Daryl Scroggins

Not This Way

I don't like stories in which a person "fingers" fabrics or "pads" into the kitchen for more tea. I don't like to hear that a person has "stormed in" or "stormed out," even if it has something to do with the fabric or the tea or suburban drama - or the fact that, afterwards, "nothing will ever be the same." I don't like to encounter the words, "In the first place" at the beginning of a sentence, and I don't want to hear that a person turns a "quizzical" expression upon another person. No "chagrin." None of this is bearable, even if it's the police who are nonplused as they look at the cloth the woman is strangled with, and the spilled tea, and the mysterious signs of no forced entry. I don't want to hear that the pregnant woman was a policeman's wife. And please, avoid the interjection of a face peeping in at the open front door, a neighbor's face (the whole world descriptively behind her), a person who starts by saying, "I'm sure it's nothing, but." Best at this point would be a burst of intricately mumbled confession and the bare beginning of a general realization. After that I would be happiest if one of the detectives just shot the neighbor, then his partner, and then the yapping dog. I would be happy if he just left the damn gun on the table.

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