Paper Castles

Paper Castles by Terri Lee Page B

Book: Paper Castles by Terri Lee Read Free Book Online
Authors: Terri Lee
right now, Neenie.” She pulled the blanket over her face.
    Neenie was pulling back the covers. “You have to. Two policemen are downstairs.”
    “What?” Savannah struggled to sit up. “What’s going on?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “Well, what did they say?” She was sliding her feet into a pair of slippers. Her arms felt unattached as she fumbled with the sleeves on her robe.
    “They wouldn’t say nothing, just that they needed to talk to the missus.”
    Neenie held out a sleeve and Savannah shoved one arm through, turning to catch the other sleeve. Tying the sash on her robe, her slippered feet skimmed the stairs.
    Two officers were standing in the front hall, as if at attention, except for fingers that tapped a nervous dance on the brim of their hats.
    “Good morning.” Savannah said, running a hand through her hair.
    The older officer extended his hand. “Good morning. I’m Sergeant Glennon. May we sit down?”
    “Certainly.” Savannah led them to the living room.
    Sgt. Glennon barely perched on the edge of the sofa before he began. “I’m afraid we have some bad news.”
    Of course it was bad news. Police officers never showed up at your front door with balloons.
    “Your husband was found dead this morning.”
    Obviously the officer felt it was best to rip the band-aid off without hesitation. But Savannah was ill-prepared for such bluntness.
    Dead .
    The word swelled into a lump at the back of her throat, unable to be swallowed. She slumped into the chair cushions, an inner tube with the air let out. Her thoughts were trying to find their way out of the left-over fog from last night and comprehend what they’d just heard.
    “Found?” she heard her own small voice reaching out. For some reason found didn’t fit with dead . It hovered in the air, waiting for the other puzzle piece to snap into place. In order for Price to have been found, he had to have been missing in the first place.
    Neenie rushed from the living room doorway to Savannah’s side, grabbing Savannah’s cold hands in hers.
    “Found where?” Savannah asked.
    “In his office,” Sgt. Glennon said.
    “His office?” She could only parrot his words. Following him around in circles. As if repeating would unlock some hidden meaning.
    “Yes, ma’am. He’d been shot.”
    “Shot.”
    The word rang out as if it too had been shot from a revolver into the room. It ricocheted off the family portrait hanging over the fireplace and landed with a thud at Savannah’s feet in a pair of pink slippers.
    “Sweet Jesus,” Neenie whispered.
    Savannah heard the squealing of brakes on asphalt as time screeched to a halt and she slammed into a dead end.
    Her hand moved in slow motion to catch a scream that didn’t come.
    She stared at the two officers. The younger of them looked away, unable to hold her gaze, but Sgt. Glennon stared back, unblinking. Sympathy was etched on his face, tempered by years of training.
    Expectancy hung in the air. Savannah searched their faces, waiting on them. Waiting for them to do something? But they were done. They’d delivered the news and were waiting for her to dismiss them.
    They were simply doing a job. Sgt. Glennon and his partner would get up from this couch, leave her house and go on to other business. Carry on with their day and their routine. Perhaps stop for a bite to eat, then go home to their wives. Their lives would continue uninterrupted. Hers was completely changed.
    Sgt. Glennon might have delivered the news with an economy of words, but the brief sentences were all it took for Savannah’s world to slip off its axis and send her tumbling through the rabbit hole. She landed in a place where words made no sense.
    Price was dead. Her husband had been murdered.



S AVANNAH LAY across the bed in her old room at her parents’ house. Butter-colored walls and shelves crammed with books and decked with ribbons from art contests. A smiling teenager with pom-poms in hand taunted her from a corner of the

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