At Three Legged Lake

The photo album lay open on her bed – the picture offered no clue of her whereabouts
Her mother stood on the porch looking over the peach blossoms wringing her hands
That older boy was back in town – that much her mother knew for sure
She heard them leaving together around midnight – she thought it was strange
He had parked around the corner from the house

The wrestling matches or the fishing show – whatever it was – couldn’t hold them
The older boy wandered away but came back soon enough – she was asleep
He looked – for a moment – at the peaceful young face of the girl on his mother’s couch
The phone cord fit so easily between his fingers and around her neck – around her future
He was disappointed when it was over

The flashing Polaroid camera gave her face a spectral glow
Her eyes looked through the lens and up into his face
He slipped the picture into a copy of the Bible that he kept in his desk
The event was less than he had hoped for but he wanted a memento
He dropped her body at Three Legged Lake

The cop that discovered the body was squeamish – and maybe just a little frightened
Her killer had left her at the lake wearing nothing but the phone cord and a T-shirt
He couldn’t deny the attraction of her youth despite her condition
He told himself that he needed to stop pulling the overtime shifts
The cop thought of his daughter – tucked safely away at home
He put the call in to dispatch

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