurt.”
She nods. “But he’s strong, Jay. He could snap you like a twig.”
“Oh, thanks a lot. I better get down, I’ve been up here too long.”
She glances down at Socks. “Some advice, Jay. Duane is allergic to cats.”
That gives me an idea. “Thanks, Holly!” I quickly put one of the baggies in a pocket, and I flush the toilet before walking downstairs.
Mrs. O’Glory looks at me. “That took a while,” she comments.
“Sorry, I’m not feeling great.” Thanks to Holly’s story, that’s true.
Miss Klane looks concerned. “Oh, we can leave now, if you want to.”
I shake my head. “No, that’s not necessary!”
Suddenly, I hear the front door open. “Mom, I’m home!”
Mrs. O’Glory smiles. “Hey Duane, did you get the raisins?”
“Yeah!” Duane O’Glory, Holly’s murderer walks into the room. He has short reddish brown hair, is at least 6’3, and is built like a professional football player.
I grip the baggie in my pocket. Now is the time. Today, Holly Linkletter’s murderer will finally be brought to justice.
To be continued