Saturday, April 14, 2020
The woman standing to the left of the Douglas County Sheriff looked more put together than she had any right to. Her long blonde hair was messy coming out from under the baseball cap she wore but it looked like it was messy on purpose, her makeup was perfect, and she looked almost glamorous in her zip-up hoodie, leggings, and shiny green rain boots. They were just like the ones she was wearing.
Anna glanced over her shoulder at the blue-grey bedroom door. The noise behind it had finally quieted. She turned back to the TV as the sheriff stepped aside and the polished woman stepped behind the podium and adjusted the height of the microphone. It was almost obscene how at-home this woman looked in front of the cameras. You’d think she did this every day. Shouldn’t she be mourning? Upset? Falling apart? What was wrong with her?
Anna narrowed her eyes at the TV. She’d always known there was something off about this woman. Ever since she’d met her on the first day of seventh grade 28 years ago. She was evil and duplicitous. Anna lifted her chin defiantly. Any doubts that had started to tug at her heart, when the girl just would. Not. Shut. Up. quickly vanished.
“This is a message for Anna,” the woman’s familiar voice said clearly. Anna inhaled sharply. This didn’t make any sense. It should have been at least another day or two before they figured out it was her.
“If you think you can get away with this you’re sicker than we thought. Bring my daughter back now and the consequences will be far less dyer than they will be if you waste time or, God forbid, do something really stupid. I will spend every waking minute of the rest of my life making you pay. Do you hear me? This will not end well for you…”
The Sheriff clumsily grabbed for the microphone as three women standing behind the woman pulled her back. They didn’t look embarrassed or shocked at what she’d said. They looked angry.
Anna sat stunned, her mouth hanging open. The gall! The sheer audacity of this woman! It was as if she thought she was in charge of the situation. She always had.
The sheriff cleared his throat awkwardly. “As stated before, if you know anything, please call the phone number at the bottom of your screen…”
Anna pointed the remote at the TV and pressed the power button. She stared at the black screen, rage rising inside of her. She spun around and threw the remote at the closed bedroom door as hard as she could. It shattered on impact, black plastic pieces flying in every direction, and she heard a muffled cry behind the door. She smiled.
Shaking her head as she walked to the kitchen to make tea, Anna chuckled. “No, old friend,” she said out loud to the almost empty house. “This will not end well for you.”