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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Thriller/Suspense · #1412756
Sunny days and a surprise visitor changes one woman.
It is a lovely sunny day in my world. I am reading a terrific mystery novel. It is one of those I don't want to ever end but can't wait to see who "did it".

I spent the morning drinking coffee, putting dinner in the crock pot, then congratulating myself for doing most of the housework yesterday. The rest of my day is free to indulge in whatever I want. Maybe I will call or text Donna and see if she is free for lunch. It has been a month since I saw my best friend. On a summer day like this, as teenagers, we would have been making plans to meet up with our boyfriends or going to an unchaperoned party. Those were groovy days, laying on towels under golden rays with Sun-In on our hair, wearing a bikini, Coppertone or baby oil smeared on our skin. We were going for that Michele Phillips look; tan, blond, and thin California girls. The portable radio would be on WQXI FM, playing the best rock and roll ever, and we would be singing along. Exciting innocent days for us as the world watched Vietnam and a fight for racial rights on TV.

A friendly tap at the door is probably Fed-ex. Everyone is using delivery services for on-line shopping theses days.

Although only August, I have started ordering Christmas gifts. You know I used to love the malls with bright shiny decorations, the two year olds climbing on Santa's lap bringing back memories of my young Wendy. How I struggled to get a smile, like every other parent I was promising the perfect present. Not a doll, but a fire engine that had cool disappearing foam, not water, to put out the fire.

It is much easier to use my debit card on the Internet. Shoot, I can even have it gift wrapped. It just makes sense. I will save shipping charges since it goes straight to their house.

Wendy has always been a strange one. She aspires to be in charge of a major fire station. Right now she is living at the station and taking training after getting a B.S. degree from USC. She wants to be the one to put her life on the line, riding up in the "cherry picker" to save children from a flaming, dangerous building. She had begged me when she was a toddler to go up in the lifter. When she was three, I went by the station and as a special gift for her birthday, Wendy, the Captain and I went up in the picker. One of the other men had placed their firehouse cat "Sizzles" upstairs and Wendy got to rescue it. That night, at her party, she told her three friends all about being a hero.

It sure is a persistent knock. Someone that doesn't have patience. What do they do if it is an elderly person with a walker or cane? That might be me someday, after all. People are all in a hurry.

It is also the time of the year for Girl Scout cookies. Wendy used to always win for the most boxes sold for her area. How much should I spend? I am thinking, “Thin Mints” or the chocolate coconut ones, "Somoas", adding up the cost. Every year they go up fifity cents. Heck, Edy's Ice Cream even has a flavor for each one now.

I unlock the dead bolt on door. Joe always locks it when he leaves for work. Guess he feels like he's taking care of his wife.

A tall man with a smile in a Maytag uniform stands in front of me. He has an official looking tag with his photo.
"Howdy there, how are you doing this lovely day?"
I try to match the photo with this man but sunshine gets in my eyes, making me blink.

I tell him, "Sorry, wrong house. I have a Whirlpool. I thought Maytags didn't need repairs."
I laugh at my own attempt at humor.

It happened so quickly, a foot in the door, his gloved hand over my mouth. No time to scream. Then an oily rag stuffed in my mouth, and hands tied behind my back.

I want to say, "You can have every thing!"
Surely he is looking for money or something to sell for drugs.

I try to take a deep breath but I can't.

Then it hits; the terrible fear! I am pouring sweat, my heart skips a beat.
I feel warm urine running done my thighs.

'Not how I saw the end ... I'm still young, fifty. We have a trip to Hawaii planned. We are empty nesters now. I will never see grandchildren.'

I see the knife stained with someone's blood, know my tomorrows are yesterdays.

My body isn't mine now. I never feel the knife that takes my life.
I am watching a movie scene. A very familiar woman, with terrified eyes that scream, is being stabbed in the chest over and over.

By Kathie Stehr
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