BACK YARD - BJ BOURG
Originally published at Flashing in the Gutters in May 2006
Johnny Brooks hit the kill switch on the table saw and stared in admiration at the cut he’d just made.
“The factory couldn’t have done it better!”
He walked to the armoire he was building and glanced up at the wall clock in his barn. Ten o’clock. Guess she won’t be calling tonight. Just as he thought it, the cell phone in his pocket began to vibrate and he jerked it to his ear. “Hey, baby, what’s up?”
“Can you talk?”
“Yeah, I’m in the barn.” Johnny walked to the door and stared at the house. All was quiet. “Sarah had a glass of wine, so she should be out soon. How about you?”
“Dennis got called to go to work. Want to meet?”
“You know it!”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
The excitement built in Johnny’s chest as he slipped out the barn and into the wooded area behind his house. The full moon made it easy to follow the faint trail. Within minutes, a glowing figure materialized out of the shadows of the trees. “You got here quick!”
Bessie Harrington rushed to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pushed her mouth to his. After a long kiss, she buried her head into his chest. “I’m so glad I found you.”
“Me, too.” Johnny caressed Bessie’s long brown hair. He suddenly chuckled. “I still can’t believe you actually moved.”
“I wanted to be closer to you.”
“Why don’t you just leave him?”
Bessie leaned back. “You know why.”
Johnny pursed his lips and nodded.
Bessie turned away and walked to her night bag that was several feet away. She pulled out a blanket and spread it on the ground. When she looked up at Johnny, her brown eyes sparkled in the moonlight. “Get over here and give me—”
A deafening explosion suddenly disrupted the stillness of the night.
Bessie’s mouth dropped open. She clutched at her stomach. A scream ripped from her throat when she saw the blood. Another explosion sounded, and then another.
Johnny dropped to the ground and scrambled behind a nearby tree. Ears ringing, he peered from behind his place of cover.
With each explosion came a flash of light. Each flash of light illuminated the shooter’s face. Johnny gasped. He stepped from behind the tree. “Sarah! What the fuck are you doing?”
Sarah strode from the shadows and into the full moonlight. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “Didn’t your dad ever teach you not to shit in your back yard?”
Johnny stared in horror at Bessie’s lifeless body. Blood had already saturated the front of her shirt and was beginning to pool beside her body. “Do you realize what you’ve just done?”
Sarah tossed Johnny’s pistol on the ground. She removed the latex gloves from her hands. “I didn’t do anything.”
“What are you talking about?”
“My prints aren’t on the murder weapon.”
“You’re talking crazy!”
“What’s crazy is how easy it’ll be to get rid of you for life.”
Johnny glanced down at Sarah's feet. She was wearing his boots. His heart raced. “No one will ever—”
“You bought that gun two weeks ago. Why?”
“That’s not what the jury will think. What about the last person Bessie called before she died? Don't you think that’ll be a hell of a clue?”
Johnny dropped beside Bessie and desperately groped around in her pockets for her cell phone. When he found it, he also grabbed his empty pistol.
“You can burn her phone and it won’t save you. That call is now a permanent record on her bill. And you’ll never find all your bullet casings before the cops get here.”
Johnny sighed as resignation set in. He stood and turned slowly to face Sarah. “You’ve left me no choice. I’ll have to turn you in and testify against you in court. I’m an eyewitness to a murder.”
Sarah laughed. The wickedness of it caused Johnny to shudder. “You were having an affair with the Chief of Police’s wife. You think they’re going to believe anything you say?”
BIO: BJ Bourg lives in southeast Louisiana with his beautiful wife and two wonderful children. For more information, please visit his website at BJ BOURG.