Detective Perez had returned sooner than she’d expected with a search warrant, more questions, more officers with gloves and flashlights peering into her side of the closet, shuffling for clues through her underwear drawers while his remained empty, snatching the sheets from her California King bed, black lighting the bare mattress, leaving the bed unmade.
“Has he tried to contact you since we last spoke?” Perez asked.
She shook her head.
“Where do you think he might have gone, Mrs. McCain?”
“What’s in Costa Rica?”
His partner approached him from behind. He leaned over the couch, clamped he hand down on Perez’s shoulder and whispered something into his ear. The way his moistened lips grazed Perez’s ear lobe made her wonder if they were partners in other areas.
She studied his partner’s face. Did his furrowed brows signify that they found something? A pair of socks left behind? The still missing spare key? His cheeks were drained of color. Had they discovered her grimoire on the top shelf of the closet, in a hidden compartment of a shoe box, underneath never-worn red bottoms wrapped in tissue paper? She’d removed the post-it note from the page she’d last read. She was sure she had.
Perez patted his partner’s hand, caressed his fingers as his own hand slid back down to rest in his lap. Only Perez wore a ring. She suspected his wife was clueless.
“Are you a dog lover?” Perez asked, pointing the eraser end of his pencil toward her dog sculpture next to the fireplace.
“He’s more a lover of dogs than I am. He could even be one.” She thought of her husband, how the corners of his eyes and mouth always drooped downward in a perpetual pout, the same engraved on her newly appreciated living room decoration.
Perez stood, returned his notepad and pencil to the chest pocket of his blazer. He reached over the coffee table to shake her hand. “If you can think of anything else—”
“I have your card.” She nodded.
“We’re gonna find him, ma’am. You have my word.” He waved for the officers, who had congregated into the living room, and they followed him out the front door, heads hanging low, empty hands pressed behind their backs.
“Take your time,” she whispered as she shut the door behind them. She turned to the sculpture by the fire place.
“Let’s see how much your whore likes dogs.” She assembled the shipping box. As she rolled the dog in bubble wrap and packed him inside, she wondered if a package mailed to Costa Rica would make her look suspicious. No, she shook her head, it would solidify her story. That he had run off to be with his Costa Rican mistress.
In about a week, that would be true.
This piece of flash fiction is in response to this week’s photo prompt for Sunday Photo Fiction. Click the froggy icon to read other stories inspired by the photo and add your own.