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Margo looked without expression at the white sheet, a snow-covered mountain range in miniature with a lake of stainless steel at the edges.

“Are you ready?” the detective asked.

She nodded. He lifted the sheet and folded it neatly across the dead man’s chest.

“It’s him,” she said.

She turned abruptly and started toward the exit, her high heels clicking on the tile floor, echoing throughout the room.

“Excuse me, Missus Walters,” the detective said.

Margo stopped but kept her back to him.

“Are you sure it’s him?”

“Of course I’m sure.”

“I meant to say, do you know it’s him or do you just want it to be him?”

“Is there a difference?” she asked. When he didn’t answer immediately, she added, “Are we done here?”

Margo got into the waiting car.

“Was it Dad?” her daughter asked.

“No, but I told them it was.”

“If it wasn’t him, who was it?”

“Some dead guy. What does it matter? It means we can finally move on with our lives.”

“Then we’re in the clear?”

“They think they’ve found him, so they’ll quit looking.”

“And we can start breathing again?”

Margo smiled. “I never stopped, darling. Shall we go home?”

The End


Jim Woessner is a visual artist and writer living on the water in Sausalito, California. He has an MFA from Bennington College and has had poetry and prose published in numerous online and print magazines, including the Blue Collar ReviewCalifornia Quarterly, and Close to the Bone. Additionally, two of his plays have been produced in community theatre.


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