Touchy and Feely (Sissy Sawyer Mysteries)

Free Touchy and Feely (Sissy Sawyer Mysteries) by Graham Masterton

Book: Touchy and Feely (Sissy Sawyer Mysteries) by Graham Masterton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Graham Masterton
park. There were two cars parked side by side on the open ground, as well as the trailer part of a tractor-trailer, NEW ENGLAND DAIRIES with two smiling cows on it, but there was no sign of anybody, anywhere.
    She pushed back her hair. Must have been a freak accident, she thought. A sudden gust of wind. She turned to go back to the house.
    At that moment, when her hand was still lifted, she was hit between the eyes by a .308 bullet. The impact flung her off her feet and threw her backward into the snow, her arms and legs spreadeagled in an X. Her blood and her brains were sprayed halfway up the yard, where the bits of carrot were.
    Juniper was watching her from the kitchen. She had dragged her chair across to the sink so that she could see out of the window. She hadn’t trusted her mother not to start making a replacement head. Mothers always interfered, if you let them. When Ellen suddenly jumped backward and fell flat into the snow, Juniper thought that she must have caught sight of her, and was pretending that she was surprised. She ducked down below the level of the draining-board and waited, but nothing happened. After a while she raised her head again. Her mother was still lying in the same place, utterly motionless.
    Juniper waited and waited, and then she climbed up onto the sink and knocked on the window. Still her mother didn’t move.
    ‘Mommy! What are you doing ?’
    Juniper pulled on her boots and opened the back door. There was no sound, only the high-pitched singing of the wind through the pine trees. She ran across the snow until she reached her mother, and it was then that she saw the hole in her forehead and the pinkish lumps of brains.
    Juniper stood where she was, gripping the cuffs of her cardigan, panting. She could see what had happened but she couldn’t believe it. ‘Mommy,’ she said, but she was afraid to touch her.
    ‘Mommy,’ she repeated, but she knew it was no use. She waited a moment longer and then she turned and ran back into the house, up the stairs and into her parents’ bedroom. Her father was asleep, buried in his patchwork quilt, his face sweaty and red.
    ‘Daddy!’ screamed Juniper, tugging at the bedclothes. ‘Mommy’s been shot! Mommy’s been shot!’
    Randall opened his eyes and stared at her. ‘What? What the hell are you talking about?’
    Juniper opened and closed her mouth. ‘I think Mommy’s dead ,’ she whispered.
    Randall stumbled downstairs with the quilt wrapped around him, knocking a picture off the wall. Juniper ran out into the yard and he followed her, barefoot. When he first saw Ellen lying in the snow he said, ‘Oh, come on ,’ as if Ellen and Juniper were playing a trick on him, to prove that he wasn’t really sick.
    But as he came closer, he saw that Ellen’s face was luminous white like candle-wax, and that even though her eyes were wide open, and she was looking at him, the hole in her forehead couldn’t possibly be fake, and that the blood and the brains weren’t just cake-mix and cochineal. She had left him. She had actually left him. Not for an ex-boyfriend. Not to go back home to her parents. She had departed, abruptly, for somewhere else, where neither he nor Juniper could follow her.
    He sank to his knees in the snow. ‘Call 911,’ he told Juniper. His nose was running and his pajamas were stuck to his body with cold perspiration.
    Juniper didn’t seem to be able to move. Randall took hold of her skinny little elbow and steered her around so that she was facing him. ‘Sweetheart . . . call 911.’

The Angle of Death
     
    J im Bangs from the forensic laboratory laid out fifteen glossy photographs on Steve’s desk, and then stood back, his arms folded. He was thirty-one years old, short, with bright chestnut hair that stuck up like a yard-brush, and rimless glasses. His white sleeveless shirt was missing a button, so that his pale bulging stomach was exposed.
    ‘OK,’ said Steve. ‘What am I looking at?’
    ‘You’re looking

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