Halloween Hack-Job

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If you asked me what I would be doing on Halloween night, I never would have thought the answer would be "Oh, nothing much. Just setting Timberly's husband's body on fire in the woods."

(Sorry – I mean, ex-husband.)

And yet, here I was, my face warm from the flames that were licking at Jon's feet, his hair, the tips of his fingers, and the carpet I had to roll him up in to get him out here. My chest rose and fell rapidly as I tried to catch my breath. It took more effort than you might expect to lift a 175-pound, 30-year-old man and throw him into a fire. The second I got home, I was definitely pouring myself a large glass of wine.

I shoved my hands into my coat pockets and looked up, away from the fire, into the night sky with its bright stars and a nearly full moon. A few bare branches swayed in the wind and partially obscured my view. How long did it typically take for a body to burn? I resisted the urge to Google it.

You might be wondering how I got here. It's a fair question. A few weeks ago, my best friend, Timberly, and I were out at our favorite local Italian restaurant sipping on our glasses of Moscato and getting ready to order when she confided in me.

"I think Jon is cheating on me," she'd said with the most forlorn look on her face. All I could think in that moment was that if she was right – if Jon really was cheating on her – he was an even bigger idiot than I'd initially thought. Timberly was gorgeous. Her skin was perfectly tanned and always glowing, her long dirty brown hair had just the right amount of waviness and shine, and her green eyes held a constant glitter that made you feel like you were the most special and important person in the world.

"How do you know?" I had asked her.

She leaned in conspiratorially. "When he came home last night, he smelled like another woman's perfume. And I just kind of blew it off, but then I smelled the perfume today when I was at that new bakery in town. The girl behind the counter was wearing it."

"That—" I started to say, but she shook her head and cut me off.

"Could be a coincidence, I know. Believe me, I know," she let out a long exhale. "But then, I looked at our bank account and saw that he'd purchased something from the jeweler about a month ago, but he still hasn't given it to me. My birthday isn't until May, our anniversary is in February, it's too early to be buying Christmas presents..." She paused, looked down at the table, and then back up at me. "Look, I know it sounds ridiculous, but he also doesn't seem to want anything to do with me anymore. And it doesn't make sense. And I have this feeling in my gut. And I—"

It was my turn to cut her off. "And you always trust your gut." I nod. "So, what are you going to do?"

"I think I'm going to call him out on it. Tomorrow night."

I reached my hand across the table so that I could hold hers. I watched as tears welled up in her eyes and I squeezed gently. "Everything's going to be okay, T," I reassured her.

The next week, she didn't show up to dinner. And after making a few calls, I found out she hadn't been to work for a few days either. Something was wrong. Timberly was always the one who talked about trusting her gut, but now it was me. I could feel it in the pit of my stomach, and I couldn't ignore it. I called Timberly's younger sister, Danielle. "Dani... I think something's happened to Timberly..."

Another week passed, and I noticed a few things when I drove past Timberly and Jon's house. First, he got a new truck. This probably wouldn't mean anything to most people, but Jon never shut up about how much he loved his old Subaru and now he was driving around in a Dodge. Why the sudden change? And then I saw the girl from the bakery getting the mail on a different morning. Did she live there now? Did he actually kill Timberly and move his mistress in?

It was like something in my brain just snapped and before I knew it, I was standing in Timberly's living room, screaming at Jon, and stabbing him repeatedly with a kitchen knife. I stared wide-eyed at his dead body lying on the floor and thanked God that my mom had made me help her clean our house every weekend all those years ago because now... Well, now, I knew exactly what I needed to do.

That's the answer to your question. I couldn't prove that he killed my best friend. I couldn't even prove that she was dead. But I know she is, and I know that he did it. For the second time this month, I found myself calling Timberly's sister.

"Hello?" Her voice rang in my ears.

"I killed Jon. I need your help."

"Where are you?" Danielle asked.

"In the woods just outside of town," I answered.

"Don't move. I'll be right there."

I breathed a sigh of relief and smiled as I realized... With Danielle's help, I might just get away with this.


Image of Through the Woods


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