He took me to a shed on the back of his property. The ground was still hard from all the rainless days we endured and it sounded hollow under my boots. The grass was an unnatural shade of green for late October. The clippings near the shed door were uneven and frowsy, and it spoiled the illusion of perfection. Still, Kincaid probably spent more money on his lawn than I spent on groceries. I tried to shove my resentment aside, but the hard feelings wanted to bubble over.

I don’t know what I expected to see in the shed. A workbench, maybe, with all the tools lined up in alphabetical order; a coil of garden hose, a freshly hosed-off lawnmower. I knew there was something darker inside, so only part of me was surprised when I saw a dead man sprawled across the wood plank floor.

The man had been gut shot. Kincaid spread an old bed sheet over the man’s torso, but what was once white was now a soggy maroon. If I had to guess, I’d say the man died roughly the time Kincaid made his telephone call to me.

Then I could see the trail of blood from the door to where the man now lay. I looked back and saw that Kincaid had roughly raked over part of the blood trail, masking it with torn grass and dirt. If you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t notice.

Copyright 2014


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