Monday, May 18, 2009
"What did she do when you showed it to her?"
"She talked about the strawberry patch. How beautiful it was. She told me how she liked the smell of the Earth on her gloves digging in the spring."
"You're kidding me."
"Nope. I kid you not."
"Did she talk about the strawberries too? Did she say how delicious they were?"
"I think she mentioned that, yeah. In fact, I was treated to a recollection of a most 'glorious' May afternoon with a picnic blanket and a pitcher of lemonade on the lawn. The bowl of strawberries was freshly picked and perfectly warmed by the sun."
"Yum. Was this before or after her husband disappeared?"
"Christ. So she had no reaction whatsoever to the skull?"
"Now wait. I didn't say that. She had quite a memorable reaction. In fact, we got a positive ID."
"She held it in her hands very lovingly and smiled. Just like she was holding a person's face. For all I know, she was seeing him alive in her mind. Kind of creepy, actually. She whispered something. I was too busy picking my jaw off the ground to ask her to repeat it."
"What about the ID?"
"She commented on his teeth. They were still in pretty good condition when we dug him up out of the strawberries. She said, 'Lordy, Daniel, I'd recognize those crooked old teeth anywhere.' She even poked around at a silver crown on his molar."
"That's fucked up."
"Pretty much. Yep."
"Are we going to charge her?"
"Let's see what the medical examiner comes up with first. The way he was laid in that grave with his hands crossed and all makes me think that he just died."
"But she ate the strawberries."
"Yeah. Little bit of Daniel in each one...."
"I think she whacked him, buried him in the backyard, and planted the strawberries."
"Maybe she did. But seriously, who's going to indict a ninety-two year old woman for the death of her husband almost fifty years ago?"
"What the hell do you want me to do with that?"
"Strawberry? Go on. They're amazing."