Thanks for hanging out with me during July 2018 CampNaNoWriMo. I learn something every time I start a new project and Sins of the Mother has turned into a major education.
I’ll wrap up tomorrow so, for now, here’s one last excerpt from Sins of the Mother.
Sally tried to relax as she sat on the tailgate of the ambulance.
The paramedic who’d introduced herself as Ruby, frowned while taking Sally’s blood pressure.
Sally attempted to lighten the mood. “Will I live?”
Ruby continued to frown.
“Your blood pressure is running low and your pulse is rapid. Not unusual for what you’ve been through, ma’am. But add the nausea, fatigue and enlarged pupils, and I believe you’re suffering from mild shock. You should be seen by a doctor.”
Overwhelmed and on the verge of tears, Sally Bennett pleaded. “I believe you, Ruby and I’m not trying to be difficult, but I just need this night to end. I don’t think I can handle anymore sitting, waiting and endless questions.”
Ruby glanced from Officer Holland to her partner, Mackie and back to Sally. Her face softened. “I understand, ma’am. But you should also know shock can mean blood isn’t reaching your organs the way it should and can trigger a cardiac episode hours or even days after a traumatic event.”
“I understand, but I just want to go home. I promise if I feel worse, I’ll get to the hospital. And even if I don’t, I’ll call my doctor as soon as his office opens.”
Ruby held the clipboard while Sally signed the refusal of transport document, then turned to Holland. “Take care of her and don’t let her drive.”
“No driving. You got it.”
He helped Sally from the tailgate and they approached the Ramirez home. “I’ll find an officer inside to follow us in your car when I take you home.”
Sally didn’t hear him.
Three feet from the front door she froze in her tracks and Officer Holland felt her body trembling.
“You don’t have to do this, Mrs. Bennett. Tell me where your things are and you can wait with Ruby while I get them.”
Several minutes passed before Sally responded, staring at the front door.
“I’m going in. Graciela and her daughter have to come back here and live. I can go in long enough to get my things.”
Allowing her to set the pace, Officer Holland entered the home behind Sally.
She was floored by all the activity.
Sally had only seen the Ramirez home in the muted and subdued lighting required by Graciela’s vision problems. Now, every room light and lamp appeared to be on. People moved around rooms, drawing on notepads and taking pictures. She entered the hallway, finding it also full with members of law enforcement. However, all eyes focused on Sally and moved to the side, allowing her to pass.
Making sure Officer Holland was right behind her, Sally headed for the guest bedroom.
Sally swiped a hand over her ear as the buzzing returned.
The hallway appeared to stretch out in front of her, making it take twice as long to cover the short distance.
As she passed Graciela’s room, Sally’s stomach rumbled and she pursed her lips staving off another wave of nausea.
A flash of light from inside Graciela’s bedroom caught her attention and before Sally could stop herself, she turned and looked inside.
Her attacker’s body still lay on the floor at the foot of Graciela’s bed surrounded by the coroner and his staff.
Sally’s view was obscured by the crowd and all she could see was his head.
His face was turned away from her as more photos were taken to identify him.
She looked at the thick, wavy chestnut hair with fine strands of gray and a sense of familiarity returned.
She knew this man.
Sally entered the bedroom, but Officer Holland grabbed her by the hand. “Ma’am, you don’t want to do that.”
She pulled from his grasp. “I have to,” and before anyone could stop her, Sally Bennett pushed her way through the crowd and stared down at the dead man.
The buzzing in her head roared.
She opened her mouth to scream but there was no sound.
Crime scene techs tried to cover the assailant’s face, but it was too late.
Brian Holland strode through the crowd trying to get to his charge, but Sally backed away into the corner.
The boiling bile in her gut would no longer be denied and erupted from her as she turned and faced the wall.
Sally slumped to the floor clawing at her chest and the burn left by the offensive acid.
Officer Holland tried to help her up but she scooted away… toward the still body.
The small crowd looked on in confusion and horror as Sally stroked the dead man’s hair.
Her voice returned and mournful, pitiful wails filled the room.
Sally’s mind snapped and surrendered to the comfort of the darkness as she stared into the lifeless eyes of her husband, Frankie Bennett.
Day 30 word count – 51,749