by Epiphany Ferrell

Well, to begin with, we had to find a place to hide the body. The swamp is an obvious choice. If the alligators don't eat it, the rats will. They grow to colossal size in the swamp, you know. We swiped a van parked in the street, one that had a canoe strapped to the top, which was convenient. We each had a knife to help with the body disposal. It's not as easy to cut through charred remains as you might think. We'd forgotten bug spray, and I wondered how much blood dripping from sloppy mosquitoes might be enough to provide DNA evidence against us. We dumped the body pieces in one part of the swamp, and then paddled to clearer water where we might let the canoe drift, hop to the shore somewhere we might not leave footprints. We'd left a trail through the algae on the way out of the swamp, so that precaution seemed a bit futile, like we were begging to be caught — as you have suggested. My idea was to grab a train, and it was his idea to jump first in the motel pool as a less obvious way than a shower to clean ourselves of whatever swamp muck or biological debris might hamper our escape. The pool, of course, was only for registered guests, but someone had propped open the door to the pool area so entering wasn't a problem. The video camera, though, that was a problem. Not that he noticed. He told me once his dad had a steady job for 20 years as a short-order cook, buried him in the pauper cemetery. I try to make allowances. You can't expect too much from a guy with a parental role model like that.

We stopped in the motel lobby on our way out, looking for train schedules, maybe a map, even a guide to local attractions. Some people just look suspicious, you know? He was a liability. I knew I had to ditch him. I opened the first empty car door I found, located a tire iron in the back seat and I beat on his head like a drum with it.  He looked like a smashed jack o'lantern by the time I was done with him. It's not so much that I took pleasure in it as that I am a very thorough person. I don't waffle when it comes to making decisions. My hand is as steady as my gaze, and I assure you, I never blink. Now, Miss, I'll take that piece of pie to go. It won't do to sit here until I rust.