A girl leaves the big city and finds the country to be deathly quiet.
|Erica Semple gazed out her kitchen window as she soaked the breakfast dishes in the sink. The sun, boasting a golden glow that lit the tips of the corn stalks, teased out the bees with its increasing warmth. They hummed about the rose bushes beneath the window filling the morning air with their musical vibrations. It was a picture perfect Kansas morning.
“Yecch!” Erica exclaimed as she pulled the blind down on the bucolic scene. It was bad enough to have to give up her apartment and the vibrant nightlife in the city, but did they have to turn her into Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz? Erica shuddered as she imagined growing old here and morphing into Auntie Em. She sometimes wondered if it was worth it. The evidence she gave the Feds on Jake saved her skin, but she hadn’t realized just how mind-numbingly boring a life in Witness Protection could be.
Erica grabbed her crutches and hopped on her one leg over to the table where her laptop sat open. She was excited to see a new email response to her Craigslist ad. It was from someone named Marcus, who reported that he had found her prosthetic leg on the bus and wanted to make arrangements to return it and claim the reward. Erica quickly wrote back to give him directions to her little country cottage hell. She hoped he would be able to make it this afternoon. She was in need of a little distraction from all these wheat fields waving and birds singing.
The forgotten leg scam had turned out to be a very successful ruse and had provided Erica with several afternoons of company and amusement. Good Samaritans abounded, it seemed - and those who weren’t motivated by altruism were often drawn by the promise of a reward. Her little scheme kept her busy and kept her from dwelling on the loss of Jake.
She really didn’t have any choice. The Feds were closing in and she couldn’t protect him. They would have arrested her for the murders, instead. As much as she loved Jake, he would never have understood and so she had to implicate him. They bought her story without hesitation or suspicion. There’s something about being a pretty, petite blonde with one leg that lends one an air of helplessness and more importantly, innocence - especially when giving evidence against the son of the local mob boss.
She loved Jake, but it was necessary to sacrifice him. He didn’t realize how lucky he was to not have been the one who ended up in the big yawn of middle America. The only good thing you could say about the plains is that there was plenty of space to bury the bodies.
The little cottage was filled with the enticing aromas of home-baked cookies and fresh coffee brewing when the knock came at the door. Erica crumpled up the little envelope of sleeping powder she had just emptied into one of the mugs, and went to answer the door.
Word Count: 505