“We’re sorry you had to witness such a gruesome sight, Mr. Harris. We’ll start looking for your missing wife immediately, as well as the murderer.” The officer closes his notebook. He is about to step away but stops. “One last question. Do you know the victim?”
“Yes, it’s Sheila Roberts. I knew the instant I saw the fiery red hair. Not natural at all. She actually has brown hair but always colors it since red is her favorite color. She thinks she can get a guy easier with red hair, too.”
“And how do you know her, Mr. Harris?”
“She’s a regular at the pharmacy I work. She comes every two weeks to get her medication. She does her shopping in the store where the pharmacy is almost every week. I’ve of course have seen her around town, too.” Jeff wrings his hands.
“Was she a friend of yours or your wife’s? Or did you ever have any issues with her?” The cop faces the man, watching his posture.
“She’s not a friend of either of us. She used to flirt with me while I was working but I had told her to stop.” Jeff shrugs. “We’ve never had a real issue with her except that.”
“Flirted with you?”
“Yes, at first it was harmless, but it continued whenever she came in to get her medication or just when she was shopping. I did have to tell her a few times, but eventually it subsided.” Jeff clears his throat and stands up, brushing off his pants. He watches as the other police cars drive slowly out of his neighborhood. “My wife did confront her once in the grocery store, but nothing came of it. Sheila stopped going to the pharmacy for a while when I was working. But she was in today, acting as if nothing happened. She didn’t flirt though.”
Jeff hears movement and turns to see the cleaning crew heading out, carrying bags full of trash from the room. “I… I think I’ll pack a bag and go stay in a hotel. How long…?”
“It will take most of the night and tomorrow to get everything cleaned. It would be best if you stayed in the hotel for a few days.” The officer nods. “I have your information, Mr. Harris, so I will get in touch with you if we find out anything about your missing wife. Or if we find her.” The officer dips his head and joins his partner at their car. They climb in and leave.
Jeff looks around at his neighbors still lingering to see if anything else is going to happen. He shakes his head and walks into his house, leaving the door open for the cleaning crew. He walks down the hallway but stops outside the opened bedroom door. He leans against the wall and rubs his face, feeling himself starting to feel sick. Feeling drained and nauseas, Jeff pushes himself off the wall and walks into the bedroom.
There is still blood on the walls, and a mess, but the hatchet is gone and so are Sheila’s body parts. Jeff looks around, shaking. He opens the closet door and grabs a bag. Behind him, he hears the crew reentering the room to work more. He throws clothes and his sundry bag before darting out of the room.
He rushes outside, letting the cold air of the night slap him in the face. His neighbors finally went home. Jeff stands on the top stair, closing his eyes, and breathing in the air. He can feel his nausea subsiding. Before he leaves, he takes the extra key from a rock in the front garden and gives it to the cleaning crew. He tells them where it goes and then leaves, not looking back.