The Marshall Sisters #52weeks52stories



#52weeks52stories: Week 6

The pings and knocks of the beat up Toyota vibrated through Leslie.
She glanced out at the tiny bungalow, her thoughts in rhythm with the car’s motor.
Come on, Pau-la, what’s taking so long?
Come on, Pau-la, I want to go home.
Swearing under her breath, Leslie tried to burrow deeper into her coat. The Toyota’s heater sputtered and hissed almost as loud as the motor but gave little comfort in the dropping temperatures.
I could be home right now wrapped up in my Snuggie, laughing my ass off at Angie Tribeca. But no. I had to be the supportive sister and ride out here to Allen’s house just because she thinks he has some bimbo in there. Damn!
Leslie folded her arms across her chest, slipping her gloved hands into her underarms.
Five more minutes and she was going to kick Allen’s door in. There was no argument more important than her freezing to death.
Come on, Paula!
If Leslie had her way, Paula would have dumped Allen months ago.
Not only was he weird, always picking nonexistent pieces of lint off his clothing, but he was an arrogant ass.
When speaking, Allen’s sentences were peppered with random pauses where he’d wiggle his nose. If the conversation was about anything other than him, the idiot would sniff.
Leslie at first thought the man had a severe case of hay fever. When there was never any sneezing or watery eyes, she was sure Allen had a nasty cocaine habit.
Grumpy and annoyed after an evening of bowling with the smitten couple, Leslie couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“P, why does he talk like that?”
“Like what?”
“All those pauses… and nose wiggles… what’s up with that?”
“Oh, that.” She waved her sister off. “It’s not a big deal. Allen stuttered when he was a kid. The pauses and nose wiggles are tools his speech therapist taught him to focus and pace his words.”
She glared at her sister, incredulous.
“Was sniffing another tool he was taught?”
Paula Marshall giggled. “Isn’t that adorable? I just want to smother him in kisses when he does that?”
Leslie smirked but didn’t respond. She doubted Paula wanted to hear she wanted to smother her boyfriend too… with a pillow.
She fidgeted with the heat vents, attempting to direct the tepid air toward her numbing feet when the back car door screeched as it was opened.
Leslie yelped.
“P, dammit! You scared the hell out of me!”
Paula Marshall dumped two large blue plastic trash-bags behind her sister then jumped in the driver’s seat.
“Sorry, Les.” She tapped the accelerator peddle twice before pulling away from the curb.
“Sorry, Les? That’s all you have to say after I nearly froze to death waiting for you? Why did you insist I come anyway if you planned to leave me the freakin’ car?” Leslie Marshall babbled on, approaching hysteria. “What the hell, P? Say something! I could lose two toes behind this! And what’s in those bags you shoved in the back seat? Am I talking to myself? Is this a conversation for -”
Nonplussed, Paula gave her rambling sister a casual glance. “Shut up, Les.”
Slumping in her seat, the younger sister held in her anger. “I didn’t need to be here, Paula Beth. I could have phoned this in.”
“Leslie, I-I… he wasn’t alone.”
She jerked forward in her seat.
“What? I’m sorry, P, really. I know you liked him a lot.”
Paula slowed at the next intersection as the traffic light turned red. She smiled at Leslie.
“It’s okay… and it’s not a big deal. Yes, I did like him, but I will not be bothered with a man I cannot trust.”
Leaning her head back, Leslie stared at the crimson stoplight, not speaking until the signal turned to forest green.
“What did he say?”
She scoffed. “What could he say? They were half-dressed in that way you knew the deed had already been done. He followed me around whining as I collected my stuff. Pleading for another chance… saying it didn’t mean anything.” Paula gripped the steering wheel tighter. “I’m getting pissed all over again thinking about it.”
“I’m so sorry, P. You deserved better than that. But I’m hella proud of you for standing up for yourself.”
Paula Marshall had been a doormat for a long line of men in her short thirty-two years. She’d been a victim of physical and verbal abuse, robbed of her paycheck and savings several times, and had her identity stolen by one man who claimed he was tracing the Marshall ancestry. It took Paula over a year to get her credit records back in order and the more than seventy-thousand-dollars in fraudulent charges removed.
“Thanks, Les. It means a lot to know you’re in my corner.”
“Always, P. Always.”
They rode in silence, both women lost in their thoughts.
Worry lined Leslie’s young face as she fought to not question her sister further, but lost the battle. Her words fell shaky and clipped.
“Paula, did you know the woman with Allen?”
Nervous butterflies assaulted Leslie’s stomach. She watched her sister’s gaze dart over the road in front of her, a slow menacing grin forming on her lips.
“Oh, yes. I knew the bitch.”
“Paula?”
“It was Zoe Cox.”
Anger turned Leslie’s nervous butterflies into smoldering bile. “What the hell? Are you kidding me, P? Dickwad has a beautiful, smart girlfriend who’ll do anything for him and he cheats with the town slut?”
“It’s okay, Les. I took care – ”
“No, it’s not okay! Allen knew what kind of woman she is. And the whole town knows she’s a walking STD-bank. I cannot believe this.” She raged on. “Turn around, P! Take me back to Allen’s so I can kick both their asses!”
With her eyes on the darkened road stretched out ahead of them, Paula reached over and caught her sister’s hand.
“Les, I promised you… it’s handled. By the time I finished with them, they’d seen the error of their ways. This will not happen again.”
Still not convinced but reigning in her anger for Paula’s sake, Leslie folded her arms across her chest, sullen.
As Paula turned onto Renway Court, Leslie didn’t want to get out the car letting her sister believe she was angry with her. The beat-up Toyota sputtered to a stop in front of Leslie’s tiny bungalow.
Leslie’s head hung as she gave Paula a sheepish side-eye glance. “You know, P, the whole thing with Allen was one big cluster, but… what you did tonight? The way you went out there and barged right in? Pretty much makes you a bad-ass bitch now.”
Paula Marshall fell into a giggling fit. “Yes, I am! Look out world! I’m done taking anyone’s shit!”
Leslie shared Paula’s laughter, but something seemed off about her sister. However, she rationalized that her sister had put in a full day’s work, found out her boyfriend was cheating and caught him in the act, and here they sat in a freezing cold car in the middle of the night trying to process it all. Paula had every right to be a little unsettled. Leslie pushed the accusatory thoughts from her mind and reached out to give her sister a hug.
“Get some rest, pretty girl. You’ve had one hell of a day and it will be time for us to do it all again in a few short hours.”
“Thanks, Les. And thanks again for having my back. It may not seem like it, but knowing you were in the car waiting… gave me strength to do what I had to do. Love you.”
“Love you too. Night.”
Leslie Marshall ran into her house without looking back. Closing and locking the door, she sagged against it, thankful she left her heat on. Determined to get at least six hours sleep, she grabbed a beer from the fridge, drinking half of it before she reached her bedroom. After a two-minute shower, Leslie drank the rest of the beer and slid into bed, falling asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.

When her alarm sounded at five minutes after seven, Leslie’s first thought was to call in. She hadn’t used any sick time in over eight months and had only two scheduled days off over her regular two days a week.
But Clarence Milton wouldn’t care about that. He was more than likely giving Stephanie Thompson, his assistant, a major migraine right now… and counting the minutes until Leslie showed up. She didn’t like the pompous news director, but he was allowing her to write and edit more segments. She’d better not chance it and get on his bad side.
Sitting up, Leslie grabbed the remote and clicked on the TV to see how the morning crew was faring. She hoped the morning co-anchor, Dianna Corwin had gotten rid of the assy two-tone hairstyle she showed off two days ago.
WKTT returned from a commercial break and there sat Dianna, assy hair and all, looking like an over-the-hill skater-boy.
Shaking her head, Leslie headed for the kitchen in search of coffee when Dianna’s words stopped her cold.
“We have an update on the grisly double murder WKTT first reported during our 6 AM broadcast. Police have identified the victims as thirty-four-year-old Allen Bailey and thirty-three-year-old Zoe Cox.”
Leslie Marshall stumbled but made it back to her bedside before she could fall to the floor. She crawled to the center of her bed and hugged her pillow close as the broadcast continued.
“WKTT’s Sharon Shuford was able to get a short interview with lead detective, Don Ware.”
“Sharon: Det. Ware, what do you know so far about this double murder?
Ware: Well, Sharon, the coroner puts the time of death at somewhere between 8 PM last night and 1 AM this morning. We believe the person or persons who committed this crime was known to at least one of the victims as there were no signs of forced entry. We also believe it was someone who knew the victims because this was a violent slaughter. This is, by far, the most gruesome crime scene I’ve worked in a decade. It took a lot of rage and malice to carry out this crime and generally, for this to happen, there has to be a personal connection between killer and victim.”
Tears streamed down Leslie’s face. And she had been sitting in the car alone while a murderer was roaming the streets! She rocked back and forth, unable to believe Allen and Zoe were gone.
True, she didn’t care for either of them and just a few short hours ago, she wanted to kick their asses, but that was because of how they betrayed Paula…
Oh my God, Paula!
Leslie leaped across the bed to grab her cell phone. She prayed Paula was still asleep and hadn’t heard the news. She would be devastated. Punching Paula’s number into the keypad, Leslie paused when she realized the newscast had returned to Dianna and she was still talking about the double murder.
“Police have no suspects and no leads in this heinous crime and could use whatever help the public can give. Law enforcement says the blood splatter from a crime like this would be excessive and the killer or killers would be covered in blood. We’re also told there is a chance the killer or killers tried to clean themselves up before leaving the scene. Police say blue trash bags like the ones on the screen now may have been used to hide bloody clothing when leaving the scene. Anyone with information in this case should contact the Pitts Police Department immediately.”
Leslie Marshall dropped her phone, stunned.
Blue trash bags.
Paula put two blue trash bags in the back seat of her car last night.
No way. No way.
Her sister was not a killer.
A murderer.
“Les, I promised you… it’s handled. By the time I finished with them, they’d seen the error of their ways. This will not happen again.”
“It may not seem like it, but knowing you were in the car waiting… gave me strength to do what I had to do.”
Covering her mouth, Leslie raced to the bathroom. Her empty stomach spasmed having little more than bile to give up. She backed away from the toilet until she reached the wall next to the bathtub and slid down the wall with a thud, unable to cry or scream. Her body shook as she tried to push the truth from her mind, and the harder she pushed, the more her body shook. Leslie was unable to control her own limbs and she fell over not realizing she was going into shock.
Her meek, docile, submissive sister was now a bad-ass bitch… who killed two people last night while Leslie waited in the car.
Leslie Marshall was the star witness against Paula… or a co-conspirator.
The buzzing in her head grew and Leslie could no longer sort her thoughts. She let go and fell over the edge into the dark abyss.

 

©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s