Dark and Stormy Night


Not all crime is bloody - Editor

by Tom Larsen

It was summer when he finally showed up. Larry worked the night shift then and Nicole was still a baby. Gina was at the kitchen window watching raindrops plink the puddles when she heard a rumble outside the front door. She knew right away it was him, though she could never say how. There were always cars idling in the street at night, boyfriends of neighborhood girls giving it one last shot, suburban kids copping a bag. They cursed too much and laughed too loud and their flashers kept her up at night.

This was different, she could tell by the sound. This one moved down the street at a crawl and as it paused outside her door she saw a match flare inside. Her first impulse was to grab Nicole and run, but something held her to the spot. She watched the headlights sweep across the yard as he turned into the driveway. Instead of stopping at the garage he pulled the car behind the house, killed the lights and the motor and sat listening to the radio. Basie, she thought, or one of those swing bands he favored. A sound she hadn’t heard in years.

When he got out, Gina’s heart was pounding so loud she could hear it. He circled to the front of the car and opened the hood. She could see rain roll off and over his back as he fiddled inside. Whatever was wrong he fixed it quickly, then stood staring up at the back of the house. Still tall and rangy in leather jacket, jeans and work boots.

Six years since she’d heard a word.

She opened the door before he could knock.





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